Friday, April 9, 2010

Fantasy mix-n-match: 3D frolicks on The Road to Rivendell

Fanasty 3D ... the classic tavern scene, complete with elf and dancing girl! Actually, I think this guy is about to make the Classic Mistake: she ain't the dancing girl, she's the manager of this establishment, who just likes dressing this way because she has a figure that'd get her a job in Victoria's Secret if this weren't Middle Earth.

And I'm playing mix-n-match again! These characters were created separately, and for different reasons. The guy ... I was playing with the Elven Prince hair (which is soooo nice!) and the gal, I was doing various and sundry "spec" work. But with them both created and on file ...!

On your File menu there's an option marked MERGE, and this does exactly what you hoped it would. Merges two files together. Then you can delete all the items you don't want in the common file. Or, if you're short of memory you can open the project which has the images you don't want, ditch them all right there and save the file under a new name ("elf-only" or some such), and then merge that stripped file right in.

So you actually end up with a picture sequence here that tells a little story:

Part One: the manager (!) is looking at empty tables and wondering how this honorable establishment will keep its doors open much longer, so ...
Part Two: she sends for her Second Cousin Agatha, who has a reputation for being outrageous, to come dance naked in the garden, draped in their pet snake, Gertrude. Well this act dragged 'em in off the street, and --
Part Three: the kid brother of a great warrior just had to turn up to see if it was true, and a human really was doing a pas de deux with a reptile down at the pub. Meanwhile --
Part Four: Big brother is up at Lord Elrond's place attending a council of war and trusting his kid brother to rent them a room, because Elrond's pad is full to busting the the delegations, and
Part Five (you're on it), just about now the kid's had his face slapped for assuming the manager is the dancing girl (they're so alike, and besides, all humans look the same!) and is now paying triple for the last available room ... the one with the noisy plumbing.

Just wait till big brother gets back from Elrond's!

Golly, these must be all the stories Tolkien didn't tell, due to being too busy dribbling on about some magic ring...

Sorry. Couldn't resist.

Meanwhile, I've been looking at Victoria 4.2 more lately, as work takes unexpected directions, and I want to share these renders:

It's the Ebony Star costume, the Angel hair, the Mimi skin map, and a face designed by me, with the costume added and set to "Bark." It's a great cossie, though I couldn't get the pants to fit for love or money (what am I missing?) and I finished these in post, with some airbrushing. The costume was purchased via Renderosity, and it's really good -- though a challenge for DAZ users: these models are actually designed more for Poser, but it you really, really know your file structure in DAZ, you can install them yourself, and they do work. Not for the beginning, but when you have some experience under your belt ... go for it. Renderosity is great: You'll recognize the same designers from DAZ, and the models are of absolutely equal quality.

Speaking of DAZ: potentially good news. I had a reply back from them regarding the problem of not being able to open any of my old project files (scenes) after a computer reformat. And it turns out (and I didn't know this) that DAZ writes transparent files as well as its visible ones, at the time it saves your projects. And it needs these files to open the projects. Now, Vista, in Bill Gates's infinite wisdom, does not display transparent files, so who knows they're there, or what they are? These appear to be the files that were destroyed in the reformat. But there might (and I say that tremulously) be a way to replace them.

There is a Grand Experiment to be performed. If it works you'll probably hear the champagne corks popping, because Jarrat and Stone, and the rest of the crews of the Athena and the Wastrel will be back en masse! Of course, if it doesn't work ... I'm back to square one. But it won't hurt to try, and it's going to be tried tomorrow.

Stay tuned...

Jade, 10 April
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