Friday, June 17, 2016

Daz Studio: Noir Shaders

Below is a very interesting video tutorial on how to use shaders to achieve the high-contrast Sin City look used by Frank Miller. For those of you not really into 3D, shaders provide the texturing information that provide information about color, reflectiveness, transparency and stuff like that.

This requires the use of the Visual Style Shaders by DraagonStorm and TheNathanParable. I will be experimenting with these shortly.

Friday, June 3, 2016

CCN #114 Christmas Cover

Wow! How has (almost) half the year sped by already? I just recalled that a while back I promised that I'd post the cover I created for the Christmas issue of the Collectors' Club Newsletter.

CCN #114 Cover: The Front & Back View

The cover is a front and back view of a hectic, odd Christmas scene. For those of you into details like this, it was done in Daz Studio 4.8 with Iray. I actually modeled the candles and candle holders that are on the tree (and used instances for the first time to replicate about 20 of them). I did the modeling in Strata 3D ver 7.

The entire scene was so complex that it actually took about 48 hours or rendering to get a decent, high-resolution image. Post work was done in Photoshop.

By the way, a tip of the (Santa) hat to Alan Sissom for giving me the idea to do a front-and-back scene. I sent him a different image, and when I told him it was done in 3D, he asked if I could also show what was behind him. I thought it was a brilliant idea and started the task of updating it for Christmas, and showing what was going on behind the scenes, so to speak.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Poser & Daz Comic Links

A while back, I enjoyed a great online Webinar about using 3D tools to create comics. It was really one of the most informative Webinars I've ever attended.

Another blogger has gone through it and written up 10 tips from the show, and they can be found here: and you can find a link to the Webinar here:

A link to the actual presentation can be found here (but it has lousy audio, whereas the live event had good audio):
I think this is a longer version of the same show, with still-bad audio:
Slightly better audio on the Concrete Park segment:

Here's another link to a tutorial by Brian Haberlin:
And yet another:

Another one on coloring:

A different tutorial on coloring:

Finally, some links to training videos for Poser and Daz Studio.
Daz Studio:

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Whooo Goes There?

It's been a long time since I've done an update. I'm still busy with my "day job," so my fun-time projects have really fallen behind schedule. Still, I've managed to work in a little bit of fun here ant there. This illustration is one thing I managed to get done a week or so ago.

Abandoned. Desolate. Shunned... All fancy ways to say "Feared." A child's mind is blissfully uncluttered by concepts of equity, potential and renovation. A child knows when you should just stay away and leave it to the guardians of the night. Listen to the children, listen to midnight warning of the owl on its perch. Just move on, grown-ups. Just move on.

This was a render of Ken Gilliand's Owls of the World vol. 1 that I purchased at the annual Audubon charity sale over at The render was created in Daz Studio 4.9 with the Iray render engine. This was a quickie, but it was still a nice showcase for the owl figure.

As you might guess from a previous post, I've got owls on the brain right now. So, as I finally wrap up the Ultra reprint project, I'll be adding some new comics fun to my schedule.

Look for some new and exciting posts to come soon.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Just got some cool news!

I just got a cool recognition for my work. I had been working on a 3D image as a lighting test (there are new lighting techniques required for the new iray render engine for DazStudio) and -- at the last minute -- I decided to enter the monthly contest they sponsor in the user forums.

I did put a bit of work into the image, and I thought it had some cool features in it (nice composition and a bit of whimsy), but there were a few other really kick-ass submissions. Nevertheless, I got my work done just hours before the deadline and entered the final submission for August 2015.

Yesterday I got the cool news that I took the third-place prize!

Not bad for something that started off as a bit of a lark.

The prizes were donated by a merchant name Khory, and I was allowed to select a single item from his catalog. I decided to select this cool set of Leather Shaders for use with the iray renderer  (a shader is a generic set of color and textures that can be applied to existing models -- it's like having the exact same shoe in different colors and finishes).

Where's the picture?

You're probably wondering where the prize-winning illustration is. Alas, I cannot show it to you at this time. You see, after I finished it (but before it won), I sent it over to the editor/president of the Collectors' Club as a possible cover submission. He liked it, so we're going to keep it under wraps until it is actually published, either late this year or early next.

I'll post it then.

For the meantime, I just wanted to share the cool news.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Black Owl and Hooty WIP 2

Here's the second major iRay render I worked on in DazStudio 4.8. I let the computer run for about 42 hours, which let it reach about 25% completion. This included a new mesh light behind the camera to provide stronger illumination and better defined shadows for their necks and faces. It also provides a really nice shine on their boots and gloves, but you need to open the larger image to see them.

Click on this image for a larger view.
Note that the faces are a lot clearer.
I say a larger view because the click-through image is only 1,000 pixels wide. The actual render was a whopping 3,500 pixels wide. I'm working so large for two reasons:

  • I'm thinking of using this for print (either the aforementioned Powers Beyond RPG) or possibly for the Collectors' Club Newsletter (a cool group of comics fans: you can find out more about them here:
  • I find it easier to digitally ink larger images in Manga Studio (if I decide to do that -- I might not).
Obviously, this image is too dark (and the red zone is waaaaay too bright, but that's necessary for it to cast the proper red glow throughout the scene), so I will be doing some postwork on it. Also, it took waaaaay too long to render, so I will be revisiting the lighting options I used for this illustration, and work on tweaking them for future projects.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Black Owl and Hooty WIP

I'm working on a new project (while wrapping up the ongoing projects with ULTRA, Gutshot, etc.)

Click to see larger image.
This time I'm creating some Golden Age superheroes for an upcoming Supers RPG called Powers Beyond.

I'll also be creating some other, futuristic heroes with more SF trappings. This time, however, the project is in COLOR!

This is a fun opportunity to spread my wings a bit and branch out of b&w.

Of course, it also means focusing on new techniques like color lighting, which is what I'm working on in this Work In Progress (WIP) image. For this project, I'll be using Daz Studio 4.8 and the new NVIDA iRay render engine.

As you can see from the image above, I need to master a few more technical issues regarding this new render engine. I'll be posting more images as they become available.