Ara’s Tale – First Dragon Sketches


Some update on the dragon design.

I started playing around with my idea of the dragon – proportions, style and add the details later on.

I do not want to have a stocky 4 legged european type of dragon. I aim for a more elegant sinuous, streamlined form, borrowing some aspects from snakes or even swans. I also want the dragon to have 2 legs and 2 wings, bringing it more in line with the typical morphology for vertebrates on our earth. Also the hind legs shouldn’t be too dominating.

See below for my first tests and approaches to the overall dragon design.


Ara’s Tale – Struggling with design sketches

Environment Design

After finishing the storyboard I am now trying to get a hold on the design sketching – very educating.

As I have no formal education in drawing or painting I have to discover all the bits and pieces and techniques all by myself or through internet digging.

My first goal is to get the environment in a detailed way, but still without colors. See above for my first sketch. It depicts the view out of the canyon to the stairs leading up to the ledge above the abyss.

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Ara’s Tale – short film production start

Storyboard sneak preview
Storyboard sneak preview

Finally I feel confident enough to go one step further in my CG environment and try to let a long standing dream come true – the production of a short film – the initial reason I started with blender 2.5 years ago.

I decided to document my progress here at my blog, to let the interested take part in my journey.

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Fake lighting tests


I started a project which I had in my mind for quite some time now. Triggered by an article about product visualization, which uses fake lighting, I decided to finally give it a try myself.

I created a thread in blenderartists to show the various stages of my progress and will probably post a tutorial, if anything useful come out of this.

Right now this technique seems only applicable for studio setups and animations, where no camera movement is involved, but maybe I can come up with extended applications.

Here is a quick animation to show the technique

Fake Lighting Test from loramel on Vimeo.

Material Breakdown – Pearl


I will start a series of material breakdowns, where I show  step by step the principles of how I created the materials from the Austrian Imperial Crown.

This is by no means an absolute guide to the lux material system, but rather an insight into how I use the options given to me by lux.

Lets start with a pearl material.

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Austrian Imperial Crown finished

Its finally done.

This project took me the better part of the last 3 weeks to finish in my spare time. It was an exercise in modeling and an  exploration into the possibilities of luxrender, especially now as the new version 0.6 is almost there.

This project will form now the base for some upcoming breakdowns of several aspects mainly aimed at luxrenders material system. So stay tuned …

As always the project files are all downloadable from my 3D showroom. But one word of caution. This is a huge project in terms of needed resources during rendering. It will use up to 3.7 Gb of memory when rendered in full resolution ( 1600×2000 ). The mesh setup alone takes 1.2 Gb. This means that you must have a 64bit version of lux running to be able to actually rerender it. Just browsing it in blender should be fine with a 32 bit version as well.

Luxrender observations – part II

This is the second part of my obervations on luxrender made during my last project.


This is the area where I spent most of my time in getting the blender scene transferred to lux. The material system is quite different from blender’s and I had to try various approaches to get the look I had in mind. This process is by far not finished, as I am currently just scraping at the surface. But some general findings can be shared.

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