After a little under 5 hours, I have finally finished this painting. My black and white still life project is completed. For one month I painted 12 still life paintings. I clocked in a total 22 hour painting these. I my goal was ten still life paintings in one month, I went two beyond my quota :). I felt I have jumped a substantial hurdle in my painting, and that was details and refinement. I will continue to paint a still life or two a week to keep the skills I’ve learned sharp and with hopes that I will learn even more. Let me know what you think of the final painting. Any comments and critiques are welcome. Thank you for bearing with me for the last 4 days with this painting. I have a painting to put in my portfolio.
Here is a picture of the progress I made to paint this:
I nearing completion of this painting. The dirt around the allosaurus was surprisingly fun to render, even though is a good chunk of the time for today.There are some rough spots that need to be cleaned up. This is going to one of my portfolio pieces. After this , I will return to working on my wyrm painting and my 3d model of dean. Any comments and feedback is welcome. Painted from scratch in photoshop using a graphics tablet. 3+ hours spent so far.
“The Complete Guide the DAZ Studio” by Paolo Ciccone was provided to me by the publisher. I was intrigued by the book, since I haven’t seen many books dedicated to learning Daz Studio. Please note: Although I am certainty not a professional critic by any means, I was willing to give my best to make a solid unbiased review.
I will discuss each chapter of the book, and what I found interesting within.
I was going to skip the first chapter, being well antiquated with DAZ. But thankfully I didn’t because it showed me how to stop DAZ from loading the genesis figure in the scene at start up. I would always have to take that extra step in deleting that stupid thing. I been using DAZ for one year and didn’t even know I could do that. I feel like an idiot. The rest of the chapter covers the basics of adding a figure, adding clothing and hair, setting up the clothing to conform with the figure. and finally how to pose a figure.
Chapter Two focuses on customizing the DAZ user interface which is in my humble option one of the worst UIs to ever grace a 3d program. The author shows you how to change the interface to get more screen space and to make the program more bearable. He also shows how to customize the shortcut keys. Although I knew most of this stuff from tinkering with the settings. I do encourage anyone who is serious about working with this program to follow this chapter and save your self some headaches.
Chapter Three is the most important chapter for a beginner. The book shows you how to take a figure and pose it both the parameters and the gismos. One important point the author made, is ALWAYS use a reference for you pose. It is very easy to distort the model and make a pose the feels entirely unrealistic and uncomfortable.
Chapter Four is all about Morphs. Morphs are the meat and potatoes of DAZ studio. The book shows you how to take the base genesis mesh and turn it into different people and creatures using built in morphs. From a woman to a monster. I doesn’t go into detail on how to make you own custom morphs with a external 3d program. That is a disappointment. The true power of genesis is the ability to export the figure and modify it in an external 3d program. This allows you to make something unique that doesn’t look like it came from out of DAZ and Poser.
Chapter Five is about setting up your cameras and lighting in your scene and how to render them into an image.
Chapter six shares some websites where you can buy pre made content and how to install you purchases into DAZ. I’m not big into buying pre-made content. I enjoy making my own, or modifying what I have. This chapter also has some useful tips on installing for those who are beginners.
Chapter sever goes into more detail on how to control the cameras in a scene. How to organize your content in the content library. Especially useful in this chapter is how to import objects from other 3d software packages into your scene and getting it scaled correctly. It also mentions setting up the textures on obj files.
Chapter Eight guides you though the process of making a full scene and addressing how to fix issues with clothing not fitting the model and goes into more depth about adding materials and Uvs. Strangely enough this short bit is all the information on materials provided on the book. It would of been nice to have a complete chapter on the subject.
Chapter Nine concerns lighting. The author makes it clear for the reader not to use lighting just as a way to illuminate an object and makes a point that you can use lighting to hide things as well. Lighting is an artist tool that can make your scene more dynamic. It would of been nice for the author to go into more detail, as the information is rather basic.
Chapter Ten is solely concerned with the author’s own rending plug-in ‘Reality’. It uses the LuxRender open source renderer. Reality allows you to render more realistic images then the crappy built in renderer. Although he said he would be objective in this chapter concerning his own plug-in, he failed to mention his competitor’s plug-in Luxus.
Chapter Elven the author shows you, step by step, how to make a custom dress in a commercial 3d app called Modo. I was impressed with the author’s ability to simplify something so complex for a beginner. It shows how export the model out of DAZ to use as a reference, polygon modeling, slicing UVs, making texture maps. For a year now, I have been making morphs and customized clothing in Cararra and Hexagon. It was interesting to see his work flow compared to mine. The author bypasses setting up any custom clothing riggs, another missed opportunity.
Chapter Twelve, the final chapter focuses on animating your characters in DAZ Studio. I personalty hate animating in DAZ as I had so many issues with it. The chapter explain basic animation concepts such as key-framing.
Although most of content in this book I’ve already known from struggling with the program for a year. It would of saved a lot of frustration and time if I had this book when I first started using DAZ3D. I only wished the author would of went into more detail on making customized morphs. Regardless, the author’s writing is very clear and easy to follow. My hat goes off to him for his chapter on making custom clothing , that is a complicated subject that he has explained with relative ease.
I recommend this book to any beginner who is interested in using DAZ Studio to make 3d imagery, although I wish it had a bit more information on materials, and that he wasn’t so biased about his own plug-in. However if you a expert with DAZ Studio, you probably know most of what’s in the book already.
I was given a copy of this book to review by the publisher.
