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 rending in the 3D software.


Spell casting woman.

R.M.T.P. Co.


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July 7, 2014

Control Your Revisions

I'll admit to being a digital packrat. Why get rid of data when the next time you buy equipment it will have room for everything you have and lots more? Even better--or worse depending on how you want to look at it--you can keep things on disc or other long term media, and switch it for new media when the opportunity presents itself. However despite this, I suggest that it is an exceptional idea to keep your old renders and all of the work product that went into them, including the scenes. Not only that but it's helpful to keep notes on the edits that you make to your renders in postproduction. I have been lax with it, under the idea that the contents will remain in the scene data, but you should keep your preproduction work such as diffuse maps, transparency maps, and displacement maps. I do keep all of those files though without note as to where some of them go--the filenames sometimes don't help since they are based on purchased sets' files.

Here is an example of why I keep the different renders and notes. Let's say you have a scene. It takes more than one render to get it to look the way you want. Maybe different parts have different lighting that clashes in a single render pass. Maybe you are dealing with a massive poke through of your figure and their clothes. I've covered several topics on this blog that require multiple renders. So, you have your two renders. You merge together the parts you want. You edit little errors or things you just want changed here and there. You sweeten the image and you call it done. Then you're looking at the final product some number of days later and you decide to change something. Maybe you want to alter the lighting or the contrast in ways that can only be done (easily) by re-merging your original renders. Maybe you even have to go back and re-render something. Add an item, remove an item, change a texture or reflection.

Having the original renders still on hand, and having notes on what you changed by hand or by other software in postproduction allows you to redo the changes you made the last time that you still want to change. It also helps to show you what you did that you might want to do differently. These other renders and notes are also helpful if you want to do new similar scenes, or a series of scenes in the same location. So keep on keeping.

Music: Wildest Dreams by Iron Maiden.

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About Me

Robert G. Male

Name: Robert G. Male
Location: Ontario, Canada

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