Latest Update:
(Please scroll down for a major description)
After a thousand years of creative break I continued this project. Well, I never forgot it but i had no time and rest to improve it. Also some techniques needed for the project were not available in blender at this time (SSS).
I still do not know wheter i will be able to complete it but i added some objects here and there since my last post (it is two years later now! changes perhaps every 6 months a bit, some lighting tests here and there and so on).
I still think that this project might turn out quite well in another thousand years!

The current image is not the newest but it takes some time to render (my computer is quite slow, no dual core), and there are no major changes.

Currently I create a skull that i will place on the shelf instead of one or two of the glasses.

Look at the images and go to my last post for more information :wink:

C&C appreciated

Latest version of the image. Not that large (rendering times, sorry :frowning: )

the skull, just poly moddeling, no clay moddeling


Just thought of a new project… I don’ t know wheter i complete it, but i made some sketches.
This one is a first texture test where i want to find out whether i have the knowledge of creating this picture or not.

The texturing needs still some work, i want the glass to look more dirty, the paper needs bump
Perhaps i should add some bubbles to the fluid, and som dirt - to make the fluid more visible…
As i noticed yet, i will have to reduce the filter amount of the glass.
I think the eyetexture should get some depth, too…
But i hope it will turn out fine…


You’re correct that the upper half of the glass is too dark, but perhaps all that is required is a little specularity/reflection on the top of the liquid surface … just to more clearly define where that surface actually is.

Beyond that, I think that at this point you are quibbling with technical details.

What I would do next is to seriously consider the picture’s intended story. The title, “Research Facility Anno 1879,” arrested my attention and prompted me to take a closer look. The essential notion, that we are looking at a glass flask with a hand-written label and a mysterious content, is easy to grasp… and enticing. (The thing that we immediately wish to discover … what’s in the glass? … is unfortunately much harder to figure out.)

“You’ve hooked me. Now, deliver.” Out of the hundreds of postings you snagged my curiosity … caused me to look at your interesting-looking image … and then left me rather confused, therefore unsatisfied. So, that is what you want to “fix,” no matter how you do it.

What’s in the glass? What should be in the glass? Why is it there? And exactly what sort of creepy feeling do I want to send zinging up the viewer’s spine when he (at a glance, remember) understands this? When he “gets it?”

Once you’ve got that, the rest is execution. Consider how you might frame the shot, position the camera and so-on to maximize the shiver. This is when Alfred Hitchcock decided to put a light-bulb in that glass of milk…

So far, so good? Fine. Now maybe, (just maybe…) you can think about bubbles. But if the shot’s execution and composition is strong enough, bubbles won’t even matter. Go straight for the jugular. Eliminate any and every detail that doesn’t bleed.

Oh, i think you understood me in a wrong way :slight_smile: this is only one of many objects that i will use in my scene. The basic scene sketch is done, i will have to model it now.

This was only a little texturing test…

But thx for comment, and then so long, thats what i like :wink:

i will first model the basic scene, then do lighting, then texturing.

Next object.
Please tell me what looks wrong to you. If i don’t get it better, i will have to use another object… But it would be nice if i were able to complete this hand. And it should look more realistic :confused:

But perhaps the hand is quite ok, because camera perspective will perhaps hide some wrong parts :smiley:

[Picture deleted]

Ok, although it seems that nobody is interested in this topic, i show you my latest update:
The scene is not completely moddeled at the moment, this is only the ‘background’
The focus-object is in production (the hand)

The background will be changed later (some objects will be moved to get more density, perhaps scaling…) Some objects will be added. Perhaps i will have to bone the hand to get motion blur (or some parts of it).

In the lower left the hand wil be added.

Comments welcome…

Sorry for poor quality, but i think you get a feeling for this and i don’t like long render times in such a early stage ^^

[Picture removed]

[Picture removed]


Make the ao finer

Its an early stage of modeling. Rendering using high AO sample count is just waste of time.

