Saturday, March 20, 2010

A larger Image for Your Viewing Pleasure

Here's a much larger version. Though it's hardly noticeable, I took some of the comments from critique and softened some of the corners on the columns, as if they were sandblasted. I didn't do it to all of them because I still wanted it to have a slightly ambiguous time line of how long it been around.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Unfinised Narritive Finished

I present my final image.

I already talked about why I chose to use an aqueduct as my main focus earlier in the blog but I think it wouldn't hurt to expand upon that. To me the idea of the aqueduct has a lot of avenues story wise attached to it. Aqueducts, being made from arches takes knowledge in engineering, planning the path and the knowledge of how water works. I think that they are fascinating structures and hold a lot of mystery.

For the texture of the aqueduct I wanted something that had an ambiguous time scale to it. It's not crumbling, but its not pristine. There's no one around yet there was someone there once. For the ground, it's sandy with some grit, it comes across as dry and the fact that nothing could be growing in this area is obvious.

The shot that I chose was specific to enhance the mystery of the image. The aqueduct is obviously in a place void of water, so this makes the viewer ask where does it start, where does it end, who built it there and why. The shot being from a lower vantage point not only allows the viewer to wonder why they are in this place but in regards to the aqueduct, if there is even water in it and how would they get it. In the barren landscape, the water is close, but there is no clear way to access it. These are only a few questions a viewer might come up with when looking at this image in regards to the aqueduct and landscape.

Then there is the case with the symbols on the aqueduct. I made the choice to make the symbols look like they were painted on because I wanted another element of a human presence. The addition of the symbols adds on to the idea that the people who built the aqueduct have something to say about it, or believe in something important. It can be interpreted on several different levels. In choosing symbols I decided to look at alchemic symbols that I feel some how relate to water. As if the people who put up the symbols wanted the water to be influenced by the power of the symbols. I also added in a small symbol on one of the columns, its pretty well hidden but once its found it adds a little bit more mystery. Though the symbols do actually mean something I think that the viewer will still interpret it in there own way because the knowledge of alchemic symbols is not necessary to understand what I wanted the viewer to feel. Its the idea not the literal interpretation I was going for.

Now, I wont explain the Pteranodon, I think that this one is better left to the interpretation of the viewer but I will say that in the requirements to the project it was decided that there should be no unnecessary elements to the image. I feel that the Pteranodon is absolutely necessary to the composition and story of this piece, without it, the image feel like its missing something. Also being reassured that it had to be in there by several people helped, so thank you.

On a side note, one problem that I had was getting the ground to look how I wanted it to. When I rendered it in blender in the smaller format it would look great, but then when I rendered it out in the larger format the ground would get smoothed out. After several hours I figured out what was going on and how to solve it. All I had to do was pump up the Normals to the max and then when I rendered it out in the large format, blender toned everything down to the level I wanted. It took a couple of renders before I found the right level. I'm still not sure why that happened or if that is in fact what was going on but I think all the trial and error was worth it. I am quite pleased with the ground texture. There were other texture, modeling and composition questions that came up throughout the process, and for these I got feed back and help from everyone, all of which was helpful and appreciated. I don't think that my image would be like it is without the feed back that I got, so thank you everyone.

Here is another picture of the aqueduct form the top view, perhaps a Pteranodon perspective. As you can see, there is water in the aqueduct.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Almost There

My final "Unfinished Narrative" image is done, printed and ready for critique. I must say that vast improvements have been made since the last post. I fixed the mountains and textured them in a way that I fine works with the composition and highlights the parts that I want highlighted. I worked on the ground texture and the aqueduct texture to really push up details, along with adding some special features later on. There were several trials I had to go through to get the final image but I think I'll save those explanations for when I put up the final image (along with some others) after critique.

Monday, March 15, 2010

More Improvment!

After spending several hours yesterday trying to do displace mapping and failing miserably, I decided to try it again after being shown how to do it, which took about five minutes. So once I finished fixing some texture issues I decided to try out the displace mapping again. Several hours later I was not happy with the affect. I got it to work, kind of, but it didn't look very good. Note the bad photo below, It looks like an ice shelf from a glacier in the middle of a barren plane.
That's when I got the suggestion to sculpt it instead. Which I think looks better. I still need to work on smoothing it out (note the hyper glossy part) but I like where its heading. I have a lot more to work on tomorrow but I think I'll have it at a pretty good place by Tuesday.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Here is the next iteration of the aqueduct. Changes have been made and more are to come. I have some ideas that I'm working on to add some mystery. Also making those mountains is something that I have to do. I attempted to do that today, however after several hours of mapping, the mountains ended in disaster. So I'm going to try and do that tomorrow.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Texture, Kind of.

Here is the newest version of the aqueduct. I tried to bump map some texture into it and came up with mixed results. one side of the lower columns are textured while the other side is not. I tried moving the lighting around but to no great results. Then for some reason the darker bricks just don't seem to want to be textured as much as I tried. Hopefully I can figure something out, in the mean time I hope to work a bit on the mountains and the sky. I feel that once I get the major parts formed and textured I can add more detail.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Progress is being made. I have some textures that I like and now I will go through and arrange them to my liking. I would also like to lighten them up a bit. I still needs to work on the lighting amongst other things.

Monday, March 8, 2010


So I have been searching the internet for a good image of dry barren mountains and realized it was a lot harder then I first thought. I was looking for a particluar type of shot and never really found it. So far the closest that I've found is the one pictured. I think it works but still needs some help. Along with that, I have been trying to find a way to give the illusion that the aqueduct is disapearing into the distance and so far have been unsuccesful. I hope to work that out during the work day along with my texturing. I am happy with how the modeling is going but I would still like to work on the positioning of the aqueduct. Another thing that needs addressing is the sky. Due to the angle of the plane the sky gets cut off. I'm going to have to find a seamless way to elongate it.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Aqueduct update

Here is the design for the aqueduct. After several failed attempts at building an arch I finally made one that renders out fairly clean. It's nowhere near where I would like it to be but it's a start. I had some trouble with the bezier curve and as you can see some warping was created in the bend of the arch. Perspective is also a big thing that needs to be addressed, but I think I'll do that when all the other issues are hammered out with the basic design/form/positioning of the aqueduct.