My kidney/ ureter problems are killing me. Seriously, my illness is beginning to really get on my nerves. It just sucks when you sit around hier cringing, hoping to find a position that doesn’t hurt as much. That being so, of course I went to bed quite early most of these days and didn’t get much done. The little streak of light is that I managed to pull out my old plant collection and polish it up a bit for use with Element 3D as previously promised. Nothing glorious, as it’s really from a time when computers couldn’t handle more than a measly 50000 polygons or so and I didn’t know nearly half as much about L-Systems and plants as I do now, but I still had fun and the low-poly nature of the plants actually plays out well with the OpenGL based rendering in the plug-in. Perhaps it may come in handy for filling in some backgrounds. I even named the files Les Blocs Vert as in the French word for green. Ain’t that cute? ;-) Head over to my download page and grab them.
Working on the files also let me explore a few things for building parks, living walls and flowerbeds, but that’ts a topic for another time and will most likely only be relevant if you use Cinema 4D. Perhaps then I might even use some of that Grass Pack stuff, though a first test didn’t really convince me. Cinema 4Ds hair rendering looks just as flat as anything you could achieve with Particular or Plexus. But who knows, with a little tweaking and building a few variants of the stalks it may look a lot better.
On that note I got a mail this week from my reseller asking whether I have plans to extend my MSA and it was phrased as whether I’m satisfied with the program. Satisfied? Not really. R14 was not that great or even underwhelming – if you are not one of the people who actually use the sculpting stuff – but then again so many things to do with software were in 2012. Cinema still has a long way to go and just this week I found myself scratching my head over its only half-working XRef-System for instance… It’s okay, though, so any fears that I might abandon it any time soon can be alleviated. The thing is that there are not that many alternatives and committing myself fully to modo is not an option and neither is going back to Maya.
I’ll just have to work my way around the limitations as always and make do with what I have while keeping an eye on the world out there. I’m already following the Plant Factory thing closely and those examples do not look bad at all, despite not even pretending to care for the fact that trees have roots. As previously mentioned, the nodal interface looks interesting, but of course there are still a lot of unanswered questions. How controllable will it be? How heavy the geometry? How will you be able to export? How many trees will you be able to render? What about texturing? When they finally reveal everything (?) on Monday that shall be interesting…