Monday, 30 December 2013

Plant #02 Final Render

After some strange goings on by stubborn maya making parts of my second plant go black for unexplained reasons, re-render after re-render and a rebooting after telling maya off my second plant looks like it should do woo! So here it is!

First Final Plant Render!

Well here it finally is! My first final plant render. I decided to keep the final render for plant #01 as the nice blue/teal colour which was the first colour for this plant to be finalised. I have however got the other colour variations for this one in the last post. Now its time to do the same to the rest of my plants!

Background Experiments

On the suggestion from Phil I have tried to make my white background more white but without engulfing the plants and making them look flat. Below are the results I ended up with. I still cannot decide which is best for a final render. The last one looks good for a turnaround though.

All are using a white lambert curved nurbs plane in the background except the last one which uses a white surface shader. I'm not sure if the last one is bleaching out the colours though. If someone could tell me if they are bleached out on their screen that would be much appreciated! Then I will know if I'm being picky/my monitor colours are out!


Sunday, 29 December 2013

Pipeline Turnaround Experiments

The rendering is underway and I have my first plant, nicknamed the sausage plant. Before I completed my final turnaround (these turnarounds do not show all parts of the pipeline) I wanted to make sure I make them as professional looking as possible. In the past we have rendered our turnarounds on black backgrounds but I wasn't sure if this was best for my plants so I have rendered out black and white versions. I think I am leaning towards the white version as the glass seems to pop more and the jump to ambient occlusion is more fluid.

Version 1

Version 2

Futurist Music

As part of my project I have researched into Futurist music. Not only will I need to use it in my major project for my garden fly-through to really get across the theme, I thought it would add a nice touch to my turnarounds.
Below are various pieces of music categorised as Futurist. I will need to pick a piece which feels best suited to my turnarounds.

'Serenata'- Antonio Russolo

'Corale' Antonio Russolo

'Risveglio di una Citta'- Luigi Russolo

'Danza della Scimmie'- Franco Casavola

'Preludio a Prigionieri'- Franco Casavola

'Tango e Allegro'- Franco Casavola

'India Rubber Man'- Aldo Giuntini

'Le Macchine'- Aldo Giuntini

'Trio per violino...'- Francesco Balilla Pratella

'Fox-Trot Futurista'- Virgilio Mortari

Finally I leave you with this track which I happily and accidently came across while researching Futurist music on YouTube. Even though it is from a current band, it has similarities with the mechanical and industrial sounds of the period of Futurism. Coincidently enough it is also named 'Futurism'. Even now we are producing music which challenges the modern and what the future may be. (I know, I know I can't use this one!)

Friday, 20 December 2013

Futurist Plant Adjustments

After I had picked my final plants (apart from some spiky ones I still need to add) I took them all into Maya and tested out the same glass material I had been experimenting with. After rendering these out I went into photoshop and colour coded areas for improvement, detailing and ways motion are shown throughout each plant as with these variations being glass I don't really have the possibility of animating movement within them.

Below are the glass renders and photoshop adjustments for all of them. I am currently modelling them all in their final forms in maya.

Final Renders- Solitary Plants
Photoshop Adjustment
Adjustment steps

Final Renders- Spadix and Spike Plants
 Photoshop Adjustments
Adjustment steps

Final Renders- Rest of Plants
 Photoshop Adjustments
Adjustment Steps

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Glass Mental Ray Material and Lighting Tests

Alongside the development of the formation of my Futurist plants I have started creating material tests. While doing this I have also ended up doing some lighting tests as this will help me present my turnarounds for my final plant designs professionally. With the correct lighting they will look better refined and suggest how they will look in my final digital-set.
The aim of my material tests is to see how I can add the Futurists' material preferences effectively to the designs of my plants.
For example, one material Futurists approved was glass. I have produced some glass material tests below to investigate what I need to do to create the most appropriate glass effect on my plants. This will also help me move on to incorporating the properties of these materials in the design of the plant formations.

This was my first result using the mental ray 'dielectric_material' with a 'mib_volume' volumetric material plugged in. I found a tutorial online which I used to help me do some studio lighting. I was pretty pleased with the result but after some lighting tips from Alan I much prefer my latest result.

