New toys!

Took the recently purchased Above the Fog out for a test drive with The Streets of Old London, and V6 in the Vintage Rose outfit with the Edwardian Accessories (recolored black and red from its original texture) and the old RDNA Real Deal Carpet Bag.

I’m not sure if the fog would’ve extended outward more; the road goes upward and it may have cut off the fog plane. But I decided I kind of like the truncated effect. It’s a little more mysterious.

I picked up The Streets of Old London a while back and this is the first time I’ve used it. Nice environment, though I miss the days when joelegecko made those Director’s Cut camera sets.

Dusting off some old content

Specifically, the Transpond Covered Bridge from the RuntimeDNA store. It didn’t make it to DAZ, sadly, and it doesn’t appear the DAZ store has anything comparable (or at least a search for “covered bridge” didn’t turn up anything.)

Coming up with terrain — a bridge needs something to bridge — meant cobbling together a bunch of props, and then I was reminded yet again that I need to buy more snowy pine trees. My selection is limited.

Terrain kit-bashed from:

Flipmode’s Easy Environments Winter for the pine trees, the snowy road add-on from the RDNA Country Cottage bundle (no longer available), the morphing snow pile and morphing snow terrain that were freebies for RDNA’s Christmas freebie fests (so also gone), and the terrain from Most Digital Creation’s Winter Wonderland.

Unless I’m mistaken, that last one isn’t UV mapped; I couldn’t add a texture to it. I ended up making all the snow the same color and then adding texture in postwork. I used a snow seamless tile I made from a public domain image:

Feel free to download it and use it for your projects.

Everything else:

Transpond Covered Bridge, Snow for RDNA Covered Bridge, Lyne’s Little Birds, 40 Ice and Snow Tiles, and Ice Patterns.

I have the SAMS3D bridge too; it was a Renderosity Christmas give-away some years back. It’s not available anymore either. The snow add-on is a freebie, as are the birds. I don’t have any other cardinals, though KenG at Hivewire probably has one somewhere in his numerous bird sets.

The texture on the frozen river (a primitive cube) was from one of those two free ice texture sets; I don’t remember which one though. The Ice Patterns set was by Frozenstar and was, I think, part of a Christmas give-away a few years back. It doesn’t appear to be available.

Snow overlays from the PixelBuddha (link a few posts back.)

A little more budget wrecking after all

Only two items from Renderosity — 50% off over there is a good deal.

I bought Oh My Brows for G3F/G3M and Oh My Body Hair G3M.

I don’t do much in the way of beefcake renders, but the body hair set has partial presets — forearms, hands, lower legs, etc. — which makes it more useful for my needs. If not for those partials I probably would have passed on it.

I’ve had the brow bundle in my wishlist for ages, so glad I finally cleared that one out. Also, the brows should work okay on other figures with some manual adjustments. Not sure how autofit clones would work with these.

Slowly but surely increasing my Genesis 3 content library.

I’m trying to buy only from my wishlists, and from there only those I consider top priority. That’s twelve products at DAZ and six each from Renderosity and Hivewire. (My DAZ wishlist is five pages long, so it gets doubled.)

For the heck of it, here are my (current) top priority items from each store:

DAZ: Genevieve 7; Kalea 7; Wild Wind Hair G8F; IBL Master; Bblythe Hair G8F; BOSS Pro Lights for Iray; Killmonger Hair & Beard G3M/G8M; Lashes Utilities G2/G3/G8Ultimate Pose Mixer; The Church Props; The Gothic Library; Victorian Deco 2 Iray

I have a few more Genesis 3 base figures in my wishlist but Genevieve 7 and Kalea 7 edged ahead because 1) Genevieve looks a bit older and 2) Kalea pairs with Kimo 7, and I bought him a few weeks ago. Kenji 7, Rune 7, and Mei Lin 7 will have to wait their turn.

I buy a lot of hair props since they’re pretty easy to refit to various figures. The iray lights seem like a nice basic set to have on hand, especially since my collection of iray lights is on the thin side. I really like that the lashes utility is for multiple generations; makes it a lot more versatile. The scene/prop sets are all for render ideas I have in mind.

 

Hivewire: Foal for the HW Horse; Hands for Dawn & Dusk; Western Tack for the HW Horse; Tack Conversion Kit for the HW Horse; Vintage Bicycle; Body Type-2 for Dawn

The foal is the last major morph for the HW Horse I need to pick up. My HW Horse also has no gear. I figure I’d use the western saddle most, which makes it the one to buy first, and a tack conversion kit for all my older Mil Horse gear would be very useful. I hate posing hands, so yay for hand for pose sets! I have a few render ideas in mind for which the vintage bicycle would be perfect. I like the body types for Dawn and am slowly collecting them.

     

Renderosity: Cat Saddle for Gosha; Shrouded for V4; Helios and Kraven for H4/M4; Daily Bun Hair G3F/G8F; Ponytail Hair Basecap G3F/G8F; Girl Gear G3F/G8F

I love that cat saddle. It’s for the Mil Cat but probably wouldn’t be too hard to fit to the HW House Cat. And maybe even the old House Mouse? I don’t have anything liked Shrouded; I can see lots of uses for it and it could be adapted to other figures without much trouble. I really like the Helios/Kraven set and they’re the kind of textures that would work well on kids too. Both hair props are realistic-looking and pretty. The clothing set is versatile in itself, and parts could also be swapped around with other outfits. Those G3F/G8F duo sets certainly help to increase my paltry Genesis 8 content.

