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Magnus-Strindboem's avatar

To The Death: Dogs of War

This preceded by this scene: To The Death: Rhed River  but the events recalled from memory here occured almost ten years earlier.

How strange, thought Rhed, that I can still recall this so clearly, when I have forgot so much that seemed important in those days.

“It was just the way.” He told Keisha. “When the ice thawed and broke on the rivers, we went south, just to arrive when there was enough grass to feed horses and livestock and the campaigns would begin.

Admitted, we worked for the Senate more often than not. Because it lay on the way and they knew if they didn’t hire us, we’d just went further down to work for the other side. And besides they had the money and no troops and Garius scarcely enough to keep his legions from mutiny and you had the militia and levies and not much to pay us either.”

“We learned a few bitter lessons. I learned them because my generals did not.”, Keisha said.

Rhed gave a cold chuckle. “War favours the quick learners. But honestly with three sides, it’s always two against one, until all three are bled white. For the dogs of war, it was a feast. Every year the empire put another dozen legions in the field on all sides, and whe came and buried them when we left. It’s hard to forget Dertosa in any case. You managed to steal a march on us, but Garius and the Senate were reinforcing each other even though they were at odds themselves. But both saw you as the greater threat, so to speak.”

“I learned it from my spies. But to late.” She bit her lip. “I misjudged.”

“Oh, everyone did. You didn’t think they'd go so far as to join up against you. The Senate in their snobbish assumption that Garius would dance to their tune. When your line broke, Garios troops turned on their allies, thinking the battle was already decided.”

Keisah stared up into the sky, blankly. It must have been a desparate moment for her. But it was treachery whithin treachery.

“Garius believing it when people called him war hero and emperor to come. But you don’t mess with the dogs of war. When Garius tried to bribe us, we already had negotiated the double sum for falling him into the back. And that money was well earned“

It had been a short, intense, bloody mess of a battle. What remained of Garius veterans had routed and fled, and the imperial and the senatorial forces where in no shape to continue fighting. There was a truce to tend to the dead and no more campaigning that year.

“I saw you back then, you know? It was almost evening, and the din of the battle had been replaced with that slow crawling murmur of a battlefield full of death, dying and wounded men. I was there with Vreger, keeping an eye out for stragglers and some of our men missing.

First we thought it was another envoy meeting to discuss the truce, but then Vreger cursed.

‘Piss in my ale! It’s her!’

I turned and saw someone ride sideways, women style, and wearing purple, just a few guards behind. The crows rose from their feast and filled the air with angry croaking. What are you doing, I asked myself. But I knew the answer.

‘That’s one hell of a woman’ I said.

And he laughed. ‘Walk over and ask for a job.’

I saw you looking over at us, just for a moment. It was close enough for a bowshot. But you just moved on, slowly, passing over the corpses like a goddess speeding soldier souls to the afterlife. At some point Vreger nudged me for staring and not answering.  ‘Her? The way to her heart is through the ribcage, man…’

The picture was done with DAZ3D Studio and Iray, using CPU rendering on a Ryzen 9 3900. Render time has been in the scale of around 18 hours. The picture was denoised with the denoiser tool available from Declan Russel. 
This was a test for displaying large scale battlefields. About 36.000 Genesis 3 Soldiers have been scattered, plus equipment and birds, though you can't see them all from this position, of course.
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Andrey79's avatar

Great job, you were able to convey the battlefield incredibly !!! How do you do it? You are one of the best at this!

Magnus-Strindboem's avatar

Thanks, glad you like how it turned out. It was more of an experiment of how much I could scatter. Actually it's only nine differently posed people and a few items of equipment on the ground.

Andrey79's avatar

In the pictures, such nuances are not noticeable. In general, it turned out atmospheric and large-scale!

sodacan's avatar

Well, now we know what happened to the 9th....

Magnus-Strindboem's avatar

And a few others. They really grinded them in that war.

sodacan's avatar
caastel's avatar

this is absolutely fantastic ! love the composition ! love characters and this woman on horse is amazing ! really great job !

Magnus-Strindboem's avatar

I thought the riding style would fit better for the scene.

