Johnny’s Workshop

February 12, 2009

What’s it been? Six months?

Filed under: Vue 6 xStream,Vue 7 xStream — april15th @ 5:39 am
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thought I’d write a new post … much though I loathe the idea of spoiling you people.

By the way, what is the deal with screenwriters establishing a character’s history with the phrasing I used for the title of this post? As in: “Hey, Mitch … you’ve been on the force for, what, twelve years?” or “You’ve been working on that novel for how long? Eight years? When are you going to face reality?”

I’d really like to create a montage of shots that use that exact phrasing; it really bothers me for some reason.

Incidentally, the “UFOs at the You Yangs” project has not been abandoned or anything. I’ll be sure to post an update very soon — perhaps as early as next week — because it is something I’m keen to prioritise. In recent months, though, both the need and desire to learn more about Vue has taken precedence.

I can’t believe it’s been, what, five-and-a-half months since my last post? All that time I’ve been learning cool things, taking photographs, crying for no reason, and conducting all sorts of CG-related experiments. Though I haven’t taken the time to write, I’ve always had plenty of things to write about. Just now, for example, I noticed one of the pictures behind me was hanging at an angle. Interesting!

Most of my studying time has been devoted to Vue and because I like to practice as I go, I’ve been slowly-but-surely accumulating a weird array of experimental images and video clips.

This time last month, I spent a couple of days learning how to simulate depth of field (the distance between the nearest and farthest parts of the ‘sharply focused’ area of an image). When you’re taking photographs with a decent camera, you can achieve a lovely depth of field by using a combination of aperture and exposure settings. Like so:


Vue allows you to achieve a similar effect by specifying a blur percentage and range of focus:

Ship - Depth of Field Settings

See those dotted lines to the fore and aft of the ship? They outline the depth of field. The settings in that screenshot (12m Focus, 15% Blur) yielded this:

Ship - Depth of Field - RT-6h5m2

For the sake of comparison, I also rendered two versions of an X-Wing, one with depth of field and one without:

Cool, huh? Now, how about a row of pyramids at sunset:

Pyramids - Depth of Field, 10-passes - RT-53m11s

Boy, do I envy people who wear glasses. All they have to do is take them off and they get to see the world that way whenever they want! Lucky

Another awesome thing you can do with Vue is create EcoSystems. Generally-speaking, they’re the means by which users create natural-looking forests, rock formations, cities, etc. but you can also use EcoSystems to create all manner of cool-looking shit:

(You can click on most of those images for larger versions, so … go nuts.)

I’ll leave it at that for now but before I sign off, I’d really like to congratulate the WordPress code monkeys on coming up with the most insane image-management system yet. Every incarnation is more aggravating than the last. Nice going.



  1. Well well well…. I’ll be a monkey’s uncle… I never thought I’d see the day you’d post another blog entry. Welcome back to the blogging world, Johnny!

    As always, your blog is hella cool and interesting, although completely over the head of a technophobe like me whose still trying to figure out how to simultaneously plug in my cable line and my VCR cord into my television set. What’s it been, twenty-six years since most regular folk figured that out?

    Anyway, cool blog Johnny, except the tabby cat reminds me of my childhood pet that died of cancer. Thanks for bringing THAT up…

    Comment by Sheri — February 12, 2009 @ 9:32 am | Reply

  2. Nice cat. Nice post. Nice John-Paul.

    Comment by Hooly — February 12, 2009 @ 7:43 pm | Reply

  3. I have issues with the ship one, Johnny Cakes. The focus on the sails looks a bit doesn’t make sense, much like this sentence. Know what I’m gettin’ at, Bra? But seriously, love the work. Particularly the island blimp.

    From everyone here at Bueno X-Press.

    Comment by Suzy J. — February 12, 2009 @ 9:52 pm | Reply

  4. I’m sitting here, like, totally AMAZED by your post.

    I wish I could, like, make stuff like, this awesome on my, like, computer…

    Like, wow.

    (Yes, I like, deliberately wrote ‘like’ a lot. I, like, wanted to see if it would, like, annoy you? Like.)

    Comment by Mel — February 12, 2009 @ 10:02 pm | Reply

  5. I miss those days of messing around with Vue, and annoying you. I rhymed!
    On a related note, I hate this song.

    Comment by Blobs — February 13, 2009 @ 2:07 am | Reply

  6. Sorry to ruin your blog with my rubbish

    Comment by Blobs — February 14, 2009 @ 3:24 am | Reply

  7. For more of your excellent DOF stuff, JP, check out my blog. I put up a few pics from our session.

    Comment by crommo — February 15, 2009 @ 12:50 pm | Reply

  8. Although, you have your own copies. But still, I’ve made them better, so it’s worth a look. For fun, you might like to compare the originals with the ones on my blog!

    Comment by crommo — February 15, 2009 @ 12:56 pm | Reply

  9. Oh and by the way, the same thing can be achieved in my beloved photoshop. *Romantic sigh*
    Ok. I’m going to stop commenting now.

    Comment by crommo — February 15, 2009 @ 1:00 pm | Reply

  10. The X-Wing one needs motion blur! MOTION BLUR!!

    Comment by crommo — February 15, 2009 @ 1:03 pm | Reply

  11. Hey John, was wondering if you ever got round to doing anything with the you yangs? I wouldn’t mind trying to recreate them in the Cryengine2, but I can’t find any height maps or model data of them. Do you have any?

    Comment by Stuart — July 19, 2009 @ 8:13 pm | Reply

  12. Hey, Stuart! I got as far as modelling them but that was just using the height data provided by Google Maps. I’ll send you the relevant project files via e-mail. Believe it or not, the results were pretty good! One of these days, I’ll have to do a blog entry on that phase of the project …

    Comment by april15th — July 20, 2009 @ 6:39 pm | Reply

  13. Cool thanks! You got my email? It’s stuartmurray&

    Comment by Stuart — July 20, 2009 @ 7:08 pm | Reply

    • Yep! Just sent the message, too. Knowing Gmail, the inclusion of a link probably forced it straight into your Spam folder. Check there if it’s not in your Inbox!

      Comment by april15th — July 20, 2009 @ 7:25 pm | Reply

  14. Hey JP, I wear glasses, but I still moved them up and down to see if the blur changed or my world actually looked that interesting. Alas, I just couldn’t see the rest of the sentence…

    Comment by ben knight — October 5, 2009 @ 10:45 pm | Reply

  15. What’s it been, eight months since you posted a blog entry??

    Comment by Sheri — October 15, 2009 @ 8:16 pm | Reply

  16. What’s it been, a year and two months, since you posted an f’ing blog!??

    Comment by Sheri — March 27, 2010 @ 11:15 pm | Reply

  17. The best thing about ignoring my blog for a year-and-a-half is that I get to approve / reject eleven new comments. Eleven!

    Ben, I feel particularly guilty about yours because it was your very first on this blog and I should have made it clear how happy it made me to see that you and your defective eyes had dropped by. In future, I’ll respond to your comments much, much faster.

    By the way, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen more movies than you …

    Comment by april15th — May 28, 2010 @ 4:39 pm | Reply

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