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Nebsis - Non-3D Junk! (Page 5)

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    DE?ADDE?AD Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Mayday wrote: »
    Just a thought.

    A very cool thought. I'm going to look into that.

    DE?AD on
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    mattharvestmattharvest Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    You also ought to look into subsurface scattering for the texturing: it seems to me that these creatures should be rather translucent at least to the same degree as human flesh.

    mattharvest on
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    MaydayMayday Cutting edge goblin tech Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Excellent idea!

    Mayday on
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    GoatmonGoatmon Companion of Kess Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    The new designs are definitely pretty keen.

    Goatmon on
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    AldoAldo Hippo Hooray Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I've been following your comic for a few months now after it got linked somewhere in AC without realising you made it, De?ad. I really like the story you're telling and the characters you have. The artwork is something different and that's already a remarkable feat in contemporary webcomicland.

    So yeah, as long as you don't go for detailed models or start drawing you're golden.

    On a related note, have you ever checked Dreamland Chronicles? That's the only other 3D-thingie webcomic I know of.

    Aldo on
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    DE?ADDE?AD Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Okay, long break over holiday-time, now back to work.
    You also ought to look into subsurface scattering for the texturing: it seems to me that these creatures should be rather translucent at least to the same degree as human flesh.

    Thanks for bringing this up - I was under the impression Blender doesn't support Subsurface Scattering, but it turns out I'm about three version behind. So, hurrah, new Blender for me.

    Unfortunately, Subsurface Rendering falls into the nasty little category of "Production Time Killer," things I would love to have but can in now way afford time-wise. It's right up there next to Ambient Occlusion, I want to have both but both of them absolutely destroy my render time. To give you some idea...

    This is non subsurface scattering, render time approximately 47 seconds.
    Normal.jpg

    This is with subsurface scattering, and took just under three minutes.
    SSS253.jpg

    That might be okay if I were just doing single images, but for a comic its utterly unmanageable. Which is a shame.
    Goatmon wrote: »
    The new designs are definitely pretty keen.
    Aldo wrote: »
    I've been following your comic for a few months now after it got linked somewhere in AC without realising you made it, De?ad. I really like the story you're telling and the characters you have. The artwork is something different and that's already a remarkable feat in contemporary webcomicland.

    Thanks!
    On a related note, have you ever checked Dreamland Chronicles? That's the only other 3D-thingie webcomic I know of.

    Yes, I actually have it bookmarked, though I no longer check it anymore, I sorta drifted off during when they were becoming mermaids and never got around to getting back into it.
    I really have no idea how the guy manages to do that art on the schedule he does. Apparently he's got a whole slew of computers linked together to render the images, but still, even if I had his skill I don't think I could manage that much modeling and posing in that time frame.

    Okay, new stuff...

    First, an attempt at Mayday's suggestion:
    Jupiter.jpg
    It didn't turn out so well, I think.

    Two shots of Surrok's carrier ship:
    Carrier1.jpg
    Carrier2.jpg
    Barge and Surrok jets shown for scale.

    ...and finally, a random little doodle:
    Ellipsis.jpg
    I tried taking everything I managed to learn making the new Ab models and create a simple, low-polygon character who was reasonably expressive and who didn't require subdivision. I'm rather fond of the little guy.

    As an aside, I watched Ratatouille the other day, and it basically showed me exactly what was wrong with Surrok's new look - the food critic antagonist in the movie is exactly the same archetype as I was shooting for with Surrok, as done by someone with, y'know, talent. I can see that it's the neck that's wrong now, but I'm afraid to revise the model as essentially anything I do will be straight-up attempted mimicry.

    DE?AD on
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    SamiSami Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    DE?AD wrote: »
    As an aside, I watched Ratatouille the other day, and it basically showed me exactly what was wrong with Surrok's new look - the food critic antagonist in the movie is exactly the same archetype as I was shooting for with Surrok, as done by someone with, y'know, talent. I can see that it's the neck that's wrong now, but I'm afraid to revise the model as essentially anything I do will be straight-up attempted mimicry.

    "Bad artists copy. Great artists steal."

    Sami on
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    AldoAldo Hippo Hooray Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    For as far as I am aware the guy of Dreamland Chronicles makes a living out of this sort of stuff. He has been selling fairytales for a while, anyway.

    Aldo on
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    PkErthbndPkErthbnd Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Heya DE?AD, I just started reading RedMask and I thought I'd let you know that I'm loving every minute of it. Just enough futuristic intrigue mixed with the right amount of dry humor. I'm at Issue 4 Part 10 right now, and I can't wait to read more. Keep up the great work.

