Friday, September 9, 2011

New skinmap on an old morph ... what a difference!

In the last week I've been prepping the NARC books to go to Kindle, iBooks, B&N and so forth, and the urge to render Jarrat and Stone again was too much to resist. Here's a few of the most striking renders ... from which episode? None in particular; these are "generic," I guess -- they could be from any of the books. Right now I'm working on Aphelion, which is going through a kid of baptism of fire, being rescued from obsolete software, a process which involves fixing pagination across the entire document, due to a great deal of weirdness which gets in when you take a file that was written in one program, published in another, then opened in a third, and copy/pasted into a fourth! I guess this is one of the alligators you wrestle when you're breathing new life into books that haven't really been available in years, and technology has marched on.

So, yes, the NARC series is on its way to Kindle, iBooks, Barnes & Noble and so forth. You'll be able to curl up with Jarrat and Stone on your iPad, or iPhone, or whatever's your fancy. And part of the process is that I need to rejacket the whole series. Meaning, I need to redesign the "look" for five books. I have a few ideas, and am oscillating between two of them. Stay tuned.


I was doing a job for a client a few weeks ago, and was asked to change the skinmap on a Victoria 4.2 character whose face morphs had been created to specifications, and I warned ahead of time, "Changing the skinmap is going to change the face more than you think." It was difficult to describe how, or why, but the results speak for themselves...

How does changing the skinmap affect the underlying face morph? Well, see for yourself how the face changes...

Here's Neil Travers, from Hellgate, in two versions. On the left, he's wearing the Lee skinmap, which is an "elite" skinmap from DAZ. On the right, he's wearing the SAV-Eros skinmap, and the difference is amazing. The SAV-Eros version of Travers gives a much more realistic appearance, all in all. I bounced these test renders off Mel Keegan, wondering which he'd prefer --

It's not often I go blank when confronted by an observation or suggestion. Mel looked and looked and said, "I like them both a bit ... can you blend them?"

Ummm ... that's a very good question, to which I think the answer is actually no. If anyone out there knows some trick to get a blend of skinmaps, please tell me. I think what I'll do is play around with the lights a little to perhaps drop out some of the gold tones ... you're accustomed to seeing the character looking paler, which is just as Travers is described.

By the by, this is post #594 ... post #600 is coming up soon, and I'd love to do something gorgeous to mark it. Now -- what?!

Jade, 9 September
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