Planetside Software Forums

General => Image Sharing => Topic started by: Hannes on November 25, 2014, 04:39:29 am

Title: A talk to a dragon
Post by: Hannes on November 25, 2014, 04:39:29 am
I started this image with the rockface. First I loaded a .ter file and added some horizontally and some vertically stretched PF for displacement. Somewhere in the forum I found a trick by Matt to create those steep rock walls with nice vertical displacement and that's tilting the surface to the camera's direction by a twist and shear shader. As long as you don't see the rest of the terrain it works perfectly.
Then I wanted to have this blocky, cubic, rectangular rock structure a lot of people were talking about here recently. I tried to implement some of the files that some of the members shared, but it didn't look the way I wanted. So I chose the easy (lazy?) way:   I used an image map shader with a nice photographed rock structure, which first didn't work either, because no matter what I did (or forgot to do?) the image map was distorted or warped by the terrain. I'm sure there's a solution for this, probably placing a compute terrain or normal somewhere but I didn't want to waiste too much time, so I simply used camera projection.
This may be quite obvious most of the time, so I duplicated the render camera, which is slightly pointing upwards, lifted it up a few meters and tilted the copied projection cam slightly downwards, so that it projected the image perpendicularly onto the rock surface.
I then broke up this image map shader by a power fractal. The green, mossy stuff is procedural.
Zoulik shrub by Aymenk2003 (search for "Zoulik" in the file sharing section).
The dragon model is from this site: http://tf3dm.com/3d-model/alduin-dragon-rigged--76875.html
I loaded it into Max, detached the eyes, the inner mouth, the tongue and each single tooth, mapped and textured these and attached them back to the body. Then I posed the head, the tail and the legs just by bending some vertices using soft selection, refined the body diffuse texture map and added a complete new bump map.
The translucency of the wings is faked by adding a (Photoshop-painted) mask for luminosity.
And last but not least: the poor guy is Xoio's Arnaud.
Originally rendered in 4000 X 2250 px (Detail 0.8, AA 9 - about 8h rendertime). Resized to Full HD, slightly increased contrast and saturation, added a bit of chromatic aberration and sharpened just a little bit.
Title: Re: A talk to a dragon
Post by: Kadri on November 25, 2014, 06:58:26 am

Hannes i love the background.It looks great.
But the composition doesn't work quite for me.
Maybe as an animation it would be different.
Do you want to animate it?
Because that could have a quite different result probably.
Title: Re: A talk to a dragon
Post by: Cocateho on November 25, 2014, 07:44:04 am
This is probably one of the best rockfaces I've seen on here. Maybe you could even do a render and play with the pov a bit, add some detail and what not. I think I would look very good with a crisp, high detail/resolution look.
Title: Re: A talk to a dragon
Post by: Saurav on November 25, 2014, 09:06:26 am
That cliff face in the background is stunning. Just the right amount of sediment, rockface, colour variation, displacement and vegetation. :D
Title: Re: A talk to a dragon
Post by: Dune on November 25, 2014, 09:23:37 am
Really nice, Hannes. The rock is a bit of a cheat (not meaning to offend of course), but works very fine nonetheless. What I like most however is the depth you create in the dragon by the dust. Arnaud is a bit untouched by it all  ;)
Title: Re: A talk to a dragon
Post by: archonforest on November 25, 2014, 11:10:17 am
Stunning rocks!!
Title: Re: A talk to a dragon
Post by: mhaze on November 25, 2014, 11:54:36 am
Wow! It's a good trick isn't it :) I've used it myself but not so effectively.
Title: Re: A talk to a dragon
Post by: TheBadger on November 25, 2014, 03:25:47 pm
Oh man those rocks are good. Dragon looks great too. Not sure about this comp as far as the dragon goes though.
but there is something about the awkwardness of the placement that makes it appealing. Kinda bizarre.
Title: Re: A talk to a dragon
Post by: Hannes on November 25, 2014, 04:13:10 pm
Thanks a lot, guys! I know the POV may seem strange, but I like it.
Title: Re: A talk to a dragon
Post by: Oshyan on November 25, 2014, 06:27:45 pm
Agreed, it's an excellent rock face overall, although the smoothness of how the dark patches blend looks a bit odd. Perhaps it's soot from the dragon? That would actually be more plausible to me than something geological...

The dragon actually looks quite good, aside from a little low resolution texture issue on the closest part of the wing. The "translucency" effect is well done and clever. Subtle smoke around its mouth is also a nice touch.

