The Persistence of Ignorance

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Sep-Oct-2000, Topic LABORATORY

MegaPOV 0.5, 2000 (466 K)

Placed 2nd!

Submission txt:
Ruined experiment (in a boring lab with internet access).

Altought this round topic was very promissing, I've not found a good idea for an interesting scene. Being a bit worried, I started to create typical lab stuff, extracting shapes from old chemistry books and some magazines. When I had enough stuff, I started to make the room and fornitures, all with classic lab materials. In some weeks, I had a nice but completely boring lab. I left the scene to mature for some days, but nothing special happend in my mind. But, in a last-minute half-illumination, I've conceived the idea of an experiment ruined due to the internet addiction of a chemistry student (my excuses to all the chemistry students reading this, and not only for the easy joke, but also for the wrong details on the lab and stuff).

Finally, I have done many renders to tweak composition, lighting and radiosity. As the final image was very dark, I added global photons to the scene, but only for reflective caustics, bcos the refractive ones looked too bright and produced strange big spots (I must first learn more on photons before using them...). Then I tried classic faked caustics, but they looked poorly, and I prefered to not have caustics at all.

Thechnically, all in the scene is done with classic methods. The only part where I experimented a bit is the smoke. It consists on a stack of spheres with increasing radius, and using two medias in each container, one for emision and another absoption, slighty and progresively changing some parameters. Thanks to Johannes Ewers for the inspiration provided by his nice explosion on the winner "lake.jpg". In his honour I added some particles and the traces of them with fading medias and conected cyliders.

Another nice trick is in the computer screen: the image (a page from the great IRTC CD) is a media image_map! I never figured this was possible... I tought on it searching a way to have self-lighted image_maps when ambient light is set to 0.

Finally, I must notice that the code zipped doest not render the exact same scene I sent. At some moment I started to become bored and ruined a bit some things. Perhaps some of you know this strange syndrome? ;)

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