Thursday, September 15, 2016

A delicious Michael 4 fantasy ... while LuxRender decides to be weird


A delicious fantasy ... two Michael 4's for the price of one, in a marvelously exotic setting: sunshine, blue skies and a fair sailing breeze. I'm quite certain there's a story that goes with this picture. Those two are planning something -- hatching some plot, or hashing out a voyage. One of these days, I'll get around to writing ... and in the meantime:

You've actually seen these characters before, though you might not be able to recall where. This one was the "Hyborian Age Pinup Boy", more blond and less redhead at the time. Today:


Look a little familiar? You might remember this incarnation of the same Michael 4:


In fact, he appeared several times, in variations on the theme of this render. See this post to catch up with all that: Pinup Boy of the Hyborian Age. (That post goes back sixteen months.) Neat!

And the second Michael 4 making a reappearance today --


...If  you're quick, you'll recognize the model I use on the header art right now! You last saw him as "The Forest God," in a post from February, 2013 (!) entitled Piper at the Gates of Dawn, with the ram's horns and all:


The set used today is Temple of the Shadows, from Renderosity. The sky is an image I shot from the hill above the house where we used to live about five years ago. I have one light configured, just a distant light called "sun" ... because this was supposed to be rendered in LuxRender. It would have been glorious, but Lux decided to go utterly haywire today. Something is causing it to leave behind whole sections of the skinmaps, so you get this weird effect:


...now, I know how to fix the "black eyes" problem, which one runs into all the time when taking DAZ Studio humans into LuxRender. But I blew off something like about two hours trying to figure out some way to fix the lack of any skinmap whatsoever on the brow, and at the end of that time I ended up saying words along the lines of "Stuff it, I'll raytrace this and call it good." Which is exactly what did happen.

Now, I know for a fact LuxRender will display this Michael 4 sknmap properly, because I've done it it before. I'll figure it out and rerender this piece, when I have some answers. But it could take a while, because I'm utterly stumped; so we won't fret over this. We'll just go on with other pictures and work on this one in spare time! So ... one light set, and depth of field turned ON; maybe twenty minutes to get the raytrace and then -- into Photoshop for a modicum of painting. Less than you might think, actually. The original render didn't need to much done to brighten it up here and there and fix the occasional glitch.

If you're curious, the hair on the left is the Yannis dreadlocks, and the shorter hair is either Akaste or Aether, which I believe come from the Renderosity marketplace. Both costumes are sufferent parts of the Wood God costume set, which came from the DAZ marketplace a looong time ago. Don't even know if the old models are still available but one hopes

In any event, I'm very pleased with the raytrace. That's a hell of a nice image. [Pats self on back] So we'll worry about the upmarket render later.
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