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  • _manne__manne_ Posts: 274

    Morning Kathryn,

    I know you weren't asking for a full blown critique so sorry; sometimes I over-share, feel free to ignore whatever is not applicable. smiley

    I pulled up all three of the images you've posted so far side by side for comparison. There's one thing I noticed right off that I don't think you want happening that doesn't have anything to do with the hands, in the 3rd image you posted, you've applied a layer style to the lower left hand corner of the kilt and you've overwritten what looked like metal work in your previous picture with a kilt texture.  I don't think you meant to do that.

    Your progression has gone from realistic render to a more painterly style; which is what you said at the outset you were shooting for, however, the cloth section across the chest is more realistic in your 3rd version than in the previous.  It had a more painted appearance in your 2nd post.  Finally, the background of your title (which I really like) is super realistic, so it a little at odds with the style of your hero in the 3rd post, but a bit more in line with the 2nd post.

     

    I do have everything set up in the Photoshop image as smart objects which means I kept my layers. In fact, I have a tendency to overdo layering using three when one would probably work. So if I do re-render, it's possible I could get the existing artwork to fit by adjusting the various layers. But before I launch into all of that mess, I thought I'd post what I have with my text and resizing thus far and see if anyone has any ideas.

    I also followed 3D's suggestion and added the eyelight which turned out rather nicely I thought. But I've attached what I finagled so far just using Photoshop and resizing. Bumping up the image to 3rd wasn't a problem at all, it's the aspect ratio and making it fit the typical cover requirements that's the problem.

     

    Using my typical 6x9 aspect I can get the image to match either the 6 wide or the 9 tall but not both. So I made it 6 wide and then increased the canvas size - not the image size - to 9 tall having it extend the bottom. I used my parchment title which I originally created for Demon Laird's audiobook but wasn't able to use. I used it here because I thought it might best cover my faux paux and it almost does - besides I thought the color of the text went nicely with the overall color of the image. Unfortunately it doesn't hide his hands as well as I hoped it would. So I used a layer mask to create a vignette and feathered the transition so there's not a sharp cutoff, Without the text banner it looks almost like he has his hands in his pockets. lol! But I had hoped both the vignette and the text banner would obscure the problem but I need unbiased opinions.

     

    Help! Please! lol!

    So I hope folks have some ideas at which direction to go here.

    Ok just throwing out some ideas here:

    What if you have a solid (or semi-transparent) bar going across that the text banner can sit on?  If you go that route then it would look intentional, like a framing of the image, and you can apply decoration to that in photoshop which would preclude another render. 

    Or what about some sort of actual frame around your hero and then the title can sit at the bottom like a placard?  However, if you do that, you will probably want to move your hero up a bit to keep him centered.

  • 3dLux3dLux Posts: 960

    I think you can make the rest on him invisible in DAZ Studio and just render the hands, which then would be easier to adapt.

    What cherpenbeck said.  You can hide the visibility on most of him except for the hands.  Not sure if applying a transparent alpha to the rest of his material zones will have the same effect.

    And you could tweak the hand position to make it seem as if he was holding/framing the parchment (just being cheesy wink angel )

    I know what you mean about re-draws never being as good as the original; I don't know what that is broken heart 

  • kathrynlochkathrynloch Posts: 378

    I think you can make the rest on him invisible in DAZ Studio and just render the hands, which then would be easier to adapt.

    Thanks Cherp! I might give that a go and see what I can do. 

  • kathrynlochkathrynloch Posts: 378
    3dLux said:

    I think you can make the rest on him invisible in DAZ Studio and just render the hands, which then would be easier to adapt.

    What cherpenbeck said.  You can hide the visibility on most of him except for the hands.  Not sure if applying a transparent alpha to the rest of his material zones will have the same effect.

    And you could tweak the hand position to make it seem as if he was holding/framing the parchment (just being cheesy wink angel )

    I know what you mean about re-draws never being as good as the original; I don't know what that is broken heart 

    Thanks 3D - lol! Yeah, not going to be holding the parchment. lol!

    I don't know what it is about re-draws either except perhaps memory as fallible as it is - is 9/10'ths of perception.  wink

  • kathrynlochkathrynloch Posts: 378
    Hey Manne - believe me I appreciate any and all thoughts you're willing to offer.
    _manne_ said:

    Morning Kathryn,

    I know you weren't asking for a full blown critique so sorry; sometimes I over-share, feel free to ignore whatever is not applicable. smiley

    I pulled up all three of the images you've posted so far side by side for comparison. There's one thing I noticed right off that I don't think you want happening that doesn't have anything to do with the hands, in the 3rd image you posted, you've applied a layer style to the lower left hand corner of the kilt and you've overwritten what looked like metal work in your previous picture with a kilt texture.  I don't think you meant to do that.

