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rodger_r
A:M has been my main hobby for almost 19 years. (My oldest copy of the render module, render.exe, is dated Feb. 26, 1993). Over that time A:M has improved and I've learned a lot about modeling, texturing, lighting and observing the real world. Now that I'm getting comfortable with my new hardware, Win7_64 and v16 I've decided to go through every one of my models to bring them to a consistent level of craftsmanship. The first model to get an upgrade is the brick facade of a warehouse-like building. I don't usually keep old renders but in this case I have the warehouse from:

2001 - Toonation Brick Plug-in, simple lighting model, procedural sky, incredible day-glow colors (I can't believe I ever found this convincing)
2004 - purchased 3rd party procedural bricks, purchased image for the sky dome, clean orange(!) bricks
2012 - BitMapPlus bricks and shingles, ambient occlusion, better colors, dirtier with more details
robcat2075
Better living with better dirt!
Vertexspline
rodger r -----smiles.....its nice to see something looking better as the years wage on.
RU2D4
The warehouse looks better, sounds like a lot of work going through all of your models to fix them up.
Rodney
What a difference a few years make!

I've always imagined that you set all of these up like the railroad hobbyists do and send their trains down the tracks in endless circling.

Do you set these up in a similar a way as the scale railroads virtually or do you keep them separated for the purpose of rendering the individual scenes and/or to facilitate the creation of products for real world railroad sets? (I'm not looking for you to reveal any trade secrets here but have always been curious)
Simon Edmondson
Hope I'm not speaking out of turn here but, Have you thought of doing Edward Hopper type illustrations ? With skills like those you display It might prove worthwhile financially as well as aesthetically ?
regards
simon
agep
Awsome progression. Thanks for sharing
itsjustme
Great stuff, Rodger!
rodger_r
QUOTE
sounds like a lot of work going through all of your models to fix them up

There's just under 100 of them so it shouldn't take too long.

QUOTE
Do you set these up in a similar a way as the scale railroads virtually or do you keep them separated for the purpose of rendering the individual scenes and/or to facilitate the creation of products for real world railroad sets?

Basically I plan on building back-lot sets that represent parts of railroad life that I would have liked to experience. For instance, referring to the three B&W images, I feel deprived that I can never walk out of store and watch 3/4 of a million pounds of steam powered iron moving by just across (or down the middle of) the street. This seems almost magical to me. The only way I can even come close to this is to render it myself.

QUOTE
Have you thought of doing Edward Hopper type illustrations ? With skills like those you display It might prove worthwhile financially as well as aesthetically

Well, I'd never do it for the possible financial reward. Nothing can take the fun out of a hobby faster, since money equals deadlines and satisfying someone other than yourself.

However the idea of modeling Phillies from Nighthawks (see colour picture) is genius. All I'd have to do is expand the street sufficiently to accommodate both cars and a railway track.

But looking at Phillies with my "how do I build it" eye I wonder about its shape. The counter on the redhead's left is obviously not parallel to the counter nearest the viewer. Is the building triangular? Does the street upon which the viewer is standing not perpendicular to the far street? Are there any obsessive Hopper "fans" who try to answer these questions?
RU2D4
Very impressive! I like the replication of the famous painting as well as the realistic images of what the 19th century may have looked like when it was new.
johnl3d
Great work and talent
Wildsided
QUOTE(rodger_r @ Feb 20 2012, 10:19 PM) *
But looking at Phillies with my "how do I build it" eye I wonder about its shape. The counter on the redhead's left is obviously not parallel to the counter nearest the viewer. Is the building triangular? Does the street upon which the viewer is standing not perpendicular to the far street? Are there any obsessive Hopper "fans" who try to answer these questions?


Looking at it I'd say the diner is supposed to be laid out like this.

Click to view attachment

I'd say although it doesn't look it, the counter follows the curve of the building and the back counter is supposed to be parallel with the front. The artist probably wasn't the best at perspective drawing. The building wouldn't/shouldn't be triangular because it'd be a waste of a corner lot to have one triangular building.

