Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The rider from Lothlorien

Today's render is a thing of beauty ... one of Legolas's people, perhaps ... something that just stirred in the heart of Lothlórien. Isn't this one absolutely gorgeous?

It's the same horse model -- the Millennium horse; I put on the blue roan texture this time, and gave him the ice-blue eyes. The rider is -- as always -- the Michael 4 model, wearing a face designed by me, and hair by Neftis Salon (it's the Mon Chevalier hair) with a color set by me by using the surfaces controls. The background is an abstract painting I did in Serif, finished in Micrographx and Irfanview.

(To answer an of-asked questing ... no, I do NOT use Photoshop. Do you know what Photoshop costs??? Yeah, sure, $200 if you're upgrading. And if you're not?? A$1,879.00. They have GOT to be joking. I could take a family on a week's fly-away vacation to Magnetic Island for that!! So I use a set of three programs which, combined, provide everything Photoshop provides, and they cost, all together, A$74. Irfanview is FREE; Serif X3 is $56 at the moment (X4 just came out, so you can get X3 cheaply -- and believe me, it's 200% more than you'll ever need). And for the paint program, I use Micrographx Picture Publisher 7, for which I paid the legal price (!) of A$18 ... if you're rotten enough to cheat the publishers, you can get it free; you can even get Version 10 fee ... but take a tip from me. Version 7 is quite good enough, and it's not kosher to cheat publishers who're offering you top-notch software at weeny little prices! So no, guys. I don't use Photoshop -- and I don't actually consider it brilliant to pay almost two grand for a set of tools, filters, textures and materials, that you can, frankly, piece together for under $100 ... and then spend two years learning the Interface From Hell...! Apologies to all the Photoshop fans. I'm just not one of you -- I couldn't afford to be in the early days when I might have been attracted by the glitzy name! And then I learned the art, and discovered the extent to which you can use other progs, and put the clan on a plane to the tropics instead of paying this price --!!)

Anyway ... the process for creating today's render was this: set up the horse model with the blue roan texture. Set up a previously-designed Michael 4 with "my" face; add the hair, change the color to Legolas-blond. Merge the Michael 4 file with the horse file. Pose the Michael 4 as the rider. Pull out an old digital painting from a couple of months ago; resize it to a square. Apply the Median Filter at max; then sharpen the image to achieve the "painted" look. Save; import this into DAZ as a backdrop. Render the whole thing. Import the render into Micrographx and use the Darken/Lighten paintbrush to put a dark halo around the outside. Copy/paste this into Serif and add the border and the signature. Export as an image ... done!

It might sound complex, but it isn't. You have the programs open, and all you're ever doing is cutting and pasting between them. The only 3D render is done in DAZ; the only export-as-image is done at the very end, in Serif. Also, these are small-overhead programs. They do NOT overtax or crash your system.

So there you go ... the rider from Lothlorien. And ain't he beaut?

Jade, November 12
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