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Chipp Walters : “Create 3D Like a Superhero”
Issue 1 25th July 2010 Premium Edition
Render your dreams… With an ailing BBC Micro B computer and a short textbook on 3D geometry, I created a crude wire mesh landscape—my first 3D digital world slowly rendered into being in 1986. Despite the graphical simplicity, the notion of creating any landscape from scratch, albeit empty of any detail, was greatly appealing. Perhaps it was all those wire frame flight simulators written for the 8 bit processors of the day that inspired me. Or was it the 1983 release of the landmark Atari ―Star Wars‖ 3D vector graphics game that first sparked my imagination? ―How did they do that?” I asked. “Could I fit one in my bedroom?” I also asked. Luckily the game was ported to the 8 bit computer world soon after it’s release. Nowadays 3D graphics pervade our media. Moore’s law has advanced this corner of the computing world incredibly and the tools to create realistic looking images have come within the reach of many more of us. One important milestone was the launch of Bryce , using fractal geometry, appeared in 1994 for the Apple Mac and was a quantum leap forward for digital artists. It was an impressive tool for creating realistic landscapes with the kernel created by Ken Musgrave (who later created Mojoworld). We give a short biographical sketch of Ken’s contribution to 3D graphics in this issue. 3D Art Direct magazine is designed to inspire and stimulate with the world of 3D digital art. It’s emphasis will be on not so much the ―how‖ to create digital art (there are plenty of periodicals that do this), but the ―wow‖ and the ―why‖. We go into the stories behind the pictures and the stories about the pictures. We’ll hear from the artists themselves on what inspired them during the creation process. The emphasis of the magazine will be within the science fiction and fantasy genres. After all, 3D digital art allows for limitless creativity and these genres sit at the high end of the creative spectrum. Some of the images in each magazine you will be able to purchase as high quality glossy posters from our on-line store :www.3dartdirect.com We also regularly publish posts on our blog at www.3dartdirect.com/blog and would love to hear your feedback. If you are a 3D artist, then we would welcome submissions of images and articles about what inspires you in your creative process. If you have a story that goes along with your images then so much the better. Enjoy and be inspired.
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About the Artist : featuring what inspires your 3D digital art and a portfolio of your work.
Quick Tips : short tutorial including screenshots and instructions of a tip that has developed your ability as a 3D digital artist.
Images With a Story : Provide a short narrative (less than 5000 words) with digital art illustrations.
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Feature Your Artwork
Ken Musgrave and Fractal Worlds ● The father of 3D fractal graphics
Ken Musgrave’s Mojoworld software ● Create planets of fractal based terrains
Chipp Walters Interview ● Talks about writing his new graphical handbook
Competition ● Win a copy of ―Create 3D Like a Superhero‖
Plansurv—Log 1 ● Serialised sci-fi illustrative mini story
Meet Meta ● The sexy cuban premium model
Meet Vesa ● Droid model and poses from Daz 3d
Planet Classification ● Gene Roddenberry’s method of ordering his universe
Amythist ● L-Class fractal generated planet
Andoria ● M-Class Fractal generated planet
Peter Rex interview ● Inspirational Vue and Poser artist from France.
Quick Tutorial—Vue Procedurial Landscape ● Featuring ―The Nautilus‖
Juan Rodriguez ● Spanish Vue & Poser artist creating all things elves and orcs.
3D Art Premium Content Magazine Next Issue
KEN MUSGRAVE & FRACTAL WORLDS “Ultimately, what we’re shooting for is the Star Trek holodeck experience.”. Ken Musgrave was the man responsible for taking digital arts to a new level by using fractals, a branch of mathematics that allowed for almost infinite details in images. Born in 1955, a great turning point in his life was working in the maths department of Yale University with Benoît Mandelbrot (who was best known as the father of fractal geometry). His Ph.D. in computer science was obtained in 1993, which included his paper on ―Methods for Realistic Landscape Imaging.―
The original Bryce software came soon after this (first released in 1994 for the Apple Macintosh) with it’s core of fractal programs designed by Musgrave. The first primary goal of this software was the creation of realistic mountain ranges. It took a further three years for Bryce 2 to appear. This was converted for the Windows platform and had improved value with a new texture editor, complex atmospheric effects and independent light sources. Bryce almost died under ownership of software house Corel, but was resurrected by Daz 3D which incorporated the import of 3D models and figures into landscapes.
Later generation software entitled ―Mojoworld‖ was written by Ken and released under his company ―Pandromeda‖. Mojworld allows you to explore a whole planet built by fractals. Once a compelling scene is found, it can be rendered to a fine detail. No recent developments have occurred for Mojoworld but it may yet evolve . A future version may allow a whole solar system be built to explore and render, instead of one planet at a time. From an interview in Bitwise magazine, Ken quipped ―Ultimately, what we’re shooting for is the Star Trek holodeck experience.‖.
Mojoworld Version 3
Bryce Version 5
KEN MUSGRAVE’S MOJOWORLD Q. What is Mojoworld? A. MojoWorld aims to take landscape design a stage further than Bryce, enabling you to produce not just individual landscapes, but entire planets. The grand concept is that everything is created procedurally, so once you set up the parameters for your planet, it will look good whether you view it as a globe from space or zoom in to a single rock outcrop. You don’t so much create pictures in MojoWorld as geological and atmospheric conditions. You then explore your world to find a vantage point to plant your virtual camera. Exploring can be done in a walk, plane or UFO mode. The results can be as good as those of other landscaping packages, but you work on whole planets rather than individual shots, so there’s automatic detail in everything you create. Q. Why hasn’t Pandromeda released a new version of Mojoworld in the last few years? A. Be aware that the Mojoworld software is in stasis, and there hasn’t been hardly anything published as to say why. The websites that sell and promote the software are still up and running. Ken Musgrave the software author has mentioned that he is back for developing Mojo (at the beginning of this year) and he has big plans for the software, so watch this space! Because there have been no recent releases, competing packages have become equal or better to Mojoworld now, which we will cover in future issues. Remember thought it is a classic piece of software forged from the father of procedural terrains. Over more it is very fun to use. Use the ―Planet Wizard‖ to create different planets of landscapes within seconds! Q. Can I try the Mojoworld for free? A.
