Saturday, April 20, 2019

Dartagnon ... and fighters on approach to a star-carrier. Neat!



Dartagnon, anyone?! Rummaging through old project files, I found this guy hiding away, and couldn't resist playing with the character and the concept. And yes, am able to infuse so much more skill into the treatment, it's well worth doing. The magnified detail and image integrity is everywhere, and perhaps nowhere more striking than in this detail shot:


For years, I grumbled that Michael 4's hands were the things that often "let down" a render: they were plastic, juvenile, child's hands, didn't look like a man's hard-worked hands. Uh, well, not really. You can actually squeeze this out of the old model (and an ordinary raytrace), though you do have to know what you're doing.

(For those who're trying: I used the Aged Morph, in Morphs++ for Michael 4, to bring up the bones and knuckles; then you apply a "venous map" to the limbs and adjust it till it's juuust right. Now, it's very difficult to even find a venous map for M4. Few characters (skinmaps) have a decent displacement or bump map packed along with the texture set, and if you want to buy a stand-alone venous map for M4, via DAZ marketplace, it's not cheap. The one I'm using was packed with the Native American skinmap ... now, what was it called? JM Falcon. It's highly recommended. First, it's a gorgeous skinmap ... I use it for the Joe Ramos character, at right below:


...left, above, is Gil Cronin. You're looking at Blue Raven 6 and Blue Raven 7 ... and I would dearly love to get back to these guys --

Also, the Falcon venous map is very good and can be applied as a bump map on top of virtually any other M4 skinmap, to great effect. The venous detail continues into the hands, and renders very nicely. So there you go: secrets revealed.)

Yeah, yeah, okay, I've caught the NARC bug again. No excuses. Blame Mel Keegan, it's all his fault. Am reading Death'd Head again for the twentieth time, and can't resist setting up images like this --



These were designed to look like frames from a movie: cinemascope. That would be Jarrat and Stone coming back aboard the Athena, in the VM 104 Corsairs ... ahem! Actually, it's J Hoagland's Dragonfly fighter plane (from the Renderosity marketplace), posed inside of the Starcarrier set (from the DAZ store??? I don't actually remember), with backdrops in Photoshop. In fact, Gil and Joe are standing in another part of the same set -- it's vast. One of my favorites.

So sorry to be absent again this month: blame it on iffy health. I just haven't been feeling well. I have LOADS of projects in my mind, but my body has to catch up with my brain. Being disabled is a major bummer. But with any luck, I'll be feeling better now, so ... art is on its way! Beefcake. Does one need a reason?!

Lastly, I was just tinkering with textures, mapping, lights and shadows...


That's actually not bad at all. Not spectacular, nor as immediately arresting as the aforementioned beefcake (!) but ... not bad as a new experiment based on an old, old one I did soooo long ago. If anyone has been following this blog long enough, you might notice that it's running up to its tenth birthday, and close to 1,000 posts, and over 900,000 hits. That is just ... amazing. Where did time go?!

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