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Fun with renders

polycounter lvl 15
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ElysiumGX polycounter lvl 15
I spent 4 hours on this last night, and 2 hours this morning adjusting the lighting. The purpose for this is to learn some of the options and best settings to use with materials and lighting. A break from game related stuff, just for fun. It's also practice using features like Global Illumination and Final Gathering, and light setup methods. Any tips would be helpful.


I hope to post more of these, and try some new ideas that are more artistic for illustrations.

For those who have visited my site in the past, I have a new layout up.
No new content yet. Hopefully I can spend less time posting in non-game related threads here, and more time creating art...like I should be.

In other news, I've just been hired by a local indie game studio as a character artist. I'm on the way to my first meeting with them as soon as I post this. I'd like to thank all of you here at Polycount for helping me get this far. This is where I started, and I hope to continue pushing forward with more effort. Thanks for not banning me, and sorry for the trouble I've caused in pointless debate threads. grin.gif


  • MoP
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    MoP polycounter lvl 14
    Good news on the job front... new site design looks pretty good too. Get some work up there! smile.gif

    As for the render... well, I have some issues with it. For a start, the shadows are waaaay too bright. Even on a ridiculously sunny day on an island somewhere, the shadow from the palm tree would contrast a lot more with the sand. A quick Google image search will show you stuff like this, for example.

    Also, if that beach ball was like most others I've seen (ie. really thin plastic, or sometimes even semitransparent), then the light would be bouncing through it and subtly colouring the sand around it. It'd also cast a bit of a shadow, too.

    At the moment the lack of shadow implies that the palm tree and beach ball aren't rooted in the sand.

    The water looks a bit weird, too. Not sure what you've used on it, a reflection map? Is there a texture on there? Whatever it is, your water shader needs a lot of work. Basically, if you were aiming for even vaguely realistic materials and lighting, you've ended up pretty far from the mark.

    Keep it up though. smile.gif
  • JordanW
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    JordanW sublime tool
    mops right your scene is very overbright, In XSI there is some funkiness with the materials automatically having a radiance or irridance value that makes them actually emit light when you use final gather, try working with these settings a bit. Also you should note that you dont HAVE to use both GI and FG. FG can be used by itself and works well. I would recommend doing lighting exercises without FG or GI to begin with and just use raw lights to light your scene, it'll make you a much stronger lighter(?)... yeah
  • Lee3dee
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    Lee3dee polycounter lvl 12
    Yeah, global illumination is usually less bright. A trick I learned from the 3dsmax artists using Vray was to make 1 light and turn it off, and assign the GI plugin to that light only. So that the GI plugin would be controlling the light. Your scene doesn't contain any shadows or reflections which i think is what GI is used for hehe.

    On a side note: Welcome to the Duck Hunting Art Team laugh.gif. I'm really happy I was able to get you onboard as a character artist. I'm no character guy, so I know you'll do good work for us laugh.gif
  • ElysiumGX
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    ElysiumGX polycounter lvl 15
    Thanks Lee. Glad to finally be part of a team. Can't wait to frag the hell out of some ducks again. crazy.gif

    Though trial and error, I did learn to only set GI to one light. The first image was too bright. Just needed a break to refresh my eyes before I could notice how much so.

    mop and tin: Didn't realize how simple it would be to have the colors of the ball show on the sand. More visible on the top images.

    The top left is a standard render. One main spot light with shadow, two dim point lights without. Top right is with GI only. Bottom left is with Final Gathering only. Bottom right is with both. With each I had to lower the intensity of light a bit, and the shadows don't appear well.

    I read somewhere that XSI uses the term GI differently than other apps. And Final Gathering is what other apps call GI.

    I made the water from following this tutorial:
    I know it doesn't look too great with this object, but I'm really just trying to learn how to use the Render Tree well.

    I'm done with this scene. Going to try another and play with light effects and render passes.
  • EarthQuake
    Congrats on the job will.
  • ElysiumGX
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    ElysiumGX polycounter lvl 15
    Say 'ello to my li'l friend!

    thanks eq
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