Friday, April 26, 2019

The Raze of Palenque, and SF heroes!

I promised you a barbarian, and here he is! I call this piece "The Raze of Palenque" ... but whether this Conan-clone (Clonan?) razed the temple or tried to save it is another question. I'm inclined to see Conan types as heroes, so maybe he waded in and saved the day. As you know, I'm a huge fan of Frank Frazetta, and I just felt like doing something in that vein today.

Actually, this is a very, very new spin on an ancient piece of work I did for a contracted book cover (The Swordmaker, from Renaissance eBooks, circa 2011, I think). The original work was set up as per instructions from the publisher, character, costume and all; but I always thought, "Dang, what a waste," because the art I was asked to execute was soooo pedestrian. I did the best one could with it, but ... sigh. At the end of the day it was a paycheck. What else is there? But, but, but...

No reason I can't lift out the character, even the pose, and do something fresh, spectacular and rewarding with it. Especially since eight years have gone by ... and don't think Renaissance is even still online. If the book is circulating anywhere, I don't know, so -- here we are.

(For the artists among you: believe it or not, Clonan here is an old fashioned deep shadow map render. I did a raytrace, yes, and this is one of the very few images that looks infinitely better on a plain old deep shadow map, which takes 1% of the rendering time! I have depth of field (DOF) turned ON, and a virtual f-stop of 50, to get this effect. A lot of what you see there was painted in Photoshop, however: you won't be able to score this right out of the render engine. Nice!)

Also --

...this is not a rerender, but a massive repainting of a 2012 image. I always loved this character, but I can't find the project files!!! 😭 Am right now searching high and low for them, on backup drives and so forth. Praying that I put them in some weird place ... I admit, I had a loony way of storing things back in those days. I actually deserve to lose itens. Ahem. Anyway --

Since I can't find (yet) the project files, I decided to put the old render into Photoshop and repaint it. Whoo! Gorgeous result. The original picture was a great idea, but the render was fraught with problems, including the fact that the mesh was trying desperately to come apart! I'd driven the bump mapping on the torso hard, to get real detail out of it, and it was showing the seams in the contours. Sooo, I've done a lot of work there, to correct that; hand-painted the hair, and the eyes; thrown the background out of focus to create proper DOF (which you get in low-light photography), and ... lots of little details, such as brightening up the building lights. It's a lovely result. Photoshop to the rescue yet again!


Just a repost of an oldie, for fun. This one is fine just the way it is, even though it was done eight years ago and painted in ... GIMP! I didn't even have Photoshop at the time. But when a picture is right, it's just ... right. This one is called "Cyborg," for pretty obvious reasons. The only thing I've done with the gallery image is to enlarge is to it'll serve as a wallpaper, if you'd like to collect it. You're welcome ... enjoy.

That's all for today. Good news from the optometrist: my vision has actually improved in the last year, no need to change my glasses, and I don't have to go back till 2021. Phew. Next: call dentist, make next appointment to stand there folding hundred dollar bills into paper airplanes (or aeroplanes, if you prefer) and launching them at the man. Then, if I get a more or less clean bill from him, we can start putting together the funding to look at the computer: new boot drive with contents cloned over; new NVIDIA video card; new USB sockets that don't waggle about; DAZ Studio, or whatever it is (they'll do anything but go to Studio 5), Genesis 8, IRay, and lots and lots of skinmaps and costumes, to get back to where we are right now with Michael 4. Ouch. Bear with me. 😱
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