Saturday, 22 August 2009

Squid with noodles: 8 hours, serves one

Spent another puzzling night working with Blender. Having camera-tracked and camera-mapped my background footage, I separated the architeuthis sylvaticus scene into layers to be modified and recombined through the node compositor (for example, I want to darken the background and give it a cold, bluish tint while keeping the luminous yellow eyes. I'm then recombining the layers so that the subject is lying mostly hidden in the sand. Here's my noodle network so far (noodles are the data lines connecting the nodes):

I'm discovering that even with only a few nodes it's really easy to get the noodles tangled up, also to lose track of what modifications you've made on the various button menus, and (unfortunately) to save over the last working combination of settings - having finally got back to a working network I'm now backing up my backups. The node compositor is a bit like Tetris - I find I continue to play it in my sleep.

Architeuthis sylvaticus, like it's deep sea relatives and this octopus, is a master of disguise:

- that's why you rarely see one. (This is an amazing youtube clip but there's no sound from halfway through). Currently I'm simulating camouflage by just making my Architeuthis part-transparent except for the eyes. It's almost right but I'll try a couple of other solutions and possibly animate the camouflage. It also needs to cast a shadow onto the plane behind it but so far Blender is refusing to render the shadows. On the plus side I'm learning as I go - but it was so much easier doing this with sand...

No comments: