360 HDRI creation by Mark Edwards

I spoilt myself and brought a Nodal Ninja for Xmas :)

It's so much easier than using a normal tripod, This was a challenging shot to get as an HRDI for lighting, I'm still not 100% happy with it but it works, I need to do another version where I'm not directly under the main light for more interesting shadows!.

If you want to have a play, I've made a scaled down 4k version available for download here I have it up to around 20k resolution so if yo did find it useful and wanted a larger version I'm sure we could work something out!  Although scaled down the 4k version has full dynamic range, my camera shoots around 13 stops raw and I took an additional 13 1 ev shots above that so you can actually see the bulbs in the lights.  

If you just want to have a play in a 360 viewer you can download this jpg but don't use this for IBL lighting use the exr file above.

And if all else fails and you just want to have a real time look I've got it hosted on www.360cities.net as well.

Very much work in progress but this is how you can use it to light a 3d world.

BB-8 by Mark Edwards

Couldn't resist creating a BB 8 Model in celebration of the force awakens!

Model and rendered in Blender, Textured in substance painter, it's the first time I've used substance painter and I'm impressed, it's so intuitive to use and the tutorials are nice and clear.

Experiments in NPR with Blender Cycles by Mark Edwards

Most NPR (Non photo realistic) rendering I see in blender is done with Blender internal or GLSL, the latest Blender open movie Glass Half Full is an excellent example of this and subscribing to the blender cloud means not only do you support the team you also get access to all the materials which is awesome.

Cycles gets used more for photo realistic rendering but you can create shader less materials and other interesting effects.  In the demo video below rather than using an emission shader for the material and restricting it just to camera ray's for rendering I've used the normal shaders but limited the number of bounces and most importantly I've used transparency / holdouts with the camera ray restriction to create the effect below.  All the materials are procedural.

I ended up using the cloth simulator for the balls, it seems to give a much better result for me that the soft body simulator.