Thursday, October 21, 2010

Character creation: at last -- Gene Cantrell







For a few weeks now I've been promising you Gene Cantrell, and at last -- I got it right, and here he is. This face and physique were re-re-re-fine-tuned ... "not quite so thickset," and then "not quite so old -- remember, folks in the twenty-fourth century are living a heck of a lot longer, so at 55, our Captain Gene Cantrell will be a guy the equivalent of maybe early 40s. Ish. This character design got the Mel Keegan stamp of approval, and I have to say, I'm absolutely delighted myself.

Gene Cantrell was the renegade captain who busted the original Aphelion syndicate out of the Jupiter system 25 years before Jarrat and Stone are rampaging all over worlds like Rethan (Death's Head), Avalon (Equinox) and Aurora (Scorpio). And of course the fifth NARC book, Aphelion, brings them right back to Earth, Mars and Jupiter, where elements of the poisonous old syndicate ave resurrected themselves, and the fight is on again.

A quarter of a century on, Gene is back in the great space cities of the Jupiter system, and I loved the next part. He and Stoney drew the deep cover assignment. Whoot!

One of the things I'm most pleased about, with these renders, is that almost all the textures on the costumes are my own. And they look a treat. The hairstyle for Gene -- showing a lot of silver, because Cantrell is comfortable with aging and couldn't care less that he has a few wrinkles and gray threads -- is Mature Mark, which I bought specifically for this character. The backgrounds are a mixture. That's Dupre's office, with the Venice skyline out the windows, and the ship background is the Station 14 set, which renders up beautifully.

One thing that did surprise me is how the character changed when I switched lighting sets. He looks older in Dupre's office, with those lights. As soon as I switched lighting sets -- I was quite astonished at the results. The lighting really does have a huge effect on how good (or not) we look. I swear, there's no difference in the facial model in any of these shots, the only thing that changed was the lights.

Next -- Yvette McKinnen. Then the Canadian engineer, Budweiser, and the carrier pilot, Helen Archer (if you imagine the name was inspired by Star Trek's Jonathan Archer -- dead wrong. Helen Archer appeared in Equinox 1o years before Scott Bakula put on a Starfleet uniform). Then -- and this is going to be exciting -- Scott Auel and Janine Cruz. I've always pictured George Clooney as Scott Auel, so this'll be a challenge and a thrill. And of course Captain Cruz has to be an absolute knockout. So ... several characters left to go before I have the whole major cast down, but I'm getting there.

Join me tomorrow -- I should be posting the next episode in our Yaoi saga, where Martin learns what Leon's intentions are, and what the future holds!

Jade, October 21
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