Shawn Driscoll's Computer Graphics Blog

Object modeling, texturing, lighting, rendering, etc.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Mine Elevator Available Soon For Download

Soon my Vue 10 Infinite mine elevator model will be made available as a free download over at Renderosity (in my Free Stuff area). They have to approve the model first.

ADDED: It's now available for download at Renderosity.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Highrise #1

Used Amapi Pro to create a quick highrise model using NURBS. Just a bunch of boolean operations. Nothing else.
And a test render in Vue Infinite using a simple outdoor lit scene. No materials applied yet. More highrise models to add still.

Friday, November 4, 2011

30% faster Vue rendering, I hope

I'm downloading Vue R10 Infinite from e-on right now. Render speeds are 30% faster than version 9, they say. So I am hoping for this with some test scenes of mine I plan to render after installing this new version.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Booleans Are Good

Watching the GroBototomodo videos convinced me to upgrade my GroBoto to Version 3. So booleans are not a bad word anymore it seems? It only took what... 20 years?

Friday, August 26, 2011

A Pretty Good Matte Painting Book

I've always been a fan of matte painters since seeing Forbidden Planet as a kid. I never thought I would be able to do matte paintings myself since the eye is very critical about such things. The Ballistic Publishing books on the subject that I've bought are cool to look through, but they don't go into every detail about how the images were created. The books only have enough pages to show the many finished scenes from the many artists that they picked from.

But finally! Yey! Sybex has put out a book by David Mattingly titled The Digital Matte Painting Handbook. The book puts you to work right away rather than leaving you lounge around by the coffee table. It reminds me of the olden days when I sat at a desk and did work in an art class. Maybe they still have art classes like that in school? I have no idea, since all I see now are people glued to their iPhones when I step outside.

I will admit though that I do not have any of the software that the author (teacher) uses. I'm just a 3D hobby person. But I do have an old version of Photoshop that can do layers, which is really what matte painting is all about. And I have enough 3D modeling and rendering software (just not Maya 2011) that can do camera projection. I don't have After Effects. But I'm not trying to do any animation or camera movement. My plan is to just do simple static matte paintings like those used in Forbidden Planet. Hey, I'm old school.

DVD fans will love the fact that the book comes with a DVD with demo workshops for the chapter lessons along with file/image/QT content. My Photoshop CS2 read the Photoshop CS5 files just fine so I could browse through them to look at the various layers in each scene discussed in the book.

It's about time a book like this has been published. Some warnings though. Knowledge of Photoshop is a must. And an artpad is recommended for doing the painting parts. But if you're like me though, you learned how to paint with a mouse in the mid '80s.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Back when airships were fast

Switched back to landscape using a 50mm lens. Gave the airship a slight steampunk material.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

What else can I age?

I love FotoSketcher! Here is my mine elevator with a Rowan tree from Martin Frost.

Here's another view with even more aging.

Finished this view by adding a hill and more plants.



This render shows the scene, minus 99% of the haze.

And this scene was shot early the next morning (funny, the same clouds were still there. Damn my playing God with nature!).

You can see the bare naked hill texture better in these two Vue renders. No postwork done on either.

I had to age this one though. Could not be helped.

Could not be helped with this one either.


Andrew Finnie mentioned some Xero-Graphics plugins to me. So I've been trying them out. This one kind of has an old '50s magazine photo look to it.

And here is a "photo" with a restored look to it, using both the Xero-Graphics and FotoSketcher filters.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

From another vue

I'm guessing the dirigible docks to the top of the building to let people on/off? All I have are a couple of postcards to go by. And I'm thinking that there was some altering done to them using a mainframe of some kind.

Ok. I'll tell you the truth.

This is another view of an alternate Earth history where Nazis rule Europe in 1950.

The 30-year Great War has ended, and Germany has allied with the Confederate States of America. The CSA hopes to use the German's newly developed atomic bomb against its old enemy to the North, the United States of America. But the USA has an atomic bomb of their own.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Alternate Earth History in Real 2D

A final shot. It was FotoSketched all to hell and back. My postwork of choice.

Quickly threw together a domed building using Hexagon 1.21 for this "final?" scene. Everything else was modeled in Hexagon 1.21. Textured in Carrara Pro 5.1, 3D-Coat 3.5.21, and Vue. Rendered in Vue 9.5 Infinite on my classic Windows XP 32-bit single core Pentium IV home-built.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

How big is big really?

Just a test to see what kind of scale I could get using 70mm film. I wanted to add arcologies in the background because that is what I grew up with.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Concept drawings, better late than...

I thought I'd make some concept drawings "after" already making a model. Since I skipped this step before, I thought doing it now would help me to see what was needed still for the design.

I kid. I did do some pencil drawings of this vessel on paper first before starting the modeling process. But they were super vague. My use of white space is atrocious! Not even worth their scanning for the Interweb.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Here comes the neighborhood

Adding some details before I start on texturing. I'm tempted to add little wings or something on the sides. Or I had already planned to, but forgot to do the work. I was watching Birth of a Nation last night, when I should have been watching Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Throw in some transportation

Got one vehicle in the scene so far. The "blimp" is ok from this distance. But I plan on adding more detail (viewing ports and railings (smokestacks?!)) to it for closer shots. It's farther behind the building than it looks. I need more haze to show that's that case. And I want to redo the banner hanging there. Make it look like more wind is hitting on it.

Here is a Nazi armored train in progress. This model will have to be very close to the camera somehow if it's even going to be seen with the entire view of the building in the background.

