Thursday, November 26, 2009

Survival Run

This one is actually a pretty complex shot, so I thought I'd upload a set of "progress steps" which should make it easier to visualize the recipe:

Obviously you start with your figure. (Incidentally, click on the filmstrip at left ... it's actually about 500 pixels wide, so you can easily see what's going on there. Also, the finished pic was uploaded at 1000 wide...) You start with a bare stage. Bring in your model, add whatever hair and clothes (or not!) that you want. Change the color of his eyes maybe, and pose him however you want him posed. By this time you ought to know what the background should be. Forest? City street? Docking bay? Okay...

You can pay a fee and download a digital model (which is the best way to go), or you can paint something yourself (also great, but takes a long time), or you can use a digital; photo (also cool, but do some digital effects on it, or it ends up looking "raw" and "fake"), or you can swipe something off the Internet ... in which case, for goodness' sake do SOMETHING with the image to make it different from the work you swiped!! You can flip it left to right; you can swap the colors; you can leech our or super-saturate the colors; you can blur it way down with a median filter. You can take out objects and paint in (or paste in) other objects. You still end up with a "derivative" image, and the original artist could either object or applaud! But at least you did did something rather than just stealing a picture.

Anyway, however you get the background, now the challenge is to set up the lights on the model (in DAZ) to make it look like the character is part of, and belongs in, the background. So you set up some distant lights and point lights of whatever color is right, and render one. Tweak it all till it looks perfect (middle one in the filmstrip). Then open the render in your paintshop program ... I like and recommend Micrographx. And go to town your your filters -- Light Studio and Lens Flare studio.

Keep going till you get exactly what you want, and ... save it. That's another one done!

Jade, November 27
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