New art work: Upon the Battlements

New art work: Upon the Battlements

Hi folks,

Have to keep today’s post brief as my eyes are aching a bit and have become quite blurry. Probably over worked them on the weekend with the piece of art that I am about to discuss.

Last week a good deal came from DAZ where I could buy a model dragon for some ridiculously small amount if I first bought a new product. So I did. Me being me, I decided to take the model out for a test run on DAZ Studio. Three days later here I am. So what I am showing you today has no real structure or thought to it other than “Cool – I am playing with a dragon”. Well, that is mostly true. This said, I did think “Let’s have it appearing in front of people on battlements.”

So the first thing I needed was battlements. Luckily Blender has a cool script called “add_mesh_building_basics” and I used this to build a basic wall:

2016-06-20_22-07-27

I threw on a rock texture from Textures.com. Made and applied normal, bump, displacement and specularity maps.

Then I turned Blender into sculpt mode and gave it a rough hewn look.

2016-06-20_22-07-19

I also used Blender’s landscaping script to create some mountains. Pretty standard looking things so I would show them here.

Once I had finished in Blender I exported the objects as OBJ and imported into a scene in DAZ Studio. Did a bit of arranging, added an HDR sky and was ready for the dragon.

Now the dragon I got on the cheap is called a Millennium Sub-dragon. I am reasonably happy with it, though I figure that it could be smoother in places. Nevertheless it has a lot of morphs for wonderful customising, and that is something that I really appreciate.

I then added a couple of figures. Thought I would make one a bit muscular and heroic. Placed some spotlights around the scene facing left to right. So In DAZ it looked like this:

2016-06-20_22-07-10

Then rendered in Iray. Result:

2016-06-20_22-35-55

Time for post-processing in Photoshop.

As you would expect I played with Levels, contrast, vibrance. Nothing unusual. Then I added a place translucent gradient mask. This mask would be distance haze. Anywhere in the foreground I erased the haze. I also wanted the sky to have a feeling of clouds. So I grabbed one of my cloud photos (TIP: always have a library of skies). Here is the pic that I chose:

tnIMG_3864

I then added this as a new layer, made it reasonably translucent and erased anywhere where it overlapped mountains or foreground.

The final step was to add a light dusting of snow in the air. I used the following tutorial from one of my favourite YouTube presenters: PHLEARN

The final result was this:

tndragon

It’s not really what I first envisioned, but as always I am learning and that is a good thing :)

Thanks for reading.

Greg

 

 

7 Comments


  1. Nice work! Neat trick for the snow.

    I’ve been messing around with Daz for a couple years now, but Blender is still something of a mystery (not very intuitive, but the things it allows might make the effort of learning worth it). Have you ever tried exporting your Daz characters to Unreal Engine 4? Since it became free i’ve been giving it a go with… mixed results to date. :)

    Anyways, love the tuts. Cheers.


    1. Thanks for visiting :) I’ve played around with the Unreal Engine but need to do more. Since the 90s graphics has been a hobby when not working or raising a family. Now I have a bit more time on my hands I really need to do some serious learning (albeit eye issues, writing a textbook, and writing a fantasy novel) :) Thanks :) I’ll also pop you an email because I’m not sure whether you get a notification of my response given that I don’t think you are a gravatar user. :)


  2. The guy on the right looks to be quite a bit closer to the dragon than the guy on the left. I hope he’s got some better weaponry/powers on him, he looks like he’s in mortal danger getting that close!


    1. Thanks Jeni :) I tried to make the guy on the left a great brute and the guy in the right a little runt. Instead, as you say, they come across as at different distances. I need to rethink my camera angles and poses. :) Perhaps by the end of the week :)


  3. I really like what you did there, but something in the final render kept throwing me off. Took a while to figure out what it was, but I think I got it. Your foreground lightning is fine, but you’ve got a very, very clear sunny day lighting on your mountain – sharp shadows and next to no atmospheric blur. I have hard time telling how far from camera that mountain is, but even if it’s just a hundred metres or so, it should be a lot more hazy and less sharply lit, what with the snowfall underway (speaking as a Russian Canadian here ;) )

    I really like the image otherwise, though, especially your composition and posing. The guy on the left seems like he’s trying to intimidate the dragon – like you might try to intimidate a bear – which I thought was pretty cool! And the guy on the right looks like he’s either about to poke the dragon with a blade we can’t see or cast a spell. Is he a mage? )


    1. Thanks. :) Before I posted the picture I spent ages looking at it feeling that something was wrong. I played with haze but just could not get it looking right. I shall play some more. I am also dissatisfied with my fairly boring camera angle. I want to rethink that and maybe also the pose of the dragon.

      The human figures also did not quite turn out as I imagine. Jeni (below comment) also referred to them. The idea was a big brute (think Conan) who would take on anything and a smaller, wimpier mage. In retrospect I think that I should have had a camera to one side of them so that I could capture their expressions to tell the story better. The reason I did not do so this time is because I’ve done a couple of pictures with side-on of a large aggressor in a high position and the defender in a lower position and I was concerned that I was developing lack of imagination in camera angle. Nevetheless these are my own misgivings and not yours :) , so thanks for the feedback. I might do a reimagining of this picture :)

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