    Oh you're right. I'll fix that.
    _manne_ said:

    Your progression has gone from realistic render to a more painterly style; which is what you said at the outset you were shooting for, however, the cloth section across the chest is more realistic in your 3rd version than in the previous.  It had a more painted appearance in your 2nd post.  Finally, the background of your title (which I really like) is super realistic, so it a little at odds with the style of your hero in the 3rd post, but a bit more in line with the 2nd post.

     

    Actually that's what I was going for with Mist Warrior - not so much here and I'm glad you mentioned this because it's totally unintentional. I had to pull both up as well and I think I know what caused it. When I was resizing - it's Photoshop's noise filter creating this effect. Let me see if I can control that a bit better because you're exactly right and in this case it's not an effect that I want.
    _manne_ said:

    Ok just throwing out some ideas here:

    What if you have a solid (or semi-transparent) bar going across that the text banner can sit on?  If you go that route then it would look intentional, like a framing of the image, and you can apply decoration to that in photoshop which would preclude another render. 

    Or what about some sort of actual frame around your hero and then the title can sit at the bottom like a placard?  However, if you do that, you will probably want to move your hero up a bit to keep him centered.

    Excellent ideas - okay let me try some of these and see what happens. Thanks Manne! I really appreciate it! And don't ever worry about giving me your thoughts on something - okey dokey?
  • _manne__manne_ Posts: 274
    Excellent ideas - okay let me try some of these and see what happens. Thanks Manne! I really appreciate it! And don't ever worry about giving me your thoughts on something - okey dokey?

    No problem.  I look forward to seeing what you come up with.  :)

  • FirstBastionFirstBastion Posts: 5,328

    wink I don't know if you're still looking for feedback on this,  or have already moved on. 

    _manne_ said:

    Ok working on some text/image placement. Feedback appreciated

     I think the art itself looks fine,  but the script  font choice and size feels weak. All caps tend to be seen more clearly than lowercase especially when glanced at thumbnail size. Plus if the color of the font constrasts strongly from the background it makes it easier to read.  The violet and gold are too similar.  Instead you might want to consider something else.   Strong primary colors get used alot because they are visible at all sizes. And big bold fonts are also used because they stand out.  As for placement,  try it five different ways and then you compare them side by side.  One will always "click" more than the rest. 

  • _manne__manne_ Posts: 274

    wink I don't know if you're still looking for feedback on this,  or have already moved on. 

    _manne_ said:

    Ok working on some text/image placement. Feedback appreciated

     I think the art itself looks fine,  but the script  font choice and size feels weak. All caps tend to be seen more clearly than lowercase especially when glanced at thumbnail size. Plus if the color of the font constrasts strongly from the background it makes it easier to read.  The violet and gold are too similar.  Instead you might want to consider something else.   Strong primary colors get used alot because they are visible at all sizes. And big bold fonts are also used because they stand out.  As for placement,  try it five different ways and then you compare them side by side.  One will always "click" more than the rest. 

     Oh always looking for feedback and since the whole putting it together was just a sample test, I had no where to move on from.  wink  Thanks First Bastion! 

  • kathrynlochkathrynloch Posts: 378

    Well my current cover got interrupted. My narrator contacted me and he's wanting to start on the third audiobook, Heart's Ransom. Considering how fast he moved last time - I'm starting now. wink

     

    So here's the original ebook cover. I wish I could figure out how to get more than one image to post with a single message - but I'll post the DAZ image in a bit - as soon as it gets done rendering.

    heartsransomthumb.jpg
    200 x 300 - 111K
  • FirstBastionFirstBastion Posts: 5,328
    edited July 2015

    Well my current cover got interrupted. My narrator contacted me and he's wanting to start on the third audiobook, Heart's Ransom. Considering how fast he moved last time - I'm starting now. wink

     

    So here's the original ebook cover. I wish I could figure out how to get more than one image to post with a single message - but I'll post the DAZ image in a bit - as soon as it gets done rendering.

    That's a darn nice cover,  classically "romance" inspired,  the burgundy and gold work well together with the underlying photo.  It hints at something almost regal.  I even like the "scripty" font,  which I would usually  discourage but works here with the scroll work surrounding it.  What does get lost though,  is the last name against the gold coloured bedsheet. 

    Post edited by FirstBastion on
  • kathrynlochkathrynloch Posts: 378
    That's a darn nice cover,  classically "romance" inspired,  the burgundy and gold work well together with the underlying photo.  It hints at something almost regal.  I even like the "scripty" font,  which I would usually  discourage but works here with the scroll work surrounding it.  What does get lost though,  is the last name against the gold coloured bedsheet. 

