Ice Dragon Art A Glimpse Into My World

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  • WandererWanderer Posts: 943

    @IceDragonArt - I am in awe of your stunning work. I really love your resurrection of the old line of figures. You've really done them well. Your argument for the importance of postwork speaks for itself. All of this is great. I didn't know about your work making the banner--please forgive and congratz to that as well!

  • IceDragonArtIceDragonArt Posts: 12,513

    @Wanderer, thank you so much!  V4 and M4 are still quite popular believe it or not and the V4 characters on the previous page are new characters over at the other place that just came out this week.  

    The combnation of 3d and postwork has really helped me to get the images in my head out into the world in a way that I couldn't do before (at least not without a lot more time and practice, maybe if I hadn't taken such a long break from serious art work when my kids were little, it might have been different, but I don't regret that for one minute).  I'm very grateful I found this program.

    And no worries on the banner, I am terrible at going and looking at the galleries, even though I keep trying to remember.  I can barely remember to put my stuff in the gallery lol.   I was totally excited and very surprised to be honest. If you look at most of the images, they are very much of the warmer tones colorwise

  • IceDragonArtIceDragonArt Posts: 12,513
    edited June 2018

    This was a promo for the Party Monster Bundle.  This is not something that I would have thought to pick up as its ultra modern, with a bit of an anime punk feeling (at least to me lol).  I found it surprisingly fun to work with.  She is a lovely character and I just love the fact that her clothes can glow (or not, but I found the glow to be quite fun)  Note that the bundle comes with fantasy hair shaders which, you guessed it, also glow.  So fun!  Oh I almost forgot, her eyes have glow options as well.

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  • IceDragonArtIceDragonArt Posts: 12,513
    edited June 2018

    I think I struggle the most with the more modern, real life stuff than I do with anything else so I tend to go for a much simpler render.

    This one is all about the shoes.  I think its a darn shame that this person doesn't design shoes in real life,  I love all of them lol.

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  • IceDragonArtIceDragonArt Posts: 12,513
    edited June 2018

    I love movies like Terninator and Sci Fi in general. I know I usually do more medieval style stuff but this one just took on a life of its own.
    Daz Studio 4.10 Iray
    Photoshop CC   

    Malala G8F by Anagord

    Aeridian Aerial Landing Pad

    Cyborg Version 4

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  • IceDragonArtIceDragonArt Posts: 12,513
    edited June 2018

    And the last one for tonight is Martha for V4.2 also by Anagord.  I thought you all might like to see that even if you have a so so render that is maybe not as bright or whatever, you can make it look a lot better in post.  I sadly do not often have time to fiddle to make things exactly perfect for a render, I usually put things together, do a quick check as it starts to render to look for poke through or anything odd and then I usually ignore it til its done and go do dishes or laundry or something else that constantly needs done lol. This one came out much darker than I had planned.  Best viewed full size.

     

     

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  • MollytabbyMollytabby Posts: 1,116

    Gosh, those shoes look good @DragonArt. Not that I wear that sort of thing in real life. I'd fall off them smiley The reflections on the floor really set off this image. I haven't worked out how to set up a plane and background so that I don't end up with a line behind the figure. I'll probably end up getting a 'set' product but I haven't found one that I like yet.

    I too am a huge Terminator fan and love Sci-Fi films in general. I keep buying Sci Fi related costumes and figures and don't use them a lot, lol. I love the action in your render of Malala and it makes me want to dig out Cyborg 4 which is still stitting unused in my runtime after I got her in a sale.

    My goodness, @DragonArt, your image of Martha really does demonstrate your wonderful post work skills. You have lifted the final render into something rather special! 

  • IceDragonArtIceDragonArt Posts: 12,513

    Thank you!  I can't wear shoes like that either lol.  I have a plate and two pins on the side of my foot and my foot won't actually bend into the shape needed to wear something like that anymore.

    I just dug the Cyborg out of my runtime for the first time for this render myself lol.  I've got too much stuff!

    And thank you. I am very pleased with how Martha turned out. 

