Growing on Canvas (image intensive!)

I wanted to do more with this but I am gowing on an extended vacation of sorts, and know I won’t still be interested in finishing this by the time I get back. I hope you can still enjoy it.

It was rendered in passes (ended up being 6 or so), you can find out more in my WIP.

You can find the 4 mega pixel version and more images from the series >>> HERE <<<

Great work on the textures and lighting.

Only problem I see is the ‘canvas’ looks like it’s trying to be snow but it isn’t. :-?

Hi Ezz , great stuff you made there .
I browsed your website , and notice that you used “Rendering in Passes” , can you describe the method , or give us a link to a tutorial , pleaseeee :stuck_out_tongue:

Wow. 4 megapixel. That must have taken a while. Good work though!

  • Andrew

Only problem I see is the ‘canvas’ looks like it’s trying to be snow but it isn’t.

Yes, If I knew how to texture snow, snow would have been cool looking though :wink: The canvas was originally scans of my sketchbook from where there was smudges from shading and eraser marks and such, but somewhere in the layer process it got blown out to mostly just white…

notice that you used “Rendering in Passes” , can you describe the method

I got the idea looking at Meats Meier’s work. He is the current featured artist on CGTalk’s Meet the Artist forum, an awesome place to learn things. I liked his style and he mentioned rendering in passes, and he gave a link to a discussion of his technique on some Zbrush site (you can find this in the CGTalk thread), which is what I primarily based mine off of.

Give me about 10 minutes and I’ll give an exaustive explanation of my technique in the next post :wink:

OK, I used the GIMP for this. If you want to use the supplied images and follow along with the compositing technique itself, feel free. I don’t mind.

Load the images into GIMP or the like in the following order. Oh, when you render these its best to save each pass as a seperate file, so if need be you can quickly go back and change things…

Diffusion (Beauty Pass) Pass:
-turn off Shadow Ray in render panel
-turn off AO
-turn off specular on all light sources

AO Pass:
-Turn on AO
I used AO on ADD with highest quality settings and turned the power up to about 2.3 (so fully illuminated parts are pure white). I used a distance of 2 instead of 10 though (drastically reduces render time but also reduces length of AO shadows)
-Disable all lights
-Turn Ray and Shadow back on
-Make all materials pure white
in the materials panel, disable all textures, turn ref up to 1.0 and set color to white (I think that is it?)
-Turn off VCol Light (accidently left mine on :wink:

Shadow pass:
-Turn AO off again
-Leave materials all white except:
reenable any materials which effect normals (anything appled to Nor)
-Reenable your primary lights
-Ensure lights have shadow on and specularity off

Specularity Pass (can you see it ;):
-Turn off shadow and ray again
-Make sure all lights have specularity on, diffusion off
-Make all materials black (is this neccesary with diffusion off?)
just change the colors in the material panel and change ref to 0 (I don’t think changing the color is neccesary with ref set to 0?)
-Ensure materials which effect normals are enabled

SSS Pass:
-Turn off all lights
-Enable VCol Light in materials panel

I’ll explain the composition in the next post. Give me a few mins.

OK, you should have the passes loaded into the GIMP or the like in the above order (or reverse depending on how you look at it, because diffusion goes on bottom layer, SSS on Top).

First, just have Diffusion and AO layer enabled.

AO layer:
-Set Blend Mode to multiply
-Apply a leyer mask “greyscale copy of layer”
Now invert the layer mask. The layer mask thing was my idea and may not be neccesary, but it lessons theeffect of multiply on the brighter portion of your image (multiply always darkens the image)
-Duplicate AO layer to darken or mess with the opacity slider to lighten to taste :wink:

Shadow Layer:
-Set to multiply
-you can do the layer mask thing again but I didn’t
-Use the opacity slider to Lighten, you can duplicate to darken but it is already rather dark isn’t it?

Specularity Layer:
-Set to Screen (or add I guess)
-Duplicate to brighten, opacity slider to darken.

SSS Layer:
usually they include the SSS in the beauty pass only, but I found that after Applying the AO and Shadow layer, a good portion of the SSS is gone. So…
-Set to screen
-Use slider to darken
What we are doing here is trying to make it so portions of the image, such as the under side of the upper grass, is not completely black…

OK, when that is all done to taste, save the file as XCF before doing anything else.


Flatten image (combine all layers) and now we will work more on contrast and stuff.

First duplicate Layer (you should only have one)

You can always duplicate again or use slider to adjust to tast with the following: The following is aplied to upper layer’s blend mode:
-Screen to lighten or
-Multiply to darken or
-Overlay to do both (my favorite)

If some element such as SSS has been extenguished or doesn’t look as it should then reload the apropriate layer and reaply its effect over the top.

Look good? ok one last really cool trick to bring out a focal point.

-Add a transparent layer
-choose the gradient bucket fill tool with colors on black and white and make sure it is set to radial.
-bucket fill from your main focal point out
it should now be white from your main point blended outward to black, if not invert the layer
-set layer to multiply and adjust to desired effect

Now to darken edges:

-add a transparent layer again
-with rectangular select tool draw a rectangular selection around whole image, from corner to corner (there is a reason we don’t use the select all command here)
-invert selection
-feather selection to 300 pixles or so (depends on image reselution)
-This time bucket fill (not the gradient bucket) with just black
-set to multiply and adjust to taste.

You should have something ugly like this:
haha. My focal point is the lower left flower.

Sorry for such an exaustive (exausting :wink: explanation.

If you have questions, go ahead and ask, I won’t be around much longer (couple days).


Thxxxxxxxxx :smiley:

The part of mixing the passes in Gimp I understud from your wip

Does this method work for bought Yafray , and Blender Internal ???

You mean for a GI pass from YAFRAY composited with passes from Blender? I was wondering the same thing!

Blender’s AO is no where close to being as good as YAFRAY’s GI…

YAFRAY’s GI bounces light but the light changes color based on what it hits correct? But with Blenders AO the light doesn’t bounce and change color. Hmmm. I don’t know, and have very limited experience with YAFRAY…

Maybe you would need one layer for the white AO and then another layer which captured the color changes in the light and apply it on screen.

If you find a way, be sure to let me know.

Very nice image- great work on the textures, except maybe the canvas… it also has a sharp edge next to the rocks around the middle of the image

And very helpfull explanation of passes- cheers

Andrew: Naw, 4 MP not that much. I like the res cause I like to print to 8.5 X 11. The image is rather low poly and theres no reflections or anything of that nature to eat up time… The AO pass was the longest and it took about 3-4 hours (on dist:2, it took 14 hours on dist:10), the other passes were under 12 min a peice.

it also has a sharp edge next to the rocks around the middle of the image

You mean that sharp edge on the canvas? Or that the rocks have sharp edges?

Thank you Ezz for the mini tutorial about the workflow, it’s very important for a beginner like me to enlarge the point of view beyond the software, to try different ways focusing on the result.