#261 – “Oh Brother”

Whenever we’re in an interior situation – or an exterior one, to be honest – I always tend to prefer when I’m given the ability to render the entire scene rather than just the characters. It simply provides so much more freedom in how to frame shots, what angles to use and doesn’t add a ton of extra work trying to line up renders with backdrops in a way that won’t just look utterly wrong.

Of course, there are downsides.. such as putting an entire scene into a rendering environment is actually quite a bit of work. I spent nearly my entire saturday nose-deep in 3D just to get this particular scene done on time. Secondly, lighting never quite works the way you want it to – it’s easy to figure you’ll just place a few lights as if it was a real place and it’ll all be right as rain. And yet there will always be places where it’s way too dark, or way too bright, and I always seem to end up having to place “cheat” point lights in the scene to make sure faces are lit properly without trying to light up the actual building lest it becomes far too bright.


23 Responses to “#261 – “Oh Brother””

  1. 1 rin
    May 1, 2011 at 18:33

    I just read through the whole thing, quite intriguing! I look forward for future installments!

  2. 2 Yinello
    May 2, 2011 at 00:00

    Poor Thistlenettle. :( I can imagine it’s painful to know your brother got turned. Getting killed is already harsh but to be used for the Scourge? D=

    I really like this page, not just for the emotional moment but also that the whole place feels like a cozy inn. So don’t beat yourself up so much, you’re a pro. :D

  3. 3 Zaton
    May 2, 2011 at 02:21

    Aww man… poor guy:( I wonder if he would snapped and joined the party to hunt down VanCleef if he wasn’t dead. A dwarf protagonist is a bit overused though. BUT I MISS FLINTLOCKE SO MUCH T-T!

  4. 4 Moltrazahn
    May 2, 2011 at 13:54

    I REALLY love the second-to last frame, the way the hat shades his eyes from our veiw. Considering the context, i find it a really emotinal picture, considering dwarfs are proud about their kin.

    /respect for giving a questgiver a good character, something that can be hard to imagine at times, but i think you nailed it pretty well :) he “feels” real compared to the party, even with his short screentime.

    Atleast to me he does.

  5. 5 saila AKS Wester
    May 2, 2011 at 14:08

    is that an golden apple in the second last page he is offering Areen.
    or is it an small money bag.

  6. 7 eboneclipse
    May 2, 2011 at 23:04

    Maybe it’s just the lighting or something but in the fourth frame, does Te’len seem a bit more…well-endowed…than usual?

    • 8 Nhani
      May 3, 2011 at 02:21

      It’s actually a combination of several factors: it’s part a lighting issue, part a model issue and part a rigging issue. I’m not entirely sure why it happens (at this rate I’ll probably have to give Te’len a model revision just to address it before long) but the gist of it is that under certain conditions, there’s some interaction between her chest and her two upper spine links which creates a distinct fold at the top curve of her breasts. Certain lighting conditions only accentuates it further by really highlighting the existence of the fold.

      It might not sound like much of an issue on its own, but due to its location, it creates the illusion that her breasts are far more pushed together and compressed than they actually are, with the result that it can look like she barely fits inside her own tunic.

      It’s a strange model topology quirk much like how several face models have this strange highlight quirk where the cheek highlight is angled down towards the nose tip rather than resting in a horizontal-ish arc under the eyes. I want to fix it, but I’m not entirely sure how it happens.

      • May 3, 2011 at 23:48

        I am not sure but any time i have noticed it, she is holding her shoulders forward, in kind of a shrug. Although often she has her hands joined, making it look kinda like she is squeezing them together. This is the first time i have noticed it when she wasn’t doing that.

        • 10 Nhani
          May 4, 2011 at 13:56

          It’s possible; she has a few extra movement envelopes to both ensure that her chest and her tunic agrees on where both should be and allowing her to lean forward like that in odd occasions. So there’s a chance that they were stuck in lean forward position without my noticing.

    • 11 LolDrood
      May 3, 2011 at 02:39

      Me, I was thinking she looks like she could use a sammich. And some cupcakes. <3 And hugs.

      But really, I'm hoping that eventually people will accept that Te'len is just busty. It's much more plausible then the theory that Nhani constantly fiddling with the Bra Size slider on T's model.

