May 19, 2009

Can't Afford My New 3D Software!

I just got a very depressing email.

I can't afford to upgrade my 3D software.

I had been holding out hope that though I'm a version behind on Carrara that I might still be able to upgrade to the latest edition. Instead I was informed I'd have to buy the whole program over again. BEEP!

In $US this is pretty steep, but take my worthless $NZ and it'd be cheaper for me to buy a car down here (while my current 20 year old car anyways).

This has me bummed, as it has a very key feature that would save me countless hours. When rendering pictures at moment, if I need to make a correction or change it means rerendering the whole picture. This can take anywhere between 1-60 minutes. However in the new edition it only has to rerender the objects or attributes you change. Meaning (especially with fur and feathers) I can cut my rerender time by an astonishing amount in theory.

However I'll only be able to dream of this for now.

In frustration, coupled with brain lag from a long day at work, I fell back on my Model C Enterprise. I did crank out the second last raptor picture before hand (it taking me 1.5 hours may have had something to do with my giving up).

Despite the fact I'm not putting tons of effort into this bad boy I'm getting some pretty sweet @$$ results. Mind you its not supposed to be an authentic from the show look, so I can claim it looks good if I want.

This is how I would redefine and imagine the Enterprise if I rebooted the franchise (not that I didn't like the new Enterprise, it was one of my favourite elements of the movie). It would be a bit more militarized, not due to wanting a Star Wars feel to the show, but to me the Defiant in Trek always seemed the better fit for most missions as she could survive them when things went wrong (which on Trek let's fact it is always!).

Anyways I think I'll get back to work, and yearn for a day when I can afford to render with a mistake in there somewhere.

May 18, 2009

A Creative Detour

I hit my first streak of major unemployment this year, and it's been a little annoying. After only one day last week (Monday) and this Monday off I've had a lot of time to regroup on my creative projects. The good news is that I have work booked for the rest of the week, and thus will keep me out of trouble (and the red).

I got an impressive amount of 3Ding done during this unplanned week off. No money and bad weather combined perfectly for reasoning not to do much else.

I have an unmatched number of CG Dinosaurs in these upcoming shots. Raptor Attack over at Traumador is going to be his most thrilling single post yet (though I have more coming down the line if people like it... here's hoping).

The only issue with these multi Dinosaur pictures is they take a lot of time. My new skeletonal rigs take a lot of my puters thinking capacity, and the feathers on the Raptors grind it further to a halt. So by the end of today I was getting sick of working on them, and with only 1.5 incomplete pics for the first part of the Attack, I decided to take a brainless break.

Not from 3Ding mind you. Rather from content where it mattered. As of such I built my first Star Trek ship in over 7 years. Inspired by the awesome visuals (sadly not the plot) of the new Trek I decided to rebuild the Enterprise as if I were the one relaunching the franchise. Here's how far I got it.

Obviously its not finished, but this was a mere twoish hours (not really focused either). However I might finish it up and stick it in Delta Patrol as a tribute to my second favourite space epic universe of all time (my first being Firefly).

Let me know what you think you Trekkies out there. I'm going for a more militaristic and armoured look, Starfleet Battles/Defiant if you follow

May 16, 2009

Bolding Going Where Trek Has Sucked Before...

So I finally broke down today, and saw the new Star Trek.

I had been reluctant to go for two big reasons. Well one reason and a suspected byproduct of that reason.

J.J. Abrams. I have yet to see a production of his that hasn't infuriated or disappointed me (Trek as you'll see is no exception but it ALMOST wasn't).

Most of the time I get annoyed by his claiming great imagination over his audience, but in reality it is just him not bothering to present key information, and thus we're left with only part of a plot or story (LOST and MI3 for example... "Oh I'm so clever, cause I know the secret and the viewers don't").

I'm sorry, but that is not imagination or cleverness J. J. that is called lazy and hack cheating. A good writer (like Joss Wheadon for example) puts the clever imaginative twist in plain sight, and keeps the audience from seeing it TILL a key moment. Abrams doesn't bothering showing it all typically, leading many (such as myself) to believe he is actually just making it all up as he goes or not knowing at all.

Not only was I worried immediately upon hearing of his attachment to the Trek reboot, but also JJ's declaration that he was not a Trek fan but rather a Wars fan. Now Wars has long been a dead franchise in my eyes, due to the destructive exploits of Lucas in 1999 up to the present. I was really worried Trek was heading down this road too. More to the point I couldn't see why J. J. couldn't just make a new Wars film. Trek and Wars are and should always be very different entities. Diversity is a strength not a weakness.

