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Posted by Ceciliabr at Oct 7, 2019, 8:33:04 PM
Off the beating track
We have no mountains in Denmark, but we have lots of rocks lying around. Some of them are quite big.
These rocks are called “vandreblokker” and do not naturally belong here.

The biggest (and most famous) stone in Denmark, is called "Damestenen" (Pierre de la Dame – The Woman Stone). Damestenen is a twelve and a half meter tall rock,
weighing more than one thousand tons.
After an excavation ordered by the Danish king Christian VIII in 1843, the max circumference was determined to be 45.8 meter, as measured at its largest point; 1.3 meter below the surface.

My grandfather took my brother and me to see it when I was ten years old.


And, of course, like all foreign elements of dubious and suspicious origin will give rise to myths and folklore, Damestenen is no exeption:
As for the tales revolving around Damestenen, there are several explanations to choose from.

There was a witch ( or a female giant) living in Langeland, the story goes, who at one point became acutely annoyed by the sound of the bells from Svindinge Church.
According to the myth, she furiously hurled a gigantic stone towards the bell tower, in order to put an end to the repellant pandemonium once and for all.
But unfortunately she had poor eyesight. Hence her aim was not up to speed, so the stone landed harmlessly in a muddy pond – barely two thirds of the way.

In another version, God sent an angel to stop the stone from reaching the church, thus saving the bell tower.

In a third version, the stone, for some unexplained reason, gathered size and weight every time it was passing through the smoke and odour from a bakers oven
( which there were plenty of at that time), causing the stone to gain magnitude, and consequently loose momentum – explaining both the enormous size and reason it never reached Svindinge church.

I think I’ll go for this third version, as the other versions seem more unlikely.

Well (yawn), the modern, scientifically enlightened, and utterly boring explanation, is that these stones are glacial erratics or dropstones, that were brought here by glaciers during the ice-age.
Damestenen was never thrown here by a witch, they say. Science has determined that Damestenen was once the tip of the Swedish bedrock, broken loose and carried here by the Great Baltic Glacier,
some fifteen thousand years ago. There was never any witch ( or female giant)! They say.

The tip of the Swedish bedrock…? What’s cool about that?
Curiously, the Swedes have actually threatened to make a claim for it, suggesting it should be brought back – to make "Sweden Whole Again".

Well, Sweden: Come and get it!


When I grew up, we used to have a fairly big erratic at the bottom of our garden. It reached about one meter twenty above the ground.
No one ever bothered to investigate how deep in the ground it was buried, so theoretically it might be even bigger than Damestenen, since all we could see was just the tip of the ice berg.
I loved sitting on top of it and listen to my fathers old cassettes on my Sony Walkman.

This image was created for my diary six years ago , back when I was still learning the basics of this program. So only the houses were constructed with SH3D. The rest was created and rendered in Vue.


The image title refers to an incident where my favourite cassette (Madonna - True Blue) had been trapped inside my Walkman, and my grandfather telling me to be gentle and not to use force.

That ends this short preamble, hopefully explaining why rocks and stones and boulders are so often used as decorative elements in my illustrations.


Elements and Scenery

I wonder if using the word “photorealism” as a concept, any longer makes sense, now that nearly every “ photorealistic “ image we see, is a result of heavy digital postproduction.
As an Adobe Creative Cloud customer, I get offers on a regular basis. Only last month I got seven offers telling me what new digital tools and plugins I absolutely MUST HAVE to edit my photos like the professionals.
I must confess that I sometimes buy some of this stuff, but the truth is that I rarely find any use for it.
I find experimenting with light a lot more fun, and especially after the new light sources were introduced by Enkonyito, using lights to achieve better renderings has been the core of my learning process.
I this thread I’m showing some results of using advanced lighting techniques, presenting SH3D/Sunflow renderings as they come, without any digital postproduction ( except resizing).

Project one - East of the sun and west of the moon.

Dog Bay.

«Langt, langt borte saa han noget lyse og glitre»

Norway is a most beautiful country – a wild country, with snow covered mountains surrounded by deep, dark forests, and black, bottomless ponds – a country where tales of elves and trolls and magical places come naturally.
Norwegian folk tales play an essential part in upbringing in Norway. For me, being half Norwegian, there was no exception.
My mother read from Asbjørnsen and Moe's collection of Norwegian fairy tales to me every night.
And afterwards we talked about what we had read.
What was there to learn from these tales?
Did these tales have anything in common with the Bible?
What was the right and what was the wrong way to behave as a human?
What was real, and what was a fantasy … or an illusion?

Does it really matter, as long as we can learn something from it?

