Wednesday, February 20, 2019

The Barbarian ... Frank Frazetta style. (And flying Terragen to orbit!)


The Barbarian ... Frank Frazetta style
This might be the best single piece of work I've ever done, for dynamism, impact, technique across many levels and several programs (rendered in DAZ Studio, painted in Photoshop and Krita). It's a hybrid, neither completely a digital painting, nor completely a 3D render. (I've uploaded it at 2000 pixels high ... please do see it at full size!) It doesn't even look like a render --




What inspired me? Looking through the Icon art book. Seriously. I've always been a huge fan of the art of Frank Frazetta. His figures might not be as 'correct' as the textbook-perfect forms of artists like Boris and Julie Bell, but there's something about his work that connects with the viewer, a sense of immediacy, and kind of 'smack in the chops' impact, where the picture jumps off the page and hits you before you know what's happened! Stuff like this:

Fank Frazetta: yes copyright ... call this a free ad for Frank...
Frank Frazetta, as above. Free ad. Okay. 

Look, don't take my word for it. Go over to the Frank Frazetta gallery pages, or get on the facebook page, visit the Frazetta Museum site or even go to Pinterest, and ... see for yourself, if you don't already know what I'm rattling on about here! For me, Frazetta has always been one of the beacons of dynamic art. He was so different, not merely from Boris and Julie, but from virtually every other artist you can mention, and the dynamism speaks to me.

It was that dynamism I was after ... and the color control, symmetry, and so forth ... in 'The Barbarian.' Uh, Conan Who --? Nudge, wink. We'll certainly come back to this barbarian later. I can actually see him cast as something like Tarzan. Hmm. Lemme think a minute...

Also -- further Adventures in Terragen, as I negotiate the interface and find out what I can do. I was prepared to be amazed, and I am being amazed! Yesterday I worked --

From a patch of mud right at your feet (a fractal procedural terrain, for teeny detail):


...to a short from low orbit, right on the edge of the atmosphere of an exoplanet:


...and then back down to Earth for a 'beauty shot' where I was after something like the highlands of Scotland:


...Okay, the mountains are a bit too pointy to be Scotland! I know, it ain't perfect, but that does look like heather on the crags, and I do know how I did it, so I can do it again. Today, I'll experiment with water once more. The plan is to generate rocky islands in a sullen ocean under brooding, overcast skies (which itself will be a major project for a newbie like self), then drive the camera way up above the clouds, looking down from altitude, as if from an aircraft, and render the clouds from above. Now let's see if I can do it. In another week, I ought to be ready to work with 'objects' -- trees, boulders, plants --

Then the experiment will be how long the renders take, and if this little computer can actually do the work. If adding a tree (much less a forest) blows out the render time to a day, or several, I'll defer that kind of work for another time, when I can afford a much more powerful system. One thing I don't want to do is literally burn out this little thing. It's still new, and not woo wimpy  -- eight core processors -- but one thing about being disabled is, one learns to count the cost of things. I only bought this a few months ago, when my old laptop died after eight years of loyal service. I can't buy another computer (at those prices!) for some time. So, caution will be my watchword.
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