Well the good news is this was not a total Warsification of Trek.

I in fact nearly enjoyed the film. That is until, funny enough till, they pulled a blunder move of a VERY Trek variety. One that surprised me, but I'll tell you about that when I get there.

So my take on the new Trek movie (don't you love this pic, I had to use it in this post... even if there is no reason other then it is cool as).

On the surface it is shiny and visual stunning movie. Though as they spent 3 times as much making this film as any other single production of Trek, you'd hope it'd look as good or better.

They did succeed on this front, and I was always pleased with the visuals (though my head was hurt by the quality of the effects... but this is normal for a good film... if my head's not hurting that means the effects suck. As I can make them... I'm looking at you The Core!)

As a BIG Starship fan, the majority of the ships were flashy and pretty, and pleased me very greatly.

I loved the new look for the Enterprise, and she is among my favourites of the Enterprise lineage (even if this was a remodelling of the A model). The other Starfleet ships we get to see (sadly usually fleeting shots) were equally pleasing (and very Starfleet Battles). There were even some beautiful Klingon D7s the Kobayashi Maru simulator (though why they called them Klingon warbirds is beyond me?!?), which was my favourite of the little touches.

The interior sets for the Enterprise, Earth, and Vulcan were all perfect and made the Trek universe look as impressive as the previous shows had attempted to imply (with their fraction of a budget).

Sadly Nero and his renegade mining ship didn't quite accomplish this.

They would have fit more in a Star Wars movie, as yes they looked "impressive", but they had no feel of functionality or realism. Something I associate with Star Wars. From the unfathomably complicated spikiness of Narada mining ship, which was so over the top (much like the Reman ship from Nemisis) and couldn't be comphrended when looked at. To its hallow interior connected by railess bridges?!?

One thing about Trek I've always liked is that things tend to feel plausible (even if not really). In Wars it is often the opposite, they solely exist to make for cool action scenes (but if you thought about them would be dangerous in everyday use!)...

The first half of the film was by far the superior, and up until the "jump the [ice] shark" moment, I was starting to dig the new film version, and wondered if I was going to have to admit I was wrong. Sadly I was right in the end, but I'll get there.

The new feel of the Enterprise and Starfleet was very welcome. It was slightly more military, but yet rooted in a Trek philosophy (the quote from the movie "Starfleet serves as a peace keeping, humanitarian, and exploration force of the Federation" struck the right balance I felt).

In fact, it was right on the mark of my teenage favourite incarnation of Trek, Star Fleet Battles. This was a board game created in the dead period of Trek back in the 1970's. They redid the original series universe as a slightly more conflicted and militarized place. One that the new movie mirrored very well, especially during the mobilization of the task force in the beginning of the film.
The character development of many of the mains was fantastic, and long needed. Unlike any other branch of Trek the original series crew never really had their back stories fleshed out (other then in Trek 5, and that's best forgotten). Considering this was supposed to be an altered reality, I thought Kirk's origin in this film as a troubled fatherless kid worked better then, the implication later on in the movie "normal" Shatner Kirk had a loving supportive dad.

The character interaction in the first half were really compelling, and I enjoyed how Kirk didn't really endear himself to anyone but McCoy.

The action in the this first act were also amazing. The crew's entire (mis)adventure around Vulcan was easily the highlight of the movie.

Right after the clear ending of act 1 I sat in my seat thinking "wow this new movie is great!", but sadly the feeling was stripped away from me quickly.

One of the best character interactions of the film sadly concludes with the film falling to pieces. Kirk and Spock have a great argument about how to solve the huge stellar threat. A character confrontation that draws in all the other characters.

This extreme tension between Spock and Kirk had huge potential I thought, and would be fun to see played out and be resolved I thought. Sadly we were delivered a HUGE cheat, but not in a typical Abram's style...
The conclusion of the Kirk vs. Spock argument had me nearly scream like Shatner...

Rather then get a great character driven second half of Kirk and Spock have to work out their differences and learn to be friends... Spock (acting captain over Kirk as acting first officer) orders the crew to "Get him off my ship"... to which you think to the brig right Spock?

