Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Romance in hyperspace. Like one needs a reason...!

click to see all images at large size... 

As promised, I'm back with more art to share, and ... yes!! I found the original files for the character of Tonio Teniko. Here's the original Tonio:

And here's what DAZ Studio saved as the .dsb file (the character preset, which you merge onto the basic Michael 4 doll):

Well ... looks are actually a bit deceiving, because changing the hairstyle a little bit in today's renders, and changing the expression, certainly makes Tonio look a lot closer to the character you saw yesterday, so ... maybe the .dsb file was right after all. Maybe what I was remembering is a trick of the hairstyle and expression and lighting? Could be. One thing's for sure: Johnny Depp knows all these tricks, and this is sixty percent of his craft. The magic of the actor. Compare Jack Sparrow with Barnabas Collins with -- ye gods, have you seen the first look at Tonto? Remind yourself, it's all the same face under that make-up, the wigs, and the bird he's wearing on his head in The Lone Ranger.

Soooo ... when I found Tonio Teniko, I couldn't resist setting up a couple of renders with Tonio and the object of his utter fixation, Richard Vaurien. Then, I couldn't resist playing with Richard's hair. The original toupee was the Mon Chevalier wig, which doesn't actually let you "pull" it into long styles so well, and -- if you know your Hellgate, you'll know Richard has a mane of  red hair.  So I switched the hairstyle for the Aether Hair, which actually looks pretty magnificent on Richard.

The only downside to this was, I realized both Richard and Tonio were now wearing the same basic hairstyle. So next, it was a question of reorganizing the hair on Tonio -- hence, the difference between the former appearance of the character, and today's renders. It's the wig. Ask Johnny Depp!

I love the Richard Vaurien face. This one was such a challenge, so rewarding. Richard is not a young kid, and bringing the extra years, the maturity, to the face was very rewarding. Note to self: do more with this character.

Well ... having posed Tonio and Richard, how could I resist bringing in the new version of Neil Travers to pose with Richard? Fair's fair -- Neil was the one Richard spent all those years waiting for, only to lose out at the last minute, when Neil met the love of his life aboard the Intrepid, Curtis Marin. (You know Hellgate, right? You know what all this is about, yes? Cool. If not, check this out!) The difference in Neil Travers is the skinmap. I tried a new skinmap on him in February, because I've never been really happy with previous skinmaps I've tried on Neil. This one is "Bart" by H3D, and it does seem to work nicely on him:

The only thing I might see if I can change is the eyebrows. They look a little bit "pencilled on," and I might get in there and see if I can paint something that looks a tad bit more natural. This skinmap was designed to fit on a Brad Pitt clone (see this post), and these brows were probably designed to dovetail with the character from Interview with the Vampire. That's the only reservation I have about this skinmap on Neil Travers. That experiment comes next. Soon as I have the time, right? Right.

As promised, here's the bookcover I've been wanting to share for a couple of weeks:

And here is is without the text objects overlaid...

The book is a fantastic read, and due out in April. I'll tell you a bit more about it closer to the launch date, but ... yes, the character you see here is the big beauty you saw a few weeks ago -- and that link will also take you to the post were I débuted the spacecraft and ringed planet art, which were done in Bryce.

More soon -- there's a good deal more to share before Dave and I vamoose on that road trip I mentioned yesterday.

Jade, March 20
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