    Thanks First! This one was done by a cover designer when I came out with the sequel for this novel. Heart's Ransom was one of my very first publications and at that time I was so broke I couldn't afford to pay attention! lol! Fortunately about six months later I was ready to release the sequel to Heart's Ransom and had my original cover designer create this cover along with one for the sequel - so they're very much in sync with each other and I asked her to go with more of the "classic" romance feel for the design which I liked but she had a tough time getting the characters right so I didn't snarf about the font. Overall I liked both covers very much.  

     

    Again I would like to go with that same feel so this is the render I'm starting off with - Manne, get your guy out again because this cover is the reason why I designed Talon. laugh

     

    The background is blank and this is actually a scene from the novel - they're standing on the castle ramparts at sunset. I have been experimenting with sunset backgrounds. So here's where we're starting. This isn't quite the dimensions because those are too big for the forums, but I was thinking of going vertical with the sun and sky, putting the title over that at top then my name at the bottom.

     

    Whatcha think?

     

    Ready?

    One for the money  . . . two . . .

    cheeky

    talonandgwen2.jpg
    1596 x 1596 - 832K
  • kathrynlochkathrynloch Posts: 378

     . . . two for the show . . . 

     

    Rather than copy the font and style of the original covers (which I do like lots so it's hard not to), I'm going to go with the premise but trying a different twist. On the other hand there's the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" idea too. But we'll start from here and see where we end up.

    heartsransomdraft1.jpg
    1960 x 1960 - 859K
  • 3dLux3dLux Posts: 960
    edited July 2015

    I like where you're going with the cover, Kathryn smiley  

    Intital impressions:

    • Hair is a big issue in 3d rendering, generally.  The hair looks good intitilally but the long strands look kinda thin.  Since you have mad art skills, maybe PSing with hair brushes to add volume?
    • Maybe tweak his eyeline so that he looks like he's look at her?  This can be cheated by putting a small sphere near her eyes, having his "point at" the sphere, then hiding the sphere in Iray so it doesn't come out in the render.
    • Where the hands touch a body (or any pliable object for that matter) you can do this: for the person/object being touched Parameters-->Mesh Smoothing--> Collision Item-->Person doing the touching to get some slight deformation to get the pliablity.

    Looking forward to seeing more of your cover smiley

    Post edited by 3dLux on
  • FirstBastionFirstBastion Posts: 5,328

     . . . two for the show . . . 

     On the other hand there's the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" idea too. But we'll start from here and see where we end up.

     It's always fun to experiment and potentially brain storm and discover new possibilities,  but just to be clear,  "it ain't broke. smiley

    Speaking of hair,  the Nimue hair on Gwen is particularly outstanding,  and looks quite realistic.  I think the challenge will be to get Talon's hair to match that level of realism. 

     

  • _manne__manne_ Posts: 274
     

    Again I would like to go with that same feel so this is the render I'm starting off with - Manne, get your guy out again because this cover is the reason why I designed Talon. laugh

     

    The background is blank and this is actually a scene from the novel - they're standing on the castle ramparts at sunset. I have been experimenting with sunset backgrounds. So here's where we're starting. This isn't quite the dimensions because those are too big for the forums, but I was thinking of going vertical with the sun and sky, putting the title over that at top then my name at the bottom.

    Dusting him off now.  :) what size are you rendering?

  • _manne__manne_ Posts: 274
    edited July 2015

    Ok Kathryn,  here you go, I grabbed him a partner, and rendered it up.  More critiques on placement, font size/placement, and general readablity always welcome. cheeky  I know that top font is hard to read, but it was the only one I had that was "period" looking so....bummer.

    Guess what?  Some nice guy in the forums showed how to put an image into the actual post. 

    1. You attach your image like regular,
    2. then right click the thumbnail and select copy link,
    3. then insert a link into the normal post and paste the URL from the attachment into the URL box.  SWEET!!

    I did not know that.  Did the rest of you?

    testing image in post

    theKissBookCover.jpg
    1235 x 2000 - 1M
    Post edited by _manne_ on
  • kathrynlochkathrynloch Posts: 378
    3dLux said:

    I like where you're going with the cover, Kathryn smiley  

    Intital impressions:

    • Hair is a big issue in 3d rendering, generally.  The hair looks good intitilally but the long strands look kinda thin.  Since you have mad art skills, maybe PSing with hair brushes to add volume?
    • Maybe tweak his eyeline so that he looks like he's look at her?  This can be cheated by putting a small sphere near her eyes, having his "point at" the sphere, then hiding the sphere in Iray so it doesn't come out in the render.
    • Where the hands touch a body (or any pliable object for that matter) you can do this: for the person/object being touched Parameters-->Mesh Smoothing--> Collision Item-->Person doing the touching to get some slight deformation to get the pliablity.

