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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May 25, 2009

To the Short Time and Beyond

I am planning to take a hiatus from blog writing for the entire length of June. This blog is one of them. During that time I expect to do a lot of coding work on my websites to get tag pages done and the Knowledge Base up and running. That will be good for this and all my other blogs. I'd like to put in some time working in Daz Studio doing some art. I might install the new version or I might not. Some updates have not been kind to me in the past. The language regarding the beta being free for Daz Studio 3 Advanced makes me wonder if the final release will not be free and what that means. Hopefully I'm just overanalysing. There are some pictures I have in mind to create next. Some of them are going to require testing of light conditions and casting shadows.

Hopefully the tests will provide some good fodder for blog articles when I return. I would like to do some more writing on form and function. One of the art projects I have in mind is a new book cover. It is going to require some customising of textures, creating some parts from other parts, and likely some deformers work with primitives. There is another project related to my art but not to this blog or actually creating any new scenes. I have everything worked out for a voting system to put in place in the Battered Spleen Productions™ Grotesquerie. It just needs to be written into all of the picture pages then everyone can rate the pictures on a 5 star rating system that determines half-star values even though the votes must be in whole stars.

Music: The Loser in the End by Queen.

May 11, 2009

Nononono Nononono Not-Batman

What looks like a bat, lives in places like a bat, but is a very different animal? That is the question that occurs when considering the Daasandara. It has the membranous wings rather than arms. Wings like that are conducive to wrapping around the creature when sleeping, providing warmth and shelter in the cold darkness. Bats tend to sleep hanging upside down by their feet. It's not a difficult proposition given their size and weight. The Daasandara though is larger, bulkier, and therefore heavier. This was one factor in deciding on something different, and minimally less bat-like. The tentacle hands on the fifth digit of the wings lack the requisite strength to allow it to sleep upside down. The tentacles on the creature's back, toward the top, are more than strong enough.

Beyond that requirement those long, thick tentacles allow the Daasandara to work with tools and manipulate objects with the tentacles hands while suspended. Here the creature's form and the different parts' functions impact the situations of the creatures' daily lives. This will dictate their habitat and ultimately the architecture of their homes and places of work. These details will inform other details such as their general social structures, interaction with other friendly species, and how they go about making war on their enemies. Just as peacetime endeavours are important so are wartime effects such as tactics and strategies that are apart of the game setting to which the Daasandara belong. Everything needs to, and will be connected and tied together for coherency.

Music: Know the Difference by Stratovarius.

May 4, 2009

Monstrous By Design Part 2

Designing creatures involves a push and pull between form and function. The tug of war continues throughout the design. This is especially true when the species is for use beyond making a good picture. My primary case for purposeful drawing is for a role-playing game. Someone will either take on the role of the pictured entity or several people will interact with one. This is also true of story writing except it is characters and readers that have the involvement. Last article's Daasandara is one such creation. Past the wing details included last time there were other considerations that came about during creation. These choices involved not only the wings or other limbs but also the mouth. I initially envisioned the creatures with the mouth in the top of the head.

The creatures would stuff food down into the mouth live and thrashing with the aid of little clawed fingers ringing the mouth. The final Daasandara has that mouth, but on the body's underside due of the down pointing wings. At this stage the wings had four supports, so a fifth was added with only two knuckles because of a different consideration than feeding the underlying mouth. The Daasandara are an intelligent species, meaning to some degree they require some kind of fine motor control. The setting lends itself to armed melee combat so tentacles seemed a good option. There two ways to do it with my Daz3D model selection. The octopus was an obvious choice offering fine control and the ability to circle back up into enclosed wings to slash at victims with small sharp knives.

Music: You're A Heartbreaker by Widowmaker

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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™