    Edit: Whaaaaaa? It stops 2 parts later? Argh. You've piqued my interest, sir.

    PkErthbnd on
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    DE?ADDE?AD Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Hunh. Seems there's a aptern emerging, whenever I make a thread here my computer dies shortly afterwards.

    Well, after a long hiatus, I've finally got a computer that can render again. I'm back with a few new previews from the upcoming Issue 5 revival, and RedMask is updating weekly again.

    First off, we've got another revision of Surrok, with a newly shortened neck and smoothed out teeth.
    Surrok5.jpg

    The Ticheal Flyer.
    TichealFlyer.jpg

    The outfits for Sarian soldiers and their commanders.
    SarianSoldier.jpgSarianCommander.jpg

    ...and finally, the updated Surrok Industries weaponry. In pistol, rifle, and sniper flavors.
    SurrokIndustriesGuns.jpg

    Edit: Oh, and a much-belated thanks to PKErthBnd.

    DE?AD on
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    DE?ADDE?AD Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Well, now that the fifth issue has finally gotten started on the site, I can post some of the actual pages from it.

    Spoilered for H-scroll.
    5-1-2.png

    So, what do you guys think? I consider a vast improvement, but I'm always looking for critiques and advice.

    DE?AD on
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    ManonvonSuperockManonvonSuperock Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    definitely looking cool, but your images are very dark and dull, some levels adjustments panel by panel should take care of that.

    ManonvonSuperock on
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    DE?ADDE?AD Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Dark and dull? Hmm. It's bright on this monitor, but I've had a similar problem before. I'm going to have to figure out how to get my gamma corrected.

    DE?AD on
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    AldoAldo Hippo Hooray Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I think the first panel would have been better without the guy in the shadows on the left, you know...from a "surprise, they're not alone!" perspective.

    Aldo on
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    Calamity JaneCalamity Jane That Wrong Love Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    i imagine these guys with something more of a thickened, scaly carapace as opposed to the somewhat gooey composition currently employed

    Calamity Jane on
    twitter https://twitter.com/mperezwritesirl michelle patreon https://www.patreon.com/thatwronglove michelle's comic book from IMAGE COMICS you can order http://a.co/dn5YeUD
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    DE?ADDE?AD Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Aldo wrote: »
    I think the first panel would have been better without the guy in the shadows on the left, you know...from a "surprise, they're not alone!" perspective.

    Probably true, but I wanted the audience to identify more with the Free Worlders. It wasn't meant to be "surprise they're not alone!" so much as "Oh man, those guys are about to get jumped." I wanted the audience to be in on the ambush.
    Anjin-San wrote: »
    i imagine these guys with something more of a thickened, scaly carapace as opposed to the somewhat gooey composition currently employed

    'Kay. Any particular reason, or is this a suggestion?


    Okay, this gamma thing is bugging the crap outta me. I've screwed with my screen as much as I can, but I can't seem to get the images to look any darker. So, quick question...
    5-C.png

    What do you guys see here? On my monitor, I can clearly see most of the room. It's dark, but it's still visible. On my friend's computer, I could only see the red of the monitors, which is obviously a problem.

    Stupid ultra-bright LCD...

    DE?AD on
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    DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I see the details of the "coffin" but then again it's on an LCD monitor with the contract and brightness calibrated.

    DarkPrimus on
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    Calamity JaneCalamity Jane That Wrong Love Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    DE?AD wrote: »
    Anjin-San wrote: »
    i imagine these guys with something more of a thickened, scaly carapace as opposed to the somewhat gooey composition currently employed

    'Kay. Any particular reason, or is this a suggestion?

    your characters have this sort of "devoid of skin" look to them that may be because of how they're rendered or some sort of choice you made in art direction

    i'm just wondering what they'd look like with something akin to...lizardesque skin?

    Calamity Jane on
    twitter https://twitter.com/mperezwritesirl michelle patreon https://www.patreon.com/thatwronglove michelle's comic book from IMAGE COMICS you can order http://a.co/dn5YeUD
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    AldoAldo Hippo Hooray Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Okay, I wasn't really identifying with the Free Worlders until I got to the close-up of one's mask/face.

    I see the red clearly, but a lot of the details in the dark are lost.

    Aldo on
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    DE?ADDE?AD Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    I see the details of the "coffin" but then again it's on an LCD monitor with the contract and brightness calibrated.

