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From: Shay
Subject: Re: Before and After - comments
Date: 10 May 2007 08:38:18
Message: <4643123a$1@news.povray.org>
Jim Charter wrote:
> In an earlier thread, Shay threw down a challenge
> to himself:
> to produce...
> "an image that is on topic yet still relevant
> outside of the competition."

Looks like results are mixed on the first part of that particular aim. I
didn't think this one would need a topic description.

I look at topic description as a way to share my aims and allow others
to more objectively judge whatever it is I put out there. The aim of
what I presented in this round reaches outside of the topic (more in a
second), but the "Before and After" topic name itself encompasses
*everything* I believe a viewer would need to evaluate the picture.
Topic description is tough to get right anyway. Two months thinking
about a picture; two minutes thinking about a description.

Yes, Thomas, Jim, Tek, and Steve (sorry if I missed any) are correct.
There's mechanical => digital, creator => creation. The first was
intended to be obvious to carry the theme of "before and after" outside
of the RTC.

And now I'll throw the door wide open. I've got the advantage of
spending half of any RTChallenge period away from a computer, so I have
the opportunity to ponder dozens of topics. My first inclination was to
model something: a hybrid of old and new technology or before and after
of some metaphorically extended word like mouse or crane. Might have
turned out well, but wouldn't have embraced my interest in the *only*
one thing that does not change between the before and after planes of
the image I did create.

Stepping back. I read an interview a few years ago where John Lasseter
(Pixar) stated that the character of Dopey Dwarf (specifically his
movements) could not be adequately translated into 3D. This piqued an
interest in characters and concepts that exist only in their respective,
"primitive" technological milieus and also in enduring technologies,
especially simple ones.

As far as enduring, simple technologies, the alphabet is among the
greatest. That so much of human knowledge and expression can be
communicated with so few pen strokes is fascinating to me. Look closely
at my entry, and you will see that the ascii art is restricted to
typeable characters. More noticeable is that the before plane is scaled
so that alphabet characters are visible on some of the keys. The frame
of time visible here is nothing compared to the age of the alphabet, but
is a nice big chunk of time in relation to our lifespans, and a lot has
changed since the age of early typewriters. A lot hasn't.


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From: milco2006
Subject: Re: Before and After - comments
Date: 10 May 2007 14:45:01
Message: <web.4643677e43239971d83f96c20@news.povray.org>
Hey, it seems a while since the end of the last competition however I
thought I might share my tupence worth on the images seeingas I said I
would. Apologies for the wait but uni eams are happening.

"But which came first" - David Lewis
I like the concept and quite an original take on the topic despite the well
known nature of the question. I love the scene and my only slight critisism
would be the hay which looks slightly strange. However overall I like the

"*Mild Nudity*" - Bill Pragnell
As with another post I would second the thought about whther mild was the
correct word! However back to the picture ... One technical comment comes
to mind in particular; I love that wall! I will definatly be taking a look
at the macro if/when you let us all see it.

"A type of typewriter" - Shay
I love the original use of povray and in terms of the technical nature of
the picture I was very impressed and certainly dont understand how it was
made. In terms of its relevance to the topic, well there have been a few
ideas posted by others, however I would like to hear how you thought it
conveyed 'before and after'.

You already have heard a few of my thoughts on this image. I love the
photorealism in the upper picture and am in complete admiration of the the
time and skill put into the image. The only thought I had when I looked at
the picture was, 'Is the lower picture even necessary'. The amazingness of
the upper picture told the whole story for me but ye it is awesome.

"Ageing" - William Tracey
The concept of this image certainly paints a vivid before and after. The
minimilistic approach used is not one that I am usually a fan of however in
this image you have really made the two items work to convey the idea of
before and after.

"1st Cup" - Mike C
The idea is great and it is certainly one that almost everyone can associate
with, coffee drinker or not. As mentioned elsewhere, somehow a bit of double
image or some kind of blurriness to the objects and particularly the table
edge may add to it. I know that has been mentioned elsewhere though and
already discussed.

"Reganomics" - Brian Price
For a first scene it looks very good and I like the concept. In terms of
things to perhaps think about improving; it would be nice to see some more
realistic smoke, at the moment it looks a little solid so perhaps some well
used media would help that. Also the tarmac somehow isnt quite right, it
looks slightly shiny. And also everything is very clean so perhaps a little
less perfection would help the scene on the right and help increase the
contrast. The last of these I must admit I am still figuring out in my
scenes so just takes practice I guess. However great scene and would love
to see more from you in the future.

