I used skinning to create the body and fins.
Basically I created several cross-sections of the fish with the splining tool,
and then skinned across them with the skinning tool. Same for the fins. The
spines of the fins are a bump-mapped texture. The scales are actually a
displaced texture. I straightened the scales and spines using UV mapping. I
also used layer parameters on the textures to vary colors and height of
displacement. A few subtle touches include the debris in the water which
is just some transparent planes with specks on them, and the variable
light from above which is done with a translucent textured plane between
the light and the scene. The plants were created with XFrog from which
AOI easily imports models.
Inspired by M C Escher's 'Reptiles', this is meant to be an
image of a painting 'spawning' frogs - while the artist disappears for a cup of coffee, the
frogs come out and play! Too much here to go into depth about everything. The 'painting'
itself I created from an AoI render of the frog (from the top with one ambient light to give
a flat, simplistic image of the frog). This I then copied and pasted into the pattern in
Paintshop Pro and made a texture from the resulting image and applied to a spline sheet. My
favourite bits are the paintbox and jar on which I spent a reasonable amount of time
rendering. The frog itself may look familar - it's a re-textured version of the blue poison
Once, after many attempts to create a flower bud,
I finally stumbled upon a shape that seemed nice. The next logical step was a
vase. This launched a series of flower-and-vase scenes of which the presented
here picture is the most complex one. I believe that this variation is the
sixth or so. Speaking in terms of AoI scenes, there have been ten (not counting
the minor ones) separate scenes or so. After rendering they were united in a
raster image processing application. The flower bud is not a hand-made mesh but
a tricky displacement installation. I still wish I could lift the bridge higher
up; it would look prettier that way. But I was not skillful enough to do so.
Well, let it remind me of my own imperfection. ;-) A small puzzle for you all:
can you find
the tiny little wisp of grass (not the plant in the lower left-hand corner) in
the full-sized picture? It is not at all conspicuous.
I used a script to create the hairs on the feather.
I used a lot of lathing in this scene too. I also used Peter's thicken script
to give volume to several of the objects. The pattern on the copper part of the
lamp was done with a black and white image as the source for
transparency. To get the grainy effect, I used a point light where the
flame is and turned on soft shadows. Then I simply rendered with a low
number for the antialiasing. I was going for a dark cherry finish on the
I was playing around with the "Myst"-like island idea and came up with
this scene. Then, after I completed an inital render, I realized that the
whole thing was a sort of visual metaphor for the job I was about to quit.
Just thought I'd mention that so you know there's some intense psychology
behind this image :) The image textures are from a "free textures" site on
the web (please ignore my lazy displacement maps). The seagulls were
created using the Sculpt script, the ocean is a large cube, and the
landscape started out as a spline mesh.
Basic frog model was created in Wings3D, exported into AoI as
an OBJ, converted to an
approximating subdivision surface and further tweaked in the mesh editor. A fairly complex
procedural 3D texture was created and applied. The stone in the foreground is a sphere
converted to a triangle mesh, the points of which were randomised and tweaked and a true
displacement image map was applied for the cracks. The background is a cube image-mapped with
a landscape scene I created earlier in AoI. Depth of field is applied to focus the view on
The penguins were modelled using the triangle
mesh editor with textures mapped per vertex. The foreground mountains and the
snow were triangle meshes, the latter mapped with true displacement mapping.
The background mountains are just a 'cardboard cut-out' (filled curve object)
and the mist/fog is a simple cube placed in front of the background mountains
and with a fairly simple procedural material applied. Icicles started life as
cone primitives but were converted to triangle meshes and the points randomised.
On the face of it, a simple scene. Underneath,
it's a bit more complicated: the apples are triangle meshes derived from spheres
and are textured with a 2D procedural texture. The apple with a bite out of it
had a layered texture consisting of the same apple texture used for the other
apples and another 3D procedure texture representing the apple flesh. The bowl
is a simple lathed object; the striped distortions were created purely through a
procedural bump map. The tabletop is simply a cube; the coloured tiles are another
(fairly complex) procedural texture.