No suddenly Kirk is shot out of the ship in an escape pod (no explanation... straight from the 'get off my ship" line. to a Enterprise floating in space shot with a pod suddenly shooting off the side). Here the pod crash lands in the middle of... well essentially Hoth... and Kirk has to wander 14kms to an "outpost". Is that cool with the regulations Spock? Ironic as the argument was Kirk not wanting to follow the rules...
A minute into his wandering the snowy abyss suddenly he is chased by a Wampa... er sorry a... 4 legged 4 eyed subspecies of Wampa which within seconds is eaten by a red ice monster (why red?!?)... which I shall call the Ice Shark. At which point the film jumps the shark (literally once if I recall correctly. Kirk tumbles over it at one point).

Kirk in the end is saved by none other then Leonard Nimoy, and this is where the movie begins to ROYALLY SUCK!
Now based on everyone I talked to, and a few reviews it was Nero and his villainous plot that were the weak link in the film. However in reality it is Leonard Nimoy as future Spock who really kills the film
Sure Nero is pretty cardboard, and a lame rehash of the Voyager 2 parter Year of Hell (one of the few good episodes of Voyager), but he in the end served the purpose of being a problem for the Enterprise to stomp on.
Nimoy on the other hand is a film wrecker. The brilliant Kirk Spock conflict proceeds to be resolved by future Spock basically telling them they have to kiss and make up because that's how it has always been... KHANNNN... no wait... SPOCKKKKKKK!
Seriously the second half of the film ends up being future Spock centric (despite his only being in 10 minutes of the film really) with everything revolving around future Spock and his future ship. This was bad enough, but Nimoy's presence destroys all the potential beautiful subtle highlights of the latter end of the film. Including stealing the triumph from Scotty's triumphant debut, due to Nimoy ending up becoming the miracle and Scotty merely his worker.
Though that said Simone Pegg as Scotty is the highlight of act 2. However I was furious that all the great Scotty trademark talents in this new "alternate" reality are now just things future Spock tells him to do. Not even in a clever way, like Spock cluing Scotty into his potential, Nimoy just blatantly tells him "this is how my Scotty did it".

This didn't just infuriate me, but it boggled my mind. Didn't Paramount fire the previous head of the Trek franchise, Rick Berman, to give the series a fresh new start and feel? The way Abrams disappointed me, and cheated creatively, felt more like an old Berman style move.
Berman had an unhealthy obsession with time travel. One that would eventually do in his last Trek show Enterprise. In the first 3 seasons of this show the characters would constantly be exposed to things in the future, that we the audience already knew about, and thus result in the characters have unreal reactions to these things in their own time.
It defeated the whole purpose of seeing the "early days" of the Trek universe as key first encounters would have characters say "ah yes the [insert key alien or event], I heard about that in the future." Why bother having a show set around these first encounters if you're going to cheat the characters (and thus us the audience) of the dramatic and situational thrill of that first encounter.
The key character moments of this film are stolen through this. Kirk and Spock don't naturally resolve their conflict. They only do so because Kirk is told in the future he is Spock's friend, and that's what he should do now. What the hell was the point of this Kirk meets Spock story then?!?
I seriously felt cheated out of what had the set up to be a great movie. So much so that, in the end send off of the film with Kirk returning to the Enterprise to lead the crew into their next adventure, I sat there seriously yearning to follow them on THIS adventure... Why did I sit through the waste of time about future Spock's adventure? I didn't want to see his resolution, I wanted to see the new Enterprise crew do stuff!
Time travel aside (which should never be mixed with Space epics anyways! It should only be used for Dinosaur movies or those featuring DeLoreans) the other problem with the film was the big bad format.
Ever since Star Trek 2 writers of Trek films have insisted on having singular central villains for the Enterprise crews to take on. In Wraith of Khan this worked, Khan was a very memorable and effective counterpoint of Kirk. It was also a story that let most of the crew have a purpose.
However ever since Trek 2 and Khan none of the villains have really stood up well, and most weren't any good. Yet the writers seemed to think this was what made for a good Trek movie...
Which misses the point. Good Star Trek TV series episodes have central problems that might involve a villainous character, but they are merely a part of it. This means that though a character or two might have a personal investment in defeating the villain, the rest of the crew have something to do. More to the point often there is no personal investment, and those villains serve as an opposing crew (or in essence an evil Enterprise). This lack of one on one confrontations often lead to Trek's best stories and moments.
Trek 6 was the most brilliant incarnation of this (and in a movie) where there are several villain characters scattered throughout the plot, but they are not set up on a big bad pedestal. They are merely there to be overcome.
This new Trek film collapses as the end fight and confrontation end up being 90% Kirk and Spock trying to take down Nero, while the rest of the crew hide on the Enterprise behind Saturn. I seriously cheered at the Enterprises 1 minute intervention in the end of this battle, as I wanted to see the Enterprise and her crew win the day. Not the two star actors running around the bad guys ship...
Instead of Nero and his ship Narada flying around destroying planets, I would have much rather seen a feature film version of the classic Trek episode "The Planet Killer". You can even see how they could have simply used Nero's ship for an updated planet killer (planet killer being this thing here and the Narada being the Thorn bush in space above).
In this format we would have had an epic problem, a similar setup for Kirk and Spock being put in command earlier then they should have(if you went with Captain Pike pulling a Commodore Decker), getting in a big personal scrap over command style, and coming together using their own and the crews' talents to save the day and the universe. In other words a great Trek story.
Instead we had this hijacked midway through, to rehash one of the worst Trek conventions around. Resulting in my feeling shafted.

