Monday, October 14, 2019

A swordsman in the snow ... whooo!

Hunting around through the "assets" I bought a long, long time ago -- and never had the harddrive space to install! -- I came upon this skinmap: Ferendir, by a designer called "SixthSense." It's a gorgeous skinmap, and renders beautifully ... though I do admit, I painted the eyebrows, which are too pale and thin for my liking; and I also applied the SAV Atlas displacement mapping on the torso and arms to bring up good venous mapping. But just take look at this skinmap in closeup -- if you can, see it at full size:

That's superb. A pleasure to watch it rendering! Using the Atlas displacement maps adds an extra dimension to it; and I designed a new face to go with this map. This is not the Ferendir face morph, as packaged by the designer. To be honest, the original face doesn't do anything for me. You might like it, and the good news is, it's still available from Renderosity.

So, not wanting a teenager, I designed a face and body I like, and came up with this:

This is what I love about working with Michael 4: it's so easy, and so quick, to get results. Sure, Genesis  can be significantly closer to full-on photo-realism, but it takes soooo long to get anywhere, especially on a slow system like mine. With M4 you can create new characters on the fly in a snap. I rather like this face -- and the eyes are the brilliant green item from The Eyes Have it set:

The hair is hand-painted, based on the old Mario's Hair for M4, from Neftis Hair Salon. That doesn't render up so well (well, it's quick, but the downside to that is, you pay for speed in low-rez results: human hair isn't supposed to go around corners, and so forth), but it does give you a good base to paint over, and ... Photoshop to the rescue again.

The snow is an old .ABR brush, Ron's Magical Snow, from the days when Ron's brushes could be used with Photoshop Elements. Alas, his new brushes need the full on Creative Suite version, or whatever it is these days ... I can't use them. I'm still running Elements 9! It works, I own it outright, and I've no reason to change it, since it does everything I want it to! The only thing is, sometimes people come along with fabulous new brushes which I can't use; but there's a free site, All Free Download (dot com), which is loaded with old fashioned brushes. They are absolutely free and this is not one of those sites plagued with viruses and such antisocial rubbish. It's perfectly safe, and the worst thing you might have to do is look at a couple of pay-per-view commercials in exchange for downloading some very good .abr brushes. Enjoy!

This sword is Merlin's Katana ... but I've been unpacking loads of props from years ago, and just discovered that I own Xurge 3D's Ranger weapons! I had no idea I had these -- expect to see them very soon. I honestly have no idea what I have stashed away from 2013 or so. Even though I didn't have the harddrive space, I shopped a lot of sales, grabbed fantastic special offers. Now's the time to bring them out, dust them off and play! The Ferendir skinmap is one such stashed item. It renders as well as anything I've ever seen, and with the pixel and shadow sampling settings cranked way up on 3Delight, the resolution is brilliant. That skin absolutely glows.

The costume is the bottom half of Xurge 3D's Medieval Royalty cossie; you saw the whole thing yesterday. Now I've got the surface texture adjustments worked out to get good results in Studio from an item configured for Poser, it's easy to work with...

And so to bed. More tomorrow! 
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