Friday, February 5, 2010

Dream horses and dreamy guys ... 3D, of course


The CWRW Pro textures for the DAZ Millennium Horse are still fascinating me today -- and I had a few minutes spare to muck about with a combination of these and the horse body morphs. The "daydream" above is the CWRW blue roan, with a body shape re-re-retweaked, plus a reworking of one of the stock horse poses, and a composite background. Just like yesterday, I set off with one painting in mind and wound up with another -- but that's okay, because I can take another crack at the picture I didn't get ... and it was fun not getting it!

There are four general equine body shapes DAZ offers offer as sort of "bench marks." Mustang; Arabian; Thoroughbred; and Draughthorse...

...and you can slide -- literally! -- back and forth among all of these in order to get a body shape that's always going to be close to something you want or need. To get a match for an exact breed takes some doing: you start with a set of reference photos and use the auto settings to get as close as you can, and then start tweaking manually.

The beauty in today's "fantasy horse" render is a manually tweaked design that looks lovely to my eye (and I'm the first to admit, everything I know about horses I learned from the movies! Hidalgo, and Flight of the White Stallions, and The Valdez Horses, and even Ladyhawke.

To get this particular horse, I experimented with making her legs 5% longer than the default "geometry" and her head 5% smaller than the default. Then I went to work with the MAT-MOR Mane add-on, which let do wonderful things ... and then I set up blue, green and mauve lights to bring out the fantasy in the blue roan's coat.

The background is a composite ... a seascape, a painted sky, a shot of the moon that was pasted over the real moon and filters applied. Then this was saved at 800x1000 and imported into DAZ Studio 3 as the backdrop...

Beautiful. Also on my mind is the male beauty from yesterday's renders -- and I'm fascinated by this guy. I thought, okay, sure, you're looking at him in a purely fantasy setting, but what about if you lift him out of that and do this:




The essential gothic hero ... the images are almost like panels in a comic, or frames out of a movie, telling a story. He's being stalked ... ears something ... turns to listen, draws the sword and then you get the closeup as he rasps out, "Show yourself, right-bloody-now!"

It's the play of light and shadow that makes this work. That and the costume. Boy, is this mix and match:

Midnight Price hair set to Burgundy
Moccasins from the Wood God set
Pants from the M4 Utilitize (sci-fi) costume/prop set
Tee Shirt from the M4 Basic Wear set, changed to black
Great coat (duster) from the M4 Cowboy set
texture on the coat from the Tex textures set
Great Sword from the FAE weapons prop pack
Michael 4, wearing his high-rez skin map and face by me.

And it's the way the shadows play out across the background that make it go. Notice the way the shadows march across the wall as the camera and model change position ... the lights stay still, the camera and the model move. I set three distant lights fairly close together, offstage to the character's right and ahead of him...


I'll be coming back to this character again. I want to see what he looks like teamed up with the young dancer/assassin ... maybe they're on the same job? And tomorrow I'm going to try again for the horse image I wanted to do today, and seemed to get everything except what I'd "seen" in my mind's eye!

Jade, 6 February
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