Today we began to add the initial colours, emissions and all things visual in order to get a more accurate sense of how FLUX is going to feel and if we need to take a more in-depth look at our HUD elements.
“I didn’t get my Toa Stone from anyone, I found it. On the remains of an old corpse that had fallen at the hands of some of the nastier wildlife, the types that I didn’t even know of at the time. I became the outlander of the local Toa. Taking care of the forest, watching for really nasty predators and making sure they weren’t dangerous, taking out poachers, there was a pretty good amount of stuff to do.”
This is an OC of my good friend @geardirector, a Toa of Plantlife Trava, commissioned by him as a birthday present.
So happy birthday Gears! <3
The photoshop postprocessing is done by @demitsorou, the rotational GIF was made through Bluerender and Adobe AfterEffects.
If you like what I do and you want to see me create your OC, a favorite Bionicle Character, or something else, feel free to look up my Commission Info! I also now have a Patreon page, so please consider supporting!
Another experimentation with blender hair, sculpting and composing. It doesn’t really look like what I’ve expected, but I like some minor parts of it.
Also, I’m sorry for the lack of good things here recently, but I’m trying to experiment a lot and to do new things, and it’s doesn’t give everytime nice results… Here, I had a lot of problem with hair. I tried differents way to render it : using a mesh directly for the whole hair, or one mesh for each strand, or meshes generated with curves… I finally used particles to render hair, way harder to render (render took 2h), but give better results. I also played a lot with postprocessing, and it was fun.
So, sorry for having massacred Snazz, @radi0actives0da (yep it was supposed to be him) :c
CASTLEVANIA 3, NES KING’S QUEST V, NES KING’S QUEST V, NES HYDLIDE III, NES MAGIC WAND, WIN/LIN/MAC HARMONY HARDPACK TAPE, HTML RAINBOW ISLANDS, ZX SPECTRUM SCENE FROM JIMBO #2 - GARY PANTER INSULA DULCAMARA - PAUL KLEE
a particular type of pixel art that appeals to me and which to some extents feels like a road not fully developed on is that with some level of uncertain back and forth between colour and line; dense, scratchy prints layered on top of uninterrupted swathes of colour, or which are slightly out of sync with the underlying colour pattern (as in the colour bleeding of old Spectrum games). i think the emphasis within contemporary pixel art is firmly on the mark-making side of this dynamic, where every part of the screen comes across as written and inscribed upon, chipped away at, and where even the simple outlines of more abstract or retro styles the emphasis is on the precision of their outlines and on seeing how each pixel is placed to build up the whole. the result is a kind of richly solid plane, whereas hybrid forms like the NES port of King’s Quest V give the impression of at least two forms of perception being superimposed, in a way maybe reminiscent of Paul Klee paintings where fields of colour identified with the “cosmic” are constantly marked and shaped by more earthly, creaturely scratches and imprinting shapes. or at least (as well as) things like game-&-watch carts or early arcade games which really did use multiple layers with a mix of static and computerised digital components (the arcade game Golly! Ghost! actually had a physical dollhouse inside the cabinet, with videogame characters projected onto the seperating screen…!).
since i like the style it’s something i tried experimenting with in things like magic wand and the harmony hardpack tape, your mileage may vary with the results but i enjoyed it and found to me even when conservatively applied it helped modulate the singular, self-contained aspect of the different modular sprites in favour of something that could be read more fluidly, all bleeding into different parts.i think a similar affect is achieved by newer games which layer postprocessing effects on top of pixel art. i like that mostly but i also feel there’s something specific to be said for the comparative clunkiness of the colour washes from Castlevania 3.
sun & moon, photographed by sdo, 30th january 2014.
an eclipse of the sun by the moon visible only from sdo, created by the alignment of their orbits. and, for good measure, a solar flare (left).
this sequence of 28 frames (photographed over 7 hours) combines images of two wavelengths, for reasons that i no longer clearly recall. this idiosyncratic postprocessing has, however, revealed some interesting textures of the image sensor.
Rendering: Custom resolutions @ ~40megapixel Antialiasing: Two-pass colour-based offline AA Methods: Free camera w/ FOV and roll; In-engine tonemapping and depth of field control Tools: Assembly hacks for free camera, postprocessing; GeDoSaTo for custom resolutions and screen capture
1/250, f/4, Tri-X, Pentax Super-Takumar 135mm f/2.5 on Spotmatic F. HC-110, 1:160, 44 min @ 19C semi stand.
I want to shoot film, what should I get?
From time to time, I get questions like: “What kind of Instagram filter is that?” (from cameraphone enthusiasts), or
“I have Lightroom and Photoshop, is there a preset for that look”, (from photographers starting to explore postprocessing) or “I want to try shooting film, what should I get? My friend has a Holga, it’s pretty inexpensive” (anyone who hasn’t used a film camera).
