100 Days, 100 Renders— Day 3


And now, my first tiny render.

It’s probably not a coincidence that with my rendering fewer images, I haven’t developed a feel for render times using Lightwave’s new(ish) quality options. So far, I’ve worked on these pictures in the evening, rendered them overnight, and done the post-processing the following day. I ended up completely whiffing on my set-up when I started running the final image. Too many motion blur passes, and I also decided to throw in some global illumination just to give it that “This model was shot with plenty of fill light” motion-control look. When I got up and saw the render was nowhere near finished, I canceled it, reduced the resolution, cut down on the MB passes, and replaced the GI with a wacky constellation of spinning distant lights (which I believe was put up for download by Kat Myers originally) so I could get this out in a couple of hours.

Speaking of doing an in-camera GI-pass, one of the side effects of doing a render a day is that I’m not using passes as much as I like. The Day 1 image did have a Render Buffer export, so I could put some extra bloom on the specularity, but other than that, I haven’t done any breakouts or anything so far. I’m also not thrilled with how my post-processing turned out. That Star Destroyer, especially, is just too damned bright for my lighting style. I’ll need to give it some more attention if I want to figure out how to use it effectively (just as I was typing this sentence, my desktop cycled over to someone else’s render of this very model, which looks great. Sigh).

On a more successful note, this was my first time experimenting with instancing. It’s neat! I can see why people like it. Much more straightforward than my old trick of reloading scenes into themselves to multiply the number of ships in them.

The idea for the scene came from the third season trailer for Star Wars: Rebels, which seems to show an upcoming episode will involve stealing a squadron of mothballed Y-Wings. Not that anyone ever said getting away with them would be easy…

I’ll be traveling the next few days, so I’ll have to figure out a way to produce a bit faster than I have been. I might end up doing a little bit of back-filling, depending on how things turn out.