Finding A First Reality Render

WIP - Dragon Slayer - Base Render
WIP – Dragon Slayer – Base Render (Photo credit: BrainMuffin)

My journey back to rendering with LuxRender via Reality (a plugin made by Paolo Ciccone) from DAZ Studio has been a slow one. The last time I used Studio, it was under Windows. Now my life outside of work is all Mac. The navigation on the Mac for Studio is different is small, but not so subtle ways. Add to that the new version of Studio changed more items and one can see the road ahead.

Added to Studio now is a Content Manager. It will download your content and supposedly monitor for updates. The latter remains to be seen. I do like the smart content area under Studio, but it puts things in the oddest of places. Under DAZ Studio 2, the managing of content eventually drove me to blast it all away and start over. Try as I might, once enough was downloaded and installed, I couldn’t find crap.

Enter Smart Content.

Here meta data will show you content based on the current selection in the scene. When nothing is selected or the scene is blank, the user is at the top most level. Load a figure or clothing item or what have you and the content for that item is all that is shown. This includes materials, shaders, lights, etc made for that content. This is great when adding clothing to an actor and you want to change the pose or color or materials. No more scrolling through all the content and finding that. It is right there.

Alas though, not all content is smart. While DAZ is working diligently to update all the 3D content, it does take time. More recent and popular items are at the forefront. And what about all that free stuff you downloaded? Good luck. Well, perhaps that is harsh. The scuttlebutt is that one can create metadata for the content. That I’ve not tried yet, but am looking forward to trying.

After downloading V4, M4, D4, a bunch of props, the Multiplane Cyclorama and the Genesis starter, it was time to render something. Wanting to get started quickly and tired of trying to learn the interface changes for posing, the Dragon Slayer preset scene was selected and loaded. As this is going to be a learning experience with Reality, ACSELs and LuxRender, all was kept to defaults and a render has been started. Once complete, the image will be upload. I may make a video yet (looking for recommendations on video capture software for Mac-cheap/free, please).

The idea is quite simple. Load base scene, make a render. Make a change to the scene…say replace Genesis Michael with Vicki and add a skin ACSEL to her. Run a new render and share the results. Change out lights. Render again. Carry on till learning complete.

Yes, videos will be required.

Currently, the first scene is rendering. (Wait…am I repeating myself???) Three threads are going about beating on my iMac. Why not four? So I can still type. Two other computers are in on the rendering. What is that? Network rendering?? Yes, LuxRender supports network and GPU rendering right out of the box. How’s that for awesome?? So an HP DC 7800p with a Core 2 vPro is lending two threads to the mix. It is running 64bit Linux as well (needs a memory upgrade though). It is keeping pace quite well with the Q660 quad running in the firewall/router/server machine. Fully 4 GB of RAM in that puppy, which is all it can take on that old motherboard.

Here’s another plea. Are you local and have old machines that can run 64bit and want to get rid of them? Let me know. I’ll Frankenstein what I can and donate the rest to Crayons to Computers or the like. Yeah, I’m such a nice guy.

As for LuxRender, there is much more to learn. It does caustics and atmospherics and whole bunch more. The weeks ahead are going to be a great learning time. Ahead are tutorials my Callad, revisits to old tutorials by maclean and the hope of resurrecting and recreating old scenes. There will be bumps, but there will be GREAT fun.

Buckle in. Let’s ride.


Enhanced by Zemanta

The Growing Cincinnati Beer Fest

The 2013 installment of the Cincinnati Winter Beer Fest has come and gone. This year continued the tradition of growing and growing. The crowds were bigger. The events louder. The beer list, about the same.

This year saw me passing out beer and checking ids. I did take a few photos here and there, but as I was not the official photographer, there will not be much posted. There will be none of Facebook. There might be a few on Flickr. No idea.

The event has now grown to alienate many of its early supporters. The crowds are now to the point where peace and calm have to be maintained. Some puked near the Kentucky Ale booth. Someone else pulled down the Brew Monkey’s large mug display. A guy tried to pick a fight with security. All in all though, still a well behaved crowd.


Enhanced by Zemanta

A Journey Back Into Reality

WIP v2: Xerr
WIP v2: Xerr (Photo credit: BrainMuffin)

My self-imposed exile from the world of 3D computer generated graphics is finally coming to an end. Years ago I became upset when I entered a contest for renderings done in DAZ Studio. While the winning entries where good, I felt that several that ranked above mine were crap. I rarely got a mention. I worked for days on that render, poses people to see how the hands and feet should be. I was hurt.

A few years later, along came Paolo Ciccone and his Reality plugin for DAZ Studio. It let a user connect to the rendering engine called LuxRender. Unlike ray tracing, the engine dealt with light and materials more similar to what humans experience in the world. Light would now bounce off of services. Cameras worked like real world cameras. Light could be changed on the fly. ISO could be updated. Film effects. YES!

