Monday, June 01, 2009

Baby steps with new renderers

ok, so the 3-day weekend was fab. wasted a large portion of it playing Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia, which is the most difficult Castlevania game i've played to date (the demon-inspired 16-bit ones don't count). as a review put it: You will die. A lot.. anyhow, yesterday i decided to fire up Wings3D and see what i could come up with.

the original idea was to create a broadsword, but i kind of got bored with making a long blade and created a dagger. very simple dagger. then i remembered an old image in this article (skip to the last page, and click on the thumbnail), and decided to tamper with a good thing. modeling was done, fired up Blender for scene setup and materials. since i was being lazy, i didn't want to create a complex scene. i just wanted to play around with materials and Yafaray and Luxrender, for a couple of reasons.

when i first started using Blender, i didn't really like the internal raytracer. i could never seem to get the same great-looking scenes i saw in the galleries with it. then i heard of Yafray (the project that is now Yafaray), and i thought it sucked even more. i persevered, though, and i learnt how to use it to some extent (check out my DeviantArt gallery — and the scraps, too — to confirm). however, i've had to dispose of most of my knowledge about Yafray, because Yafaray is very different from it. sometime down the line, i started playing with Indigo and Luxrender. i liked both bcause of the great renders i saw, and disliked both because of the same reason — they are both unbiased renderers (which to me, means that they can take forever rendering if you let them. you stop the render when it's as good — think: noise or black spot free — as you want it). for the Basscom pen scene (look in my gallery for details), Indigo didn't render a texture (it only accepts UV-mapped textures), but Luxrender mauled it, so i preferred Indigo. that was until it went commercial (and i wish Nicholas Chapman and Ben Nolan success with Glare Technologies), and i started looking at Luxrender again.

so i worked hard last night to get my scene working well with both Yafaray and Luxrender, and left my lappie on all night rendering with Luxrender.

here's the Yafaray render (approx 2 minutes):
and here's the Luxrender render (6+ hours):
the materials suck, but it's a start. i'll see if i can dress it up some more and make it better. if you want the .blend file, please download it and the textures (you'll need to 'remap' them) from this link. please use, don't abuse. Edit: i almost forgot. yesterday was also my first time creating my own texture in Mapzone. it's the table texture. Mapzone is the only Windows-only software i used. everything else at runs on Linux and Mac OS X, but you might be able to use an emulation environment for it.

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