Facets from Cheap Glasses

Posted November 20, 2008 by yayas
Categories: Photography


Close-up fly by Andreas kusumahadi

After searching around for a better replacement for my kit-lens, I decided to give Canon EF-S 18-55 IS a go. The S designation after EF means the lens only compatible with APS-C sensor cameras. It’s cheap, very cheap lens, with image-stabilization to effectively maintain sharpness a couple of stops slower than without one.  It’s lightweight and plasticky, but slightly better than non-IS, especially the grip pattern on the zoom ring. Some reviews suggest that  it’s a much improved optical quality than non-IS version, supported by Imatest’s MTF findings in the lab.


Build quality aside, the obvious downside of this lens is its aperture range. With 1/3.5 on wide-end and 1/5.6 on the zoom, it’s definitely not a fast lens, hence the shot creativity is significantly limited. The stabilizer has nothing to do with this. For portrait shots within the range of 40-55mm where maximum aperture are around 1/5-5.6, the focus range isn’t shallow enough to isolate the focused object, and certain backgrounds would be distracting. That’s why I still have to rely on my 50mm fast prime-lens for portrait works. I would love to have a fast zoom in this range with a constant high aperture of, say, 1/2.8. But given the appealing price-tag on this so-called kit-lens you can’t lose anything. It’s a big bang for the buck only second to famous 50/1.8 prime. The stabilizer alone makes it a daylight robbery, considering lens prices these days. On paper, it’s a pretty versatile walk around lens, and time will tell how long I’ll keep this lens before I get a faster zoom.

The 0.34x magnification ratio is surprisingly handy to deliver pretty close up shots. I was lucky enough to get a fly to test how close this lens can capture. These pics are not “macro” shots, taken with by no means a macro-lens, with close-up sharpness that never hits anywhere near dedicated macro glasses.



Amélie Poulain

Posted July 14, 2008 by yayas
Categories: 3D, Computer Graphics

It’s kind of stop-and-go modeling of Amelie, one of the most fabuleux characters in modern movies. I had to do it bit by bit between my projects, and had to post it—or I’d let the dust settle on it in my basement. Still I’m not satisfied with the textures, lips bump, and some other details. I’ll post some updates whenever I have a spare time to do it.

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Save the hassle, get cheap wine.

Posted July 13, 2008 by yayas
Categories: 3D, Computer Graphics

Painted in ZBrush, grabbed as alpha, made it 3d. That’s that. Provided the shot was ready within minutes, I don’t think I’d get any cheaper wine than one (of course, it’s not animated).

Field of Depth

Posted July 9, 2008 by yayas
Categories: 3D, Computer Graphics

A depth-of-field render on roughly 5 million triangles with 60 point-lights and as many shadow maps.

(Lighting: Binary Alchemy Light Rig on Paul Debevec’s HDR probe)

Another Test

Posted June 13, 2008 by yayas
Categories: 3D, Computer Graphics

Jolie’s lips were used as modeling reference, though it’s not quite there just yet. Not that I’m a fan of her, but as far as the lips-thing goes, you can’t look any further than Mrs. Pitt’s stuff.

Weirdo Hairdo

Posted May 24, 2008 by yayas
Categories: 3D, Computer Graphics

XSI Hair Test

I did some tests with XSI hair. I’ll make natural hairs for this character later, for now I like it this way. The MuhHair shader is used for hair shading, and an extreme size ratio between root and tip makes it suitable for illustration hair look.

Beauty is Sub-Skin Deep – Part I

Posted May 19, 2008 by yayas
Categories: 3D, Computer Graphics

It’s been wisely said and widely believed that beauty is only skin deep. It’s debatable whether CG world was bought into the wisdom, but the skin-deep shading is no more the case these days. Beauty is certainly deeper than skin. I firmly believe that this concept has become one of many pitfalls in bringing Final Fantasy characters to life, at the time.

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