2012 04 30, 23:19 – Rendering is GO!. I’ve skipped the cover for the moment; I’ll get back to that when the assets have developed. As of today I have assets for 5.01 and most of 5.02 and 5.03 – the work required for those two is minimal so now is as good a time as any to get some idea as to how long renders are going to take. The answer seems like “quite awhile” – the first few pages have 741-743 ray traced lights; after that I’ll be able to “gut” everything outside of the immediate area – cutting down the number of lights should hopefully speed things up. A tick over an hour for a test render? Ouch. It is three quarters of a page. though – so there’s that.
This is not the reflex environment. Same asphalt texture, a lot of the same sedan geometry. Brand new everything else. Thought it was gonna grind out quick and it wound up taking about the same amount of time as any other environment. That isn’t a bad thing, considering this one has roughly double the screen time of the average bit of CG.
Notes to self – disable shadows on the hills; crank up self-illumination on both layers. See how that effects panels after 5.01a – severe banding/artifacting issues, moreso than the bits in the top quarter that are also driving me nuts. Might speed things up a tick.
2012 05 01, 02:59 – Gutted the scene for panel two. Deleted all non-essential lights outside of camera range and I swear my PC has whiplash. Complicates the process a bit – speed over elegance.
2012 05 02, 21:04 – Used some static from DCR 1.01 to flavor up the top part of the first panel – I dunno if I’ll stick with it or not but I like the effect. It serves as a subtle transition from the last panel of the previous page and nukes the piss out of the artifacting that’s been driving me batshit crazy for the last couple of days. May require some more work to get it exactly where I want it but that needs to wait – I’ve gone totally OCD on rendering and setup work over the past couple of days and really need to catch up on Work-work!
2012 05 07, 15:41 – No adjustments for a few days. Ready for line art prep.
2012 05 16, 02:57 – Pencilled, inked, cleaned up, and ready for shading.
2012 05 17, 16:29 – Not happy with the texture resolution of the parking lot. It’s barely acceptable for the first panel of this page. Quality on the cover render was so shitty I wound up radial blurring the render to cover it up. For medium/long and knee-up shots it works, for closer shots it really doesn’t. I’ve pulled up the scene file and am executing a render with the lot texture tiling doubled quadrupled – I’ll see how that works. Visible artifacts viewing at half of actual size is maddening – and unlike the sky texture it’s something that can be easily solved. In theory, anyway!
You’d think a parking lot would be a dirt simple environment, and for the most part it is – however, in many respects this is shaping up to be the most labor-intensive environment I’ve worked with in quite awhile. Interiors are largely fire-and-forget – for exteriors, most of the work is done in photoshop, as opposed to by the 3d software.
Reminder – Will need to fix 5.04b as well. Render that one without the cast shadow; current sref is a poor fit. 5.02 is acceptable, as is 5.03. I’d like to go higher, but the panels in question are right at the edge of my tolerance envelope – and I’d sooner not have to re-match parking stripes.
At quadruple tiling the quality has changed from Unacceptable to Barely Acceptable. I’m fine with this.
18:57 – Replacement looks good. Shadow-matched and now very much ready for shading.
23:41 – Shading’s been complete for a bit – at least an hour or so. As with previous production blocks I’m going to sit on this for a bit and post it sometime within the next few days after a final spit-shine. May wait until 5.02 and 5.03 are well along or finished – I don’t know yet.
2012 05 24, 00:14 – Minor shading adjustments to the second panel. Looks like it’s good to go. Will post Friday if the server is in order – got word earlier that Perl is currently a bit wonky so Don’t Do Anything. I don’t plan to tonight anyway – Friday’s the nine year anniversary of the start of production so that’s what I’m aiming for!
2012 05 25, 14:18 – Final adjustments. Willing to live with cloud quality issues for this block of pages – will take another shot at reducing artifacting in the next batch of pages.