Sunday, May 5, 2019

Elves, winter, misty rivers, Science Fiction heroes ... quite a grab bag!



A grab-bag of goodies today -- we're all over the spectrum. To begin: Beauty, for its own sake. Actually, there's an ulterior motive. I have an idea for a story, a huge story, and I can't resist designing the characters for it! I might write this one. (Yes, I do write. I just finished a movie, in fact. No, I haven't sold it it. Yes, I hope to. Duh. No, I'm not in negotiations with a studio. Yes, I'll blog it here, and on my personal blog, if/when it ever happens ... and it's a one a thousand shot, so...!) So right here is one of the characters from my story idea. Yep, an elf. It's a fantasy ... but not what you expect. Neat texture on the shirt ... made it myself, in Serif Page Plus!

Next ... an actual digital painting:


That one is actually quite neat, and it was unplanned. I set this up as a Bryce 7 Pro render, and waited over two hours for the program to give me an estimate of how long it wanted to render it. TWO DAYS. I said, nuts to that, and turned it off! Then I thought, hmm ... and set it to give me a regular preview image, without even any anti-aliasing. That gave me a very rough sketch, which I put into Photoshop and, uh, painted. (Understand, I can not draw to save my life. But I can composit anything you like. I like this a lot -- and it didn't take long, once I shut down Bryce...

I think the length of the renders is getting worse lately, as the desktop gets closer and closer to having to be upgraded before it becomes useless. I'm under 6GB of harddrive space now, and this means it's waaay short on "swap disk space," or thinking space. Can't go very much further without that upgrade, so -- wish me luck at the dentist, on Friday! If he doesn't take all my cash, the computer is next on my agenda.)

And then...


Figuring out the other day that I can load several trees on the same coordinates, duplicating the foliage to make a much more convincing tree -- well all that gave me an idea. How about deleting the foliage this time around, leaving the winter tree? And how about seeing if we can work out how to simulate snow ... without getting into Bryce, which is soooo slow now. Well, this is about the best I can do in DAZ Studio raytrace, but it's actually not too ad at all.

Rummaging around, I stumbled over this, which I did a couple of years ago and never uploaded here, though I believe I did put it on my personal blog:


And lastly for today ... am messing about with rebalancing techniques, Photoshop work which makes "more" of simpler, old images. Hmm. This is interesting, especially since (and I sob as I say this) I've lost a lot of the 2011 project files. They are just ... gone. I can't get them back, so you're stuck with whatever is online at the gallery etc., etc., and shots like this one, below, need to be reworked:


That's Richard Vaurien and Neil Travers from Hellgate, of course ... two of my all-time favorite characters (especially Vaurien). I would love to tell you I have the project file and was able to re-render this, but that file doesn't even seem to exist now. I'd have to recreate this stuff from scratch. I did this shot about seven years ago, and like so many of the old pictures, they were great ideas, but they could be so much better. The only thing I can do right now is rebalance them, take care of occasional artifacts that got through in the render, add Photoshop "post" work to make them more vivid and interesting. The rest of the work will have to wait ... soooo much other, new, stuff to do first! Including this enormous story idea of my own to pursue.
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