Oh dude...everyone I have turned onto these books went gaga over them. I can't think of a series I would recommend more.
I happened to hit a book signing here where he was speaking, not that I'm big on book signing but I figured why not...anyway he was talking about how he created this story. He had an argument with a blogger about a good novel being based upon the writer or a good idea. Jim was saying a good writer could write about anything and make it good. The other guy was saying no way, a bad idea couldn't be made great. Anyway, he told Jim that he would give him a bad idea and see if he could do anything with it. So Jim came back with, "No, you give me two bad ideas and I'll write it." The guy then said he was sick of all these Lost Legion stories and that he hated Pokemon. Now, that probably doesn't sound like much of an idea to write about but boy he blew the doors off as far as I'm concerned.
Don't want to hijack your WIP. We had a thread about good books to read a few months ago that you might want to check out as well.
Keep up the good work.
Ha! Found the thread
nice stadium... never had the patience for 3D myself ... use to work a little with 3D Studio Max, took some classes (costed wayyyyy to much) and basicly found out that I'd stick to 2D and leave 3D for the pro's ... one thing I did learn was that in the pro 3D world you often don't make it all, but you specialize in building stuff, animating it, texturing, lights etc... that is if you wanna be really good :)
And as a funny little side remark it takes an average of 7 hours to render a frame in a Pixar movie - some frames up to 30 hours - at 24 frames a second - thats a lot of rendertime :)
Cool stadium. Looking good.
I never really got Pokemon either (except to know that it means Pocket Monster or something) but I never really get anything of Japanese origin. Why are their cartoon characters always shouting? And Japanese anime/game names are truly befuddling. I think it started out as a "lost in translation thing" but has become some sort of meme...a lot of stuff with funky names is actually American (like Aqua Teen Hungerforce, I think). Yeah. I don't get the Japanese... :)
Povray is cool stuff...used it back in like 1991-1993 before I got trueSpace. Seems like later on there was an actual modelling interface for it - Moray or something like that? My favorite modeling tool these days is Silo, which has (for me) a very intuitive interface (less CAD-like than some) and is completely customizable. Maybe give the demo a go if you get a chance. It's not really a renderer but, I think, you can probably use one of its output formats to render it in Povray (you can load objects/scenes in it now, right?)
I am a pretty seasoned 3D guy with not a lot of broadness and certainly not up to speed with the later apps. I.e. I can do a lot of stuff but in just a few packages. Still, most of them are all similar since the ideas behind them are similar. Usually there is a mode of thinking that once you have worked out what it is, all of it makes more sense. Some apps make this transition nice and easy and others seem to obfuscate it and say they want one thing but actually what they really want is something else. I think POVray is definitely of the former as its in your face about the language and control but you have to do a lot of work to do anything. I found Blender right at the other end of the scale. Its the sort of app that if you already know how to do stuff then it would appear easy to you and noone else. I found it annoying but powerful.
If I were a wiz at POV and liked the scripty text nature with all the control it gives then I would look into Renderman as I think its somewhat on the same lines. Gelato was nVidia's accelerated version on similar lines as well and they dropped dev of that but made it (Pro version) a free download. Its supposed to do POV like stuff in near real time assuming you have a doozy nvidia card to run it on.