Friday, September 25, 2009

Jade's First Post


This addition is being made to the first-ever post on this blog, to bump us into agreement with Mother Google, because on 17 May, 2010 ... close to Post 300! ... I just added Google ads into the margin. The Google ads are there to hopefully earn a buck or two for the starving artis ... um, duh. Why else would anyone put a Google ad box on a blog?! However, this statement is here specifically to assure you, the visitor, that I (Jade) collect NO information from you whatsoever!!! None. Zip. Zilch. Nada. So even if I were a seven-headed monster in artist's clothing, and wanted to use such information to bring about some nerfarious end ... there's no information to be used, so it's all null and void!! Seriously, people -- all humor aside -- privacy is as important to me as to you. No way in the world would I do anything to damage the privacy of a visitor to this blog, but this message has to be in place to please Mother Google, and here is is. Please consider yourself 100% safe on this blog, and ... enjoy.

And now, with all that said, let's return to The First Post...!

The first thing I want to do, as I start this ... which is actually my first blog; can you believe that? ... is to say a big thank you to Mel Keegan for getting me into 3D artwork. I've been in digital art for ten years, but it's all about photography, digital painting, combinations of the two, and the startling effects which can be generated therefrom! 3D art is very different.

Update, May 2012:
It's astonishing to me to look back at the early posts! How far the artist has traveled in less than three years. Here's where I am today:

...and please do click on any of those to see them at full size. The work is still a sheer joy, but nowadays it's done in LuxRender, Bryce, Vue and Photoshop as well as DAZ. The synthesis brings a special magic to the art. Once again, I asked myself, should I take down the early posts, since they're in no way representational of my work as it is these days. And again, when I asked friends, they said that people who are trying to figure out how to do this stuff can learn a heck of a lot more from following the step-by-step approach of a blog that traces the looooong path of a learning experience. So the early posts are going to remain.

In fact, I started the blog because I wanted an indelible record of the progress (often plodding; always experimental) from "just got my feet wet" to, "just spent 40 hours rendering this in Lux, whoooo!" ... and as I look back over the close-to-700 posts, I'm so very glad I did this.

I do hope you'll browse my archives ... everything is exhaustively tagged, so if you're looking, for instance,  for the male nudes, all you have to do is click on that label in the cloud, and you'll call up the lot.


Update, October 2010:
Looking back on the first few dozen posts -- the first few months in the lifespan of this blog -- how simple the art looks to my own eyes now! Here's an idea of where I am at the time of this update (October 20, 2010) ...

So the question was, should I leave the old posts up or take them down, or replace them with new content? Doctor Mike actually nailed it: people who want to actually make a start in CG art will get more out of the early posts, because the later ones are so technical, you have a year's catching up to do before you can understand what's going on in them.

So we're going to leave the early posts up and running ... by I'm going to gussie them up with slideshows like this one, and -- soon -- videos and animations.

With all that said, then, let's get back to the original blogpost:

Something had prompted Mel to look into 3D art creation software -- there are several packages on the market, from the most user-friendly and affordable (Poser, Hexagon) at one end of the scale to the Pro end (3D Studio Max and so on) at the other. Dame Fortune let Mel in a beeline to DAZ Studio 3, and since it's a hefty app which demands a heck of a lot of RAM and one hell of a video card, it wound up being run on one of the big systems at DreamCraft.

Looking over Mel's shoulder as the first forays were made into this creative realm, I saw what was going on, on the screen ... ooooooh boy. I was hooked. Instantly.

Mind you, creating great images came a week or two later! There's a learning curve to be climbed even in this app, and even though it's the proverbial cake-walk by comparison with the top-end progs like 3D Studio Max, don't let anyone tell you it's an easy climb -- well, not if you're going to know how to handle the lights, surfaces, materials, D-formers and all that stuff, rather than just buying existing models and posing them, and then rendering the shot.

So ... I got into DAZ Studio 3 in a big way in August, and I'm having so much fun with it right now, it's time to share.
I'm going to try to post every few days; and I'll also tell you what software was used for the post-production, and where to get it, and (!) how the work is done. It's a hell of a lot of fun, and as always, I want to share. So, thanks to Mel Keegan for getting me into this. In future posts, I'm going to be showcasing a bunch of covers I've already done for Mel's 2010 titles, and also for a new writer who's just signed with DreamCraft. Jayne deMarco will soon be quite well known in the GLBT realms, and I've had huge fun doing the covers for her first round of releases. So --
Welcome to Jade's Adventures in 3D!

And if you'd like to see where I am a year later, try this for size:

..these images are drawn virtually at random from the September 2010 archive. Nice!

Jade, 26 September

Update: August 2015

A lot of really nice "recent eye candy" is pasted up in the margins now, so it's not so necessary to get in here and share random images to whet your appetite and encourage you to explore the archives. But more and more lately I'm working in Bryce 7 Pro, so ... here's a few anyway!

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