I agree however that the composition is a bit imbalanced, with this great, eye-catching rock face taking a majority of the image, and the two theoretical focuses of the image just occupying a sort of sliver down at the bottom. I assume it's supposed to be comical, but I also think that particular human model and just how out of place it seems kind of goes past humor to me and just becomes ridiculous. I think perhaps it's something to do in his "lifeless" pose, as if he's just not interacting with the scene at all. Having a man in a suit in the desert with a dragon? Yes, quite possibly funny, especially if he's fleeing in terror (don't we all want to see "the suit" get burned, really? :D ). Having a man in a suit looking bored (or dead?) in front of a dragon in the desert just seems like a disconnect, and if you know it's CG, you just assume it's a lazy thing, like you didn't bother to pose him, or couldn't figure out how. Knowing the work that went into the dragon I suspect that's not true and this approach was intentional, I'm just saying it doesn't necessarily come across the way you intended (though I'm not certain what your intent was).

All that being said I think the technical aspects of the scene are excellent and it should not be hard to adjust the composition, if you so choose. Although of course another 8hr render, heh. But maybe here's a little incentive for that: we have a gallery update coming up for our main website and if you can make the interaction between dragon and man a bit more compelling and dynamic, and adjust the imbalance of the composition, it's a sure thing for inclusion in the gallery...

- Oshyan
Title: Re: A talk to a dragon
Post by: Hannes on November 26, 2014, 03:44:08 am
Thanks for your comment, Oshyan!
When you work on an image for some time you may get blind for some aspects, so you I guess you're right about what you said. When I was adding the dragon and the guy, I liked the imbalance of the rockface compared to the dragon and the guy, but looking at it with fresh eyes makes me seriously think about it once again.
The same thing with the guy in the suit. I had the impression that he was submissively talking to the dragon without daring to look in his eyes, but maybe there was more happening in my imagination than in the image. I liked the idea of using the guy in the suit, but this may also only work for me.
Maybe I'll take a step back and do another one.
Title: Re: A talk to a dragon
Post by: inkydigit on November 26, 2014, 11:22:42 am
great stuff Hannes... agree with others about the composition, the guy in the suit, I half expect to burst into flames, like the cover of Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here!!
Fresh eyes work wonders!
cheers
Jason
Title: Re: A talk to a dragon
Post by: Hannes on November 26, 2014, 11:33:41 am
Yes, Pink Floyd came into my mind too, when I was thinking about what this guy was doing in this bloody image. ;)
Title: Re: A talk to a dragon
Post by: bobbystahr on November 26, 2014, 12:32:27 pm
re: image maps on cliffs. Some time ago I figured out that if you location click in the middle of any rock facce and use those coords to place your image map and then add a Transform shader in the chain and rotate it between 60 and 90 degrees in the X you can get a nice undistorted image on the rock face...I dug the image and got the joke btw...hee hee hee, sublimely ridiculous humour is my speciality.
Title: Re: A talk to a dragon
Post by: Oshyan on November 26, 2014, 05:05:54 pm
I think having the guy standing there calmly on fire would add to the surreal quality implied by the suit, and make it more clear that it's intentional. It's not the only way to resolve the issue, but an interesting one (and possibly easier, if done in post).

- Oshyan
Title: Re: A talk to a dragon
Post by: Hannes on November 26, 2014, 05:14:44 pm
This sounds quite interesting. The guy "standing there calmly on fire" sounds really good! ;D ;D ;D
I considered using one of my knights standing in front of the dragon, but I really like the Pink Floyd solution  ;).
Title: Re: A talk to a dragon
Post by: Oshyan on November 26, 2014, 05:30:23 pm
"The Pink Floyd Solution" Exactly! Hehe. In fact that could be the title of your image? ;)

- Oshyan
Title: Re: A talk to a dragon
Post by: Hannes on November 26, 2014, 05:32:01 pm
Yes. The burning guy saying to the dragon: "wish you weren't here!" ;D
Title: Re: A talk to a dragon
Post by: inkydigit on November 26, 2014, 06:44:09 pm
Great stuff... Nylon suits melt!
:)

