As the title indicates, I finished the final render for this project ahead of schedule. Luckily, the final sculpting went by in almost no time, leaving the majority of the week for my first foray into texturing and rendering.
After posting my progress last week, I adjusted the position of the foreground demon, and simply copied it into the background. The only extra effort was in rotating his eye to face more or less the direction of the camera. That completed the sculpting aspect, and left me to muddle through texturing.
The first thing I did was to switch from Blender’s internal renderer to the Cycles engine and download/activate the Filmic Blender add-on, which alone made a huge difference in the scene, mostly for the immediate better.
I played with this for a while as well, and never found a result I liked, which led me to try my hand at creating my own texture again, armed with the knowledge I’d gleaned from playing with the CG Masters texture. This led to a much better result on the main model, but I still spent the rest of my time going back and tweaking the texture on the demons. That texture was definitively the most challenging part of the project.
The second challenging aspect was finding lighting I liked. I started with lamps, changed to meshes with emission shaders shortly after trying my hand at texturing the first time, and converted back to lamps by the time I successfully created my own textures. The last step was to add cracks onto the stone textures, for which I utilized a method by tutor4u I stumbled across. Simply following his method produced exactly the results I wanted, so I saw no reason to try my own variation. After adding a couple processor intensive effects, like fresnel lighting and a slight translucency effect, I considered the project finished.
As a final note, after a couple of test renders I realized I hadn’t activated the setting for Filmic Blender that adjusts the contrast of the image, so I fixed that and blithely clicked to begin a final render. This meant that I did not notice the loss of detail in the background until the render finished just over 19 hours later. I hope to go fix this eventually, but at present I am too excited to begin my next project to waste a whole extra day re-rendering.
I hope you look forward to next week and the first post on my new project, the Virgilante, which I plan on retopologizing into a game-ready model and not leaving it, as they say, as just another pretty face.
As a final note, no my render settings were not unreasonably high; my computer is simply unreasonably underpowered for rendering images. Check the specs on my Hardware/Tools page if you are skeptical.