Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Fantasy in DAZ Studio: Swords in the Sunset


...A raytrace in good old Studio, with a mountain of Photoshop painting. The background was worked separately, of course, starting with a sunset shot. Depth of field is ON, with the focus set on the hand that's holding the sword, so the face is juuuust a little soft, which gives a gorgeous effect:


This also has the effect of concentrating the focus of the piece on the weapon and, by extension, on the skill demanded by the weapon, which is very fitting for this story. Yep: book cover assignment.

The model is DAZ's Michael, of course, but the face and body were designed by me. This is a character I created a few years ago ... and I'd love to see how he'd render up in Lux. The skin map is Atlas (from Renderosity); the hair is Akaste (ditto), with just a little hand-painting added. The sword is the VAL Rapier Mystic, but I did change out all the textures for my own. The costume is a mix of bits and pieces, bit from here, bit from there, and again, I switched out most of the textures. 

The lighting: firelight, with very soft shadows. As  mentioned, depth of field is ON, with the virtual aperture set at f/22, so you get decent DOF even in very soft light. (The setting for the story was a caravanserai on a desert road, in a fantasy world ... the assassin and the fire juggler; and it all played out between one evening and the next dawn, as I recall.)

The flavor and quality of this one is closer to painting than render. I'm almost tempted to go in and plunk a canvas texture on it. Should I??? Naaah. It's way too nice as it is. 

Well, this is a fairly luscious fantasy; just not the one I was planning! Once again I got stuck for time and opted for something I knew I could do in the available hours, rather than starting something and shuffling it off onto the back burner "for another free afternoon." This turned out not to be the free afternoon I'd been hoping for. So -- try again tomorrow. I think this makes five covers  I've done ... a couple more, and this part of the assignment is complete. Then I'm on a break and will be "doing my own thing." And yes, there's some technicolor stuff percolating in my brain. Got a whole new fantasy project on the simmer.
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