Dear POVCOMP competitors
Following the postponement of the deadline of the POVCOMP and after reading
the comments posted here, I've decided to write a series of short
"tutorials" that aim to help the participants to improve their images (if
necessary). Several topics will be addressed in the weeks to come such as
concept, composition, modelling, texturing, lighting etc. The term
"tutorial" is used loosely in fact, as this will be mostly general advice,
hints and examples taken from the vast world of 3D (or photography).
Comments, corrections and discussion are welcome of course.
#1: References in 3D
While POVCOMP is a POV-Ray competition, its objective is also to demonstrate
that our beloved raytracer is a fantastic tool, able to create fantastic
images, to the large majority of people who have never heard of POV-Ray.
These people will be seing these images in magazines or at computer trade
shows: they will not compare the POVCOMP images to other POV-Ray images, but
to the sort of CG imagery that is now commonplace in movies and advertising.
The POVCOMP pictures will "compete" with the best, and, as we know, the bar
has been raised a lot since the early days of POV-Ray.
The following links are examples of recent 3D work taken outside the POV-Ray
community. It's just a very small sample, but it covers a lot of ground.
These works are for most of them created by professional graphic artists
using high-end expensive tools, and able to spend a lot of time on their 3D
work. Is it possible to do images like these with POV-Ray? There's no good
answer to that. Let's say that from a rendering perspective, POV-Ray can
really take you far, or at least far enough for its own limitations not to
be such an hindrance when it comes to create great images. These limits are
mostly in the modelling and texturing (but external tools like Moray, Wings
or Blender can take care of that), in the post-process features (forbidden
in the POVCOMP anyway) and, somehow in the rendering speed (since it's pure
raytracing). However, POV-Ray has also its own strengths - the SDL itself,
macros, functions, isosurfaces or mesh instanciation, for example - and
POVCOMP participants can build on that.
But above all, an impressive image isn't just a question of computing
horsepower. If the images below are good, it is also because they are good
in many things that are perfectly accessible to the POV-Ray user, such as
concept, composition or lighting. So have a look at the eye candy below, and
if you have entered (or plan to enter) an image in the competition, try to
look for images thematically similar to yours and see how those graphic
artists approached the topic. Look for the similarities and for the
differences. What did they do that you can't do in POV-Ray? What did they do
that you *can* do in POV-Ray?
- Graphic experiments
- POV-Ray and Poser computer images