Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Winds of Chance: new cover!!

Click on this puppy to see it at 900 pixels high ... I just finished this about ten minutes ago, and have to say, I'm thrilled with it. This Mel Keegan novel is on its way to Amazon Kindle even as I type this. I did a cover for the first ebook edition about six months ago, but I was never 100% happy with it. Everyone else was thrilled, but I always thought is looked just a little bit ... cluttered, maybe? Not as immediately clear as it could have been? Whatever -- I was always determined to take another crack at it, and I got my chance today.

The book was poised to "go," and I said to Dave, "give me 20 minutes to be brilliant." In fact, it didn't actually take 20. The above took 15. It was done in layers. First, the background texture was sized in Serif X3; then the digital painting of the Trojan helmet was added (still in Serif) and given a gradient transparency. These were then locked together and exported as one, as an image at 1200x1800. This image was then imported into DAZ as a backdrop, and the render settings were set to 600x900. So far so good. Then ... yep, you guessed: import one of my favorite figures and reset the lights to "edit the frontal nudity" to be inexplicit by the judicious use of shadow. Then, render the whole thing, and import this image back into Serif X3 to have the original text objects overlaid. Shuffle 'em around and resize a couple to make them fit the new design better... export the finished work as a 300dpi image ready for the printer.

Done. Not bad for fifteen minutes' work! And this is a perfect answer to a question I got just this morning. When you've created a character, can you use it (him? her?) again? Yes you can. In fact you end up with a kind of theatrical company. I have about seven characters now, and can set 'em up in a scene and have them interact. You can also reuse a pose, to get through a job fast. If you want to notice, not only is this guy in the new cover the same character as in the blog's header art, it's also the same pose. You guessed: I just merged the two files together and rotated the figure around a bit.

Result: nice!

(Incidentally, the book's homepage is here. It's an epic gay fantasy romance, as you could have guessed from the title, right?)


I did quite a lot of art for the novel a long while ago, when it was being done serial fasion. It was mostly done with digital photography and art techniques. 3D opens vistas of opportunity... gotta love this.

Jade, 12 October.
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