While experimenting with Filter Forge, I created a rather interesting texture map that I called “crushed sapphires.” I thought it had a really neat pattern and the bluish hue made me think immediately of my birthstone, sapphire.
I started playing with the texture map in LightWave – at first, just to learn more about the different lighting options in Layout. In the picture on the right, I used two linear lights.
If you look at the base of the cylinder with the crushed sapphires texture you can a brighter line of light on the marble floor. That is the linear light in action; you specify an invisible line in three dimensional space that is emitting light in all directions.
It really did not take me very long to become curious about what the crushed sapphire texture would look like on the Victoria 4 model in Carrara! I was really pleased with how that turned out and posed Victoria on a marble-like base and in a “room” (just a vertex cube to make wall, floor and ceiling – nothing fancy).
Here is close-up angle that helps show-off the texture map.
The pose here still wasn’t quite to my liking. It looks like Victoria is almost floating above the base. I put a spotlight pointed at her but that was far too bright.
The ideas started flowing at that point and I could hardly stop trying to implement them. The vision of an art gallery appeared in my brain and I knew that I had to create it. It was like a compulsion.
In LightWave, I modeled a rather simple cylinder and base. The idea was to make a metallic, brass line queuing pole; such as what you might find in a bank. I tried to model the velvet rope to hang from the queuing poles but I simply could not easily stretch and rotate the polygons to appear like a natural draping object.
I would have to use bones and rigging. Bones are an essential concept to posing or animating a polygonal model. However; they are something that I had yet to use in either Carrara or LightWave. Fortunately, there was plenty of help from the kindred minds in the DAZ-3D forums. I owe a special note of thanks to Phil Wilkes (here is a link to Phil’s excellent Carrara training videos), Dartanbeck and evilproducer for their advice and encouragement.
Here is the art gallery scene on the right shortly before I ceased working on it.
Ceased? Yes. Sort of.
It was coming along rather nicely (Dartanbeck and evilproducer gave me permissions to use their renders as framed paintings). I discovered that as more ideas formed in my mind, I realized that I would have to start over from scratch.
The art gallery room was an after-thought. All of this started with the accidental creation of the crushed sapphires texture. If I was going to create a proper art gallery scene, I would have to plan around the room itself. I wanted a much fancier room than just a box.
So I have been back inside LightWave trying out different ideas. Currently, I am considering a t-shaped room with a vaulted ceiling. The crushed sapphire Victoria will still be a major part of the scene; but I want to display other models – either purchased from DAZ or created myself – as exhibits in the gallery.
I may write another post describing the gallery modeling work in LightWave – I’m going to start again today with attempt number three!
This story isn’t quite over yet! Carrara guru, evilproducer, made some significant tweaks to the crushed sapphires texture. He shared his knowledge with us in the forums and I am very grateful for that. The shader now has a much better gemstone-like glitter and translucency to it.
In the picture on the right, you can also see that Victoria is posed much more naturally on the base.
This whole process has been interesting and educational.