Thursday, April 25, 2019

Beefcake, as promised!

As promised, a fresh look at Blue Raven 6 himself, Gil Cronin. That's James Cargill Cronin, to those who know this stuff, nudge, wink! (Credit where it's due: major thanks to Mel Keegan, without whom Gil would no more exist than would Joe Ramos, Jarrat and Stone, and the rest of them.)

This is a terrific character to render, because the camera loves him ... and you can get the fastest raytraces on record, because since he shaves his head you don't have to wait forty-five minutes while the computer does several trillion calculations to render hair. That's the basic, original high-rez Michael 4 skinmap on a face and body of my own design, with some additions: the hairy chest and forearms are hand-painted in Photoshop ... like the diamond stud earrings that are Cronin's signature:

I always liked this character, right back to the first book. Did I say 'beefcake?" Want more? Well --

I've been sorting through the old archives and rebalancing some of the images from yesteryear, and some of them are coming up very nicely indeed. This, in LuxRender:

This one, above, has also been resized: worth seeing this at large size: it's 1800 pixels wide now, and looks a treat on the larger monitors. That looks like the SAV Atlas skinmap he's wearing. It does render up beautifully. I call that character, and image, "Fugitive." Also...

This one is almost a reimagining of a 2011 image: enlarged, rebalanced, blue-shifted, lots of little things done to it, making the old raytrace infinitely more interesting. The truth is, you can get a lot out of raytracing if you know what you're doing. The shots of Gil Cronin are also raytraces ... it's becoming a lost, or forgotten art, in this day and age of LuxRender, IRay, SuperFly, Octane and what have you. That's too bad, actually, because ... Hmm. Well, I put this to you:
NOT an ad. A screen capture... do NOT click!

That's a capture off the actual flag-carrier advertisement for the new Victoria figure, the Genesis  8 female, and it would have been rendered in IRay or, less likely, SuperFly (Poser's answer to LuxRender). Hmm. I'm actually not all that impressed. This is the new Genesis figure, and she doesn't look one whit more realistic than a hell of a lot of the stuff I'm doing with the ancient pre-Genesis, generation 4 figure, and old school raytracing. Like, for instance --

And that is why I'm not going into hock to rebuilt the computer, and racing out to get Genesis 8 and IRay, plus a few grand's worth of "assets," meaning skinmaps and costumes. To be absolutely honest, the only thing about the Michael 4 character that bugs me royally is the way the joints bend. Knees and elbows do NOT bend realistically. If you're highly observational, you might have noticed that these days I tend to keep the arms a lot straighter, or if they're bent, I put a shirt or jacket on him. M4's elbows often don't look quite right when you bend them. And yes, I will get into Genesis and all the rest eventually ... but first, my dentist has a Porche he wants me to finish paying off for him. Ack. Got to get your priorities straight, right? Right.

More soon. I feel in the mood for a fantasy barbarian! Let's see what we can do tomorrow ... after I get home from the optometrist: having my eyes checked and 3D scanned. Dang, is it that time of the year already?
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