November 2014

To map or not to map - Part 1

This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series Mapping Shade

As a child in the 1970s I used to take great joy in the maps of books that I loved. I remember patiently tracing the Narnian maps, then transferring them to drawing paper and carefully colouring them in. I went on to do this with maps of Middle-earth and Earthsea and then started creating maps for any book I really loved that was without a map. Now that my upcoming

Facial Expressions in DAZ Studio 4.7 and a thankyou

I’ll start with the thankyou. The person that I wish to thank is my sister-in-law Kylie Ison. Kylie has a blog called “Body Transformations: Never Give Up on Yourself”. It was Kylie’s personal journey into blogging that encouraged me to follow. It is Kylie’s motto (never give up on yourself) which is an inspiration to me and to those around her. Yes, I blog about writing my novel and playing

A second test of my window from 123D Catch in DAZ Studio

I’ve composed a second image in DAZ Studio using the church window I scanned as a 3D object using Autodesk 123D as per previous posts. I’m pretty pleased with the outcome. I’ve only got one fairly diffuse spotlight shining on the scene and that is a light blue light to give a slightly creepy mood. I looked at some reference material of faces that were surprised and shocked and parted the

Posing a figure in DAZ Studio

This is the sequel to the post about using Autodesk’s 123D Catch to make an environment for a DAZ Studio image. Again I have a video of me talking as I fiddle away with DAZ Studio. What you are going to see in this video is me adding a standard figure to the scene (it comes with the free Genesis Essentials Pack). I will then drag a pose onto it

Using 123D Catch to make an environment for DAZ Studio

I love to create, but I am also fairly limited in respects to money. Hence I put a lot of effort into finding free computer graphic tools and seeing what I can do with them. I’ve mentioned DAZ Studio before. Now to look at 123D Catch, a wonderful product from Autodesk. Basically 123D Catch lets you take several photos of something and then turn these into a 3D object for use in 3D

A documentary that influenced my fantasy writing - Slumming it

‘Slumming It’ is a documentary by Kevin McCloud whereby McCloud visits the slum of Dharavi in Mumbai, India. Here he finds a world that is so different to that which Westerners (like myself) experience. The children play among filth near toxic drains, Pollution is everywhere. Poverty is everywhere. Surely this must be soul crushing for the inhabitants. And yet there is a richness of spirit that is fascinating to watch.

Creating the cover of my novel – Part 2

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Making my own book cover

Back on to the creation of the cover. As I said in my previous post, my designer Paul Deuis of Jethryk ( guided me superbly in what I needed to give him. In this post I’ve included excerpts from his emails so that you can see what to expect from a good designer. So first he gave me an idea of the specifications and why. “I’ve made the artboard 155mm x

Creating the cover of my novel - Part 1

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Making my own book cover

Whoever said that you should not judge a book by its cover was obviously swimming against the tide. Judging a book by its cover is precisely what most people do. You only need to stand in a book shop (you remember book shops don’t you?) and watch people browse. The books with the great covers are constantly being examined. Anyway, I wanted a great cover. And I wanted it as