Saturday, June 16, 2012

Return of the Invisible Artist


click to see all images at large size...

You might have wondered what happened to me about three weeks ago ...did Jade get hit by a truck? Did an alien spaceship land on the house? Did some industry tycoon decide she was the only person to manage his company's space program, and offer her an annual salary in seven figures, if only she'd relocate to the secret rocket complex and play a vital role in putting Man on Mars ...?

Nothing so mundane. 

Swine 'flu. I kid you not. Near death experience. Two weeks of wondering if I was going to shuffle off this mortal coil altogether, and then another week of tottering around, trying to get back up on my feet. You have no idea. You don't want  to have any idea! Suffice to say, I didn't actually die ... and I'm posting a couple of pieces as I try to remember, "What's my name? Who am I? What was I doing?!"

The top piece is a new render of an old idea: Martin, in trouble, at the very beginning of the Abraxas story. I actually did this before I got sick -- it's been sitting in Photoshop, waiting to have about ten minutes' worth of  post work done to finish it! So today, for the first time in a loooong time, I was able to find enough brain cells to do the work, get them into harness, crack a whip over them, yell "Mush!!" ... and have them all pull in the same direction for long enough to get this done. Last week, it would have been like a scene from a Chuck Jones cartoon. 

The second piece -- the boy in the garden -- is all new. Twice, while I've been sick, Renderosity has had sales, and some pieces were just too delicious not to be bought. Almost everything in this picture is new...

The set is brand new today, from DM: Sweet Serenity. It's a very nice "corner of a courtyard" set ... you get a wall with ivy geranium climbers, a birdbath, a couple of potted plants. I switched out the grassy ground prop for a hard floor ... basically, it's just a flat plane with a nice tile texture added; then, add gloss and reflection, and a bump map to ruck it all up, rather than having it be like a mirror. That's Michael 4, of course ... but he has a new hairdo. This one is the Garry Hair by a designer called SWAM Art. I never played with toys from this designer before ... nice. The jeans are new too -- if you think you haven't seen them before, you're right. This is the Skinny Jeans from Sickle Yield. The only things you've seen, in this picture, are the vest, which is the M4 Veranil vest with everything changed to my own textures and transparencies and so on, and the skinmap ... and the bad news is, I've totally forgotten which it is. One of the deep suntan maps. 

The lights are at a low angle to simulate evening ... there's only two spotlights on this scene. Have a look at it at full size ... I'm quite pleased with the way the shadows fall. This is "only" a raytrace ... I've been way too sick to even think about trying to control LuxRender, but this would be quite a nice little piece to render up in Lux. In fact, it's a very simple shot -- about my speed, today! Hey, I'm here, and I'm doing something at last, instead of sitting on the couch with a blankie, a cup of tea and a vacant expression, with the cough drops and nasal spray, tissues and ibuprofen within reach!

More soon -- my head is full of ideas, not just for artwork, but for stories also. I'm sloooowly but surely making the decision to write. I've been an editor for many years, and an illustrator for almost as long. Maybe it's time I got the finger out and started writing all those stories that go scooting through my mind as I do the artwork!

Jade, June 16

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