Saturday, February 17, 2007

3D Post No. 18 - Antialiasing

Actual photos are mostly blurred. This is why in 3D rendering, the antialiasing parameter is set to a default of "Area" which is a blurring effect for those diagonal lines.

Consider sharpening a scene though. In 3ds max an antialias parameter of Catmull-Rom is preferred. This is useful to emphasize certain edges (like grouting), patterns that should be perceived as vivid, creases, and highlights.

Also, if you don't have the patience to render vray-fur objects or vray displacement-enabled meshes (like rugs), the noise parameter in Pshop will come in handy.

Small details - but the devil is in it. Even the grandest project depends on the enhancement of the small components.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Gong Xi Fa Cai

Welcome the Year of the Pig :D

Sunday, February 11, 2007

..Ipod Mini Resurrected!


Sim Lim simply rocks. Among the hundreds of shops in there, I only found 2 selling Ipod Mini batteries. One was on the 6th floor and the other, on the basement. Dang. Well the one on the top floor sold a kit for S$60, and the guy told me it only has a 7-day warranty (his reason was because I intended to install the battery myself). The one below was a scraggly shop but was kind enough to sell me the battery for S$30 (had to buy a precision screwdriver for S$15 though), but it came with a 6-month warranty. Not bad. A S$15 difference, that's good enough for three Happy Meals. Never underestimate the power of happiness.. of getting a good deal that is.

And so the fun begins.

Looks like an Ipod version of Darth Vader. It was a computer in itself, quite interesting. Nuninuninu..

Seagate.. Blech. (I'm a Maxtor fan)

One last look at the naked gadget before I replace the battery.. And voila

"Let us have peace, let us have light.. Let us escape the cruel night.. Let us have time, let the sun shine.. Let us beware the deadly sign.."

YEAH! The Ipod mini is alive once again.. :D

The Ipod Mini is for Losers

The Ipod mini battery sucks. In less than a year, it went dead on me. So I went to this website showing how to replace the damn thing. (the battery). So I managed to disentangle the whole gizmo.

Dang, the screws are too small - the precision stuff I got became useless.
Then I scoured through Funan and High Street to see if I could get an ipod replacement battery kit.

But didn't find any. Plus that scrawny Apple dude gave me a snort for asking too many questions on where oh where can I get a mini battery. In the end he just sales-talked me to buy that new Ipod Nano.

Nano my ass.

If I don't get a battery soon -

..Mr. Ikea Smasher here will get busy.

3D Post No. 17 - Wood Slats and the Moire Effect

Wood slats. A very distinct and persistent design element.

Any repetitive feature in a design is bound to complicate a 3D render. In this case, the slats themselves. In Vray you need to consider the antialiasing - the smaller the slats, the pixel output has to be bigger. Otherwise, "striping" will yield undesirable results, no matter how high the antialias parameter is set. And high antialias values means sloooowwww renders.

This is true for lines that are not perceived vertically or horizontally on a view.

In animation, this is one of the problems we encountered during the production of a condominium development. Good thing though, you can always revert back to the standard scanline renderer, which we did.

That is one of the pros with the scanline renderer - it has, to my mind, a sharper and cleaner antialiasing parameter set. To achieve that in Vray will mean loads of render times.

Amen to Scanline.


Saturday, February 10, 2007

My First Lomo Shots :D

Went to Peninsula Plaza this morning where the supposedly good photo developer for Fuji films was. And did the Holga live up to its promise?

Ooh yeah man!

I like the first shot, the double exposure which I was referring to in a previous blog post. First was a red flash, overlaid with a white flash. The second shot I experimented with yellow. The third shot, in red, the fourth, in blue. The fifth shot was the one where I left the lens cap on. The rest of the shots were in white flash. Whatever happened to the other shots (there was supposed to be 12)? Well they got blurred or something, nothing showed up in the film..

The thing that I learned from using the Holga is that you need to be spontaneous with it. It really doesnt matter that the angle isn't correct or the lighting condition sucks, and like what I've learned from the first shot, sometimes a mistake will give you surprises. Pleasant ones.

I found the results of my first Holga shots amusing I decided to buy 2 types of film rolls: one for indoor and one for outdoor conditions. And this time, I've decided NOT to mummify the camera.

Let's now see those light leaks coming.. :D

Friday, February 09, 2007

3D Post No. 16 - Lounge Interior

Last year we won a contract to do a lounge interior. This is quite an interesting project because of the randomly arranged wooden slats which was used throughout the design.

Nothing too flashy here. All colors are taken from earth tones.

