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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February 29, 2008

Humans 1 Machine Intelligence 0

Happy Leap Day everyone! Here's a wacky blog to commemorate the occasion, but not just any wacky blog, a disturbing whack-job wacky blog. I've been writing a series of blog articles at R.G. Male's Dark Corners about horror settings with psychics, as a part of dealing with designing such an RPG game. I recently posted a topic titled "Anatomy of a Horror Setting #14: A Terrifying Example of Complexity and Control". It was the second time I delved into the way that abusive people achieve and maintain control over their victims, from an evil psychic's perspective. I described a lengthy scenario involving elements from the previous look at the topic along with others ideas from previous articles, and I paved the way for an article, again, discussing evidence, from a different angle.

Here's where the dark wacky and today's title come into play. On the blog I have Google ads served at the top. I only have one ad block if you look at the main page of the blog. If you look at individual blogs it's the same thing but on a one block for one blog basis in comparison. I returned to the blog a few days after posting it and found "interesting" ads being served. The most notable of the two ads was for dog obedience training. Talk about inappropriate, humans being subjugated effectively compared to dogs being trained. The other ad was for personality testing. Certainly if someone is enslaving another person we can tell what kind of personality they have without a test. While I may get a dark kick out of the creepiness implied here I doubt too many others would see any humour to it.

Music: Too Much Too Soon by Green Day.

February 25, 2008

No More: Preventing Sales Addiction

I was weak once more, but I must say for the last time. No more buying stuff on sale, and plain old no more buying for a while. I went ahead and I gave into the sale on Aiko 4. Due to the fact that somehow I hadn't spent it--I think because nothing else I bought recently allowed for it--I had my $5 Platinum monthly voucher thingy left so I did indeed as the sale said buy Aiko 4 Pro Bundle for $36.98 total. Yay evil credit accumulating me! I'd wanted a full Aiko for injecting and such for the longest time--since buying Victoria 4 I'd guess. I looked at cheaping out and getting the lesser package but for the price difference and the extra and lovely add-ons I went the heavier duty route. Needless to say for weakness and giving in to more dept I'm pretty happy.

The full set came with the characters Isa, Arisu, Ami, Luna, and Hillary. Sources close to me might wildly speculate that the deciding factors for me were Ami and Luna, but they'd be wrong... no senshi were involved in this. PVC Gear D was a huge factor, and Diahme Hair didn't hurt. One of the really nice things in Aiko 4 is the blurring of the lines and cross-contamination with Victoria 4.3 which I also gleefully downloaded. I already went to work with these new characters and put together both "I Couldn't Possibly, Could I?" and "A Friendly Command" (Nudity). There are some things I would like to say about these figures and the new and different functionality, and the characters, but that will have to wait for another day.

Music: Paint It Black by the Rolling Stones.

February 11, 2008

Oops, I Did It Again

Oh woe is I, victim once more to the great sale prices on items at Daz3D. Not to mention the Platinum discounts, and the monthly voucher. I bought Tharyn for $3.74, and Tayla for $15.95. When I started working with them I discovered that I must say I wish the prices had been reversed. Good thing I stripped $5 off of Tayla as a regular priced (or at least non-Platinum) buy. I also grabbed Bedroom Furniture for the Dream Home Master Bedroom, as well as the Eclectic poses/maps for that furniture. Both of those were the nice nifty $1.99 that has fuelled most of my buying for Daz3D. Now I have to see if I can resist anything else that comes along and isn't free. Certainly there are enough nice freebies to keep me going.

I started right away using some of these items I bought. I set up the bedroom, with the furniture, a figure, some lights, and then I placed a point light inside of a lamp within my picture. Then I rendered. The lamp was lit up exactly like I wanted it. However, there is a super bright blotch of light smeared on the wall next to the lamp. I'll have to see if moving the point light away from the wall fixes it or not, otherwise I think I'll have to set up two spotlights in it's place. This brings me to a glitch that is something of a pain for me. If I apply light sets and then undo them and apply another set, sooner or later an error will occur. I think it doesn't do it if I manually delete the lights rather than undo. Kind of a pain, but I guess as long as it saves me from crashing.

Music: Drones by Fear Factory.

February 4, 2008

Depth, Dimension, and Waxy Goodness

The next step for my spell-casting picture is to draw myself a nice magical circle. Borrowing from the realm of role-playing I am going with a typical pentagram--five-pointed star within a circle--for my basic design as the basis of what is required to summon an extaplanar being. What this means to the layman is that the being, the monster, the entity, or the creature comes from another plane of existence, another dimension. This stuff is typical in both fantasy and horror, and if I need to say it I will, is not meant to be a reflection of anything real, at least from me, I can't of course speak to the originators of such conventions of fiction. I will take the basic pentagram and add to it. Such additions will include mystic symbols that I am just going to make up myself, and some enhancements.

For these enhancements I envision swirls or something akin to scrollwork (pun not intended for once). I do know that the circle will be done in wax by the character. To that end I want to add some depth to them, at least a faux three-dimensional look to them. I don't know how to go about doing that. I am not a traditional artist, and I only took drama in high school, to cover my art requirement. I can draw a cylinder by hand. I've never done it with a circle tool in Paint Shop Pro. Of course all of the edges will be sharp if I do only that. Anyone have suggestions? Links to how-to's? Not that I expect there to be tutorials on rough waxen looking shapes. I imagine colour variation will be important too, especially if I have to fake shadows. Should I maybe learn to make this circle as an item in Daz3D?

Music: Learning to Fly by Stratovarius.

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Robert G. Male

Name: Robert G. Male
Location: Ontario, Canada

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