Friday, April 30, 2010

3D Fantasy: petitioning the gods of the storm


3D fantasy ... the barbarian babe and hunk, in DAZ Studio 3, ably assisted by Bryce 5.5. And I have to say, I am absolutely at the extreme limit of what can be done with this video card! Only two renders today, guys, because it took about three hours to get through this work. Luckily, I was able to multi-task, do other things at the same time, because it really, seriously took this system three hours to get to this point ... and it had to be fudged from the word "Go!"

Here's what I did: first, go back into the Stormlight project, reset it to landscape format and render a background...

Then, reopen the female character project and strip out everything except the model, so all you have left there is Victoria 4.2, Mimi skin map, Celestial Hair, Celestial Jewels, Shadow Dancer costume, bikini and strappy sandals from Horizon Redux, plus all the textures and displacement maps on the above. Save this as a new file. I call this character Agatha. (Other female characters are called Elspeth, Ethel, Harriet, Muriel, Theda, Esme, and similar names you will NOT find of the characters at DAZ and renderosity!)

Then, reopen the hunk character project and do the same thing. (I call this character Albert. Other male characters are called Jasper, Ebebeezer, Cecil, Percy, Ethelred, Angus, and other names you sure as heck won't find at DAZ and Renderosity!)

So now I had 3 files: Albert only, Agatha only, and the backdrop. So, open a new project, set to the same size as the background. Import said backdrop. Hit MERGE to bring in Agatha ... and save it. Hit MERGE to bring in Albert --

And go away, do something else for 5-10 minutes. It's a loooooong second merge. Then, save it quick, before it falls over ... and buzz off for 5 minutes, because it takes that long to save now!

Right: position and size both characters. Albert is scaled at 105%, so he's just visibly bigger than Aggie. Now, start tweaking the poses ... and SAVE after every 3-4 tweaks, because it's a case of the jerk-jerk-jerks as you move anything at all, and it's inclined to c-r-a-s-h. (And every save is one of those "buzz off and do another job" jobs.)

Then, when it's all set ... do the lights. This one took five distant lights to get this effect, which is like a cross between Boris and Frazetta. It's a gorgeous effect, but this is absolutely as far as this video card will take me. So -- only two renders.

And tomorrow, I see about tracking down a new video card. I'm looking at, maybe a Gig on the card, and double the RAM on the machine, too. Then, we should be cooking! It was easy in the days of yore when it was just a figure and lights, maybe a prop or three, and a backdrop. Now, even a simple shot is loaded up with stuff. I'd love to be able to get two characters in full costume, plus two horses into the same scene (hi, Linda!) but with this video card --? Not a chance. So... bright and early Monday morning, let's see what we can do about this!

Jade, 1 May (May Day)
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