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sigma 6
Nov 27, 2004

the mirror would do well to reflect further



Geez - already 1046 hits?!?

I was planning on posting a WIP before posting a question but oh well.

How can one get transparent shadows in Max? I am trying to make a photo-real diamond and even with raytraced shadows on, the shadow looks completely opaque.

Caustics would be nice but I can't even get the shadow to look right.

This is the closest thing I can find but even here the shadow doesn't look at all transparent.

http://www.cgarena.com/freestuff/tutorials/max/caustics/index2.html

I am sure it is something easy but I can't figure out how to set this up in Max08 with Mental Ray.

Here is a render hilighting the shadow in question:



Martytoof: The last working Vray for maya was for maya 7 I believe.

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sigma 6
Nov 27, 2004

the mirror would do well to reflect further



Heintje posted:

I'd say that the shadow is being cast uniformly like that since it's just looking up the opacity of the surface it passes through. Since the opacity of the entire surface is uniform, the shadow is also- it looks like it's not transparent but it actually is (maybe). To test this add a box in next to it with no transparency, and look at the intensity of that shadow.

The only thing left that would give you variation in the shading on the shadow is caustics, so you can give that a go next....

I suppose I wanted variation in the shadow since the surface is made up of so many smaller faces. This only makes sense, because some light should bounce around, and some should pass through.

Never tried caustics in Max, so I guess I will give it a shot. Your "fake caustics" didn't make that much sense to me - do you have a URL?

EDIT:

ElecHeadMatt:
I would like to echo everyone else's comments. Good stuff!

VVVV OH dammit, that looks amazing!! Can someone do the same for mental ray PUHLEEEZE!?! VVVV

sigma 6 fucked around with this message at 19:44 on Jun 19, 2008

sigma 6
Nov 27, 2004

the mirror would do well to reflect further



Though I don't work in an HR dept. I think the general idea was to emphasize CONTENT over packaging. Lots of reels have pretty packaging but little quality content. I think that was the point the OP was trying to make. The opposite is better overall (better content and little packaging) but anything to improve the presentation of your work is always good.

This isn't about how great your graphic design is . . . it is all about the 3d content.

Useless: Great work. Curious to know how you are going to handle the dust and debris etc.

sigma 6
Nov 27, 2004

the mirror would do well to reflect further



Awwwww . . . Crazybump isn't free anymore!!

sigma 6
Nov 27, 2004

the mirror would do well to reflect further



DefMech posted:

Saw this linked somewhere, it's loving incredible: http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/07/09/otoy-developing-server-side-3d-rendering-technology/

I also agree this is pretty revolutionary. Curious to see how far they can take this.

IHeartBoobs posted:

...

To contribute to the thread, some absolutely amazing recent work by Nervo:

http://www.thiagocosta.net/dneuron.html

edit: Royale's first ever showreel:

http://www.weareroyale.com/site_work/reel08.html


Those are very very cool.


Here are some rings my student modeled set against my desk and rendered with a home-made HDR probe.

. . . I have been away too long. I have a lot to catch up with this thread.

In Max is there any way to get the background image to render which one sets up using "alt + b" as opposed to using the "8" key?

Only registered members can see post attachments!

sigma 6 fucked around with this message at 06:38 on Jul 12, 2008

sigma 6
Nov 27, 2004

the mirror would do well to reflect further



concerned mom posted:

My mudbox trial has run out but I still really want to use it at work (for learning and portfolio, not profit). Its about 150 for the learning edition which is a lot of money so its a tough decision but zbrush looks like even more money and I didn't really get in to using it.

Does anyone know the best way to buy these products or well I'm not really sure specifically what kind of advice I'm looking for; I just feel like I need some advice.

Studica.com has zbrush for like 388$ if you are a student.