Edheldil3D's avatar

Boah, 36.000???

Wie machst du das? Oder ist das ScatterTool so gut, dass es den Speicher nicht auffrisst?

Klasse Szene, ich mag diese Bilder mit viel Zeugs drin. Bei mir hängst schon, wenn ich mehr als 4 Figuren drin habe. Dann kann ich gerade noch den Start-Button drücken und bis zum nächsten Tag warten.

Magnus-Strindboem's avatar

Naja, die meisten der großen Bilder laufen bei mir auch so lange. Ultrascatter generiert ja Instanzen Aber keins von den großen Bildern läuft auf der GPU, die mach ich alle auf der CPU - Maschine, weil's nicht in den Grafik-Speicher passen würde. Wenn ich jetzt im Lotto gewonnen hätte, würd' ich ja vielleicht über ne 3090 nachdenken, aber da muss es schon mehr als ein Dreier mit Zusatzzahl sein.

PSK-Photo's avatar

Wieder ein beeindruckendes Panorama und Massaker....

Da hast Du aber mal wieder extrem Werte probiert (ob jemals einer höhere Werte in DS verwendet hat?). Ev. doch langsam zur Unreal Engine 5 wechseln. :D

Wobei dort hat man auch gigantische Ladezeiten und so eine "nicht optimierte" Szene belegt wohl auch mal kurz 1/4 TB Festplatte meine ich gehört zu haben. :)

Was ist das für ein leicht diagonaler "dunkler" Strich im rechten unter Bilddrittel? Bearbeitung? Nebeltextur?

Magnus-Strindboem's avatar

Ja, ist der Nebel, der da ein seltsamen Fehler hat.

Naja es wären nicht so viele Leute nötig gewesen. Es ging mir auch eher darum, rauszufinden, wo es hakt und wie man am besten vorgeht, denn wenn erst einmal alles drin ist, wachsen natürlich Render- und Ladezeiten ins Bodenlose.

Mysticartdesign's avatar

wooooooooooowwwwww.... was soll ich sonst noch sagen....grandios

Magnus-Strindboem's avatar

Danke :) Ja ich weiß, ich hab's wieder übertrieben.

Kibosh-1's avatar

Another one of your "experiments" which end up being a stunning scene! :D

I've often thought about doing similar scenes but wondered if it would even be possible with so many soldiers. The fact you managed 36K of instancing.... WOW!! It makes the idea actually feasible.

Stunning job! :o :clap:

Magnus-Strindboem's avatar

TY :)

Yeah, just like you wrote. I thought I really had to put it to the test. I'm wandering aside the large storylines anyway atm, so I can experiment with stuff. Yes, given you have time and a halfway decent rig (but it does not really need super expensive hardware, just memory and some basic oomph) and a pipeline to build up complexity in the right order, then I'd say, any kind of large battle sceen is doable.

Kibosh-1's avatar

Yeah, I remember you explaining a while ago how you set up groups of instances (with individual parts) then duplicating them and then finally scattering them.. I'd have to go back and look it up to remember exactly but it made good sense at the time! Still, a magnificent result.

The fog of course finishes the scene off nicely.

Magnus-Strindboem's avatar

Despite what I wrote, I usually use UltraScatter a lot by now, especially when I need a random placement that has to conform to topology. For lines of battle, you'd probably use multiplication, to have more control over the layout.

I wish, though, there was a better option for the fog. This, apart from better support of moving or splashing water, is one the things I hope the future will bring.

Kibosh-1's avatar

Oh yes, I guess that's right - for random placement UltraScatter would be much easier. Fog and mist is always a problem with daz - other engines seem to be more capable with volumetrics.

AOGRAI's avatar

Love this scene!

Magnus-Strindboem's avatar

It's a big mess they made...

AOGRAI's avatar

Yes I get it, but saw a black line in the battlefield, did you leave it behind by accident?

Magnus-Strindboem's avatar

Yeah, I see it. I guess it's an artefact from the ground fog. Gotta remove it in post.

AOGRAI's avatar

Ahh Ithought maybe you accidentally drew it while moving your pen about! lol! I do that when I am tired and sleepy.

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