Mage of wisdom: Ryu

ryuRyu is a mage. It’s unwise to call him anything else as it might get you burned – literally. He’s a dragon mage. A very wise one, at that.

He’s among the few that have some understanding of Dream Angel’s power. Wise as he is, even he doesn’t understand the full extent of her power.

He’s also helped Red Nite Soldier and Blue Nite Soldier understand their power, but again he doesn’t fully understand it.

Like any wise mage, he’s always learning and studying. Not just to improve his magic, but to learn as much as he can about Dream Angel and her friends’ powers to help further their understanding.

He refuses to claim the title “master of magic” because he believes he is always learning new things. Although he’s mastered a good many things, his constant research and learning account for his unwillingness to accept being called a master.

His tower in the Sunless Mountains has an enormous library of magical books and spells. No matter how many times he reads a book, he will insist he learns something new each time.

He uses what he considers real magic, unlike wizards and magicians. He’ll say they simply use trickery and sleight of hand instead of magic. Of course, when push comes to shove, he’ll simply breathe fire to get his point across.

Breathing fire is a last resort as far as he’s concerned, as he claims it leaves his throat terribly raw for days. He’d rather cast a spell than breathe fire, which sometimes causes even Jake to tease him about being the only dragon on the planet that hates fire.

What do you think? Is Ryu an interesting character? He makes his comic book debut in Dream Angel #7, which is available in the shop. It’s highly recommended to get the books that came before it so the story makes sense. Also available in the shop is his plush action figure.

Tragic victim: vampire cockroach

cockroach vampireVampire cockroaches are unfortunate creatures. I know, the first thought for a cockroach is usually “EWWWW!!” Here’s some food for thought, though: roaches’re excellent survivors. Which would make them more difficult than ever to kill if they were undead vampires.

These roaches are roaches through unfortunate circumstances, too. They’re the victims of Jerigel SwampFang’s third bite. Unlike most vampires, it takes three bites for him to completely control his victims. As a result, they become cockroaches. The only thing these victims keep of their humanity is their height.
If anything, these unfortunate creatures should be pitied. There’s no known cure for their condition and killing them is far more difficult than if they were normal roaches.

The one thing these roaches fear above all is spiders. If they should see one, they become uncontrollable. The larger the spider, the harder they are to control.
One important ability besides turning their own victims into roaches for an hour, is being able to change form. They’re able to temporarily resume their human form during the day, but only if Jerigel allows it.

Over the years, these victims are those who tried to rebel against Nyxus. Some got in Jerigel’s way, and others Nyxus wanted to just make disappear. Since Nyxus controls Jerigel and he controls roaches, rebels are then made to do her bidding.

Once Jerigel controls a victim as a roach, they have no free will of their own. In fact, they cannot do anything without him knowing about it. The control is complete and permanent as far as anyone knows. Even Ryu doesn’t know of a cure to change these unfortunate victims human again.

These roaches are today’s daily deal. Aren’t they interesting characters? Won’t you take pity on them? They just want your love! they make their comic book debut in Dream Angel #7, which is available in the shop. It’s a good idea to get the books that came before it so the story makes sense! Also found in the shop is the plush action figure of these creatures.

Continued countdown to Techwarrior #5!

The continued countdown to Techwarrior #5 is an exciting one! Hard to believe this amazing new book and an accompanying 5 book collection will be released just the day after tomorrow!

We’re talking about knockout photo realistic art with an awesome story to go with it.

Okay, Techwarrior #1-4 don’t have the photo realistic look, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t awesome. They still feature impressive custom lighting and the start to the awesome story. So, they’re worth enjoying anyway.
Once Techwarrior #5 is released, what next? Update Techwarrior #1-4? Truth be told, that hasn’t been formally decided yet. At this point, it’s a matter of seeing just how much of a reaction Techwarrior #5 gets and if you want #6, or to see #1-4 updated.

That means it’s entirely up to you what happens after this book release. The question will be what you want: #1-4 updated or #6. It’s a question best answered after Techwarrior #5 is released with its accompanying 5 book collection.

With the book released and votes counted, the next book in line will be the one fans choose. How fast it’s produced also depends on the chosen book. #1-4 have scenes already setup. With some mild adjusting, they could render quite quickly and be released rapidly, one after another. #6 has no scenes prepared because, well, let’s face it: it hasn’t started production!

Again, the choice is yours. What of Dream Angel, you might wonder. Progress is still slow, but it is still progress. This is why Techwarrior is now picking up the slack. Updating the Dream Angel books would take a good deal longer than the Techwarrior ones.

Dream Angel #2-6 were done in Poser and would need scenes totally rebuilt. Dream Angel #1 2nd edition has many scenes complete in DAZ Studio, but several were photoshop layered together and would need also to be rebuilt. Yet, while progress on the script for Dream Angel #24 on is slow, we might see some of these earlier books begin to appear in the photo realistic style.

It’s entirely up to you.

Double-wielding jokester: Red Nite Soldier

red nite soldierLover-boy, double-wielding warrior, jokester – Red Nite Soldier is a surprise package villains don’t want to cross. He very efficiently wields his katana and if needed, his short sword.

He and Katrilina make a very formidable pair in battle. He’s even sometimes seen on her back when she’s one of her favorite large felines. Like a knight atop a black charger, spotted charger, brownish-gold charger or even striped charger, they’ve been known to turn the tide of a battle very quickly.

His katana was a gift from Ryu and specially forged to give him extra protection. His short sword is a gift from Kiryoku and blessed with its own powerful virtues. It’s not known if he has any power, but his blades sure have a magic of their own.
Kendo champion and team co-captain in high school, he definitely has the skill to handle his blades. Fast, smart and quite dangerous.

