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  1. #41
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    "Not Natural"
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    non-competing (pure), cycles (128 samples)
    2.79-rc1 => Denoising, Filmic, Principled BSDF

    Another unicorn, what a coincidence! Weren't those supposed to be incredible rare?
    Well, at least they couldn't be much more dissimilar. :-)

    @Robert: The match RobertT vs Cycles seems to be going the wonderful way I hoped it would. Have you been getting any sleep over the last few days? I imagine cycles following you into your dreams... take care!

    @All: Looking at all these entries, I have to say, that this weekend is doing very well! The theme seems to have unleashed quite some creativity. Keep going!



  2. #42
    Member Photox's Avatar
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    "The Gate"

    Non-Competing. Cycles.

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    GTX 780-i5 Quad-16 GB
    Chocobanana - The Captain - Snow Leopard- Neanderthal



  3. #43
    Didn't have enough free time to complete my entry, always next week...



  4. #44
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    You still have about half a day. ;-)



  5. #45
    Member LeoBlenderToon's Avatar
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    The purest water

    "The purest water"
    This is my first challenge participation... Pure Blender Internal and Freestyle + Toon shaders.
    I hope you like it. This is Over Nature...

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    Leo BlenderToon



  6. #46
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    Night Lights
    Pure. - 2000 samples
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  7. #47
    Originally Posted by Helge View Post
    You still have about half a day. ;-)
    Still at work, will only get home in about 3 hours or so.

    I wanted to make an undersea tree with a membrane on top filled with air and surface plants inside. Kinda like the membrain tree in Subnautica.
    http://subnautica.wikia.com/wiki/Membrain_Tree



  8. #48
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    Lady of the Lake.

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    Cycles 600 samples.

    I'm going to call this an open entry, the reason being that the only new modelling I did was for the sword. I used the free grass plugin for the reads, the MBLab for the human model and the wave modifier on the water. I did some cloning work in Gimp to remove some fireflies, I always use Gimp even if it is only to resize the image to get it down to the 250kb limit.

    I ran endless simulations on this, trying to find a way to get water drops running down the sword. Everyone of them failed, I still have so much to learn.
    Deviantart profile.
    http://caz747.deviantart.com/



  9. #49

    Overnatural

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    This is what came to my mind at first



  10. #50
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    @RobertT:
    The short answer is "trial and MANY errors" =)

    Essentially, this was a Cycles experiment party, sort of a tweaker's dream (or nightmare, depending on how someone perceive such seemingly unmanageable things).

    Well, I could try to explain it all, but this should help -- this a look at the 3D View and most of the main Cycle shader I created for the central figure (Monoceros/Unicorn):
    Damn, thats some really complex node tree! Iīm really impressed how your way of working / thinking is, so you intentionally planned to use the Plane in front of the camera to "wrap" it all together through IOR?

    I like the idea of playing around with the nodes, I do that to rarely...
    And when i see what awesome result can come out, I definitely will try this out

    So I duplicated my somewhat hastily modeled unicorn and capitalized from the very bad topology there for artistic purposes when I placed it in another Render Layer for the wireframe with some Lens Distortion / Dispersion for added "spectral" effect.
    And much more to learn, I must confess, I never worked with different render layers ;D I will definitely try that too... Itīs very impressive how someone can work for years with something and still havent fully explored it. Thatīs what I like most in Blender and overall creative stuff, you never really stop learning!



  11. #51
    Member Enthymeme's Avatar
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    Here's something I spent way too much time on this weekend. Dual learning Box cutter and Eevee!


    "Grow"

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    I see Fulip and I had the same idea. cheers m8.


    Pure (Eevee), with some color correction and glow added.


    here's the animation:

    https://gfycat.com/ElectricAfraidFeline


    and here it is in the viewport!

    Check out my recent Pirate Girl project! And the detailed WIP!



  12. #52
    Thank you so much, RobertT, for sharing a look at the behind the scenes on that picture. I was studying it and thinking on just how you might have created it, so it was awesome to see a few posts down an actual look at the process. I'm still struggling with how Cycles works, but I am slowly getting the hang of it - which is amusing, since it's all making sense right at a time when I am needing to go back to using Blender's internal so I can do some game and film stuff. Still not sure how to get Cycles to work for that stuff.

    Originally Posted by RobertT View Post
    Stylistically, this, for me, was, in a way, me travelling back in time to the early 2000s, when, after a little protracted struggle with Blender Internal, I was definitely beginning to enjoy the excitement of Blendering and realizing the creative possibilities Blender offered, if one was patient enough.
    I remember that feeling quite well. I spent months back then trying to convince my brothers that Blender could be just as great as the programs they were spending hundreds of dollars on, but they got too easily frustrated by the learning curve and it was still so new to the world that they did not want to switch.



