Wonders for the new year!

Over the past few months, I’ve made it abundantly clear that I’m learning new skills to create wonderful new books. Well these wonders for the new year are definitely coming. When, it’s still hard to say, but they’re definitely coming. The evidence is in the recent renders, most of which are found in the Facebook group. Nevertheless, a few have snuck in here on the activity page.

A recent discovery is that the computer can in fact handle the more heavy-duty DAZ render engine called Iray. The difference in quality for the rendered images is very noticeable. For starters, Iray is a much more realistic render style. The lights bounce in a much more realistic manner, making it a bit more difficult to light a scene, but the result is worth the extra effort. It simply means planning the lighting more carefully.

A good example scene is this one:

3Delight did a nice job, but clearly it’s quite dark. Now, that’s both a good thing and a bad thing. It does create a nice mood, but the character is barely visible. On the other hand:

Iray looks quite realistic and vivid, doesn’t it? There’s even reflections for water on the ground. One thing of importance, however: 3Delight takes only a couple minutes to render. Yet with some adjustments, the lighting could be just as nice as the Iray. The Iray takes 2 hours and makes beautiful use of both an HDRI and scene lighting. So, it’s a matter of patience to use Iray.

Lessons like that are a regular thing so far. One such lesson occurred just yesterday. As you can see from the render above, Dream Angel is a “chibi” figure. Well, in making chibi forms for all the characters for funny moments in the books, I came to realized that a chibi horse is among the characters needed. Specifically for Daybright, Firebright and George. Unfortunately, a good chibi horse is hard to come by. I’m no modeling expert by far and certainly no expert at rigging 3D models. My earliest attempts were quite disastrous.

The lesson learned yesterday was that DAZ has tools for helping a great deal with rigging. If the model is made with another already rigged model as a guide. The result is still a work in progress, but quite cute:

Chibi Oriel is made from the same model as Dream Angel above, but chibi George was modeled from scratch and with help from another horse, has been rigged successfully. George still needs his final textures, but overall, he’s complete and very cute.

These wonders for the new year will be continuous and with further study – I know, it means delaying new books longer, but I think you’ll agree it’s worth it – new books will look much better than ever before.

So, Happy New Year and may it bring new surprises and wonders with it!

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