Monday, December 2, 2013

Today's walk report: 120213

What I did today and how it relates to yesterday's walk.

That line above? Sometimes that's a real pain in the ass for me. Today I just said, screw it, and put down what it is. On 111813 and 112013 I wrote about my trials and tribulations in making something one might consider a Christmas card, aka, a greeting card for the holidays. The walk report from the 20th had some ideas I was working on which were abstract, fractal based images that I thought looked "Christmasy." The walk report on the 18th had some examples of "cards" from previous years. I put cards in quotes because I rarely actually print any of this and hand to or mail to anyone, but I have. That's what I was going to do with the fractal ideas. I was planning to get a pack of glossy paper Avery postcards, print a bunch of these and mail to some people I know to varying degrees, many who wouldn't have expected a card from me. If you came here from my Facebook wall, you may have been one of these people. After 13 attempts at various settings in Photoshop on regular glossy photo paper I could not get blacks to print even close to what I felt was acceptable. So I scrapped the idea.

The idea of creating another image for the holidays would resurface several times over the past 10 or so days, sort of like spontaneous combustion. Then over the Thanksgiving weekend I did this. I took my card from last year shown here and added what a few people asked for last year... make it more Christmasy, put some trees in...

So I did.

Without getting too specific, the trees are part of an ecosystem in the software I'm using, Vue XStream, which is designed for creating natural looking environments. There are loads of variables I can set up for modifying an ecosystem. I didn't mess with this one much.

Then on yesterday's walk I was engaged once again in taking photos of birds of prey, among other things. As it grew dark and I was returning home it occurred to me, why not combine these two ideas. Why not do an environment, sort of Christmasy and combine this part of me who likes to take pictures of birds of prey. I started on this during my 1st cup of coffee this morning then on and off between other things on my to-do list. I'm figuring now I worked on the overall composition for about 4 hours.

Here's the first version of this.

Everything in the image except me taking a photo of the eagle is CG. That is, it's all a bunch of polygons. 871,209,354 of them. I was also going to be a bunch of polygons but the "canned" guy I was using, this bunch of polygons named "Sam" didn't have any arms. Without arms I thought it was going to be rather difficult to make Sam look like he was holding a camera so I took a picture of me really holding a camera in my living room. The actual render is about 1.5x the size of the image you'll see if you click on the image above but I can render it out as large as my system resources will allow. It took my computer almost 2 hours to render and this happened just before I left on my walk today. On my walk I pondered the eagle and decided I'm going to replace that with a photo of a hawk in flight that I've taken. I thought about this before leaving for the walk and started the render, sans 3D eagle. This coincidently just finished. I'm going to work on that, post the image below and that's it for today. That will be version 2. I'll be sleeping on that one. The one other thing that came to mind on my walk is how incredibly bright this scene is. It's been toned down quite a bit in Photoshop but what I might end up doing (for one) is to tone down the "sunlight" within Vue and render that out for comparison in the morning. Everything is editable right down to the leaves on the trees.

By the way, here's Sam.


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