Thursday, September 30, 2010
Just a grab-bag of images today ... mind you, there's a theme behind them. I was fiddling around with faces, and came up with a good one. This seemed to yell for long hair blowing in a sea wind, and sandals and island wear. The hardest part of it was fiddling the jewelry into place. Result: vacation shots. Looks like the gorgeous gay boy you met while on holidays in Barbados...!
Then, on a whim, I couldn't resist seeing what would happen if you took the exact same character, changed the costume and hair. Here's the result:
I swear, it's the exact same morphing of Michael 4 -- all I changed was the costume and hair, and suddenly ...
The art was barely finished when I got the word from above: "Stop right there, don't change nuthin' else, because that's Curt Gable." So spake Mel Keegan, and I'm delighted to be able to call another of the NARC characters -- the Starfleet pilot who just transferred over -- done! Next thing on the agenda is to pose this character with the Mischa Petrov character (the man you love to hate!) and check out the result. I'll get to this in the next couple of days.
And this one, below, had to render overnight, it took so long:
It's the starship model which is so huge, DAZ won't even open it, so these shots are rendered in Bryce 7 Pro, then tweaked in Irfanview and finished in GIMP. Super-carrier in the Rabelais Drift ... Hellgate. Oh, yeah.
Jade, September 30
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
One of the benefits of getting the hang of Bryce is that I can work with models that are too much for DAZ to handle. Now, it's perfectly true that 3D Studio Max handles them like a dream ... but I never got the hang of 3DS. It's about 1000% more complex than DAZ and Bryce. Actually, triple that, come to think of it. The manual is 1,250 Letter-size pages of close-packed type. It's like a phone book. And I just never had the time to learn it, which is why DAZ and Bryce came as such a welcome surprise: they don't take all that much learning before you're confident in what you can do.
A while ago I splurged and got a star destroyer model ... thirty bucks in a sale. On of the most expensive models I've ever invested in. I promptly discovered that DAZ can't even open it! Too many "polygons." Now, all models are made of polygons, and by the time you get up to modeling things like human faces or the behemoth starship in the shots above -- well, your average computer (and software) will barf before it even opens the model.
The good news is: Bryce is a wireframe environment, and will handle this model eeeeezily. The better news is, I'm living Bryce 7 Pro a lot. So it was an obvious move to render the starship in Bryce. Then, when I saw the final render I thought to myself .... hang on, I can import this into DAZ as a backdrop!
Add the Vanguard spaceship prop and set some lights.
Add Kevin Jarrat at the pilot's controls and set some interior lights.
Render up a storm; finish one of the shots in GIMP, to put the flares on the engine exhausts...
And you have a picture sequence as Captain Kevin Jarrat, Raven 9.4 himself, is on approach to a big ship. Remember the Starfleet carrier, from Scorpio? This could be it.
Woohoo! Expect more -- lots more -- just like it.
Jade, 29 September
Here's another post you post when you're not posting a post. The real post is over on the other blog ... the adults only version of the Yaoi Tarzan shoot. I'm really just posting here to tell folks that I'm posting there, but I thought I'd upload some rather atmospheric and evocative scenes before just giving you the link to go over and see these:
So, !!!Nudity Alert!!! and all ... duty done, caveat given and all that -- here's the link. Click, and enjoy...
The scenes above are the Mirador set, with Michael 4 wearing Mario's Hair and the Lockwood costume with textures changed out for my own. In the background are some of Merlin's trees and the ground and grass and sky from the New Age Room set -- you haven't seen the New Are Room yet. My plan is to set it up as an apartment or office ... on Mars, with t view of Olympus Mons. The images were overpainted with fractal brushes, in GIMP.
Jade 28 September
Monday, September 27, 2010
Somebody mentioned to me the other day, if I was going to do the King of the Jungle when he was a lean teen ingenue, fair being fair, I ought to do the Queen of the Jungle the same way. So here you go:
Tarzana, lost in the jungle at the age of two, when a plane crashed in the Bukuvu, where she was rescued by an ape named Ape, and raised in a treehouse with a big brother called George.
