Dear All,

Just received the competition email, registered and now introduce myself here on the competition forum!

I will be using SketchUp 2013 Pro and the Maxwell Plugin for Sketchup (64Bit).

Currently have no idea as to where this entry is going but hope to post preliminary sketches/images soon.

In the meantime, I look forward to seeing the other competitors here.

Good Luck!
Hi Gis,

The rules/condition of entry states that the final entry must include a screen shoot of the model in wireframe showing the sketchup & Maxwell toolbars visible. Which is fine.
However the rules do not state whether post processing is allowed (ie using the likes of Photoshop for backgrounds and entourage etc) or not.

Can we make use of post processing or must everything be rendered within Sketchup/Maxwell?

Can you clarify?

Many thanks in advance, Gis.
Hi AstroMan287,

Yes, we don't state anything about this because we mention with regards to the judging criteria, the following in the T&C:

Judging criteria will take into consideration two aspects:
1. The final image: creativity, composition and realism.
2. The creative process: the authorship and originality. - What do we mean by this? It means 2D
images/photos pasted into your render using an image editor is acceptable, however the more you take
advantage of these kinds of tricks, the less value your render will have in our experts' eyes

In other words, you can use post-pro but, for being elegible to win you should keep it in the minimum as it will definitely lower your overall rank in the competition.

Hope this clarifies. :)
Apologies for the silence but I am indeed still here! =)

Finaly have a couple of “Work in Progress” images to give an indication of the direction that this entry is going to take.

First time using Maxwell plugin for a “real” project and certainly a competition so taken a while to get to grips using it and decided to change direction....completely... a week into the project. The project is now finally starting to take shape.

The building chosen is the pierresvives building for the department de l’Herault in Montpellier, France

A building designed by one of my favourite architects, Zaha Hadid and contains three institutions – the archive, the library and the sports department all within a single envelope.

For information about the building take a look at the following link.

The building has been modelled from scratch using images of drawings and photographs.
The building, as you will see from the photographs, is not 100% accurate and to some extent a degree of “architectural license” has been exercised. The environment is/will be completely ficticious of course.

The textures are not final and some/most need to be reworked before final render. The images contain a degree of noise as they are in draft mode and the environment/lighting are yet to be worked up.

Hope the low res images give an indication of intent and provide something upon which to comment.

The deadline looms but we are getting there.

Look forward to receiving any comments; both good and bad!

Thanks for viewing.

ImageUploaded with ImageShack.com

ImageUploaded with ImageShack.com
Hello Astroman,

The model is very good, you got it.

But I think your images need a bit more integration with its environment. Change the framing, the camera lens and rotate the environment image to get a view that definitely integrates both footages (the image background and the rendered geometry).

And about the lighting: the background image suggest a sunny day, while the render seems to be lit by a pure blue diffuse lighting. You may need to reinforce the sun illumination there (maybe installing a sun-like emitter).

Go, dude, this is going fine.

Dario Lanza
Hello Dario,

Thank you for the comments and feedback.

Was thinking the same but was looking to focus on the building which in reflection perhaps does not exactly tie it to its "out of Place" surroundings.
Will play around with the camera and framing the shot differently today and see what I can do.

The scene is simply illuminated with the HDRI and have not looked at the lighting in detail just yet and yes it is rather blue at the moment. I hope to align shadows with the background and sort out the lighting in next day or so. With regards to use of emitters to boost the sun lighting is something I had been reading about but currently trying to get emitters to work (see my post on Elisa's entry!).
So the gauntlet has been thrown down and I duly accept the challenge! :)

Image update:
Enclose latest image which was created before I saw your comments.
The entourage are models taken from the SU Warehouse, modified and will be textured/retextured.
Credit will be given to all people whose models I have used of course.

Still playing around with entourage to get the "feel", reflections and the "story" being told to gel.

The background has been changed. The arid region backdrop was at odds with the mountain/forest region of the near/mid range environment.
The environment ties together better now but your comments about the environment and lighting will certainly be taken on board.

ImageUploaded with ImageShack.com

Many thanks indeed for the comments, Dario!

Thanks to all for viewing.
AstroMan287 wrote:Hi V,

Thanks for the tip, V.
...will give it a try.

Being from an architectural background all my models are drawn to scale but you mention the dimensions corresponding with the model...does maxwell for sketchup use its own dimension settings?
I thought it took them from SU?
Hi AstroMan, as long as I know Maxwell for SketchUp uses the units settings from SketchUp.
what I mean when I said dimensions corresponding with the model, is for example:
if you have a room intended to be 3m x 3m, and if you use sketchups 'tape measure tool' and the rooms measurements are 3000 x 3000, then SketchUp units should be set to milimeters.
A common mistake could be to set units to meters, resulting in a 3000m x 3000m room and then trying to light up that room with a 60 watt bulb... but probably this it not the case....
hope this is not making things more confusing to you :)
Hi Victor,

I am pleased to report that after some head scratching and realising a few "silly" mistakes, I have finally got emitters and IES light sources to work! <happy> :D
Thanks to you Victor and Dario for comments and points in the riht direction.

Double checked the model and yes it is all to correct scale...Phew!

Also found out how to make use of "proxies" in maxwell...wish I had got to understand them much sooner!!!!

Following Dario's comments enclose a reworked image which addresses the environment "issues" but loses some of the "tightness" of the the other image.
The lighting/shadows needs tweaking granted and still not happy with the grass texture. May still rework entourage too as I feel it still lacks "that certain something".

Hope enclose low res image is an improvement.

ImageUploaded with ImageShack.com

As always I look forward to receiving any feedback.

Thanks for viewing.
Nearly there.....

After Dario's comments and playing around with cameras and settings both types, field of view etc etc I have reworked the scene.
Hopefully it ties the building in with the environment more closely. Resisted the urge to use Vue for the environment. ;)

So here we have the reworked final scene.

ImageUploaded with ImageShack.com

There are a few tweaks to do...lighting, textures and shadows.
The shadows in foreground don't match the background by the way.....of you spotted it. :)

The mechs would ideally be green/camouflaged to suit the environment but....they would be lost against the background (tried it already) so the grey/white is used for artistic license. ;)

Would idealy like to spend more time with the textures but time is a limiting factor...textures could be better...much better but......

Hope to get all done so the final renders can be run and submitted before the weekend deadline.

As always any comments are most welcome!

Thanks for viewing and good luck to everyone with their entries!
Hi Victor,

Wrt the trees yes I know. =(
They are OK..ish in the background but close up Hmmmm.
But trying to find a good 3D tree that rendered OK and I didn't have to pay out a lot of cash for proves to be a problem.
The 3DSU trees I have found are OK in SU but render wise they didn't look to clever.

With using proxies (which I know how to use now =) )resources are not so much an issue.

Using Vue for environments is sooooo much easier. Resource intensive yes, definately but better results for environments in my view.

@seghier I did look at that early on but as I can't use Vue and from my use of SU trying to get realistic terrains in a render with SU is almost impossible.
Using "billboards" looks ok in SU but in the render I the affect I have with the trees. A dilema...

Lets see what I can come up with...

Thanks for the comments, very much appreciated. :)
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