Because again, I didn't leave the theatre hating the new Enterprise or her crew. Rather I desperately wanted to see where they were flying off to next at the end of the film, and what they were going to do.
Hopefully next time I'll get that.

May 12, 2009

Work in Progress

During the month of April I took an unplanned and unannounced break from working on Traumador. I'm not sure if anyone noticed. The traffic of last month seems to indicate the greater web did (yet 80% of his visitors are looking for pictures, rather then his lovable hijinks).

Instead I spent that time working on my Gorgonopsid for ART Evolved. The results were spectacular(ly fluky... all things considered).

So despite the fact I've gotten myself out of my Traumador related rut, somehow today I spent my whole day off (no skool's wanted me today) starting on my next ART Evolved entry.

Here is where i leave it after a good afternoon of work on it. I'm aiming for a early Jurassic Pterosaur, but haven't really figured out which one yet. I've been using the primitive Triassic Eudimorphodon as my reference, since as far as I can tell most early Pterosaurs looked roughly the same, and it was the only one of these that I could find an okay set of referrals for.

Obviously I'm far from finished.

So why did I spend my day on this rather then more pertinent Traum work (he has a BIG string of CG Dinosaur intensive posts on the horizon). Well I got an email that offers the promise of big exposure for ART Evolved, and as of such I was on the "phone" with Peter for a while discussing this.

Well I can't really concentrate on much while I'm talking on the phone, but casual 3Ding is one of the very few forms of multi tasking I can do. As I don't need to focus on a new modelling job as much in the early stages, this guy was the first that popped into my head (though come to think of it there are some I'll need for Traum soon too...).

Anyway Pterosaur experts may begin letting me know things that need fixing. It's easier to fix them now before I start on texturing and furring... Oh my good old friend fur again... "Yippee"

May 11, 2009

Blame Glendon!

Now don't mistaken the title of this post. I hold no grudge with Glendon of the Flying Trilobite, quite the opposite actually.

I simply say blame him, as the bizarre images are for once not entirely of my own design. (They were also a great warm up for the more Dinosaur heavy direction Traumador has been taking lately... expect lots more Dinos interacting with everyday objects!)

In a recent post Glendon said complimenting me "I think organizing paleo-artists is probably closer to teaching velociraptors to drink tea properly." The compliment was rather appreciated (thank you again Glendon), and more to the point I loved the saying. Rather then just let this one speak for itself (well read for itself :P), I decided to give it appropriate pictorials to try and hammer this line into the cultural fabric!

I give you teaching a Velociraptor to drink tea properly!

For the record organizing palaeo-artists isn't quite as dangerous as this. It's more like getting an Anomalocaris to play dance dance revolution... oh man. Here we go again :P

May 9, 2009

Soundtracks: Wolverine and the other X-Men flims

I managed to track down a copy of Wolverine's soundtrack the other day, and man I'm not happy about the delay to get such things down here!

So quickly before I talk about the music on the album, my summary of Wolverine is that considering what it was (a prequel in which we already knew the ending going in) it was pretty good. Note I said good, not great, but by the same token neither bad nor awful.

I'll have to do a post of all my photos of the films various locations, as it was all filmed within 4 hours of where I live.

