Saturday, January 15, 2011

Busy with bookcovers...




Just a swift post to touch base today, and share what I've been up to. Book covers again -- and this one is for a new Sara Lansing novel, "The Haunted Coast." Ir's a ghost story 9with a vengeance) set in Whitby on Bonfire Night of 2009. It's a very good read, which deserves a good cover, sooooo...

It started with a backdrop, which is a photo of the location taken by our own Doctor Mike who was over there a few months ago. The first step was to turn a beautiful image into a background laden with drama. I brought up the purple tones, dropped out a lot of the green, which shifted the color pallet entirely. Then zapped on some eerie weirdness using Photoshop brushes, in GIMP, and then burned in the periphery of the image to give it a border ... it also creates a kind of "tunnel vision" effect, which is strange enough to suit the material well.

Then this was shipped into DAZ as the backdrop, and the challenge then was to design the two characters and get the costumes right. The big challenge here wasn't the faces (those were surprisingly easy) but the costumes. There isn't a lot of call for the Victoria 4 model to be ... well, dressed! Most costumes for V4 are along the lines of wispy bits of gauze and costumes that will fall off if they're not actually glued on.

But this story takes place on a freezing November night, and both characters are bundled up -- proper coats, sweaters, the works. The fact is, I don't own the 3D wardrobe to dress Victoria 4 properly this way ... so I actually used costumes designed for Michael 4, tweaked them as far as was possible in the morph controls, and hand-painted the rest. Turns out, M4 costumes don't really fit V4, no matter what you do with the doll inside them. But you can get a result that'll hold up for a static image which can be fixed in post.

Which probably means the reverse is true. Picture Michael 4 in a little black dress...

Jade, 16 January
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