"A time of change" - Thomas de Groot
A wonderful scene and certainly a wonderful story to go alongside. Things
that particularly stand out is the little boy just hop scotching onto the
first scene as this adds motion to the whole scene very nicely. I also
really like the textures of the walls. One thing that I feel detracts
slightly is the brightness of the posters through the arch in the middle.
To me this draws the eye out of the courtyard. Perhaps dulling these a
little would make them less distracting. In terms of the second image, it
is also truly excellent and a lovely transition. Just one question; where
do the kids play hop scotch now?

"This to that" - ~steve~
I really like the foreground however in some way find the background
workshop really distracting. Ignoring the background the image is really
nice and I like the composition. You personally mentioned a desire to put
in some 'dirt' to make it look less clean and this would indeed help with
the photorealism side of the picture (not that I want to mention the word
photorealism too loudly!). For photorealism it may also be worth
considering perhaps making the tools have a slightly more used look. For
example metal that is used tends to become shinier. Just a few thoughts on
a great image.

Well I hope these comments are in someway useful. Also just to say that I
really enjoyed the images this round as they were very diverse yet all
trying to convey the same idea. Cant wait to see the next round already.


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From: St 
Subject: Re: Entry Comments
Date: 10 May 2007 14:58:48
Message: <46436b68@news.povray.org>
"Shay" <shay@s.s> wrote in message news:464272f4$1@news.povray.org...
> St. wrote:
>>     Bizarre idea's?? Moi?? You've seen Slotty then. :)
> You asked in my "...geeks only?" thread in p.b.i. if I had seen your
> cgsphere stuff. I took a look and eventually replied, but it was after I
> had been away at work, so you may not have seen the reply.

     I did, I did, damn, I did too see your reply, I remember now. I 
remember wanting to answer, but just didn't. I don't know why, but maybe I 
was feeling down at the time.

>>     BUT, if you meant for me to introduce more challenges in the TC-RTC,
>> then yes, this is planned.
> I was talking about crazy images.

    Oh, *those* CRAZY images! Yeah, there's plenty more to come...  ;)

> As far as the TC-RTC goes, everything looks great. I was past time for
> someone interested (and accessible!) to take the reins. Run with it, man!

    I'm running hard, I'm runnin' fast, how long, will my persuers last?

    ~Steve~   ;)

> -Shay

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From: Bruno Cabasson
Subject: Re: Before and After and new website
Date: 11 May 2007 05:10:02
Message: <web.4644321e62a9bf11e96004f70@news.povray.org>
Hello friends. Here are my comments for the "before & after" entries.

"But which came first?", by David Lewis.
concept: Funny and original idea to match the topic with the egg-hen
dilemna! I have no answer to the question of which came first, but I have
one for the end of the story: my plate!

artistic: The first thing I saw was the wall and its very realistic aspect,
and then came the hen and the rest of the scene. These elements, mainly the
hen, constrast in realisticness with the background wooden wall, and I was a
bit puzzled by this little mis-harmony. However the scene consists of a few
elements, and illustrates perfectly the concept. More objects would have
overloaded the picture.

technical: As David said in the text file, the main work of this scene was
to model the hen. Not easy! But the purpose here was not to be that much
realistic, but rather ... humoristic. Mission completed! Nice texture for
the hen.

"Mild nudity", by Bill Pragnell.
concept: The purpose of this topic was to answer the question: before and
after what? Most of entrants anwered by an external event: birth (egg-hen),
death (grave), particular time (morning coffee), period of time(street
evolution, courtyard, POV technicity improvement), human intervention
(jewels, courtyard), etc ... Here, it sems something happened in her head,
perhaps helped by the wine. My favorite for concept.

artistic: For me the trick resides in the carafe and the glass! Without
them, the scene would have less 'movement'. The second is the attidute of
the girl. Bill met his aim: flat and pale 'before' picture with an attitude
that says nothing, and much relief and expression in the 'after', because
she lets herself go.

technical: Quite advanced technicity for all aspects of these renders,
especially lighting. I guess Bill spent some time tweaking the girl's

"The Passing Away", by Malcolm Findlay.
concept: Life with the flowers and death with the grave ... and humour with
this poor Ian R. T. Chep. Rest In Peace. Is death the very end of all, or
is it the beginning of something else? Buddhists say that you don't really
die but change bardo, a different state of consciousness. For them, life
(large sense) is a succesion of bardos, and they do not speak about
reincarnation but rather about a continuation of the flow of consciousness,
directed by your choices (karma). IRTC has changed its state and its new
incarnation is a continuation of the spirit that inhabits it.

artistic: The flowers break the symmetry and the relative monotony of the
scene. They 'spring discretely', and their presence is the little light of
the scene.

technical: Reading Malcolm's explanations on the makinf-of, it was not as
simple as it might look at first sight. He used ticks of his own to acheive
what he intended. The grass is OK (based on Gilles' macro). The clouds could
have been made less turbulenced.

