Saturday, May 24, 2008

More Art, and Checking In

I apologize for not blogging more in the last few months (or posting on other people's blogs more). I've been very busy in my day job, and when I have had spare time I've been writing or making art instead of blogging. I can't show you any of the writing yet (though I will say that I started completely over on Alden Ridge), but here is the art I've done since mid-April or so:

River Vegetation

One of my new favorites from my own work. Somehow everything just gelled in this one -- the water, the light, the trees and the rocks and the sky. This is a rare image where I used an secondary light source (in addition to the sun) in order to achieve a specific effect. The same shadow and light effects could have been achieved if the positioning and density of the clouds was just right, but that would have been much harder to set up and then control.

Perhaps my favorite thing about this image is the sense of depth to it, and the way the river winds through the landscape. I used four separate terrains in this image to achieve that effect (rather than trying to chop a river into a single huge terrain). Not sure why I haven't ever done that more before...

Rural Ruins

I was very pleased with how this image came out, not the least of which because I learned more about how to effectively use displacement mapping in Vue. I modeled both the fence and the ruined house in SketchUp, but the house was rendered almost a year ago for a Bryce rendering called Snow Crest. I was very unhappy with how the house looked in Bryce, and so stuck it way off in the distance in the original image. In this new rendering, the house is right up close and I used displacement maps to add that extra realism that makes it work (the much better lighting also helps with the realism factor).

Rolling Arch

This is something of a spiritual successor to the very first rendering I ever did (though I had done some games related 3D modeling before that rendering). I love the refraction and reflections of the glass of the arch.

I modeled the arch in SketchUp.

Angry Desert

The sky in this one was rendered at unusually high quality, and I think the results are quite worthwhile. I recently upgraded my computer to a quad core, however, and it still took about 4 hours to render. On my old computer, based on speed comparisons I've done with other scenes, it would have taken more like 12 days to render (yes, days).

The building shown here is a modified version of the office from Treetop Office. I think it quite works as some mysterious semi-camouflaged desert outbuilding.

Night Pier

This rendering is based on something I saw during my weekend in Virginia. This rendering is from memory, and isn't an exact match, but it's a pretty good approximation of a very cool view I saw near the end of sunset. If you'd like to see a photo of exactly what I was looking at, that is now available here.

I modeled the pier in SketchUp, but the lamp post is an object packaged with Vue.