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 22, 2010

Magazine Layouts Kill Time

This is the first blog entry about my magazine Killing Time - Horror E-Rag™. The natural place to start talking about the experience of creating art for the magazine is with the covers. It starts in DazStudio with the figure, the background, and the poses of each. There are two kinds of posing. One is obvious with the positioning of the limbs of the figure. The other is not quite so readily apparent, and is more about the composition of the shot, if we can look at the render as being an equivalent to a photograph that I have taken as opposed to being set designer, director, and lighting technician. This process is not different than creating any other rendered image, or photograph. What is different, or can be at any rate, is the focus of the image and the constraints involved.

Since this was the cover of a magazine other elements would be added to the image that otherwise would not exist there. Such elements include the header block with the magazine's title. There is also the UPC block for the ISBN and the issue number/information. Lastly are the article titles, which are there both to indicate what is included in the issue but also as a teaser to that content. Finally and less obtrusively, but just importantly, is the company logo at the bottom. These additional elements take up space on the cover and block parts of the image. These have to be compensated for during the composition of the image. It requires a bit of forethought. At the same time I did not layout the text elements to see where I could not place certain parts in the image.

Music: Legions by Stratovarius.

February 15, 2010

Dark Visions to Come

As I said last week first I wanted to take a look back at 2009 and then take a look forward at what I hope to talk about in 2010. There are some ideas that I already plan to discuss this year. There are surely countless others that may come up this year and on into the future, but I won't know them until they come to me or I find the art, ideas, etc that elicit me to write. That is the nature of creativity and the nature of covering it. As usual sometimes I will write about something I want to do yet, sometimes it will be about what I've already done, and yet sometimes during the writing of one topic I will stumble upon something else I want to write about and create a piece of art based upon as well. I also hope to branch out a little bit this year and get into new and different ideas and medias.

Early on this year I intend to run a series of entries here revolving around the art I have created for my magazine. Some of it is creating covers, some of it interior art pieces, and some of it text art. I'd like to give insights into how to go from text to image in the sense of bringing story scenes to visual life, which is also a part of the magazine work. To buy issues or see the cover images go to the Battered Spleen Productions Store. Later on I want to talk about some videos that I made. Both of them involve DazStudio animations as well as static scenes--in the form of information screens that are almost like silent movie placards. I have also made the first steps in a little video tutorial about using bits of different renders of the same scene with different conditions involved.

Music: Peace of Mind by Boston.

February 8, 2010

The Decade Cusp in Dark Art

This is the first time in the new year and new decade that I am posting here. Happy New Year. I thought that I would start off all of the blogs that I write with two special entries. The first is a look back at 2009. The second is a look forward at what I would like to cover in 2010. There was a fair bit of time off in 2009 on this blog leading to only a few topics that were covered. This number was lessened even more by some of them taking multiple parts while others were a series on a particular topic. There were a few that posed as simple heads ups that there would not be new entries. There was even an attempt at having guest bloggers. Of course that did not go over so well since I know a limited number of artists, at least ones that I was daring enough to approach with the idea.

The earliest entries took a look at creating custom eye maps using what I'd previously learned from mapping spheres into planets. The eyes led back to planets as I explored a way to create planetary revolutions and paths in space by connecting them to a human figure. Next were a couple weeks about photo stitching, which was furnished by Windows Live Gallery. Then I got into designing creatures and going from form to biological function and back. That led to revisiting role-playing game artists with some new faces. Then, out of the blue I popped out a rusted metal mesh tutorial. From there were discussions about strength in simplicity and strength in complexity. The year finished off with an interesting look at negative intensity lights to create darkness in a scene.

It was quite a ride. Next week I'll let you in on what's next to come.

Music: Wait for Me! by Aya Hisakawa.

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Robert G. Male

Name: Robert G. Male
Location: Ontario, Canada

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