    Can you see the various pipes plugged into the coffin?
    Anjin-San wrote: »
    DE?AD wrote: »
    Anjin-San wrote: »
    i imagine these guys with something more of a thickened, scaly carapace as opposed to the somewhat gooey composition currently employed

    'Kay. Any particular reason, or is this a suggestion?

    your characters have this sort of "devoid of skin" look to them that may be because of how they're rendered or some sort of choice you made in art direction

    i'm just wondering what they'd look like with something akin to...lizardesque skin?

    Pretty damned creepy, I would imagine, in a good way. Unfortunately, it doesn't really make sense for them, as they are actually devoid of skin (They're a goo-like, congealed gas. Their bodies are homogeneous.)
    Aldo wrote: »
    I see the red clearly, but a lot of the details in the dark are lost.

    Hmm. Out of curiosity, are you on a CRT or an LCD?

    In other news, I'm trying to nail down a style for an upcoming side project. Here's where I'm at right now -
    PreTest.jpg
    An active Meton, and the Soul animating him.

    DE?AD on
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    AldoAldo Hippo Hooray Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    LCD. I guess I can tinker with the settings, but I like the way it currently looks. :P

    Aldo on
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    HeartlashHeartlash Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    DE?AD wrote: »
    Well, now that the fifth issue has finally gotten started on the site, I can post some of the actual pages from it.

    Spoilered for H-scroll.
    5-1-2.png

    So, what do you guys think? I consider a vast improvement, but I'm always looking for critiques and advice.

    Looking pretty good so far, but I really REALLY think you need a defined sky of some kind. If you're using Maya there are a ton of easy ways to do it (planes, texturing the inside of a giant sphere, etc). Alien worlds can be hugely characterized by their skys, and right now the one I'm seeing looks a bit too bland.

    Also, the size of your frames may need to be addressed. The text is so small in comparison to everything else that it feels almost easy to miss. I'd work on narrowing down the vision a bit, especially if this is for the web (in which case the pages need to be sized wayyyyy down).

    Heartlash on
    My indie mobile gaming studio: Elder Aeons
    Our first game is now available for free on Google Play: Frontier: Isle of the Seven Gods
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    DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    DE?AD wrote: »
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    I see the details of the "coffin" but then again it's on an LCD monitor with the contract and brightness calibrated.

    Can you see the various pipes plugged into the coffin?

    No. I can see where it connects to him, and then when it's up in the red-lit part of the wall, but it gets lost in the dark, and so the eye doesn't notice it as a pipe, just some detail on the coffin.

    DarkPrimus on
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    DE?ADDE?AD Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    The Gamma:
    Okay, still working to fix this problem. How are these:
    5-Ct.png
    5-1-2t.png
    This is particularly troublesome issue, as I'm actually trying to give the comic a sort of washed out/overly pale look. Needless to say, images being too dark would sorta ruin that.


    To Heartlash:
    Unfortunately I'm using Blender, which makes it a bit more problematic. the empty skies were there to reinforce the sense of bleakness in the desert scenes - I may have failed in getting that across. Any advice on how to make a bleak, yet non-empty sky? Maybe throwing up a small moon?
    As for the page size, I actually agree, but in this case it's because the above image is a two-page spread. Normal pages are only as large as the cover (I'm trying to stick to something roughly the size of an actual, physical page. RedMask in general is largely practice for my more serious projects.)


    In General:
    Any thoughts on the Soul and Meton image?

    DE?AD on
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    ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I think the lack of saturation makes things blend together too much with all of the grays and earthy tones. IMO it's not incredibly interesting to look at. But I like the models a lot, and the increased gamma helps a lot.

    Zombiemambo on
    JKKaAGp.png
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    HeartlashHeartlash Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    DE?AD wrote: »
    Any advice on how to make a bleak, yet non-empty sky? Maybe throwing up a small moon?

    I envision something like this:

    RMskypaintover.jpg

    This is a quick paintover. You can probably achieve such an effect by compositing the sky in PS or another image editing program. Just leave your sky a color you can key out (white/green/blue, etc). I'm not sure how texturing works in blender, but you may still be able to utilize the giant sphere trick (put your scene in a giant sphere and texture it) or just put a giant image plane behind everything.

    Heartlash on
    My indie mobile gaming studio: Elder Aeons
    Our first game is now available for free on Google Play: Frontier: Isle of the Seven Gods
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    DE?ADDE?AD Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    That looks great, Heartlash, and is actually really close to the way I have the sky set up in Blender. Problem is, it just doesn't seem to show up in the actual renders for some reason.