Yes—see http://www.pandromeda.com/downloads/ and you can download the free viewer software which is free to use without restrictions. You’ll need to register with Pandromeda and then click on a button to get a registration code. The free viewer will allow you to roam around planets and render scenes as you see fit. The power of the software allows you to take the virtual camera kilometres high and render the whole planet as an image, or to go down to only a few metres away to render the tiniest of landscape details.
Q. Where can I get Mojoworld worlds to load into my viewer? A.
Firstly download for FREE our two worlds featured later in this magazine; Amythist and Andoria. You’ll be able to render images very similar to the artwork we’ve shown :AMYTHIST
CHIPP WALTERS INTERVIEW Chipp Walters lives on a ranch in Texas and is an Industrial Designer, 3D artist and Software Programmer. He is CEO of Shafer Walters Group, Inc. and Altuit, Inc. He has been deeply involved with digital art since the very beginning, working with NASA, Apple and Syd Mead—the visual futurist for movies such as Blade Runner, TRON, 2010, and Short Circuit. Here he talks about his life with 3D digital art and the launch of his new book “Create 3D like a Superhero”.
CHIPP WALTERS INTERVIEW
3DAD: I’ve read that you started creating 3D art with software called ―Cubicomp‖ in the early 80s. Is this what hooked you into digital art?
3DAD: It's software I've never heard of - so was curious about what it could do...
CW: My background is Industrial Design. I received a Master's degree from North Carolina State School of Design-- and it was there I learned how to draw and render using markers and colored pencils.
CW: So, I started using it. What a nightmare? You had to type in the points of polygons! 3DAD: Yikes.
Soon thereafter, I ended up working at Texas Instruments. This was before CAD. I purchased a Mac 128 the first day it was available and started creating 'sketches' using MacPaint and MacDraw.
CW: Plus it was very expensive. At the time, the displays were CGA-- I think maxing out at 16 colors, so Cubicomp came with it's own frame buffer for (i think) 16-bit colorspace.
Then Compaq hired me away from TI. I believe I was the first person to use AutoCad at Compaq and thus started my CAD explorations.
3DAD: So software that came especially with it's own hardware! I've only ever used frame stores with satellite imaging receivers - that was with 8 bit computing in the 80’s.
CW: Cubicomp was the first phong shaded renderer available for the PC.
CHIPP WALTERS INTERVIEW CW: On the Mac there were several 3D products. I mostly used Super3D. I wrote an animation program which could control it, and did some amazing Ingress/Egress animations for NASA showing astronauts climbing in and out of a CERV (Crew Emergency Return Vehicle) which my newly formed design firm, Design Edge, had designed. CW: The folks at NASA were shocked as their multimillion dollar systems could only do wireframes-- and here was this kid showing up with a Mac and shaded animations. 3DAD: Did NASA approach you on this or did you approach them? There must have been quite a small marketplace for such work I imagine? CW: I formed Design Edge with Rich Haner in the mid 80's in Houston. NASA was a natural fit at Johnson Space Center. Over the years we did many projects with them, including a complete design and 3D visualization of both the Initial Lunar Module and Initial Mars Habitat. They also built a full scale version of the ILM at Johnson Space Center.
I rendered a Multimedia presentation, complete with 3D views and walkthrough back around the time the word 'Multimedia' was starting to be used. 3DAD: Let's hope that NASA somehow gets the budget they deserve... CW: NASA is a much different place now than it was when we went to the moon. Experimental Lab : Location 7 9
CHIPP WALTERS INTERVIEW 3DAD: I recommend a good read of "Moondust: In Search of the Men Who Fell to Earth" (by Andrew Smith) which interviews all the surviving astronauts. CW: Moondust? I'll have to check it out! CW: BTW, we used Electric Image to do all the renders back then. And of course Apple loved it. They ended up featuring us in a bunch of commercials and brochures. 3DAD: Is your background in industrial design good grist for the mill for helping you create ideas and concepts for images? CW: Yes. Actually, I ended up teaching illustration to both designers and architects while in grad school. A huge influence of mine at the time was Syd Mead and later we got to work on projects together. We still stay in touch-- he was out to the ranch for a barbeque last time he visited Texas. Syd is a phenomenal designer and artist. He was the visual futurist for movies like Blade Runner, TRON, 2010, Short Circuit and many others. 3DAD: Your background reminds me somewhat of Ralph Mcquarrie who did the Matte paintings for the original Star Wars movies and was the conceptual designer and illustrator. I believe he had a background in industrial design and worked for Boeing in the early days. CW: Ralph was a contemporary of Syds, just not as talented (IMO). In fact the ATAT's designed for Star Wars were a derivative of work Syd had done for US Steel decades earlier.
3DAD: Wow. Ralph is what led me eventually to 3D art...
Joshua Outpost 10
CHIPP WALTERS INTERVIEW CW: No doubt he was really good too. I've shown Syd my stuff, and he's always asks how hard is it to do and if he can learn it. But the simple fact is, he would never need to learn 3D because he already has a 3D render in his head and hand and brush! It's amazing how fast he and Ralph can generate incredible renders in gouache paint. 3DAD: I wish I had Syd's neurons. CW: You and every other Industrial Designer. We may not have his neurons, but we all have his books. And that's generally where we end up when stuck for ideas! CW: One of the things I've always like to do, is create speed renders. Find shortcuts to model and render quickly something of interest to me. CW: A long time ago, a friend of mine, Kai Krause called me and asked me to take a look at his new 3D application. It was called Bryce. It was a completely new and different sort of 3D app-- one which actually CREATED WORLDS! How utterly fascinating. Can you imagine how compelling an app like that would be to people who have never heard of such a thing? 3DAD: And it's underpinnings were created by Doc Mojo (KenMusgrave) who later created Mojoworld. Are these guys rivals? CW: I thought it was Eric Wenger. Actually yup, you're right...they both created it. CW: Anyway, Kai knew me as a Mr. 3D on the Mac platform, and sent me a beta copy. DAD: And you reviewed it as such? CW: I was fascinated. But, I couldn't figure out how to create 'objects.', just mountains, lakes, cubes, cylinders, etc. So, one weekend, playing around with the terrain editor, I thought, why can't I use grayscale height maps to create objects? It's really just like injection molding and vacuum form processes.