  • RakudaRakuda Posts: 810
    edited June 2018

    @Wanderer, thank you so much!  V4 and M4 are still quite popular believe it or not and the V4 characters on the previous page are new characters over at the other place that just came out this week.  

    I Really like to use V4 and M4. There are so many morph controls or character variation built right into M4. I wish I could find more clothes available for M4 though. I think there are not so much on this site anymore.

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  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 12,594

    All of these new images are amazing.  Think I have a new favorite of your series, the render you did of Enaela.  Color choices and balance really work for me.

  • IceDragonArtIceDragonArt Posts: 12,513

    @Diomede, thank you!  I love exotic characters and I thought it was great that she designed one of the skins in a way that the model does not have to wear clothing.  She is beautiful even if she is purple lol.

  • IceDragonArtIceDragonArt Posts: 12,513
    edited June 2018

    This promo is for the jewelry she is wearing.  -Wolfie- makes some really lovely jewelry set, this one is for a set (earrings, necklace, charms, using astrology signs.  there are a TON of morphs on the chain to fit it around the neck correctly and there are always a huge amount of shaders, pearls, metallics, gems, so it makes her sets very versatile. I am always excited when she does a new set.

    I wanted to mention something I noticed with this character, she comes with a fairy glow skin which is a geo shell.  I am not super familiar with how geo shells work, so it took me a bit of mucking about to be able to figure out that if I wanted her make up to show correctly, I needed to add it to the geo shell and not the skin.  I'm sure its because the geo shell skin color was changing the color as it was layered over the make up.  Some days, even the simple things are a struggle lol.

     

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  • AJ2112AJ2112 Posts: 1,416
    edited June 2018

    Hi Sonja, was just sitting here curious to know, how do you make your rendered scenes so colorful ?  This is a technique, I could never figure out, post work, filters, color lighting, etc....  Appears you have a natural talent for color variations, bringing rendered scenes to life.  I sure wish I could learn, that was a style I tried to adapt from Szark in the beginning.  I've always been attracted to colorful images.  Maybe I have a lot more to learn, then just texturing models.  I need to go back and read your previous thread again.  Any tips would be appreciated.          

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  • IceDragonArtIceDragonArt Posts: 12,513
    AJ2112 said:

    Hi Sonja, was just sitting here curious to know, how do you make your rendered scenes so colorful ?  This is a technique, I could never figure out, post work, filters, color lighting, etc....  Appears you have a natural talent for color variations, bringing rendered scenes to life.  I sure wish I could learn, that was a style I tried to adapt from Szark in the beginning.  I've always been attracted to colorful images.  Maybe I have a lot more to learn, then just texturing models.  I need to go back and read your previous thread again.  Any tips would be appreciated.          

    Well, I'm not sure where to start.  I never think about HOW I do things lol. 

    I will try and walk you through my thought process a little bit and then we can go from there. 

    So I tend to be very all over the place when starting something but lets just say that I've picked the model, and once I start to pick eye color, make up and clothing, whatever color stands out hte most in that selection process is usually what i go with.  For instance, if I decide to go with a purple fantasy eye color, everything else will be chosen to compliment that color, her hair, her clothes, and the background etc.  That doesn't mean everything will be purple (orange, green and blue go very well with purple).  I almost always render with no background.  I also use a lot of fantasy lights, you can introduce color through the lighting in a subtle way to enhance everthing else.  Once the render is done, it goes to photoshop and the real fun begins (just kidding, I really find both Daz and photosho about equally fun).

    So, the first thing I do in photoshop is make a copy and lock the original (or you can it the right way and save your working copy under a different name such as fantasy1a or something) And save often

    Next step is the dodge and burn.  Remind me after the weekend and I will do a quick tutorial with pictures on how I do it, its non destructive and super easy but I will be gone all weekend without internet so I will have to do it next week.  But what the dodge and burn does is start to really make things pop.  I ALWAYS do the eyes, it can be subtle or dramatic but it makes a huge difference in the final picture. Dodging basically lightens things and burning well, make them darker.  so you can subtley(or not so subtely) make the highlights a bit brighter and the shadows a bit darker.  You don't have to do all the hightlight or all the shadows, but I generally do the eyes, the hair, and the fold in the clothing to start. 

