Last time, I shared about my process in creating a new cover character as I created Jessten Sipper in preparation for my soon-to-be-shared book, Game of the Neví - coming in August.) I created Laisen Toban's character image without really recording the details since it doesn't really change a whole lot.
Posing, I covered a little bit in last week's update because the pose I need was a very challenging one and no presets I could find came even close to what I needed. Creating their fighting stances was definitely difficult, but I finally got there, I think. (You'll see in a minute.)
Here are some of the renders I cancelled (Daz 3D Studio) before they got very far... It's one of the nice things about the early preview - that I can see what's going wrong and stop it before investing very much time into it. (That's why the following images are grainy - because I stopped them mid-render.)
Obviously, we had some problems with the hair. When I looked at the surfaces settings, it was set to look plasticky, which is exactly what's going on here. So, I turned all those settings to "matte" and made his skullcap invisible. Which seemed to help.
The second thing I realized is that I'd forgotten about some of the coloring I needed. Jessten's eyelashes look white, she probably needs some color on her lips and nails and her eyes needed some further adjustment - as it seems to every time we mess with the skin color. (I don't tend to wear make-up or nail polish, so I sometimes forget this kind of detail in my characters.)
Things are looking a lot better now.
I've used the surfaces interface to make their shazes (their energy swords) yellow, as is more appropriate when they are in use.
I also put my background image (that I was adding in Gimp) on the actual wall prop (using the surfaces interface again) on Daz 3D - which also makes angling the image (and giving it depth) easier.
This picture, I still rejected due to the "dirty look" of the wall pattern at this size. So, I went back to Gimp and made the image tile and replaced the wall image with my new picture.
I still wasn't happy with this image due to its passive feel. The poses weren't quite right for an action scene. So, I went back and gave each of my characters a bit of a lean towards each other to increase the aggression in the picture. The change in angle also meant they had to be repositioned closer to each other, increasing the intimacy of the scene. They're making better eye contact now as well - and their eyes have better coloring. I even adjusted Laisen's grip on his weapon.
I even added a new point light to sit at the point of blade contact. I hoped I might be able to create a better effect with the light from within Daz, but that wasn't obvious. Still, it gives just enough of a glimmer to help me finish in Gimp.
Moving them closer to each other also allowed for a vertical crop of the picture - something I was aiming for anyway.
My final adjustments were in Gimp. I added more glow to the shazes, using a 50% opacity layer and a fuzzy paintbrush to give the illusion of glow. A lighter yellow first, then a darker yellow over the blade.
Finally, I added a lens glare to the point of blade contact to give some of the effect that a shaze bind would have. It also lends a bit to the fact it's supposed to be an action scene.
At this point, this frame is done. I'm thinking about doing a second, surrounding picture for this cover - to bring it back to the perspective of dealing with the Neví. I'm actually thinking about doing that one in Daz as well, mostly because I need angles that are not necessarily easy to do in Gimp. It also will relate the cover back to the title - in presenting (on the cover) the Game of the Neví.
All work done by myself on: Photoscape, Gimp, Krita, and/or Daz 3D Studio
Cross-posted on: Steem, Whaleshares, WeKu, Hyperspace
- Map Development for Alacantis (on GIMP), part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4
- Cover image for Acting the Part
- Cover image for Brighid's Blood (part of the update).
- Cover image for Birth of the Neví, part 1, part 2
- Map Development for Velantia, part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4
- Map Development for Kranisis, part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4
- Cover Image for Name of the Neví, part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6
- Beginning with Daz 3D Studio - my cover image for Mind of the Neví: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4
Coloring Tutorials & Mini-tutorials:
author/designer at A'mara Books
photographer/graphic artist for Viking Visual
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