    Looking forward to seeing more of your cover smiley

    Thank you 3D!!!

    Hair - yuppers! Can do on the photoshop. Hair is one of my favorites to do so can fix not a problem. But I'd like to try to get it rocking as much as possible in 3D first.

    Eyeline - I swear he's looking dead at her! lol! But will definitely try your idea. Will a null work just so the darn thing doesn't get in the way? I use lots of primitives for lighting.

    Collision - I was bloody looking all over the place for that! lol! I knew I had seen it before but couldn't find it. In fact - I just went to look again and I still can't find it. Check that - I can find it on the clothing but not anywhere on the character.

    Is there something I need to enable?

     . . . two for the show . . . 

     On the other hand there's the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" idea too. But we'll start from here and see where we end up.

     It's always fun to experiment and potentially brain storm and discover new possibilities,  but just to be clear,  "it ain't broke. smiley

    Speaking of hair,  the Nimue hair on Gwen is particularly outstanding,  and looks quite realistic.  I think the challenge will be to get Talon's hair to match that level of realism. 

     

    Thanks First! Somehow, I had a feeling you were going to say that. wink I'm going to have to get even more creative to see if I can recreate the first. I went through my fonts and some are MEH kinda close, others are UGH that looks awful. The scrollwork I can also do but again that's with a font rather than a brush. So let me see what sort of trouble I can get into. laugh

    I was noticing the difference too with the hair and realism. The funny thing is, I used the OOT Hair shaders on both. I'm going to experiment a little and see what's up with that. 

    _manne_ said:
     

    Again I would like to go with that same feel so this is the render I'm starting off with - Manne, get your guy out again because this cover is the reason why I designed Talon. laugh

     

    The background is blank and this is actually a scene from the novel - they're standing on the castle ramparts at sunset. I have been experimenting with sunset backgrounds. So here's where we're starting. This isn't quite the dimensions because those are too big for the forums, but I was thinking of going vertical with the sun and sky, putting the title over that at top then my name at the bottom.

    Dusting him off now.  :) what size are you rendering?

    I'm actually not locked into one aspect ratio. I turned that off to see how it goes because everything is set for our computer screens landscape HD. So I'm trying to keep it square for the audiobook The audiobook sizes need to be 2400x2400 pix and 72dpi minimum. Now the ebook and print will be different. 

    _manne_ said:

    Ok Kathryn,  here you go, I grabbed him a partner, and rendered it up.  More critiques on placement, font size/placement, and general readablity always welcome. cheeky  I know that top font is hard to read, but it was the only one I had that was "period" looking so....bummer.

    Guess what?  Some nice guy in the forums showed how to put an image into the actual post. 

    1. You attach your image like regular,
    2. then right click the thumbnail and select copy link,
    3. then insert a link into the normal post and paste the URL from the attachment into the URL box.  SWEET!!

    I did not know that.  Did the rest of you?

     

    AND the image in the post as well as the image itself is really cool! I wondered about putting it in the post because I have my photobucket and know about the IMG code, but I hadn't looked into it. Saved me a ton of time for that part thank you!

     

    I like your cover a lot too! very nice! Now you've done thrown down the gauntlet! lol!  heart

     

  • 3dLux3dLux Posts: 960
    edited July 2015

    Cheating with eyelines is done in shoots all the time wink Because if the actors were really looking at the other person the eyelines would be wrong.  How to do eyelines was one of our most important lessons in camera class and our tutor finally taught it to us the meeting before we shot our term project, even though we had been clamoring for it since the first week of class; I guess he wanted to make sure we had the basics down pat cheeky

    Consider this:

     

    Are they looking at each other's eyes?  While it may seem like that, here's how the shot was set up:

     

    The eyes are pointed at the sphere of the other person laugh  In Reality the spheres are set to null so they don't appear in the render.  While I've never worked with Iray I think creating a null object for the character to focus on should work as well cool

    And for the collision, highlight the person being touched in the scene tab first, then go to Parameters-->Mesh Smoothing--> Collision Item.  Clothes are pre-selected. Click on the bar and select the person doing the touching from the menu that appears.  Hopefully deselecting the clothes won't cause too many pokethroughs and you can always apply a push modifier if it does wink  

    For obvious reasons this technique works best when the characters are nekkid devil  

    Post edited by 3dLux on
  • _manne__manne_ Posts: 274
    3dLux said:

    Cheating with eyelines is done in shoots all the time wink Because if the actors were really looking at the other person the eyelines would be wrong.  How to do eyelines was one of our most important lessons in camera class and our tutor finally taught it to us the meeting before we shot our term project, even though we had been clamoring for it since the first week of class; I guess he wanted to make sure we had the basics down pat cheeky

    Thanks for this information 3dLux so helpful.   