Lost Cave CW: I created all the models for this scene on my iPhone using Sculpmaster 3D. http://volutopia.com Of course, the MetaPeeps, water plane and plants are all Vueâ€“ but I have to say it is fun using the iPhone for modeling! No displacement maps were used in creating this image.
CHIPP WALTERS INTERVIEW 3DAD: Did you add to the code? Is that why he approached you?
And so is the generator in the middle of this pic:
CW: Nope. But I did create a render of the ATAT's using terrains...which had never been done before. 3DAD: For your new comic book ―Create 3D like a Superhero‖. How did you arrive at the concept, to teach Vue in the style of a comic? CW: It’s kind of a long story. After 'finding' Vue, I started trying to create models inside of it... to speed the process up and I ended up creating some very interesting objects. First with terrains. Vue has support for 16-bit terrains, so they're even better than Bryce's. CW: For instance this pic is a terrain: Blood Toys In fact, the last pic, ALL objects are modeled in Vue. 3DAD: Your Metablob vehicles have a great style to them and feature through your Vue FutureLab images via your Altuit.com website. CW: Thanks. The whole goal was to try and model EVERYTHING inside of Vue. Using all sorts of it’s tools. I could create tires from letters (using the '0'). 3DAD: I guess it's much more efficient doing things this way. Render speeds must be great.
CHIPP WALTERS INTERVIEW CW: I also REALLY liked Metablobs, which created this:
and most of this:
Vapor Drive Test CW: Finally, I learned Python and created VueTools so that I could precisely build structures from primitives like this (all Vue primitives): CW: So, I decided to write a book called ―Model in Vue like a SUPERHERO‖ Meanwhile, I had released several top-sellers for Vue already, including TerraPak and GridModeler. But when Nicholas Phelps, e-on’s CEO, saw the first few pages of the comic I was starting, he wanted to know if e-on could publish it. One thing lead to another and we decided the scope had to be larger than just modelling-- so that's where Model Like a Superhero came in. I started the project and realized quickly I would be spending WAY TOO MUCH TIME creating the figures for the book.
CHIPP WALTERS INTERVIEW So, I dusted off my MetaPeeps, which were originally created for Vue Pioneer users so they could import freely some characters and added a couple more characters-- and now I could pose and render the MetaPeeps for each page. 3DAD: So Poser was out of the window... CW: Poser was of course out as it would just take too long. And a specifically posed character with facial features would be remembered over and over as the same pose and picture. I knew I didn’t have the time to create individual character renders for each page so I needed something non-descript, which would not draw too much attention to themselves. Metapeeps are sort of like a DOF blur-- your eye goes right by them to the scene behind them. 3DAD: Which speeded up your writing, but it still took about a year of work your heart and soul went into this project I guess. CW: Yes, it was a LOT of work. I had to write two programs in order to do it. The first was a screen capture program, which could quickly add dots and arrows and highlight regions. The second was an upsampling program for screenshots. Typical bilinear upsampling would create very fuzzy screen captures, which I didn’t want, so I had to used a different upsample algorithm. If you check out the screens in Create 3D like a Superhero!, you will find they are really crisp and easy to read. 3DAD: What was the trickiest chapter to put together? CW: Each chapter had it's own challenges. One of the most difficult was the basic outdoor scene chapter where I introduce the user to Vue for the first time. I wanted to make sure the user would create a photorealistic render and not something that looked fake, but I also had to make the steps super easy. 3DAD: So starting a good standard for beginners.... CW: Yes, It’s quite a challenge to create the recipe for a basic scene which renders like a photograph. 3DAD: Is the book aimed at the younger market of artists or anyone that likes a fun style presentation? CW: I'm pretty sure anyone with some 3D experience will find value in it. 3DAD: I'm sure the book will widen the market for Vue... Metapeep Figures 14
CHIPP WALTERS INTERVIEW CW: Hope so. For instance, there's a whole chapter on Indoor Rendering in Vue-- which is NOT easy. In fact, I sell the only manual for advanced users on Interior Rendering for Vue. In Create 3D like a Superhero!, I updated much of my older material and added more troubleshooting. So, certainly advanced users will find value in many of the chapters. And there's a section on Scene Setup Magic, which has a ton of tricks to make your renders look more photoreal. 3DAD: Are the chapters tagged for different experienced users? CW: The chapters start off simple and work their way to a more difficult level. Though the section on modeling, in the middle, is good for everyone. 3DAD: What are some of your proudest renders in the book? CW: Page 30 is an interesting render. 3DAD: Your introduction to the book mentions the photo-realistic angle, which I think will catch the eye of starting artists - never believing they can get to a certain level that quickly. CW: Yes, page 30 is a Metatip at the end of Chapter 2. The reason why I like this particular render is because it was setup extremely quickly, and used a photograph I found online as a reference. I think start to finish, including render time may have been under 3 hours. And most importantly, it shows one of the main secrets for achieving photorealistic renders. That is having reference documentation to work with. Many times for practice, I will try to copy a photograph directly in Vue. There is much to be learned by doing this. 3DAD: You live on a ranch in Texas. Does Texas have any of it’s own ―Bryce Canyon‖ type national parks for inspirational landscapes? Page 30 of “Create 3D Like a Superhero” CloudPak 15
CHIPP WALTERS INTERVIEW CW: Texas has all sorts of incredible vistas and scenery. I live in the Hill country and am treated to the most amazing sunsets and big full skies of cumulus clouds. I worked early on a product called ―CloudPak‖ but never got around to finishing it. Perhaps some day. 3DAD: You’ve created a fantastic image based on Arthur C Clarke’s classic ―Rendevous with Rama‖. Have other sci-fi books helped inspire some of your works? Are your later renders ―Standing Guard‖ based on this as well or stimulated from something else? CW: I typically take my inspiration from combinations of images and paintings. I have an extensive set of image resources, both in digital and print form. All it typically takes is a few minutes perusing and an idea comes to mind. As I mentioned, I really like doing "speed renders" where I can execute the entire render in one sitting. This is one of the reasons I typically model directly in Vue. 3DAD: There are two brilliant images just using single trees in your Vue gallery. Tell me about ―Adoption‖ and ―Hero Tree‖. CW: Adoption is a very special image. My wife and I adopted our only daughter when she was nine, and we sent out cards announcing the happy event with this image on it. There is much meaning for our family in the render:
Rendevoud with Rama 16
CHIPP WALTERS INTERVIEW CW: Hero Tree was a study in trying to create a photorealistic render using metablobs and fractal displacement mapping to create the massive rock the single tree sits atop. It was inspired by another Hero Tree render by Vue Master Dax Pandhi:
3DAD: Finally. What three quick tips of advice would you offer for those just starting out with 3D art? CW: 1. Be patient and don't let yourself be discouraged. The minute you have a problem, ask for help on a forum. I see many newbies who work themselves into a frenzy over the simplest issues. 2. Dissect existing scenes which ship with Vue. There are a TON of valuable nuggets in those scenes. Pay attention to how they are lit and staged. See what the render settings are and how they're optimized. Ask questions. 3. Spend time trying to DUPLICATE existing photos-- as close as possible. You will be amazed how much you will learn. Then use photo reference images to help you setup composition and lighting in your scenes. 3a. Buy my book and read the chapter on the Secrets of Great Renders.
