Wednesday, October 6, 2010

DAZ meets Serif meets GIMP meets Irfanview (and they all lived happily ever after)

Don't scream, guys ... got caught up with a mix of work, domestic duties and a little ill health, and I haven't had the time or brain cells to get to Episode Two of the Yaoi drama which began yesterday.

But here's some interesting stuff -- shows you what I've been working on. The final shot is of a couple of guys embracing beside a big viewport with a starfield outside. So the first thing you needed was the skinsuits, right?

One was done completely with colors and a bump map. The other is sueded leather, and I'm rather tickled with the result, because I made the texture myself. It's so soft, you can almost feel it under your fingers ...

Next: paint the starfield:

Looks like a job for GIMP, and Ron's brushes! I used the Bokeh brushes for so many things, you wouldn't believe it. So, here's a blue star with complex corona and so on. It was painted at very large scale, to get the stars to be sharp and realistic ... you might have to click on this, above, and see it at larger size, to actually see those stars here. You put this into the scene as your backdrop, and this is what shows through the viewport. So...

Next challenge: build a bit of set! You need a wall (bulkhead, I suppose), and it has a big round aperture cut out of it. Mmm hmm. It all starts with a transparency map, like this:

And, having cut a large round hole out of a plane you've made as a primitive, now you need to slap a diffuse map on it -- in other words, a texture which is going to appear in the final shot. I made the texture in Serif (the transparency map too, come to that). It'll be something like this:

So, you put it all together. Backdrop ... plane with transparency map and texture map applied, so the hole gets cut out and you can see through to the stars. Then the characters in their smart new costumes.

These images really are cross-platform, because they were enhanced in Irfabvuew after being rendered in DAZ, with elements created in Serif and GIMP. As I said, I've been busy like you would not believe, and not too well, into the bargain. So it'll be tomorrow before our young beauty on the blasted heath gets rescued ... or does he?!

Tune in tomorrow for another exciting episode!

Jade, 6 October
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