The project looks interesting. :slight_smile:

The “animatic style render” buttons are great for the earliest stages in a project. (It’s on the bottom of the 3D window.) You just get something out very fast.

Put together some more models for us to look at – these are fine – but also try to give us a feel for what you’re shooting for; what kind of story you might be trying to show or tell. That’ll help us a lot in critiquing the work, because “models and such don’t stand alone; they tell a story.” It might be a good idea to show us some settings, empty stages, first.

Well, here we go.
Sorry for torturing you so long by not showing the whole scene in one. Perhaps this was a bit stupid by me, but i wanted to do some tests before (etc)… I perhaps should have put it in the WIP later…

Here you perhaps can get the story behind the picture. Later, i want to add motionblur to fingers and to the flying-around things (screws…).
Some parts of the scene setup will have to be changed/moved too.
And some minor objets will have to be moddeled perhaps.
An important part will be to model some objects in the scene that are in the glasses on the shelf. There will be eyes (allready moddeld, i need only to work on the texture), fingers, and perhaps worms…

I think that i will set up lightning next because it is easier before high-res textures are applied…

The only material applied yet is the one of the lightning, because this object is only a single vertex-string that wouldn’t be rendered without Halos


edit: @sundialsvc: sorry but i didn’t find this button. there is only a normal render button. do you mean this one?

Ok, long time no update (Nobody was interested in this one :()
I will have to do much refinement on moddeling (adding detail to table and wall…), there are many rendering-mistakes i will have to correct… (Transparent shadows, specularity…)

Beside this there are only 3 lamps active, in the final render i want to use about 115 lights to add light to the flash of lightning…

Here a list of what i want to change (perhaps not complete):

  1. Texture untextured Objects (cables, hand, handholders, screws, shelf holder, book…)
  2. Transparent shadows on wall
  3. Redo Table Moddeling (more detail)
  4. Redo Hand-Wood Moddeling (more detail)
  5. Redo Wall Moddeling (more detail)
  6. Add rust flowing to the ground (shelf holder, wall texture)
  7. Better glass (ReagenzglaS) texture on the left
  8. Apply Motion blur
  9. Move Paper away from Eye-glasses (avoid artefacts)
  10. Labels don’t cast transparent shadows (artefacts!!)

Comments welcome!


Nice work again Jothmom.
That thing with default shader could use texturing or raytracing or something (to me it seems its got default shader settings pretty much, well it propably does not). Book does not seem to cast shadow or shadows it looks nice though. There is punch of cool things about the image. Some of it looks very realistic and some very stylish.

Backwall could have some paper on it or something, maybe a plan of giving electric shots to a hand to make it move, or about that experiment some drawings.

wow, impressive, you’re textures are really good, the light kinda bothers me, it looks very odd and unnatural, and the lightning things seem like they should have a little more glow to 'em. other than that well done :slight_smile: but it looks like you’ve already planned to fix the lighting, so what do i know? though i think you could accomplish a good set up with less than 115 lights?! perhaps you meant 15? you might want to think about radiosity if you’re getting up in the hundreds of lamps…

i say you’ve done well dr. frankenstein, you have a moving hand :smiley:

THX for comments first!! Thx!

@ j:
well, you are right, some materials have still devault shader, that textures are not applied at the moment, i didn’t have the time to do that. That will be done later :slight_smile:
I thought to add paper to the wall, too, i think i will do that…

@ Centauri:
Well the lighting problem is quite wired: I want the lighting to cast shadow, and not those hard shadows, but soft ones, because the lighting emits light from everywhere.
I tried three renderers:

  1. Yafray with emit: The lighting material emits light. But for this the lighting has to be not just a vertex string, but a face string. thats not what i want, because then the faces are visible
  2. PovRay: Same problem
  3. Blender internal, radiosity: Same problem

So i want to add many lights (duplivert) to the lightning vertex-string and render them in a special layer with some ambient occlusion to fake gi. This layer will have a plain white material at all objects.
Then i combine the ‘light-layer’ with a texture layer, rendered with light , but without shadows, and with som ambient to lighten dark areas.