Meanwhile, at a very big and expensive waterhole set --!
Seriously, forgetting George of the Jungle and getting my mind off Brendan Fraser in a loincloth for a while, this is the same set and lights I created for the Yaoi Tarzan the other day. All I had to do was import a Victoria, put on a skinmap (Yaana), a wig (Spartacos hair), and a bitty little costume that's falling off everywhere (Andromeda, with my own textures and opacity maps set), and shoot away.
The other thing I had rendering in the background while these were going through, was this (and thank gods for a quad core) ...
That's the finished version, color corrected and all. Here's a couple of screen shots of the work in progress:
Above: a finished test render.
Below: the wire-frame universe you're actually working in, till you hit "render."
I'm starting to get the hang of this, but I have to admit, Bryce is not like working in DAZ. Having said that, one day the penny drops, and I think it's starting to, for me. I finally got the hang of enough of the basics for some of this to come into shape. There's soooooo much more to learn, but my hat's off to the company: Bryce 7 Pro is fantastic. It's the nearest thing to Vue ... but here's the important part: it's about quarter the price of the first level of Vue that actually works well enough to be worth its investment, and (!!) it will actually RUN on an ordinary desktop machine. Vue won't. On a quad core with four gigs of ram and a gig on the video card, Vue 8 Pioneer (the entry level freebie) is crashing to the desktop or locking up. Makes me very, very edgy about paying two hundred bucks for Vue 8 Esprit. Meanwhile, Bryce 7 Pro is working a treat, never crashes, and I really am getting getting the hang of it.
Jade, 27 September
Saturday, September 25, 2010
He's almost an outcast in his own community. He's a healer -- but they call him a "queer," and they're not referring to his sexual preference! He's an empathic healer, and a lot of people don't like the idea of someone else sharing ... not their thoughts, but their feelings.
It's about 350 years from now, and people can still find something to bitch about, right? But as it happens, they don't have much to bitch about. The Rethan mutoids were a perfectly natural product of an error in the terraforming process. The specialists who set up the machines missed something in the planet's natural environment, and in the first century after colonization, several generations of kids were born ... special. Some were telepathic, others had psychic abilities like precognition.
Meet Harry Del -- Doctor Harry Del. After growing up with the abilities of the empathic healer, he also went to college, qualified as a doctor. In fact, a surgeon. But his best work is done with his own special gift. Luckily for Kevin Jarrat. When Eve Lang scraped Jarrat off the ground in the city of Chell -- beaten and left for dead -- she took him to Harry, who was probably the only human being on any world who could mend him. Now, Stoney had been chasing his partner all over the planet, using all the resources of NARC, and no few of the Blue Ravens ... but the fact is, it was Eve and Harry to pulled off this feat of magic...
And if you know you've missed something major -- and so long as you're an adult who doesn't freak out at glbt content, check this out!
Yes, I'm working on the art for the new NARC website -- and it's a lot like casting a movie. Mel Keegan is delighted with this design for Harry Del, with one exception -- the eyebrows needs to be heavier. To achieve that, I'm going to have to hand-paint the skin map. I can do that, but ... not today. Also, the word on Curt Gable is: the boy isn't so muscular. He's rangy, very slim. So I'll be returning to Gable in a few days, and you'll see a leaner character there. But the Mischa Petrov has the stamp of approval, so ... that's another one done! (See the first round of designs on these two here.)
Jade, 26 September
All uploaded at large size: click to see details...
There's a legend that tells of a strange ruin in the wilderness, and the demon who lives there ... a creature of surpassing beauty, wrought in liquid gold. None who see him in the last rays of the setting sun ever return. So the legend says, they don't want to return to the domain of the mortal and the mundane. Is he an demon, or is he an angel? Remember, all demons were once angels who were caught up in a disagreement, and cast out. Some of them fell further than others. Some seem to be wrought of liquid gold...