    3dLux said:
    The eyes are pointed at the sphere of the other person laugh  In Reality the spheres are set to null so they don't appear in the render.  While I've never worked with Iray I think creating a null object for the character to focus on should work as well cool

    And for the collision, highlight the person being touched in the scene tab first, then go to Parameters-->Mesh Smoothing--> Collision Item.  Clothes are pre-selected. Click on the bar and select the person doing the touching from the menu that appears.  Hopefully deselecting the clothes won't cause too many pokethroughs and you can always apply a push modifier if it does wink  

    For obvious reasons this technique works best when the characters are nekkid devil  

    As for pointing the eyes at a null, I know you can do that, I point my lights at nulls all the time.

  • _manne__manne_ Posts: 274
    edited July 2015
    Thanks First! Somehow, I had a feeling you were going to say that. wink I'm going to have to get even more creative to see if I can recreate the first. I went through my fonts and some are MEH kinda close, others are UGH that looks awful. The scrollwork I can also do but again that's with a font rather than a brush. So let me see what sort of trouble I can get into. laugh
    AND the image in the post as well as the image itself is really cool! I wondered about putting it in the post because I have my photobucket and know about the IMG code, but I hadn't looked into it. Saved me a ton of time for that part thank you!

    Hey Kathryn,  have you checked out http://www.daz3d.com/rons-flourishes these are nice brushes so you wouldn't have to do a bunch of work in the font itself.

     

     

    I like your cover a lot too! very nice! Now you've done thrown down the gauntlet! lol!  heart

     

    I am glad you like it's a good challenge.  It gets me out of my rut and pushes me to really expand my skillset.  Incorporating the font as part of the whole image and artwork is something I haven't done much of before, so that's difficult and great at the same time. 

    Post edited by _manne_ on
  • kathrynlochkathrynloch Posts: 378
    edited July 2015
    3dLux said:

     

    The eyes are pointed at the sphere of the other person laugh  In Reality the spheres are set to null so they don't appear in the render.  While I've never worked with Iray I think creating a null object for the character to focus on should work as well cool

    And for the collision, highlight the person being touched in the scene tab first, then go to Parameters-->Mesh Smoothing--> Collision Item.  Clothes are pre-selected. Click on the bar and select the person doing the touching from the menu that appears.  Hopefully deselecting the clothes won't cause too many pokethroughs and you can always apply a push modifier if it does wink  

    For obvious reasons this technique works best when the characters are nekkid devil  

    You rock sweetie! Thank you so much! Now the funny thing was, last night I was trying that and I kept having to pull the null to the side of the face. I was certain I was doing it all wrong! lol! So gave up on it for the time being.

    And here I was doing it right.

    But honestly, last night was just one of those nights where anything and everything I tried to work on went belly up. Ever have one of those days where it's just put the thing down and slowly back away if it's something creative? Yeah, that was me. So hopefully today it will be better because I made zero progress last night.

    i'll definitely give the collision another shot.

     

    Post edited by kathrynloch on
  • kathrynlochkathrynloch Posts: 378
    _manne_ said:
     

    Hey Kathryn,  have you checked out http://www.daz3d.com/rons-flourishes these are nice brushes so you wouldn't have to do a bunch of work in the font itself.

     

     

    I like your cover a lot too! very nice! Now you've done thrown down the gauntlet! lol!  heart

     

    I am glad you like it's a good challenge.  It gets me out of my rut and pushes me to really expand my skillset.  Incorporating the font as part of the whole image and artwork is something I haven't done much of before, so that's difficult and great at the same time. 

     And thanks for the brushes - actually I'm pretty sure I have some, I just have to dig 'em up. I'm a nut when it comes to collecting photoshop brushes. If I had all of my brushes load when photoshop starts up - it crashes. So I'll see if I can dig ''em up before I go out and get more. lol! 

    Well, like I said, last night wasn't worth a flying flip. So to warm up I decided to work on something else. I've been wanting to change my YouTube channel banner for awhile, so I'm hoping this might be a warm up. What do y'all think. It's no biggie if this one falls flat as its not the end all do all.

    BUT to add more to the pot, my second audiobook producer contacted me. Demon Laird and Mist Warrior were all awarded stipends by ACX because they're best sellers as ebooks. That means ACX pays the producer out of their pocket. I just do a royalty share with the producer on sales. Anyway, Shadowed Hawk didn't get a stipend even though it outsold Demon Laird - don't know why. Few producers want to do royalty share on non-stipend project so that means I have to fund that one out of pocket. Well, one producer was willing to do it for a bit of cash but I needed to save up for it.

