Llynara's Loony Bin (WIP Thread)

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  • LlynaraLlynara Posts: 4,719

    I tried the yellow and it didn't look right, but the lettering is actually a very light gray, so I just made it white. It's subtle but I think it's an improvement. Thanks, dracorn!

  • dracorndracorn Posts: 2,195
    Llynara said:

    Thanks, dracorn! That's a great suggestion. I will try that and see how it looks. 

    Kat (BD Esther for V7) is wearing OOT's Cateye Suit and turned the spikes off. That is a really neat suit with lots of texture options and material zones. Her hair is Dragonfly Hair. She's actually wearing two copies. Something about that hair and some HDRIs makes it look stringy no matter how much I change the cutout opacity, so I duplicated the node. Her gun is from the Aeron outfit for G2F.

    Hugh (Sebastian for M6) is wearing The Marquis for M4. I fit it to him with the M4 for G2M clone. The collar crumples up badly when it's autofit, so I had to postwork that out (the collar is actually bigger, I whacked it off lol.) He's wearing Fraser Hair.

    Ah, Sebastian.  Thought he looked familiar.  He's really a good-looking character.  I have Dragonfly hair too, but for some reason, I didn't recognize it.  Maybe because I have been using lighter colors, and the fact that you used 2 copies threw me off. 

    I just looked at Cateye Suit.  It didn't have any legs, so it won't work for my purpose.  I'm looking for a good full cat suit with boots.  I could probably use Supersuit, but changing the surfaces can be pretty labor-intensive because there are so many material zones.  I had used Shadowcaster for V4 in the past on G1. I wonder how it will work with G8 - it does have lots of fitting morphs, so we'll see.

  • dracorndracorn Posts: 2,195
    Llynara said:

    I tried the yellow and it didn't look right, but the lettering is actually a very light gray, so I just made it white. It's subtle but I think it's an improvement. Thanks, dracorn!

     

    You're right, the white is an improvement.  Is it already in bold?  Thicker letters may help as well.  

    If yellow doesn't work - try light blue.  You know, as ugly as it may seem, chartreuse really catches the eye more than other colors.  Next time you are in a Barns & Noble, just look at the books and you will notice just how many books use this color - mostly on the spine, but some in the lettering.  

  • IceDragonArtIceDragonArt Posts: 12,370

    Cover looks great, can't wait to read it!  Anyone who hasn't read the first one, go read it, you won't be able to put it down I promise!

  • LlynaraLlynara Posts: 4,719

    Thanks, IceDragon! I'm getting close to having it ready. I'll let you know when I've got the beta ready should be soon! 

    dracorn- I tried the Cinzel Decorative Bold and it's just too heavy.  I tried a couple of different colors and they just look strange. I will continue playing with it. I still have to send the book to the editor and then do final edits when it comes back, so I have time. 

  • LlynaraLlynara Posts: 4,719
    edited April 2018

    Happy Easter, April Fool's Day and Camp Nano!

    Black Kat II: Playing with Fire

    As I wrap up Kat & Mouse, I'm also doing Camp Nano this month, and starting on my next Black Kat book, Playing with Fire, which focuses on the fire shifters. A few new characters have leapt off the page, including these two.

    This is Shai Tan and Mi Na, performers from Asia. The name Shai Tan means "fire devil" in some cultures, which he has been called many times. He embraces the name, and his powers, with a wicked sense of humor. Mi Na means "beautiful grace" in Korean. She is quieter and at times, haunted by her past. She leans on her mate for strength.

    Note: This isn't a book cover, just a rough mockup of characters, title, etc. I need to work on fire effects a LOT for this one. Right now I'm playing with fire shifters, har har. 

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  • dracorndracorn Posts: 2,195

    Great posing and I love the colors.  Looks like one of Darwin's characters there.  It's a great mock-up.

  • LlynaraLlynara Posts: 4,719
    edited April 2018

    Thanks, dracorn! That's Jurou for Lee 7 by Saiyaness and Virtual World's Akiko for Mei Lin 7. But if @DarwinsMishap wants to make another awesome Asian guy with cool face paint, I'm not opposed! *hint, hint*

    Post edited by Llynara on
  • LlynaraLlynara Posts: 4,719
    edited April 2018

    Added glows to the author names and title to match/tie in with Hugh's magic ball/lens flare and the moon glow. I think this is the last thing it needed to tie it all together. 

    Edited: Added other glows for consistency. Done! 

    Post edited by Llynara on
  • dracorndracorn Posts: 2,195
    THAT did it! Now your title really catches the eye. The glows elsewhere give it a finished, professional look. Great job!
  • LlynaraLlynara Posts: 4,719

    Thanks so much, dracorn! I don't know why it didn't occur to me to match the glow of the image with slightly glowing text. Typography is still my weak area!

  • StormlyghtStormlyght Posts: 640
    edited April 2018

    Your image of Shai Tan and Mi Na is really nice! And I really like your final typography treatment for your next book's cover.

    Trish

    Post edited by Stormlyght on
  • LlynaraLlynara Posts: 4,719

    Thank you Stormylyght! I'm struggling with that typography but learning a lot in the process.

    Here's a few things I've learned about doing series:

    -You need a cover vision for your series, not just the first book. This includes the font. I made the cover to Unlucky Charm about 18 months ago. It was my first book cover, and while it came out good, I had no idea what the other covers in the series would look like. I hoped the other titles would look just as good in the Abaddon font, which I used on Unlucky, but guess what? They didn't. The title "Kat & Mouse" was really challenging. It's short, visually unbalanced and has an ampersand, which some fonts, including Abaddon don't even have. I finally settled on a series brand design with the Kat & Mouse cover, and tested many of the other titles in it. Cinzel Decorative looks very good on all of them and will carry the series from Urban Fantasy to Fantasy over the span of 13 books. 

    -Make a default template and work from that for all of the books. I just spent all day rebranding Unlucky Charm. Wow, was that was painful. I didn't want to mess with a cover I loved, but it has to match the others. I tried to wing it with the placement of things. Bad idea! I finally copied the final version of Kat & Mouse into my Unlucky psd and used it as an overlay, lowering the opacity to see where things lined up. But I was still "winging it." I finally got smart and copied over my Author and Title groups from the Kat & Mouse psd to the Unlucky one and just copied Unlucky layer styles, then tweaked everything. 

    -Create a side by side psd so you can see how the books look together. A picture is worth a thousand words. Do your books compliment each other or class badly? Branding the fonts, placement, even composition can really help, and allow you to vary the colors greatly.

    Here's what I ended up with. I think Unlucky is very close to being done. I miss the old version, but need to move forward with the new vision for the series. The next book, Playing with Fire, will have the same layout as these, but the colors I posted above in the render of Shai Tan and Mi Na. 

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  • LlynaraLlynara Posts: 4,719
    edited April 2018

    Wow, doing a template is the way to go! I've got everything already laid out for Playing with Fire except the main image. I used Shai Tan and Mi Na because I really love the color scheme. I'm still tweaking the main characters of that book, Shane and Fiona, for their cover appearance. 

    I will mock up the next few soon. So far, these are the color schemes: 

    1. Unlucky Charm- Teal
    2. Kat & Mouse- Indigo
    3. Playing with Fire-Red
    4. Katastrophic-Blue
    5. Star Crossed-Pink
    6. The Fire King-Orange
    7. Good Kat, Bad Kat- Black and White (maybe)
    8. Earthbound-Green
    9. Badlander-Gold
    10. Chance of Dragons-Purple or Red
    11. Ravensong-Sky Blue
    12. Avalon Rising-Peach (sunrise colors)
    13. Keeper of the Stars-Lavender

     

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  • LlynaraLlynara Posts: 4,719
    edited April 2018

    I put together some of the tips above as well as some other things I'm learning about working with series. You can read them here on my public Patreon feed.

    Post edited by Llynara on
  • dracorndracorn Posts: 2,195

    Wow, love those covers!

