Ace Dragon's museum of art (sketchbook)

Sterilized Lines

I know how obsessed everyone is in making sure everything is squeaky clean these days, not a microbe in sight. That was a perfect time to remake an old idea from many years ago (the original was not actually inspired by viruses by the way).

Here was the original (Sterile Lines), a BI render, and obviously more “sterile” as far as atmosphere and details are concerned.

Thanks to the Light Trees GSoC branch, I was able to render out Shaft Attic with much better clarity and cleanliness in a fraction of the time it took originally (even though both version used OIDN to clean up after the render).

There are other changes, the tonemapping was improved, the integrator was switched to plain path tracing, and the saturation of a few lights were fixed. The sampling was good enough that it took very little work in post to fix up a couple of spots.

With the new sky model (with edits) combined with OIDN 1.2, combined with yet another tonemap tweak, I managed to create the most realistic revisions yet of my Dragon models (as they contain things like improved contrast and color). The first one does not have the experimental sculpt work though (as I find the method I use now may mean more complex shading, but overall more leaves a lot more room to change things non-destructively).

Compared to the original revisions, it is almost like you could see yourself meeting them in real life now, until you realize they are carnivorous and might be hungry.

In you go…

I finally got the sculpted version of my Dragon model to where the renders are looking passable (even though there’s plenty of room for improvement yet).

In addition, the last few months has seen me rendering further improved versions of existing images using the ‘final’ tonemap, and made a lot cleaner with adaptive sampling and IODN denoising (not to mention the new sky).

Sometimes the difference is a bit more subtle, but all of the above images had a boost. The advances Cycles has made has helped me iterate faster than ever (even with the higher resolution).

Continuing to make the portfolio of Cycles images more consistent in terms of quality, along with the bump in resolution and the general shading/detail enhancement.

The Medical Complex

Yes, a brand new image and not an enhancement. This is a far more detailed and a far higher quality rendition of one of my earliest ideas, which was an image of a hospital. I also can’t stress enough how important Cycles having adaptive sampling was for the highlights on the ground, as it did in a day what would’ve taken up to ten days otherwise. I am serious about that, because adaptive sampling works with progressive refine and I can see what the remaining time stat starts at and where it ends at when stopping the render.

The original image for comparison.

Like all of my early works, there is no physical shading and no GI, only the crude rendering tech. that constituted BI back in Blender 2.3x.

Antler Box

The second of three original images I have started and worked on around the same time as The Medical Complex (in other words, this was not started and completed within a few days). One of the points was to make something where other images of mine, or a version of which, could be used as textures (which I think worked very well here). As I was working on it, it came to my attention it could use a tinge of Japanese influence, since that for one thing is something I have not done very much of.

The third image is still in progress, so I wouldn’t really expect it to appear in this thread as quickly as this one.