Dog Bay at night

And when the next morning breaks, the magic is gone.


Dog Bay is a creation – an illustration with the purpose of explaining to my girls how illusions can be created.

Next project; an illustration of an old Danish country house, inspired by the old traditional timber-framed houses with thatched roofs.


Posted by hansmex at Oct 7, 2019, 8:46:20 PM
Re: Off the beating track
Awesome story. Awesome images!!

BTW, the expression is: "Off the beaten track"
Dual boot - AMD FX6300 6-core, 16GB ram
Windows 10 Pro, SH3D 6.2 with 8 GB memory allowance
Ubuntu 18.04, SH3D 6.2 with 2 GB memory allowance

Posted by Ceciliabr at Oct 8, 2019, 7:51:42 AM
Re: Off the beating track
Hi Hans,

thank you!

BTW, the expression is: "Off the beaten track"

I know – and Beatles don't exist. wink


Posted by VeroniQ at Oct 8, 2019, 7:26:40 PM
Re: Off the beating track
Interesting! And great images. I love especially the Dog Bay at night. What sort of texture do you use for the lake? How do you obtain this very realistic colors?

Posted by maureenowaters at Oct 9, 2019, 6:13:10 AM
Re: Off the beating track
Wow!! So beautiful story. I love all the pics so much but the dog image really awesome.

Posted by Ceciliabr at Oct 9, 2019, 11:33:27 AM
Re: Off the beating track
Hi VeroniQ,
Thanks for your nice comment!
What sort of texture do you use for the lake?
The water is in fact not a texture, it's a 3D model of water generated from a height-field map. The water reflections are quite natural, and are created by applying a glass surface in the .mtl -file:

newmtl sea
Ka 0.0 0.0 0.0
Kd 1.0 1.0 1.0
Ks 0.33 0.33 0.33
Ns 10.0
d 0.86
illum 2

I have tried to explain it here
And there's also a link to a water model ( and some other things I have created ), that can be downloaded HERE

How do you obtain this very realistic colors?
I have had some time to experiment for a couple of weeks ( no children), and I have spent some time looking at ways of using Enko's panel lights, applying different colours and intensity. I have also experimented with layering slightly displaced copies of my models on top of each other, using transparent textures to create depth and colour variations ( like faking displacement/bump maps).
The colour of the water is determined by an underlying layer ( a box) that I have textured with different shades of blue and green.

I'm abroad at the moment, without my SH3D-files, so I cannot give you any examples now, but I can come back with a more in-depth explanation ( and some more examples) when I get back to my workstation at the end of the week.


Posted by VeroniQ at Oct 9, 2019, 11:27:32 PM
Re: Off the beating track
Many thanks, Cecilia! Sorry, I missed this part of your previous explanation in that fascinating thread. Thanks to remind it.

Posted by Xiste at Oct 14, 2019, 2:00:24 PM
Re: Off the beating track
Incredible images!

I have also experimented with layering slightly displaced copies of my models on top of each other, using transparent textures to create depth and colour variations ( like faking displacement/bump maps).

Looks very realistic, but: What do you mean by transparent textures?

Posted by Ceciliabr at Oct 17, 2019, 5:33:16 PM
Re: Off the beating track
What do you mean by transparent textures?

I see what you mean.
I was obviously in too much of a hurry when I replied to VeroniQ.

What is transparent textures?

I will try to explain it here:

Since the original Dog Bay project weighs 2.4Gb, it's to big to share, so I have made a smaller example project.
You ( or anyone else that might be interested) can download the file HERE
This project file is only 386Mb, and can be be a practical starting point for playing around with.

I have created two camera positions, named VIEW 1 & VIEW 2 in the Go to point of view menu.




In the project file, I have left the overlays at the position I chose for my test images.
To work from scratch ( which is always the best), you should resize the overlays, using the numbers of the "Terrain with mountain", and align them top & side.

The "Flat terrain"-group also contains an overlay that can be experimented with.

Changing the time of day, and the colour, angle and intensity of the Overhead light panels can change the mood drastically.


To the best of my knowledge, all models and textures are my own creations (or came with SH3D), so all files can be copied, modified and re-used.


Posted by Xiste at Oct 18, 2019, 11:35:28 PM
Re: Off the beating track
A most comprehensive explanation, indeed, and far more than I expected.
Interesting, absolutely, but probably far too advanced for the common user ( like myself). Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems like your project is "tailor-made" for exactly these two camera positions. Moving the camera around requires quite a lot of editing to get a good shot.
Just mentioning: Your project has given me some entertaining hours in addition to some insight about the way you compose your remarkable images.
Thanks a lot!


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