Here's what I did:
- I found the Ldraw model in Dlarian's Brickshelf folder. Thanks!
- I used Bricksmithto edit the file by changing various part colors to chrome, red, and black.
- I ran L3P on the file using L3P Launcher. This converted it into a POV file.
- When running L3P, I included the LGEO parts database which has upgraded part definitions. This wasn't easy because there is a brand new version of LGEO and L3P doesn't quite know what to do with it yet.
- I changed the standard Ldraw colors to the colors of Todd Lehman. I had to do this manually in the text file because I couldn't figure out the convoluted path L3P, LGEO, and POV-Ray use to assign the colors. This made a huge difference in realism.
- I tried to use Mesh Enhancer to improve the tesselation of some parts, especially the tires, but I couldn't get it to run on my POV file. Maybe this has something to do with the new LGEO parts.
- I read enough of the POV manual to figure out how to turn on reflectivity and diffusion for the floor. Have to be able to see the reflection of those exhaust pipes!
- I turned on radiosity to improve the lighting and removed the standard light sources.
- I added a High Dynamic Range spherical light probe to give the chrome something to reflect. Specifically, I used the Eucalyptus Grove probe from Paul Debevec. I chose this because it has standard outdoor lighting.
- POV-Ray doesn't support HDR lighting, so I had to switch to Mega-POV.
- I added an area light near and above the camera to provide some soft shadows for contrast.
- Finally, I rendered at 4000x3000 pixels and then used Graphic Converter to reduce and dither using bilinear interpolation to soften all of the edges.
This is the result:
It took about 5 hours to render. I'm open to thoughts, comments, criticism, or advice for improvement. Note that I made this on a Macintosh which uses a higher gamma than typical PCs, so it helps to turn up the brightness a bit if you are using a PC.
Many thanks to Koyan for his excellent tutorialwhich pointed me in the right direction.
Some day, I'd like to add Ldraw files and renders to Technicopediafor each Technic set. But I shouldn't get ahead of myself.
Edited by Blakbird, 24 March 2009 - 06:00 PM.