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HansGeorgSchrage's avatar

Hiking in the Wilderness 01

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Off the grid, off the map, and off the trail

For another, thematically similar piece set in the same environment, please see huns-of-doom.deviantart.com/ar…
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Mature
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Billie-Bonce's avatar
Wading into an obviously muddy area, with no knowledge of the depth of the mud, wearing hiking boots (I guess), having no good stick in hands, and no friends around? This cutie is a nominee for Darwin award!
HansGeorgSchrage's avatar
She'd prefer the term "adventurer."

No hiking boots - those are dangling off the back of her backpack.  Which she will have to jettison if she is going to get out of there.  She'll be fine, you know, other than being lost in the wilderness, with nothing but her extremely muddy clothes on her back, and with all her possessions slowly sinking into the depths.

But I also know that she is resourceful, so not to worry!
Billie-Bonce's avatar
I respect resourceful adventurers! :nod:
Magnificently effective!

While I am not at all conversant with any technical aspects of 3-D programs, I know, from many decades of hand-drawing and AutoCAD work and first-hand sinking experiences of all kinds, what I am looking for! 

From my own experiences, it's possible -even fun- to turn some aspects that seem problematic into true assets in furthering the aims of images:  In here, while the edge defining the light far behind might seem harsh, there is an element of drama (or maybe it becomes melodrama) in her having walked into an area of more foreboding light.  Maybe some of the poke-throughs that I've seen in many works can become tears from long trials of exertion.  I know it is always fulfilling to know how to do more and more but enough time has passed for me to accept that not everything comes down the pike right when I want it and I find it relieving that the subject matters I am working on are so satisfying and titillating that I enjoy continuing to work on it and work on it... maybe not according to an initial vision but something new may crop up and it's enchanting and the bogging down of progress-as-planned becomes like sinking itself!

Just wanted you to know that, from a more common/emotion-seeking -if less technical- view, your work is to be heartily encouraged because it is astoundingly good and creates completely sensual points of view!  Many, many Kudos!  And lots of luck and satisfaction in your note-sharing with Rusty!  
HansGeorgSchrage's avatar
I thank you very much for your long, encouraging, and thoughtful comment!

It took me a while to reply.  I don't deal well with praise.  :-)

What I am especially happy about in your comment is the last paragraph.  It seems to speak exactly to what I want to accomplish.

If it is between technical perfection and emotional impact; between gloss and storytelling, I'd always want to err on the side of storytelling and emotional impact.  I just wish I could do both!
But if I succeed at the side that is more important to me, than I am happy.

Consider me encouraged, and, now that my PC is back from the shop, eager to produce.
RustyShackleford123's avatar
The texture on the skirt is really good work.  I think you said you were a novice, but this isn't novice work.  This is great!
HansGeorgSchrage's avatar
Thank you very much!  I appreciate it and feel encouraged.  And I'm glad you, and others, like this picture.

I am not sure when novice status expires.  This picture I did after seven months of practice.  Maybe now I'm an apprentice?  ;-)

The mud texture on the skirt is Deviney's ("Ron's Mud"), www.daz3d.com/rons-mud. I do take credit for wrestling it onto the model grid with the layered image editor, which is tricky.

In general, I mod most textures.  I often use stock images or commercial products, at least as a base.  I have made plenty of textile, mud, and dirt textures from scratch in gimp; and I have modded other people's textures there.

The skirt fabric is my own work, for example.

The mud on the ground is based on a stock image.  I created displacement and spec maps for it.

For the most part, there is much I like in this picture, but more I dislike (from a technical standpoint).  The way the shirt follows the underside of the breast in Genesis 1 models drives me nuts.  There are poke-throughs I didn't catch.  And you can see the straight line where the ground plane ends.  She's lucky she didn't fall off the edge of the world!

I'm thinking about redoing this one.  The lighting could really use some work too.  None of the plants seem to cast shadows.  Maybe they're vampire plants?

So if you have suggestions, actually, I'd like to hear them.
RustyShackleford123's avatar
You're doing great for only seven months of practice.  3D has a steep learning curve.  I've been at it for ten years now (wow, that sounds like a lot of time as I type that) and I'm still learning all sorts of new stuff.  You are way ahead of where I was at seven months, keep it up! 

Do you know if your plants are checked to cast shadows?  Sometimes that isn't checked and that is the problem. 
Not sure I can help you much on the lighting part.  Are you using the default Studio lighting, or the new Iray system?  I haven't used DAZ Studio for a while to actually make images (I open it up to find files and see how things work, but I do all my work in Carrara).  I will say that lighting is key to a good image, and Studio has gotten really good at it over time.  Really the only reasons I don't use Studio anymore is that 1) I can't save individual characters/items and load them without being scenes and 2) there is not terrain generator with random distributor for plants and such.  My hardware couldn't support loading each plant individually so I switched (and took another two years to learn a program...at this point stick with DAZ Studio, they aren't doing much with Carrara these days). 

Can I add a suggestion for the poke through?  Not always possible given what a character is wearing, but I tend to make the underlying character's body parts invisible if they are wearing clothes.  This way if there is poke through, you don't see it at all.  I also do a lot of test renders at low resolution and no fancy light settings so check for scene set up and annoying stuff like poke through.  This adds some time to the workflow, but it makes for better final renders.  I'm not great at cleaning stuff up in postwork, so I try to get it all right the first time. 

I'd love to chat some more about technique.  I think it would be great if we could round up all the 3D artists and bounce ideas off each other.  I'm sure there is lots we could learn from doing that. 

Rusty
HansGeorgSchrage's avatar
Again, thank you so much for your encouragement!  You have no idea how motivating that is.

I'd love to talk shop.  I am not even sure I have the terminology to do that, but like you said, I guess that's part of the learning curve.

I've never tried anything other than DAZ, so I can't compare it to Carrara or Poser or whatever else is out there.  Maybe this is a thing they recently added, but you can save stand-alone characters, with or without the materials (i.e. skin), and you can save the outfits in whole or in parts.  Very useful.

For terrain, sure, a random generator would be great.  I bought a resource off Renderosity for a morphing ground plane with a separate water level.  That is what I use here.  But there's lots of tinkering involved, especially for ground textures.

I'll check on the shadow casting.  I think, though, that this here is lit with a single UberEnvironment, so that would also do it.

For poke through and stuff, I just was not attuned to checking for that in detail, when I did this.  Nowadays, I do several spot renders where it counts, and am never above tossing and redoing an HD render if I notice something truly garish.

Even so, in the Safari Girl image, I missed one (did anyone notice, I wonder?).

But yes, bottom line, I'd love to be able to run things by you, and vice versa, on occasion.
MichaelLeachPhoto's avatar
Oh, no, that poor, lost backpacker.   Looks like the train has turned treacherous.  Will she escape??

Nice job - I particularly like the angle of this image.

Michael
pete1672's avatar
Very nice work!
Very nice!  That'll teach her to stray from the beaten path.

Love the thickness of the mud she's bogging down into.  I also like the expression on her face...  it's like this was something she wasn't expecting, but is going to push on in spite of the mud...  if she don't get stuck first.

Great background and great job including depth of field in the image.

Thanks for sharing!
I like it! :D
Silkyfriction's avatar
Never go off the trail!!
HansGeorgSchrage's avatar
Too late. ;-)
Any ideas of how to get back on the trail?
kenham1's avatar
Looking good start :)
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