    Okay, here's another quick go at messing with the levels. Zombiemambo's advice taken into account, I upped the saturation a bit (despite the fact I'm actually sort of going for a monotone look).
    5-1-2g.png
    Better?

    I didn't add a moon because the universe the comic is set in only has two planetary bodies in it - Senti (the world) and it's small, glowing moon which serves as the "sun" for the world. I'll start adding it into future scenes, but in the current images it manages to be slightly off-panel for the whole page.

    DE?AD on
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    DE?ADDE?AD Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I'll take that as a "they're alright?"


    Anyway, here's page 3:
    5-3.png


    ...and now for something completely different.
    N1.png
    N2.png
    N3.png
    N4.png

    DE?AD on
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    ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I like the increased saturation. Also, that brown gradient edit makes the sky much more interesting to look at, even though gradients are icky. I'll edit this with comments about your other piece once I get to reading it.

    Zombiemambo on
    JKKaAGp.png
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    AldoAldo Hippo Hooray Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    The other piece is amusing. The abstract style is really refreshing.

    Aldo on
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    ManonvonSuperockManonvonSuperock Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    You are getting a washed out look, it's a lack of contrast between your adjacent items, like the group of soldiers. To quickly illustrate my point, here's a quick levels adjustment and unsharp mask added:

    redmask.jpg

    It could stand to be done more cleanly, but it reads much better this way.

    ManonvonSuperock on
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    DE?ADDE?AD Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Hmm. It seems like the contrast problem would need to be solved in Blender, as I can't seem to fix it in post-production. This is a problem, as, quite frankly, I'm not even sure where'd I could start to fix it. Oh well, time to fiddle around, I suppose.


    In other news:

    The newest RedMask page:
    5-4.png

    ...and I redid page four of the abstract thing. Apparently it wasn't very clear (at least among the people I know) that what the thing in the last panel was a statue of the orange soul. Hopefully this clears it up.
    N4b.png

    Edit: ...and I just found out that I uploaded the non-fixed version of page four. It's fixed now.

    DE?AD on
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    ManonvonSuperockManonvonSuperock Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I think "the single shinning spark of reality" should be "the single shining spark of reality" unless, say, that spark of reality is a soccer player.

    here's another shot at increasing the contrast of your page, in this one i removed my effect from the characters in the background to increase the feeling of depth.
    redmask2.jpg

    Tell me, what programs are you using to make this?

    oh, and "persuits" should be "pursuits"

    ManonvonSuperock on
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    DE?ADDE?AD Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Damnit. I really need to make a habit of running my scripts through a spellchecker.

    Hmm, honestly I'm having a hard time seeing the effect on this page. It was clear in the adjusted panel you posted earlier, but on this one it just looks like the contrast has been increased by a bunch. It could just be my monitor.

    I use Blender for all the actual images, and Illustrator for page layouts, dialogue, sound effects, etc.

    As an aside: How are the contrast and brightness on the All stuff? The look fine on my monitor, but that doesn't really mean anything.

    DE?AD on
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    ManonvonSuperockManonvonSuperock Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    The all stuff looks pretty rad, the grey areas are really washed out, and the colors are ridiculously saturated, it works well. I like it.

    Yeah, the red mask stuff though, it's just your pages, even when action packed have such bland lighting that it kills the visual dynamics.

    If you don't have photoshop, maybe you can throw them in gimp or something and tweak them some.

    ManonvonSuperock on
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    devicesdevices Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    i love these so far, really interesting storyline...

    something i've been thinking about though, did the elements go missing only from their planet? or were they gone from their universe?

    i figured it was the former, considering the presence of a burning sun... i've just been curious :)

    thanks, and keep them coming!

    devices on
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    DE?ADDE?AD Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    The all stuff looks pretty rad, the grey areas are really washed out, and the colors are ridiculously saturated, it works well. I like it.

    Good to know, thanks.
    Yeah, the red mask stuff though, it's just your pages, even when action packed have such bland lighting that it kills the visual dynamics.

    If you don't have photoshop, maybe you can throw them in gimp or something and tweak them some.

    I do have access to a friend's copy of photoshop, which is how I've been tweaking the last few pages (Brightness +20, Contrast +10). Problem being, that if I up the contrast much more than I do now, it makes the whole image painfully bright, and it gets even harder to define the individual objects in the scene.

