FXWARS Challenge:36 -Seven Towers - JamesNZ

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Old 09 September 2012   #1
FXWARS Challenge:36 -Seven Towers - JamesNZ

For this challenge I think I'll go either for the tower of Anemoi, which is in a canyon, or the tower of Phaunos, which is in a temperate forest.
I'm leaning towards Phaunos since there's miles of bush/forest nearby which will give me a good reference. I could also create a high-res pano of the forest and use that as a background to composite the tower into.

Got me some thinkin' to do
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Old 09 September 2012   #2
I've decided to go for the tower of Anemoi, which is in a canyon.

So this is my plan so far:
1. Get a high-res background of a canyon
2. Texture/light/render a canyon model (likely tower 4) in Blender, using Cycles.
3. Composite the model into the BG with Nuke, I'll also add some camera movement.

I found a suitable 2K photo, so I've done some touch ups to make it ready for compositing.

Next up, pre-vis!

EDIT: A (very) WIP texture rendering:



The stones are far too low-res :( You can also see a tiling pattern.
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Last edited by JamesNZ : 10 October 2012 at 06:25 AM.
 
Old 10 October 2012   #3
I decided to go with Tower 3, the composition is better than with tower 4 relative to the background I'm going to use. So I've been setting up materials and fixing up the geometry for a couple of days, it's a lot harder than I thought

Here's a quick render showing where I am as far as materials go:


Obviously I won't be using those colors The colors just show which parts of the tower will be using the same materials based on geometric similarities, e.g, the blue areas will be using the same materials because they have similar geometry. Now to start the actual texturing
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Old 10 October 2012   #4
because of your backplate it looks like a miniture. maybe 1-1.5m tall. this comes from the stones on the ground, you know how big these stones are in real life and then you brain does the work on the size of the tower
 
Old 10 October 2012   #5
actually, there's no rule about the size the tower mus be. i agree with you but that also could be fun to create a tiny tower!
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Old 10 October 2012   #6
Actually that's the HDRI I'm using for lighting, the actual backplate is quite different

This week I'll be working on texturing/UV unwrapping the tower. Fun.
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Old 10 October 2012   #7
Ok, making (very) slow progress on the texturing. The model is going high-poly pretty quickly, even with most of the details coming from displacement. Here's a 70-ish% done render of the spikes:

Biggest thing that stands out to me is the lack of a decent spec map. Need to get me some painting experience

C&C very welcome

EDIT: And I think I'll call it done about here:
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Last edited by JamesNZ : 10 October 2012 at 06:02 AM.
 
Old 10 October 2012   #8
Hmm, what are you calling done, the texturing?
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Old 10 October 2012   #9
Originally Posted by WyattHarris: Hmm, what are you calling done, the texturing?


For the spikes, yes. Please be harsh, I'm not very good at texturing
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Old 10 October 2012   #10
I think it would be worth revisiting your textures. It looks like your displacement is kicking out some pretty crazy spikes, and the surface itself is kind of hard to figure out the material. What are you using as reference for these? I think for a huge structure you should have a much smoother finish to the stone. Remember, this has been built by someone and the structure would have to have been carefully constructed probably by mining for good quality stone. Almost any example you can find of large stone structures have been quite carefully shaped and carved, just take a look at the Egyptian obelisks or something like Puma Punku. These were constructed thousands of years ago but still they had the ability to carefully shape their materials even using primitive tools.
Its hard to find a ref for anything like what you are building but take a look at this image:

http://www.travel-images.com/pht/jordan209.jpg

You can see the precision in the building and also get an idea of how it was constructed as you can see the bricks. You can still go for a single huge stone but take weathering into account. There is no way that a structure this large could stay this sharp if it was exposed to the elements. Take a look at how smooth the stones are at stone henge. Also try and work with your material to add a bit of variety to the finish. Some areas might be a little more rough, some a little smoother and more glossy, but try and stop it being just a single course texture.

Sorry for the long reply, and i hope it didnt come across too critical!
Good luck!

N

Last edited by nickmarshallvfx : 10 October 2012 at 10:46 PM.
 
Old 10 October 2012   #11
well there's actually one case where this one could work. if the tower is like 10 000 years old, it would have been attacked by the weather and we probably couldn't see any distinct piece of stones.
or if the tower has been carved in one huge rock.
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Old 10 October 2012   #12
Originally Posted by nickmarshallvfx: I think it would be worth revisiting your textures. It looks like your displacement is kicking out some pretty crazy spikes, and the surface itself is kind of hard to figure out the material. What are you using as reference for these? I think for a huge structure you should have a much smoother finish to the stone. Remember, this has been built by someone and the structure would have to have been carefully constructed probably by mining for good quality stone. Almost any example you can find of large stone structures have been quite carefully shaped and carved, just take a look at the Egyptian obelisks or something like Puma Punku. These were constructed thousands of years ago but still they had the ability to carefully shape their materials even using primitive tools.
Its hard to find a ref for anything like what you are building but take a look at this image:

http://www.travel-images.com/pht/jordan209.jpg

You can see the precision in the building and also get an idea of how it was constructed as you can see the bricks. You can still go for a single huge stone but take weathering into account. There is no way that a structure this large could stay this sharp if it was exposed to the elements. Take a look at how smooth the stones are at stone henge. Also try and work with your material to add a bit of variety to the finish. Some areas might be a little more rough, some a little smoother and more glossy, but try and stop it being just a single course texture.

Sorry for the long reply, and i hope it didnt come across too critical!
Good luck!

N


Great advice! Thanks Nick I definitely agree with you about the textures, I'll try painting some maps for them this afternoon. Problem is that I'll have to do it in the gimp, since the polycount of the models makes interactive painting in Blender ridiculous Though I could do it with procedural textures...

I think the spikes are coming from my bump mapping actually, not the displacement. Below is a screenshot showing the displaced model:

This is one of my references: http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthr...hlight=tower%5C. I'm aiming for that kind of overgrown, abandoned, mossy, look; but without the bricks, so the different parts of the tower appear to be carved from big slabs of rock then assembled together.

@manja, yeah that's pretty much the look I'm going for.
Here's another quick test render:

It's looking quite ugly :( Definitely going to have to redo the UV's.

Thanks for the comments guys, they're really helpful
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Old 10 October 2012   #13
This looks like a better direction. Previously I was trying to place what it reminded me of and all I could think of was the worn down metal of sunken ships.

On top of your small details (pit marks etc.) I'd model in some big items. Large cracks or missing pieces of stone.
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Old 10 October 2012   #14
I agree, this does look like a better result. I also agree about getting some nice cracks etc into the stone to add interest and make them unique. I still think something so large that has been carved out would have a smoother finish, but if this isn't what you are going for then i guess thats your call. Id love to see a smoother finish and some details carved in like design or construction marks or maybe some runes or hyrogliphs or something?
Either way, your results are impoving with each render so keep it up, look forward to seeing where you take it.

N
 
Old 10 October 2012   #15
Originally Posted by WyattHarris: On top of your small details (pit marks etc.) I'd model in some big items. Large cracks or missing pieces of stone.


Great idea, I'll check it out

Originally Posted by nickmarshallvfx: Id love to see a smoother finish and some details carved in like design or construction marks or maybe some runes or hyrogliphs or something?


Hmmmm, now that's an interesting direction....
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