Anyway that's my 2 cents take it or leave it. Not like i'm an architect or anything lol.
Simon Edmondson


But looking at Phillies with my "how do I build it" eye I wonder about its shape. The counter on the redhead's left is obviously not parallel to the counter nearest the viewer. Is the building triangular? Does the street upon which the viewer is standing not perpendicular to the far street? Are there any obsessive Hopper "fans" who try to answer these questions?
[/quote]

I like Hopper and have atttended a few of the shows here and in the USA that featured his work. I'm certainly not an expert on him or his work so take what I say with a lot of salt. An art history lecturer did his Phd on Hopper and that period of US art. In one of the lectures I attended he pointed out that, it is a regular feature of Hoppers work that the diagonals and structures of the paintings don't always conform to strict rectilinear perspective or 'normal' organisation, indeed part of their effect relies on it not doing so. He illustrated this especially with Nighthawks at the Diner and the one with the loan woman at the table in the automated restaurant ( can't recall the title at present ) where the lights recede in one perspective, the table in another, the window frames in a third and the windowed reflections of the figure in a fourth.

If you were to try to recreate Night Hawks it might be best not to go for a literal transcription but using the skills you've deployed on the warehouses to build the feel of the picture using colour, texture and lighting ? It would certainly be distinctive in CG terms as I can't recall seeing anything similar ?

regards
simon
rodger_r
QUOTE
...it might be best not to go for a literal transcription...

But...but...literal's what I do. blink.gif It's all I know. Although the configuration of my steam locomotive never really existed, I shamelessly stole features from three real prototypes.

QUOTE
...it is a regular feature of Hoppers work that the diagonals and structures of the paintings don't always conform to strict rectilinear perspective or 'normal' organisation.

Worst description for a prototype reference image, EVER! smile.gif I need something to ground the model in reality so at least I know how big it is and the overall shape. Fortunately there is one person in the world who obsessed over the "actual" location for Phillies and, thanks to the world wide web, has shared their conjecture. Clearly Phillies never existed, but if it had, the lot at the corner of Greenwich and 7th Ave. in New York would be as good a location as any. And now, knowing the size and shape of the lot, I have something to guide my somewhat limited imagination.
NancyGormezano
QUOTE(Simon Edmondson @ Feb 25 2012, 06:29 AM) *
If you were to try to recreate Night Hawks it might be best not to go for a literal transcription but using the skills you've deployed on the warehouses to build the feel of the picture using colour, texture and lighting ? It would certainly be distinctive in CG terms as I can't recall seeing anything similar ?


Actually I believe the Turner Classics Movie Channel (here in the US) did an animated CG recreation, and used it as a advertisement/bumper for their channel. I always loved it, was done very well. They had the characters in the diner do some minimal movement. Classy classic.

And then of course, there was the Simpsons recreation. Not so classy classic.

EDIT: here's one of the Turner Classics Bumper on youtooob for Hoppers paintings in CG
robcat2075
I was impressed when they did this on "That 70's Show"

http://youtu.be/jDKick0Fy8E
Simon Edmondson


EDIT: here's one of the Turner Classics Bumper on youtooob for Hoppers paintings in CG
[/quote]


Nancy

That is fabulous. I have never seen that before. I would love to be able to get that painted feel in my work. I have a particular project it would be especially applicable to that I was thinking would have to be hand drawn. Thank you very much for the link.

Simon
Simon Edmondson

But...but...literal's what I do. blink.gif It's all I know. Although the configuration of my steam locomotive never really existed, I shamelessly stole features from three real prototypes.

Rodger

I am fairly literal minded myself ( from a family of very literal minded people ) what I meant was, sometimes an exact replica is not possible because what is depicted is not possible in the 'real' world. An extreme example of that would be the work of MC Escher. It looks believable until you look closer and see the anomalies (?). It works in 2D but wouldn't in 3D. The same is true of a lot of Hoppers work.

If you find a way to recreate the textures and colours of the painting in your models for AM could you please ( pretty please !) let me know, as it is something I would love to achieve in a project I have been trying to develop for a long time ? My focus is on the animation rather than the modeling side of things. I'm not very good at that at all.

Nancy has a very good link to the TCM bumper based on Hopper's work.

regards
simon

Simon Edmondson
. Although the configuration of my steam locomotive never really existed, I shamelessly stole features from three real prototypes.<<

Rodger

Pardon me, I meant to add this in my other post. There is a famous American photographer called, I think, O Winston Link,

( http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=o+winston...359&bih=928 )

who specialised in photographs of steam locomotives and their settings. You may enjoy the images as well as finding references for your work ? Coincidentally, there are several 'heritage' railways within 50-60 miles of where I live in the UK and they run regular steam locomotive services through the year.

regards
simon


rodger_r
QUOTE
...recreate the textures and colours of the painting in your models for AM...

Unfortunately, it's unlikely that I'll ever try to match Hopper's "look", my only motivation is to approximate photo-realism (see colour attachment).

QUOTE
...O Winston Link, who specialised in photographs of steam locomotives and their settings. You may enjoy the images as well as finding references for your work?

