Whew, it took its sweet time but I managed to pull it. Thing is I spent a lot of time juggling with fire physics and despite I managed to create something appealing, the baked cache is not implemented in Cycles! I was like “okay… to make a procedural flame out of the blue”, so yeah, I modelled the flame and created my own fiery shader as placeholder until they implement fire physics :P On the other hand, since it is a reptile line, a skin of scales was a must :B

Anyways, enjoy. This is one of my favourite Baby stages :) 27 to go!

I can say I quite enjoyed creating the procedural shaders from the scratch for this little guy :) I tried to add some fur to it but somehow it glitched terribly on parts so this slime is baldie now :P Gonna ditch the particle system until it gets a fix or until I know how to properly handle it.

Enjoy the group photo with the nasty glitchy fur :)

Teaser of the next guy I’m making, but the hair strands aren’t cooperating, probably due to modifiers piling up, so I’m going to totally skip the hair/fur part on everyone until I solve the problem with the bug I posted earlier. Still, is fun to fiddle with the particles and creating the materials for them :B

Need help solving a bug

It came to my attention, maybe in this recent 2.71 built, that there is a big problem with the Mirror Modifier. Whenever I use it for modelling, everything is good until I need to start to touch the gap just at the middle of the model.

For instance, whenever I needed to move the vertices at the center, to create new geometry or just because some vertices that went close to the center automatically closed the gap, I usually would turn the Clipping and Merging OFF to be able to move them away from the center along the X axis and turn things ON again. However, recently this is not working. No matter, even after I delete the Mirror Modifier itself, I can’t move any vertices around the X axis to make them pop away from it. What is the problem here? I knew I managed to fix this on an old model but I can’t remember how I did it, so, if someone suffered from this bug and knows how to fix it, please, I’m all ears!

image

Aaaand, problem SOLVED. Apparently this thing is the culprit, the X Mirror on a hidden panel I didn’t know it existed. When I turned it off, I could move the vertices around again. I wonder what is this used for…

Hope this sears in my memory for future problems. It was quite a very bad glitch that stopped my workflow from advancing onwards :(

Well, I’m hyped for the 15th anniversary :P Some little digital creature for practising with the particles a bit - still need tweaking like modifying the materials for the eyes and fur, and combing a little the hairs around the eyes, but I need to call it a day :(

1 guy of  a batch of 32 !

A long long while ago, I tunned up TV and got to meet a show called “Monster Bug Wars” which automatically turned into one of my favorites.

They featured some glowy CGI bugs like this. So I was messing with the Nodes trying to create the same effect in order to distract myself from a different project. It was quite fun actually! Sadly, the volume absorption one (third) only works on CPU and is not quite accurate (and I don’t have that patience to wait for it to render). These are the results of the experiment and I saved the shaders in my library for further use because, at the least, I can use it for some ghost characters like Luigi’s Mansion ones :)

Still alive. Have some random character I’m working on.

A tip for pre-rendering and final rendering

I have been studying why some of my renders have “fireflies”, the tiny pixels of white that appear when you do a pre-render or a full render. It is not about caustics - even with caustics off the speckles still appear, and without caustics, the light bounces are too unrealistic if you aim for an accurate scenery and light is lost.

However, I have discovered why this happens: is a calculation problem, in other words, maths. Maths are wonderful, but they are loathsome (at least for me). Lets say you do an awesome equation and you end with like 1000 decimals because your result isn’t a round number like 25 or 666. These decimals turn out into those damn fireflies. It is not a problem reserved to Blender though, it happens in all 3D softwares, but suppose the top notch have filters for that, well, Blender does not, and you can run over 9000 filters and still get fireflies and everything ends so blurred and so dark it sucks.

But I found the way to fix this and is by getting rid of those decimals, and the answer is at a small drag of the mouse. I’ll summarize:

  1. When you create a light or lights, these lights start to bounce around the surroundings as real light does. That is based on calculations of how light works on real life.
  2. When the calculations have thousands of tiny decimals as results, fireflies appears every time a tiny pixel of light bounces but fails to calculate the real falloff of “photons” that should bounce from that surface.
  3. In order to fix this, you must change the size of the light sources.

Not agree or can’t afford to change the size of the lights until the fireflies disappears? Instead of changing the size of the lights, change the size of the FULL SCENE. Select everything (even camera if it is there) and resize it to be bigger than that. The fireflies miraculously will disappear, because the math results will have less decimals and in the end, more accuracy at the hour of bouncing the lights. Sometimes you don’t need to do a great change to the size of a light to get rid of the fireflies - the changes are milimetrical, I use SHIFT to resize the lights 1 or 5 pixels of size and is enough to get rid of most of them, if not ALL. I even changed the HDRi I use for the surroundings and I saw that the backgrounds with no sun but still enough bright are enough to light up everything (and in case it is too dark, you can ramp up the Strenght of the emission of the HDRi to your needs). I also found out that by changing the size of a single light (a light lamp from the distance for example), most of the fireflies are gone.

I don’t know about any programming but I know how maths sucks, and programming goes smoother and more accurate when maths are small to handle. Alright, that was the useless tip from me for this day. It works for me at least on several different renders, I can even force fireflies to appear if I add a bunch of ridiculous decimals to some of my lights, so if this tip doesn’t work for you, try adding more bounces to the lights or culling some (8 bounces works for me because 8 is a magic number, duh!).