Monday, April 22, 2019

And speaking of skinmaps and characters --

Last post, I was talking about the Falcon skinmap for Michael 4, which I use for the Joe Ramos character, and I found myself wondering ... I wonder what Joe looks like with that hair unbraided? So... there you go! In the books, he's described as half San Carlos Apache, one quarter Mexican and the rest Dublin Irish ("a big beauty, and he knows it"), and this, above, works for me! (All due credit to Mel Keegan, without whom Joe Ramos would not exist. Next time, we'll have another look at his partner, Blue Raven 6 himself, Gil Cronin.)

Thought you might like a closeup look at the skinmap (as well as the character. As I said, highly recommended, not merely because it has a lovely texture and color, but also because it has a terrific venous map which even renders up in LuxRender (a lot of bump and displacement maps either don't work at all in LuxRender, or they look terrible for reasons I never worked out). I used it here:

This one is worth looking at at larger size, to see the detail you can wrangle with this bump map. And yes, I know, I have GOT to go back into LuxRender. Soon. I've gone as far as you can in old fashioned raytracing, and yes, the results are sooo nice. But even so, there's a leap when you get into a proper "unbiased" render engine. Lux is the one I have (albeit an ooold version), and the way things are looking, it will be an even longer time before I can get my computer rebuilt to handle the new software, and IRay. (*sigh* It's all about dentists, how much they charge ... and I think I'm buying this guy a bloody Lexus.) So we'll muddle along with what we have, and see where we can go.

In fact, I'm taking some of the old existing renders and running them through Photoshop just to see what can be done to smarten them up with a little image restoration and enhancement, since the raytraces themselves are pretty good, and the ideas behind them were terrific...

It's actually quite surprising what you can do with five minutes and Photoshop Elements 9! These are great ideas. Right now, I'm trying to find the project files, and they're squirelled away somewhere on the old harddrives, eluding me. Would love to say, "Oh, let's re-render this!" But, not without the project files. I had an absolutely loony way of filing things, back in 2010-11, and actually didn't have the disk space to save everything. I find myself wondering which files got trashed to save space. 😨

Anyway ... more soon. Let's revisit Gil Cronin (hey, I promised beefcake), and then, all being well, I'm onto something new. Ideas buzzing in my head...
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