What many people associate with a “film look” is a combination of wide aperture (shallow depth of field, bokeh, vignetting), older optics (more lens flare, no autofocus, no aspherical elements, no CAD/CAM manufacturing, softer corner focus), plus the characteristics of the film and processing itself (film grain, tonality, color response, processing artifacts). You can (and I do) model many of these behaviors in a digital processing workflow to achieve a similar visual result. However, it’s often easier and less expensive to do this with actual film workflows, and the experience of making images with film has very different dynamics, which contribute to the aesthetics of the “film look”.
A major obstacle for many people interested in trying this out is simply figuring out what to get (and where to get it, since none of it is sold and marketed in retailers now).
Here’s a short list for a film photography starter kit:
1. Canon AE-1 body ($20)
2. Canon FD 50mm f/1.8 lens ($15)
3. ND8 filter ($5)
4. (optional) Extension tube for Canon FD ($15)
These are recent prices from eBay, including shipping. So you can get your basic camera + fast lens for $40, and add an extension tube for closeups and macro for another $15.
5. Film: Tri-X ($5) for black and white, Ultramax 400 for color ($5) or Portra 400 for color ($10)
Canon shipped over a million units of the AE-1 and AE-1P in the 70’s and 80’s, so the vast inventory of used-but-working equipment tends to hold used prices down. The FD lenses can also be used with an adapter to fit virtually all modern digital cameras *except* for Canon’s own EOS-mount cameras (which is all of them).
This setup is *not* a good vehicle for creating “Holga-looking” images. You should get a Holga for that. It’s a similar cost to get started ($25-$50, new).
Roberts Camera or KEH will provide a warranty for used equipment (but cost more) if you don’t use eBay
Here are a few sample photos made with the 50mm f/1.8 on an FD-mount body. There isn’t a good way to simulate the wide-aperture look on a phone or P&S, but it’s very easy to do with inexpensive vintage equipment:
There is a bench on Byres Road which is usually occupied by old men, and I’ve found that, whenever I have half an hour to kill in the area for whatever reason, sitting and listening to them talk is a worthwhile way to spend it.
Tommy’s stories were largely of his time in the army and his memories of the war.
“I’m not just a hairy face, you know. I’ve seen me sitting here and people coming over and putting a ten pound note in my hand, like I’m a beggar! … History is my subject, I did my degree in it. I’ve studied it. I’ve lived it! I was born on the day that Lenin died (that makes him 86 in 2011). Everything you see around us now, it’s all history to me.”
“I’ve travelled all over the world, over eighty countries. But that’s all past me now. Of course, I’d love to travel still, see all the beautiful chicks, but I can barely raise my little finger these days, let alone my… well, that’s all done now. Maybe a boat to Orkney or something.”
We were for a time joined by another old chap whose breath smelt like alcohol and vanilla. I must have looked out of place, sat quietly between them while they waved their canes and argued loudly about history and politics, and certainly some passing pedestrians and drivers stuck in traffic seemed to find the spectacle amusing. When the other man left - “I’ve got to get to this fucking bank” - Tommy remarked “Oh, here we go! A bank! He’s one of Maggie Thatcher’s men.”
This photograph is really more an exercise in postprocessing than anything else: I was photographing into direct sunlight, and so to bring out the tones and the detail here was a hell of a task. Perhaps I’ve overcooked it, but it’s the best I could do.
About my film scanning and post processing workflow
Theirry-Facon asked a few days ago about the scanning and postprocessing workflow I use for film. I referred to it briefly in an earlier post: More about my black and white film workflow, but today I will expand on the digital side of my film workflow.
(Please skip past if this sounds uninteresting, it’s not getting better from here.)
After drying a set of negatives, I do post processing at my desk. It’s reasonably dust free, I have a HEPA air filter next to my desk which helps reduce airborne particles, and I wipe down the surfaces before bringing in the negatives. Before bringing the uncut film in, I also put clean negative sleeves on top of the work area, then use a small light and white paper background to help see where to cut the negatives into strips with scissors. For frames with dark / black edges, it can be difficult to spot the gaps, so it’s useful to have correctly cut negatives around as a reference for finding the interframe boundaries.
For 35mm film, the sprocket holes are a good guide, since they're aligned perfectly parallel on both edges of the film. For 120 film this doesn’t work as well, since there are no holes and the edge flashing doesn’t necessarily match. A rotary cutter might also help, but I don’t keep one around.
The length of the cut negative strips will depend on your scanner and how you plan to store them. I have a bunch of very old 35mm negatives cut 6 frames per strip, which was typical for contact printing on 8x10 paper in a darkroom. Most consumer photo labs will normally cut 35mm 5 frames to a strip, which fits in the envelopes for standard 4x6 print orders. I also cut my own 35mm negatives at 5 frames to a strip, because this fits in my scanner’s negative holder, and makes each scanning batch 10 frames at a time, which is convenient for keeping track of progress. You can purchase negative sleeves in different sizes, but It’s important that your negative strips actually fits in your scanner.
The number of frames per strip can vary for 120 film. I shoot 6x6, 6x7, and 6x4.5 format cameras so the strip length changes for each to fit. I didn’t check the first time, and ended up with negatives that fit in the negative sleeves but were too long for my scanner’s negative carrier. For 6x6 and 6x7 I cut 3 frames per strip and for 6x4.5 I cut 4 frames per strip. I don’t have a 6x9 or 6x12 camera at the moment, but those would be fewer frames per strip to fit in the scanner’s negative carrier.
