Shawn Driscoll's Computer Graphics Blog

Object modeling, texturing, lighting, rendering, etc.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Do Human, Or Not Do Human?

Recently, within the last week or two, I've been debating whether or not I should add people to my rendered CG scenes. I say that maybe 0.1% of my art has people in it. And the reason being for it is the Poser Effect. I simply refuse to do Poser 3D art or DAZ 3D Studio art or... you get the picture.

If you look at Renderosity's gallery you'll see what most Poser 3D art looks like. I won't buy a sci-fi or RPG book if it has such art on its cover. The rendered humans scream "CG!"

Instagram-like filters do help a little with hiding some of the CG-ness of rendered scenes. I, being from the old photo-realistic school of hard rendering, will begin to include CG people in my art if and when such people are not screaming "Poser!" in my scenes.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Hexagon is Still My Favorite 3D Modeler

Found an old figure I never finished. From eight... nine years ago? I was learning organic/box/SubD modeling at the time.

Hexagon is still my favorite 3D modeler. I use it for just about everything, including virtual dice.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

When Video Games Look More Like Cinema

I though I'd post this picture here, because CG.

At first I wasn't sure if I'd talk about role-playing games, where this image comes from. Or if I'd talk about the computer graphics of it all.

Some of you that have played Skyrim for a year will know the location of this shot right away. Maybe the character is recognized as well?

This is a version of Ulfric Stormcloak (yes, one version out of three, or was it four?) from a mod called Men of Winter. This is his final appearance in the game if you had him killed. If you are wondering why your Skyrim doesn't look like this, my YouTube channel lists the mods I'm using to get this kind of look in my game. Just type my name and Skyrim when searching on YouTube and you can't miss it. I think I have the most Skyrim videos on the Internet. Anyway...

I liked how this scene turned out. Technically, I can call it a computer render. This was all generated in real-time, because of it being a computer game. Even though Skyrim is almost five years old, it still renders faster than my CG rendering apps do. Some of the game's rendering speed comes from its use of smoke and mirrors, which my rendering programs don't get to use. The post-renderer adds the depth of field to the camera shot, which has an auto-focus built in. I'm using a medium strength for its setting. The letterboxing is also generated by the post-renderer. So the top and bottom of the frame is chopped. Otherwise, the frame would be a perfect 16x9 ratio.

I think I made a save of my game during this visit, so I can always go back there for more camera shots.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

CG, RPG, and COBOL (Well, not really COBOL. But close.)

Playing around with CameraBag.

The Loch Ness Monster was photographed much the same way that this location was. I happened to be on one of the north shores of Skyrim. I what to say it was around 4:00 pm, but you know how clouds and fog can sway that time value.

There's at least five Skyrim mods used in this scene, not counting the mod standing behind me when I took the picture (one of the many followers I've installed). I just now noticed that I can justify this text on both sides of the page. Well, howdy do bub. I'll have to see how this looks once it's posted here.

So I helped end my last play-through of Skyrim by ripping out mods I wasn't planning on using for my new game. I had done pretty much everything I had set out to do with that character. And for the last few days now, I've been swapping out (I want to say) 80 mods for 70 mods. So I'm actually 10 under what my last game used for total mods (I want to say I had 398 mods in my last game). And the game will be different because it's basically a different kind of game with the change in mods. Some of the mods have just come out in the last month. So that's like a new DLC for an old game right there, in my view.

Lots of patching to do still to get the new to work with the old. Old, as in Internet years, which is a quick four months now. That's how often Skyrim needs a heavy retrofitting. And styles change. One minute, dragons are in. The next minute, alchemy is all the rage. But I first check to see if a game change is something that will keep me through a play-through or not? Or will it be just a fad as usual?

An on top of this thought process going on, I'm thinking of what new character I should role-play in this altered world that I've left myself a few mysteries to be learned of?

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

CG: Skyrim Still Looks Fresh

I recently started taking camera shots from my Skyrim. This one is untouched. A simple PrtScn button-press while in the game.

The game is modded of course. It's at a point now where I can pretty much take a photo from anywhere at anywhere, and the CG quality looks excellent.

One can obviously tell that it is CG and not something photo-real. But it does have that "real enough" look about it. It's to the point now where one cannot tell really if the image is from a video game engine or from a movie clip for a video game, etc.

Skyrim is nearly five years old. It's good to still see CG artists keeping its appearances up to date.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

My Artwork Got Recognition in 2015

The Zhodani Base gave out its 2015 awards this year. My mag cover was nominated for best Traveller art at, while another mag cover I did was on a nominated best free Traveller product at