    Here's one option I'm toying around with, as a work-around. If the main problem is the fact that the objects tend to run together, then rather than adjusting the contrast, it could work to just better define each item.
    Here's what I mean:
    Con1-1.pngCon2-1.png

    Image one is untreated, but in image two, I made a separate line-art render, laid it over the original, blurred it slightly, and turned the opacity way down. Better?
    devices wrote: »
    i love these so far, really interesting storyline...

    something i've been thinking about though, did the elements go missing only from their planet? or were they gone from their universe?

    i figured it was the former, considering the presence of a burning sun... i've just been curious :)

    thanks, and keep them coming!

    Thanks. Actually, the elements are missing from the universe entirely. If you'll notice, I've never actually shown the Senti sun - this is because there isn't one. The planet is orbited by a small glowing moon. There are no stars in the Senti sky at night, and the "starlight" is actually provided by luminescent dust in the atmosphere.

    DE?AD on
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    ManonvonSuperockManonvonSuperock Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Yeah, Brightness/Contrast is a horrible tool, I don't even know why it exists.

    What you want to be using is the levels slider or the curves command. I'll explain the levels slider, as it is usually capable of doing what needs to be done, and easier to get used to. First, you want to make an adjustment layer to work on. click the new adjustment layer button on the layers window and then choose levels. (What this does is allow you to go back and re-edit your adjustments without losing data. For example, if you blow out your highlights, by over adjusting, you can go back in and change that easily, whereas if you had just gone to image->adjustments->levels or whatever, you would have permanently blown out your highlights.)

    What you'll see for your levels adjustment layer is a histogram with three triangles underneath it, black, middle-grey, and white. The height of the histogram represents how many pixels of the image are at a certain value, for example if there is a tall spike at the one-third point on the horizontal bar, then there are a lot of pixels that are at 33% lightness.

    When you move the three sliders, you are changing what pixels are being displayed at what value. For example if you move your black triangle from it's starting point at the far left, to the spike we previously mentioned, you will take everything that has a 33% lightness or darker, and make it have a 0% lightness, or pure black. If you do that, while leaving your middle slider at its halfway point, photoshop will take all of the values between 33% and 50% and disperse them evenly from the new points of 0% and 50%. The same thing goes for the white slider.

    With this method you can control how light or dark your highlights/shadows/ and midtones are without them negatively affecting each other like in Brightness/Contrast.

    Also, you can multiply the layer you are on and then cutout different parts of the image to control native levels. Just remember that an adjustment layer affects every layer underneath, unless, while you have the adjustment layer selected, you go to layers->create clipping mask, which will cause it to only affect the layer directly beneath it.

    For example:
    redmask3.jpg

    here I had three layers, the original artwork, one for everything except for the darkest blacks and the brightest reds, and one for the back of the chair/ tubing that runs to the monitors: each one increasingly lighter, but I'd still bring up my black slider to keep strong shadows. This way the image separates and reads a lot better.

    As you can tell, I'm getting some noise by bringing the darks up, but the new version of photoshop can counteract that with its noise removal filters. Mine can not. Also, if you originally render your image with a more middle-range light source, you could drop the values lower without getting noise.

    Your double layered render, the improvement is minimal, and I could see the halo-ing effect that you are getting distracting from more detail-intense areas.

    ManonvonSuperock on
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    DE?ADDE?AD Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Wow. Thanks for the info. I've always sort of avoided the Levels tool on the basis that I should generally stay the hell away from anything involving a histogram.

    I fiddled around with it a bit today, but couldn't get any decent looking results, still running into the over-developed-film issue. I'm going for a washed-out, almost monochrome thing, but it keeps ending looking like Senti's (nonexistent) sun is about to go super nova. I play around with it some more tonight.

    Still working on things on Blender's end:
    Con3-1.pngCon3-2.png

    Same render, but I turned the saturation down a bit on the second.

    DE?AD on
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    ManonvonSuperockManonvonSuperock Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Yeah, I usually set my levels (which usually oversaturates my midtones), then I go in with a Hue/Saturate adjustment layer and drop the saturation back down a bit.

    Out of your four renders of that image, the bottom left has the most visual impact, and reads the most clearly.

    I usually prefer a low saturation palette, Seth Fisher's work being a prime example. However, in a full render like you have, it is hard to get the contrast you need while doing so.

    Your stuff is definitely looking better. Have I previously mentioned that it reminds me of the Out of This World / Heart of the Alien game series? Especially back when you rendered in a flat, cell-shaded manner.

    ManonvonSuperock on
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