I'm way ahead of you Simon. I have one of his books and a bunch of downloaded images. Earlier in this thread I attached three inspirational b&w photos; the center one is by Link. And that locomotive of mine bears a striking resemblance to the "star" of many of his photos, the Norfolk & Western Class J (see b&w attachment).
Simon Edmondson
Rodger

I'm very impressed by your skills and they are way beyond my own. As mentioned before, my modelling skills are not of the highest order. Part of what I like about Hopper is what he leaves out. They are realistic in the sense that you recognise they are based on the world around him but he edits out a lot of what he doesn't need and the image works better as a result. For me at least. Its getting that balance that I always had a problem with in the days when I used to paint more often than I do now.

If anyone else know how to get that painted feel in AM I would be very happy to learn how to do it.

I almost bought a Link photo a few years back at the Royal Academy in London and regret that I didn't. It was an image that incorporated the three major transports themes of the 20th century. It was at a drive in movie, the train was going by in the background and the image on the movie screen was of a jet airliner. It caught the transition from one time and place to another perfectly. The tonal range of the print would have made Ansell Adams proud and the black and white just glowed. It was FAB !

regards
simon
robcat2075
QUOTE(Simon Edmondson @ Feb 27 2012, 05:50 AM) *
If anyone else know how to get that painted feel in AM I would be very happy to learn how to do it.


the painted look is almost exactly that... textures painted with a brush in a paint program. Someone who studied Hopper's style closely coudl apply that to digital painting.
Simon Edmondson

the painted look is almost exactly that... textures painted with a brush in a paint program. Someone who studied Hopper's style closely coudl apply that to digital painting.
[/quote]


So its down to the texture maps applied to the surface ?
Are there any settings needed in the renderer and would I have to go into UV settings and mapping when applying the maps ?
You can tell at this point that I don't have a lot of knowledge or experience of UV or mapping !

On a slightly different, but related, topic. Have you seen the animated film " The illusionist", directed by Sykvain Chomet ? ( not the live action one with Edward Norton ). That has a beautiful combination of cg and drawn animation, a bit like the Iron Giant in that regard. I've wanted to explore the Toon option within AM for some time but have barely scratched the surface. Are there any tuts or guides to its use anywhere?
regards
simon
robcat2075
QUOTE
So its down to the texture maps applied to the surface ?
Are there any settings needed in the renderer and would I have to go into UV settings and mapping when applying the maps ?
You can tell at this point that I don't have a lot of knowledge or experience of UV or mapping !



A lot of stuff in that TCM clip are probably flat cards painted and placed in the 3D environment. I didn't see any object in that that turned much in the camera view; we're always seeing them from one side.

Genuine 3D models can be easily painted from a particular camera viewpoint in a 3D paint program like our own A:M Paint.

I did a brief intro tut for A:M Paint here:

http://www.hash.com/forums/index.php?s=&am...st&p=356734


My Punch thread shows how to use cylindrical mapping to easily wrap a complex shape with a bitmap that can be painted on.

http://www.hash.com/forums/index.php?s=&am...st&p=317888
Simon Edmondson
Rob

I bought AM paint when it first came out but, for various reasons, I have never actually used it. It would appear that now might be the time to start learning. Thank you for the info and the links.
simon
rodger_r
QUOTE
So its down to the texture maps applied to the surface ?

It's as simple as pasting a downloaded Hopper JPG to a flat plane. In PSPro I straightened up some of his less than orthogonal store fronts, erased the fire hydrant, mirrored it and decaled it to a flat plane that I had bowed to match the curve in the entire facade. Then I unbowed the plane and placed it on the same street as the warehouse.
robcat2075
QUOTE(rodger_r @ Feb 27 2012, 08:09 PM) *
QUOTE
So its down to the texture maps applied to the surface ?

It's as simple as pasting a downloaded Hopper JPG to a flat plane....


Great demo, Rodger.
Simon Edmondson

It's as simple as pasting a downloaded Hopper JPG to a flat plane. In PSPro I straightened up some of his less than orthogonal store fronts, erased the fire hydrant, mirrored it and decaled it to a flat plane that I had bowed to match the curve in the entire facade. Then I unbowed the plane and placed it on the same street as the warehouse.
[/quote]


Rodger

Thank you for the demo. For the look I want, I think I'll have to do some physical painting, scan it in and make the flats as you suggest. I can't recall the details but there was a section in the manual for V8 that showed how to make a multiplane camera effect.
regards
simon
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