These are my lighting tests after some tips for improvement from Alan about real world lighting. I think the final one resulted in the glass material popping from the background and looking more solid as an actual object.

The renders below are experimentations with the glassy look the dielectric material was creating. Something that I found helpful was that the dielectric colour seemed better to have lighter than the colour of the volumetric material plugged in. It seemed that the glass looked more glassy with this. Also having the colours too dark gets rid of lots of the glass translucency.
However, if I wanted a really bright neon-like glass it wasn't always best to have the dielectric colour lighter.

These experiments with the material were focused towards other settings such as the index of refractions. I found that if you increase the index it makes the glass more translucent, perhaps more like thin glass whereas a lower index gives it a ghostly 2D appearance.
The phong coefficient when increased created a sort of marbling inside the glass but when decreased made the glass more frosted and matte.

The result I was happiest with is this one, it looks to have a good balance of translucence and reflection.

Like my first image I created a rainbow palette of different glass colours using my more refined glass material and lighting.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Combination of Developed Plants

To get an idea of where my plant designs are I took the ones which seemed the best regarding my Futurist theme of Dynamism. With succulent plants being suggested as dynamic it seemed right that I look through my designs and pick the ones which shared similar dynamic and structural qualities with succulents. I ended up with this accumulation of narrowed down designs from my last step.

Something I noticed about these designs though is that while there is a wide variety there are not really any spiky/triangular shaped elements. I think with a few spiky designs added I can be happy with my selection and start experimenting with which ones work better alone or as a group and with size variations.

My Take on Dynamism

I've done some quick sketches of ways I can add dynamism to my garden digital set. This has helped me understand how to convey motion more without physical movement as not all of my garden parts can move as this will probably make it confusing.

My sketches show different ways I can display plants, create paths and form walls/fences with the theme of dynamism. These are not fully suitable for a Futurists' garden just yet for example, the raised bed is too rectangular and vertical. It will need diagonals and texture to become Futurist. The wall with the interuption however, is beginning to lean more towards what the Futurists would perhaps expect from their gardens.

Focusing my Futurist Theme- Dynamism

After a tutorial with Alan it was discussed that to really move my design work onto the next stage I needed to go back to my research on Futurism and pick a theme within the garden theme of Futurism itself. The reason for this is due to the message I want to convey through my Futurist garden. The Futurists had varying themes and beliefs however, if I take all of them and attempt to place them all in my digital set it would feel cluttered and unplanned. Narrowing down to a particular theme will give me more control over how to show the Futurists' claim over the correct way to garden.

After recapping over my Futurism research the theme which stood out to me was that of 'dynamism' which deals with vigorous activity and progress. A key part of dynamism is movement/ the impression of movement and energy.
I thought this was perfect to focus on what with the motion, industrial and transport themes Futurism features.

I moved on to look specifically at dynamism in existing gardens and a google image search brought up many examples. Here are some that particularly stood out to me showing different ways to be dynamic.

Further research into the dynamic garden brought up these ideas to express it.

  • Bold colours.
  • Sense of flowing.
  • Lots of movement.
  • Plants like succulents are seen to make a dramatic show when grouped.
  • Illusion of motion through repetition, no static notes.
  • Repeated line, shape and colour to create rhythm and movement.
  • Sweeping movement, curved lines.
  • Ascending heights of elements produces progressive advancement (progression)
  • Diagonal line (zig-zag)
  • Proximity between garden elements.
  • Triangular beds.
  • Interuptions.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Flower Silhouettes to Developed 3D Models

Development of my Futurist flower designs from silhouettes led to me taking them into maya and really getting to grips with how they would realistically form as flowers in 3D. From 70 flower silhouettes I decided this development point was a good opportunity to narrow down the focus so I picked what seemed the most successful of each flower form. It's now time to narrow them down further before developing onwards.

I found quite a few of my solitary flower form silhouettes to be successful and ended up with these 8. From these I would like to know which 5-6 are your favourites.

 Which 2 of my 4 spadix flowers seem the most succesful?

My spike flowers resulted in these 6. Which 3-4 do you prefer?

Again which 2 flowers pop out from the cyme collection.

2 of 4.

With my corymb silhouettes I had some similar ones to other designs so I only ended up with the three. Which 1-2 feels the best to take into further development?

Lastly which 2 capitulum flowers do you prefer?