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Zen and the Art of Cycles

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By Lahirien   |   Watch
Published: September 30, 2014
© 2014 - 2020 Lahirien
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In my continuing exploration of the unfathomably amazing program that is Blender, I have now moved on to ponies (as I am known to do in every medium I touch :lol:). This piece serves as practice for merging multiple elements, basic manipulation of rigged models, and three different Cycles materials.

As you can see, those materials are glass (Applejack), glossy (Luna), and hair particle effects (Derpy). I really like how the hair effect looks, and it was a ton of fun to implement. You get to comb and smooth and puff it right on the model, like it's one of those brushable toys, but super high-tech. Aww

Unfortunately, my graphics card doesn't have enough memory to render a smooth amount of body fur for Derpy with the rest of the scene in place, but it sure looked awesome when I was setting up the models. I even had a Flufflederp version (basically this cs424425.vk.me/v424425401/2edd… ). I also had to disable caustics on this one, because good golly, y'all, I'd need a full-blown render farm to pull that off without noise (in any time shorter than a week, at least). As it stands, I did 4000 samples with limited global illumination and no caustics, and there's STILL noise in some places. Oh well. Most of it looks awesome.

Render time: 8 hours

Ponies: Modified from www.blendswap.com/blends/view/… by :iconmirceakitsune: MirceaKitsune, originally by :iconkp-shadowsquirrel: KP-ShadowSquirrel

Environment: www.blendswap.com/blends/view/… by Ermmus.

If you want the modified pony models, ask me. I had to use a script on an old version of blender to make them cycles compatible.

Edit: Changed to a max quality JPG, now the file is 5MB instead of 40. I'm used to vectors, for which PNGs compress extremely well. I suppose photo-style stuff doesn't work that way.

Edit: HI EQUESTRIA DAILY!!! :iconpinkieismindfckedplz:
Image size
3840x2160px 5.21 MB
IMAGE DETAILS
Software
Adobe Photoshop CS6 (Windows)
Comments74
anonymous's avatar
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piter10p's avatar
Nice demonstration of cycles shaders possibilities ;)
Lahirien's avatar
LahirienHobbyist General Artist
Cycles is awesome!
Duskie-06's avatar
Duskie-06Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow this is absolutely amazing! I don't know what words I should use to express how awed I am by its quality! Oh! I also took 8 hours to finish rendering my Nightmare Moon! SAME! xD

I believe you've already seen it! :D

Power of the Night (3D render) by Universe-of-Dusk  
Lahirien's avatar
LahirienHobbyist General Artist
Aww, thanks! :icondragonshy1: But yours is so much more amazing! :D
Jon-The-Hillbilly's avatar
Jon-The-HillbillyStudent Filmographer
And more Blender ponies emerge!! :D
Lahirien's avatar
LahirienHobbyist General Artist
:iconnoddingtwilightplz:
Jon-The-Hillbilly's avatar
Jon-The-HillbillyStudent Filmographer
mmmhmm! good. :)
MirceaKitsune's avatar
MirceaKitsuneHobbyist Filmographer
OMG, someone using my edit of the Gmod ponies for something nice *squee* But yeah, good to see Blender and Cycles being considered for pony art... just wish it would happen more often. And ugh... those fireflies remind me why I still hate Cycles despite how much I love it :)
Lahirien's avatar
LahirienHobbyist General Artist
Ohai! I didn't realize you had an account here. Derpy Emoticon  I've linked you now. Thanks for converting those! :hug:

Cycles just looks so amazing while still being newbie-friendly. We need to see more pony art that uses it! I mean, SFM is nice and all, but that direct lighting and lack of effects starts looking really drab now that I've been spoiled by near-photorealism.
MirceaKitsune's avatar
MirceaKitsuneHobbyist Filmographer
Thank you! Blender is amazing in general, and so is Cycles :) Only problem with it is the "noise vs. render time" issue, which makes it nearly unusable for any animation. Hopefully it will get better though!
Rose-Eclipse's avatar
Rose-EclipseHobbyist General Artist
*Jaws drops
Lahirien's avatar
LahirienHobbyist General Artist
:iconbrohoofplz:
Rose-Eclipse's avatar
Rose-EclipseHobbyist General Artist
Brohoof 
Justabrain's avatar
gods i absolutly love how Aj and Luna turned out

Derpy is soo fuzzy <3

and excelent bg
Lahirien's avatar
LahirienHobbyist General Artist
:boogie:
LolliponyArt's avatar
LolliponyArtStudent Digital Artist
Anypony else spot something upside-down? :)
Duskie-06's avatar
Duskie-06Hobbyist Digital Artist
The photo frame on the wall! xD
Lahirien's avatar
LahirienHobbyist General Artist
;)
jyroman53's avatar
jyroman53Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh ! Princess Luna is made of heavy medal !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
UltraTheHedgetoaster's avatar
UltraTheHedgetoasterHobbyist Artist
Wow! Derpy, u so fluffeh! :iconpinkieisexcitedplz:
"Applejack, you're such a bad liar, I can see right through you." :iconrimshotplz:

And Luna is the T-1000. :bucktooth:

Now, considering "transparent Applejack" here, may I direct your attention towards Coca Cola Pony. [link] [link]
:iconpinkiepieohyouplz:
Windsplit's avatar
Love the detail, you've done an amazing job on this. :D I thought you'd taken actual figures and put them in, they look so real. ^..^ I like how you even added the sparkle reflections off A.J. to the environment, like the light is really shining/reflecting through/off her. ^..^
Lahirien's avatar
LahirienHobbyist General Artist
:iconspazhugplz: It's the awesome power of Blender and the Cycles engine! If I had been willing to let it run for a whole day or two, it could have even done the complex refractive caustics.
Windsplit's avatar
Sweet :D Blender's really come a long way over the years ^..^
FunnyFany's avatar
FunnyFanyStudent Digital Artist
Now I want an actual glass AJ sculpture. I'd pay generous bits for it. (Of course, if I had them.)

8 hours of rendering, huh. I see how something like this takes a lot of one's GPU. Blender isn't an option for me, it seems.

Anyway, that does look awesome! Derpy looks like a velvet plushie and the effects on Luna remind me of some vintage porcelain horse sculptures my grandmother used to collect. Amazing work!
anonymous's avatar
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