    After that I start thinking about what i want to do with the background.  If I decide to do an actual background and not just textures and light, then I have to make sure that my shadows match and the light is coming from the right direction.  Its easy enough to change the color of the light to match your lighting but a bit more difficult to make it look right if the angles and shadows aren't right. 

    If I choose to go with a textured background I again want to reinforce my main colors, so if its purple I may drop in something with purple and orange, or orange and blue or different shades of orange because well, I like orange and purple and they look good together lol.  Honestly, I just drop stuff in, run the background through the different modes (soft light, overly, etc, I literally try each one, you never know what's going to look good.) until I like it.  I will then drop another couple three or four on top of that until I get something that I like. 

    After I do that I then usually drop a texture on top of the whole scene, usually a bokeh, or a soft cloud texture, or even a space star scene.Again, run it through the modes, many of them will make that  mostly invisible or very subtle.  This helps to bring all the parts together so that it all looks like it belongs together.  If you don't want that top overlaid texture on a certain part you can just drop a mask on it and brush out anything you don't want covered, or brush out at 50% or 25 and blend it more softly.

    Once that is done we move on to the LUT (Look Up Tables) a fancy name for premade filters that are put together for a very specific effect.  Photoshp comes with some nice ones but there are plenty of free ones out there to add.  These can increase the vibrance, make it look like its nightime, foggy, sunset, grainy film, all kinds of stuff. Again, I run through all of them until I find one I like, sometimes I will do two or three of them, one to sharpen and make it more vibrant, one to shift the tone just a bit.

    If I like what I have I add the signature and call it a day.  If not I usually take it into the NIK filters, or particle shop (although that's more for special effects) and play around in there for a bit.  And well, that's how i do it.

    Also, not every render needs all of these step.  The render above with the fae and the gemini jewelry only had three or four layers.  I do try to get as close as I can to what I am going for in Daz.  Of course, other renders have 20 layers lol.

    Feel free to ask for clarification on any point I will do my best to answer.  I am still learning as well, I'm sure I've only just touched the surface of the both Daz and Photoshop.

    Every step is a separate layer.  This is really important because you can undo anything you don't like at any time if its all separate.  If you don't keep your layers, you can't go back and change anything.  I group my layers after a certain point just to keep things neat, otherwise it can be a bit overwhelming. Mostly because I tend to forget to rename my layers lol.

  • NovicaNovica Posts: 23,344

    I love movies like Terninator and Sci Fi in general. I know I usually do more medieval style stuff but this one just took on a life of its own.
    Daz Studio 4.10 Iray
    Photoshop CC   

     

    This one has so much energy! Great effects. 

  • AJ2112AJ2112 Posts: 1,416

    Hi friend, thanks so much for taking the time to share your technique, got the info printed, will read, probably ask more questions.  I love using Photoshop, I've mastered layers, which took forever, Lol !!!!!  but alot of filters, effects, etc.... are to intimidating, hard to understand.  Would really like to expand my horizon, take a different approach, opposed to the same technique.  

  • IceDragonArtIceDragonArt Posts: 12,513

    Thanks Novica!  Was sorry to hear about your father in laws last cat.  Always so sad.

    @AJ2112 ask away and I will get back to you after the weekend.

  • IceDragonArtIceDragonArt Posts: 12,513

    Not my usual or preferred genre but one of the reasons I like doing the promo work is becaue it pushes me outside of my comfort zone.  Sometimes very far out of my comfort zone lol.  I think it has really helped me to become much more well rounded as an artist, and helped me to really stretch myself in ways that I found difficult to force myself to do before.

    Okay, well, apparently, Daz does not want me to upload any pictures today.  I will try again tomorrow.

  • AJ2112AJ2112 Posts: 1,416
    edited June 2018
    AJ2112 said:

             

    Well, I'm not sure where to start.  I never think about HOW I do things lol. 

    I will try and walk you through my thought process a little bit and then we can go from there. 