    Well he hollered at me wanting to do the project and he doesn't care about the cash, just wants to do the royalty share. One romance he did he told me sold almost a hundred copies. He wants to get this one rolling because we'll make some money like that. I'm like - uh - dude - Demon Laird hit 200 copies in less than 30 days. lol!

    But anyway, I ain't complaining. However it does mean - you guessed it - yet another audiobook cover! AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

    Ya know one of these days I really do need to sit down and do that thing - you know - that writing stuff. wink

    So Manne le'ts hope I'm up for the challenge this time x2. laugh

  • kathrynlochkathrynloch Posts: 378
    edited July 2015

    Oh DUH!

     

    Let me try that image thing now.

    .

    Post edited by kathrynloch on
  • _manne__manne_ Posts: 274

     And thanks for the brushes - actually I'm pretty sure I have some, I just have to dig 'em up. I'm a nut when it comes to collecting photoshop brushes. If I had all of my brushes load when photoshop starts up - it crashes. So I'll see if I can dig ''em up before I go out and get more. lol! 

    Well, like I said, last night wasn't worth a flying flip. So to warm up I decided to work on something else. I've been wanting to change my YouTube channel banner for awhile, so I'm hoping this might be a warm up. What do y'all think. It's no biggie if this one falls flat as its not the end all do all.

    BUT to add more to the pot, my second audiobook producer contacted me. Demon Laird and Mist Warrior were all awarded stipends by ACX because they're best sellers as ebooks. That means ACX pays the producer out of their pocket. I just do a royalty share with the producer on sales. Anyway, Shadowed Hawk didn't get a stipend even though it outsold Demon Laird - don't know why. Few producers want to do royalty share on non-stipend project so that means I have to fund that one out of pocket. Well, one producer was willing to do it for a bit of cash but I needed to save up for it.

    Well he hollered at me wanting to do the project and he doesn't care about the cash, just wants to do the royalty share. One romance he did he told me sold almost a hundred copies. He wants to get this one rolling because we'll make some money like that. I'm like - uh - dude - Demon Laird hit 200 copies in less than 30 days. lol!

    But anyway, I ain't complaining. However it does mean - you guessed it - yet another audiobook cover! AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

    Ya know one of these days I really do need to sit down and do that thing - you know - that writing stuff. wink

    So Manne le'ts hope I'm up for the challenge this time x2. laugh

     Wow sounds like you're going to be super busy, but I'll play too.  So what requirements are you thinking for the Shadow Hawk cover?  There's nothing like brainstorming to get a project started.  The existing book cover is really nice.

  • kathrynlochkathrynloch Posts: 378
    edited July 2015
    _manne_ said:

     Wow sounds like you're going to be super busy, but I'll play too.  So what requirements are you thinking for the Shadow Hawk cover?  There's nothing like brainstorming to get a project started.  The existing book cover is really nice.

    Manne - you are my hero! lol! I can't tell y'all how much the buddy system helps - not only because of all the great advice and cool stuff I'm learning, just knowing that you're going to be working on something even though you don't have to - well, I'd better get my butt in gear. lol! Plus I've always had a competitive streak - all the years showing horses and playing sports as a kid. It's not "I'd better win!" it's "I'd better at least give a good showing." lol! Okay Talon and Gwen are rending right now. Keep fingers crossed that I got the Kourus (or whatever it's called) to fit right. I think it will look much nicer but my computer is going to have a nervous breakdown trying to render it even with the OOT Hair shaders. lol! I think I got the collisions set too but more on that when this thing will actually type. Now Shadowed Hawk is going to be a challenge because it's the one I did the variant covers on. The one I hate the most sold the best. The one that works the best for the theme with the series is my favorite. And the last one that has the fantasy feel didn't do well at all. I did make another version for a print cover but that's a cover that will just hide behind the barn and pretend it never happened. lol! So I not only get to create a new character but try to figure out what cover and/or combination of covers I want. For anyone who hasn't seen the different ones - 

    Here's my favorite - and the one that goes best with the series.

     

    This is the best seller cover and the one I hate - 

     

    And this one I like but doesn't meet genre expectation.

     

    So there we go. Now let me get off this thing so it will finish rendering and I'll be able to actually type. lol!

    Post edited by Chohole on
  • 3Don3Don Posts: 579

    I was delighted to recently discover this thread. I have been an illustrator for many years, having worked in traditional studio media as well as computer generated art, both vector and 3D. My portfolio includes illustrations for books, educational, advertising, retail, and professional magazine clients among others.

    After reading thru this forum topic & seeing the art samples it has occurred to me there may be a service I can provide to other 3D illustrators. Contact me if you need custom designed poses for your book cover art. 

    You can buy whole pose sets just to get the few that you really need. And even those you still may need to tweak or fit with another character. I can provide poses for just about any character out there. I can work to specific descriptions of an action or provide some input to your ideas. Any commissioned poses I do would be sold outright and I would not use them in any commercial set or resell them. They’d be all yours.