  13. #53
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    @LeoBlenderToon, TenRado
    Welcome to the challenge! Unfortunately, your posts seem to have been caught by auto moderation. They showed up long after the deadline, which is a pity, since I cannot change the voting once it has been started. However, I added your entries to the voting thread as non-competing.

    I hope you will take part again next time. And if auto moderation should strike again - just send your entries to me via PM. This way I can include your names into the voting manually.



  14. #54
    Member LeoBlenderToon's Avatar
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    That's ok, Helge.
    Thanks for your feedback!
    I've passed the entire day checking if it was in or not...
    It was my first post, that's probably the reason for the automatic moderation filter...

    Thanks



  15. #55
    @Helge:
    @Robert: The match RobertT vs Cycles seems to be going the wonderful way I hoped it would. Have you been getting any sleep over the last few days? I imagine cycles following you into your dreams... take care!
    Thanks, Helge! Love your unicorn! Learning at the cost of a little sleep can be a pretty good tradeoff, so I don't mind. The funny thing is I do in fact have Blender dreams! Still wish my GPU was as fast as my imagination ;-)


    @Evilos:
    some really complex node tree! Iīm really impressed how your way of working / thinking is, so you intentionally planned to use the Plane in front of the camera to "wrap" it all together through IOR?
    Thank you, Evilos, and, yes, the IOR was meant to be. It is something I've used before in Blender Internal in various ways over the years to achieve some unique or otherwise seemingly impossible visual effects.


    @Phantascene:
    Thank you so much, RobertT, for sharing a look at the behind the scenes on that picture. I was studying it and thinking on just how you might have created it, so it was awesome to see a few posts down an actual look at the process.
    You're welcome, Phantascene! My workflow is essentially: create, refine, repeat =) -- actually like a "while loop" in programming:

    while(image < good)
    {
    keepRefining();
    }

    ...but then there's often enough a need for a "break" conditional in there as well:

    if (image == reallyBad || ideaNotAsGreatOrViableAsFirstThought == true)
    {
    breakOutOfThisLoopAndStartOverCompletely;
    }

    ;-)



  16. #56
    Member Enthymeme's Avatar
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    Hey RobertT, I'm excited to see where you're going with Cycles. I've been watching your work ever since I started getting into blender, and it's inspiring to see you explore some new things!

    I'm interested to see what you think about Blender internal being (maybe? sorta?)discontinued in favor of cycles and whatever else they're cooking up. "Faking it" is such a big part of 3d production, and while blender has been proven over many years, I'm not sure that cycles is as deep. I'm thinking of things like Blender internal's shadow catcher materials, or it's light/material groups, or even halo/billboard materials. Things that aren't physically accurate at all, but end up being an important part of a 3D workflow.

    basically I'm worried about a "physically accurate" workflow being favored over a more "practical" one.

    Since you know blender internal inside out, I wanted to see if you had any thoughts about the whole thing. Do you have worries about leaving Blender internal behind?
    Check out my recent Pirate Girl project! And the detailed WIP!



  17. #57
    Member YAFU's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by RobertT View Post
    I'm not ashamed to admit that, as I'm still learning Cycles, there's probably stuff plugged in incorrectly here, but, the thing is, I kept playing with this until I liked what I saw ;-)
    That's my way of working with nodes in Cycles! If I did not have the possibility of preview with rendered view, nodes would be much harder for me because most of the time for me it is just trial and error. I am really not very skilled with nodes, but it seems that you're doing great!
    Be patient, English is not my language.



  18. #58
    Originally Posted by Enthymeme View Post
    Hey RobertT, I'm excited to see where you're going with Cycles. I've been watching your work ever since I started getting into blender, and it's inspiring to see you explore some new things!

    I'm interested to see what you think about Blender internal being (maybe? sorta?)discontinued in favor of cycles and whatever else they're cooking up. "Faking it" is such a big part of 3d production, and while blender has been proven over many years, I'm not sure that cycles is as deep. I'm thinking of things like Blender internal's shadow catcher materials, or it's light/material groups, or even halo/billboard materials. Things that aren't physically accurate at all, but end up being an important part of a 3D workflow.

    basically I'm worried about a "physically accurate" workflow being favored over a more "practical" one.

    Since you know blender internal inside out, I wanted to see if you had any thoughts about the whole thing. Do you have worries about leaving Blender internal behind?

    Thanks, Enthymeme!

    In my experience, Blender Internal is very practical, fast (to learn and use), and very easy to use on even the most modestly configured computers these days, and it's capable beyond what many people may realize.

    That was a big motivation for me to try new things and to achieve effects which might, afterwards, help people realize Blender Internal's expansive, if not inexhaustible artistic range and technical potential.

