Random render: The Climbing One

Occasionally, a particular pane of Beyond the Tree reaches notable popularity and it proves easy enough to make a larger version of that I go along with requests for it to happen, thus this one. I’ve been thinking about making another post about the more technical bits about the defias naval Juggernaut if ends up seeming interesting enough, but for now, we have this.

One thing that’s long bothered me in World of Warcraft is how limited your ability to move or otherwise interact with your surroundings is – sure, I know why it is like it is and I understand the mechanical reasons why, but sometimes I come across a setting where I really wish characters could have the option to climb, crawl or lean against (or whatever) terrain or other entities in the world. It’s especially noticeable when playing a character that’s supposed to be agile and they can’t even climb up on a waist-high branch because of how the engine works.

With Beyond the Tree I don’t have that limit, and so long as I have enough terrain to interact with, I can just go crazy on how characters can act and interact with their surroundings – Hani sneaking up on the boat alone gave me a chance to do just that.


13 Responses to “Random render: The Climbing One”

  1. 1 wowplayer
    July 2, 2010 at 19:14

    nice, and first!

  2. 2 Tessa
    July 2, 2010 at 20:16

    Thank you very much, now I have a new background for my computer 🙂
    Oh btw, I know close to nothing about 3d rendering. So yeah, when you talk about the technical parts, I often have no idea what you are saying 😛
    Maybe I should start learning about it? Chances are high that I’ll have to do something with it next year, for some school assignment ^^

    • 3 Nhani
      July 2, 2010 at 20:37

      The thing with 3d is that the basics of it aren’t really that hard – the largest hurdles are mainly about learning to think graphics in three directions, rather than just two, and getting a grasp of the base components – vertices, edges, polygons and polygon normals.

      That said, it can be quite time consuming; converting a model fresh from World of Warcraft into a fully poseable, fully expressible character model of the sort I have for the main cast can easily be a week’s work in the least. And it’ll a fair while figuring out the basics before you get that far.

      There’s a whole lot of very good tutorials out there though, so it’s pretty easy to just start with simple things like putting a few cubes in a scene, putting in a pointlight, checking the enable shadows checkbox and suddenly have lights and shadows in a scene. The hard part comes making that light do what you want it to do by tweaking various numbers back and forth like intensity, falloff and soforth.

      Still, I think it’s fun (which is largely how I got started), and while I can’t draw to save the universe, I’m in the least somewhat competent at poking verts and polys around in a 3d space, so it lets me do something artistic still.

      • 4 Tessa
        July 2, 2010 at 23:15

        Well, I think you are way more than just ‘somewhat competent’, and I think pretty much everyone here will agree with me ^^ So far you might just be the best 3d artist I’ve seen. And I read a lot of web comics, with enough of them being 3d ones 🙂
        Tbh, I’ve never seen anything in any other comic that comes even close to this panel.

        • 5 Nhani
          July 3, 2010 at 07:21

          It really depends on what fields you focus on, and what you compare with. I’m not all that good at making things – neither models nor textures – from scratch. I’m pretty much skating on Blizzard’s artists and liberating their work from the limits of the World of Warcraft engine.

          I mean yeah, sure, it tends to have a more stylish and integrated look than people using models from Poser (and look a whole lot less plastic due to World of Warcrafts’ artistic direction), but on the other end of the spectrum.. you have the true professionals with far more knowledge, experience, skill and processing power at their disposal who go on to make anything from modern game models to pre-rendered cutscenes to the movie Avatar.

          By comparison, I can’t even replicate the visual detail and effects of modern games – no normal maps, no High Dynamic Range lighting, no real soft shadows.. and I’m also terrible at animating (part due to lack of practice), so yeah. I’ll admit to being fairly decent for a hobbyist, but I’m nowhere near any professional level.

  3. 6 Frostsaben
    July 2, 2010 at 21:18

    Haha, when I looked at the comic page I thought “this panel looks great, would make an excelent wallpaper” and here it is!

    Thank you

  4. 7 Agamede
    July 2, 2010 at 23:49

    Cool thanks Nhani! 😀
    Only ‘silly’ thing on the wallpaper is the chunky/almost floating wooden block on the foreground. But that’s typically WoW i guess. 😛

  5. 8 LolDrood
    July 3, 2010 at 03:28

    Ker-saved! Incidentally, opening the full sized aspect ratios in a separate tab makes the right click, save-image-as option try to save the image as some kind of weird .html document. In Firefox, at least. Right clicking on the links, and doing Save Link As works.

    Oh, Hani, you rascal. ❤

    • 9 Nhani
      July 3, 2010 at 07:39

      That’s weird, Opera handles both cases just fine and saves as image without nary a problem nor a peep. Suppose Firefox somehow gets the MIME content type wrong somewhere, either due to WordPress.com or through some other weirdness.

      I wouldn’t know; I don’t use Firefox, I’ve used Opera for some ten years by now – back before there even was a Firefox. In spite of having given the ‘fox (and other alternatives) a try at some points, I still prefer the browser built by those crazy Norwegians.

  6. 10 Illidan
    July 3, 2010 at 08:07

    LolDrood, just download the “Image Toolbar” addon for FF and you’ll be ok 😉


  7. 11 Fokker
    July 3, 2010 at 10:12

    Yay! :3

  8. 12 saila AKS Wester
    July 12, 2010 at 20:16

    well I know enough of 3D animation but I have little work experience whit it myself but enough to understand it “somewhat”.
    Nhan you say your computer takes an good time to render the pictures what is in that box to computer anyway. I men do you have like an 1-2GHz single tower CPU?
    or an beast to CPU like an i8 whit 3.2Ghz whit 3 or 4 CPU towers whit 8 channels each.
    ((PS last stuff is technobabble))

    • 13 Nhani
      July 13, 2010 at 16:20

      Well to be fair, CPU frequency isn’t anywhere near as important as it used to be – rather than constantly increasing power consumption and heat generation by ever faster cycle times, technology nowadays tend to aim more towards trying to get as many operations done as possible per cycle, extending up to to improved pipelining, multiple cores and all that.

      I use a laptop personally; it does mean a few issues with loading times and heat, but it’s quite decent for a laptop. According to Windows, it runs a T9400 model intel Core 2 Duo CPU, an nVidia Quadro FX 2700M graphics card and a full four gigabytes of memory. It’s not the greatest power house ever, but it holds up decently well.

      Ultimately, while 3ds can do the smaller viewports with 3D accelleration, the actual rendering is done entirely at CPU; one of the reasons why mentalray is usually faster than the scanline renderer is because mentalray can run in multiple processes and therefore can utilize both cores. On the other hand, mentalray can be rather demanding when there’s many lights in a scene, which will occasionally make the default scanline renderer the faster option.

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