Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Alien skies and barbarian horsemen...

Flying through in a heck of a hurry and touching base as I go, here's the barbarian horseman under the ringed planet -- actually, a revamp of an old, old project. I was looking through some ancient renders (September 2009), and thinking, "Hmmm, well, that was a good idea, but it needed more skill to make it work properly.

So here's the revamp! This is actually the reason I started the blog: as a visual diary to chart my wanderings from "golly, I just got the software, and see what I discovered today!" to "hey guys, take a squizz, this isn't half bad --!"

This is a medium easy, medium complex shot. You need Michael 4 and the Millennium Horse, plus the Aether hair set to dark brown on him, and the CWRW Palomino skinmap on the horse. Then, the Horse Tack on the horse, and the Leon tights and boots on the guy. Michael 4 is wearing the GA Matthias skinmap and goatee beard. I brought in an obj of a bit of ground which I made in Bryce a year ago, plus some young fir trees, by Rodi Designs. I slapped a nice rocky texture on the bit of ground, and a lumpy, bumpy displacement map to ruck it all up like real ground... the rest is all painting. I have four lights set, nice and bright with hard shadows, to simulate daylight.

The background started life as a bucket fill in a nice shade of blue. Switch to white and paint in the clouds using Mystikel's Clouds, which is an .abr brush set yo can get from Renderosity. Now, create a new layer and drag it under the clouds ... paint the ringed planet into this layer, in white on a background the same shade of blue as the layer with the clouds. Then -- you guessed. Make the cloud layer go selectively opaque by playing with your merge modes on that layer. Nice effect. That gets the background into shape, and this is used in DAZ Studio as a simple backdrop. After the render you ship the piece back into Photoshop or GIMP and paint in the birds and the grasses in the foot of the shot.

The process is exactly the same as I outlined in the Vulcan tutorial, and the same process was used to derive the Poseidon project. It's really neat when something works easily, and works well.

If I were a white rabbit, I'd have a pocket watch in my hand right now and I'd be tut-tutting about being late! Gotta go, guys, but I hope to be back tomorrow because I have a really cool idea...

Jade, 3 August
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