I’ve been having fun with a new (new, to me…) fractal programme called Mandelbulb. It’s free. Here’s some space art I made with it.
Original Mandelbulb render…
My space art version, with a lot of Photoshop and a Vue planet…
“Calling the stars”
Not a great deal of quality sci-fi this month, but there’s a bit:
Sci-Fi Training Room could be useful for superhero team training scenes, but it probably needs livening up a bit by having the cracks between the tiles glow and some hologram MATs. You could also cover the sub-basement shaft with a glass dome and have it be a terrarium on a spaceship, alien containment dome, or a home for a classic 1950s-style ‘giant brain in a dome’…
A little more futuristic is the AJ Futuristic Hall…
Piratess Hair for Genesis 1 and 2 looks unusual, very well designed, and (with a bit of adaptation) useful across a range of scenes: pirates, Iron Age/Viking, celtic, gypsy, Nordic, etc. It also has a Colors for Piratess Hair pack…
And flying alongside your Battle Cat? Why, Sixus1′s new Meowl of course…
Walker HD for Genesis looks rather nice, and is from the always-reliable The AntFarm. I’ve yet to start in on Game of Thrones (I have to finish Babylon 5 first) but I’m guessing this is similar to the ‘White Walkers’ I’ve heard about in Thrones?
Over in the semi-toon aisle, Dr. Pitterbill fans have a new semi-toon Madness Lab scene with a preload…
The same content maker also has a new M4 character Balverk, should you need a grizzled medieval warlord or a mysterious seeker after The Nameless City…
Vue users have a couple of nice looking new scenes at Cornucopia:
Hi-res Volcano terrain…
Silk Road: Persia which could suit historical scenes such as a spice traders (for which there’s a handy new Vue camel) or Second World War desert warfare, or even a ‘greening the desert’ sci-fi tech scene.
Here’s the VFX “making of” reel for Game of Thrones, Season 4…
The new program is faster, more powerful, more customizable, and supports dozens more file types and applications, including Anime Studio libraries and iClone content. (Full disclosure: I helped out with getting the complex web of iClone file types untangled for the developer).
The new PzDB also has…
* new customizable Launch Buttons
* you can hook PzDB up to almost any program you have
* the database is faster and more accurate
* various bug-fixes
* fixed the product activation system
Hurrah for the new activation system!
“…some users found that their free trial was over long before it should have been, and made others reactivate their products over and over again. “That won’t be a problem anymore,” said Margolis adding, “of course, everyone will need a whole new product activation code, and that will take some doing.”
So it sounds like users who upgrade will simply need to ask for a new serial number. Hopefully for the last time.
There’s a trial version if you’d like to try it out. pzDB is especially useful for those who have accumulated huge 200Gb+ content libraries over the years.
So what’s new in paid-for content this month, at the DAZ Studio and Poser content stores? Things seem to be slowing down for the summer, at least for quality sci-fi and historical scenes, but here’s what especially caught my eye…
Darkseal has some Alien Podz, rigged and with transparency. For Poser and Daz 3+.
Darkseal’s Podz might work well with a fringe around the base of scaled-up Pikaia, a new Poser creature. Pikaia were basically prehistoric sea-slugs…
And your figures inside the Podz might benefit from the new Dirty Skin for V4/A4
A new Sci-fi Box pack, plus cages, containers, and gas cylinders.
Stonemason has new sci-fi buildings to add to his city skylines, Utopia Cityscape Blocks.
Flying through Stonemason’s city towers could be the chunky new spaceship Zeneca Brute, by Darkseal.
AntFarm rarely disappoints, and this month he has the very cool CrabMech, plus three textures and 12 poses.
Adh3d has a 1914 Cyclone Racer, an early motorcycle of the First World War era. Although the engine is a little more valvepunk “wow!” than actually authentic.
Ironman13′s new Tenure looks like a usefully flexible “1960s professor’s office” scene.
If you need a similar professor’s office, but set another two hundred years back in time, Maps of the Empire might be useful.
For Vue users there’s a new Witches Coven House.
That’s it! Both Teknology3d and Runtime DNA have their stores offline at present, so I can’t select anything from them.
This picture is 3D, though 98% of people wouldn’t know that from looking at it. It features in the latest 3D World magazine (Aug 2014), along with a tutorial. It seems to me to be another example of how 3D (in this instance ZBrush, 3ds Max) is increasingly able to successfully mimic 2D illustration, albeit with a little tickling in Photoshop. It’s another example that suggests that 2D and 3D will likely become pretty much indistinguishably mashed up together, at least for stills work, and in the relatively near future.
The 3D animation market in general is thriving, according to a weighty new market report. That’s despite the ongoing crisis among the custom VFX houses which service big movies and high-end TV series. But in terms of the whole picture (“hardware, software and services”)…
“The 3D animation market is estimated to grow from $21.06 billion in 2014 to $40.78 billion in 2019 at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 14.1% from 2014 to 2019.”
Of course, one would ideally like to know how much of the consumer end of the 3d videogaming industry they included in those figures. But the relatively small “$40bn” seem to indicate that games and console purchases have been removed, as their previous 2011 report found that…
“The global animation and gaming market is expected to grow from $122.20 billion in 2010 to $242.93 billion by 2016.”
The external render engine Octane 2.0 has been released for various 3D software, and has added…
* Displacement mapping.
* Faster hair and fur rendering.
* Better sky backgrounds.
* Motion blur.
* Region rendering (for making small test renders)
* Network rendering.
Octane 2.0 is available for Poser 9 or 2012 or higher, DAZ Studio 4.5. Last I heard, a Carrara version of Octane 2.0 version is being worked on. All Octane users will need a newer CUDA-capable GeForce NVIDIA graphics card slotted into your PC, which for many will require fitting a more powerful Power Supply Unit than the puny one that shipped with the PC.
Free to students with a valid .edu or .ac.uk email address. Note that students are currently limited to the 1.2 version.