Well the music of Wolverine is above average, but just like the film that's about it. It is not fantastic, and certainly won't be making it into an updated version of my favourite albums list. There are two individual tracks that will probably stick around on my mp3 player for a while, but I'd only give them 4/5 stars (I actually have on my media player ranking and sorting system).

With this album by Harry Gergson-Williams, I had high hopes. As of course he is in my top five composers. Despite the fact this album didn't knock my socks off, it wasn't a total let down either.
Before I can fully discuss this album it's probably easiest to review all the X-Men movie scores to put it into context. The X-Men as a franchise has suffered from different composers. Even more so then different directors...
No films share the same musical creator, and you would think it would effect the quality of the franchises musical identity. Yet apart from X-Men 1 (which was rubbish musically) I'd say this isn't really the case:
X-Men by Michal Kamen
This was of course the first of the X-Men scores. To be honest it was a real disappointment. I bought it seeking the heroic theme present in the film in a few scenes, and only got the most minimal presentation of these on the album.
That having been said, the villainous music of Magneto's escapade around the train station in the middle of the movie has grown on me, and is the one redeeming track of this album.
Otherwise it is just a set of overly electronic pieces that lack any coherent theme or sound composition. It does an excellent job conveying the science fiction element of the X-Men universe, but fails to conjure the heroics of the team (as that heroic theme I yearned for as a old teen just isn't that good frankly in hindsight 10ish years later) or anything else really. Just that it is futurist or something electronicy...
I bought it more for a love of the movie, as I did back in those days as a naive kid.

X-Men 2 by John Ottman

Was the turning point. Why Brian Singer couldn't get Ottman, his usual composer, for the first X-Men I can't remember (a scheduling conflict if I recall), but the second film sure does benefit from him being on the job.

Of the films I'd say X2 is without doubt the strongest. musically though it is only the 3rd best, but it served a very important role of laying the theme and compositional foundation on which the rest of the franchise would be built on.

Ottman defines a very strong heroic theme for the mutants, but due to the atmosphere and pacing of the film it rarely gets played. On album it is only really present in the intro and concluding tracks. It is a strong point, but not one on which the films music gets built.

The majority of the music is that of subtlety and intrigue. A quality Singer's films (until Superman Returns anyways) are famous for. The music works perfectly, and in casual listening can really add suspense to your day.

This album though not weak in any section, suffers from uniformity. The music is such a great part of the atmospheric layer of the film it doesn't vary a lot, and thus isn't the most enjoyable to listen too removed from this context.

It does offer 4 standout tracks though. The two heroic themes I mention are an immediate must for superhero music fans. The one out right action piece, the armies storming the X Mansion, is a roller coaster of musical fun and has one of my favourite snare drum sequences ever written. Finally Jean Grey's sacrifice has a build up to utter crisis that matches the brilliance of Star Trek 2's music for Spock's similar death. It is really spine tingling stuff, and the loss and sorrow theme afterwards is rather touchy (though not my out right favourite unlike the 30 seconds of the song when the water envelops Jean).

Though I rank this third of the films it JUST falls behind Wolverine as we'll see. Only the first X-Men was a major disappointment.

X-Men 3 The Last Stand by John Powell

Now of course when I discovered my (at that time) newly favourite composer Powell was in charge of this film, my expectations were very high. John didn't disappoint either! This is one of his strongest solo efforts in my opinion.

It has everything from heroic themes, mournful and sad moments, pure awe and dread, and best of all dynamic and textured action ques. I can't say enough good things about it, especially in comparison to the other scores this franchise has to offer.

Though the build up music on the first 1/3 of the album is a bit on the boring side, as of Angel's dramatic escape cue (a piece of majestic wonder... in some ways is over the top for the scene of the film... but on album removed from this, is amazing!) the album kicks off.

The tracks are all arranged on the album organically and often run into the next which right away makes it hard to pick highlights. What I like about Powell's score compared to all the other X efforts is that his heroic theme is entwined throughout the score, and even in the dark tracks hints of it can be heard. Reminding us who this film is about, and who we should be cheering for.

However the villains have some great musical moments. Magneto gets a great solo track of awe when he lifts the golden gate bridge, and the music matches the sheer power of such a concept. The energetic army piece denoting the government going to war with the brotherhood is a lot of fun, and matches the X-Men's less ominous and more hopeful theme in tempo.

