Artist Feature: Eliane CK


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penny diver

Penny Diver

Eliane Camargo (aka Eliane CK) is undoubtedly one of the best known, and influential artists of the Carrara community (as well as the broader DAZ/Poser community). Her works are instantly recognisable and inspire everything from revulsion to awe and everything in between. Eliane is a master of lighting and shaders and moves easily from one render engine to another.

Eliane’s images are a punctuation of colour and light amid low-key environments. Often characters are composed of or wrapped (and/or embedded) in elements as unassuming as the surrounding environments, but it is the splash of colour, the contrast of matt, reflective and flesh surfaces, and clean, realistic lighting that draws us into the artist’s imagination. We ponder these images.

What we are met with at face value, is a mish-mash of eroticism, transhumanism, and fashion parade presented through a science fiction lens. We see wonder, exploration, joy, pain, suffering, beautify and the repulsive. We are invited to let out mind wander to questions about what it is to be human, the nature of consciousness, and the relationship between humans and technology. At least this is what comes to me when viewing Eliane’s works. The artist, herself, is reluctant to comment on what these images are about, instead encouraging the responder to explore at will.

think

Think

Jim: In all your interviews I read, I have never found how or when you started with 3D. What was your first experience with 3D? Was it something you instantly knew you wanted explore?

Eliane CK: I started in 2006 with Poser, just for fun, after that, DAZ 3D and finally Carrara.

Jim: You can see the beginnings of your unique and very recognisable style with your early renders, but looking at your Renderosity gallery you can really see it significantly in the last quarter of 2008 and fully formed by mid-2009. Was the rapid development of your signature style a conscious effort, or is it more about mastery of Carrara? Continue reading

MechaNation: Nanopunk Animations Baked LuxRender Style

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Flying vehicle over rainy Lobar city - MechaNationSo I know this guy from my time hanging around deviantART. How this meeting came about, I don’t remember, but over the couple of years I have known him I’ve admired a good number of his beautiful renders. LuxRender is his weapon of choice, backed up with DAZ Studio and Reality 2 point something.

This guy had a kid (well his wife did anyway) and all was quiet for a time. Suddenly he turns back up months later ranting about this crazy idea about making an episodic animation with LuxRender. Any sane guy like me (yes, like me) would be dubious about such outlandish claims, but with a little digging about and a look at what Jean E Dugas (about time to introduce our Texan protagonist by name) has been up to, you start to get the feeling that this might just work. He has a clear and reasoned understanding of where he is and where he needs to get to, and the awesome amount of work required. Just watching the trailer for his project shows a sharp progression of skill and technique.

So, what’s Jean cooking? Well, maybe this is another element that piqued my curiosity; for some years Jean has been working on a series of nanopunk novels under the title, MechaNation. In recent times the denizens of MN have been dying for the animated life, and thus here we are about to talk to Mr Dugas himself.

 

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Luxus Pseudo Review

So I spent a bit of time playing with Luxus for DAZ Studio. I must say the work flow is quite streamlined when compared to Reality 2. Having access to the surface tool and the DAZ Studio native surfaces tab works for me a lot better than having to browse through long lists of materials in the Reality application in order to edit them. To find a specific material when working with Reality 2 often meant closing Reality getting the surface tool, selecting the specific surface, and then opening Reality back up. Allegedly this is all changed with Reality 3 which uses the native interface, but that is little consolation for DAZ users who have not heard an ETA for Reality 3 (currently in closed beta for Poser), so maybe Luxus will fill the time for DAZ Studio users looking for an alternative.

The first thing that stumped me about Luxus was getting nice looking Lux materials. I would look at the manual and go back to Studio, and then go back to the manual muttering, ‘what the hell does he mean “options menu”‘. Reading the manual you get the impression that 3delight materials will get something of a conversion to Lux, so I let up on the options menu search a bit and played around with my daz materials – doesn’t seem to do a great deal at all! Despite it all, Lux still gave me some reasonable renders, and damn is it quick when compared to just a short time ago.

alien palace luxrender

LuxRender image via Luxus for DAZ Studio. Model done in LightWave

 

alien palace luxrender

Android from DAZ 3D

Not bad, but I still wanted that extra pop ya get when working with materials native to the engine. I go back to the manual, muttering but finally the answer comes from a post at the DAZ forums. Here I’ll demonstrate with a screen shot.

luxrender materials via luxus

Easy as pi :) Click to expand

1. Surfaces tab
2. Select the material you want to convert to Lux
3. “Options Menu” dodad
4. Make it so!
5. Configure your sexy new mats

A similar process works for converting Studio lights to Lux lights, except that you use the parameters tab. So, once this little problem is overcome the full power of Lux is yours for the taking, though if you want the most out of the render engine I’d suggest a lot of reading (I know I need to at least). There are a number of things advanced users of Lux will like about Luxus, though I wouldn’t have the foggiest about those, but suffice to say that they will be able to do more of their pre render configuration with Studio’s interface and spend less time in a text editor doing manual tweaks.

To compare Luxus to Reality at this point I’d say that Luxus wins in terms of ease of use and price, but there are a lot of winning features of Reality such as the material previews, water, and fog primitives, material editor (once particular surface can be located!), and premade light rigs such as the soft box. I think, given time and further development Luxus will prove to be a worthy LuxRender bridge in the Studio user’s tool box. I think there is a lot to be optimistic about. The threads about Luxus on the DAZ forums are going strong, the developer is engadged in the discussion, and the general consensus is that Luxus is good.

…and here it is still on the cook at about 800 samples per pixle, but looking good in those nice shiny Lux materials.

alien palace 3 luxrender

Much better

Happy renderings!