View Full Version : The Birthday Party

02-27-2005, 07:53 PM
posted this earlier this weekend on cgtalk( http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?t=214632&page=1 ). I wanted to post it here as well.

made in Lightwave and photoshop.

any/all comments are appreciated.



02-27-2005, 07:55 PM
a few details:

02-27-2005, 08:16 PM
here's a wire:

02-27-2005, 09:39 PM
:eek: excellent render and details!
love that style

02-27-2005, 10:28 PM
Awesome Image! Excellent work!

02-27-2005, 10:56 PM
excellent, impressive, nice job

02-28-2005, 05:26 AM
That is VERY wierd, (in a good way!), very original, I love it.

02-28-2005, 08:15 AM
Very nice!
Great technique and design.
Its original and your attention to details pays off!

02-28-2005, 08:18 AM
Disturbing ..... I love it!

02-28-2005, 10:25 AM
This is truly wicked!
I really don't want to know the background story to this (oh wait, my disturbed mind is already working out all the weird possibilities :D )

There's something in that 2d painting that's really ticking....

Great visual style, great technical realization, and above everything else - it really does captivate the viewer's imagination!

02-28-2005, 03:15 PM
How did you achieve such a render?... Looks top notch to me... How long did it take?

02-28-2005, 08:40 PM
Thanks for all the comments!


there was a bunch of post-render work done in photoshop. the final image size was 5000 pixels across(I later tightened the crop). That gets a little too hefty to try to solve everything in lightwave. there were also a lot of separate object elements with high poly counts, so I did additional renders for specific elements(like the crown and train). On a scene like this, I like to haul in low poly placeholders first and just concentrate on balancing light, shadows and surfaces. I would then re-import the high poly models for the final renders. It was nice to use Worley's G2 to give me added flexibility when balancing out one surface against another, and to tweak the radiosity mix within the scene.

all that being said, the final renders only took me 60% there. I found it more direct to address the warm/cool feel within photoshop, as well as amping up the texture effects and details(like the hair on the chef). Here's a look at the render as it came out of lightwave:

02-28-2005, 10:08 PM
What a work of art... you are truely talented. I dont say that often. I feel that people think they are artists because they can duplicate something already in existence. but you truly show originality and skill. I hope one day to become as good as you within virtual space. For now I have got to stick with paper and pencil.

03-01-2005, 07:40 AM
Saw this on Cgtalk, lovely work really reminded me of the red legged scissor man. Scary child story. Why is it that all the really scary stories are kids ones?

Did you enter into Expose 3, if you didn't you should have!

Pete B

03-01-2005, 08:51 AM

I appreciate you comments here and on cgtalk. Thanks for the reference to Struwwelpeter and the red-legged scissor man. I had never seen these cautionary poems--they're really creepy and disturbing. I can see what you mean by the similar vibe.
It's funny, but there's no explicit violence at all in this piece. But the ambiguity really tweaks some folks out. I guess the hovering between possibilities makes it creepier.

I mean, what if he's just coming in to help cut the cake?

I remember coming across Harold Pinter's plays when I went to college. Later, I had the pleasure(?) of seeing a professional production of The Birthday Party at the Guthrie Theatre in the midwest. It floored me. Rather than being simply absurdist and avante guard, it was a play rooted in a strong narrative that refused to give any answers. It left me in a highly excitable state, trying to wrap up my own conclusions.

Again, thanks for sharing your connection to Struwwelpeter. For what it's worth, here's a few connections of mine that were lurking in the background when I made this piece(besides Pinter):

-the dioramas of American Museum of Natural History
-the mad tea party
-davinci's the last supper
-Kafka's the Penal Colony
-Odd Rod stickers of the 70's(Big Daddy Roth)
-illustrations of Ian Pollock(his Brother's of the Head floored me when I was a kid).
-classic Ren and Stimpy(I distinctly remember Krikfalusi having a Yak go mad in the desolate canadian wastelands that has stuck with me--maniacle laughter and bulging neck veigns. I never knew animation could do that!)

