Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A little fantasy, a little SF, and the cult gay heroes

click to see all a large size; the fantasy pinup dude is 1:1 size...

As promised, more of the Hyborian age heartthrob (and he's uploaded at full pinup size, again), plus a couple of Jarrat and Stone pictures that are well worth a look. The full-shot is ... complex. Covered in effects, on top of a Lux render that was already not half bad. The sky was done in Bryce and then painted to suggest city lights reflecting on stormy clouds. The  captains from the Athena look like they're in an alley by some docking bays on a thoroughly nasty colony world -- went there to meet an informant. It's a safe bet Gil and Joe aren't far away, and probably in the "hard suits," right around that corner. (If you're intrigued and wondering what goes on here, the inspiration is Mel Keegan's NARC -- the cult gay SF series. Scroll down and see the five book covers in the right-hand column!)

The portrait might not look like a challenge, but it was the last in a looooong line of experiments aimed at getting a skinmap on Jarrat that will render properly alongside Stone --

And this one ain't bad. You notice, they're both properly exposed in these shots. Usually (and previously), to get Jarrat properly exposed, Stone would be washing out like a ghost, and to get Stoney to expose properly, Jarrat would be getting darker and darker, which, which this skinmap, means more and more "orange" in coloration. Not what we want. So I've been working hard to figure a way around this...

The scene in the alleyway is a Lux render which was heavily overpainted. The other two are raytraces right out of DAZ (meaning, the 3DLight engine), and there's a big difference in the "nature" of the images, though you'll have to see them large-size to see it. The Lux render shows the shortcomings of the Jarrat skinmap -- in fact, Lux ignores virtually everything I do with texturing! This is herding me down a narrow trail at the end of which is the necessity to get my finger out and (gulp) actually paint a skinmap, to get something that looks as good in Lux as this here portrait looks in the raytrace...

Having said all that, I also painted a lot over the raytrace! 

And yes, I have promised a Photoshop retouching tutorial, and I will deliver. It's going to be a good tutorial, which means it'll be long and detailed, which takes time. Bear with me!

Jade, May 8

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