    Plus, it can continue to serve the very important need for non-physically-accurate projects. BI along with FreeStyle can be a real friend to a NPR artist.

    So, with all this in mind, naturally, I hope it will live on, even if that must be as an external render option (something I might have read about a while ago on some Blender-related website).

    You mentioned halo materials, and, for the upcoming Challenge (739, "UFO" theme), I realized I had to come up with something for Cycles given I would not be have immediate access to Blender Internal's infinitely easy halo materials.

    Mainly, I needed something that could works as mini lights on a large space vehicle but without the physical correctness.

    Here's something I managed to concoct:

    Simpler Shadeless Faux Halo Cycles Shader [DOWNLOAD .blend file]




    and

    a second example using the custom node in a different manner [DOWNLOAD .blend file]

    Here's a look at my custom shader:




    The input parameters are pretty straightforward, except for maybe the "Twinkle" one =)

    I included that as a means to procedually alter the luminosity of the lights.

    You can try it "live" in the blend file by going to the 3D View and pressing SHIFT Z (a low sample render preview).

    The shader uses / works best on tiny cubes, which can be subsurfed for spherical results.

    The surrounding cubes in the example are deliberately reflective to show that, in addition to there being no light or shadow casting, there are also no reflections.

    This behavior is not governed by the shader itself but rather the Cycles Settings in the Object panel of the object that uses this shader (more on that in the "About" section below).

    IMPORTANT: This shader only works on small geometry (e.g. tiny cubes, planes), not single vertices (which one could have used in Blender Internal's real Halo material).

    The "About" text in the .blend file contains some important technical details, which I'll include here:

    ABOUT THIS CYCLES SHADER...

    This is not a true Halo shader. This is just an experimental shader for very tiny halo-like cube-based mesh pieces (with or without subsurf), as in the example loaded in the 3D View. This shader does not look good or work well on larger meshes.

    The purpose of this shader experiment was to try to create Blender Internal style halo light "emitting" (but non-light producing) points to be used in non-raytraced/non-shadow/shadeless ways, for things like stars or very tiny lights on ships or buildings.

    In this example, a tiny cube was parented to the large cube, which was then set to Duplication:Verts (CTRL SHIFT A to make them real). They were then joined into one mesh, and this material was applied.

    If used elsewhere, you MUST turn off Diffuse, Glossy, Transmission, Volume Scatter, and Shadow in the Object (Cube icon Cycles Settings) panel for any object using this shader for it to work as intended.

    This experimental Cycles shader is provided as is, with no guarantees, and it can be be used or adapted however you wish.

    Well, if anyone can use or adapt it, please do =)

    RobertT



  19. #59
    Originally Posted by YAFU View Post
    That's my way of working with nodes in Cycles! If I did not have the possibility of preview with rendered view, nodes would be much harder for me because most of the time for me it is just trial and error. I am really not very skilled with nodes, but it seems that you're doing great!
    Thank you, YAFU.

    After working so long with Blender Internal, I could usually get pretty close setting up materials and procedurals before doing test renders, and I almost never used Blender Internal material node. Render nodes I was used to, though.

    Since all shaders in Cycles are node-driven, I also have a lot to learn/relearn/unlearn.

    With BI, I knew how I could set things up and get near HD-resolution test renders in seconds or minutes and tweak continuously, but Cycles takes longer (minutes to hour+) due to its physically-based-render (PBR) calculations, so that slows me down and does not enable me to get too experimental within a project at this stage.

    So I've been experimenting a lot with Cycles (e.g. my "faux Halo" shader above) and trying to gain some project-independent proficiency that way.

    As quirky and technical as BI was at first, it proved relatively quickly to me, way back when, to be a very artist-friendly tool. Cycles requires more homework and technical considerations and nodes nodes nodes =)

    For example, transparency was just a button and a slider in BI, while in Cycles one has to add a Transparency node to a Mix Node and connect that with the Diffuse Node and Material Output node.

    Once you get that, things kind of speed up, but there's still a lot of connecting that goes on, and, while I know one could save time creating, saving, and later importing nodes into Cycles projects, I always prefer, especially for the Challenges, to literally start from scratch, down to the materials and procedurals.

    The procedurals are another area where BI is easier to stack multiple procedurals easily for increasingly complex effects which were still quite manageable within one panel (making it very artist friendly).

    That was the only way I could make something like the colliding planets in the background of this recent WC image of mine.

    I'm getting closer to this in Cycles, but it's taking a while (longer than I expected) because Cycles and BI are arranged very differently, even as they share many technical aspects once you can begin to see the correlations between the two shader/render systems.

    Perhaps it might have been easier to learn Cycles without prior Blender Internal experience

    But, it's a good challenge, and I'm intent on getting further with Cycles and sharing whatever insights I might somehow manage to develop along the way

    RobertT



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