Golden Age

Golden Age

I won a contest with this. The contest theme was Science Fiction World and it required at least one character. Instead of the tiresome dystopian tech hating future so often depicted I chose to create a pleasant future world with hints of super tech. A golden age. Here is how I made it and more information.

The woman, Lael, stands on the second level of a large three level structure. She is in a park posing for a portrait. The structure is a town. Each level has buildings, ponds, and parks. It is about 2500 feet high and about 2 miles long. The skyscraper in the distance is almost 3 miles high and is a city. The buildings and the bench are grown by nanotech so they have features similar to biological things.

The scene is composed of several elements. Lael; her dress; the landscape, ocean, sky, and trees; the buildings; and some props were needed. I used four programs to make them: Daz Studio, Hexagon, Ivy Generator, and Bryce. I brought all the elements together in Bryce to make the finished image.

To model Lael I used Daz Studio. That is a program that makes human figures and can pose them, fit clothes to them, and render pictures of them. Daz provides a base figure and various tools to modify it to be male or female, change its age, and change its form. I wanted her to be athletic to indicate health and vitality so I set the bodybuilder attribute higher until she had slight abdominal muscles. However, a setting high enough to get the abs made her too muscular in other places. So I slimmed things like her shoulders independently.

Then I began to model her dress in Hexagon. That was difficult since I haven’t tried fashion design and there were technical considerations so Daz could fit the dress to her and move it for poses. I wanted the dress to show her abs to show fitness but not look slutty. I studied Indian sari dresses and made this design which is like a combination of them and a sun dress. It still doesn’t fit right. When I learn Blender I’ll try using its cloth simulation and gravity on the dress.

Dress Test 1
Dress Test 1
Dress Test 2
Dress Test 2

These are tests of the dress in Daz. The goal is to have the dress fit well, not distort the texture, and react to posing well. I used a test pattern for the texture. Here the top part is glued to her and the skirt is too loose. These images are from Daz. I uses teh 3Delight renderer which is very powerful and great for pictures of people. But it can’t handle millions of polygons needed for the trees and grass so I used Bryce. That made Lael look less realistic but I’m not trying for realism in this picture.

I intended to make a male character as the artist but there was not enough time before the contest enter was due.

The “Q-tip” columns of the 3 level structure and the bench are meant to look semi-organic since they were grown by nanotech with semi-biological processes. I made them with a complex process of modeling the basic shape, applying polygon reduction and subdivision surface tools to get uneven polygon edges, extracting the edges, giving them thickness so they became 3 dimensional objects, and applying a smoothing tool which created the curving effect. I made a structure under the levels this way but it is not visible in the shadows.

Golden Age Wireframe
Golden Age Wireframe

This is a wireframe view. There are more than 5 million polygons in this scene. It took 5 hours to render the finished picture. The plants, grass, and buildings are instances in Bryce. That means there are prototypes of them and copies with variations in size and rotation are spread on the structure’s levels. This reduces the resources needed to render the image and makes multimillion polygon scenes possible. I made the prototype trees with Bryce’s tree generator.

Dress Model
Dress Model

This my model of the dress in Hexagon. I intended to add a half skirt like the red thing here (link) but there was not enough time and after seeing the finished image I thought the simple dress was better.

Artist's Drawing
Artist’s Drawing

I used Paint Shop filters to turn a render of the character into a drawing.

Golden Age Buildings
Golden Age Buildings

Here is the tall tower building and the prototypes for the buildings in the town on the 3 levels of the town structure. I spread instances of these to make the town.

View in Town
View in Town

A view from within the town on level 2.

Town Structure
Town Structure

The whole town structure.

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