Monday, March 11, 2019

Vows of knighthood, and a wild horse

Just two pictures today ... because each raw render took over an hour, and then there was the painting, and -- well, try that with a splitting headache! I always loved the "Knighthood" fantasy, with the winged Guardian (aka Raven) and the squire ... and this is the third time I've reworked it. The old, old render (2012) is already a nice picture, and a very good idea, but it could be so much more. I staged it again for LuxRender, and it's one of those very few images that don't look as good in Lux as they do in the original raytrace! So, I thought -- what the heck, let's have another go at it and see what I can do now, in 2019. So --

Left: the raw raytrace, ready for painting (you'll need to see it at large size, of course), and right (duh), the painted version. The painted details are everywhere, on everything, including --

-- the young squire who's taking his vows and getting his weapons has freckles! The skinmap is very nice, but very flat. Everyone in the 3D 'verse seems to have utterly perfect skin. I couldn't resist getting in there and painting freckles while I was in Photoshop, doing the candle glows and smoke, and shadows and what have you. Neat!

In fact, there's a lot of painting on all the really good pictures you're seeing now. The horse shots are done very differently, as I was saying yesterday, and it's worth sharing this:

As you see, the horse (it's the Millennium Horse, from DAZ) is rendered without the mane and tail. Then those are added in, in Photoshop, using 2D digital magic from CWRW, and an awful lot of jiggery pokery from yours truly!

In order to get a black horse to light and render properly, the foreground wound up too bright, so I painted that down too, and we were good to go. If I do say so myself, that's a heck of a nice picture. I also find myself looking at the two shots -- the Raven with the young knight just taking his vows, and the wild horse ... are these images from the same story? Hmmm.

There's a new(ish) horse model on the 3D market too: the Hivewire Horse:

I look at this, and I drool. To say it's generations better than the old Millennium Horse it putting it mildly. US$29.95 for the model ... which needs DAZ Studio 4.9+. Uh huh. I am going to have to bite that bullet and get Studio 4 eventually. Mind you, I've been looking at the forums lately, and it turns out that after 4.6 (or is it 4.8??) this is virtually the same as having a Studio 5. It's not at all the same, apparently, as the absolute turkey I tried -- and loathed -- all those years ago. And since I do have an NVIDIA video card, I can use IRay. Nice when something works out. 😏

Anyway ... just the two pictures, because a LOT of work went into them, and I've been nursing this splitting headache all day. And the back. And the foot. And ... urg. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: being disabled sucks. On the positive side of it, I have all the time in the world to do art, though, so -- silver linings and all that.
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