Thursday, December 29, 2011

Playing happily in DAZ and Photoshop

Click on the wee little image to see this at full size. Please do!!

Playing happily ... deliriously, in fact. Trying to see what the new computer won't do ... and so far, I haven't found a darned thing it doesn't do, lickety-split. This render, above, was done at over 1100 pixels wide, with about 10 lights set, and textures and refractions and ... the works. The old computer would have taken around two hours to render it. This one? Seven minutes. So I was able to do more than two dozen test renders, to figure out what was right, what was wrong, and fix it all up before getting into Photoshop and doing the overpainting...

Speaking of Photoshop and painting: I reckon I've learned more since Boxing Day than I learned in the last four or five months. Seriously. The old computer was like this: click to load up an .abr brush set, and then pick up a book to kill the time it took the set to load. Uh huh. Now? Hee hee hee!

Check this out -- in fact, check it out at full size, and see the details. This one was deliberately rendered flat in DAZ, and then shipped into Photoshop to go through a ten-layer process, which brings it up like a digital painting -- something like gauche or acrylic, or a mix of both (which is something I used to like doing in the wild, woolly and far off days when I painted with (urk) a paintbrush). Here it is... 

And that's not all. I tried my hand at painting the texture map for a gas giant like Jupiter:

The planet is a sphere generated in Bryce 7.0 Pro and exported, then imported into DAZ to be fixed up with its hand-painted texture, and lit. It took about as long to do as this description is taking to write. So, nothing daunted, I decided to stretch the frame into Cinemascope and add a spacecraft on approach to this giant world...

One of the enormous plus factors of the new machine is that I can now get BIG renders. I used to be rendering in a keyhole, in order to get something under an hour or two, and to get through a complex raytrace without the computer falling on its face (or butt. Whichever). But now ... well, here's an outtake from today's leading shot -- just in case you didn't click on it to see it at large size, and enjoy the details. You have got to see this:

Since the render is BIG, the details don't get compressed into less space than the average carbon atom. Look at the texture in his hands and ... so on! This is one of my faces and body morphs (in other words, I designed the face and body...) but he's wearing the Falcon skinmap and the Akasta hair, and the pale green eyes from the Eyes Have It pack of eye textures. 

Is there a story behind this image? If you like. And you decide which scenario you like the best. Is this the warrior after a long, hard day at the wars, who's inviting the courtesan or the body slave to come play? Or is this the courtesan or the body slave, who's been waiting at home for the warrior to get his butt back from the wars, and come play? That, I leave up to you!

There's a downside to all this, though. Have been sitting in front of the new machine (known as Thor on the home network, until I'm juuuuust starting to forget what my legs are for. I feel my backside going flat and square. And I'm starting to really, really neglect the work that's piling up around me, demanding to be done. Well, it's the holidays -- I'm taking time off, right? But I have to get back to work in a couple of days. Rats. 

Jade, 30 December (yikes, one day left of 2011!)
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