http://www.aubreypowell.com/WISH_YOU_WERE_HERE.html
Title: Re: A talk to a dragon
Post by: Hannes on November 27, 2014, 06:43:34 am
Update.
I rearranged the dragon and the guy, who is now standing there calmly on fire (no postwork - some localised clouds representing fire).
Title: Re: A talk to a dragon
Post by: Dune on November 27, 2014, 10:30:53 am
Super! I like this very much. Only I would decrease specs on the dragon, it looks a tiny bit plastic. It should be dirty and dusty a bit.
Title: Re: A talk to a dragon
Post by: Hannes on November 27, 2014, 10:52:00 am
Thanks Ulco. Great idea. Shouldn't be too problematic.
Title: Re: A talk to a dragon
Post by: Upon Infinity on November 27, 2014, 12:32:30 pm
I like the new angle a lot better.  Seeing this almost makes me want to take another crack at finishing my dragon model.  Almost.
Title: Re: A talk to a dragon
Post by: choronr on November 27, 2014, 01:30:20 pm
Oh so nice Hannes! And, that rock face is the best I have seen.
Title: Re: A talk to a dragon
Post by: Hannes on November 27, 2014, 03:17:49 pm
Thanks a lot (again!). Your comments are always one hell of a motivation.
Title: Re: A talk to a dragon
Post by: Hannes on November 28, 2014, 10:58:10 am
Here is a closeup of the dragon's next iteration. I added some kind of a matt mossy layer and some warts, which are actually two populations of rocks (one from the underside and one from the upper one)
Title: Re: A talk to a dragon
Post by: bobbystahr on November 28, 2014, 11:23:42 am
Quote from: Hannes on November 28, 2014, 10:58:10 am
Here is a closeup of the dragon's next iteration. I added some kind of a matt mossy layer and some warts, which are actually two populations of rocks (one from the underside and one from the upper one)


F stones for warts...who da thunk it...well done man.
Title: Re: A talk to a dragon
Post by: choronr on November 28, 2014, 11:29:12 am
Now that's creativity. A good addition to an already handsome Dragon.
Title: Re: A talk to a dragon
Post by: Hannes on November 28, 2014, 01:00:27 pm
No Fake stones, Bobby. I tried that, but I couldn't get any real displacement, so I decided to use a population of rocks.
Title: Re: A talk to a dragon
Post by: archonforest on November 28, 2014, 02:14:12 pm
wow looks very real now! ;)
Title: Re: A talk to a dragon
Post by: bobbystahr on November 28, 2014, 02:30:46 pm
Quote from: Hannes on November 28, 2014, 01:00:27 pm
No Fake stones, Bobby. I tried that, but I couldn't get any real displacement, so I decided to use a population of rocks.


Ooops read and replied while my caffine/nicotine blood ratio was low....nice we can populate on imported meshes...great implementation.
Title: Re: A talk to a dragon
Post by: Hannes on November 29, 2014, 07:55:34 am
Here is the actual dragon in his natural environment ;). Additionally I textured the horns a little different.
Title: Re: A talk to a dragon
Post by: PabloMack on November 29, 2014, 09:59:00 am
Quote from: Kadri on November 25, 2014, 06:58:26 am
Hannes i love the background.It looks great.
But the composition doesn't work quite for me.
Maybe as an animation it would be different.
Do you want to animate it?
Because that could have a quite different result probably.


A lot of artists create dragons as quadrapedal hexapods. This dragon is a bipedal tetrapod and if he were just standing there he would fall over forward because of where his center of gravity is. That is probably the issue. If he were lunging for the man you could freeze his pose the way it is. But since he is supposed to be having a conversation that couldn't be the case.

I want backgrounds like that!
Title: Re: A talk to a dragon
Post by: Hannes on November 29, 2014, 10:22:32 am
He probably doesn't fall over because of his heavy tail.





(who is the first to make cheap jokes now?) ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: A talk to a dragon
Post by: bobbystahr on November 29, 2014, 11:51:56 am
Quote from: Hannes on November 29, 2014, 10:22:32 am
He probably doesn't fall over because of his heavy tail.





(who is the first to make cheap jokes now?) ;D ;D ;D


That's why they have em....
Title: Re: A talk to a dragon
Post by: luc BIANCO on December 09, 2014, 04:01:35 pm
Background is very very nice ! :-)

luc
Title: Re: A talk to a dragon
Post by: Hannes on December 10, 2014, 12:36:15 am
Thanks Luc. Much appreciated.
Title: Re: A talk to a dragon
Post by: TheBadger on December 10, 2014, 01:30:05 am
Breath mint, anyone?
Title: Re: A talk to a dragon
Post by: Cocateho on December 11, 2014, 07:14:06 am
The guy is just standing there like "Well, %$@#" Love it.
Title: Re: A talk to a dragon
Post by: RedSquare on December 11, 2014, 10:07:50 pm
Purrrfeckt. 8)
Title: Re: A talk to a dragon
Post by: otakar on December 12, 2014, 06:45:00 pm
Yeah man, the background! I lingered on it for a while, not sure whether this was a background image or rendered. It's jaw dropping.