Spectacular 3D Entry: Daniel Lovas

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  09 September 2005
Spectacular 3D Entry: Daniel Lovas

Daniel Lovas is entered in the "Spectacular Challenge" update: View Challenge Page

Latest Update: Final Image: Thegg Mining Outpost, Mira binary system
  09 September 2005
Concept Sketch: Thegg Capital, Mira binary system

Ok, the basic concept i.e. the first, very rough sketch is here. It will be the continuation of my sci-fi illustrations series Postcards From Beyond. Again, my goal will be to create a spectacular view at a possible scene (everything that is strictly SF is possible, otherwise it is not SF but Fantasy or some other genre), located at the other end of the Universe or at least our galaxy. An alien city will be "photographed" from a point on nearby hills. There will be some detailed high-tech parts of buildings/machinery in the foreground, then parts of the city from there down to the middle-ground, disappearing into the fog. The central structure will be rising from the fog behind them. It is supposed to be enormous - a sort of central part of the city i.e. "a city in a city". The background should consist of dramatic, multilayered clouds and in the distant background the two suns (one red giant and one white dwarf) will be present in the left part of the composition and a giant nearby moon at the right. Final touches might include some living beings and exotic plants near the structures in the foreground and numerous flying vehicles at different distances.

The concept is rather similar to one of my earlier illustrations, the Camp Ellenia. Only this time I intend, besides different content, to create a significantly better and more detailed illustration. I'm not satisfied with the Camp Ellenia, since it was made for a magazine cover and the deadline was rather tight.

The main task will be to put everything together and make it look exotic, realistic/convincing and dramatic at the very same time and to make huge objects and distances really look huge etc. I intend to use some simple rules to increase the dramatic look and depth of the scene: dominant clouds, perspective, repeating of similar elements (rhytm), different contrast and values for the foreground, middle-ground and the background etc. Since I'm still on 32-bit and thus have only 2 GB RAM on the "modelling" computer, I'll obviously have to rely on some compositing, i.e. create foreground, middle-grounds and the background separately and join them. I'm using Cinema 4D Studio + Bodypaint3D and will also try to do all or at least most of the compositing in there. Eventually I might use Combustion for additional compositing and of course Paint Shop Pro for additional texture editing.

I'm sincerely not aiming at winning a prize (even though it would be a great reference...) - I'd do the illustration nonetheless, for my creative pleasure. I saw the Challenge is on and thought "why not, since I'm right now starting with a new PFB project anyway and the subject is right?". I'm looking forward to see again some excellent work here as usual. And of course thanks to the CGNetworks Team for giving us again this great opportunity to participate and to see great work of other CG artist!

Last edited by Lovas : 09 September 2005 at 06:20 PM.
  09 September 2005
ambitious! and your Camp Ellenia is really nice work, can't wait to see what you make of it in 3D.
  09 September 2005
Originally Posted by simon.wt: ambitious! and your Camp Ellenia is really nice work, can't wait to see what you make of it in 3D.

I have to agree
I am keen on seeing more
Sergio Aris ROSA

Disclaimer: My opinions are not those of my employer
  09 September 2005
I think that your hardware configuration is enough for your spectacular concept.
From my point of view, you can make more dramatic feel using compositions with separate layers of your elements.

Keep going. Looks great to me.

  09 September 2005
Yes quite a big undertaking,but interesting.I love sci-fi scenes.

Will keep an eye on it.
  09 September 2005
Subscribing to this thread... can't wait to see more
- What did triangle say to a vertex? ... You faceless bastard! -
  09 September 2005
Concept was a little too small too see what's going on so I went and had a look at your Derelict image and WOW. I now have no doubt you can pull this off, subscribed.
Prints For Sale
  09 September 2005
Hi buddy! Im checking in and wishing u best of luck! this will be interesting, I just hope that u'll manage to finish ur piece in time (knowing how busy u r).
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DW V 2d
  09 September 2005
Background image + the reflection/diffusion texture

Thanks to all of you who have commented so far. I was rather busy with other work since the first sketch and now it's about time to go on.

First of all I must admit I don't neccessarily follow the systematic "conveyor belt" line of doing 3D as dictated by big studios - one of the greatest advantages of being "one man band" i.e. freelancer is that I can organize my line of work as it suits me best. So for me it is not unusual to sometimes go back to modelling if I find out that I'm not satisfied, even though the texturing or scene setting is already in progress etc. Or to start the project by creating the background and a panoramic reflection/ambient light map first - like in this case.

On the picture bellow one can see the background, probably but not neccessarily the final version of it, plus a detail from it below it. At the bottom of the picture there are six different test versions of the background.

I'm actually not using the sky generator that is built in the latest upgrade of the 3D program (Cinema 4D). I'm not saying it wouldn't be suitable, but I received the upgrade a week ago and haven't had enough time to get familiar with the sky/cloud generator module. So I created the clouds my usual, "manual" way - by using noise shaders combined with sub surface scattering on many parallel spheres and planes at different distances from the camera. The fog and haze are simply coloured volumetric lights with some deformed noise added, while the planets are textured geometry behind the cloud spheres. The two suns are volumetric lights as well. Despite the complex appearance the background scene is only about 400 KB in size.

I rendered all background test images to high dynamic format (HDR), so that I can experiment with different exposures later. I also created the whole 360 degree panorama of the scene (not shown here) - it will be used later for calculation of the reflections and the diffuse lighting.

I would be grateful for all constructive opinions regarding the background.

Besides that I'm also starting with the work on the model of the main building. It has not advanced far away yet - so I don't expect serious comments of it in this phase. The rough sketch and the first modelling phase are here just to prove that I'm working at it as well

If you can't see the images - it means the server is down - in such a case please try again later.

  09 September 2005
Post Effects and Compositing: Background image that would be used in compositing

This is the version of the image that is going to be used as the background of the scene. For more info and more images please check the previous post in this thread.

Last edited by Lovas : 09 September 2005 at 05:59 PM.
  09 September 2005
spectacular concept, good luck.
-Free Your Mind-

*Spectacular 3D Entry*
  09 September 2005
Finally an update!

I didn't know the new cinema had a sky generator. I'll have to check that out one day
Sergio Aris ROSA

Disclaimer: My opinions are not those of my employer
  10 October 2005
Modeling: Rough modeling of the main object

The rough geometry of the main object is ready. It needs some small details, the other detailing will be done by texturing later.

I'm working on both modeling and setting up the scene, so I put the rough model of the building on the current version of the scene to get a clearer idea towards the final image.

The small buildings surrounding the main object are temporarily represented by simple cubuses. Every one of them will be replaced later by its fully modelled and textured counterpart.

Other things to do before moving on to texturing of the middle ground 1 objects is to replace the city pattern on the nearby moon with a bit more complex one and add some more details of the surface of the main building and some details of the middle ground (surrounding city blocks, flying vehicles, belonging to that ground etc.).

After all the work on the middle ground is completed and all its objects are fully modeled and textured, it will be added to the hdr background and the work on the middle ground 2 and 3 will follow, and finally on the foreground, that might include some aliens' figures (if I don't run out of time, that is... I'm doing this besides my regular commercial projects and thus manage to sleep for 3-4 hours/day...)

Would be grateful for any constructive opinion on the work done so far, thanks.
  10 October 2005
• Looking good Daniel, you are getting close, good luck!
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