After that i combine both layers in eg gimp or photoshop to achieve realistic lighting.

Well, thats the theory. No idea whether it works ^^. But my alien got quite good in the end, so i hope this one will too… (no idea wheter it really will ^^)

That explains why the lighting is not realistic: its only a ‘help-lighting’ to see how the textures look and to achieve faster rendering-times.

did you try using area lights with a sample size of say 4-5 and dither and umbra turned on? that might do the trick, otherwise you could fake it like i used to do with a motionblur on the lights, which looks pretty good, though very slow… but not quite as slow as using hellaton of lights…

Well, as you would like comments, here ya go. :smiley:
First, I loved the work you did on the Alien!
Second, this scene is coming along first-rate! I love the concept and the composition of the scene is really quite good.
A couple of crits:

  1. I recommend making the lamps that are reflecting off your jars just a little more purple in hue, or make the electrical arc just a little more white.
  2. There is an electrical arc under the hand, yet no light in that part of the scene. (I realize that you are still ironing out the lighting, just thought I’d mention that observation.
  3. A suggestion/question on the lighting:
    Do you need to have exact lighting off of the vertice string? Will a couple of area lamps (one above and to the right of the hand and one a little below and to the right) work along with a few spot lamps for shadows? After all, the important thing is to get the concept across, right?
  4. Maybe a bump map on the hand and the board the hand is on?

regardless, this is great work. It is really fun to see people making a serious effort at creating quality pieces. Keep it up!

THX for comment again!

@Centauri: Motion Blur to the hands is an awsome idea! I will try this!

To 1) Thx, i will change that :wink:
To 2) Yes, i will try to change that, In my final lighting this is solved, but since both of you suggested new lighting ideas i will first have too see what techniques i will use in the final image.
To 3) Well i think that the lighting will be the element that gives realism to the scene, and perhaps ‘live’.
Area Lights: The problem is, that area lights only emit light into one direction, and a flash of lightning is - perhaps - one of the only things that emits really light in every direction.
Perhaps it will be possible to fake this one with area lights, i will have to see that…
To 4: This will be done, the hand is not textured atm :smiley:

New list of changes:

  1. Texture untextured Objects (cables, hand, handholders, screws, shelf holder, book…)
  2. Transparent shadows on wall
  3. Redo Table Moddeling (more detail) DONE
  4. Redo Hand-Wood Moddeling (more detail)
  5. Redo Wall Moddeling (more detail)
  6. Add rust flowing to the ground (shelf holder)
  7. Better glass (ReagenzglaS) texture on the left
  8. Change textures to add more dirt, scratches, …
  9. Apply Motion blur
  10. Move Paper away from Eye-glasses (avoid artefacts)
  11. Labels don’t cast transparent shadows (artefacts!!) Tried to solve this, but is texture problem (redo textures!
  12. Specular Blue (Lightning)
  13. Lightning: Area lights? Motion Blur?

try an area light first, its WAY faster… and actually gives more realistic effects, though if all else fails a motionblur is a simple and elegant(imo) solution. :slight_smile:

I think that I might have had my terminology mixed up. I think what I meant earlier about the lighting was a sun lamp, not an area lamp… I’m pretty sure that the sun lamp is non-directional. It’s been a while since I’ve messed with lighting, so I’m admittedly talk a little out of my arse here… :smiley:

yes, sun lamps are omnidirectional, but their shadows arent soft, where as area lamps create soft shadows, they are directional but the great thing is, they are friggin powerful, so their limitation in direction isnt always a limitiation.

Lol ^^ Well but i think that sun lights only support ray shadows, and i need area shadows to get realistic lighting :frowning: And when i use sun-light i think the light-rays will be parallel :frowning: