The first new book of 2016 has been released! Dream Angel #21: Guardians of the Tower is a breathtaking example of how much has been learned in the last year! Even how much has been learned in the last week.
I’ve learned that for the moment, I can’t put more than maybe 10 characters in a scene before DAZ Studio simply closes on me. This was especially problematic yesterday as I had a scene that called for over 40 of my characters to be in the scene. So, I had two options: Buy the $100 Decimator plugin from DAZ that simplifies the 3D models or render 2D images and put them on primitives. (Yes, I’m sharing a secret here!)
Since I’m saving up to get tables at local comic book conventions later in the year, the plugin was pretty much out of the question at this point, so, I started rendering posed characters with the same lighting I used for the scene so it would be consistent.
I wish I could show you some of these character renders and the process, but the site’s media library is on the fritz, so you’ll have to be imaginative as I describe this.
Together with a transparency map, these 2D renders on primitive planes got to play “stunt double” for the regular 3D characters. Seen from above, they’re like cardboard cutouts, but since they’re lit and seen from the front, they seem lifelike and appear to belong. All day yesterday I was rendering the characters and creating those transparency maps. The result made the effort worth it as the 2D plane characters played their parts very well and created the illusion that they are full 3D characters – which technically, they are, in a way.
Another impressive piece is the projections this part of the story called for and learning to make them glow effectively. The projection was good without the glow, but with the glow it gives the scene just the right touch!
If you want to see these tricks in action, the new book is waiting! Dream Angel #21: Guardians of the Tower is live and ready for you! You can also come enjoy the Facebook release party with its sneak peeks and teaser pages.