Friday, September 23, 2016

Boy meets Gargoyle ... in Photoshop, thank gods

This one is a serious digital (Photoshop) painting. Almost every pixel on the Michael character in the foreground was overpainted -- see it at full size! -- and everything else in the shot is painted six ways from Tuesday, in about twenty layers, based on three photo references. This one was quite the job, and I'm really pleased with it.

The version you see here is one of two; the book cover version is rather different. The w:h ratio is different for a start (book covers are any multiple of 67:100 you like or need), and it has lots more blank space at the top, to accommodate titles. This one can afford to be darker, less contrasty etc. These days, book covers have to look good at 100 pixels high, in black and white! This hamstrings the artist somewhat; a lot of things you might like to do, you can't. So, for this one, after the cover version was finished I went back in and painted for fun.

Anyway the ruin in the background is Guisborough Priory. Have actually been there, when I was very young. I originally wanted to base the ruin on Whitby Abbey, but the fact is, that one is way too well known. The gargoyle started out as a snapshot of a real gargoyle statue, somewhere in the world. I don't know where it is, but I believe it's fairly famous in the world of gargoyle spotting. It's actually a marvelous piece of sculpture; I wish I knew more about it. The painting was done from that.

Incidentally, the jeans Michael 4 is wearing are actually an old, old Michael 3 prop. With a bit of jiggery-pokery you can make them fit. The hair is the Aether toupee, which renders up nicely. It would probably look good in LuxRender too ... this image uses just a raytrace for the figure: since it was going to wind up very dark, and especially since it was always going to be extensively over-painted, there was no reason to invest about four hours in a Lux project. Must try that next!
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