3D ART DIRECT COMPETITION ―Create 3D like a Superhero‖ by Chipp Walters is available from e-on’s website This 120 page book will walk you through creating photo realistic 3D scenes using Vue or the included Vue Pioneer SE software.
You'll get up to speed fast, creating landscapes and vistas in the beginning chapters, and then in later chapters you'll learn more advanced techniques, such as modeling in Vue and interior lighting setups. You won't want to miss the Scene Setup Magic chapters which contain the KEYS to creating successful and virtual photo renders, all explained clearly and in detail by Vue's own comic characters.
It has over 500 renders and illustrations printed on glossy paper with a rigid paper cover.
WIN A COPY OF THIS BOOK! Submit a rendered image to us based on the theme ―Superhero‖ by the 22nd of August 2010. Render the image to at least 1024 x 768 pixels. We’ll select the best image and send a copy of the book (worth $30) to the winner and publish the winning image in our next issue.
PLANSURV—LOG 1 I’m normally one for enjoying hot house worlds like New Ceres, but there are few benefits to this one. With the planet’s axial tilt of almost 95 degrees, it means that the northern hemisphere is bathed (seared) in the sun’s rays, whereas the south is kept in an icy darkness. Trouble is, these conditions only occur for half of it’s three year orbit. A cruel switch occurs in the orbit’s second half—frozen icy plains in the South become temporary seas, soon steamed away into light scorched deserts and then the North transforms into a glacial, lifeless waste. The few kind of life forms that migrate and survive these dramatic transformations on this world are tough. I’m not looking forward to meeting any more of them. Happily, a narrow band near the equator affords just about liveable and almost constant temperatures. So tiny benefit number one is an almost constant summer in this zone—great for sunbathing, except that the ozone layer has almost vanished. Hence the need for my rather fetching (armoured) silver suit. Most other agents in PLANSURV (planetary survey) call me Meta. There are only a handful of us, since the type of work we do is specialised, highly dangerous, incredibly unpredictable but of course pays extremely well (six million credits for my last assignment). Why is PLANSURV needed? Well since the time of the Breakdown, there are still over 400 life giving planets that need to be rediscovered. Through the wars and chaos of the breakdown period, our home world lost touch with these planetary systems and a lot of the records of their whereabouts were completely destroyed. Meet Meta from PLANSURV 19
PLANSURV—LOG 1 PLANSURV is now picking up the pieces. Slowly. Some of these worlds were left with tiny populations of humanity having to survive completely independently. Over half of the worlds I have rediscovered so far, no one was left. Twenty per cent of the remaining systems had developed some very ugly societies. Humanity minus the comfort of it’s modern materials and systems can suddenly slide backwards into the mire. The remaining planetary societies adapted better and created a natural symbiosis with an interdependence on whatever natural resources were around them. Rediscovering these worlds makes my profession worthwhile, particularly if I have a hand in helping them towards that cultural goal. Now, back to the meagre benefits of New Ceres. Tiny benefit number two is that there are no cut-throat societies to deal with (just the deadly wildlife) but there is the profound mystery of these metallic towers dotted around the equator. A mystery, since we still don’t know who built them. This is worrying, very worrying, since despite all the exploration humanity has done so far in our galaxy, we haven’t come across any intelligent life that is near humanity’s level of progress. There is some comfort in that I have a highly sophisticated droid to protect me, known as VESA (V type Extra Sensory Attack robot). I wouldn’t have a man protect me, since I haven’t met one yet that could survive the least deadly of the worlds I’ve surveyed. There is a distant chance my mind may change, but not today. In this picture VESA found one of the Y’Vara reptiles (fortuitously dead). Imagine a landscape filled with thousands of them migrating with dogged determination to escape the onslaught of the planet’s winter. Only a small fraction make it each season to the safe zone. If you are unlucky enough to be in the way of the trekking herd, then hundreds of them will thunder towards you for a very competitive fast lunch. They eat the whole enchilada (the landscape in stripped bare) in their roaming path. So what of these cryptic towers? After a month of research I still can’t even understand their function, let alone isolate the exact alloy that these things are made of. Hence back to the blank drawing board of my enquiry. [New Ceres : Log 1 : Ship Day 331 : End of Transcript ]
MEET META (Ynes) META is based on one of the most popular Poser figures of all time—‖Victoria 4‖. To make our character even more attractive and curvier for the space-ways we have used an ―injection morph‖ product called Ynes for V4 by Third Degree. This alters the Victoria 4 base character into something described by the vendors as ―the sexy new premium model with a Cuban beat‖. Get Ynes from the Daz 3D model site here: http://www.daz3d.com/i/3d-models/-/ynes-for-v4?item=8894&_m=d We liked the Bot Armour that you can buy as a clothing accessory, that gives options of silver or black. Great looking armour for a great looking girl, especially for the sci-fi genre!