    Altho I was a die-hard Poser user for a long time I now prefer DAZ Studio and the Genesis line of models. I can provide for Poser. Presently the Genesis 2 figures are the very best for this type of work. They can accept V4 and M4 clothing, etc. as well as Genesis 1 content. That and the myriad of morphs of the G2 figures offers the utmost versatility and the amount of add-on content.

    I also pose animals and combinations of people and people & animals. I have been selling pose sets since 2000 at 10 different online 3D content stores (some are now defunct). I have done well over 200 commercial sets.

    I have illustrated several books. See samples here:

    http://donalbertgraphicarts.com/Pages/DAGA_Books1.html

    You can see other illustration samples by clicking the Portfolio button.

    My DAZ store is the best showcase of my posing work, 117 pose sets there.

    http://www.daz3d.com/don-albert

    Contact me if you are interested:

    [email protected]

    DONALBERT_DAZpaBanner.jpg
    960 x 160 - 109K
  • kathrynlochkathrynloch Posts: 378
    edited July 2015

    Thank you Cho - I see you ninja edited the pics. With trying to render at the same time my laptop was running in fits and starts and I couldn't get the pics resized. laugh

    And after it took five minutes for an image to show on a spot render then it was at 0 percent after ten on a real render, I said WHOA! Hold the phone here! I'm not spending hours waiting for test renders. So that means I need to split the scene. So first I gotta make sure everything is right with the pose and how they're interacting. Then I can can delete and save as for each character and hopefully the thing will stop moving like molasses in January.

    Okay the saga of the collision is an interesting one, 3D. I looked backwards, forwards, and sideways to find that smoothing mesh on the characters. Had 'em running around in their b-day suits like 60's era streakers. lol! I even read your instructions backwards, forwards and sideways - several times. That smoothing mesh wasn't there - period. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Nothing. 

    Well, one thing I do know about 3d software is if something isn't there and it's supposed to be - it's either hidden or hasn't been applied. And I remember seeing something - somewhere that I know pertained to this situation. Now where was it? So I start rooting around various menu options. AH HA! Gotcha! Under Edit/Figure/Geometry there's Apply Smoothing Modifyer along with a several other choices for 'em. Right next to that push modifer too. I've got you now, my pretty, and you're little dog to!.

    Sooo tried apply. BUZZZZ! Wrong answer! I tried set - BUZZZ! Strike two! Then it was a smack forehead moment. I didn't have the meshes slected under the Perameters tab. I select them hit Apply Smoother again and TADAAAAA! The smoothing modifier magically appears and collision is right where it's supposed to be. *Play celebration music clip.  . . .  Okay that's enough.*

    Now I was able to set Gwen up with a collision for Talon, but couldn't make it the other way around. I guess there can't be cross collisions? Course, now that I think about it, something like that might cause one hell of an endless loop. lol! But I dunno. Still Gwen is the one who needs the collision most I think.

    So - problem solved at least enough for government work. 

    Next made the null eye targets - no problem and found the Kourous hair that actually works. Seems like there are 3 different things with this hair. First there's a KourousH file, then a KouruseH - v4 file, and a KourousH Prop file. The one that almost worked for me but ended up getting me so frustrated was is that the hair came so close to fitting and even has a spot reserved for Gianni, is that I could seen any details on the partial renders. Well, anyway, here's my latest unfinished render.

    Sorry I got interuppted there my laptop wigged out.

    Okay I was going to post it in the image but it's not worth it. lol! I changed out Talon's hair - looks tons more realistic but dang I gotta fix it! It's not fitting right and it's going nutso. But I can do that easier when I separate the file. 

    I think in regard to the post, I almost got it. I have to fix Gwen's eyes now, but I think I've got Talon. If I unparent the nulls from the respective heads but leave them in place. Then I should be able to delete characters without losing the eye position. I'm going to try to look as closely as I can for pose before I split the file but it's a crappy render that was taking forever. So I might just have to wing it. 

    Anyway, if anyone sees anything holler at me now because once I separate everything it will be a pain to fix. I'll keep the original file of course, but still.

    Off to get a weed whacker to fix that hair!

    gwenandtalenrender3.jpg
    1596 x 1596 - 1M
    Post edited by kathrynloch on
  • kathrynlochkathrynloch Posts: 378
    3Don said:

    I was delighted to recently discover this thread. I have been an illustrator for many years, having worked in traditional studio media as well as computer generated art, both vector and 3D. My portfolio includes illustrations for books, educational, advertising, retail, and professional magazine clients among others.

    After reading thru this forum topic & seeing the art samples it has occurred to me there may be a service I can provide to other 3D illustrators. Contact me if you need custom designed poses for your book cover art. 