"A Type of Typewriter", by Shay.
concept: Originality: Nothing to do with reality. Pure imagination and far
away from traditional raytraced images. Well done! A typewriter drawing a
typewriter with its typed characters ... A conceptual loop that deserves a
special mention.

artistic: Could be a modern painting, not trying to imitate nature at all
and not trying to take advantage of nature's natural art. On the contrary,
it is only art, from scratch.

technical: The making-of would be interresting.

"Yet Another Reflective Sphere on a Checkered Plane", by Tek.
concept: When you start POVing: simple shapes, poor lighting, basic
textures. After xxxx years of practice, and pow(10, yyyy) sleepless nights,
you sometime approach perfection. Here, the equation is: Before & after =
rookie & guru. Tek is becoming a guru.

artistic: Impressive realisticness.

technical: I did not follow much of the discussion thread about this entry.
But some of Tek's images let me speechless. I was quite proud of my povlab,
but I can see it is a pooooor result compared to this ... My favorite for

"Aging", by William Tracy.
concept: Here the equation is: before = young child = funny pink glasses,
after = old person = cane. Though this interpretation could be considered
as somewhat obvious, it was worth a go with the way it was proposed by
William. The result is very satisfactory in all 3 domains (concept,
artistic, technical).

artistic: Such a simple layout! Only 2 objects and that's it! How to say
much with little stuff ...

technical: Good modeling for the glasses, which also show the young age of
the owner. Simple cane with (I guess) a simple texture. William did not
forget the rubber end.

"1st Cup of the Morning", by Michael Chelmecki.
concept: So are many people in the morning: still in the night's fog until
first coffee. In France, we have an advert that uses this idea. The problem
with me: even after a coffee, I am still like the left image ...

artistic: nothing special.

technical: Michael says his scene does not desserve a technical award, it
seems to me not that simple! I wish I could do the same ...

"Reganomics", by Brian Price.
concept: I dont know why, but it is the same very often and everyhere: the
future does not look as good as the good ol'past. I think current time is
(socially and economically) paroxistic, and I am afraid brutal changes will
occur, together with suffering, before we are (at last) aware of real human
values and stand up to take another route ... It is up to us to make a
better world. Raytracing can help us invent more beauty and make it real.

artistic: For me, these 2 images are a reminder: take care of what you
beleive in and follow your line, otherwise some (ugly) other will spoil
your mind, and diversity might be inapropriately ruled.

technical: For a first 'real scene', it is a good success!! Quite a lot of
modeling. Nice cars (how did you do them?).

"A Time of Change (before & after)", 2 images, by Thomas de Groot.
concept: Things change with time, to better or to worse. Is modernity really
better? I like the idea of 'POVware' for the incoming statue of TINA (or
whatever is in the box: Thomas' explanations say that TINA is the girl
talking with the journalist, but when I first saw the image it was obvious
'she' was in the box in order to be at last exposed - cf the guy with
checkered clothing). For me, this entry is the best balance between
concept, art and technical.

artistic: The first image is not aimed at being artistic, but intends to be
a snapshot to the old time, and thus required much work to make things look
old and realistic (the most difficult with synthetic images). The second
image carries a lot of art:
    -) the geometry of the renovated and modernized courtyard with its dome
gives a lot of volume,
    -) it is now some kind of museum where fine art pieces are exposed, I
like the grey statues
    -) expressivenes of the characters

technical: A lot of work on these, especially on the 'before' one! How many
nights, even with reuse? I recognise the use of the ivy generator, and the
attitude of the walking characters. On the 'before', the rooves could have
a layer of dirt, as well as the floor. The wall stucco is good. Good
lighting on the 'after' image and good layout. Thomas is also a POV master
and will be another renouned guru.

