Pawn of the Neví Cover Art, part 4 - Viking Visual Art Tutorial

Last time I showed you some of the steps I used in building the set for my balcony scene with Saara and Viper.

This time, I'll take that set and dive into the world of rendering... until I end up with this:

Again, I am using DAZ 3D Studio for this work.

Some of the steps leading to this picture.

One of the most important things I'll say here is that you don't need to do a complete render until you're pretty much certain everything looks good. Pretty much as soon as I can see the preview, I look and take notes about what needs to be fixed.

So, here was my 1st attempt at a render.


I had a whole bunch of things going wrong here...
The skull cap for Viper's hair has a plastic finish.
Neither of them are supposed to look Caucasian.
The lighting is like daytime
Most of the set pieces should be in a sunset glow, not looking like broad daylight.
I'd also lost all the color from my sunset picture.

The hair was the easiest thing to correct.
I then changed the colors on my characters. Saara is meant to be tan and Viper is meant to have olive skin.
I lowered the lighting and changed the settings for the set to make it more eveninglike.
I changed the surface colors on the set pieces to reflect the sunset color.
Finally, I worked with the settings for my Game of the Neví set to try to get the sunset photo look right.

Here is the 3rd attempt:


Hair fixed, but it is now not red enough.
Lighting is still abysmal and their skin colors are way too dark and I've got no olive on Viper at all.


Okay, now he's way too olive! This is not an easy coloring to portray!!!
I also hadn't yet changed the coloring of the balcony, so that happened next.

I think this is also about where I added a couple more distant lights and turned them down, to create the evening light, plus light the other sides of my characters without overpowering everything.

Something else I had to remember to change was to add some makeup to Saara, just some lipstick and nail polish. (I don't usually wear any makeup, so I tend to forget these things.) I would have added earrings too, but didn't see any I liked, plus the angle of her head made them less than essential.

(During this time - about 7 renders - the scene grew way too dark, so I didn't include these pictures as I tried to remember how I fixed this problem in earlier images.)

Finally, I tackled environment and camera settings.
The former fixed the "daylight" settings. (I wish they had a setting that just said "sunset" or something useful!) The latter made better use of my light (and turned a 15 minute render into about a 3-hour marathon!)

Here's my second-to-last render. (I let this one finish.)


I'm really happy with this now. Viper's coloring is really good. (I made his hands browner which worked a lot better.) The backdrop with the sunset photo is working now, adding more light to the scene, as it should. The set pieces are contributing now more than distracting and the color of the whole scene is much, much better - without being too dark to see anything.

At this point, I made a couple of minor tweaks to the distant lights and rendered once more, letting it finish.

This seems to be the final for the balcony scene. I love how it worked together in the end.

I'm not completely done with this cover yet though - this set has been characterized with two separate images pulled together, so the next step is to take this render to GIMP and put it together with another image before taking it to Photoscape for finishing...

So, until next time...

All work done by myself on: Photoscape, Gimp, Krita, and/or Daz 3D Studio
Cross-posted on: Steem, Whaleshares, WeKu
Other parts of this tutorial: part 1, part 2 - correcting clothing and poses, part 3 - building the set

Past tutorials:

Photo salvages:

Droplet, Bellis Daisy, Baby Blue Flowers, version 1, version 2, 2-Spot Ladybug, version 1, version 2, Bridge Over River Kennet

Coloring Tutorials & Mini-tutorials:

Zen colouring #43, Zen colouring #39, Zen colouring #38, Zen colouring #37, Zen colouring #36, Zen colouring #35, Zen colouring #34, Zen colouring #33,

Butterfly Colouring #11, Butterfly Colouring #10

Halloween Artwork:

2018 - Pumpkin Patch Harvest
2019 - Haunted Pumpkin House, Jack-o-Lantern Forest Cemetery, Shadow in a Misty Forest

Miscellaneous Artwork:

Painting Wooded Easter Eggs

Lori Svensen
author/designer at A'mara Books
photographer/graphic artist for Viking Visual
verified author on Goodreads
find me on Twitter
blogging on: Steem, Whaleshares, WeKu

Discord Link


Join us in the Official Whaleshares server in the text channel "the-phoenix-project"

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