Friday, April 13, 2012

We DO need another hero ... yes, we do!




click to see all images at large size...

"They said to me, 'Come to the old warehouse at ten tonight ... be alone. We see any guns, it's over. We see the cops, it's over.' And I thought to myself, this could be dangerous. It could be a trap. But what was I going to do? Three weeks, I'd been teasing this case, trying to get a lead -- trying to see if I could needle somebody into saying or doing something, anything. Then the phone rang. I got what I wanted. Somebody, somewhere, wanted to talk. 

So I drive on over there ... unarmed. Not even a weapon in the car. Suicide? I don't think so. I said no weapons in the car, right? You ever see that old, classic movie, The Road Warrior? 'A fella -- a quick fella -- might have a weapon under there...' Uh huh. I'm quick. I know my way around a roll of duct tape. So I'm not armed, but I can get armed in eight seconds flat, if the situation goes pear-shaped --

And they always do.

Hot night, with a change coming in. Thunder's already rolling across the harbor when I wheel across the old asphalt and park with a good view, three-sixty, all around. I get out, grateful for the breeze that's rising. It smells of the sea ... oh yeah, there's a change in the weather coming in. Feels like a storm. By midnight it'll be cold, probably raining.

All this goes through my mind as I step out of the car. Eyes wide, checking around, this way, that way, looking into the bottom of every shadow. Nothing -- yet. Now, we wait. It's a game of nerves ... I know that, and so do they."

...Uh, yeah. You're wondering what goes through my mind while I'm rendering the images that shot through my imagination and made me get on DAZ Studio? You got it! They tell me stories. 

This guy is a treat to work with -- that face is one of mine, and it renders well from any angle; you could put him into a modern day scenario, or historical, and I'm guessing he'd look great in an SF scene. You can expect to see a bit more of him, as I pair him up with other characters, change the costuming, and see what happens!

And then --

Adventures in Reality/Lux Part Two:

I really did jump in at the deep end with my first project. Rendering a human model is probably the hardest way to start, and there's so much to learn, it can be very, very daunting. So I thought I would back off and start over, with something where there were fewer variables to control. try this: 


This is the Reparation model, and I'm sitting here being gobsmacked. It looks like a photograph! Have a look at this, at large size -- the bigger it gets, the more realistic it looks! I'm impressed. I actually followed the rules when I set the scene up in DAZ, ready to be exported to Reality and Lux. Here's the ground rule: Thou shalt set ONE light, and it shall be called SUN.

Now, in DAZ and Poser, you very soon get used to setting about 20 lights to get  a good effect, the reason being that these programs are not render engines in and of themselves. A render engine actually calculates the light in "real space," as if your 3D stage is the world. So on a 3D soundstage like DAZ and Poser, you set all the spotlights and cheat lights and all, to get a good result. In Reality/Lux? Nope. The more lights you set, the more you will wreck the result. Lux "thinks" in real world terms. It knows about the sun being the principle light source, and if you give it one distant light called (!) Sun, it just gets down to brass tacks ... what it calls "photon mapping." Photons are reflecting and refracting with merry abandon in there, and the whole scene it lit by one light, which is bouncing back off every surface, and then re-re-re-bouncing.

Meanwhile, in DAZ, this is what the raytrace looked like:


Not so shabby, but it's obviously a 3D render, albeit a nice one. And if you think you recognize this -- yep, you've seen it before. In fact, you saw it right here:


...I used it as one of the sets/locations in the short-lived Abraxas web comic ... which is still a sore spot with me. This must be the first time in history that a story has been called pornography, when it had NO sex, NO explicit nudity, NO bad language. Just a handful of adult concepts and the same amount of skin you'd see in the average Victoria's Secret catalog! As soon as the story was deemed porn, I dumped it. But I will certainly come back to it, tell it as a narrative, with "plate" illustrations of very-high quality, along the lines of the art I'm doing now, like...


...and if you want to see this full size, click here. For Abraxas, I'm thinking ... narrative storyline and swags of images that can be downloaded from links embedded in the ebooks. Certainly worth the experiment -- and one could, if one wanted to, get a little bit (or a lot) more explicit, or romantic, that one would be inclined to do in an online comic, couldn't one?! Mmm. One could.

For today, I leave you with this -- the detail from today's leader shot:


Talk about your eye candy! Something along the lines of Magnum PI. I'm actually reminded of the PI character in that novel, Riding Shotgun -- did you read that? Well worth a look: Hollywood PI and new young actor (who's making gay movies), and there's a stalker right behind him. That was a very good read ... let me see if I can get you the links for it. Here we go: Get it at ARe, or at Kindle.

More very soon.

Jade, 13 April (Friday 13th, too!)
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