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 rending in the 3D software.
It's been a few weeks now, even past the last time that I talked about the old one, but I bought myself a copy of PaintShop Photo Pro X3. My anti-virus program pitched a fit one day and decided one of the files in my PaintShop Pro 6 was a Trojan or something and before I sorted out what it was doing the file was gone, never to be seen again. Of course this meant the program would no longer load. After some other rigmarole I ended up with the new version at a very excellent half price. I used it on a free trial first to run it through the paces and make sure that it had everything that the old one did. If it was missing anything I'd be using G.I.M.P. now even though it was missing a vital tool that I cannot do without. That tool is colour replacing.
The new program is not without some bumps. For instance I cannot sort out how to use the bezier curves in the new one. I end up with sinuous S curves with no control, rather than half circles and ovals with qualities varied from the base shape at my discretion. Next, I'm not sure why but I often have to save my work twice, even going so far as entering the file name twice before it actually saves a file, and then like a glitch in the old one I do have to check that the image saved as more than a blank canvas or as a corrupted file that won't open. There is also a serious problem that font sizes in the new program do no correspond to font sizes out of it. This was never a problem before. I make note of sizes so I can duplicate text for changes later on, and now they do not match up to old art, desktop programs, or browser text, which were always identical previously.
One last problem is with cut and paste. I will paste something into a scene and deselect it and the bottom pixel width goes missing. I can only undo the deselect and then merge all layers down to fix it. I cannot just directly merge immediately or it will cut it off and require a second try anyway. It's also very challenging to have to merge layers before I am ready to do so, whereas before I could only merge when I was done with the separate layers.
There are a number of new functions to me in this new version, though some people may be familiar with them from interim versions. Discussion those will have to keep for the future when I get into what I have been doing with these new functions and tools.
Today's little tutorial isn't original--I saw a video--but I've made it my own for use with older or less feature capable image editors. Not to mention I had to put my own creepy
touches on them in the examples. For reference I am using an old copy of PaintShop Pro, but I'm guessing I could get the same results using the freeware G.I.M.P. The hardest part will be for you to pick your colours and place the text in whatever other image you want to use it, which is an issue I avoided in my examples.
Take your text and make a copy of the bottom half of the text or more. I used the top of the middle bar of the R's to decide. Flip the copy horizontally so that it is upside down.Put this aside into a separate image. In this separate image take the eraser and remove part of the bottom of the text--what used to be the top of the letters--the part furthest from the mirror line. My removal was uneven but as smooth as I could make it. Now take this text--it will still be the colour of the original text at this point--and paste it into a new layer in the original image. Place the partial mirrored text up against the original text only overlapping where required to make all of it touch the original. Now there are different options for colouring.
The colour of the mirror image should be a flatter, duller version of the original text.The reason we put it in a layer is so that we can alter the opacity of the layer. That will change the colour of the text. I made mine 50% opaque. That was not really good enough, and I wanted the mirroring to fade out. Your image editing software may be able to do that, but mine does not. However the fix was easy using linear gradients. I made the gradient run from the half-opacity colour to the darkest colour the background would have.
I made the gradient run from the half-opacity colour to the darkest colour the background would have. That meant I chose the image's background gradient first. This makes the mirrored part fade into darkness somewhat faster than the background. I also used a gradient on the original text but that was a matter of personal taste.
I was asked to show off some of the work I was doing with the new Daz products that I bought a while ago. I have been putting together pages, lots of pages to be precise, for my Grotesquerie over at my Battered Spleen Productions site, but they are not quite ready. Before I get to what I am showing off here today, which will be a part of the massive Grotesquerie update, I wanted to talk a little bit about what I should post where. I've decided that almost all of my art will go up in the Grotesquerie, but only select pieces, and maybe select versions at that, will be going up at Artzone. One of the sets or class of items I want to post in my Artzone gallery are some quick renders. These are where I have bought a set, or decided to show one off, and just quickly picked a good angle and put in some simple lighting. I only have three or so of these so far and two are of the same set with different lighting.
As for today, I have the image that I've titled "Still Chasing" for you, of which I am showing the clean or clothed version. Yes that means there is a nude version, and it will be in the Grotesquerie. The image uses the West
Park Lobby for its stairs. The greatest amount of time spent in creating this render was the shadows. I still struggle to get shadows to fall where I want them to fall, and in a lot of ways even when the shadow is positioned where I want it, it does not have the qualities I want, most notable of which is length. Long, drawn out shadows seem out of reach. They certainly are not easy to create even in postproduction because then they do not "adhere" to the surfaces visually, nor do they vary in intensity between vertical and horizontal portions, or fade naturally at the edges. On the other hand the ghost effect is exceedingly easy to make, and effective, with transparency layers in postproduction.