Has anyone seen opacity.us before?

http://www.opacity.us/

Great reference for landscapes.

sigma 6
Nov 27, 2004

the mirror would do well to reflect further



Adawait: It is hard to tell because of the pose but the face looks like it needs more work. Is zbrush the only package you have access to?
Why not texture and light and render in a package which is better at those things? (Maya, XSI etc)

Overall pretty good job though. Did you pose her in zbrush too? Using the transpose tool? I always have problems posing characters with the transpose tool . . .

sigma 6
Nov 27, 2004

the mirror would do well to reflect further



Hinchu: I don't have any experience in HD animation per se but from a logistics standpoint you can always go down in resolution from HD. It is render times for your passes I would worry about mostly. Rendering optimization is your friend.

Portable Staplefrog: I would say learn how to make your own rigs work first before worrying about FBIK. It would help you to learn how to make a good FBIK rig but the main reason to do it is to use motionbuilder IMHO. There are other advantages of FBIK but that is the main one.

EDIT: Although I suspect you know this, parenting bones will connect them.

sinc: I am taking a stab at learning Houdini and I went to a SideFX class talking about one of the VFX shots for the Hulk and my head almost exploded. Really cool stuff but intimidating to learn. I noticed that Houdini 9.5 had renderman in the rendering menu. Your work with that shader is fascinating. I have been told only old school Renderman artists can really use Mantra because of how similar they are. Rendering in Mantra seems to be a pretty hot area to pursue in Houdini too.

sigma 6 fucked around with this message at 22:23 on Jul 20, 2008

sigma 6
Nov 27, 2004

the mirror would do well to reflect further



Portable Staplefrog posted:

I just want objects to move with the bones inside them, but not deform at all.

Anytime you want to rig a robot or something inflexible, you just need to group your geometry under your bones. The individual pieces of the geometry under each corresponding bone that is.

sigma 6
Nov 27, 2004

the mirror would do well to reflect further



Seems to me architecture and engineering (AutoCAD, Max) are very precise whereas character modeling and animation (Maya, Max, XSI etc) are a little more organic / informal.

My brother uses AutoCAD and Rhino almost exclusively and he could never rationalize how I "eyeball" stuff in Maya. The truth is you want some asymmetry in your character models and some imperfections here and there to encourage an organic feel. That is to say, even though we are essentially symmetrical as human beings, we have random imperfections which make us "human". These imperfections feel more organic and allow us to relate to the character a little bit more.

I think Maya users tend to eschew exact measurements sometimes for a "look", whereas packages like Max and AutoCAD are more firmly rooted in engineering, architecture etc.

The control one gets in Houdini is so close to the control one gets in programming, it is hard for me (as a fine artist) to wrap my head around.

Sometimes I don't want to punch in numbers to get the right result and I go running for a paintbrush or pencil because 3d software can be so drat picky/complex.

.... Sorry for the rant. Houdini has been making me think about this type of thing a lot lately. (ie: control vs ease of use and how there will always be a trade off)

sigma 6
Nov 27, 2004

the mirror would do well to reflect further



comic geek alert

http://www.apple.com/trailers/wb/watchmen/hd/



OK - not entirely related to 3d but hey . . . nice VFX!! Do yourself a favor and read the graphic novel before the movie comes out.

Martytoof:

Check out http://www.opacity.us/ if you need reference for decayed urban environments.

sigma 6
Nov 27, 2004

the mirror would do well to reflect further



Read a book.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watchmen
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watchmen_film

quote:

Watchmen was published in single-issue form over the course of 1986 and 1987. The miniseries was a commercial success, and its sales helped DC Comics briefly overtake its competitor Marvel Comics in the comic book direct market.[38] Watchmen has also received several awards spanning different categories and genres including: Kirby Awards for Best Finite Series, Best New Series, Best Writer, and Best Writer/Artist, Eisner Awards for Best Finite Series, Best Graphic Album, Best Writer, and Best Writer/Artist, and a Hugo Award for Other Forms.[39]



Definitely read it before the movie ruins it for you.