Budget Wrecking and it’s not even Black Friday yet!

DAZ only gets my money when a sale doesn’t require me to buy a new/still new release. Not using iray, dforce, or Genesis 8 much, so usually I ignore the sales and just keep an eye on Fastgrab and wishlist sale notices.

But that Temporary PC sale this weekend! Lots of $2.99 items that were in my wishlist — and a few that weren’t, but still bought them (I try to stick to wishlist-only purchases but great discounts are hard to pass up.)

Millenium Puppy, Dolly Changable Hair Expansion G3F, Easier Pose Creation for G3F & G8F, LY Leonine Pro HDR Lighting, Marquee Letters, Simply Casual Boxers and Shirts G2M, The Photo Room, Above the Fog 3DL & Iray, SPEX for Genesis, Everyday Wardrobe Jeans and Shirt G2F, Long Pigtail Anime Hair G3F G8F, Hand Knits: Shader Presets 3DL & Iray and Merchant ResourceLegacy UVs for Genesis 3: Special Edition – Victoria 3Legacy UVs for Genesis 3: Victoria 6Legacy UVs for Genesis 3: Genesis 2 Male and Michael 6, and Legacy UVs for Genesis 3: Victoria 5.

A decent haul! Probably can’t afford any Black Friday sales now, though. Oh, the tragedy…

Three Two more UV legacy utilities to go and I’ll have all the ones I want. These are a little tricky to use, but I do like them and how they expand the value of past purchases. I’m figure-agnostic at this point, and older content is still good content.

The HW Big Dog will get puppies eventually. They seem to be in the pipeline, but the Millenium Puppy was a steal at that price. Couldn’t pass it by.

Already had Dolly Changable Hair G3F; the add-on was a no-brainer. It’s a pretty hair prop with several options and easy to fit to other figures like Dawn and V4.

I really like it when pose sets include separate upper and lower presets, and this one is for both G3F and G8F. I don’t have much in the way of poses for G3F, and even less for G8F, so this will go long way toward filling that void. Poses are reasonable, not too pinup-ish.

The HDR lighting set looks fairly easy to use. Lighting was never my strong point; basic light sets are always worth picking up.

I don’t have anything like Marquee Lights and it’s a welcome addition to my content library, even if it’s iray only.

The casual set for G2M is really nice. Multiple material zones and plenty of morphs. I especially like the “dropped in a pile on the floor” morphs. Reminds me of when my son was still living at home…

The Photo Room is fantastic. Could easily change its “mood” by switching to different styles of furniture.

Above the Fog looks to be a handy prop set, and it’s for both 3DL and iray. I don’t think I have any “god ray” utilities, so that’s a nice extra.

I can always use more glasses. Had my eye on SPEX for a while, but never got around to picking it up. I was using the very old glasses set for Victoria 2 — geometry switching! — but this is a worthy substitute.

The Everyday Wardrobe set for G2F is a practical one, and the sleeveless shirt and capri options could work for retro 50s/60s styles.

The anime pigtail hair is pretty and looks easy to refit to other figures. Toon hair used to be harder to find in the old days.

The hand-knit shader set is great but it is HUGE! Four separate downloads (831MB, 895MB, 750MB, and 498 MB.) Each tiles is 4096 x 4096, saved in jpg format, with height, roughness, and normal maps. (And there are identical thumbs as well as tips, gah!) First thing I did was to reduce the tile image file sizes, get rid of the 90×90 thumbs, and rename the tip.png thumbs. Probably cut the product size by half, if not a little more.

Some of the color options were a little odd. No red, but chartreuse? I could’ve done without chartreuse. A color called “Rhubarb” could be adjusted to a darker red, but I still thought this an odd omission. Most definitely worth the purchase, though. Nearly all the knit resources I have are Filter Forge ones; not much variety. Others I’ve bought didn’t come with bump maps.

And I also picked up a couple Fastgrab items, expanding my G3F clothing library a bit more:

Both make up a single outfit — April Rain Gear G3F and April Rain Undergarments G3F. Cute set, and the undergarments look nicely versatile too.

And all this doesn’t include a few purchases I made from HiveWire and Renderosity, ha! I now have the HW Unicorn. So pretty! I wonder what the ribbon mane from the SkeleHorse will look like on the unicorn? Hmmm…I’ll have to give that a try.

More tinkering

Finally tried out the aweSurface shader I bought weeks ago. Told myself I’d stick with something simple first, but for some unfathomable reason I instead tried it on glass and water. Gah! Those surfaces are probably among the hardest to work with too.

I think aweSurface has a lot of potential but I can tell it’s going to take me a while to get the hang of it.

Used DLD Miniature Worlds, as it’s iray only. For the iray and awe renders I used the same hdr environment. For the 3DL Default and Ubersurface renders I used an environment sphere for reflections.


iray, 30 minutes


aweSurface, 15 minutes, final raytrace


3DL default, 4 minutes, progressive rendering


Ubersurface, 4 minutes, progressive rendering

I changed the water color in the aweSurface one but it didn’t seem to work. Thinking about it now, that’s probably due to reflection settings. Also forgot to lower the bump settings on the wood in the Ubersurface render.

Interesting bunch of results. The glass edges are sharper in iray and aweSurface. No refraction in the last two; I can never seem to get a result that’s not overpowering, esp if there’s something in the water like little fishies.

So…back to the beginning I go and this time I’m sticking with statuary until I get a better idea on how this stuff works. 😛