For the past several months I’ve been using a Canoscan 9000F Mark II scanner. These have a built in backlight for film scanning, and can accommodate both 35mm and 120 film. The absolute quality of the scan isn’t quite as good as the Plustek 8200 I used to use, but it is still very good, and it can scan 10 35mm frames or 1 strip of medium format frames at a time without intervention. The Plustek required moving the film holder manually for each frame, which makes it more time consuming. The Canoscan is also much less expensive, about $150 new, under $100 used. It comes bundled with a simple application for scanning and simple photo adjustments.
I don’t try to optimize the scan to make it look best. Instead I try to retain the maximum tonal and feature detail in the scanned image for post processing. This means moving the white, black, and contrast to spread the levels across the full range, and turning off any built in noise reduction, spot removal, and sharpening. The goal is to put as much of the useful negative density levels within the scanned dynamic range as possible, not to create the most aesthetic result.
Just as in darkroom printing, light areas of the negative correspond to dark/shadow areas of the image, and dark areas of the negative correspond to light/highlight areas of the image. Unlike darkroom printing, there is usually a hard limit on the maximum negative density that can be captured in a digital scan. This is because the digital scan just records zero or noise if the input is too dim, which corresponds to overexposed areas on the negative that are too dense for the backlight and sensor. On the other hand, it’s often possible to handle underexposed and shadow detail that would be difficult to print, first because this can usually be adjusted with the scanner’s exposure control, and in extreme cases an underexposed negative can be made slightly denser by putting in a neutral density filter, such as an unexposed or flashed piece of developed film.
The dynamic range characteristics of digital scanners can easily result in disappointing scans of negatives that look a little dense but otherwise printable in a darkroom. So while modern negative films are extremely tolerant of overexposure, you still need to keep the digital scanning process in mind while choosing exposures, as you will lose more highlight detail than what’s made it onto the negative if it exceeds the maximum sensitivity of your scanner.
Here is a typical scan. Sharpening and grain reduction are disabled. The black point for the scan is moved to “10”. Remember that the “black” part of the image corresponds to the “clear” part of the negative, and the film base is not quite perfectly clear, and there’s no need to capture the tone values beyond the unexposed density of the processed film. If your software supports it, you should use 16 bit TIFF rather than JPEG output files. The scanner sensor will produce somewhere between 12 and 14 bits of dynamic range, and you’ll preserve more detail and tonality for post processing if you’re able to leave the scanned data uncompressed. This is the same tradeoff between RAW and JPEG format output from a digital camera.
I usually scan to 16-bit TIFF format at 3600+ dpi. Disk storage is cheap, and I’m often interested in preserving film grain and edge effects. I use pec pads to clean the scanner before each batch, and also use a rocket blower on each set of negatives. I have an anti-static brush and Tetenal also, but have never needed these on newly developed film. These are useful if you are scanning old negatives that have accumulated dust and crud though.
Scanning a roll of film at high resolution takes around an hour on my setup, but you only need to manually intervene 3 or 4 times per roll. This means that you can go do something else, like take a shower, get coffee, have breakfast, or run the scanning batch in pieces as you come and go during the day.
For doing any photo editing on a computer, you should be using a calibrated monitor. This is true for both digital images and scanned film images. I use a Datacolor Spyder for monitor calibration and matching. There are color calibration utilities built into Windows and MacOS but you really need a hardware colorimeter to get consistent results.Monitors will typically change brightness and color response over time, so it’s useful to recalibrate regularly. You still need to do color calibration for processing black and white, as you need to remove any color casts and make the luminance respond in a consistent way to use a monitor and achieve predictable output results.
I process and archive all of my photos, film and digital, using Lightroom. Once the negatives are scanned, I store them in sleeves and use the scanned files similarly to digital camera RAW files. First steps are to adjust the overall exposure, black and white points, contrast, and look for dust spots to remove. There are always dust spots, even if you wipe everything down. After basic adjustment, I’m not a purist about post processing film but will tend to stick with things I could have done in an analog darkroom process - crop, rotate, dodge, burn, vignetting, gradients, and limited blurring and sharpening. It’s much easier, faster, repeatable, and doesn’t burn through piles of (expensive, time consuming) work prints.
The classical chemical/optical darkroom process has properties that exceed what I can do with a hybrid workflow. However, sticking with “analog” types of post processing adjustments means that in theory, I could use the digital version of a given “print” and construct a similar result using an analog process starting with the original film negative.
In my current situation it’s unlikely that I would have time to do this regularly, even if I had convenient access to a well equipped darkroom. It’s far easier and faster to apply sharpening in Lightroom than by constructing and printing with an optical unsharp mask. I enjoy the ability to apply my darkroom knowledge to construct similar effects in digital form.
If you’ve read to this point, feel free to ask questions. This is all specific to me and my setup, you may find other approaches more suitable but the general issues and decisions you encounter if you do your own hybrid film workflow are likely to be similar.