EDIT:

Moore (the writer) "refuses to have his name attached to any...films"

V for vendetta
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
From Hell
Swamp Thing

Sorry to derail the thread slightly in the name of comics.

sigma 6 fucked around with this message at 07:04 on Jul 23, 2008

sigma 6
Nov 27, 2004

the mirror would do well to reflect further



stuckeys:
Never read Halo Jones but I was so pissed off at The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen adaptation I wanted to demand my money back. He takes his name off of his movies because they are generally horrible adaptations. V for Vendetta being the arguable exception.

As for your treasure hunter:
Why did you normal map the eyes?
The clothes look like they could have a few more wrinkles sculpted in.
Overall pretty decent low poly character.

Are you the stuckeys which is always posting speed paintings in the draw everyday threads? If so -- I love your work.

ACanofPepsi: I tried out compositing your stills in photoshop but was not able to make the reflection pass to look good with "difference" blending over the diffuse. Using "screen" seemed to work much better. I always thought "add" should be used for reflection or spec but since there is no add in photoshop, screen must be used instead.

sigma 6 fucked around with this message at 02:33 on Jul 24, 2008

sigma 6
Nov 27, 2004

the mirror would do well to reflect further



Handiklap posted:

This breaks my brain.

This is what Jeremy Birn said. That there was no "add" in photoshop due to some weird copywrite issue. There is an "add" in After Effects and Shake however. I am only repeating what I remember him saying. I imagine he knows what he is talking about but please enlighten me if I am wrong.

stuckeys:
I have never heard of normal mapping the bulge in an eyeball before. Certainly if it is a subtle effect, I am sure it doesn't matter so much. Looks a little extreme in the normal map to me and I doubt it is really necessary.

sigma 6 fucked around with this message at 16:13 on Jul 24, 2008

sigma 6
Nov 27, 2004

the mirror would do well to reflect further



The cornea definitely bulges out more on an eyeball and I can see where it would be done but it just looked a bit extreme in the normal map. Also wouldn't this depend on how close the camera gets to the eye?

Can someone clear up these compositing questions?

I only took a few VFX courses in college and I consider myself a newb in the area. What would photoshop's equivalent of "Add" be? Or am I to assume by Handiklap's comment that putting one layer over another in "normal" blending mode would be the equivalent of "add"?

sigma 6
Nov 27, 2004

the mirror would do well to reflect further



^^^ Hah! Didn't see that! Thanks.

BigKOfJustice: Nice tip!

sigma 6
Nov 27, 2004

the mirror would do well to reflect further



^^^ I would like to see screen shots of the differences. I just tried using Linear Dodge (add) in photoshop with a reflection pass generated from max->mental ray and it looked almost identical to "screen".

sigma 6
Nov 27, 2004

the mirror would do well to reflect further



^^^ Thanks! That is really useful. Nice animated gif too!

sigma 6
Nov 27, 2004

the mirror would do well to reflect further



I will be there on the 14th as part of a school field trip. Wish I could go on the 11th for the Houdini stuff but I can only manage the 14th because it is an official field trip.

Will be taking my Maya teaching certification soon. If anyone has any input or advice on certification, I am all ears. Unfortunately I have been forced to teach Max for the last 2 years, so my Maya skillsets are kind of rusty. I am frantically trying to fill in the gaps in my knowledge and I am realizing that avoiding MEL script was a bad idea and is now going to hurt me.

forelle: That sounds like a dream job!

sigma 6
Nov 27, 2004

the mirror would do well to reflect further



I also want to endorse the quadcore as they are very cheap and I love mine. Also, what was said earlier is true.
One SHOULD upgrade to XP64 if you want to make use of 4gigs of ram. 32bit systems really only utilize 2 gigs. Of course Vista is the big problem as I recently heard M$ has stopped supporting XP. I had to run Vista for a while due to HD DVD compatibility with my drive and it sucks donkeyballs.

sigma 6
Nov 27, 2004

the mirror would do well to reflect further



I disagree wholeheartedly that "Vista is fine". How many studios have made the switch and why? I have had nothing but trouble with Vista and can't wait to put XP64 back on.
They even joked about people "brave" enough to run Vista at the last Gnomon workshop I attended. I have conflicting reports about the future of XP but engadget mentions support through 2014.

