Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Swashbuckling in 3D: welcome to the Caribbean, love

DAZ's Michael 4 -- Swashbuckling in 3D ... or at least daydreaming about it --! Seriously, I'm still playing with the Spartacos hair and The Eyes Have It eye textures, to see how far you can go and get what results. So --

Swashbuckler Bert is back, this time standing on a proper set: silver sea and sky, done in Bryce and set as a backdrop. Walls by DM, and loaded from both The Gate and Instances. Trees and potted trees by Merlin, from the Oriental Garden set. Michael 4 is wearing his high-rez skin map, and the Leon Castiglia pants with one of my own textures. You're looking into the bluest eyes from the Eyes Have It texture set. It's Spartacos hair till you get into the extreme closeup, and when I changed it out for the Mon Chevalier, which isn't as malleable as the Spartacos by a long shot, but it looks better in very tight shots...

Michael 4 is also wearing a new pair of boots: they're the Swashbuckler boots from Age of Armor, and like virtually everything that is cool, they're designed for Victoria 4.2 ... but if you're really up to speed, you can make them fit Michael too, and to prove it -- here they are! In fact, her boots look great on him!

I also applied a displacement map to the boots (not supplied with the model; I used one of my own) to bring up the texture of old leather. The displacement map I used was made from a malachite texture. (See this post, for how to make your own displacement maps.)

After that, everything is about lighting, camera positions and poses. I used only three lights on most of these shots, and the extreme closeups have an extra point light set to fill in shadows. Poses? Well, it's good idea to start off with stock poses, because they'll get you into the ballpark. But I've never yet found a stock pose that was 100% right ... or even 70% right, by the time you have a character and a bunch or props, or two characters in the shot. You always, always end up adapting the stock pose. The most interesting thing about getting these shots was driving the camera around. It's endless fun, and every time you drive the camera hither or thither, a new shot appears. The only thing to learn about driving the camera is -- the wonderful world of x,y,z coordinates! To get good in DAZ or any 3D studio, you have to wrap your head around the coordinate system. Once you get a-hold of that, you're cooking.

That's a rather contemplative and melancholy young swashbuckler. Bert has a secret: he's a wannabe. He ran away to sea and he wants to be a swashbuckler, but right now the best he can do is Cabin Boy. Good thing the captain is a Handsome Hunk with a Heart o' Gold. (And make of that anything you'd like to!)

Join me tomorrow, and we'll see what the Swashbuckler boots look like on Victoria 4.2 ... they were actually designed for her. How come Victoria gets all the really, really cool stuff?!

If you're interested in "the full monty" version of this shoot ... our young swashbuckler getting rather more Caribbean sun than he is right here, then click here to go here ...! And before you do -- Nudity Alert! Naked hot bods! There, that got your attention, didn't it? So why are you still on this page?!

Jade, 3 June
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