Sorry for getting all deep. thanks for listening,


03-01-2005, 09:07 AM
Yeah I can definatly see a bit of ren and stimpy in there and the Mad Hatters Tea Party. Just been checking out Ian pollocks stuff, very thought provoking images I like his use of different mediums. Thanks for the info.

How did you render the image. I was trying to render an image in Lightwave for Expose as they require a minimum size of something stupid like 3700 x 2700. When I tried this in Lightwave it just crashes out due to lack of memory. I think it may have been because I had a really high setting on sub divs as I was using a displacement map from Z-brush. I was just wondering if you got any similar problems? Did you enter into Expose?

Pete B

03-01-2005, 09:48 AM

Yes, I entered it into this year's Expose. I'm running Lightwave on a mac and am no stranger to renders crashing at higher print resolutions. I've had to employ a few different strategies to overcome this. One, is to render the scene out more than once, with different objects in/out. Another, is looking for any ballast you can jettison, like cutting the ray recursion limit down to 4, increasing the segment memory limit to it's max if you have enough ram. Another is a weird lightwave voodoo trick: If a high res render caused your scene to crash, try rendering the same scene out at an impossibly low res, like 160x120 pixels across. Just enough to get a complete render out of Lightwave. Then go back immediately and render at your desired res. I don't know why this works sometimes, but it does(Any guesses, Lightwave engineers?).

Good luck with your large renders.


03-01-2005, 10:01 AM
How strange. I have found that if I open Lightwave and look at how much ram I've got and then render something and look again after closing down all render boxexs so that the display is exactly how it was before the render I've still lost about 50-80 megs. So I don't know why Lightwave does that but I'll give your suggestion a try.

Many thanks

Pete B

03-01-2005, 02:02 PM
whew! that is a stunning image! That's an ammount of detail and quality I'm just not used to seeing with Lightwave. Not that it's not possible (of course), I just don't see it that much.
The image creeps me out, but it's cool!


03-01-2005, 09:33 PM
I first saw this pic over on CGtalk and was amazed by it, I still am and just wanted to congratulate you on such a great piece of work. Keep it up.

03-02-2005, 04:23 PM

When i first saw it i instantly thought... REN AND STIMPY! Those close-up shots were always so funny, and this image is just as great. I love any images that keep bringing new things to my attention... the peas all over the table were overlooked a first, but bet each one has a good 100 polys! :D

I wanna see more of your work!!

03-04-2005, 02:17 AM
this is too good that i want to print it out:) outstanding piece of art . U are trully picasso of lightwave :) we should be proud of users like you.

miso popovic
03-04-2005, 12:32 PM
great image man! I Love how you can see it in two ways-guy getting a peace of cake, and guy who just butcherd the family and though why not to the same to the cake! hahaha :) great stuff!

03-05-2005, 06:31 PM
Congrats on this piece. It looks like it was alot of work and the atmosphere is brilliant.

03-08-2005, 01:02 PM
I get a real buzz from looking at real talented work like you have just produced, and you have such fantastic flair. Congrats on such a fine project!'


03-09-2005, 09:30 PM
Beautiful Render, but enough already...Let's Eat!!!!!

03-10-2005, 08:42 PM
Great Image, love all the little details. I also like the picture in the background!

Wonderful. Is he avalialabe for birthday parties.

03-10-2005, 09:57 PM
Most Excellent. I give it two thumbs up.

03-11-2005, 05:41 AM
Killer work!!


03-27-2005, 06:19 AM
Il love the modeling / texturing work,
and especially the details views.
But I find something strange the whole composition
of the scene. I'm disturbed by the balance of lightning,
something that makes the image unreal between the
left, very lightning and rather yellow tinted, and the
right which should not be SO dark and blue… just like
if you had limited the region of the light.
Plus the cake is much more lightened on the left
while the light source should be the bulb upon it.

95% of the work is done (and how amazing !)
but I do think the scene would deserve a bit
more tests for the lightning.

03-27-2005, 02:32 PM
freaky. me like it! :D

03-27-2005, 08:45 PM
you're one sick distrubing artist...I LOVE IT!!!!!! :D