Thursday, May 3, 2012

Photoshop retouching. And you can't see the seams.

Click to see all images at large size...

Here I am getting in some practise ... at what? You might well ask! Well, one of the things I've learned pretty quickly is that most of the hairstyles (toupees, if you will) I've been using, and which I like to use, don't render up well in Lux. They come out looking like little sheets of plastic attached to someone's head! The thing is that the best render quality you can get, even at the raytrace level, doesn't show the problem, but just as soon as you whack something into Lux and attempt something that's waaay closer to photorealism ... hmmm. The hair is what lets down the image almost every time. 

In fact, someone was just mentioning the other day, on some message board or other, I forget which, apropos of Michael 5, that what DAZ really needs to to is get "a hair system that works properly." Until you're rendering in Lux, you don't have (too) much to worry about, but in Lux there's nowhere to hide, and the hair is problematical. So...

Solution? Wellll.... try this:

...and since were doing 1:1 outtake detail shots, have a look at this guy, too:

Of course, I'm doing what I swore I wouldn't do, because it takes a loooong time, and as you know, time is something I don't have unlimited amounts of! Yes, I'm hand-painting the hair -- getting the hang of it, working out a method for doing it. Right now I seem to have my own system. 

The hair is painted in 12 layers (dark, medium and light tones for each of the layers -- bottom, middle an top layers -- plus three extra layers for the hairline, same routine with the tones and layers). When I'm happy enough with the painting the layers are all merged into one layer called (duh) "Hair," and then this layer is given a Gaussian blur, something around the .4 mark, which makes it not stick out of the rest of the picture, and then it's given a partial opacity, for the same reason.

Hmmm. Well, the results are very promising, and I guess this is one more thing where the more you do it, the better you'll get at it! So far, I've done this for just three pictures, and we're looking at two of them here. The male nude I call "The Fugitive" is the third, and the best. Practice makes perfect? Could be.

Anyway -- the male model is a Lux render of an old old project which you saw about two years ago. This time around he took about 13.5 hours, cooking overnight. The Fugitive you see here is actually 60% raytrace and 40% Photoshop painting. I have painted virtually every part of that image. Tonight, I'll see if I can set it to render in Lux. Could take 15 hours, could take 40. And when the Lux render is complete, it'll really, really need to have the hair painted! This one needed the painting to look really good, even at the raytrace level.  Whimper.

Last image for today: have been playing with false color: 

...and that's quite a dramatic picture... 

Oh -- while I think of it: I was asked to re-render "Adam and the Snake" as a full-on male nude ... basically, move the bloody apple tree out of the way! ... and upload it at large "pinup" size to the Exotic blog. I'm doing this right now, and should have the image ready to upload tomorrow. Will post an update and a link to the blog here when it's been uploaded.

Jade, May 3

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