MEET META (Ynes) Hair, poses and expressions for Victoria 4 all from www.daz3d.com
Hair: Chocolate Hair Poses: Spruce: Elegance and Relevance Expressions: V4 Expressions
VESA Poser model: ―Droid‖ from www.daz3d.com
Model : Droid from Daz 3D Poses: Droid Poses
PLANET CLASSIFICATION With some of the artwork featured in this magazine, we will be introducing various fictional worlds. To help classify these, here are some notes on attempting to categorize them in various ways. Remember Gene Roddenberry? In the fictional Star Trek universe the Planet Classification System was a system developed by Gene to categorize planets by many factors, such as atmospheric composition, age, surface temperature, size, and presence of life. The planetary classes are designated by the letters A through Z. There are three temperature zones within a solar system, and depending on the star's size, classification, and its energy output, these regions will vary in size:
The hotzone is nearest to the star. Planets within this region absorb a tremendous amount of the star's direct energy, and are usually too hot to contain life.
The biozone (or ecozone) is at just the right distance from the star for planets to have temperatures that support most forms of life. (Compare the concept of a habitable zone that is actually used by astronomers in the real world.)
The coldzone is the region past the biozone, where planets are too far away from the star to support an ecosystem. These planets are usually frozen rocks or gas giant worlds.
In this issue we feature two fictional worlds, Amythist, a class L planet and also Andoria, a class M world (just about). You’ll remember that most of the time class M worlds are mentioned in the Star Trek universe since they are liveable places for most humanoids, and besides, it gets too uncomfortable for the actors to be in space suits each episode!
Class L planets range in age from 4 to 10 billion years old. Their diameters range in size from 10,000 to 15,000 km. They are located in the ecozone region of a star's solar system. They have rocky, barren surfaces with little water. Their atmospheres are oxygen/argon with a high concentration of carbon dioxide. Life forms, if any, are limited to plant life. Class L planets are suitable for human colonization with some terraforming. Class M planets range in age from 3 to 10 billion years old. Their diameters range in size from 10,000 to 15,000 km. They are always located in the ecozone region of a star's solar system. Their surfaces are comprised with a relatively thin tectonic layer floating on a molten rock mantle, usually with active volcanoes present. Class M planets have an abundant amount of water necessary for life to exist. Their atmospheres contain oxygen/nitrogen with other trace gases. Life forms are almost always present, flourishing as extensive plant and animal life. Usually a sentient race is also present. 24
PLANET CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM ► Class A Geothermal
► Class K Adaptable
► Class B Geomorteus
► Class L Marginal
► Class C Geoinactive
► Class M Terrestrial
► Class D Asteroid/Moon
► Class N Reducing
► Class E Geoplastic
► Class O Pelagic
► Class F Geometallic
► Class P Glaciated
► Class G Geocrystaline
► Class Q Variable
► Class H Desert
► Class R Rogue
► Class I Gas Supergiant
► Class S and T Ultragiants
► Class J Gas Giant
► Class X, Y and Z Demon
Type: Class L
Radius: 12000km Moons: 2 Atmosphere: Oxygen/Argon Resources: Water, Heavy Elements Life forms: Simple plant life only
Created with: Mojoworld Professional 3.11 Digital Artist: Paul Bussey
AMYTHIST Latitude: 9,52,45,South Longitude: 160,22,4,East Altitude: 136.33 km
Latitude: 13,29,24, South Longitude: 145,28,38, East Altitude: 3.12 km
Type: Class M
Radius: 14000km Moons: 1 Atmosphere: Oxygen/Nitrogen Resources: Water, Heavy Elements Life forms: Cold adapted plant forms
Created with: Mojoworld Professional 3.11 Digital Artist: Paul Bussey
Type: Class M
Radius: 14000km Moons: 2 Atmosphere: Oxygen/Nitrogen Resources: Water, Heavy Elements Life forms: Cold adapted plant forms
Created with: Mojoworld Professional 3.11 Digital Artist: Paul Bussey
INTERVIEW WITH PETER REX Peter Rex grew up in rural Germany and now resides in France with a passion for 3D digital art. He has been impacted by art throughout his lifetime, with early influences from his father who was a talented painter and photographer. Peter took prompt advantage of digital art at the time of the Commodore 64 and the Amiga and has never looked back since. Now with more powerful hardware and software at his disposal we look at some of his work and what has inspired the imagery he has created. The New Messenger
3DAD: What led you into art? Was it the influence of your father who was a painter?
PR: I think it was my father and the father of my mother, I grew up with lots of art books, Monet, Toulouse-Lautrec and such at home. 3DAD: So you spent much of your youth and young adult years painting before being involved with the digital arts? PR: Painting and photography, especially the latter, and I still love taking photos. 3DAD: I imagine your neighbourhood and surrounding area provides quite amazing scenery for photography. What software package first took your notice for 3D digital art? Was it Bryce? 3DAD: No, it was way back in the Commodore 64 days, when I started doing "pixel art" with a joystick and later with the Amiga and "Deluxe Paint" and "Reflection", one of the first ray tracing programs. The Road To Nowhere
3DAD : The Amiga I think caught the imagination of many for digital art and helped it become accessible relatively inexpensively. I remember the mask of Tutankhamen being quite a famous image that was done on the Amiga (perhaps it was Deluxe Paint) and it caused quite a stir...it was a good machine for it's time. PR: I stopped using my Amiga 2000 in 2000 and yes the mask was done in Deluxe Paint.
INTERVIEW WITH PETER REX PR: A PC, I think it was a Pentium 3 at 1000 mhz, and the first software I used was Blender. At that time you could install it on a 3.5 diskette!
3DAD: After using the Amiga, what box and software did you start using then?