As for "M$" . . . Macintosh has and probably always will be more expensive, but 3d people love the power and DIY nature of PCs (at least I do). If anything I feel pro PC vs Mac. I just don't have the balls to run linux.
I am sure this thread goes into more detail but I didn't mean to annoy anyone with the Microsoft slight. I hate Windoze and Crapintosh equally but definitely hate Vista over XP or 2k. It took several years before I was convinced to move from 2K to XP and even then I was reluctant to do it. I suppose we stick with what works and get annoyed when we are forced to upgrade to an OS which by most accounts is far worse.

Passed the first half of my autodesk teaching certification! Woot. Now for the harder part . . . the 3 days of teaching workshops.

I assume everyone has seen this video on hacking the Wii-mote for motion tracking (?)

Amazing stuff.

I always knew the power of motion tracking for compositing but this application seems revolutionary to me.

sigma 6 fucked around with this message at 16:29 on Jul 31, 2008

sigma 6
Nov 27, 2004

the mirror would do well to reflect further



You can check turbosquid.com for models and rigging101.com for rigs. There are tons of others but that is what I can think of offhand.

BonoMan:
I agree with you that the l33t slang is childish and apologize but I still disagree with you about Vista. It is inevitable yes, but I don't have to like it.
I have had too many issues with Vista and I don't find it stable at all.

It's a shame that development on XP64 stopped but obviously understandable when everyone jumped on the Vista bandwagon.

Funny thing is, I read an article in the paper a while back from a Microsoft guy. This article said that XP was put in a Vista update because the people were upset with Vista and Microsoft wanted to give the people what they wanted.

sigma 6
Nov 27, 2004

the mirror would do well to reflect further



BonoMan posted:

Oh it's cool not everyone has to like it, but what are you referring to here? "Xp was put in a Vista update?" That doesn't make sense.

Hah! Found it. . . . it was a joke . . . but I would have sworn I read it in a paper :-/

sigma 6 fucked around with this message at 06:00 on Aug 2, 2008

sigma 6
Nov 27, 2004

the mirror would do well to reflect further



There was a nice tut in the earlier thread about making grass with displacement in Max.
Here is a similar one.
In maya I would recommend using a combination of the fur modifier for close ups and grass paintFX for distant shots. Remember you can convert your paintFX to polygons or NURBS if need be.

Tried tackling the same grass displacement technique in Maya and it didn't look anywhere near as good as it did in Max.

Conversely, trying to make grass using the hair/fur modifier in Max was very difficult IMHO (partly due to weak computers at school - although there is a grass preset in the hair modifier to start with).

sigma 6
Nov 27, 2004

the mirror would do well to reflect further



^^^ I would really like to know more about this.

sigma 6
Nov 27, 2004

the mirror would do well to reflect further



I will know in a few weeks whether or not I will be certified to teach Autodesk products. The suspense sucks.


Had to share this amazing animation somebody posted on Reddit.

John Lennon's words (animated)

Also: Has someone finally come up with a nice PC tablet for 3d artist's?

EDIT: Nevermind. Jumped the gun. It has a "Wacom digitizer" . . . still pretty cool.

SIGGRAPH this Thursday for me. Very exciting because I haven't been to one since 2003.

Amazing work so far in this thread!!

sigma 6 fucked around with this message at 15:53 on Aug 12, 2008

sigma 6
Nov 27, 2004

the mirror would do well to reflect further



SynthOrange posted:

drat, that's one awesomely specced and probaby super expensive notebook. I've been debating picking up a tablet, but they're still so much more expensive and less powerful than regular tablets in similar price ranges.