(DAZ Michael 4; Albane skinmap; Elven Prince hair; Wood God kirtle; Sabby eyes; Demon Wings; Elven Prince armband; my own textures applied to everything. Ten lights set to get the sunset effect, with one of DM's trees, and the set is Powerage's Fantasy Structure.)
Jade, September 25
Friday, September 24, 2010
The Bryce landscape ... those misty mountains I uploaded yesterday ... reminded me strongly of a place called Ballyntyre -- "Bally," to the folks who live there -- on the continent of South Atlantis, on a world called Rethan. It's a small town in the boonies, surrounded by temperate rainforest. And there's a woman called Eve Lang who lives there -- runs a business called Roadrunner Towing and Salvage. She used to fly medevac ships back in the corporate wars ... she rescued Kevin Jarrat, who'd been left for dead, got him to a healer called Harry Del. And the rest is history. In fact, it's the enduring cult classic of gay science fiction, Death's Head. (A small caveat, before you click these links: these are adult books for adult readers. If glbt content upsets you, best not click. But if you love a hot and heavy SF romp, you just hit paydirt.)
Oh, yes! The challenge: put a face to one of the strongest female characters in fiction. A woman who's got what it takes to fly gunships. Big, strong, tough, and yet 200% woman. Not a kid; still in Military Airlift Reserves -- quite capable of reactivating her old commission and putting in for a transfer ... quite capable of flying the Blue Raven gunship.
If you haven't read Scorpio and Aphelion, well, sorry for the plot spoiler there. But you knew it was going in this direction -- the roadsigns are ten feet tall, in the unabridged Death's Head, right?
So here is Eve Lang, who literally scraped Jarrat off the asphalt in an alley in Chell, Rethan's old, smoggy, corrupt spaceport city. Remembering the scene in Scorpio where the gunships literally held a skycity suspended while the Ravens were in the bowels of it?! The challenge was to put the face to the woman who did that job.
Mel Keegan's verdict was a resounding "Whoa, that's Evelyn!"
Next on the agenda: Yvette McKinnen, the undisputed queen of cybernetics, who was able to debug a super-carrier before it blew itself to smithereens -- and then took on the corruption of Earth's own politics. Brilliant, tres chic, and an unlikely ally of Jarrat and Stone.
Yep -- I'm working on the images illustrating the NARC website. The characters and locations are coming to life in 3D, one by one. Loooong way to go, yet, but we're getting there, and I really am happy with this character.
Jade, September 24
Thursday, September 23, 2010
As promised, something sensual and beautiful ... Yaoi Tarzan, in fact. You know, Tarzan wasn't born at the age of 30! He grew up in the rainforest, and there was a time he was 18, and, uh ... yeah. Have you ever read the Tarzan stories -- the original ones? They're amazing. In its day, this must have been right out there on the leading edge of fantasy.
So here's a Yaoi Tarzan, and what's spectacular about these shots from my perspective is the WATER! None of that is a preset. I made that water from scratch. You create a primitive -- a plain. You give it a color, set the transparency ... give in a displacement map so it ripples .. set the reflectivity, and so on. You create a ground plane underneath it, so you can see through it. That effect is terrific ... sooo realistic, and so beautiful.
See the reflections and the ripples? Click to view these at 800 pixels wide, and you'll get a better view of what I mean!
Want to see the adults onlly version of these pictures?
I need to give the usual NUDITY ALERT first, because you're clicking to a page where nothing much is left to the imagination, and mother nature's handiwork is displayed in all its glory. So --
NUDITY ALERT. Consider it given, and --
Here's the link ... enjoy!
The other thing I've been doing is playing in Bryce. All the above are DAZ renders, but these are Bryce:
And again, I am soooo pleased with these, because nothing is a preset. The misty mountain landscape was done from scratch, using about 8 terrains, all made by me ... and the tree ... I made the tree. I actually made the tree, it ain't a preset!
Jade, September 23