3DAD : Blender has come a long way since then and I didn't realise how long it had been in existence. Were you pleased at what you could do with Blender back then? Was it a lot of waiting around for things to render?! PR: That is relative, an average image at 800x600 pixels did take about 2 hours, but you cannot compare it to todays results.
3DAD: Your Cornucopia 3D gallery has a good mix of topics. Everything from sci-fi, childhood memories, fantasy to some quite poignant pieces such as ―Refuge‖ and ―The Runaway‖. Do you find it easy to work with such different ideas, or do you try to apply some discipline in being so varied? So you might think ―Well this week I’ll deal with a landscape. Next week I’ll try a new sci-fi piece.‖! PR: No, I never really think about the "theme", an image often starts on my way to work, I get a kind of "flash" and from there on I start creating. When I get home, the image is finished inside my head and I just assemble everything when I can lay my hands on my box. 3DAD : So thank goodness for commuting! Perhaps we all need that type of space to think of new ideas. You’re working on a graphic novel ―Planetfall‖. Tell me about that. The front cover looks intriguing! PR : Thanks, this story is still in its beginnings, the three main characters are finished, the story is in its first chapters, the big problem is the new planet, I am still testing the visuals, I want to be "almost" earth like but with that feeling of "strangeness" to capture the observer. And that is the point where it gets difficult. 3DAD: I like the fact that the character is half out of the frame and he's reaching or pointing at something. This tells a story straight away. PR : When I was a kid, I always dreamed to be one of the Pilgrim fathers who colonized America, I wanted that kind of feeling for the cover.
INTERVIEW WITH PETER REX Refuge
PR : No, I create the terrain for each image, I want to control where are hills and plains, rivers, seas or lakes. I will use the planet feature for some far off shots, but in general the "director" is me and when I say I need an hill exactly HERE, I will grow it here! 3DAD: Has the graphic novel been a goal of yours for some time? Do you read or collect them? Is this what inspired you for the idea of the format? PR: The idea is quite old, I've always been a "maniac" reader, at times I have four or five books I read at the same time, now I feel that I have the tools and (hopefully) the knowledge to tell this story. I still have a dozen or more stories to "paint" which I started when I was 12 years old, maybe one day I will be able to finish them. 3DAD: You received a distinction with ―The Refuge‖ as picture of the day in the Cornucopia 3D galleries which is a fantastic piece. What gave you the idea to create this scene? There’s a real story about this picture. I’m wondering whether this bear is a Toy Story type character or was it a bear just left there by a child? PR: On one hand, I am easily inspired by good 3D models and the Teddy Bear in my eyes is not a "bad guy", he reminds me off one of my teddy bears when I had four or five years. In this image I imagined a child of that age, running to hide his best friend from danger, war evidently, and well that was all what is left of this human being.
3DAD: Thanks for sharing that. I think the possibilities for digital art to affect and start people to think about more important things is a powerful tool. "The Road to Nowhere" is also war themed. It has a nice strong female character in the foreground – is she a DAZ character? Is this going to part of your graphic novel? What led you to doing a piece on the effects of war in this way?
INTERVIEW WITH PETER REX Urban Future
PR : Art in all its forms should be some kind of reflection (but that is just me). The Character is Stephanie 4 from DAZ, you know, I grew up in Germany after the 2nd World War, and there where the marks of bombs in the forest where we used to play, my father and mother have grown up during the bomb attacks on German cities. So I know at least a bit about the havocs a war can inflict on a landscape and the people. In a way it is a reflection about the way I grew up and the believe in peace. 3DAD : You’ve clearly enjoyed using Stonemason’s Urban Future? I've noticed it being used several times... PR : I am a real fan of Stonemasons, everybody knows that!
PR: Yes, they are inspired by both artists and sometimes these artists meet in the same image. I like the Gibson novels and I like the way Stonemason creates his models; When you look at both of them, they only use the minimum to create a story, yes Stonemason tells as well a story with his models.
Chiba City, MNinsei Quarter
3DAD: ...and William Gibson's novels!. ―Rain City‖ and ―Chiba City, Ninsei quarter‖ are nice, with these images being inspired by this author.
PETER REX GALLERY FAVOURITE PICKS Sad Troll
Into the Light The Runaway
INTERVIEW WITH PETER REX
Morning â€œJust a memory of days long gone by, when I was a kid and my grandfather took me with him for some early morning fishing.â€? 3DAD: "Morning" looks fantastic and it obviously does reflect a good childhood memory? What did you use to create this piece? PR: I used Vue 8 Complete and a lot of memories. Vue is a fantastic tool to tell stories or to communicate feelings. I tend to use it more and more. 3DAD: What is you very favourite piece of art you have created? And what was the drive and inspiration behind it? PR Now that is a b**** of a question! I think the images I am most fond of are "Into the light" and "Sad troll", for the sole reason, I was able to communicate a feeling to the watcher. Technically they are certainly not my best, I have learned quite a bit since then, but on a emotional basis they are still valuable (or that is what I hope). "The runaway" comes next. 3DAD: I wanted to sneak that question in. I like your troll. Finally what advice would you give to those who are just starting out with 3D digital art? PR: Well, start reading a lot about photography, use your camera and apply everything you have learned to your 3D images. And never ever be satisfied with what you do! website http://www.akhbours.fr
QUICK TUTORIAL : VUE PROCEDURAL LANDSCAPE Created with: Vue 7 Pro Studio Digital Artist: Paul Bussey Buy this as an A2 Glossy Poster E-on software’s Vue provides an exceptional function to create procedural landscapes. This facility uses various mathematical functions to create realistic (or out of this world) detailed landscapes. In this example, we set the atmosphere, water and then create a procedural landscape, which is copied, resized and rotated. Then we insert The Nautilus, a great ready made 3D model from Cornucopia3D, which is Eon’s 3D model and resource site.
Step 1—Load Atmosphere (Menu bar: Atmosphere/Load Atmosphere) The pre-set atmosphere of ―Clouding over Montana‖ is used from artistic/effects/animated. It’s an animated atmosphere being used in a still picture, but works well with the water and lighting up of the terrains that we will be introducing.
