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  :: February 12, 2004 :: 8:23 PM
Which picture do you prefer? (click thumbnail to enlarge...)

Current results

Hurray! Hoorah! Yippie-kah-yay, kah-ya! Alright, enough of the sillyness. The above pictures are (obviously) the final result... the only problem is, I couldn't decide which version I liked best! So... they're all there... for you to vote on!

A quick rundown of the post-processing ... uh.... process. I used The Gimp and Photoshop to do some touch-ups. Can't quite tell the difference between the images? Want to know which are post processed, and which are original? Here's the low down....

First image in each set: completely done in POV-Ray (no post-processing). Uses focal blur to smooth out the background trees, and "push them back" (an old painter's trick). Render time of about 20 minutes.

Second image in each set: a composite image combining the two textures that I couldn't choose between way back when. If you look closely, near the falls, and on the left canyon wall, you can see parts of the roughness poking through.

Third image in each set: the same composite image as before, but this time, I played with the colors.

Final image in each set: completely done in POV-Ray (no post-processing) without the focal blur. The fastest render job of the set, this one comes out in less than 5 minutes on my 1.8 GHz machine (with a bunch of other things running simultaneously)

And with that... I bid you, my "faithful" audience, adieu!


So Much Time, So Little To Do.... No, Wait. Reverse That.

:: February 12, 2004 :: 8:32 AM

Well, it's time for some final touch ups, and then the final renders... or at least, "final" renders until I find something else I don't like! If there's enough time, I still want to fix the water so it doesn't look quite so "fake-ish", and then there's the post-processing to be done. One nice thing about POV-Ray is the shadowing that it does. One bad thing about POV-Ray is the shadowing it does that you really didn't intend for it to do. Particularly when you're dealing with 400+ trees in the middle of the mountains... there's bound to be some shadows there, you think?


Brrrrrrr.... It's Cold In Here


:: February 12, 2004 :: 1:14 AM

"Good" morning, world, and welcome to the due date. *Sigh* I thought I was doing so well... starting early, and all that. I know, I know. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Someone must have turned the heat down, because it is absolutely freezing down here. And I'm wearing socks. And slippers. And a sweater. And gloves. And a touque. Inside. I kid you not.

Seeing as how I was/am so cold, I was curious how my scene would look in the "middle of winter". It was an easy change to make (just changed the colors of my trees, slapped some white onto my rock texture and made the waterfall texture a little more blue), so I ended up creating the entire scene in a "winterized" version. The nice thing about POV-Ray is the control statements... put "#if (winter)" in a block, and I now can change winter to summer with the click of a mouse. If only I could go outside and do the same thing.... then again, I'd settle for it being a little warmer in here.


Progress Snapshot


I'm a Little Teapot, Short and Stout...

:: February 11, 2004 :: 7:46 PM

Teapot, teapot... who's got the teapot?

Where do you put a teapot in the middle of the mountains? How did it get there, anyways? Such are the mysteries of life, I'm afraid. Seems there's been a mysterious new variety of conifer sprouting in the midst of the Rockies... of the teapot variety. Now the only question is... can you find it?

Oh? And did I happen to mention that I added another 3 trees -- well, 1 "bush" (scaled tree), one tree, and one... um... "teapotree"? That brings our grand total up to... (drum roll, please) 418.


Progress Snapshot

Teapot Embedding

Rain, Rain, Go Away

:: February 6, 2004 :: 9:04 PM

I think I'm a glutton for punishment... I decided to play more with my falling water... See, I found this nifty little POV-Ray "spray" library that would create a spray (like a hose, or whatever) of particles, and make it look like falling water. It even had constraints for wind, gravity, etc. Great, right?

Yeah, right. That's what I thought. About three hours ago. Much frustration later, I've decided it's not worth the agony. The "cheater-texture-method" will just have to suffice. It looks much less fake this way, anyway.


The Water... It Falls

:: February 5, 2004 :: 1:12 PM

You'd think water wouldn't be that hard to model... and it's not... when it's still, or at the very least, horizontal. Falling water? Now that's a different story altogether. I looked through the old IRTC submissions, and found only one decent picture of falling water that could potentially serve my purposes. So, I snipped some of the code, trying to make it work. I failed. Then, I thought, "well, I'll fill some cylinders with media, and make them be water falling!" Yeah, right. You notice I haven't posted for a while? Well that's why... I was battling the water.... *sigh*

Finally, I think I got it right. A texture, of course! Call me a cheater if you must, I personally think my solution was quite ingenious. Cut out the waterfall from a photo of cameron falls, and use it as a texture on a box, which I scale and set so that it *looks* like it's actual falling water. Wahoo! The torture of creating falling water is over.


Seeing the Forest Through the Trees

:: January 28, 2004 :: 8:47 PM

I'm definately going to use strictly POV-Ray from here on out. The control structures, etc. make life so much easier... and now that the lights and camera are set, I can just build my scene.... yes, I feel myself getting on a roll.... A sky sphere does wonders, don't you think?

The official tree count is in... I feel kind of like I should be holding one of those "guess how many jellybeans are in the jar" contest... but I'm not that cynical. Or maybe I'm just too cheap to come up with a prize.

Anyways, several very-inefficient-while-loops later, we have a treeline consisting of 415 trees, of varying species. Actually, for the sake of simplicity, I "cheated" a bit, and just created (well, had arbaro create) a generic deciduous (actually, it's a quaking aspen) and generic coniferous (okay, okay, it's a fir tree) that I rotated, colored and placed all based on pseudo-random numbers. Then again, I don't know if you can really call them even pseudo-random, since I hard coded the seed so I'd get some consistency in where the trees are placed! Well, to each his/her own, I guess.


Progress Snapshot

Trees! 415 of them!

A Rocky Start

:: January 21, 2004 :: 2:19 PM

,After playing with the IRTC picture, I figured "no sweat... I'll just do an isosurface on a bezier plane."

Ignorance is bliss, isn't it?

To make a long story short, the isosurface idea just didn't work out. So instead, I made a height field in Leveller. Then, I tried a couple of different pictures as rock textures, and had two I kinda liked (including the texture from the aforementioned isosurface disaster). Neither of them were quite right though... one was too smooth, one was too rough... and I couldn't manipulate POV-Ray to get either of them "just right". When it's all said and done, if I can't come up with anything better, I think I will post process the images in The Gimp or Photoshop or something, and see if I can't merge the two together somehow.

The height field itself (at right) took a tremendous amount of time to get just right. Once I did, I imported it into Moray, where I set up my camera and lights (three point lights), as well as a water plane. I think that's the last I'll be doing in Moray on this part of the project, since most everything else is going to have to be tweaked by hand.


It Begins... (AKA. What Was I Thinking?!?)

:: A Long, Long Time Ago.... ::

Knowing that we would certainly have a POV-Ray project, I took it upon myself to check out the IRTC website before the semester began. When we got the assignment, and it was (as I suspected) a southern Alberta landmark, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. My inspiration? This picture from an old IRTC competition. My subject matter? Cameron Falls in Waterton National Park, an annual camping trip destination for my family and I... and definately a well-known landmark.



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© Breanne Dyck 2004