An alternate earth vue

I felt like working some more on my dystopian scene while an idea was still in my head from yesterday. This building will eventually be used in the background with some historical ruins in the forground. For now, I'm test-rendering a closer shot of the building to see how the default gray texture from Vue Infinite looks on it in this lighting.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Not now

Added some blur in Photoshop using the z-buffer thing. This guy is just not moving out of my way, is he? Or is it a she?

Oh, crap. Is today a federal holiday? That means this place is closed! I want my parking meter dime back then.

Monday, May 2, 2011

2050s modular architecture

It was quite often the case with 2050 Washington D.C. architecture that buildings were made modular and joined at their corners. These structures could then be used for various functions in society depending on the sizes created by such additions made to them.

The game Fallout 3 routinely uses this construction method throughout the D.C. area.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Sidewalk surfing

Pouring more concrete. I goofed some on this. The sidewalk is lower than the ground plane. I guess I can drag the entire building, foundation, and sidewalk up some (as a group) after this model is imported into Vue.

Strike two! I just noticed the curb is too high. 15" at least. Watch your step there. Maybe no one will notice and I can start on the next block up the street? Some neighbors around here are going to be mad about this. Oh, well. Job security.

ADDED APR-30-2011: Ok. I shrunk the sidewalk by one-half. No more tripping over the curb.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

And to think I actually wanted to work there?

Trying a different glass material. Added a couple floors in the building. Hard to see them though. But real buildings don't reveal their floors all that great either.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Charlemagne in modo

A modo render of Apple_UK's free Charlemagne Poser model. The Earth was rendered in Vue Infinite. The stars are from the Glitterato plugin. Postwork done in Paint Shop Pro.

It was a trick getting Poser 6 to even work with this Poser Pro 2010 ship model so I could import it into modo 401 for texturing and rendering.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The golden age of rapid transit

What alternate future is this? Actually, it's the past. Our 1972 to be exact.

Just trying out a theme.

ADDED APR-21-2011: It seems the Department Of Homeland Security now has an interest in this vehicle.

ADDED APR-26-2011: Now Goodrich Corporation is sniffing around. They own what little left there is of Rohr.

What they need to do is fly out to Pueblo. The Holy Grail is what they'll find there.

Better late (fourty years) than never

I forgot I had made these. Side and top views of the Rohr Aerotrain.

I want to redo them using the commercial Rohr paint job from the '70s, instead of the current U.S. Federal DOT colors it still has out in some desert somewhere.

One last one for the road.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Instant concrete

Used Carrara to bake the concrete texture for this restored building from Fallout 3.

Not exactly friendly. Are they?

I don't know if it's safe to go inside this building now or after it's nuked?

No textures yet. But at least it's UV mapped already. Just need to get some paint now.

Test rendered in modo.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Government planning and planning and...

I got hooked on Fallout 3 again. I suppose it will be my favorite computer game of all time since the history of computer games (been playing computers games since 1975).

I don't play any old computer game that sees the light of day. Just the few good ones that come out each year. The ones that are worth the time playing. Heck, even the ones worth programming, which Fallout 3 definitely falls into. And yes, I have all the add-ons for Fallout 3 which literally add-onto the game. And no, I have not played New Vegas (Fallout 4) because my computer is not dual core. But that is another story.

And if I die ("if"?), I want my Fallout 3 game and my custom PC shot into space with me. But I digress.
I'm calling this little modeling project "FALLOUT 2057". The idea is to model some selected content from Fallout 3. But in the condition it was before the nukes arrived.

So basically, the alternate future year for these models is 2057 (and not our actual future year of 2057). A good year, by the way for fusion powered cars and such.
This is one of the goverment buildings in the alternate future Washington D.C. area (un-nuked).

Note the modular design. Just simple cloning of the initial building chunk done in Hexagon.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


I see that a 6th editon of OGRE could be had soon. I have quite a few editions already that I bought over the years (I wasn't that impressed with 5th edition, though).

At any rate, modeling an OGRE Mark V for a Vue scene sounds like a fun project for the near future.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Stairway to...

Had some time today to add more structural supports for the elevator part and also a few steps. I'm guessing I'm about half-way done with this model.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Are we there yet?

A texture update. Still have some UVs to adjust. This is a test render in Vue Infinite. I did end up breaking the roof object into separate parts and texturing each piece using its own technique. I thought I could get away with leaving the entire roof as one object and hand painting it in 3DCoat, but it became difficult to manage and didn't allow for further mesh editing. Carrara's Anything Goos plugin added the procedural aging and the Baker plugin did most of the heavy lifting (baking out texture maps).

There's still the entire elevator shaft left to model. This is a lot of work so far on just a background model that will be viewed at quite a distance from the rendering camera for the final scene.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Tin roof... rusted!

No. Not exactly a love shack.

This is a close-up of the roof work being done. Mosty it involves cutting faces, selecting them, extruding them, and tweaking their corners a bit.

This roof object is all one mesh. So far, I'm thinking of leaving it as one mesh and define shading domains for it. One for the roof material and one for the wall material. The other way is to separate the mesh into roof and wall objects and UV map each one. My goal with this model is to get all UV mapping together on one sheet.

We will see.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A minor update

Anyone ever live near one of these? I thought I'd re-open this old folder and model more bits for it.

It might be hard to tell, but I banged up the walls and roof some. The procedural texture I plan to use, to give it an aged look, will have more edges/angles now to get its ques from as it is generated.

Otherwise, the result is just a perfect boxed-shape building with prefect straight lines, which certainly no building has when you examine them up close.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Middle of somewhere

My attempt at creating a photo of a landscape without using a camera or actual scenery footage.