• Busy Again…

    A lot of stuff going on at work. I’ll spare the details for a variety of reasons but it has been stressful.

    My one reprieve has been experimenting with bringing the DAZ Victoria model and textures into LightWave. Two big goals that I would like to achieve are rigging the Victoria model using LightWave’s Genoma system and using FiberFX to generate hair.

    I’d show off the renders but the skin texture is naked and would probably get flagged in Flickr. I’ll have to put some lingerie on the model or something.

    Spring seems to have finally come to North Texas! We’ve had quite a bit of rain lately but the temperatures have stayed well above freezing.



  • More Texan Snow

    It was not long after moving here that I quickly learned of the old joke, “If you don’t like the weather in Texas, wait 30 minutes.”

    My Backyard - March 5, 2015 01Seeing snow in Texas always amuses me. It has been getting more severe in a very noticeable way – unless you are a member of the Republican Party that is. It often shuts the city down and drivers are moving slower than I can walk. They honestly think that black ice forms with any snowfall at all!

    Get used to this Texas; climate change is real and most of you insist on electing idiots who would prefer to deny reality. These politicians are just whoring themselves out to the fossil fuel industry of course.

    During the night of March 4-5, North Texas received a fairly deep blanket of snow. It was about 5:30am and the sun had yet to rise when I grabbed my camera to capture what my backyard looked like. Most of the illumination comes from the floodlights on my house.

    My Backyard - March 5, 2015 02I think these turned out rather well given how hastily I took them.

    By noon, the temperature was above freezing and climbing higher. Most of this melted before the end of the day and by Friday morning only shaded areas still had some snow on the ground. It was fun while it lasted.



  • More Gobel Photoshop Actions (Stardust & Sandstorm)

    I really cannot get enough of the Photoshop Actions that Brad Gobel is creating! They are about the only reason that I am still using Carrara these days.

    V4-Katie-StardustHere is Brad’s Stardust Action at work.

    I used the Victoria 4 model and put the Katie texture on her. Although this is a nude model, the Action post-processing usually hides the “naughty bits.” I think these are very tame images; however, a prude may still find these images offensive.

    I used the Amarseda hair model from the DAZ Store as well as the Feathered Wings prop.

    The default parenting of the wings to Victoria was far too low on her body in my opinion. I disabled the parenting and placed the wings where I fell they looked best. I spent some time playing around with morphs on the wings to find something I liked.

    After applying the pose (I don’t recall which one, but it was from a purchase on Renderosity), I needed to adjust the morphs on the hair so that it was sitting more realistically.

    I did tweak the pose by adjusting Victoria’s right arm and hand.

    Stardust provided a happy accident with the flare effect. I liked how the pose was reaching for something, so I put the flare in place appropriately. The last step was a very quick and dirty vignette.

    hires1-Sandstorm2Next, I tried the Sandstorm Action.

    At first, I kept everything the same in Photoshop. As you can see in Brad’s videos, you need to have a layer called “brush” to control the placement of the Action effect. With Stardust, I used a Quick Mask to select nearly all of the image.

    Sandstorm obliterated everything! It was kind of cool on its own, but not the result that I wanted.

    I adjusted the “brush” layer to concentrate on the wings. I still lightly selected along the legs and torso though. I made sure that the particles from the left wing did not hide the reaching arm.

    Brad has created a few new Actions. I’ll definitely buy those shortly and see what else I can come up with.



  • New Renders

    I bought several more of Brad Goble’s excellent Photoshop Actions and I finally made some time to play with them today. In Carrara, I rendered Victoria 4 using the Kay skin texture and the Philly hair. I used a preset pose from a collection called Coy Poses.

    V4-Kay-ForgeThe lingerie top is see-through, but I knew that the Actions would obscure her slightly visible nipples.

    I used the same render for all three Actions.

    This first image was processed by the Forge Action. This Action is probably better suited for vehicles on a roadway since it generates rock pieces and glowing dust particles.

    I tweaked up the colour a little bit and fringed the border a little. I should have spent more time and care with that next time. The effect could be better with a grunge brush or texture.

    V4-Kay-FractalThe second image was created with the Fractal Action. I don’t have much to say for this one. It is a neat effect but it would probably benefit from a base image that has a lot more action going on in it.

    I’ll experiment further with this Action on other base images.

    V4-Kay-MoonstoneThe third image is by far my favourite of the three!

    It was created with the Moonstone Action and I spent the most time tweaking this one to get this end result. I am a sucker for blue-green colours and love the diagonal light streaks.

    I am sure that I will return to the Moonstone Action a lot in the future.



  • Busy!

    Wow!

    I have been extremely busy at work the last two weeks. It was even burning-out kind of busy. Individually, it was all pretty easy and straight-forward stuff that I love to do. Every now and then however; it piles up and comes at me all at once. I hate it when that happens.

    Ah well. I think I am coming out of it now and hopefully my life can calm down a bit.

    There are a few more stressors still ahead but I can face those down and write out them if they become interesting / annoying enough.

    BALDURSGATE UPDATE

    The new 3D rig was experiencing some very odd performance issues. I tried to save a bit of money by re-using some of the disks from my older machine. I could hear clicking noises however and several programs seemed to take a very long time to load. Disturbing to say the least.

    So I have purchased a new external USB 3.0 drive and have moved all the files over to it. I hope that’s all that it needs. Future purchases will improve the wireless signal and – if possible – expand the SSD size for the Windows volume.

    I have installed Dragon Age: Origins to replay since I have kick-ass video cards now. It will take a long time, but I will eventually get up to DA3: Inquisition.

    My disappointment in DAZ continues… I was able to install Carrara 8.1 but the content package won’t work. This severely hobbles the program. At least the Poser runtime libraries appear to be intact.

    Back to it!



  • Newest LEGO Architecture Model

    Lincoln MemorialThe latest LEGO Architecture model was released at the beginning of January. So of course, I bought that as fast as I could!

    I don’t need to point out how iconic the Lincoln Memorial is. Few things stand-out as more American.

    One of my favourite features of the Architecture instruction booklets is the background information and trivia that they provide about the structure. I learned a lot about the Lincoln Memorial! A memorial structure was already being planned while Lincoln lay dying. When the work was complete and opened in 1922, there were hundreds of Civil War veterans present – I think it is easy to forget how recently the Civil War occurred.Lincoln Memorial interior

    I grew up with the original Legoland and Lego Space series of models. However, the Architecture series is by far my favourite! It is incredible and lovely at the same time how so few bricks can still capture the iconic look and feel to a famous structure.



  • Je Suis Charlie

    Of course I am shocked and repulsed at the vile and cowardly attacks in Paris yesterday. Having a free society obviously includes the freedom to criticize or satirize any idea – including (especially?) religious ideas. Of course, I am not surprised either.

    Islamic intolerance of criticism is no longer shocking to us. We expect it.

    Indeed, according to the clueless and disgusting Catholic toad Bill Donohue, these attacks are the fault of the cartoonists themselves. There is no level too low that this cretin won’t sink to.

    I’ll just leave this image here…

    fuck islam

     

    While we are at it … fuck Bill Donohue too.