Monday, December 7, 2009

3D SF bookcovers ... for Mindspace by Mel Keegan

Very excited ... just finished the cover of the new Mel Keegan. This will be the first MK title out next year -- in fact it's still being written. I thought I'd get a head start on the 2010 covers so I can freewheel a little bit next year. 2009 turned out to be way too busy to suit me, so getting as much 2010 work out of the way as I can is a great way to go, at least from my perspective ... I know it drives some other people truly schizo, though.

Anyway -- MINDSPACE. You're seeing the cover for the first time right here. All 3D model work and digital painting. The background is a tiny snap out of a huge Hubble image of NCG1333, and then I even painted that. When I was satisfied with the nebula, I brought it into DAZ Studio 3 and set it as the background, then brought in the figure ...

You might not believe this, but it's the same face as the Saxon Hero, I just set the hair at chocolate brown ... what a difference it makes! (Think about this, guys, before you dye your hair next week!) Then I made everything below the neck INVISIBLE by 'turning off' the parts, ad just leaving the head and neck floating against the nebula. So far so good: render that.

Then, re-import the render into the DAZ project as a background and delete the figure ... and bring the spaceship in, instead! Pose the spaceship just right ... set up three or four lights to get the effect I wanted. I used three distant lights -- white, green and blue. They merge together into a beautiful sea green.

Then -- render the whole thing ... and open it in Serif X3 to have the logos and text work added. Choose the fonts ... set the colors to look like chrome. Lock the whole shebang together and do the final render at 200dpi. Crop it, and ... done.

Took about 45 minutes, total, including getting the idea. Having the 3D models on hand definitely helped. I actually only got this one the other day. DAZ was having a sale, and I got two free and two at a discount. They have a service called "Fast Grab," which is where models are on sale at big reductions for 12 hours or so ... grab 'em while you can. I look at this every few days. I could look at it every day; but I'd spend way too much money. You know the old saying -- go broke saving money!

Very excited with this!

Jade, 8 November
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