    You can buy whole pose sets just to get the few that you really need. And even those you still may need to tweak or fit with another character. I can provide poses for just about any character out there. I can work to specific descriptions of an action or provide some input to your ideas. Any commissioned poses I do would be sold outright and I would not use them in any commercial set or resell them. They’d be all yours.

    Altho I was a die-hard Poser user for a long time I now prefer DAZ Studio and the Genesis line of models. I can provide for Poser. Presently the Genesis 2 figures are the very best for this type of work. They can accept V4 and M4 clothing, etc. as well as Genesis 1 content. That and the myriad of morphs of the G2 figures offers the utmost versatility and the amount of add-on content.

    I also pose animals and combinations of people and people & animals. I have been selling pose sets since 2000 at 10 different online 3D content stores (some are now defunct). I have done well over 200 commercial sets.

    I have illustrated several books. See samples here:

    http://donalbertgraphicarts.com/Pages/DAGA_Books1.html

    You can see other illustration samples by clicking the Portfolio button.

    My DAZ store is the best showcase of my posing work, 117 pose sets there.

    http://www.daz3d.com/don-albert

    Contact me if you are interested:

    [email protected]

    Hi Don - Welcome to the thread! 

    Ya know, I could be wrong but I think we might have done business in the past. I'm not sure because it was - geez - like almost five years ago. But at that time I was starting up my miniature painting business War Horse Miniatures, and you were doing slogans and tag lines. At least I think it was you, I might be mis-remembering - it was awhile ago. lol! If I'm mistaken, my apologies.

    I enjoyed looking at your illustrations, quite interesting. I'm a horse person so that's what I always notice first. 

    But you are very correct about posing. Every once in awhile I throw up my hands because it gets so frustrating. But I'm getting there! 

    Thanks for dropping buy I hope you can stick around and join in the fun!

     

    Cheers,

    Kathryn

  • _manne__manne_ Posts: 274
    edited July 2015

    Thank you Cho - I see you ninja edited the pics. With trying to render at the same time my laptop was running in fits and starts and I couldn't get the pics resized. laugh

    And after it took five minutes for an image to show on a spot render then it was at 0 percent after ten on a real render, I said WHOA! Hold the phone here! I'm not spending hours waiting for test renders. So that means I need to split the scene. So first I gotta make sure everything is right with the pose and how they're interacting. Then I can can delete and save as for each character and hopefully the thing will stop moving like molasses in January.

    What I found specifically with Iray was that if your scene size took up more memory than could spool to the graphics card, it stopped using the GPU altogether and just used CPU which made it almost impossible to work while any rendering was going on.  Perhaps that's what you're experiencing.

    Next made the null eye targets - no problem and found the Kourous hair that actually works. Seems like there are 3 different things with this hair. First there's a KourousH file, then a KouruseH - v4 file, and a KourousH Prop file. The one that almost worked for me but ended up getting me so frustrated was is that the hair came so close to fitting and even has a spot reserved for Gianni, is that I could seen any details on the partial renders. Well, anyway, here's my latest unfinished render.

    I always use the Kouros Hair prop.  Also you'll see some morph controls for it under the parameters tab.  I find less is more when dialing anything on it.

     

    Sorry I got interuppted there my laptop wigged out.

    Okay I was going to post it in the image but it's not worth it. lol! I changed out Talon's hair - looks tons more realistic but dang I gotta fix it! It's not fitting right and it's going nutso. But I can do that easier when I separate the file. 

    You might be able to get away with just hiding the character and all thier clothes rather than deleting them.

    I think in regard to the post, I almost got it. I have to fix Gwen's eyes now, but I think I've got Talon. If I unparent the nulls from the respective heads but leave them in place. Then I should be able to delete characters without losing the eye position. I'm going to try to look as closely as I can for pose before I split the file but it's a crappy render that was taking forever. So I might just have to wing it. 

    Anyway, if anyone sees anything holler at me now because once I separate everything it will be a pain to fix. I'll keep the original file of course, but still.

    One thing I noticed earlier, if you're going to have the sun behind them, you probably don't want such a strong red\orange light in front of them too.  Repositioning that light would probably help.

    Off to get a weed whacker to fix that hair!

    Hahahahaha.  I'll post up some of my settings and you can see if they help at all.

    KourosH.jpg
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    KourosH2.jpg
    624 x 771 - 185K
    Post edited by _manne_ on
  • 3Don3Don Posts: 579

    Kathryn-

    Hhmmm... I don't recall either. At one time I was in advertising and did specialize in tag lines, slogans, and such. But I don't recall your horse painting bizness.

    Aren't you somewhere in Texas? I live in San Antonio.

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