After many many months I can happily say “I’M BACK!!”
Back in September 2019 I received an email from my hosting company saying that my website had been hacked and was serving up malware! Well I knew this was a huge problem and yet I did nothing. I’d been busy with other things and have not done much 3D renders in the Doctor Who world. So I knew I had to fix it eventually but I just kept putting it off.. and off… and off. I just didn’t really care all that much. Then on May 12th 2020 I was sent an email saying my web hosting had been auto-renewed to 2022. Yayyyyy……. 😐
On May 15th 2020 I received notification that someone posted on one of my YouTube videos. I went to see and was horrified. Some idiot by the name Steve Gale accused me of stealing the TARDIS interior design that I’ve been known for since 2002!! He claimed his ‘dead friend’ actually made it and that he had ‘Proof’.
Well I damn well know that was all a lie (or he’s old and his brain is feeble and he’s easily confused) so I immediately asked why he said this? He was aggressively indignant from the start. I asked for any proof of his claim against me (knowing that there couldn’t be any) and he simply refused to share it (the sign of a weak hand if any)
While I kept asking him to show proof to back his claim I went on an expedition through my archives. I have a 64Tb Network storage device that I archive almost everything on and I was able to go back through my folders to find test renders, temporary save files and other bits dating back as far as 1998 as proof.
Of course Steve Gale couldn’t accept my proof while defending myself against his wild claims. So he had to ‘top’ me saying his proof went back to 1994!! Wow.. massive idiot! Most people didn’t even have internet in 1994 let alone access to 3D animation software. I only did because I was working as a new media specialist for a film & video company at the time. Lightwave 3D on an Amiga with a Video Toaster. Those were good times.
I uploaded all my images to imgur.com (https://imgur.com/gallery/YZNMY8c)and challenged Steve Gale to show any proof within 24 hours and I would happily let the internet decide my fate (https://imgur.com/gallery/R8YY9RT).
I wasn’t going to submit to this internet troll of a person (Steve Gale).
Of course he just slinked away back to his safe corner and did nothing and the 24 hours passed. Because I knew he had no proof since I was the creator of this design.
I made a video showcasing my interactions with this pathetic individual. Sorry it’s 15 minutes long. But I can attest that it’s pretty funny to watch his claims against me grow as he makes the most stupefying leaps in what can only marginally be called logic.
There is a lot more to this story but I cover it in the video. Please watch it.
Anyways thanks to the insane rambling of Steve Gale I finally got the initiative to finally fix my website and secure it from future hacking.
THANKS STEVE GALE!!!!! YOU’RE STILL AN IDIOT!!!
AND A LIAR TO BOOT!!
So here’s a quick breakdown of one of my renders using my current system. I’ll give some system specs at the end.
I do all my 3D work in Lightwave 3D. I started using this on my Amiga back in the early 1990s. Then when I worked in the film & video industry it became my favourite piece of software. I’ve tried the other ones out there but I’ve always come back to Lightwave 3D. I guess it’s better to know a lot about one program instead of little bits here and there about others. Here is what the scene setup looks like.
(click image to open it in a new tab)
As you can see there are 63 objects in the scene. Even though you can only see the console room in this image the library and the lab are also loaded into this scene. There are 5,724,189 polygons loaded. I use instancing a lot to keep memory overhead down and I don’t think that the polygons of those objects is included in the total. The object memory takes up a little over 2 gigs of ram. Almost 2100 surfaces!! and finally 294 images for those surfaces. To me the most interesting thing is that there is only 1 light in the scene. In Lightwave 3D you have to have at least the one default light. I’ve used this light as the sun shining in through the giant library window. I commonly use the rule of thirds or golden spiral when laying out my scenes. In this case I didn’t because it’s setup for a 360 panorama render from various locations around the room.
For rendering I switched over to the octane 3D render engine from the default Lightwave 3D one. In it’s current version right now octane is 100% GPU based. So while I’m rendering my CPU is not bogged down in the slightest! This is amazing really as I’ll be streaming music, watching videos and browsing all while my machine plugs away on the image. But sadly it also means all the money I spent on putting my system together is rather wasted. Oh well it’s the final results that matter I guess and I put my machine to work in other areas as well. Anyways for this particular image I had the machine render away for 6 hours. The longer you let it render the less noisy the final image. But there’s always noise sadly.
I also render out various passes to help me in photoshop with the final image.
And finally the Texture ID image. I use this to help with the selection and masking process in Photoshop. One of the problems with the Ambient Occlusion image is that it really darkens the roundles which are supposed to be giving off light. Being able to quickly select the surface ID and remove that part of the image saves me a lot of time with hand erasing the parts that are causing problems. The texture ID image is also known as the Clown Pass for obvious reasons.
OK. So thats most of the images I use. The only other ones I really use are Ambient Occlusion ones where I set the occlusion length to different lengths (from .5 meters to 5 meters).
Then in Adobe Photoshop I’ll take the base image and de-noise it using a few plug-ins like Topaz Labs De-Noise 5. I’ll adjust the levels/saturation and maybe play around with the Color Lookup Adjustment Layers. Once I am happy with that I’ll add the Ambient Occlusion image as 2 different layers. One set to Multiply and a low value (10-25%) and the next layer as Color Burn (again 10-25%). Daniel Reed and I spent a lot of time working on figuring out the best ways to use the AO (Ambient Occlusion) layers to our liking. I’m not sure if it’s the correct way? But it works for my stuff at least.
