Learning Dark Arts

Come learn the art of 3D computer generated art and animation. This blog deals with the lessons learned and the art created by Robert G. Male using DazStudio from Daz3D. Also covered are the ancillary software, tools, techniques, and processes needed both before and after rendering in the 3D software.


Spell casting woman.

R.M.T.P. Co.


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October 27, 2008

Fake Ghosts

This is the season for ghosts and such--for people who aren’t into the subject all year round. I have pwGhost for DazStudio, but thus far have not taken much time to work with it without the presets. The presets give very specific looks. I recently decided to try to make some ghostly pictures with different looks. Now is a good time to talk about what I have in mind. I wanted first and foremost to deal with more transparent figures without the glowing look. I have other considerations I want to take into account such as leaving the colours alone or controlling the colour in specific ways, using other alterations, and creating certain ethereal to almost out of focus kinds of effects. I decided the best course of action to make my images was to use some tricks I already know.

For my ghost I set a figure, rendered it, and took it into PaintShop. It will become the Surface of a Plane primitive. The render’s background colour must be black. My blog “Crystal Clear” prescribed setting a greyscale ‘Opacity’ image in the Surfaces window. Whites will remain opaque, greys translucent, and blacks transparent. The Opacity image needed its brightness increased making more of the figure closer to white for great control. In Daz the plain image is then loaded into the ‘Diffuse Color’ Surface control and the greyscale into the ‘Opacity’ control of the Plane’s Surface. The plane then needs to be scaled. The actual Opacity can be adjusted further. Colour can be added to alter the ghost’s appearance. Next time I will get to further changes to the ‘Color’ image for varied effects.

Music: Chemical Wedding by Bruce Dickinson.

October 20, 2008

High Mark Water Mark

As a part of my designing a whole new website for myself, Battered Spleen Productions, I was set the task of having to build many different kinds of images. Among those were backgrounds for the various sub-sites, like the gallery I created for my dark and disturbing images, not all of which are available at Artzone. One of those background images gave me some trouble. After I had settled on what I wanted the background to be I set about making it. It evolved into a complete different form than which I had started. This new form looked good just the way it was except for one thing. I foresaw that it could make people dizzy, and certainly it was the kind of image that gives me eyestrain. This meant that something had to be done to it.

I concluded the change needed was to dilute the image after a fashion. I decided to turn it into a watermark, of the company stationary kind--opposed to the software kind. The best analogy for those company watermarks is transparency. I am sorely lacking a good way to create partially transparent images. I do not have the software to affect layers of an image like that, and I’ve had limit success using masks. That left me with one obvious avenue... use DazStudio to make it partially transparent. The background colour in Daz is important to this. It impacts the brightness and contrast of the image. I could make it bright and perhaps a little eerie or I could make it dark and moody. The final result makes me think I can hear that defining note of music from the movie “Hellraiser”.

Here is background tiled a few times... Learning Dark Arts Background

Music: Vengeance is Mine by Alice Cooper.

October 13, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

It's Thanksgiving today in Canada. Happy Thanksgiving all you Canucks out there, home and abroad! It's also Columbus Day, Happy Columbus Day! It's also the 13th of the month! Woo!

What am I thankful for? Well despite the issues old, new, and persistent, I am thankful for Daz3D. If I didn't care I wouldn't complain.

Music: Doing All Right by Queen.

October 6, 2008

The Deformative Years - Part 2

Now that the basics have been covered its time to put a D-Former to use. Start by creating a torus Primitive (Major Diameter 1 m, Minor diameter 30 cm, 24 Segments, and12 Sides). Select this torus in the Scene window and create a new D-Former, which parents the D-Former to the torus. The D-Former Field surrounds the torus, the Base is centred vertically and horizontally inside the torus, and the D-Former itself appears as a several rings of points on the torus. Select the D-Former. The basic deformations can be made on the Parameters Tab. The Translate dials stretch the torus in the direction chosen. Stretching the Y makes the torus begin to form a cone, or dome, that doesn't close. X and Z translations pull those directions and make the trailing side of the torus fatter than the leading one.

Translating the Y far enough forms a smoke stack and raises the torus from its position. Set the Y translate to only 86. Move down the Parameters to Rotate. Y Rotate causes the torus to spiral shut. X and Z Rotate cause the top of the torus to bend and rise on one side or the other. Set the X Rotate to 80. Move down to the Scale dials. The overall Scale dial causes the existing deformations to stretch. The X, Y, and Z Scale dials stretch only in the their specified directions. As long as deformations have been made with the D-Former, then changing the Transforms of the D-Former's Base or Field will further distort the object, though some changes have no effect. Play around with them. This torus properly deformed and mapped would make a nice beanbag chair.

Music: Crossfire by Scorpions.

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About Me

Robert G. Male

Name: Robert G. Male
Location: Ontario, Canada

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Suggested Reading:

This scary book

available at Battered Spleen Productions™.

Suggested Listening:

This free scary audio book

available at Battered Spleen Productions™.

Learning Dark Arts is a presentation of

Battered Spleen Productions™