Learning Dark Arts

Come learn the art of 3D computer generated art and animation. This blog deals with the lessons learned and the art created by Robert G. Male using DazStudio from Daz3D. Also covered are the ancillary software, tools, techniques, and processes needed both before and after rendering in the 3D software.


Spell casting woman.

R.M.T.P. Co.


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April 20, 2007

Objects May Appear Further Than They Are

For a while now I have been looking for a way to visualise things for gaming purposes. For example, if your character is sitting out three thousand feet from a cave and a figure comes out of the cave how "big" does that figure appear to be? Likewise, how big of a target is a robot coming in from a mile out? You can do it in the inverse too. Your character is stranded on an island. They want to make an S.O.S. on the beach out of rocks and branches. How big do you have to make the letters to be seen by a search plane?

To solve this dilemma, since I have great difficulty visualising distances and heights and such, I got together with a friend and we developed a formula to determine how "big" something is at varying distances. To make it useful we did the calculations to determine what font size would be the equivalent of the perspective height for an object. The results are available at "Object @ Distance" as well as a several examples. Below the examples is a JavaScript that calculates the font for you. Also, I have added an internal frame that takes the calculation and displays an example of how tall the object will appear.

April 19, 2007

Learning to See

Lately I have been learning to see things that I could never see before. No I haven't gained a psychic ability... though admittedly it might not be bad to see auras or something, as long as you could shut it off. What I am talking about is a way to see the scale of things as they should be. Distances don't really mean that much to me outside of the calculator. There aren't a lot of places that you can necessarily see things from very far away (far being a relative thing).

Tomorrow I'm going to reveal something that I whipped up for a web page. Of course even as I'm unveiling it I'm looking at, for myself anyway, a more robust version to aid me is seeing even better. To that end I have a question for anyone out there who may know such arcane things. In Daz3D what are the points in the translate sliders equal to? After a quick look I do not believe that they are feet or anything larger. Then again who knows. The fact that it doesn't jive with my web project could be a matter of other factors. Though, I would hope to learn how to "translate" those factors to make the translate sliders work to my purpose. Hopefully tomorrow this will make more sense.

April 17, 2007

Understandable Slow Down

I was just thinking about yesterday's blog, and I remembered something related to it. On my computer I noticed that more camera's and lights in a scene make Daz3D run slower. Sometimes I can alleviate this slowness by saving the scene and shutting down the program. Sometimes though I have to reboot the computer, though I believe that is more of an issue of when I rebooted last than anything that happens when starting up the computer and immediately running Daz-in other words a Windows issue.

This said, maybe I've been misreading the signs, but I believe the camera's cause more trouble than the lights. I do know that making the lights invisible and therefore inoperative in the sense that they cast no light, does not impact the ability to view the scene through the light. I don't know what real help this is though. Perhaps it would help in scenes where you are working with several perspectives and some lights do not add to those perspectives. I have seen how some lights affect only what they point at and looking from the other direction things remain dark. Just a thought.

April 16, 2007

Eyes Not the Camera

I have to say that one of the things I have enjoyed playing around with in Daz3D is with cameras and lights. Sometimes it can be difficult to get things placed right when you don't have a good perspective of it. This is where I've found it to be exceedingly useful to switch to a point of view that is not on the little list of perspectives and isn't one of the cameras that I have set up. On occasions like this it is best to view the scene, and your position of it, by looking through the eye of the light that you are trying to place.

As you may or may not know sometimes looking through the wrong thing at the wrong place can show you things man was not meant to see. Then you get things like the one picture I posted where I stuck the warning on it and called it "Scary Inside". However by the same token it was both fun and an interesting experience to look through a light and send it flying through a wall or other object. Sometimes it would get a little weird as planes you didn't know the object had remain in front of your view until you push your light, or camera, all the way through.

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Robert G. Male

Name: Robert G. Male
Location: Ontario, Canada

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