Sunday, December 30, 2018

CG heroes on a slooow New Year's Eve afternoon...

CG character design in DAZ Studio and Photoshop
Assignment to self: create a still -- maybe a promo shot -- for a movie that doesn't exist. Okay, you take the latest two characters I've created and put them into a scene. They're doing something ... there's a heated discussion going on here. A chest, a lantern, an ancient brick wall. You want to know what's going on here! I do like these characters ...

...the one on the right is wearing a cushion cover we used to have some years ago, LOL. I took a photo of it, something like 2011, and it's still in my textures folder. Couldn't resist.

Once again, a tiny bit of Gaussian blur (0.3, on an image that's 2000 pixels wide is just fine), and a tiny bit of film grain to "knock the edge" off the too-too-sharp digital render. Then I blasted the gamma way down and cranked up the contrast, which has the effect of crushing the shadows, which is something the eye is so accustomed to in genuine photography, you expect it. It all adds to the illusion that this isn't a render ... or, if you consider this from another angle, it also gives you the ability to squeeze a leetle bit more out of the old raytrace!

In the new year I'll dabble in Lux again. I have three new characters to play with: these two (who look to me like, oh, professional soldiers on a job); and then there's the conjurer from last week. It's going to be interesting  -- very! -- to see how they render up in Lux. Or even if. Fact: some skinmaps look horrible in LuxRender.

Interestingly ... I put a jacket on the older, taller dude for a good reason: Michael 4's elbows look pretty awful when they bend. Looks like you bent a hollow tube till it almost cracked. Ack. This is one reason (I know, I know), to switch to the Genesis figure. One day when I have enough spare cash, I will. Eventually. It won't happen any time soon, so in the meantime, let's just see how clever we can be, getting around the shortcomings of the old system. (Dang -- there was a time what I'm doing now was absolutely state of the art, y'know!) But if you want an irresistible reason for making the change when the cash will accommodate it, consider this catalog shot, at left! Uh huh. That's a skinmap and body morph known as Rex for Genesis 8, wearing the Elan hair, also for Genesis 8, and a whole bunch of costume bits (also for Genesis 8, duh) ... cool. But to get anywhere close to rendering this I'd have to drop a lot of money. We'll just set that date off into the future and have fun with what we got.

If there's one thing I really do appreciate, it's the Genesis 8 hands:

Anyway, gives me something to work towards, doesn't it? And in the meantime --

New Year's Eve is upon us. On this side of the dateline, 2018 has a little over nine hours left to go. I won't be signing off on any more art this year, and the next time I sign something, it'll say say 2019! So --

I'm going to say Happy New Year to all. I need to go and straighten the place up in preparation for a buffet dinner, so ... that's it from me, folks, for 2018!

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