Step 2—Water The water used in this scene is pre-set and is available already in Vue known as ―Channel water‖. It is dark green and Vue suggests to use it for bad weather scenery! In this case it has a good degree of realism . Importantly it has a translucent quality showing through to the base of the procedural landscape islands.
QUICK TUTORIAL : VUE PROCEDURAL LANDSCAPE Step 3—Insert our Procedural Terrain We’ve saved our procedural terrain as a free resource for you to easily insert into the landscape. Go to this web address and download the vob file for Vue http://www.3dartdirect.com/magazine/issue1.vob Once downloaded use the left hand tool bar to load the object, but use the browse file icon to navigate outside of the Vue object collections if necessary. Note this procedural terrain uses the ―Mossy Rock 2‖ material, great for coastal rock features.
Step 4—Insert the Nautilus Pick up the Nautilus from the Cornucopia3D model store for about $10. Once downloaded insert into the scene. http://www.cornucopia3d.com/purchase.php?item_id=1880
QUICK TUTORIAL : VUE PROCEDURAL LANDSCAPE Final picture : The Nautilus rendered with two of our procedural landscapes. The islands are identical, though one landscape has been rotated and resized to hide the duplication.
INTERVIEW WITH JUAN RODRIGUEZ Juan Rodriguez is a 31 year old digital artist from Zaragoza, Spain who uses Vue and Poser. Here he talks about elves, goblins, light and darkness.
3DAD: What got you started in digital art? Was it someone you knew that got you involved, or something that you stumbled upon? JR: It was just a coincidence. I always liked art, fantasy or horror art. I remember that i was just surfing the web when i saw a render of Victoria (from Daz3D) in an armour outfit. It was just a simple render, with a white background and to be honest not much quality. But that caught my eye. I always wanted to draw but I don’t have the skills. That led me to Daz3D, to Poser and Renderosity when i discovered a new world full of possibilities. 3DAD: What was the very first package you used for digital art and what PC were you using? Were you pleased with what could be done?! JR: Before discovering Poser i thought that 3D art was just so hard to learn and that it would take a lifetime. I have a flaw; what I want, i want it now! I don’t want (and honestly, i have a job that doesn’t allow me to have a lot of free time) to deal with large learning curves, and Poser is so easy that you can start working a few minutes after you install it. At first, i thought Poser was the definitive "weapon" i needed to put everything I had in my mind, but soon discovered that Poser is just good for posing or interior scenes. Elven Lands
INTERVIEW WITH JUAN RODRIGUEZ I needed to find another program that could allow me to add more figures, exterior scenes, vegetation... that is, make my creations more complex. Then I discovered my favourite tool for rendering and arranging scenes, Vue. I started using Poser seven or eight years ago. It was Poser 4. I rendered using an old Athlon 64 with 2 Gb of Ram. That was, at its time, a very powerful computer. By the time I didn’t know about Vue so it was enough for my first renders. 3DAD: Much of your Cornucopia 3D gallery has some wonderful images that are in the fantasy genre and are particularly to do with elves. Is it from certain fiction books that inspires these images or something else? JR: I love fantasy and horror. I’m a HUGE ―Lord of the Rings‖ fan. I love ―R.A.Salvatore‖ and ―Forgotten Realms‖. I’m an ex-RPG player. I grow up playing AD&D and I’m still in love with everything related to AD&D. Now, once you grow up and start working, find a girl, suddenly you found that you no longer have time to play anymore. I think that almost every RPG player has found himself in this situation but I remember those long overnight games with AD&D, ―Lord of the Rings‖, ―Call of Cthulhu‖... My main inspiration comes from books, and certainly RPG books are always present in my work. Movies are also a good inspiration, but nothing can beat reading a good book and just imagine the scene you are reading. A lot of my renders start this way: I’m reading a book, stop for a moment and an image appears in my mind. Then i try to put that alive in the combo software of PoserVue. Anyway i prefer orcs to elves! 3DAD: ―Alrinne Forest Tower‖ has a fantastic use of light in it. The strong light creates a dream-like quality to the image. Was the use of light one of your first thoughts when creating this picture? What first gave you the idea to create this?
INTERVIEW WITH JUAN RODRIGUEZ JR: One of the things i have learned over the years using both Poser and Vue is that light is one of the most important aspects in a render. You can convert a happy scene full of happiness to a sad scene just by changing the lights you use. I spent a lot of time arranging lights in my scenes. For me they are as important as the main character could be. So, yes, the use of lights is my first thought once I have the characters posed and ready to jump into Vue. Alrinne Forest Tower started just as a test. I was doing almost dark scenes and tried to see if i could do something different. I am reading ―Geralt of Rivia‖ books by Andrew Sapkowsky where all wizards are woman. I think this could be the starting point for inspiration. Then I added the light, but it had to be very strong. It was a magic tower, full of wizards and mages inside a magic forest. So there wasn’t anything better than to use the power of volumetric lightning. 3DAD: By contrast your image ―Elven lands‖ uses shadow and has a darker feeling to it to create a different atmosphere (i.e. the black forest!). What Poser or Daz models are you using here and did it take a while to get these right?! Were you pleased with the outcome of this image? Minions JR: In this image i wanted to deal with a dark forest as you say. The main concept is something like "Deadly Beauty". You have in front of your eyes a beautiful elven ranger standing in a road that leads to the realm of the elven forest. I tried to make her as beautiful and calm as I could. But you have to notice she has a bow. And that bow sure has taken some lives. And behind her, in the darkness of the unexplored forest there are a lot of elves aiming at you. In a second you could be part of the forest... forever. That’s the main concept of the image. It also has volumetric lightning in the background, but that light was added at a later stage. This scene has at least 7 lights to illuminate certain parts of the scene and to play with darkness. In fact the main atmosphere of the scene is a night one. This one features models from Daz3D (Victoria 4 and Michael 3). The male elves wear the Fantasy Elf Ranger outfit by Sergio Alvarez (www.xurge3d.com) one of my favourite vendors in the poser community and the female wears the Golden Arrow pack from Val3DArt.
