King James Version (KJV)


Gardens galore

Posted by Marius Oberholster on Thursday, February 4, 2016 Under: General
Hey all!

Today's progress update is rife with huge updates and a few more speed up tips and some general tips as well! :D

To start off, I would like to talk about the additional speed up tips GOD gave me through this week. I cannot even begin to express my gratitude!! I definitely think that a single frame would have taken 12 to 20 minutes to complete, had HE not teach me all these tricks!!

 - ZTransparency
Yesterday, GOD had me do a post on how to fix the edge problem with ZTransparency. I'm not going into the details on that, because it's unnecessary, since it's already written here. You really want to check it out!
What I am going to talk about is the speed up GOD gave me with this - tile size! Tile size in Blender, as you know, refers to the render process where the computer builds the image like a puzzle, one piece at a time. For FullHD I typically use 256x256, but because of the way that Blender deals with ZTransparency (double render - once without ZTransparency and once only and then sticks them together), the tile size became an obstacle instead of a speed up.
   So, I knocked it down to 128x128, but that still wasn't as fast as it could be and I felt lead to go a smidge smaller; 125x125 and it was faster! I'm super happy about it! With heavy things like this, you want every advantage you can and when hard things come in small portions on the screen, a smaller tile size is better for the CPU since more threads can tackle the issues at the same time, making it faster.

 - Speed ups
Some of you checked out the speed ups post GOD had me write and I'm so glad I got such an amazing response from you guys. Anyway, I wrote that and an example post, to demonstrate it's efficacy and of course, HE has me apply these things too, and as HE would have it, I got stuck on a render time of just over and just under 5 minutes per frame - definitely not ideal! I mean, I applied everything I could find (even baking the leaves of the trees as an image texture and so on) and I tell you, I was about to surrender to the 5 minutes thing when HE told me to knock down my Sun lamp's sample by a single sample. From 6 to 5. Just that. It knocked about 1:25 (m:ss) off the render time and I was like: "YESS!!! Take that 5 minutes to render!!" hahaha.
That 1:25 is about the time it takes to composite for Full Sample, so I was overjoyed GOD helped me overcome it!! Wow!
   Remember, this is for Blender Render. Check it out if you missed it here.

 - Persepolis progress - Gardens
Finally, we get to some images! On Saturday, I started work on the gardens for the palace complex. I was amazed to find out that the gardens were usually in the shape of a cross - very cool!! I don't know what meaning they assigned to it, but I know what I would if I made my garden layout follow the shape of a cross! hahaha :D!
   Because of the funny layout of the complex, I could not go all cross shaped the way I would've liked to, so I went with a more, for lack of a better term, ideal garden situation. I really luv hedges and conifers and I've found that those actually do quite well in very hot and humid climates. Iran (modern day Persia) is quite a bit more dry, but we'll just believe the best that, like Egypt was a much more tropical place, that Iran may have been too :D! Basically the garden is a combination of personal taste, old persian culture, reference and of course, personal taste.

Here are 8 renders of the gardens as they are right now - Click to view full size in a new tab:

This is one of my personal favorite gardens in the complex. It's at the back, the farthest away from the entrance and personally, probably the place I'd be the most likely to relax in. I wanna move in, hahaha.

I just luv all the gardens, haha. This is the pathway around the back part of the palace of a hundred columns or pillars or whatever you prefer to call them. It's one of the gardens that lent itself to the most direct ways of designing a layout - was also the first one I tackled on Saturday.

And this is if you were to stand in front of the same palace and looked towards the exit. Very very nice!!

Same palace still, but focused on the driveway, but from the left side if you were standing close to the palace.

This area is right outside the wall of the palace of a hundred columns. If you were to turn the camera to the right, you'd see the road leading up to the entrance to the yard of said palace.

Another beautifully green spot just after the entrance. A very nice strolling spot with quite a few path ways leading through the garden. The path runs just off camera to the right and to the left.

Another personal fav area is to the side of the great palace of king Xerxes - I checked, haha. It's like a path way, but I wanted it secluded and shady and cool and just be a nice retreat area where you can just sit and relax and that is it here.

Every palace complex has to have a dedicated lawn area where the royal and visiting children can run around like crazy people and just have fun. That is this area. It's behind the great palace of king Xerxes, so it is a safe area, deep within the complex.

 - Persepolis progress - Buildings
Of course you cannot have a palace complex without good gardens and you cannot have a palace complex with terrible buildings, so the buildings and the gardens had to come together to form a whole and I believe that has been achieved here. My only issue is that the plans make the walls far too thick... Best follow the plans anyway, so here are some renders of the buildings as they are atm, including one that is not even textured yet, haha.

The latest in the palaces that are under construction at the moment, haha. The base and stairs are done, but the rest of the roof and structure still need completion. By far the most complex palace, especially on the inside, so far. Still needs texturing, haha.

Just above my fav relaxing area is my second fav relaxing area, hahaha. Obviously also part of the Great palace of king Xerxes, this one is like a veranda or patio or whatever you prefer to call it. I just call it cool! hahaha. A lot of the render speed ups GOD showed me while working on this area.

Finally, the kings have access! hahaha. It took quite a while for me to add the stairs and they are finally in!

Entrance propylon. Basically, it shows how the Persians also believed the king was in some way divine. It comes from the Enemy twisting scripture that says that there is no authority except that which GOD has allowed or placed - HE's the only source for and of authority. Because people didn't see any higher human authority than the king (missing JESUS and their own call entirely - Ephesians 2:10 - and that GOD is no respecter of persons - Romans 2:11 and Acts 10:34), they just fell for the lie that the king is somehow flawless and all knowing. Lack of knowledge was probably the biggest issue in this case...

Front of the Great palace of king Xerxes.

Front side of the palace of 100 columns

Some buildings are still huddling for walls and bases, hahaha.

 - Compositing progress
One of the speed-ups I applied to this project in particular is to remove all motion blur. I wanted to use motion blur, but for the sake of getting the render times down, I had to take it out. It made a big difference, but ironically, I don't think it'll be missed, haha.
   Here are a few shots that focused on compositing only:

Beginning phase of the garden - making sure everything found its place on the right layers.

Monkeys like water too - especially in brand new ponds, before the pots get bigger, haha.

Very nice render that also, unfortunately, sports the ZTransparency issue. You mainly see it around shapes that are in front of transparent faces that use ZTransparency. Just to make it clear what it does exactly, here is a cropped version of the above render:

Look especially around the pillars. Again, if you've noticed this issue in your own renders, scroll to the top of this post and go to the link that shows how to fix it!

And that's it for this week's update!! I hope you guys are loving the progress and that you're looking forward to seeing this done, just as much as I am! :D

I leave you with this render of the whole complex:

(Rendered before starting on the currently unfinished palace behind the great palace of king xerxes)

Have a great one and GOD bless!! :D

In : General 

Tags: god  jesus  holy spirit  blender  esther  progress  esther 6  wip  persepolis  gardens  buildings  archviz 

About Me

Marius Oberholster Hey all! I've been doing CG work full-time since 2011. GOD has been with me, supported me and taught me all the way. HE tells us to do all things as unto the LORD and that is my goal. I do whatever I believe the HOLY SPIRIT is leading me to do and it's not always easy, but it's always worth it to be obedient! JESUS is awesome!! If you don't know HIM yet, follow the link above!

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