I’m currently participating in a competition about the future over at maxforums.net. As is always the case for me I tried to come up with an original idea but failed miserably. So I settled for a humorous concept in the hope that at least I might have some fun creating it. I have only two weeks to finish this but I might continue improving it even after I submit my final entry. But for now I sure could use some focused critique, so please don’t hold back :wink:

Early concept





Note: Character designs were borrowed from Planet 51 and The Incredibles.

Current State

I decided to use a different composition than my early concept. Please note that the current background is a captured frame from Lifted and only serves as a placeholder. I’m perfectly aware of the inconsistent camera angles.

No complaints from me. This looks like fabulous work. The meshes look clean, so the animation/movement of the characters is coming along smoothly I assume?

great style. Looking forward to seeing more.

very good, reminds me of pixar some reason.
keep it up!

wow!! this is very inspirational! I love the models and the posing for the aliens!! the proportions are perfect for the style I feel you are going for, and it all just looks really good, I can’t wait to see more.

Looks good, but why tf have so many people around here steal concepts? can’t you just take a pencil and draw for 10 minutes??? Sorry, this doesn’t include just you, but ppl here very often show stuff they stole the concepts for and aren’t even ashamed for that, you at least admit where did you take the inspiration from.

Great work! Love your rig on the second alien. Is that a bifocals curve for tracking the eyes?! Looks like i could stand to learn a rigging trick or two from you :slight_smile:

I’ll be excited to see further progress on this.

You get my vote… this could so be one of those kewl pixar shorties!

Glad you guys liked my progress so far. Though I’d love to see some crits too :slight_smile:

@nicktechyguy: Well they’re not clean enough for animation. But that’s fine as I didn’t have any plans to animate any of these characters.

@pildanovak: To tell you the truth, I am ashamed of my lack of originality. But in my defense I lost a great deal of the competition’s time already, and it does take a lot more than just 10 minutes to come up with original (and good) character designs. It’s not like I claimed those designs were mine in the first place. Think of this as fan art if you wish :smiley:

@austen: Yeah that’s a custom bone shape. I just grabbed a couple of these shapes from the BBB DVD.

Update, I added the young alien. I’m quite happy with the material. Still need to work on the pose though.

I also need some help Re: shadows! I’m trying to render volumetric shadows but I get these artifacts.

I set the halo step to 1 and tried to play with every setting in the Shadow and Spot panel, but nothing works. How can I create perfect shadowing like the images below? Also how can I get volumetric shadows on a separate pass? They seem to be neglected in shadow passes.


Up the Shadow Buffer Size, the artifacts are from pixelation.

Edit: At least that’s what the first one looks like to me. The streaking in the Suzanne one looks like either the render is having major issues, or the light’s hitting something before it hits Suzanne.

Increasing the shadow buffer size as far as 8192 doesn’t make the slightest difference :no:

Hmm, that made a difference in the past for me, and it sure looks like the same problem that I was having. Here’s a test .blend that I made, as well as some renders with the buffer set to 512, 1024, and 2048 respectively, and it clearly had an effect here. Also, the Halo Step is 12 for all of them. Halo Step set to 1 looks terrible, and the buffer size makes much less of a noticeable difference.


Halo Test.blend (207 KB)

A sphere is a really simple mesh, so it doesn’t artifacts, the charactr is quiter complex, so some parts are lighter than others. Ithink it gives a great effect:D

@jcptopi: Strange :confused:. According to the wiki a halo step of 1 should give the best result. The blend file in the attachment doesn’t seem to behave differently. With a halo step of 1 I get the best result regardless of the shadow buffer size. If I set it to 12 it produces artifacts, but then it seems to respond to changes in the shadow buffer size (better result as you increase the buffer size).

@tomrebel2: That’s what I thought. The quality of the shadow seems to vary with the shape of the object in the spot light. You could argue that it does give a nice effect, but that’s if you’re going for a romantic/relaxing kind of mood. But a strong light beam like this should produce a harsh, continuous shadow :no:

Hmm… I learned that 12 was the best, but after reading the wiki and experimenting a bit, it seems you’re right about 1 being the best. It seems that the step size indicates the sampling density in pixels (as in 1 means 1 sample per buffer pixel, while 12 means 1 sample per 12 buffer pixels). That would explain why increasing the buffer size for step set to 12 had an effect, since there were more pixels to sample, making the spaces between samples smaller, but was ineffective for step set to 1. In that case, I have no idea as to what’s causing your artifacts. Perhaps try adding the light again, in case something’s wrong with the current one.

Tried every possible solution but to no avail. Thanks for the effort though, jcptopi :slight_smile:

Still would be nice to know if there’s a way to render out volumetric shadow passes, though I’ll probably resort to making it in gimp for this project.

Okay, here’s some progress. Crits please :smiley:

His pose looks a bit odd, instead of having his hips facing the camera, have them face the beam, and then turn his shoulders and head a little. I think it will help the emotion of the image :smiley:

and the head looks like he is looking behind the character instead of at the character…

Thanks man. I’ll work on these issues.