    I see the moon theme going on in the first two - is it possible to have perhaps a round sun in the background of the third one?  That way there is a disc shape in each one.  I can definately see what you mean about the template. The uniformity makes them look like they go together.  Thanks for those tips, too!  I really need to think about my covers and get serious about it.

  • LlynaraLlynara Posts: 4,719

    That's an excellent suggestion, dracorn! I had not thought about that, but it works very well. I have one later in the series called Earthbound, where I'm actually going to use the Earth instead of the moon. The sun would work well for Badlander too since it's set in a desert wasteland. It's also possible on some of the later books to have more than one planet/sun/moon in the image, as long as it looks good with the rest of the covers. The final book, Keeper of the Stars will certainly have planets in it. That one is about Alarra, the Star Singer, who is actually retelling the stories throughout the series (she is quoted at the beginning of each book.)

  • LlynaraLlynara Posts: 4,719

    One more thing I'm going to do, then add to that article- I'm going to mock up my entire series and do a "mood board" of it. Doesn't matter if the images are rough or just inspiration images. I want to actually see all the covers laid out together. Helps with planning. 

  • LlynaraLlynara Posts: 4,719
    edited April 2018

    Promo for Jepe's Cinematic Props and Poses 3 for Michael 8, just out today! Characters are Giuseppe for Lucas 8 by DarwinsMishap and Exile Alien by Josh Crockett

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  • DivamakeupDivamakeup Posts: 8,706

    Wow! Excellent render! Wonderful composition, lighting, and atmosphere! Beautiful work!

  • IceDragonArtIceDragonArt Posts: 12,370
    dracorn said:

    Wow, love those covers!

    I see the moon theme going on in the first two - is it possible to have perhaps a round sun in the background of the third one?  That way there is a disc shape in each one.  I can definately see what you mean about the template. The uniformity makes them look like they go together.  Thanks for those tips, too!  I really need to think about my covers and get serious about it.

    This was my first thought as well.

    They look great, can't wait to see the rest!

  • dracorndracorn Posts: 2,195
    Llynara said:

    Promo for Jepe's Cinematic Props and Poses 3 for Michael 8, just out today! Characters are Giuseppe for Lucas 8 by DarwinsMishap and Exile Alien by Josh Crockett

    Excellent work!  Great colors.  

  • KnittingmommyKnittingmommy Posts: 7,626

    I love that render @Llynara. It looks fantastic. I might have to reconsider getting that set. I had just put it on the wishlist for now, but that looks really great.

  • LlynaraLlynara Posts: 4,719

    Thanks, ladies! I think it's one of my faves so far. 

  • LlynaraLlynara Posts: 4,719

    A Touch of Oil Paint

    I'm playing with a new technique for using oil paint filters in Photoshop while preserving more of the render detail. I've documented it for my patrons here. I revisited some older renders with this technique and really like the way it turned out. 

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  • DarwinsMishapDarwinsMishap Posts: 3,524

    I love this one of Giuseppe-great job with this render!

    dracorn said:
    Llynara said:

    Promo for Jepe's Cinematic Props and Poses 3 for Michael 8, just out today! Characters are Giuseppe for Lucas 8 by DarwinsMishap and Exile Alien by Josh Crockett

    Excellent work!  Great colors.  

     

  • DarwinsMishapDarwinsMishap Posts: 3,524
    Llynara said:

    A Touch of Oil Paint

    I'm playing with a new technique for using oil paint filters in Photoshop while preserving more of the render detail. I've documented it for my patrons here. I revisited some older renders with this technique and really like the way it turned out. 

    A very interesting technique...I like it. XD

  • themidgetthemidget Posts: 281
    edited May 2018

    I love the lady with the plaits.  You have posed her really well.

    Post edited by themidget on
  • SaphirewildSaphirewild Posts: 4,639

    You are some amazing artist @Llynara you can take a mondane render and turn it upside down and make it look simply stunning!!!

  • DivamakeupDivamakeup Posts: 8,706

    I ADORE the oil-painted girl -that's stunning! I would so have that framed and on my wall. :)

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