June 2nd, 2018: Rendering

Over the last few days I've been trying to get a better handle on rendering my models. Here are the programs I've recently installed and experimenting with:

Adobe Dimension
Houdini - installed but holy MFS this software is so deep
After Effects (Element 3D Plugin)

Rendering has always been problematic for me. Well, more accurately put, I've never taken the time to learn how to render. For the longest time I figured rendering was something that would require expensive software. I'm overcoming a lot of misconceptions about virtual design lately. I'm kicking myself. I'm kicking myself and pushing forward. 

I seemed to abandon models at a certain point, generally when they satisfied the conceptual framework for which I set out to portray. I realized that if I can render them beautifully, this obstacle of abandonment would no longer be a viable excuse. (I'm also realizing I've been making a lot of excuses over the years despite utterly loving 3d modeling). 

Here are a few test renders I've done over the last two days. For anyone who knows even the slightest about rendering, these will probably be laughable. I realize this, and in no way am intending to present these as end-products. May they serve as a reminder of where we all have to begin then, and if you have any tips or wisdom to share, please, do contact me

One last thing: I'm treating everything I've ever done in life up to this point as mere practice toward the next few years. Despite all the work I've poured into digital artwork, 3d modeling, virtual reality, and the use of robotics / mechanically produced art, there has been, sadly but honestly, a lack of genuine discipline in developing these pursuits to a level of refinement worth sharing with the world. Something in me either snapped or clicked a couple months ago. More on that another time, maybe. 



Below: I began yesterday with exploring Adobe Dimension. Since I pay each month for the suite, I thought I'd check it out. A few tutorials and some experimentation later, I have to say, I was really impressed and excited. However, the 'high' setting for renders takes a very long time, but, in hindsight, that's because I was using a lot of transparent materials (oh, the revelations, each day, so many). Here are my first renders with Dimension.

Below: a model I made in Sketchup about two years ago. I was able to rig this model into a flight system in Unity last fall and made a simulator but since then forgot about 'Frigate Escort'.  

jet test high.png

Below, some experiments with a higher-poly model I made of a ship mixed with various elements that Dimension has available:

I added a decal to the flat disc. It's a mandala made from my drawings on the iPad made for a project I'm building called 'Coloring Dream'. 

I added a decal to the flat disc. It's a mandala made from my drawings on the iPad made for a project I'm building called 'Coloring Dream'. 

TEST FOR GLASS2-snapshot.png


Below: first render in Keyshot7. I was thrilled, which happens a lot, or as much as pulling my hair out, just to get something to work. I've been trying to learn so many things in so many programs that the interfaces have definitely taken on a hierarchy of ease-of-use. Keyshot and Dimension are very easy to use and intuitive. 

Below: soon I tinkered with understanding Keyshot's mechanics. Here is a quick render of the same model (a model I named 'Corvette Escort, modeled in Blender for Unity and TiltBrush). This features a glass material with translucency, refraction, and I increased the shadow bounces as well as number of samples. 

Covertte Escort.jpg

Below, some simple shaders on some ships I've made. 

test for ships.jpg

Below: experimenting with image textures of one of my paintings mixed with a glass shader on the underside of the same ships. 


Below, some quick models rendered with human skin materials in Keyshot: 

Skin City Final.png
SKIN CITY DARK final.png

And one with wood, below. I know the orientations are off, I've since learned how to better map these textures. It's so simple. 

Wood city.png

Below, a mockup for a possible Boise project underway, done in Blender. This was my first real attempt at rendering inside of Blender, which is my most comfortable and longest-standing 3d modeling compadre: 


That's it for now, more tomorrow. 

Cody Rutty