"This to That", by Steve Paget.
concept: The result of human work can sometime make a beautiful diamond and
jewels out of rough matter.

artistic: This scene is my favourite for artistic. The textues are a bit too
shiny and too 'clean', and could be reworked to make them look older. It
would enhance the contrast with the gems. For this round, I thought of
reusing my diamond (cut angles after gemologists websites) and enter the
round with a simple scene with only 2 objects and a dark background: the
rough stone and the diamond made out of it. I also had the idea of an old
house between modern buildings

technical: Much details! The fact that the scene is quite populated with
objects helps the purpose. These kind of scenes are my overall favorites,
with realistic landscapes.

     Congrats to entrants


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From: Tek
Subject: Re: Before and After and new website
Date: 11 May 2007 07:36:50
Message: <46445552@news.povray.org>
"Shay" <shay@s.s> wrote in message news:46429b01@news.povray.org...
> Tek wrote:
>> A Type of Typewriter - Shay
>> <snip> the characters making up the picture seem to be completely random.
> FWIW, this is not the case. Letter selection and orientation are not
> random and are important to the appearance of the image.

So how were the letters chosen? The pattern looked random to me.


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From: David Lewis
Subject: Re: Before and After and new website
Date: 12 May 2007 08:05:02
Message: <web.4645ad4262a9bf113a0487a90@news.povray.org>
Firstly, let me apologise for taking so long to add some comments on the
entries this round.  RL got in the way a bit.

All the entries are very good.  I'm embarassed that my comments sound
negative; please take them in the right spirit - you can tell from my own
effort that I'm no expert.

I thought that one of the difficulties with this topic was showing both
before and after in the same image, and making it clear what the event was
that the two parts were before/after.  It's easy to do a kind of "old &
new", like a powerboat cruising past a canoe, but ideally the image should
make it obvious what the event is that one is before and the other is
after.  Like a candle under a piece of string that's holding up a heavy
weight, before the string burns through and the weight falls.

"Just a splash" - Bill Pragnell
Nice work.  I think the full/empty wineglass makes this a clear
time-sequence, as well as the change from full daylight outside to electric
light indoors.  The walls are great, nicely textured and with uneven edges.

I was left wondering what this building is, made of huge stone blocks yet
with electric lighting, and also why the heroine would sit naked on a
window-ledge while still sober, but an interesting image ought to make the
viewer wonder & think.

On a nit-picking level, the absence of any room indoors seems odd, although
I guess there must be a wall in there, because I can see the light
reflecting off some surface, but more texture to it would make it a bit
more in keeping with the rest of the image.

"The Passing Away" - Malcolm Findlay
Before & after the demise of I.R.T.C., with the "before" part represented by
the photograph, which works as a way of telling the story.  So many internal
references and puns at once that I even missed the big one on first look.
And perhaps we should believe that IRTC is not gone, but has been reborn in
a new body.

The styling of all of the objects in the scene is nicely in harmony.  I
think the image might be improved by making the sky a horizontal plane, so
that the clouds become smaller in the distance (the perspective looks odd),
and possibly adding a fog near the horizon to hold the interest into the
foreground.  And that's just nit-picking.  Nice job.

"A Type of Typewriter" - Shay
Stunning. A truly spectacular image that really sets the viewer to think
deeply.  And a surprising use of POV in a way that isn't 3D CSG as we
recognise it.  I guess you could also call it a fractal image, in the sense
that it is self-similar (a bunch of letters) at more than one scale.  Great
choice of bold, vibrant, contrasting colours too.

And the theme?  I didn't get it.  I didn't see how this conveys the state of
things before & after any event or change.  Maybe I've just missed the

"Yet Another Reflective Sphere on a Checkered Plane" - Tekno Frannansa
As someone who reads top-to-bottom, I see that "before" you had this photo
of a ball bearing on a chess-board, and "after" you drew a cartoon of it
:-)  But I've read the text file and know that's not what you meant.  I'm
just not sure that the image tells the story clearly without the supporting

The "photo" really is very good indeed.  I can't think how to suggest
improving it.  Oh wait - there's no reflection of the photographer on the
sphere!  It's so realistic that I can worry about things like that :-)

"Aging" - William Tracy
Very simple, and effective for it.  Can't fault the technical setup or
presentation for such a straightforward pairing.

Like another of the comments here, I mistook the glasses for Dame Edna
Everage, which weakened the initial impact - perhaps a pair of roller
skates would make a better kid's alternative to the walking stick?  or one
of those carts with alphabet bricks in them?

