Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Beefcake. Does one need a reason?!





click to see at large size, 1000 pixels wide, or high...

Beefcake. I love a hunk out of uniform, don't you? These were done for my own amusement, and also to test out a couple of theories I had about working in various aspects of Photoshop. I won't bore you with the details -- suffice to day, it worked like a charm. Add one more thing to the repertoire.

I don't have much time to write a lot today ... and tomorrow is (wait for it) My Day Off, first one I've had in a couple of weeks, so I'd be shocked to be blogging before the weekend, and I do want to touch base and share these!

You might recognize the characters, though I haven't rendered these guys in a loooong time. I've just been comparing my skills and technique now, against the proficiency I had the last time I rendered these guys. Well, that's how life works -- it's an organic process of growth. You often hear about an artist's "late" or "early" periods. Even Leonardo -- you can always tell a work from his youth, as compared with a work from his later life, when the skills of the master had fully matured. Same difference here --

In fact, I actually want to go back and re-do some of the early work I did yonks ago, and the beauty of it is, when you're working in CG, you can, so long as you kept the original files. I think I kept all the scenes in which Gil and Joe appeared (Gil Cronin and Joe Ramos -- you probably know them well), so in theory all I have to do is open the files and work new magic with the lights, shadows and post work...

I've actually reworked the facial structure of the Native American character; I was never fully satisfied with it, and the subtle differences have made a huge improvement. Please do click to see these at close to full size. These guys are a knockout. 

Yes, I'm slogging through Poser! Right now, I think I have the nuances of the lights figured out; am shifting between "rooms" comfortably, and moving things around without trouble. Have worked out how to slap maps onto models with various results. Mapping doesn't work in the same way as DAZ Studio, and the results can be very different. You need to learn how to get the same results by a different rout. The next challenge for me is going to be working out the shader system, shader nodes and what have you. This is something new, because I never got into shaders in DAZ ... why not? Before last Christmas Day, I never had a computer that would do the work! However, for some time now I've been working in a very similar interface with Bryce 7 Pro materials, so that although I haven't touched shaders, as such, I know how it works. Bryce has something called the DTE, or Deep Texture Editor -- yep, same approximate thing. So if I can get this worked out for Poser, I'll be ready to load up the content folders with USEFUL models, not the cartoon-type gear that's given away with the program. 

Looking for an update on the NARC-to-Kindle project? The uploads happened today, and Kindle reports that all five are "publishing" at this time. Tomorrow night, I ought to be able to get the linking code and get it built into Mel's webpages. However, the epub uploads have us scratching our reads: the file server we use for this is Payloadz.com, and when we tried to upload this morning, Payloadz was apparently taking the files, and then promptly reporting "error: no such file on server," or words to that effect. Hunh? Well, the problem ain't at our end, so it's a safe bet something was going on at Payload. Will try again tomorrow, and all being well we're still "on pace" for the full NARC series to launch on time, on target.

Day off tomorrow!! Weehoo!! I'll be back at the weekend...

Jade, 16 February
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