Where did the week go? Between a cat & a vector map

Vector drawing for an Elect Beker poster.

I’ve been away from my blog on a cat sitting and vector map vacation. There is also another T-shirt contest that I’m aiming to participate in with three designs as well. These activities have been siphoning off most of my extra juice that I’d use to post meaningful blog entries.

I’ll skip the part about watching cats, but I’ll talk briefly about vector maps and the shirt designs.

Let me just say that vector maps, used for vector displacement, are insanely and amazingly easy to use in place of displacement maps. You can read up more on the plugin I am using to displace with in mr via XSI here. In a nut shell, as long as two objects share the same UVs, regardless of poly count and topology, you can use vector displacement to transfrom one object, like a simple sphere, into a more complex one, like say a tree. So unlike regular displacement that just works along the normal, this will create curvatures, insets etc. This form of displacement is currently all done at rendertime in several applications that support their use (LW, MAYA, XSI).

The best part is that an application I’ve been using, the gem called 3D Coat, exports them directly as float point exr files. This takes far less effort to work with than using regular displacement and is much more flexible. I’m going to use this method for complex models in Graymont, especially for terrian.

The T-shirt contest is for opbmusic.org. All I can say is that my entries will have something to do with Oregon, audio, and opbmusic! OK, so those aren’t big hints, but I have to keep my cards close if I’m going to play the full on contest game, which is over this coming Tuesday. When the contest is over, on Wednesday, I’ll post my entries. Wish me luck- and if you’re feeling inspired, be sure to check it out for yourself and get going on a design!

Just keep in mind that even though Carson Ellis is one of the judges you MUST make the final a vector image. I’m not certain as to why they didn’t just give out details about DPI and line weight, but maybe they just wanted to make the printer’s lives easier at the cost of eliminating certain entrants…