    So I tend to be very all over the place when starting something but lets just say that I've picked the model, and once I start to pick eye color, make up and clothing, whatever color stands out hte most in that selection process is usually what i go with.  For instance, if I decide to go with a purple fantasy eye color, everything else will be chosen to compliment that color, her hair, her clothes, and the background etc.  That doesn't mean everything will be purple (orange, green and blue go very well with purple).  I almost always render with no background.  I also use a lot of fantasy lights, you can introduce color through the lighting in a subtle way to enhance everthing else.  Once the render is done, it goes to photoshop and the real fun begins (just kidding, I really find both Daz and photosho about equally fun).

    Hi Sonja, hope your weekend was lovely.  Truly thanks for sharing your 3D artistic technique.  Woman have a natural ability over us men selecting colors, lot's of experience from clothes/makeup shoppingwink 

    Appears you like to create fantasy art.  I never viewed myself as an artist or artistic, reason I'm unable to create art.  Would like to learn though.  I've owned Photoshop for years, dabbled here and there airbrushing characters, when I disappeared since last year, I put DS aside, to concentrate learning Photoshop software tools, viewing hundreds of online videos.  I can create art using Photoshop, just don't know how to create art from DS to Photoshop.  

    Appears color selection is first step for you.  I never think of color, before or while creating.  No background renders, to set up in Photoshop.  Another technique, I've rarely tried.  How do you select parts to render for Photoshop ?  Like do you render hair, clothing, jewelry in seperate layers, or character with all accessories into one layer ?  I'll share image to show what I'm asking, I render everything, then transfer to Photoshop. 

    Fantasy lighting, I've never used.  What is your favorite fantasy lighting ? 

    Photshop:

    I've learned to dodge/burn, but not very good at it.  Would be wonderful, if you shared with us all, your techniques used to dodge/burn.  You like to create your own background.  This area, I have major trouble with, and complained about with my scenes, backgrounds never match or blend in well with scenes.  What is your favorite style of background ?  Smoke, stars, etc.... 

    What type of effects filters do you use ? I've tried Nik collection and Topaz, which are excellent, but confuses me due to many variations.

    Here you lost me, you drop a texture on top of scene, usually Bokeh.  What is Bokeh ?

    I understand your steps, just learning to apply steps to my brainwaves from any tutorial baffles me.  I can envision a scene, but then when I try to create, transfer to Photoshop, scene becomes a mess, I'm constantly starting over, Lol !!!!!  Guess, it's my non artistic thought process.  So, I try to create the same idea using DS only, which is a major challenge.  Like in my vamp scenes, adding blood, fog, fire, is nearly impossible for me, never looks right.  I love fantasy art, but never could create, so I just view em.  I forget to rename layers a lot to, then get completely lost.

    Would be cool, if you shared brushes you like from Daz store or elsewhere, and how you create certain effects, such as the smoke in your avatar/sig, very cool yes  Tons to learn, not enough time sad

      

     

     

     

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  • AJ2112AJ2112 Posts: 1,416
    edited June 2018

    Sorry, accidently double post frown

    Post edited by AJ2112 on
  • IceDragonArtIceDragonArt Posts: 12,513

    Okay I am going to tackle these one at a time.  I will do my best to give visuals for some of these as well, so they aren't going to be quick answer lol.  Except of this one.

    How do you select parts to render for Photoshop ?  Like do you render hair, clothing, jewelry in seperate layers, or character with all accessories into one layer ?

    I usually render the charcter, cloths, hair, make up and any foreground pieces that I want to include.  I do try to do as much toward the final picture inside Daz Studio as I can.  Sometimes I get really close and don't have to do much, sometimes, not so much lol.  Unless the final background is integral to my scene ( My Mergirl render, I used an underwater lightset with HDRI as the background and the only thing I did for that one was dodge and burn and paint in the bubbles, the rest is pure daz render)  or I am using a specific landscape or prop in the background i always render it transparent.  So, I render with Draw Dome OFF and Draw Ground ON and I render to png NOT jpg.  This will make the background completely transparent.  Draw Ground on will render the correct shadows on the ground, so your character or prop is anchored to the ground and not floating in space.

