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Specimen 479931-85F

By cwichura
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10 Comments
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DS4P -> Reality/LuxRender to 22,300S/p

I've always wanted to try creating a mermaid render, but have never had suitable props to create an underwater environment. But there have been a number of mermaid renders done by others recently, and that spurred me on to give it a go, even without an underwater scene. So here's a Sci-Fi twist on a mermaid taken captive by a cybernetic race. I chose SoulessEmpathy's SciFi Interior environment prop to contain the scene as it has lots of glowing elements to reflect in the water tank's glass walls.

The water tank is built from primitives in Studio. The glass walls of the tank are configured as one inch thick Plexiglas using Lux's volumetric glass. The top plane of the water is set to the water pseudo-material in Reality with a ripple amount of .1. To get the proper volume transitions, I hand-edited the .lxo file to make the inside of the glass walls have the water volume as their exterior and the glass volume as their interior. (The polygon group editor was used to make the top of the inside glass wall above the water line into a separate material zone so its exterior is the world volume, not the water volume.) All the surfaces of the mermaid/mertail/hair had their interior and exterior set to the water volume as well. (While it might seem odd to apply the water to the interior, this is necessary so opacity maps, such as used by the hair, don't cancel the water volume in the transparent areas.)

Even with over 22k samples, the tank still has a lot of noise in it. Ideally, there would be better lighting on the face of the mermaid, too, but the various experiments I tried all had ugly reflections in the tank walls.

For the mertail glow, I created my own .lxm by hand that loads the Poser/DS ambient maps that come with the mertail. (Don't forget to scale the ambient texture by the ambient strength map AND the opacity map if you try this yourself.) The .lxo was then modified to apply both material and area light statements to the relevant shape statements, rather than using a geometry shell.)
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Comments10
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JoswanKodaigo's avatar
spotted-cat's avatar
Wow! This is amazingly detailed... Nice work.
spotted-cat's avatar
lasserine's avatar
FreyrStrongart's avatar
wow... great effects. And I am bamboozled by the explanation! I wish I could understand what you were talking about... :p
cwichura's avatar
Thanks :)

The explanation will hopefully make sense to folks familiar with LuxRender's scene file definition language, which most folks don't ever deal with directly. Even Reality generally hides this from the user, which is why I had to edit in some of the more advanced things like the volume hierarchy, since Reality doesn't expose the interior and exterior volume assignments to the user.
FreyrStrongart's avatar
maybe one of these days I get so good with reality that I can actually start thinking about things like that :p. Till then I swoon at the images of those who can...
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