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Update time

Posted by Marius Oberholster on Wednesday, January 20, 2016 Under: General
Hey all!

As you've noticed, I've been a bit quiet. It's not because I haven't been working, but because GOD suggested that I update less. I was really frustrated because of the time it takes to write these so often - I like keeping you guys up to date, just not every 5mins, hahaha. If I do, the project takes significantly longer than it needs to, so, here is the first gapped update :)!

Okay, let's start with the coolest things GOD showed me that make this project even possible:

1) Particles:
As you all know, Blender has a particle system feature. You can use particles to create all sorts of mass animations, like rain, mist, snow, crowds, etc. It is extremely useful for even other creative uses, BUT, while working on a different on-going project, I needed to make a city fly-over and do you know how many buildings that needs?! Wow! So, in my ignorance, I started placing them manually with shift+D (duplicate) and that did not go well. I placed quite a few before I felt a prompting to try Alt+D (which makes a duplicate), so I placed those manually and got further (a lot further), but, nope, still too slow and the PC would practically freeze when I needed it to do something, so at last, I went to particles and placing the buildings had become a dream of a thing. Of course, it's too much to keep it all on-screen, but you can switch to an axis or cross or circle or whatever to distinguish buildings from trees, etc.

So how does this apply to the Esther 6 project? High detail pillars do not like small spaces, that's what, haha. I first tried using the array modifier, but that pretty much works like Alt+D, so my PC froze before I had even half of the pillars in, so guess what GOD lead me to again, about a year or so later - Particles!
So, the pillars are in using particles.


Early compositing test render along with some early lighting

2) Clouds:
In the render above, you can see some clouds in the background. They are 100% procedural, but they are not on Blender's Sky dome. Nope. I wanted flatter clouds (more elongated), but Blender does not give place for such clouds, so GOD lead me a different way:


If you read the description on YouTube, you will find that while this is technically still considered a sky dome, it is not 100% round. In fact, it's a seriously low level oval. For the sake of explaining it better, here is the description:
"Hey all!

In Blender there is a feature called the World. A very cool feature, but does not respond well with the procedural clouds. As soon as I try to flatten them out, there's a weird spiral forming somewhere, hahaha. GOD gave me the idea to add a cube sphere and flatten it like a smartie (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smarties) with custom textures on it. Just rotate it so the blend (or gradient) texture can form the horizon before flattening it out.
You can layer it out like this:
- Bluest part of the sky (flat blue blend or gradient texture)
- First clouds (Cloud or Noise texture)
- Cloud mask with the same blue as the bluest part of the sky (Cloud or Noise texture)
- Smaller clouds (Cloud or Noise texture)
- Horizon blue (Blend or Gradient texture)

I'm very happy with the movement. It's still a little fast for real-time, but clouds can move pretty fast, so I may slow it down, by scaling the keyframes by about 1.5 or so. We'll see what HE leads me to do! :D

Check out Blender:
http://www.blender.org/

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/knowJe...
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!!!!!!
"

I know, a bit long, but the Gospel is central to all I do. If the Word of GOD to the world is not going out through what I do in some way, I don't need to be doing it. Not saying I never miss it, but you get the point - it's the focus.

I did slow down the animation quite a bit, so that the clouds still move, but don't draw attention to themselves.

3) Compositing:
   Okay, so after getting all this working, by GOD's grace, I tell you..., I got to move on to compositing. Since this is a night scene initially, I needed both a day and night compositing setup. GOD helped me narrow it down to turning off and on of textures, some light coloration and two Mix node switches in the compositor. So here is what the whole thing looks like by day and by night - note that these are early renders and changes have been made to the scene and the sun and moon have been moved - the result remains consistent though:


Day (as if you didn't know, haha). Learn how to do the sun glare here.


Night (as if you didn't know, haha)

And of course, Freestyle needs to be added as well, so that is here:

Suzanne inside (rendered today, for this post). Learn how to composite soft shadows and toon shading in Blender Render here and in Cycles Render, here.

This is inside the first palace that is close to being done, I hope. I get a feeling GOD wants more to be added here for reasons unknown to me, but looking forward to seeing what HE does with it! :D

4) Persepolis' floor base
   I'm kind of a purist when it comes to procedural textures and I wanted this thing to be done entirely with procedural textures. Only problem is that the complexity of the set-ups, makes the texture render super slow. Image textures render tons faster, because there are less calculations involved, so GOD had me bake it at a very high resolution, but after a long color struggle and normal struggle and rebaking struggle, it is almost done. Still needs stairs and a few walls.



5) Ceiling panels:
   In these palaces, the flower motif is repeated between the pillars in the form of indented ceiling panels, that, you guessed it, has flower carvings in them! Even from the get-go I knew GOD did not want me to even try to do this procedurally - though easy, it is a waste of time and energy - HE had me go to Inkscape and make the texture there - only a bump map. And I really do like the result:


People were quite surprised to find out that this was done in Blender Render, haha. People underestimate it, because Cycles is so popular. It's like the new toy and the old one gathers dust. Well, my GPU is not faster on Cycles than my CPU is on Blender Render, even for complex things, so guess what I'll be using until the new engine is done! haha.

6) Environment:
   This was tricky! In this case I felt lead to go procedural and wow did GOD teach me a thing or two new! Around the palace complex, there would be heavy traffic, hence, no grass, so I had to open up that space and create a rounding that gave patchy to no grass and GOD showed me a few mixing tricks I did not even know, haha. Super cool! The mountains were simply generated with ANT Landscape - built-in add on in Blender and are procedurally textured.



7) Wall texture:
   As you all know, buildings don't just become, there are built and in the case of the Persians, they were often bricks and even exposed bricks that were highly decorated on the inside, more than the outside (the sun bleached the decorations too quickly is my guess). We're talking desert here, haha. Anyway, I was about a point's width from giving up when GOD reminded me of an older method of unwrapping. The initial unwrapping - Cylinder projection - did not give me the results I wanted. There was so much stretching, it was terrible, but with the project from view method HE showed me years ago, it was quick and painless! :D
   The only pain was getting the brick pattern and the custom brick texture to align, hahaha. Check it out:



And that's it for this update! I hope this has been informative for you guys and that you learned something from it and even more so that this would not be happening without GOD's grace on me to do it.

Do you know JESUS yet? HE has more for you than just things HE wants you to accomplish - HE wants you to get to know HIM, to have a relationship with HIM. Sin brought the break between you and GOD and HE is the only way back. The only way, there is no other Name under heaven by which man must be saved (Acts 4:12). Get back to GOD, HE loves you and the only way HE is out to get you is to get you back to HIM, not spite you, but the only way back is through CHRIST. Accept HIM today and live for HIM - HE died for you and rose again to complete it! :D
 
Have a great one and GOD bless!! :D

In : General 


Tags: god  jesus  holy spirit  blender  compositing  esther 6  modelling  rendering  blender render  progress 

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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