Precisely my problem. Fujitsu makes some nice tablets I hear, and I just want something that runs zbrush and photoshop fairly well.

sigma 6
Nov 27, 2004

the mirror would do well to reflect further



tuna posted:


It depresses me somewhat because while animating I have to stare at low resolution gray lambert shaded objects slide around the viewport as if I'm stuck in the 80's. Meanwhile Mudbox will blow your face clean off with some sort of futuristic alien technology poo poo.


Umm . . .yeah . . . what he said! I am sure being acquired by Autodesk has helped them tremendously to develop this stuff.

Makes me wonder what Zbrush's new features will be?

SynthOrange:

Can you or anyone else recommend a good tablet PC or maybe just a good graphics oriented laptop? I may be in the market soon for a new portable 3d workstation. Was wondering what you guys recommend / use. One of the ACT guys recommend the Dell XPS line but frankly I try to stay away from most Dell stuff.

Ideally it would be around 1k but I can probably go as high as 1500-2k.

sigma 6
Nov 27, 2004

the mirror would do well to reflect further



Mostly due to problems they had a few years back. I know their monitors are especially good because they use the same panels as Apple.

The motherboards and optical drives tend to be pretty cheap however . . . although I admit this assesment is based on the older hardware we have here at school as well as the quality of the build on my brother's old laptop.

The quality of their machines may have changed over the last couple of years. I was toying with the idea of getting an XPS but frankly I like Fujitsu and Asus laptops better than DELL. If someone can change my mind I am open to it. I don't want to derail this into a hardware discussion but I think 3d artists want to know what kind of laptop and/or tablet PC to buy for 3d. Was wondering what you guys thought about it? Is there a standard tablet PC for 3d artists I don't know about? That Lenovo made me drool but I was wondering what you guys recommend.

EDIT:

This type of thing is what I mean.

sigma 6 fucked around with this message at 20:17 on Aug 13, 2008

sigma 6
Nov 27, 2004

the mirror would do well to reflect further



Just received word that I passed my certification process. I am now an Autodesk Certified Instructor for Maya. I will be prepping to take the test in order to become ACI for Max as well. Once the workshop is completed for one, then I only need to take the online test in order to be certified in the other.



Now that that process is over, as well as SIGGRAPH and burning man, I can finally get back to working on some 3d stuff!!

Looks like I missed some cool stuff going on in this thread too. I have some catching up to do.

sigma 6 fucked around with this message at 23:03 on Sep 10, 2008

sigma 6
Nov 27, 2004

the mirror would do well to reflect further



jimcunningham posted:

I'm new to the 3D scene. I was recommended Rhino and Maya. Are these better than 3ds Max?

This is a gross generalization but here we go:

Rhino -> Engineering and Product Design
AutoCAD -> Architecture, Arch Viz, Engineering and Product Design

3dstudio Max -> Videogames, Broadcast Graphics, Arch Viz
Maya -> VFX, Videogames, Film, Broadcast Graphics
XSI -> VFX, (limited) Videogames, Film, Broadcast Graphics

Granted all of these can be swapped somewhat but, as they say, pick the right tool for the right job.

sigma 6
Nov 27, 2004

the mirror would do well to reflect further



Oh man . . . I chucked this out while my students had lab.





Click here for the full 1280x720 image.

sigma 6 fucked around with this message at 07:24 on Oct 1, 2008

sigma 6
Nov 27, 2004

the mirror would do well to reflect further



I also tried to use Modo but it didn't "stick". It is the natural evolution of Lightwave modeling since it is Lightwave programmers who made it I hear.

The edge loop selection and UVunwrapping were really cool but it never matched Maya or XSI. Hell - I even consider Silo easier than Modo if you want to pick up modeling quick.

sigma 6
Nov 27, 2004

the mirror would do well to reflect further



DefMech posted:

Silo is awesome and super easy to use. However, it's just a modeler, so I don't think you can do any rigging in it right now.

He's right. Sorry if I gave you the wrong impression Steelcore-01.

