by Zach Harvest





With my ring light in hand from last week. I had this sudden idea for an animation. Prepare for the next few weeks to be pretty much the same thing. I'll try not to repeat too much. But basically I was thinking of ways to use the ring light in a simple animation. I thought of a lot of things but I had this really simple idea that could be synced to music if needed, very simple. simple...Should be low render times..simple and boom! I had it! Its more or less a subsurf ball that will pass through various ring light type shapes. Not sure on all of the angles I want but you will see in the media below. Its going to be soooo cool.

The Good things! It WAS really easy to model! It WAS really easy to animate!

And that is ALL that was easy! lol

The Bad things! EVERYTHING ELSE!

It was really hard to get the material just right. I mean I played for HOURS with different materials and numbers and got seemingly nowhere. I don't have any exports of that because I was just moving through the mats trying to see the changes from .9 to .1 which is fucking stupid. Renderman is AMAZING but it is not AMAZING with blender. "It works" is what they should say on renderman.fuckingcom

Rant aside,I got something that looked meh and went for a test render. It looks...neat. Lets change this .7 to a .2 and this fucking dial to 11 and come back in a...OHH MY GOD YAS. So I set it up for a full animation render on the new workstation. The animation was so much cooler than I could have hoped. I loved it. So I set it up for a larger better render and ran into the first of many render problems. Because of how the scene works, the render time of the ball exponentially increases as the frames advance. This is because as the ball gets closer to the camera it does two things. It takes up more of the low sample background and the subsurf shader takes a massive shit as things get close to the camera. I also set it up in Cycles to render on the GPU for quick prototyping. It does NOT look as cool so the final renders will need to be in Renderman. I need to spread this out on all of the computers. All three of them.

I need to...NETWORK RENDER. Fuck.

I really hate blender. Just when things seem to work. They just totally don' all. I remember a while back seeing a plugin that enables an easy distributed render server that you can run to manage nodes and send jobs and stuff. It works with a client pushing the package to the server which hands it out to the nodes in the correct order of efficiency to leave nothing idle. I played for hours but could only get one node to engage at a time. I just ended up setting it up the old fashioned way and had each computer do x amount of frames. Windows updates strike again and crash 2 of the fast computers leaving me with only an intro and broken dreams. I will need to revisit the render farm idea over the next week to get these animations rolling. Once I get that working with a degree of stability, I should be making my first, real animation!!! Media is getting converted. Check back soon for renders or hit up #renders