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Normal editing

Posted by Marius Oberholster on Thursday, December 8, 2016 Under: WIP
Hey all!

This week's vlog!


GOD is soooo good!!

 - Normal editing
Now, this is a bit of a topic for me that I really try to avoid, as it's editing is really not as straight forward as I would like it to be, but it certainly not a bad thing. It really enables you to create stylistic inaccuracy while still being well able to move lights and all sorts of other scene objects and still get the right look. In regards to trees, I've wanted that painted and layered look for a while and this is, I believe, GOD's divine intervention in helping me get closer to it, so I can also pass on the knowledge to you guys.
   Like I explained in the video, it's truly as simple as wrapping your tree's leaves and that becomes your new light capture surface. Adding more detail to it, will certainly improve the light's reaction, so I really encourage you guys to play around with it. I still actively avoid normal editing for characters, but I think it's because I am happy with how the shadows fall on make human characters and I haven't watched any tutorials on it yet, haha.

 - Barley
Speaking of things that need to be spread out across a scene, the barley kept me busy for the first part of the week. I think I tried like four or five different methods. Let's see, I tried:
1) Physical shapes - Too much memory required and the render becomes too slow (so slow it freezes the PC)
2) Planed shapes - Too much still, because of each individual stalk being too high res to spread out that much
3) Low amount planed - Duplicated too much and still left gaps so
4) Double up low amount - Much better and added strand grass to fill in the gaps
5) Super dense planes - Made weird artificial looking groupings even with grass
This is how GOD sometimes leads me - blocking ways that don't work and I'm just like: "Okay, which way now?" and I always get some level of knowing on what to do! GOD is sooo gracious! If you are deficient in wisdom, ask, and HE will give it!

 - Octree
Speaking of wisdom, I felt HIM tell me specifically to go do research on how I can speed up my renders even more. This was after finding out that the barley, though looking great now, took just over 30mins to render! I was resistant, because I really believed that I had done all I could so to make renders faster in Blender Render and whatever is left, couldn't possibly make such a big difference - I was wrong, hahaha. I think that's why HE had me go look it up - to break that pride in assuming I knew it all and had done it all.
   So I went looking and came across the optimizations category for Blender Render and I applied what I could and then there was Octree. And I was like, "I'm sure I've seen that, but where?" and I google further and came across a Blender Artists thread that mentioned it as being an acceleration structure and it clicked that that was where it was - as silly as it may sound. It said to increase the resolution to 512, but that was too intense, so I really felt GOD said, do it at 128, but no, the flesh knows better, so I tried 64 first, haha. Don't think that even finished rendering before I set it to 128 and restarted it and lo and behold, just over 11 mins! Of course, this was with the shadows turned off, but I needed the shadows and so, I felt lead to keep it at 128 and turn on the shadows - 12mins and 5 seconds! GOD is sooooooo amazing!!
It's not an ideal render time, no, but it is certainly a lot better than 31 and it allows me to add characters and other things to the background as well.

   Do bear in mind that Octree is not a consistent results giver. Because of it's final frame way of working, your results will vary between frames, so do a little research on how it works, before you decide to use it often. In the description, and at the end of this post, you will get a good starting point for that research. :D !
 
 - Particles
 - Grass and reeds
These are very useful, like mentioned before, to fill in areas that need filling in, but the grass, or strands, do not cast shadows. Thankfully they do receive shadows, but don't cast them. I think it was to make the system faster for a lot of fur and consequently, it doesn't matter if it casts shadows, but for reeds it does matter. In the video, I showed you guys a frame from the water lily scene and that the reeds are hair particles - that will change to modeled reeds or planes. Most likely planes, because they are background objects, not primary focus objects. Of course, GOD will not let me off with a shabby job, so I will still push to get it looking as 3D as possible.

 - Billboard
A very weird way of setting up, but thankfully, GOD helped me apply these to the scene for the barley test, as you saw. Unlike the other methods, like group and object, you don't get to choose an object to billboard. You have to choose a material or UV. It's really odd to me, as it reduces the control you would have over the billboards (they are stuck halfway into the ground for example and you can't lift them out, you have to duplicate your ground object and place it below them). Anyway, they always face the camera, so they are great for faking volume and clouds and that sort of thing, but honestly, they can prove extremely useful in the right context, like I just mentioned. For the barley though, I'm leaning towards giving this a pass.

 - Random
The lily pads had much better distribution in the final image, because there I used the grid distribution, with some level of randomness. With the first image, without the flower, it was just set to random and clearly it intersected a lot more than I anticipated. The grid is great though and random is what I use most of the time, but in this case, grid is it!

 - Lily pads
Very interesting UV unwrapping situation - in fact, there is none. It may look like it was unwrapped for the leaf veins, but it was actually just applied and it looked awesome so I just left it as is and it just works! GOD is so good!!

 - Water lilies
Such a beautiful flower and apparently very common in Egypt in the white variety. Don't quote me on that, I'd have to double check it, but I can say this, I really really like the purple one, so I'll most likely have a few more white than purple, but I prefer the purple! :D

Here are some links you can check out:
 - Octree Acceleration in Blender
https://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Doc:2.4/Manual/Render/Options
https://www.blender.org/manual/render/blender_render/optimizations/performance.html#optimizing-render-performance
https://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?247413-Acceleration-Structure-Types

 - Array Modifier twist
 - Softimage User Normal Plugin demo
 - Esther 6, KJV
 - Blender

Anyhow, that is it for this week. Biggest thanx to GOD for helping me with this. Without HIM, none of this would be possible! :D

Know JESUS yet? GOD is reaching out to you through these videos. HE loves you more than you can imagine and wants you to know HIM. Not because HE's lonely, but because HE loves you and paid a heavy price to enable you to go to Heaven, where HE is. See, we all have sinned in some way shape or form. That makes us guilty before GOD. If you have ever said that you hated someone, in GOD's standard, you have committed murder (James 4). If you've ever looked on a person with lustful thinking, you've already committed fornication with them in your heart and you are then guilty of sexual impurity. If you were to face GOD on judgement day, saying: "I was a good person" will be a void argument, just like it would be before a human judge. GOD knew that we would have to pay that penalty and that we could not pay it, even if we tried, but sent JESUS to pay the price for us. Your sins were put on HIM and the forgiveness that is there for you was by no means cheap - the cross was not padded and comfortable, neither was the death.
But, HE was raised up on the third day (after being crucified) and finished the work so that we may enter through HIM paying the penalty we were supposed to pay, but it is only valid for you, if you accept it and live for HIM.
If that is you today, please, follow this prayer:
"JESUS, I believe that YOU are real and I believe YOU died for me and was raised on the third day for me. Please forgive me for my many sins. I make YOU the LORD of my life, full time and to fill me with YOUR HOLY SPIRIT. Teach me how to live for YOU, help me become what YOU have made me to be, in JESUS' Name! Amen!"

To find out more, you can check out this link:
http://www.crossallegiance.org/knowJesus.html
It gives you access to free Bible translations, free teaching videos and more. Remember, this is a decision with eternal consequence, choose life, choose JESUS. :D

Have a great one!!!

Thank YOU!!!!!!

In : WIP 


Tags: god  jesus  holy spirit  blender  anime  kjv  background  modeling  water lilies  lily pads  barley  progress  wip 

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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