My painting is coming along. refined the allosaurus and and dirt a bit more. I still have the left side of the jar and the lid area to finish. A interesting thing about One you start refining the details, time flies like nothing. Any feedback is appreated. Allosaurus where pretty savage hunters.. and had no feathers. On a differnt side of the coin, a discovery of a late tyrannosaur fossil… had feathers.. lots of them. http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/04/yutyrannus-huali-feathers/ Now it is debated in certain circles of scientists if our beloved killing machine, the Trynasssourus Rex had feathers as well. If it did that would make it resemble a chicken. I don’t think a giant chicken would scare me in Jarassic Park 4000. So far I have spent about 2 hours and 20 minutes.
Update: I apologize if this post shows up in your reader more then once. Wordpres went crazy on me.
To make my little review a little less boring, I sketched this cartoon so you can see what happens to you 99% of the time in this game. You die.. A lot. Super Hexagon is a deceptively simple ‘tunnel’ game in which you guide a arrow circling around a giant hexagon. Walls are constantly coming toward you. If you hit a wall, its ‘game over’. There is six levels in this game. Your goal in each level is to survive the entourage of walls for 60 seconds. Sound simple, right? Ha! With the world constantly rotating, pulsating, and throwing out deviant patterns in your way. On your first try you will be fortunate if you survive for 5 seconds. It’s a hard game. But the more you play, the farther down the level you will get. Making it to the 60 second mark felt more rewarding to me then completing a 60 hour RPG. That says a lot. Right now (til January 2,2014) it’s on sale at steam for a mere 59 cents. Since it takes a couple hours per level, it’s a great value. http://store.steampowered.com/app/221640/
This painting will be the grand finale of black and white still life paintings. I will then bravely face creating still life paintings in (gulp) color. My next three days will be finishing this still life of a allosaurus (although the model I’m referencing look like a T-rex and a Allosaurus blended together) stuck in a jar (a after Christmas clearance jar with snowflakes all over it. Going to use it to store my paints). I am a big fan of dinosaurs. I guess with certain things (dragon, dinosaurs,etc) I will never ‘grow up’.This idea was inspired by my childhood. I have memories of capturing lizards, putting them in a jar, showing them to my friends and family (even show and tell once), and then freeing them into the wild. Imagine being able to catch a small dinosaur. I added a worried look to the allosaurus’ face. You don’t think of it as a kid but it must be pretty traumatic to be caged in a jar, even if you are given your freedom a few hours later. Any feedback is welcome. Unfinished. Painted from scratch using Photoshop with a graphics tablet
Wait for it.. I painted a daily painting… WITHOUT A DRAGON IN IT!.. and the painting is.. IN COLOR!!!.. please don’t faint, I’m too lazy to catch you. And yet I still made the monster able to breath fire.. go figure. 🙂 I stole the glowing fire tummy idea from the Hobbit movie, who in turn blatantly ripped off from World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. :O. Originally the monster was going think like the Hulk.. you know “ME HULK SMASH PUNY MAN” . But then I ADDED COLOR, so I need to make the picture more interesting. So I made it think more like the Hulk. you know “Me HULK BURN PUNY MAN! I SAY THAT’S SMASHING!” Did I mention that I painted it in color? This painting was purely out of my imagination. Photoshop. Time spent 1 hour 10 min. Done be surprised if I continue this painting on Saturday. I also painted this in color.
I know its a bit ad hoc to start another dragon model when I’m unfinished with the previous one but I got a little overwhelmed with it. I though I would get more comfortable with 3d sculpting by just doing a bust (a sculpture of the head) instead of the whole body. In contrast to the previous dragon model who I envision as a savage warrior, this dragon is a friendly chap. His name is Dean. He is a human-dragon hybrid. Since he is a ‘civilized’ dragon, his horns have been sanded down to avoid.. um.. accidental impalement. In a fantasy world he would be the type of dragon you would chat with at the water cooler at work, not the type you would fight to rescue the princess.. Stereotypes are boring. Why cant we have fantasy worlds where dragons are firefighters, trolls can be English gentlemen, and mermaids own pet stores? This model still need a ton of work. Three hours so far.
Probably one of my best still life paintings so far. I ditched doing a line drawing first and the painting over it. Instead I painted the shadow forms and light forms, and ‘built up’ the painting this way. I made sure to take advantage of using chiaroscuro, saving me time. The two items the dragon is guarding are of sentimental value to me, I’ve had them since I was a child. I found the dragon in a thrift store. Did I mention that I’m a geek? I collect geeky stuff.
Painted in Photoshop from scratch using a wacom tablet. Time spent: 1 hour and ten minutes
I probably will not post tomorrow, but I will be back on Thursday. Take care, everyone.
I brought my 3d sketch into Mudbox, a more professional 3d sculpting program. I was able use the Retopography tool to turn my sculpture into a quad mesh that was sculpt-able. So far after a bit of messing around was able to put a couple more hours into the figure. It’s far from done unfortunately and I need to finish my wyrm in a jar painting before I do anything else. I will attempt my first 3d illustration after by create separate models and then posing and combining them into one scene.
Because I am a student, Autodesk provides non-commercial 3 year licenses of their products to students. I wanted to learn Mudbox for quite some time. One thing I must say is that it much easier to use then zbrush ( I tried Zbrush a long time ago when they still had a trial version of their software. The crazy UI drove me insane! And I thought Blender’s UI made no sense. I have no clue if the new version has a improved UI or not). I also download Maya since my future class will requires that program.