Saturday, March 29, 2008

Questions From Analytics Part 1 : Final Gathering

If you've been reading this blog of mine for awhile you might have come across an earlier entry that tells you my blog has been seen on every continent in the world. The handy tool is Google Analytics which is a simple little tool you place on your site and you can find out some basic information about the viewers to your site. You can learn what browser they're using, screen colours, city, and what site lead them to your site. But the one I'm focusing on in this new section of my blog is the Keywords, aka what people type into search engines and find my site. I'll be answering What does Final Gathering do.

Let me show you 3 pictures.

This first one is my scene, unrendered.
As you can see it's a cube sitting in a room.

A pretty simple looking scene, no?

Ok, now here's the same scene rendered without Final Gathering.
As you can see it's pretty basic, and kind of has that "cheap 3D" look to it.

Now in this picture I have turned Final Gathering on.
What do you notice? Does it look more realistic? The reason it looks more realistic is because Final Gathering does something we see in everyday life. As you might know light reflects off of everything and the angle they bounce off an object gives us it's colour. With Final Gathering the program finds all the spots light is hitting and makes those item a light source, so to speak.

You might be asking yourself, Stephen, why is your white cube pink/redish?
Like I said above, Final Gathering makes almost everything a light source, so you have a giant red light with a little white box in a room, the red is going to bleed through onto the box. You can see this in real life as well. Get a bright red object, or blue, or green, or yellow and set it down on a piece of white paper and place a bright light near the objects. You'll see this example.

There you go. Final Gathering explained. I hope you now know a bit more about this cool 3D effect.

Pro-Tip: To get away from cheap 3D looking objects, bevel the hard edges, like on the above cube. As you might know, most items don't come to a sharp point. For an example, my desk, window sill, keyboard, computer screen, computer tower and even the mini Wii-Mote on my key chain don't have hard sharp edges, they're all soft edges.

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