New Project: Blender vs. Luxrender

I have started a new project with the goal to have the same scene rendered in blender internal and luxrender.

I hope to get some insight how much additional work has to be done to get the luxrender image done. Furthermore it should be interesting to see how the workflow differs and how to map certain blender goodies ( SSS, multiple materials etc ) to the luxrender world ( if at all possible )

I am still in the process of setting up the scene in blender and will open a WIP thread at blenderartists as well as on the luxrender forum. You can see above a very preliminary preview of how the scene will be composed.

stay tuned …

Luxrender splash screen competition – entry submitted

I have now submitted my final entry to the luxrender v 0.6 splash screen competition. I did not change any things regarding composition, but tweaked the material settings of the bubbles and background a little bit.

The entries are not many, but very diverse. I will be interesting to see, which one will be used as splash.

My final entry can be seen in my 3d showroom.

Luxrender splash screen competition

After a long break in my visible blender activities, I start again with joining the competition for the  splash screen for the new upcoming 0.6 release of luxrender.

Besides some major refactoring and huge speedups two of the features highlighted are thin film coating and motion blur. A big ‘thank you’ to the developers for the huge amount of effort they put already in this evolving little gem.

Being quite late to create something complex I had to resort to simple things, which is a good experience.

You can see here the actual progress so far. The final entry won’t be so different.

First tests with luxrender

I decided to give luxrender a try and get accustomed with its material setup. For those who have not yet came across this new renderer see here for more info.

I find it a highly promising project with after one year of healthy development showing quite an impressive functionality already.

As with all unbiased renderer out there, you pay a high price in terms of render times and turn around cycles. I just recently upgraded to a AMD Phenom quad core system, running about 20 times faster than my old one. This finally gave me the basis to dare to tackle luxrender.

Getting all the material settings right was quite a tedious experience. For the poppy flower i.e. I realize after 2 hours of rendering, that the material was not quite right, so I had to restart again. I think one will have to gather quite some experience until the material

setup get more straight forward and thus faster.

The image you see here is a theme I wanted to do for quite some time, but was not really satisfied with the blenders internal renderer and knew this would be an ideal candidate for an unbiased renderer.

The image is titled ‘The Other Side’. The blend file is available from my Showroom.

Its actually a composite ( done in blender of course ) of the two following separately rendered images.

Render time for each of the images was around 6 hours, with about 3000 samples/pixel.

You will never want to do an animation with luxrender, but for certain setups this is a very good tool to have.

Lightsaber Node setup

I started to put together a (video) tutorial for a complete lightsaber rotoscoping session. The basics – blend file with node setup for the lightsaber effect and a lightsaber mask – are ready, but right now my priority lies with my BWC entry (see wip thread at blenderartists).

Nonetheless, I decided to make the parts public, which I already have.

Download links:

As the BWC 2008 lasts until start of September don’t expect the complete tutorial before October 2008.

First lightsaber tests

I think I managed to create a generic and versatile setup for lightsaber rotoscoping and applying the actual effect. I created a Nodegroup where you can just feed in the image of the lightsaber and the desired color.

I experimeted a lot with the best techniques for the actual rotoscoping work. But I always arived at the same conclusion: to really get satisfying results you have to rotoscope each frame.

Here is a still with a crab sith lord sitting on my staircase

The original footage from the video below was taken during a hiking trip not far fro were I live. My daughter and her friend is acting as jedi padawans in a rather dramatic environment. Pity was they just had wodden sticks as lightsabers, which was a really tedious work to rotosopce correctly. Any way this is my first attempt. I will  improve the flashes ro be more dynamic. A completely new area will be the sound fx, which I will add later on.

Lightsaber rotoscoping using blender from Martin Lubich on Vimeo.

I will submit these entries to the actual lightsaber rotoscoping challenge at blenderartists, and after that I will upload the blend files and a description on how to use the lightsaber node setup.

Video Footage and Blender

Right now my main interest with using blender is to use it with live action footage. This includes rotoscoping, mixing live action with 3D footage ( which in itself is a huge area to explore ) and also using the sequencer as non linear video editing system for my dv footage.

I am proud owner of a panasonic dv camcorder and looked for a reliable solution for video capturing, editing and dvd creation under linux. The process took quite some time and incorporated the evaluation of kino/dvgrab, kdenlive, qdvdauthor and of course blender.

Right now I use dvgrab for capturing the dv footage, blender for all the editing and conversion to a mpeg2 stream and qdvdauthor to actually master the dvd. I found blender to be extremely fast and capable of handling multi GB raw material, and once I had enough practice the editing process was very fast as well. The additional benefit of incorporationg simple rendered footage (e.g. Text) makes it a very versatile tool.

Today I discovered a new challenge at, dealing with rotoscoping a lightsaber into live action footage. As I have played around with this just some weeks ago and came to a generic lightsaber node setup, I will maybe give this a try.

Hello World

This post starts my voyage into the world of blogging.

I have set up this site to have a platform to publish the results and insights of my projects and experiments. I intend give access to all the files used in the my projects.

I started today and set up my Showroom, where you can see my finished projects and if interested also download the blend files. The blend files are compressed and packed to include all the textures, which sometimes result in quite some big files.

During the packing process I encountered a problem with all the files, where static particles were used. All blend files created with blender prior to version 2.46 ( the old particle system) failed to load correctly into the new system. I do not know if I find the time ( or motivation 🙂 ) to convert all the old files to the new system.