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.
Although I posted first about tan lines, before I ever made a picture with those, I did something similar with blushing. The process isn't all that different, and in fact it goes much quicker. First chose a character map for your figure. Then locate the file for the face surface. For Genesis this is listed as 1_SkinFace in the Surface Tab. Make a copy so you don't replace the original image. In this copy create a raster layer. Draw a shape you want for the blushing on one cheek of the map. I use a selection tool to make the shape. You can vary where the blushing occurs. You can put it across the nose even, but I found that made the person look feverish instead, or as if they had a bad cold.
Once you have your shape fill it in with an appropriate colour like RGB 160 0 3. I then take the shape from the one cheek, duplicate it, flip it horizontally, and place it on the other cheek. Now you use a Gaussian blur on the layer. I chose to do mine with a radius of 57. This smooths out the edges of the shape and gives it a soft, transparent border that blends out to the regular skin. This process makes for a deep, dark, colour blotch, so turn down the raster layer's opacity. I chose an opacity of 62%. Your mileage may vary. Altering the opacity also alters the colour so I went into the Red/Green/Blue controls for the image and set them to Red 13, Green 0, Blue 0. You might also want to alter the brightness and contrast of the layer. By this point you have done nothing to the background layer. Merge the layers down, if you are satisfied, and save the file as a .jpg, a .png or a .tif.
In DazStudio change the 1-SkinFace to the new map and render. In the alternative you can skip the opacity and colour changes and run two renders, one with the blush and one without and using layer opacity changes alter the appearance of the blush that way. I might do it one way with one image and the other with something else. It depends on how it looks. There may even be no difference at all depending on the lights that you use in your render. A person blushes the same colour regardless of the light, but that doesn't always work when rendering a scene. You may also want to consider adding blush to the neck and upper torso if you want. Some people blush that way, others do not. Same thing with most of their head turning bright red. Do it the way that looks best to you and represents the kind of blushing you want to show. Finally, this process also works for welts, hand slap marks, etc--if you work at the more complicated colouring it can do bruises too.
There will be no posts in August. Thanks to having to rebuild my software library I didn't take May off for programming updates. I waited until now. See you in September.
I often find myself trying to figure what to put outside of windows, behind trees and buildings, and just generally trying to complete scenes without putting everything against a wall. I have a couple skydomes, and there is the background system I bought that has a few sky options. All in all they seem pretty limited once you've rendered a lot of scenes with them and some are decidedly geared toward sunset and the early evening.
To combat this I've been hitting up free texture sites. They tend to focus on the same later daylight hours too. Or they are heavily overcast, not always the most interesting cloud cover, or too interesting a scene that don't want to repeat it in other images. This leaves it up to me to go out and get some better sky photos. It's going to take quite a while to do it. The weather isn't very cooperative. It's either too overcast or too clear. The sky below is not too bad. I'd like some more isolated clouds and wispier ones as well.
The other issue to contend with it having only skies and nothing closer to the ground. That still doesn't cover that most views out of house windows and the like also include neighbour's houses, or at least their roofs. That runs into trouble with permissions and the like.
Here's how I take the photos and put them into Daz. Rather than mess around with dimension issues just take your photo and change the canvas size to make the picture square. Use a bright simple colour--I use purple--not present in the edges of the scene as the background colour for the new parts added to the image to square it up. Then you use the square image as the diffuse image on a plane primitive. Increase the size of the plane and put it outside of the window. It's a juggling act between the size of the plane and how far away from the window you put it. The bright non-picture portions of the surface tell where you can place the plane within your windows. Two more surface dials have to be altered. Turn Glossiness to 100% intensity and Specular intensity to 0% so that lights do not reflect off of the plane. I change the Ambient colour to white and the ambient intensity to 20% to make the sky more vibrant in the render. This may vary depending on your lighting.
There are a few topics that I would like to cover in the short term, but I thought it best to talk about a little experiment I completed yesterday. It's summertime and with that comes a lot of outdoors activity. That of course leads to tans. Tans then mean tan lines when people change the shape of their clothes.
The first thing that I did was go into the Surfaces of my figure and change the Ambient Color and the accompanying strength. The new colour is darker with a touch more red hue. I took the lightness of the colour down to about 78% of what it was. I doubled the percent strength of that ambient colour. Despite being a darker, redder, colour this strength increase adds a certain glowing quality. Once I was satisfied with that I then went and adjusted the Diffuse strength, and only the strength. I dropped it from 90 to 65%. I think the combination of these two changes best represents a tan. You milage may vary wildly from character map to character map and even under different lighting schemes. For sunburn put in more red at a stronger percent, and don't adjust the diffuse down as much, though you may want to try other methods for bad burns and really red skin.
The next step is to pick out two sets of clothing. The first is worn when out in the sun and determines what parts of the body are tanned. The second is worn after and shows the tan lines on the figure. The easiest way to get the clothes cut out of the more covered image is to change their Surfaces to black in the Diffuse and Ambient, and turn off the Specular (make it 0%). Once you have done that then you overlay the now tanned parts over the untanned parts. The edges will need some smoothing out and beware of not cutting off or obscuring parts of the less covering set of clothes. This can get a bit tricky where long hair is concerned as well.
You can also adjust the amount of tan by layering the tanned version over the untanned version and changing the opacity of the tanned layer. I did this with two layers in my image to darken the legs more than the upper body. This was due to the lighting in the scene, particularly the way it falls down on the character. In fact I affected the brightness of the legs to make them darker than even the rendered surfaces provided.