This page contains a number of firsts:
1. First page produced entirely in Photoshop CS. That’s right – after almost ten years using 5.x I’ve finally entered the 21st century. It’s made production a hell of a lot easier in a number of little tiny ways. The only downside is that it crashes occasionally, which is something 5.x never did.
2. First environment to use a radiosity solution and “fake” global illumination. Not only does this seem to elliminate the “banding” problem I’ve griped about in the past, it looks friggin’ sweet. And unlike Mental Ray’s photon generation, once the solution is brewed, it needs only minor updates for changes in geometry. Production renders in this environment are taking roughly one to three hours, compared to hour-plus preview renders in Mental Ray. Oh, and Scanline + Radiosity gives me edge anti-aliasing and texture detail I’ve never been able to get with Mental Ray. I’m sure the options are there, but it’s one of those cases where Too Much Granularity just isn’t a good thing.
3. First CG interior shot of the Daedalus.
4. First shot of Raven with a ponytail!
5. I’ve also changed how the dialogue bubbles are produced, but you don’t actually see the difference.
6. First I’m happy with what’s on the front page of the site since earth -1-.
Everything I’ve modeled so far will hold through page 12. At present, I have all of the backgrounds for the next two pages rendered and plan to render out the rest as quickly as possible, doing the linework later. This’ll allow me to keep churning out pages while I work through a hardware and software upgrade, get everything working again, and resume modeling – the rest of the Daedalus will be produced using reasonably current software.
A few more pages in December, then another gap, then more pages (hopefully) in late January.