Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Buccaneer: the Remendado 3D model in review

Buccaneers come in all kinds (including 3D!) and today's renders feature several takes on the theme. In fact, this is actually a model review. A friend tipped me off the other day (thanks, Linda!) that DAZ 3D was having a sale, and I managed to get something I've wanted for ages, for 50% off. Today's renders feature the model almost right out of the box (not quite). This is not one of my faces, but I've admired this character since I first started browsing the 3D catalog. Someone modeled Sean Bean ... and boy, did they get it right!

So this post is a deliberate review of the model, and it's a 4.5 out of 5 stars review. This is a great set of textures, and this face is so expressive -- a lot more so than many of the other characters. The model is Remendado, and it only has a couple of drawbacks -- worth a mention, but only after I've extolled his virtues and given a firm recommendation.

In the two shots above, he's easily portrayed as the classic buccaneer. One of Jack Sparrow's mates, by the looks of him. He's got a few years on him (which is something I like a lot in a guy), and the bead mat is perfect. You can get in for a super-closeup on this skin texture, and it's top-notch. Ultra realistic.

I also like that the physique is normal, not "gym-pumped. I can believe this character as a real human being. You also notice the rose tattoos and the barbed wire around the left bicep. This is a major advantage of the skin map. You can also load the skin map without the tattoos.

The Remendado texture has a lightly hairy chest, very natural. Michael 4's own high-rez skin map is a lot more hairy; Jagger is either depilated or one of those rare natural hairless dudes. (Either way, the Jagger skin map looks fantastic on the Vampire Amadeus, and Jarrat...)

Now, put a cowboy hat and a pair of sunglasses on him, and he turns into a bit of a villain. Makes me think of one of the villains out of Aquamarine -- that Mel Keegan novel set in a "drowned future" in the Pacific islands, after the planet got hit by a comet. You know the one. Remendado can be used in a number of different settings, and you believe him totally, but he can turn into a villain really easily. Which is probably a good thing. If he were an actor, you'd applaud: he's still a pirate, but it just looks like he belongs in the future.

Take off the cowboy hat but keep the shades ... I'd buy this as a Wall Street buccaneer: slick operator, smooth as ice, dangerously sophisticated. He's a pirate, of the share trader variety.

And lastly, if you lose the costumes altogether, the physique is ultra natural, and the rose tattoos also look great across the shoulders and right where his lumbago will hit him when he throws his back out like any other normal human being. This shot looks like you surprised Johnny Depp who'd been sunbathing au naturel between shots lined up for Pirates of the Caribbean 4...!

Marvellous model, perfect add-on to Michael 4. Also has a clean-shaven face mat, as part of the kit, and several sets of eyeballs in various colors.

There's only a couple of downsides -- I'd have given the character ten-out-of-ten, except for these. The Remendado download does not have a hairdo. He arrives on the DAZ desktop bald -- and this is fair enough, because it's an inexpensive model even at full price. A hairdo would have added about $10 or $14 to the price ... but a hairdo would have been sooooo nice to have, even if it made the model more expensive. To fix this, I fitted the Mon Chevalier hair and set it to red-brown, long and windblown.

Several eyeball options are included, but the guy who was scanned for the skin map had some serius broken veins in his eyeballs, and I'm not too fond of this. I replaced Remendado's eyeballs with Jagger's eyeballs, which are just as realistic and look nicer because they don't have the broken veins.

The Remendado skin map doesn't have a genital map, so you're on your own here. The high-rez map for Michael 4 is too tanned, and so is the Jagger map. But the Albane skin map is pale enough to look very realistic against the rest of this fair skin type. Just means our pirate doesn't skinny dip too often!

Lastly, the promo shots for Remendado in the DAZ catalog depict the character with a signature headband type of bandanna, and I was quite surprised that this is not included. I'd have dearly loved than headband, or bandanna, or whatever it is. Shall have to track it down separately.

The only reason I'm not giving 5 stars out of 5 is because of the omissions. Rest assured, the content of the Remendado model is first rate. It installs cleanly, and it's exactly where you expect to find it, when you want to add it to Michael 4. Great value -- and if you can get it on sale, even better!

Expect to see this skin map many times in renders to come -- it's a beauty!

Jade, 27 January

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