Thursday, September 29, 2016

Space pilot ... the ever-versatile Michael 4


The space pilot, rendered in two layers, so as to avoid having a big lighting battle between the foreground human and background spacecraft. The backdrop is a one of the HST photos, which was cropped and enlarged specifically to fit. The ship was raytraced with some new textures to get around some unwanted decals inherent in the original model; then that render was shipped out into Photoshop to be muted and blurred, in line with the current paperback vogue. I use a slight motion blur, which seems to look better than the usual Gaussian blur ... this 'shopped version was shipped back into DAZ Studio to be the background for the portrait. Lots of toing and froing, but, trust me, it's the most efficient way to do this, even if it does take an extra half hour.

Michael 4 is wearing the Jagger skinmap and the Aether hair; and the M4 flight suit with the mission badge darkened out. The character was raytraced against the existing backdrop, then shipped back into Photoshop for some adjustments in the gamma, contrast and so on.

(The last step was to import the "done" version of the picture into Serif to have the titles overlaid, but we're not concerned with titles here. In fact, I'll hit you with the promotion for these books later ... you'll have a chance to pick up a swag of ebooks FREE, from Amazon, B&N and so forth, and get hefty discounts on a lot of others. I'll let you know when the deal is on.)

Not much else to say about this one. I have SIX covers left to do, to get out from under this job, and though it's been all kinds of fun -- and yes, I have appreciated the work (!) -- I'll also be grateful to have it done.

One of the reasons is, I'm starting to actually WRITE on a new fantasy novel, and as I imagine the scenes, I want to illustrate them. Am dying to cast the parts and get some images going. More about that later.
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