Render engine is Vray as usual, with somewhere between 30-60 minute render times per image.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


Some more fake lomos.. the image on the left is the original file, taken using an IXUS 4.0MP digicam.. the middle image is the result of the PS Holga script, and the extreme right, the Lomo script. I prefer the effect of the Lomo script:

To get the scripts, click here. (You'll need Photoshop CS for this)

Holga Time

I have finally made my very first minute step into becoming the next Wong Kar Wai (hehe - NOT) of photography - got myself the HOLGA. For a few hundred bucks, it's all one could expect. The thing is made entirely of plastic - including the lens. In this age of digital SLRs, I took the lomography route - either because it's a retro thing or I am just plain stingy to get a hi-tech camera. Ok-ok I AM stingy.

I'm not sure what to accomplish with this gadget.. But just looking at those Holga shots .. Whew.. Here goes nothing..

So - I loaded the film, placed duct tape all over the camera till it resembles a black mummy, and off I go.. Took my first shot, then took a second using a red colour flash. But dang - I forgot to advance the film forward..

The next day I took it to the office and enthusiastically asked my seatmate if I could take his picture, who happily obliged. This time I used a yellow (or was it blue) colour flash. Nice. I didn't forget to advance the film this time, ha-ha. But then I forgot to remove the lens cap. Very nice.

Tonight I finished all 12 shots and unloaded the film carefully in subdued light. Will have it processed tomorrow and see whether I will indeed be infatuated with the camera as what the holga website claims.

Can't wait to see the results.. nuninuninu


and so


I couldn't wait indeed.

I googled "how to fake lomography in Photoshop" - and there WAS a technique to it.. "Lomodified", as they called it, a few of my stacked pictures in Shanghai:

It's in the vignette (in photography, any loss in clarity towards the corners and sides of an image, e.g. framing) effect, plus the overlaying of colors, exaggerating the primaries.. But this is only one Holga effect.. Anyhow, more lomodifications - this time, in 3D:

Whoa. Quite nice.. But it still works best on actual photos -

Gotta sleep now. My dear Holga, surprise me tomorrow.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

..Not to Mac

Too bad.. Beauty is not enough for me to grab the goods. In fact, in choosing my new laptop, it wasn't a major criteria at all. Bottomline is, I still need a purely intel chipset.

After strolling through Funan for like 3 hours, it came down to 3 choices - all with the same Core 2 Duo configuration and 1Gb RAM. First was an HP Pavilion, the second was a Sony Vaio, and the last was a Lenovo IBM Thinkpad.

The price difference was too difficult to resist. The HP and the Sony costed S$500-S$600 more.. Plus the salesperson was kind enough to throw loads of freebies.. So yeah, from dreaming about the beauty of a Mac, I found myself back into the arms of the grandfather of PCs - IBM. That black magnesium hard case.. Raw computing power man..!

So.. is anyone interested in a 2-yr old Dell Inspiron laptop? :p It's up for bids.. Specs are Pentium Centrino 1.5Ghz, 1 Gb RAM, 40 GB hard drive, DVDROM-CDwriter, SD card reader, 15.4" widescreen. Leave a comment here if you're keen.. (It's closed cos the "H" key got removed heee)..

..otherwise this will be part of my relief goods inventory hehe. Hmm..

So on final note, not to mac (for now at least). :p

3D Post No. 15 - Deconstructivism.. Sort of

This is one of my favorite office design proposals. Back when I was undaunted by my Pentium Xeon 1.5 Ghz 512 Mb RAM office machine to render using GI.. Each of these views (2500 pixels wide) took overnight to render (well probably just a little over 3 hours).

The design theme was applied deconstructivism. Geniuses of this style are Hadid, Libeskind, Koolhaas, and Gehry. It's basically an art style characterized by fragmentation of lines, and non-linear geometry. The more chaotic the lines, the better. Think of building an origami then disarranging the folds. The result is usually an interesting volume. In these set of renders, It was the wall that proved challenging to build.

There is a radical side to deconstructivist details that I am attracted to. One, the 3D modelling is usually a pleasant exercise. And when properly executed, you can't go wrong with any camera angle.

But it was too daring for the client (conservatism, strangely, still exists).. So the concept was scrapped. Because of that sacrilegious revision, the approved design will not be posted here. :p Sorry, I'm imposing a mediocrity ban on this blog. I intend for the better concepts to be kept in memory.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Holy Week - Musings

Forgive me Lord, but I was amused by this excerpt from :p

... But Peter said, "Master, I can also walk on water."

The disciples said, "Oh, shut up, Peter."

Peter said, "Seriously, I can." And Peter came off the boat to walk on water, but immediately, he sank like a rock. And Peter was gone.

And Jesus said, "From now on, let us remember Peter as 'Peter the Rock'."