Saturday, January 15, 2011

OK Mel, let's have another go! Neil Travers, Take Three...

You might remember that last week I developed a couple of character designs that were pretty close -- pretty darned close -- to "right" for the Hellgate characters of Neil Travers and Curtis Marin. I got the word back from Mel Keegan...

Marin -- great, spot on. Don't change a thing. Travers -- still looks too close to Stoney (Capt. R.J. Stone, Raven 7.1, commanding NARC-Athena ... the, uh, NARC novels. But you knew that, right?)

So, could I have another go at the character and come up with something that fits the same physical description (six-three or four, black hair, blue eyes, fair complexion, drop-dead gorgeous, built like an apartment block) but is very different from Stone.

It's not as easy as you might think! One of the reasons is that to a very great extent, the skinmaps you can apply to a new Michael 4 face morphology you've created decide what the eyebrows, eyelids and lips are going to look like, and so on. So I started with a whole new face -- and a whole new skinmap. This is the Lee skinmap -- it's actually Chinese, so it's very fair, very pale, suits the black hair and blue eyes, which is an Irish combination.

This is a radically different character, but still answers the same physical description of Stoney! Early 30s, tall and built, same colouring, the lot. And I bounced this off Mel Keegan earlier today. Verdict: Yes! Also, it turns out that with a bit more work, the "second generation" design I had for Neil Travers will very probably turn into Mick Vidal. If the jaw were softer and the nose were sharper, and the eyes a little wider, etc., etc., we'd have Vidal too.

This is one of the parts of CG art I enjoy the most -- designing the characters. Used in these shots are Powerage's Power Cargo, plus Dystopia City Blocks 6x6, plus DM's Big Floor, plus the Billy T Real Jeans, the Beowulf slacks and Jacket, the M4 Basicwear T-shirt, the Utilitize gloves, the Lockwood shoes set to black, Neftis's GQ Event hair, Neftis's Danyel hair, the Lee skinmap, the HZ Victor skinmap, the Eyes Have It eyeballs, a hillside made by me, a smoggy, polluted sky painted by me, and a whole lot of my textures on the clothes, plus about six lights.

If I'd had more time, I'd have added an atmospheric layer behind Travers and in front of the city and spaceship, but it's been migraine time again, and I'm both out of time and seeing out of one eye, so ... later. An atmospheric layer would have made the shots very, very "deep," but if I'd stopped to do that I wouldn't be uploading anything at all today. Migraines are a real bummer.

Jade, 15 January
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