Being a photographer by nature and training, I was hooked. I bought it straight away and started to render. I made all kinds of stuff. Then…well, I burned out. Tried to reorganize my content. Started over. Switched computers…on and on. I went into exile.

The time has finally come to start again. DAZ has created a content manager to help with downloading all the content. Reality has moved to version 2. LuxRender has matured. Studio now runs in 64bit mode on a Mac. The materials plugin works on a 64bit Mac. Awesome.

My son wants to learn how to render. My daughter wants to make Anime characters. It is time to again start on the journey. It is time to return to doing something I love. It is time to stop playing World of Warcraft so much. It is time to make our own Reality and share it with others. It is time.

Paolo, I am ready. The technology is here. The children want to learn. There are now more computers on the network. A Journey back to Reality will now start.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Growing Up INTJ

Español: Tipo Myers-Briggs INTJ
Español: Tipo Myers-Briggs INTJ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I first posted a video on YouTube about being an INTJ, several people responded in support, others wondered. Could this guy really be an INTJ? After all. He’s on YouTube?

In that video I explained what an INTJ is and gave examples of famous ones from history. The Myers-Briggs test is a measure of someone’s personality traits. It is not a box to stuff people into, nor is it a box into which one may hide. It is a measure. It is a starting point of understanding.

Response to that video compelled me to share more of my test results. My more in-depth video was the result. Here I shared the actual test results, showing the pages. Yes, it was to show the doubters out there that I really am an INTJ. After all, these videos take a great deal of energy from me. Blog posting is much easier. Add to that, I tend to do the videos in one take, unlike say Karen Alloy (spricket24) who uses many quick cuts in her style. I’m more like say….the Snap Chick..Leigh…something….ok..moving on.

Several people sent me e-mails asking what it was like growing up. Ok…new video made. Now for the text.

My mother is an extrovert. So is my brother. My father is more introverted, but during my formative years Uncle Sam had him here, there and everywhere quite often. As a result, I was much closer to my mother. Being on opposite ends on the first letter did bring some misunderstandings. I wanted to be alone with my books and thoughts and ideas. She wanted me to get out of the house and meet people. We were both right, in our own ways.

Having social skills is important. One needs to be able to understand and communicate with others. After all, none of us are islands unto our selves. We need others to provide what we cannot ourselves acquire. But being with people drains an Introvert and eventually, there is a need to recharge. This my mother didn’t seem to understand till later in life.

Much of the time growing up, we had no television. My mind was my playground and my imagination became strong. In 1979, we moved to Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Here I could access the library on my own and I did. I read every Hardy Boys book they had. I tried the Bobbsey Twins and others. I read books as though I had a hunger, a longing. By seventh grade it was The Hobbit and the The Lord of the Rings series. I didn’t need television. I had my books.

And my mother said go meet people.

I was in the Boy Scouts till the younger kids annoyed me too often. I reached the rank of Star, though no further. Here I tuned my love of learning into merit badges. I had dreams, but no plans. I wanted much, but had no way to get there. After all. I had my books.

My teenage years saw me grow more introverted. I saw many of my fellow classmates as whiny children. I still see teenagers that way. Anytime I heard someone say “That’s not fair,” my only response was “Life isn’t fair.” I started to write more, sharing with no one. Who series of stories and novels danced through my head. I played Traveller. I wrote computer programs on paper. I had a few friends. We moved to Germany and I had woods to explore. Old ruins held high import to me. Moss fields became a land of mists and dragons. I created my own alphabets. I wrote. I shared none.

And my mother said to mingle and meet people.

During my senior year in high school, my interest in females grew high enough to actually talk to them. Half-way through the year I finally asked one out: Dee Dee Kreminak. We went to the movies and had pizza afterward. We talked about for hours. She was beautiful. We had a good time. A few weeks later I asked her to join my family for Ice Capades. She said she couldn’t, I’ve long forgotten why. I tried another date a bit later. No. Ugh. I was crushed.

My first attempt at being social and more than just seeing someone at church or school left me a bit crushed. Was I doomed for more introversion? On a train filled with American youth on its way to Berchtesgaden, the answer became no. Here I met Tracy Janner and a weekend friendship grew. She lived in Kaiserslautern, two hours away. I would see her twice more before leaving Germany. I learned a bit more.

Over the years I’ve had to work at being more open. I’ve also had to learn when to pull back. I tend to OCD on being extroverted when I am really pushed out of my Introvert shell. I am not really shy that much, just lending to observing people more than participating. After all, INTJs are Masterminds and Analytical.

I’ve learned when to let go of the Perfectionist tendencies and when to embrace them fully. There are times I lean on my INTJ traits and others when I abound to walk away. Growing up INTJ has been great fun and great frustration; heartache and love; sickness and health. It is who I am and I am wonderful. I seek to encourage others and know I can make a difference.

Enhanced by Zemanta