Saturday, February 16, 2013

A little CG science fiction: Landing Approach ... updated (with the "oopsie" fixed!)

click to see all images at large size:
first and third are configured as wallpapers

UPDATED next day -- was anyone sharp-eyed enough to catch the "oopsie" ?? You'd have to have a monitor that was set very, very bright to notice it, but ... I used the wrong image when I was preparing the uploads. There was an "artifact" in the painting that had no business being there. It didn't show on monitors set darker or more contrasty, but it was there! So: re-uploaded, fixed. Now, back to the original post...

Yes, your eyes do not deceive you -- that's Neil Travers. And that's still the "Brad" skinmap dropped onto my face morph ... I ran the experiment to see how the Mitchell skinmap would work out. Nope. It changes the face a great deal, especially around the mouth. So it looks like the Brad skinmap, from H3D, is going to be the one. The only work needed on it, in fact, in the post-painting, is to take some of the ruddy color out of the face, and make the eyebrows a leeetle bit more firm, so I actually did a tiny little bit of painting direct onto the skinmap itself, to lessen the work needed each time we render Neil. Result ... very nice!

This is another piece that was worked up in layers, and is a hybrid between Bryce, DAZ Studio and Photoshop. The whole project started with the city, which gave me the inspiration for the rest:

I call this one "Landing Approach," and I'd guess the city down there is something like Hydralis, or perhaps even Sark. I'd need to refer that question to Mel Keegan, see which of the major cities that play such a large part in the Hellgate books best fits this piece.

If you're into the SF aspect and want to chase up Hellgate, be aware that there is GLBT content in these books -- and there are five volumes (big ones!) to date, with one to go to finish up the series. Just go to and follow your nose...

If you're into the artistic aspect and want to know what went into this image: that's Michael 4 wearing a face designed by me, and the GQ Event hair by Neftis, and the Brad skinmap by H3D. The costume is the M4 Classic Trenchcoat (from Renderosity), the M4 Cowboy Jeans and the teeshirt from Stylin' M4 (all from DAZ). The textures have all been changed out to give the costume a new look (let's face it, if you stick to the same textures every time, it looks like the characters never change their clothes). The set is the cockpit of the Vanguard space craft (from DAZ). The background is the Alien City standing set for Bryce, with sky and lighting conditions designed by me; the other spacecraft are OBP models (the Bryce version of OBJ) from the Space Combat Force set. The Bryce part of the image was rendered first at high quality, which took 82 minutes, and painted in Photoshop -- which took about the same amount of time; then this was used as the backdrop for the DAZ Studio render. This isn't even a raytrace! The difference between the raytrace and the deep shadow map render was noticeable ... this was one of the very, very rare occasions when the raytrace was not as good. So I went with the other, shipped it into Photoshop and started painting again. The final image was rendered at 3000 pixels wide, to allow for fine painting. The raytrace took about four minutes and the deep shadow map render took close to forty seconds. Go figure. Painting in Photoshop took about an hour after the final render was complete.

The finished image, and the background as a whole, have been uploaded at 1920 wide, so it ought to be perfect for a wallpaper. I've just set it as the wallpaper on both my 24" widescreen and my 15" laptop, and it looks great. It looks so good, I'm reaching for the Hellgate books, and will pass away a couple of pleasant hours this evening with them ... it's way too hot to do anything much. By the third or fourth day of a 100 degree plus heatwave, you're just about ready to admit defeat!

On another note completely: wahooo!  We watched Black Caviar run at Flemington, this time yesterday ... yesss!!! As the commentator said, "The legend lives on." You know me and horses, through the art you seen on these pages and posts. Like everyone else, I love this particular horse: She's back ... she's bigger, and she's faster than ever. What's not to love:

...and lastly, still on the subject of horses, I just discovered something called Cavalia. You have to see this to believe it: Oh, my. 

Back soon -- after the heatwave, I think...

Jade, February 17, 2013
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