Vandree’s Prey 41
INTERVIEW WITH JUAN RODRIGUEZ 3DAD: ―Past‖ has a good sense of story about it and the characters are posed very well. What is the story behind this picture? JR: This is somewhat one of my favourite images. It Is not the best technically, but it’s very personal. A lot of times, your job reflects your mood. I’m from Zaragoza, a city in the north of Spain. But i have lived in six more towns, changing friends and homes every six or seven years. Past deals with time. Nothing stays the same, the world is moving forward and when you return several years later where you came from you may discover that nothing is like you remembered or wanted to remember. In the image, two adventurers return to one of their homelands, just to discover that the castle where he was born is now just a ruin. The rocks of the once magnificent castle are laying on the floor and a bunch of crows live now where he spent his youth years. The other character can’t do nothing to comfort the friend. You can’t beat time.
INTERVIEW WITH JUAN RODRIGUEZ 3DAD: I notice that ―Vandree’s prey‖ has quite a number of poser figures in it. It must have taken a lot of memory to render and manipulate this scene, as well as patience! JR: As I said, Poser can’t deal with large number of figures. Vue is the solution for filling a scene with a large number of figures that no other program could. I’m on a Quad Core with 8gb of Ram but have plans to upgrade next month to at least 16gb of Ram cause i can never have enough models on my images. Usually i spend more time arranging the scenes than rendering. I try to give every model in the scene his own part and not fill them for the sake of filling the scene, or trying to see how much my computer handle. This involves working sometimes with Vue and Poser opened at the same time, changing poses, expressions and reimporting again into Vue. First i load the characters on poser, save them individually and them import them one by one on Vue. Having a good GPU helps placing them when you are running out of resources.
INTERVIEW WITH JUAN RODRIGUEZ There's another render i did called "Tribe Wars". This features more models than "Vandree's Prey" and i remember my pc crashed several times before rendering something on value. This one is in fact two renders arranged in Photoshop. First loaded and placed the goblins on the right side, rendered it and then removed them to add the rest. If you are into 3D art you should have a lot of patience. To arrange scenes and then wait several hours until the render is finished. But i think is more important to have a lot of patience to place the figures and then be determined, once you finish a 16 hours render, to discard it and move some things you don’t like. 3DAD: "Minions" is fun and full of expression, with all the characters in this image. Did you have fun creating it? What models did you use in this image? JR: Minions was a very fun image to work with. Features the Goblinz from Les Garner (www.sixus1.com). Les is one the nicest persons i have ever known in the poser community, who is always friendly and willing to help. I owe him a lot of my actual way of doing renders because he encourages me with his constant sincere comments about my art. A lot of my renders feature his creatures. You can’t go wrong using any sixus1 creature! Minions was just some kind of promo art for the Goblinz line. I tried to feature all the Goblinz packages Les has created and played a lot with expressions. In this one, light wasn't very important. Just seeing a bunch of Goblinz in a dark corridor was enough for me. Yes, it was very funny. But just loading a Goblinz is fun enough! I think that using the right models can be enough to produce a good render. And the Goblinz is one of my all time favourite creatures. Sometimes i feel like a 31 year old child that still likes playing with toys. And Goblinz can be one of my favourite toys. 3DAD: Which is your personal favourite image that you have created and why? JR: It could be hard to select. I love the ―Flayer‖, was my first image dealing with drows (dark elves) that have a good lightning to recreate the Underdark (the underground home of the dark elves) and "Timba" is also very special for me because of the concept, Alrinne Forest Tower... I couldn’t select any of them because I only upload favourites. 3DAD: What are you working on at the moment? JR. I have several renders that are in process of being finished (the Photoshop part of enhacing colours, adding some postwork). Also I’m spending a lot of time playing with Zbrush learning to morph the base figures (daz3d ones like Victoria and Michael) and doing my own textures using Polypaint. I should learn modelling, because after all, every program you use is limited if you cant create your own models. Honestly i don’t think i have the time or skills for producing anything of value so for now i will modify what is already created. But in the end what i really enjoy is rendering so i think that’s my main focus.
INTERVIEW WITH JUAN RODRIGUEZ 3DAD: What three tips would you give to those just starting out in 3d digital art? JR: I have known a lot of new users. It makes me happy to find people that discover for the first time Poser, Vue or any other 3D application because a lot of them remember me in the beginning. For me its difficult to give advice to anyone because I think I’m still a newbie that learns a lot new every day. And it’s hard to render fantasy or a horror scene and trying to place yourself in the Poser community, where a lot of the content is filled with pinup art. But for newcomers I will give the three things that i think are important: 1) Learn how to use lights. When i started i purchased several packages of premade lights for Poser and atmospheres for Vue. Then once, you understand how the lights in your current application works, try to modify them and then create your own cause premade lights wont work in every scene. "Alrinne Forest Tower" relys on lightning. Without the volumetric lightning that image it would just another one. For me lightning is the most important thing. Read books about lighting usage in photography cause in the end the basics are the same. 2) If you are into fantasy, try to get some traditional art books. I love Todd Lockwood, Brom, Larry Elmore... those are my "heroes". Dustmore Cliff’s You can learn a lot from them about composition and expression. A single character in the middle of a scene is just boring; no matter what lighting or environment you place behind him. That’s boring! Perspective, posing, expression... you can learn a lot from the real masters. 3) Believe in yourself. There are a lot of communities where you can find people that share the same tastes and hobbies as you. Learn from others, exchange ideas or resolve problems, but believe in yourself. As anything else in life, you won’t render anything of value in the beginning. Digital art, just as traditional art, requires a lot of time, a lot of trial and error until you found what can work with this or that scene. Don’t give up even when you think you don’t have any kind of skill for this matter. If you enjoy doing this, don’t give up!
NEXT MONTH’S PREMIUM EDITION ON SALE 29TH AUGUST 2010 This marks the end of the premium edition magazine and we hope you have enjoyed the inspiration, interviews and resources on digital 3D art. Next month includes:-
Interview with Vue and Poser artist Jacob Charles Dietz.
More Mojoworld planets
Quick tips and more artists interviews