electron microscope look

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I'm working on a scene that looks like it was take by an electron microscope. Let me know what you think!

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microworld_comp.jpg (56.9 KB)

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Ok here is the hipnc file. I zipped it.

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microworld_v02_6.zip (67.8 KB)

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The image does suggest that kind of look but I think it's too refined. I wouldn't expect such fine cracks on the ground. The sphere is too smooth and I think most importantly there should be chemical deposits, small crystalline like structures, dust grains, over everything.
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It's good as a starting point and you got the idea of the inverted edge light right.

You could try adding depth of field effects and perhaps a fake colored photoshop look. They always tint these images for visibilities sake.

I agree with probbins that you should add irregularities and crystal deposits.

Perhaps you're also a tad too contrasty. Adjusting the levels a little and adding text or borders in complete black/white could enhance the look you're after.

Playing with the camera angle and field of view could also help.
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Here are two new versions. microworld_area_comp.jpg was rendered with an area light. I did NOT adjust te brightness/contrast.

The other image is called microworld_comp.jpg and was rendered with ambient occlusion. I did adjust the brightness/contrast in COPs.

Currently leaning towards microworld_area_comp.jpg for aesthetic reasons and because it doesn't cause my laptop to crash all the time. What do you think?

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microworld_comp.jpg (50.9 KB)
microworld_area_comp.jpg (36.9 KB)

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Looking much better.

I prefer microworld_comp.jpg. The other one looks too dark to me and it would't make sense to have a badly exposed photograph.

I would also attempt to get the look of the ground visually closer to that of the sphere. They seem to belong to a different world.

You could make use of Houdini's tools by scattering some modified platonic solids around the surface, a bit like this:

http://www.shu.ac.uk/research/meri/_assets/images/jpg/mars-sem-image.jpg [shu.ac.uk]

If you feel ambitious you could make an effect that grows imperfections with little plate-like objects. The kind of thing you would get in crystals or sedimentary rocks.

There's a lack of depth as well. It doesn't need much but the ground looks exactly the same in the distance as it does in the foreground. Too generic. A bit of love in the details goes a long way.

And why does it crash your laptop?
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I keep getting a Memory Allocation Error. I am running Houdini Apprentice 10.0.295 on Dell laptop running 32 bit Windows Vista. Granted my choice of OS is probably not the greatest, but I was wondering if there was something I could do in my scene file to improve things.

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microworld_v02_9_3.rar (134.0 KB)

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I posted a reply here:

http://www.sidefx.com/index.php?option=com_forum&Itemid=172&page=viewtopic&p=77578#77578 [sidefx.com]
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Just to be geekey…

Few care to realize that an electron microscope image is a “false image”. Some objects observe what looks like lambertian headlight shading while others exhibit the inverse of that lighting model.

Take a look at the poster boy image of pollen in the wikipedia web site:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Misc_pollen.jpg [en.wikipedia.org]
You'll notice that the smaller pollen in between the larger pollen have bright edges and dark centers. Reverse of default Lambertian shading. No they are not the shape of blood cells but are roughly spherical.

Here's another image where the entire critter is shown in this reverse lambertian like headlight lighting model:
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/232/535424122_ad2369aa79.jpg [farm1.static.flickr.com]

No there are no “lights” in an electron microscope so rim lighting makes no sense to solve this problem.

If you research this further (which all prospective shader writers should do ) you will find that smaller thinner structures will exhibit this reverse-lambertian shading while larger solid objects shade with a lambertian response. Then there is the electron microscope itself. Depending on the model it varies as well. All depends on how the structures were coated with a metal (usually gold as it can be put in an incredibly thin layer) and how the electron microscope renders the collected bounced electrons' energy.

You will want a control on your electron microscope shader that allows you to flip the shading on a per structure basis if you really want to leapfrog the endless supply of physically incorrect electron microscope shaders that seem to proliferate the web-o-sphere…

Me just being me…
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