    This is an example of the character etc with the foreground elements and then it shows the final render.  The trick to making that final piece look like it all belongs (besides the basics of the light going the right way etc) is to use layers behind AND in front of the original image.  It helps blend everything together.

    And of course you are an artist.  You just have to learn how to put all the pieces together to make what you see in your head.

    What is Bokeh ?

    This is an example of bokeh.  Basically the circles and blobs of light that are either crisp or blurred.  They can really help highlight a scene, or soften it.  They are quite a useful tool. I use them alot, although not usually this bright. They are in many of my finished pieces, most of the time you can't really see them, as I tend to use them a lot to slightly soften or blend things and tend to set the layers to screen or overlay, or turn the opacity way down so they are barely there.

    This is an example of bokeh that is much more subtle

     

  • AJ2112AJ2112 Posts: 1,416
    edited June 2018

    Hi friend, thanks for all shared techniques/info, I know it's difficult for individuals, including yourself to share how art worflow process is done, every scene has different creation process, truly appreciate taking the time to assist some of us that are clueless to postwork basic and major.  

    Gotcha, whatever you cannot achieve in DS, you try alternative solutions.  Mergirl render is amazing ! you did a fabulous job on her.  Yeah, I become frustrated sometimes, cause I cannot balance my scenes.  Major struggle for me sad So, you actually paint in the bubbles, wow ! you did an amazing job.  I don't have that type of patients.  Well, speaking mostly on my behalf, I believe most of us began Daz journey, thinking we just purchase products, tweak textures, render, scenes will automatically balance.  Think that's what I enjoyed about using Reality, how I was able to balance my scenes while rendering, I can make many adjustment with filters.    

    Thanks for the tip, rendering transparent.  My backgrounds were never transparent, always black, like image I shared.  Ok, use layers behing and front of original image.  Interesting, will have to give method a try.  

    Shucks, thanks for encouragement/inspiration Sonja.  Never considered myself an artist, I'm a newbie at art.  I design/create models/technical illustrator by hand, I'm old school, Rofl !!!!  

    Thanks for explaining Bokeh, I always wondered what that was.

    Since I first began, I spent majority of my time, trying to master DS software tools, specially texture/lighting, I rarely ever think of other methods possible to achieve an idea/vision.  But take intrest in other artist perceptions in thier art.  Well, let me not consume all your time, thanks for sharing, keep up the fantastic art smiley

    Post edited by AJ2112 on
  • Awesome images! And thanks for all the links on the first page. I'm going to dive into those now.

    Really incredible work.

  • IceDragonArtIceDragonArt Posts: 12,513
    AJ2112 said:

    Hi friend, thanks for all shared techniques/info, I know it's difficult for individuals, including yourself to share how art worflow process is done, every scene has different creation process, truly appreciate taking the time to assist some of us that are clueless to postwork basic and major.  

    Gotcha, whatever you cannot achieve in DS, you try alternative solutions.  Mergirl render is amazing ! you did a fabulous job on her.  Yeah, I become frustrated sometimes, cause I cannot balance my scenes.  Major struggle for me sad So, you actually paint in the bubbles, wow ! you did an amazing job.  I don't have that type of patients.  Well, speaking mostly on my behalf, I believe most of us began Daz journey, thinking we just purchase products, tweak textures, render, scenes will automatically balance.  Think that's what I enjoyed about using Reality, how I was able to balance my scenes while rendering, I can make many adjustment with filters.    

    Thanks for the tip, rendering transparent.  My backgrounds were never transparent, always black, like image I shared.  Ok, use layers behing and front of original image.  Interesting, will have to give method a try.  

    Shucks, thanks for encouragement/inspiration Sonja.  Never considered myself an artist, I'm a newbie at art.  I design/create models/technical illustrator by hand, I'm old school, Rofl !!!!  

    Thanks for explaining Bokeh, I always wondered what that was.