"1st Cup of the Morning" - Michael Chelmecki
I love the contrast of before & after that first cup.  All the fog is
transferred from inside my head to filling the kitchen.  This is a great
interpretation of the subject.

All the objects do their job well.  The "after" pic is not quite
photographic (is that the lighting?) but this is effectiely a cartoon, so
that's not a fair criticism.

"Reganomics" - Brian A. Price
I like the sharp division down the middle of what is clearly a single image
as a way of showing both ends of the story.  The picture could read as "the
other side of the street", except that the change in the sky shows that the
two sides are separated by something more.

I don't think the image itself tells the story of what the event is, and you
have to look at the text to understand what caused the change in the

The models are fine.  The textures make them look a bit flat - the lighting
is low, so maybe some normal mapping would add shadows and make them look
less perfectly flat.

"A Time of Change" - Thomas de Groot
Great people, lovely models (and such a lot of them), and very impressive
images.  There's so much going on in this pair.  I liked the crate full of
dangerous POVWare :-)

The lighting strikes me as too flat.  There's a lot of ambient light in the
shadows, like the guy shouting on the left of the gallery standing in
shadow, but still very visible.

I think it's also really interesting to look at these two the other way
round.  Once there was an art gallery, and now the square is derelict. In a
way, it's just as clear a story (although a tale of bad news, rather than

"This to That" - Steve Paget
The story is very clear, a change from raw materials to a finished piece of
work.   I like that.  The models are very good.  As you say, the textures
make them all look brand new, but I'm sure you take great care of your
tools :-)

The background is a bit of a distraction.  The more I look at it, the more
plausible the perspective looks, but it's just too bright and interesting
to fade out and leave my attention on the foreground alone.

Overall, a great set of images.  I hope there's as much interest in future

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From: Shay
Subject: Re: Before and After and new website
Date: 13 May 2007 11:05:36
Message: <46472940@news.povray.org>
Tek wrote:

> So how were the letters chosen? The pattern looked random to me.

I don't believe in technically deconstructing images. However, I will
give one small, verifiable example of determination. My picture had to
be compressed 50% to make the size limit, but you can still look and see
that the colors are not mixed with any conventional CG method (add,
subtract, multiply, divide, average), but with my own custom formula.
You may consider the difference subtle (like the letter selection), but
it is provably there without any revealing explanations or comparison


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From: Tek
Subject: Re: Before and After and new website
Date: 16 May 2007 19:27:37
Message: <464b9369$1@news.povray.org>
Well okay but I guess I have a philosophical question:
If I can't see these things when I look at it is that extra effort adding to 
the picture?

Or is it made for a smaller audience of people who can detect these 

Or am I completely missing the point?


"Shay" <shay@s.s> wrote in message news:46472940@news.povray.org...
> Tek wrote:
>> So how were the letters chosen? The pattern looked random to me.
> I don't believe in technically deconstructing images. However, I will
> give one small, verifiable example of determination. My picture had to
> be compressed 50% to make the size limit, but you can still look and see
> that the colors are not mixed with any conventional CG method (add,
> subtract, multiply, divide, average), but with my own custom formula.
> You may consider the difference subtle (like the letter selection), but
> it is provably there without any revealing explanations or comparison
> renders.
> -Shay

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From: William Tracy
Subject: Re: Before and After and new website
Date: 16 May 2007 20:03:24
Message: <464b9bcc$1@news.povray.org>
Shay wrote:
> I don't believe in technically deconstructing images.

Actually, isn't that sort of the point of the IRTC? To see what other 
people are doing, and learn how they did it?

William Tracy
You know you've been raytracing too long when you think it's a failing 
of the universe that the large software companies like Corel or Fractal 
Design do NOT export to POV primitives.
George Erhard

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From: Shay
Subject: Re: Before and After and new website
Date: 17 May 2007 11:58:02
Message: <464c7b8a$1@news.povray.org>
Tek wrote:
> Well okay but I guess I have a philosophical question:
> If I can't see these things when I look at it is that extra
> effort adding to the picture?

You *can* see those things, but you'll have to take my word for it. I
don't mean subconsciously, either. A crappy-looking comparison render
render *with* randomly selected letters would plainly show the
difference letter selection makes. Color blending makes as large a
difference. A good percentage of commenters (even those who took nothing
thematically from the image) found the image aesthetically attractive.

IMO, deconstructing my image with comparison renders or code/preudocode
samples would take away from it. However effective the image may or may
not be, I am intent of presenting it at face value.


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