      Days like this, I find myself wondering: what's going on in Nani's head during the dialog cutscenes? I'm guessing youtube.com/watch?v=fG9Of5CHzHE. Cause that thing sure ain't leaving MY head.
      Ponies, yo.

      • 12 Moltrazahn
        May 3, 2011 at 16:08

        XD i… dont know if Hani is the type to… Ah hell, YES! its 100% that she thinks about ^^ i mean, what else could it be.
        … i wonder if Night elfs have a Estrous cycle… would also explain Te’lens bustyness.

        • 13 Cobs
          May 3, 2011 at 16:36

          Could do an ol’ pirate trick and cut ’em off, just like one did to a poor woman back in the 18th century! Ooooooor not. Old stories that grandmums tell sure can scare the heck outta ya, I tells ya.

          Aaaanyroad, loving Thistlenetle’s interaction.

      • 15 Blrp
        May 3, 2011 at 20:40

        Is Te’len always that thin? 0o

        I totally agree with the sammich and cupcakes (and hugs!), but leave the epic hooters there. Or make them epicer. And add sauce.

      • 16 Nhani
        May 4, 2011 at 13:52

        While that tune was indeed earwormingly catchy, I discovered a superior version: an 8-bit remix of it.

        Though perhaps Hani is more discovery-minded. Narrating an entire episode in her head, akin to “And here we see a pack of Drunkus Dwarfius in their natural habitat, feasting after successfully downing a herd of wandering ale kegs.”

        Or maybe she’s just hungry. “Hm, that looks like Tallstrider leg. I could go for some grilled spider about now.” In fact, maybe she gave up on trying to find the skip cutscene button and just went afk for a snack as it went on. Either that or hoping for a convenient Renegade interrupt.

        • 17 LolDrood
          May 5, 2011 at 02:57

          I didn’t want to make everyone’s head explode with awesome-over stimulation by just jumping right into the 8-bits of the music. Or the eurobeat mixes. :) First ya gotta ease them into “Yes, you are watching My Little Pony and loving it”. There are some really well done PMV (Pony Music Videos) too, but we need not bog down comments with pony talk.
          Fluttershy is my favorite. :D

          Ale kegs can be very dangerous in the wild. The trick is to take down the alpha male first, that throws the rest of them into a panic. Easy pickins.

          I’m not a 3D art person, but off-hand, it looks like her bust polygons are at a very steep angle to the frame of her chest, which might cause them to be prone to picking up shadowing effects from directional light sources. I do not keep track of such things, but I would hypothesis that the number of “ZOMG NELF JUBBLIES!” posts is largest on pages that take place inside, when the light sources tend to be dimmer and more at eye level. There are probably posture tricks you can implement to reduce this effect, but I think an ultimate solution rests in adding more polygons and smoothing out the transition zone.
          Or changing her outfit to a trench coat. Be advised that I -will- cry if you do that.

          Eboneclipse, don’t feel bad. Boobs and the internet are the chocolate and peanut butter of… the internet. I like to think that we’ve managed to corral it into an informative, instructional, and all-around life enriching quorum about fine detailing techniques in modern three-dimensional artistic compositions, though.

    • 19 eboneclipse
      May 4, 2011 at 11:52

      Did I really just start a conversation about Te’len’s boobs?
      Half the comments are all about them >_<
      Well that wasn't in any way intentional…

  7. 20 Helayne
    May 3, 2011 at 15:59

    A well handled scene. As someone else commented, Thistlenettle feels just as real as the other characters.

    Thank you for taking the time to flesh out your world. It shows.

    I wish I could suggest a fix for Te’len’s bust issue but I know nothing about 3-D. Have you spoken to other digital artists about it?

    • 21 Nhani
      May 4, 2011 at 14:01

      Not really; here’s an interesting fact – I’m technically not an artist. I’ve known pixel arts to some degree in the past, and I’ve got some general understanding of 3D graphics nowadays, but it’s all pretty much self-taught. So I don’t really hang in any artist circles.

      The few artists I currently work with actually hate 3D with a passion and do all they can to avoid it. They wouldn’t even know how to export a flat, two-triangle plane without directions, so they wouldn’t be much help.

  8. 22 saila AKS Wester
    May 4, 2011 at 14:39

    well I bet blizzard is willing to help after all your free advertising for them and they are watching well at least for 10 min when they write the Fridays news.

    …Ghaa why did I watch 1957 (big brother is watching you.)

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