It is a fully functional package free for 30 days so there is no harm in trying it out. After 30 days it locks you out of exporting geometry more than 50 faces but still works as an .obj viewer.

sigma 6
Nov 27, 2004

the mirror would do well to reflect further



concerned mom posted:

I'm making an animal and putting the mouth in but as I've never found a decent way to do this I just do it as I'm going. I'd love to show you a render but its work stuff so I'm not allowed I guess sorry.

I've extruded the mouth in to create a cavity, then made some simple gums with teeth and put them inside. It all seems very clumsy to me. especially when it comes to unwrapping and rigging. Any ideas?

^^^ This sounds like a reasonable approach. As long as there are edge loops AROUND the mouth you should be okay. The better approach is to extrude a mouth loop and then extrude an inside pocket for the inside of the mouth. This is the edge extrusion method to head modeling vs box modeling it.

I started with a sphere in this case and then extruded the cavity but I wasn't exactly going for realism here.




Click here for the full 1920x1200 image.


EDIT:

I modeled this guy in Silo and textured/lit/rendered in Max.

sigma 6 fucked around with this message at 02:01 on Oct 4, 2008

sigma 6
Nov 27, 2004

the mirror would do well to reflect further



Last Vray for Maya I heard of was for Maya 7. Is there a free beta compatible with Maya 2008?

I don't hate Mental Ray as much as the rest of you and I find Vray to be more difficult to use. On the other hand I don't work in production environments . . .

sigma 6
Nov 27, 2004

the mirror would do well to reflect further



Recently there was an article in the LA times about the explosion of video game art curriculum.

There is a lot of opportunity for teachers in this field. I know my school is hiring and I am sure many others are as well.

Here is another link you guys might find interesting about generating facial animation through motion tracking:

http://www.mova.com/

Sorry if this had been posted before but I didn't see it. Really cool stuff.

Hopefully both this and the "Ilovesketch" ( http://www.ilovesketch.com/ )
link posted from earlier will be developed more. They both look VERY promising.

EDIT:

Resigned from my position today to go back to just teaching next term. Management just saps your time and creativity away. Anxious to actually get back to producing stuff and not stressing about things like schedules and faculty reviews etc.

sigma 6 fucked around with this message at 00:12 on Oct 22, 2008

sigma 6
Nov 27, 2004

the mirror would do well to reflect further



Akaikami posted:

Great, that's all I need is lovely art teachers spitting out lovely art students and flooding employers desk space with piles of poo poo reels/portfolios.

I didn't necessarily say it was a good thing for the industry. It's an inevitable consequence of the amount of money videogames make and the viability of it as a career option.

sigma 6 fucked around with this message at 03:28 on Oct 22, 2008

sigma 6
Nov 27, 2004

the mirror would do well to reflect further



I don't know if there is a free version of Modo but one of the nice things about Silo and Wings3d is that they are both free. Silo is free for 30 days and Wings3d is freeware.

These packages will get you started with modeling. For anything more you might want to consider jumping right into Max or Maya. There is a PLE version of Maya and there used to be a free version of Max . . .

Correction. Gmax no longer exists but there is a trial version of Max available.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gmax

Personally I wouldn't mess around with Modo because I think the learning curve is just steep enough that you might want to jump into Max or Maya or XSI instead.

However, I only played around with very early versions of Modo and it may have gotten a lot easier to use.

I completely agree with Cubicle Gangster about spending several hours a night playing around in 3d. Also Modo does excel at subD modeling, selection sets and UV unwrapping from what I understand.

Boz0r posted:

I'm trying to get started on ZBrush and I'm looking for a good/cheap digitizer pen in the 100-150$ range. Any recommendations?

Never buy anything other than Wacom for this stuff. I suggest the intuos line as they have the most levels of sensitivity.

sigma 6 fucked around with this message at 19:06 on Oct 23, 2008

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sigma 6
Nov 27, 2004

the mirror would do well to reflect further



SGT. Squeaks posted:

NooOoooooooOOOOOO!!!!!


http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/item?id=12022457&siteID=123112

This can't possibly be a good thing.

Awww hell. That just ruined my day.

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