My first AoI render, but I spent a lot of time on
it. The skull is an imported obj file that I got off the internet, but the rest
is by me. Lots of interesting textures. Did cloth by randomizing points on a
mesh and then stretching it out mostly in one direction. I've recently made
some improvements with the grape textures and material and added a grape
stem made with Forester.
The leash was made by extruding a rectangle along
a curve with several rotations. The wood is a layered texture. Used a large
contrast in lighting for the sunlight from the window versus the room lighting.
Nice 3D procedural texture on the leash. Used a script to make the hairs in the
This is part of the introductory animation
of a game I am programming based on the book "Ender's Game". It makes a
really easy exercise on using Art of Illusion. It is as simple as a donut,
four cylinders and a sphere, all of them conveniently spiced up with the
power of the texture editor.
With this one I cheated. It is in fact two separate
scenes: one for the location and one for the character. For the location, one of
the "tricks" used is a VERY wide angle of the camera that let me show as much of
the hallway as I wanted to, rendering the impression of a curved corridor, which
it is in fact. The texture of the walls is a very interesting one, in wich I
translated the cartesian coordinates to polar, and applied some scaling and blending
to get those "tubes" (which are in fact part of the texture). Undoubtedly the most
difficult part was the red alarm light. I wanted the small amount of reddish shadow
on the ground under and around it, and had to play a lot with the parameters of the
light until I found the right values. I rendered the character with a transparent
background so that I could paste it into the corridor later, but of course it looked
absolutely unnaturally perfect. No problem: I introduced the right amount of noise to
the character, and besides some motion blur-all of these operations with an external
bitmap editor of course, like The Gimp, for example. Pasting the astronaut into the
corridor was the last operation and... voila!
Both the human face and the lego man were
modelled with AOI. Note the very different nature of the hairs in the
eyebrows and the eye-lashes: the eyebrows are made using a procedural
material. The eye-lashes are tube objects.
Most interesting features: keyboard, created using
the Array Tool. Monitor: The blue-ish light cast by the screen is cast by a
point-light with a large radius. Using soft-shadows, a nice soft blue light
envelopes the scene. Coffee Mug: This is actually my favorite mug. The vapour
is an ellipsoid containing a procedural material. The material is created using
a stretched noise pattern which detemermines the density of the material, and the
swirly effect is created using a jitter transformation. Modelled and rendered with
Art of Illusion version 0.9, soft-shadows and depth of field, 32 rays per pixel.
A simple scene with a plant, showing off the
soft-shadowing feature. The leaves are made by extruding a cross-section of
a leaf along a curve, and then modifying the spline-mesh to create a tapering
effect. Concentric circles of leaves are created using the array tool. Also,
the original leaf has a skeleton. Modifying the skeleton of each copy is an
easy way to give each leaf a unique appearance.
This image came about through playing around
with the materials editor and creating the 'froth' material that sits upon
the 'milkshake'. The Doughnuts have a layered texture to add the sugar coating
separately. Other objects are fairly straightforward. Final render has soft
shadows, gloss/translucency and antialiasing on and took 2.5 hours to render
(PIII 500 Mhz).
Just a little fun with some everyday objects.
Probably the most interesting part of the scene is the use of texture parameters
for the pencil. The pencil is a single mesh created by extruding a filled octagon.
Once shaped into a pencil, a procedural 3D texture was created with 3 texture
parameters to control the colour, the specularity (red and 'lead' parts shiny,
wooden part not) and to add noise (only to the wooden part). The ink spill was a
sphere converted to a mesh, flattened and shaped. Paperclips were created by extruding
a smoothed filled polygon along a curve drawn in the shape of a paperclip
This was the first "real" image I ever
created with Art of Illusion (version 0.3!), by which I mean an image created
for its own sake, not just to test out some feature of the program. It's a very
simple scene and AoI has come a long way since then, but I'm still pleased with
how well it came out. I think it's the soft shadows and glossy reflections which
really make the image. Notice that I've used the same image map both to color the
tabletop and to modulate the sharpness of the reflections, which adds a lot to the
realism of the scene.