What is even cooler is despite Powell making this score his own, it is built around the spirit of Ottman's X2 themes. You could claim they are the same, but because Ottam's were so lethargic in comparison Powell's infusing them with more life and excitement have turned them into something else.

It should also be noted that if you're into BIG orchestra's that use all their instrument all the time, this is the best score I've heard for that. Powell has a lot of different players crammed in here, and they each do get breaks, but they're not long! It is the only super heroic tour of an orchestra that I know of...

Wolverine by Harry Gregson-Williams

Based on the thrill ride that was Powell's X3, I was surprised, but stoked to hear that Gregson-Williams was replacing him for "X4". Surprised as Powell did so well with 3, and also him and Gregson-Williams can be very similar (they did after all work in tandem for their first few scores... these being among my favourites of all time!). Yet I was very excited to see what Gregson-Williams would bring to the table.

In a way I have to say I'm disappointed, but only a little. This is more with how the film was a lot more low key then the others, and so naturally Gregson-Williams had to match this with the music. Which was a let down. As I know given a bigger superhero clash he'd have produced something much more memorable.

When you break this film down it consists of only a few different themes played in different modes and speed.

The only of these that really hits the mark is Wolverine's "theme" which fortunately plays throughout 1/3 of the tracks. It is a multi layered and brilliantly constructed motif, that I'd say is the most intelligent musical product of an X film.

Gregson-Williams realizing he was picking up after so many other composers, started Wolverine's defining music by echoing Ottman's and Powell's hero themes. I say both of them, as playing all three together I can detect snippets of all of them in each other (so one must give Ottman the most credit for starting this mutant and the egg cycle!). Gregson-Williams then followed this brief subtle statement of the "proper" X-Men theme with a choral piece, reminiscent of his Kingdom of Heaven or Narnia scores (his identifiable calling card I'd venture) to give the Wolverine character an alieness (his mutation) and yet a grounding soul.

Depending on the track Gregson-Williams then composes this theme sometimes to reflect bestial side of the character by making the choral sing in a very savage manner backed up by furious drums and electric guitar. Sadly these are the only highlights of the album.

The only action music worth mentioning is the battle between Wolverine and Zero which is based on this character theme music. The end confrontation with Deadpool is an interesting combination of choir and electronic, but it never builds beyond a background tension. The music doesn't convey the battle beyond the screen. Additionally there is no strong villain theme for either Stryker or Sabretooth. Which is a shame, as one of my favourite villain themes is from Kingdom of Heaven, and it was short enough that a rehash here (or anywhere else) would probably go unnoticed by most (and welcome by noticing me!).

However this score still steals second place in the X film score list for me. The cleverness and effectiveness of this Wolverine theme, and its liberal use throughout the score make it a 35-40% of the time enjoyable album. X2 is about the same, but as it is darker and less "epic" I put Wolverine ahead of it.

X3 on the other hand is depending on your mood (as it is the most diverse of the X tracks apart from 1) enjoyable for about 60% of its content. X1, well I don't even have a copy here, and if I did I'd only listen to the train station track, is probably best avoided.

If you want to buy the ONE good X-Men album I'd say X3, but failing that X2 is actually your best bet (I liked Wolverine more, but I'll admit it was a one trick pony... and I fall for those if their well done like this one).

May 5, 2009

Synapsid Palaeo-Art

The second ART Evolved gallery just went up. This one is about the mammal like reptiles the Synpasids. You can check it out here.

This is my final piece. Sunset on the Karoo. I'm extremely proud of it, which is odd. I normal loath my work on a number of levels. This one I have hardly any complaints or regrets with...

If I'm pleased with a piece, normally it is due to a technical aspect of my work. I either accomplished something I never have before or improved on an old technique (which ties into my art philosophy) in those projects. With this piece I'm pleased with the actual aesthetic of it. The piece actually seems like a piece of art to an extent.

One of my heroes, and my favourite palaeo-artist, is Charles Knight. Though I'd never claim this picture was anywhere near his quality, in an odd way the lighting gives mine a Knight like feel. Which is ALL I will claim. A Knight like atmosphere. To really see what I mean check out the larger version of the Karoo here and look at how my 3D rendering looks like it was painted?!?

Not that I aimed for or knew this was going to happen.

Still, even if it was by mistake. I'm very pleased with my accidental Knight!