Monday, January 30, 2012

A little romance, between punch ups and chases --

click to see at large size, 1000 pixels or more...

A little romance -- gay romance at that! -- I couldn't resist, since the characters are back "out of the box" and I'm working with them every day, while I get the series prepped to go to Kindle. A lot of you will be looking for a progress report, so here goes:

Scorpio is just about finished. The last one of the NARC novels to be fully packaged, ready for Kindle, will be the cult classic itself -- Death's Head. And the date for uploading is February 9th. The Kindle "process" takes a day or two, so ... second weekend in February, you'll be able to download all five novels direct from Amazon itself. Jarrat and Stone on your Kindle at last!

Speaking of which, did you know that Kindle has an app, "Kindle for Android" --?? In other words, you can shop Kindle to feed your smart phone or your android tablet. I was at the Kindle store just the other day, basically taking a look to see what it looked like on the phone. On the Samsung Galaxy, which has a 4" screen, the store looks very good. I browsed the lists of our writers and was impressed. So you can be on your smart phone, and buy/download Kindle books right there. Now, that's handy.

Anyway --! As I said, I couldn't resist these shots: a little (gay) romance between the punch ups, shootouts and chases. Here's Jarrat and Stone in a romantic setting for a change. Sub-text on the images? Well ... take a good look. Time has passed between the two shots ... it's raining out now. Missing shirt; Jarrat's barefoot. Hey, enjoy the daydream, right?

These shots were so complex, they had to be done in three stages. The characters were posed in one file; the set was built in another file, then they were combined. Then a huge amount of Photoshop work was done after the renders were complete. I think I spent more time painting in Photoshop than I did on the renders! What made it complex was the details: so many props, lights, shadows, reflections. Originally, I'd wanted to do the background -- the city outside the windows -- as a separate scene, and just put it in as a backdrop, but life never works out the way you hope or plan! So, instead, those buildings are actually part of the 3D scene, in DAZ Studio; and making them look realistic -- blurred with distance -- is something I organized it in Photoshop. Take a look at this:

It's, uh, raining out there. You're looking at about five Photoshop effects stacked one on top of the other. The whole scene was painted in about 12 layers. Oddly enough, it didn't take as long as you might think -- and it was huge fun.

The other shot today, I call "Launch to Orbit." This was done n Bryce 7 Pro and Photoshop. Am very proud of this piece -- it's well worth seeing at large size (it's uploaded at 1100 pixels wide). The raw render was done in Bryce, incorporating the sky, land, buildings, water, moon and ships. Then the fun began. That one took a load of painting. When your eye gets used to the finished version, and you look back at the raw render, it looks oddly plain, or empty.

As I type this, Dave is investigating Vue, finding his way around the interface ... and loving  it. Vue Esprit is on the shopping list for the very near future, and I look forward to playing with it myself. I could wish Vue would run on a computer that's quarantined from the Internet, as mine is; but it won't. You can set it up, but the images don't just carry the company logo, they're "watermarked" all over with obnoxious overlays. There is no way I'm going to take my month-old computer anywhere near the damn' Internet! So I'll explore Vue on Dave's system, and keep on playing with Bryce... this abstract. Now, that's a weird one, which just "happened" in the course of figuring out how shapes, transparencies, lights and reflections interact. Very cool indeed.

Jade, 31 January

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