Heart of Evergreen screenshot competition

Announced today, the most excellent free game TheHunter has a new Community Screenshot Competition. There are prizes, and the fourth “creative” category is the one that will probably most interest iClone users…

“Heart of Evergreen” screenshot competition. Submit official entries to lima[AT]expansiveworlds.com (exhange the [AT] with @). Entry emails should be marked with “Heart of Evergreen” as the subject along with the chosen image, which category the entry is for along with your forum nickname and your game handle and/or UserID. Screenshots can be taken with the in game camera or any external software. […]

1. Vista: This category is for the best scenery screenshot, horizon imagery etc.

2. Ethological: This category is for the best screenshot of an animal (or several).

3. Dramatical: This category is for the best action shot or a screenie that shows drama or suspense, it can be animals moving or something showing interaction with nature and the surroundings

4. Creative: This category allows you to go wild with your creativity. Wallpapers, promos, comedy and misc art fits perfectly here. This is the only category that allows after-editing. Please stay under 4.5mb or we will not be able to receive the file!

It’s easy to get near-photorealistic FRAPS screenshots in this beautiful open world, and the learning curve is almost non-existent (equip a camera and just start walking, basically). The only trouble you may have is in downloading and installing the game. It’s not some puny browser-based free game, it’s a large 700Mb download containing 10 square miles of pristine wilderness. Sign up at the website first, then download. Then make sure it gets installed in the default directory — or else the game’s loader can get confused. Then you log in and launch the game via the website.

Yes, it’s a free game and not a time-limited trial. But you only get deer to hunt, unless you upgrade. If you bought Just Cause 2 recently (as I did) then you played a part in keeping TheHunter free and restarting serious development on it (it just had a major new patch a few weeks ago). Because Just Cause and TheHunter are now owned by the same studio.

It’s a sylvan setting, but I suspect that anyone adding renders of fairies and cute bunnies won’t be a winner. The butch and manly world of virtual hunting will require something a little more straightforward. Pictures of deer running around wielding big Unreal Tournament weapons might raise a smile though, or pictures of the forest animals setting an elaborate Rube Goldberg / Heath Robinson trap for the hoomans.

Blender lighting primer

A very useful new lighting primer/tutorial for Blender by the UK’s Ben Simonds. Tips which apply as much to iClone as to Blender. He also gives some tips on how to mimic the lighting from master oil painters such as Bouguereau in your modern digital renderings…

“Work Interrupted” (1891). If only there were a one-click preset for lighting like this!

And he has a free simple .blend file on Blendswap, to start you off with standard three-point lighting.

2D Artist

I added the UK’s 2D Artist magazine to my sidebar Magazines list. Because I’m sure we’d all like to make original static backdrops for iClone like this (I know I would)…

This is the splash images from five pages of tips on the topic, to be found in the latest issue. There’s also a free “Lite” version for download as a PDF. The magazine’s focus is strongly on sci-fi and fantasy — you won’t find any Sunday-painter bowls-of-violets here.