    Since I first began, I spent majority of my time, trying to master DS software tools, specially texture/lighting, I rarely ever think of other methods possible to achieve an idea/vision.  But take intrest in other artist perceptions in thier art.  Well, let me not consume all your time, thanks for sharing, keep up the fantastic art smiley

    Not a problem at all, I've had lots of help and encouragement, its only fair to pass it on.  I will work on the rest of your questions over the next couple of days and will put together some screen shots for you on the dodge and burn.  Please don't hesitate to ask questions I will do my best to answer.

     

    Awesome images! And thanks for all the links on the first page. I'm going to dive into those now.

    Really incredible work.

    Thank you!  I will be adding to those as I go, I got behind, real life kind of got in the way lol.

  • AJ2112AJ2112 Posts: 1,416
    edited June 2018

    HI friend, truly thanks for sharing, I believe many become discouraged due to lack of educational material for 3D art, speciallly DS, how software, products, etc.... should work.  Lack of instructional interaction from educated, experienced or those with both. 

    Although irrelevant, went to Tarleton state for 4 years, can't imagine a person at home, teaching themselves Cad software.  In school, I was able to interact with instructors/students on a daily basis.  Reason I'm fascinated with creativity/scenes from self taught beginners in 3D.   

    One of the reasons I transitioned over to Reality when I first began was, Reality/Luxrender had user guides, and Paolo answering questions daily at his forum.  I learned a lot using Reality, lighting, materials, etc.... 

    Take your time friend, no pressure.  Big mistake suggesting I don't hesitate to ask questions, I'll drive you nuts, Rofl !!!! but will do, when the time comes.  Looking forward to your future creative ideas yes   

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  • IceDragonArtIceDragonArt Posts: 12,513
    edited June 2018

    A recent promo image.

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  • IceDragonArtIceDragonArt Posts: 12,513
    edited June 2018

    I love this character. Her fantasy skins and make up are awesome.  And you all know how much I like the fantasy skins lol. She does come with normal skins as well.

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  • LinwellyLinwelly Posts: 5,214

    Thanks a lot for sharin all that information on your post-processes. there is still a lot for me to pick up and try with post, so seeing your work and learn how you do it is very inspiring

  • FishtalesFishtales Posts: 5,533

    I'm always impressed by the postwork people do on their images. I tried digital painting many years ago, and failed miserably, and the only processing I generally do is on my own photographs, usually to fix White Balance and sharpness :) I seldom critic images as I don't feel I have the right as my own images aren't exactly perfect :) I do have an "eye" for small things in images that I feel detract from the overall balance. Take your last head shot for example. There is nothing wrong with it but the stray hair over her left eye looked like a scar when I first saw it :) Now that I know it is a strand of hair that is what I see it as now.

    I have a friend who is well into his photography and he takes some wonderful pictures, I tell him I just take snaps that look half decent, much the same as my renders :)

  • IceDragonArtIceDragonArt Posts: 12,513
    Linwelly said:

    Thanks a lot for sharin all that information on your post-processes. there is still a lot for me to pick up and try with post, so seeing your work and learn how you do it is very inspiring

    I'm happy to do it if people are interested.  Feel free to ask any questions!

     

    Fishtales said:

    I'm always impressed by the postwork people do on their images. I tried digital painting many years ago, and failed miserably, and the only processing I generally do is on my own photographs, usually to fix White Balance and sharpness :) I seldom critic images as I don't feel I have the right as my own images aren't exactly perfect :) I do have an "eye" for small things in images that I feel detract from the overall balance. Take your last head shot for example. There is nothing wrong with it but the stray hair over her left eye looked like a scar when I first saw it :) Now that I know it is a strand of hair that is what I see it as now.

    I have a friend who is well into his photography and he takes some wonderful pictures, I tell him I just take snaps that look half decent, much the same as my renders :)

    Actually, I appreciate it when people notice stuff like that because its stuff I tend to overlook. Attention to detail is important.  I never would have looked at it like that because I KNOW its hair lol.  But once you mentioned it I can see where it looks like a scar.  I need to learn to look at things from more than one point of view.

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