it’s been a busy few days since my last post. In this post I intend to:
- tell you about my further site changes and how they relate to my writing
- make a brief mention of DAZ Studio’s new renderer Iray
- show you my new digital art – two characters from Shade
- review “Jupiter Ascending” and “Grown Ups”
Yes, way too much for one post. So just scroll down to the part that takes your fancy (I’ll use bolded headings) and read those. :)
The front page of this site now has a bit of an explanation about my writing with an explicit focus upon my writing vision. It was an interesting exercise because it forced me to pull together all my streams of thought about my writing and essentially solidify them. For a while I was really tempted to talk about all the other writers that I have loved and their impact upon me, but then thought that this would be a distraction. So there it is. I’ve also added a Tales of Shade item to one of my menus and there I will start putting elements of my world as I create them.
I must admit that I really love the Sydney Theme. It is a beautiful and flexible theme. The best that I have used so far, which is great considering that it is free.
Iray AND two new character images
I tricked you. Two of the stories are related!
OK, so it’s not that funny. But I am tired and anything will give me the giggles right now. :)
Anyway, the most recent version of DAZ Studio (the tool I frequently use to render my digital art) now includes Nvidia’s wonderful Iray. Nvidia describe Iray as a “physically based rendering technology that generates photorealistic imagery by simulating the physical behaviour of light and materials.” That’s a fancy way of saying that it makes 3D models of things look incredibly real.
So several weeks after getting it, I thought that I would try it out. Firstly I picked Kerphulu. As you know I already had a model of him. So I reposed it, changed camera angles and lighting, and then ran the same render under the two different render engines. Here is 3Delight:
I was quite happy with this. So here is Iray:
As you can see I subsequently threw my signature on the Iray one as I prefer it.
One obvious difference is lighting. Perhaps I am just used to the original renderer, but I felt that I had more control over lighting in the first case. This said, I adored the way the light interacted with the model in Iray. The face is so much more… I don’t know… real. Sure, you cannot mistake it for a photo but see the subtlety of it through his hair, the flavour of the light. It is brilliant.Â Interestingly the colours seemÂ darker yetÂ more vibrant.
So I re-arranged Pari and did the same with her in Iray and this is what I got:
In this case I am uncertain, but suspect that I will continue using Iray over 3Delight.
This said, a render takes a long, long time. To do this render in 3Delight is under a minute. The same render in Iray took one hour and forty minutes.
Jupiter Ascending is a science fiction film set “now” but with all of us being blithely unaware that we are essentially free range cattle waiting to be harvested by aliens. No, that’s not a spoiler, that’s the plot background and I won’t elaborate further. Part of me wonders whether it ultimately aimed to be this generation’s Blade Runner. I say that because it mixed action withÂ a deep philosophical theme.Â Nicole and I thoroughly enjoyed it and even a day afterwards we found ourselves discussing ideas presented within the film.
ThisÂ said, the kids we knew disliked it (we watched it with another family). The main reasons that the kids disliked it were “too much talking” and “she (the main character) keeps making the same mistake” with the same results. OK, I agree with the second observation, and yet was not overly dismayed by such foolishness.Â As for the talking – I liked it. It was the content of the conversations that Nicole and I later discussed.
The other great plus was the CGI. Now I am not a big fan of CGI where it is poorly done or where it replaces the need for a story. In this case neither was true. The CGI was awesome and yet just right for theÂ nature of the story. Perhaps the fight scenes were too long and overly full of effects, but that seems to be a trend now. At least they weren’t as long as the last Hobbit movie or (even worse) the last Transformers film.
All this said, the acting was unremarkable. But you seldom can have everything.
Grown Ups is a more prosaic film by comparison. A bunch of kids win a local basketball comp, grow up and a couple of decades laterÂ find that their lives aren’t everything that they had hoped for, attend a funeral and thenÂ they and their families spend a weekend together.
This is an Adam Sandler movie. It also stars Chris Rock, Roy Schneider, David Spade, Kevin James and Salma Hayek.
Let’s do the bad things first. Too much low-brow humour for my tastes while the director sometimes seemed to merely making funny scenes rather than a cohesive work. Other than Sandler, I feel that the other characters did not really “grow” in the story. Chris Rock, in particular, seemed to get the raw end of the script.
Good things. Well, I’m always a sucker for a feel good film and this was that. I really felt the emotions that some of the cast portrayed. maybe that’s because I too am a middle-aged man who feels that he never reached his potential – whether as a worker, father and husband. Also, where the humourÂ is not low-brow I actually found myself chuckling quite a bit. Obviously they were aiming to please a range of demographics.
So at the end of the day, I enjoyed this film and would watch it again.
Anyway, that’s enough for this post. Thanks anyone who bothered reading the whole thing :)