Then I’ll use the texture ID image to select the areas that are emitting light and delete them from the AO layers. I’ll add in fake lighting elements like light beams through smoke or extra bloom around light sources. I’ll also add or remove light bleeding or colorize areas that are not to my liking. In this case the blue light bleeding onto the spider-web glass floor and the orange glow of the under-room. Then adjust the levels so the top part of the console room is not overly dark (but not overly bright either)
Finally I’ll overly the z-depth image and play around with the layering and opacity. It can either bring out detail and lighting in the back of the scene or make it darker. I like to make it a little lighter and simulate the effect when you look through the air at distant sights and they fade the further away they are because of light scattering.
So this is pretty much my process. There are a few other little tricks that I might do if I’m feeling so inclined. I’ll keep those one secret 😉
Finally I said I’d give you my machine specs. I’ll give you all the details as they are pretty impressive I think and I do love to boast about them 🙂
Motherboard: ASUS Z9PE-D8 WS
Processors: 2 x Intel Xeon E5-2687W @3.10GHz (first Gen chip with 8 cores each and multi-threading for a total of 32 cores)
Memory: 64gbs (8 x 8GB Corsair Dominator DDR3-1333 sticks)
Primary Video: GeForce 880 w/4gb ram
Monitors -Main: Dell U2711 27″ 2560×1440 (pre LED = HEAT Generator!!)
Monitors – Secondary: Dell E2209W 22″ 1680×1050 (LED yes but not IPS screens) x two (one on each side of main)
Current Video cards only used for GPU rendering
Nvidia GeForce 680 w/4gb ram
Nvidia GeForce 770 w/4gb ram
But I’ve just ordered 2 replacement cards!!
2 x EVGA Nvidia GeForce 880 Ti w/6gb each.
Just one of these cards is two times faster than my current setup. So I’ll be four times faster. Can’t wait for those to arrive in the mail
Keyboard: Corsair K95 RGB backlit mechanical keyboard (great keyboard… horrible interface to program keys)
Mouse: Logitech G700 gaming mouse
Sound: 5.1.2 all optical sound setup (the .2 means 2 front left and right speakers. One set up high and the other low)
Logitech Z906 Dolby Digital for the 5.1
AudioEngine 2+ speakers for the .2 low front speakers
Ram Drive: A:\ Self resizing partition (default 8gb) – Mirrored backup to D:\ in case of power failure (or my stupidity)
Boot Drive: C:\ OZC Revodrive X2 PCI card – 240gb
Work Drive: D:\ WD 4Tb 7200RPM
CD Drive: E:\ Plextor CD\DVD burner
BD Drive: F:\ Plextor Bluray burner
NAS Drive: U:\ – Z:\ Synology DS410 with 12Tb storage (9TB usable because it’s Raid 5)
OS: Windows 7 Pro
Adobe CC 2015: Mainly for Photoshop CC and After Effects CC
Lightwave 3D 2015.3
Octane Render (currently testing 3.0 Beta for Lightwave)
3D-Coat 4.5 (used for UV mapping and texturing)
Quixel Suite 2.0 (Bought it on sale.. not used much so far)
Um.. yeah. That’s about it.
I have not been in the best of moods for modelling in long while. So over the past few weeks since Series 9 started I’ve been getting back into it. Here is one of the things I’ve been working on (well technically two things. But they go together)
It’s the Doctors Yamaha SGV-800 electric guitar. This was rather a fun thing to model as it’s not something I’d normally attempt. The curves on the body were quite fun (and painful) to work out. The textures of the opal faceplate change as the angle of the camera moves. This was a tricky surface to create.
In the building of this model I used the PDF manuals for the guitar as well as over 80 reference photos of the whole SGV range of guitars.
The final image shows the Doctors amp. It’s was based on a Fender Mustang 1 portable amplifier. Of course all labels were taken off and replaced with the ever present Magpie Electricals logo. For a guy who ran a tiny radio/television shop in the 1950s he really became a huge mega-corporation. I’m amazed that International Electromatics allowed them to grow so large without a hostile takeover. And by hostile I mean cybermen deleting the competition.
So I’ve decided to use the blog portion of this website for more ‘small but timely’ updates. To show the small things I am working on. Mostly Doctor Who related renderings. But I might squeak in other content if I consider it cool enough.
Anyways my console room re-design is never finished! I am always playing around with it. If I find something that I like I try to include it somewhere. Today I re-did the main doorway. I’ve included the glowing outline for the police box doors as they first showed up in season 9. I still include the metal frame of the earlier doorways because why not.
The change I am on the fence with is the inclusion of the Gallifreyan writing on the sides of the main doors. I am sure that they’ll grow on me over time.
Sigh. Well over 2 years later I finally got off my ass and finished the migration from the old website to the new one. Thats ONE less thing in my life to hang over my head. Now onto the other 10^21 ones.
Many people have contacted me over the past two years (since my last update) to see if I’m still alive and/or still producing Doctor Who related images. The answers is YES!! I’ve not posted any images for ages because of 3 simples reasons. They are
Hopefully now that I’ve switched over to a real CMS (content management system) this will enable me to update more often and I have some other ideas for the sites future.