Combined with his steed Daybright, he’s especially formidable. Add in Blue Nite Soldier and Firebright and you get a foursome that can plow through just about anything.

What do you think? Is he an interesting character? He makes his comic book debut in Dream Angel #1, which is available in the shop. Also available in the shop is his outfit for Shin Tsurugi.

Watch out for more Techwarrior!

As you know, Techwarrior has been delayed for a good many months now for an assortment of reasons. Well, the wait will soon be over! Techwarrior #5 has started production and already the cover and first four pages are complete with beautiful results.

tehcwarriorDuring the delay, new things were learned. One that’s proven to be the most impressive lately is the ability to use Iray. Iray is a DAZ3D render engine that does photo realistic renders. Clearly, used properly, this render engine is extremely powerful. A simple test scene is still getting “liked” on Facebook!

There’s a cost to Iray, though. Each panel render takes 2 hours! This means, to get a 4 panel page done takes over 8 hours! Yet, the phenomenal reaction to this new style of rendering does make it quite worth it.

So, what about Techwarrior? When will we see it?

Techwarrior is going at a rate of about 3-4 panels a day, which is quite good. The chosen release date is March 13th, 2017. At the current rate of rendering, it should be done by then, even with time to spare for preparing it to be added to the shop. This means we’ll be having quite a party to celebrate the first book in several months.

What about Dream Angel? When will we see the next book?

Well, progress for Dream Angel is still pretty slow, but it is progress. Dream Angel #24 should soon be ready to begin production. The thought along that line is to get the series rendered to #30 and then possibly begin updating the earlier books. #2-6 used Poser, so those mean completely re-creating the scenes in DAZ for Iray. The hope is that in the meantime, Techwarrior #1-4 can be swiftly updated to Iray so they match #5, since they were all made with DAZ to begin with.

It’ll be a while before Dream Angel starts seeing books updated – unless a publisher expresses interest in seeing them updated – but Techwarrior might see updates first. In any case, the aging laptop that’s used to make these books is in desperate need of a replacement to keep up with Iray, because it requires a lot of power to do the renders.

So, are you looking forward to the new book? Think it’s worth the wait?

The over eager little brother: Keru

Keru FireKeeper is the always-eager-to-please younger brother of Virgo FireKeeper. Though he’s best known for getting into mischief, most times it’s harmless.keru

keruThis young cub brings all his effort to whatever he’s doing. Like any young boy, he also enjoys having unusual pets. Bitsy is his best friend, the problem is she’s a spider.

Between the two, they can get into a broad variety of trouble or get Dream Angel and her friends out of a broad variety of trouble. The mere sight of Bitsy causes quite an uproar among villains. Especially the vampire roaches. Since spiders naturally eat roaches, their instinct is to panic and look for a place to hide.

The Keres are none too fond of the young tiger and his pet as well. The sisters often let out a bloodcurdling screech attached to a scream of “KILL IT!” as they look for a place to get away from the spider.

In terms of mischief, Keru’s a master. Athalia’s the one who keeps him in check when his brother’s not around. A stern look from Torakatai usually sends him running back to Athalia or Virgo. He knows Torakatai is tough for punishments for the sake of keeping order among the tiger villagers.

Keru literally means “kick.” He likes to think it means he kicks butt. He’s still learning battle strategies and fighting techniques, but he’ll still fight off Reprobates. Usually, he stays close to his brother if he’s involved in a fight. Between Virgo and Athalia, he’s a moderately formidable fighter on his own.

Even Torakatai has helped train the young cub. Teaching techniques even his other two trainers don’t know. Virgo’s excellent with a staff, Athalia without a weapon. Torakatai is a master of many techniques and weapons.

What do you think? Is Keru an interesting character? He makes his comic book debut in Dream Angel #8, which can be found in the shop. It’s a good idea to consider getting the books that came before it so the story makes sense. Also available in the shop is his plush action figure.

Using 3D to make comic books part 4

Using 3D to make comic books, as I’ve said, is quite the challenge. There’s a lot to take into consideration and I’ve only scratched the surface so far with these little postings. It’s definitely recommended you read parts 1, 2 and 3 before this one.

Okay, you’ve rendered awesome scenes, put them together in Comic Life and made them into a cool book. Now what? Well, this is actually the hardest part: getting it to sell. See, 3D is more widely used for porn comics, which makes it tougher to sell to other people. Add in the common complaints about it that I’ve read about and you’re going to find a lot of very harsh critics that won’t even give you a fair chance.

What are those common complaints? One is “stiff, lifeless figures.” Well, this one is harsh on rookies with the medium. Unless you are a fast learner especially with lights, cameras and textures, figures are going to look awkward while you’re learning. The same can be said of hand drawn characters, too though!

Ask for comments to learn from and ignore the ones that are blatant put-downs. You’ll probably be asked if you modeled the characters yourself. Odds are, you didn’t but don’t let that bother you! You’re still learning! So am I! So is anyone that can call themselves an artist. If they claim to be a master and don’t think there’s anything left to learn, they’re never going to grow as an artist and their work will go stale.

Another complaint is stiff clothes. On this one, I’m willing to agree, but only to a point. If you’re like me, your computer’s limits are where you have to draw the line. Realistic cloth simulation is possible and looks incredible, but uses an unbelievable amount of power from the computer!

Explosive Ker

Ker has a very volatile temper… literally. Getting her mad has very explosive results. She’s the youngest of the Keres, but no less dangerous than her older siblings and mother.

kerHer one weakness is that she’s incredibly vain. Put her in front of a mirror and she won’t move for hours; on the other hand, scratch her skin or get her dress dirty and you’d better start running away as fast as you possibly can.

Larissa was the first to discover she could push Ker’s buttons during one of her earliest encounters with the Keres sisters. Since they wanted her as a hostage, Ker couldn’t lose her temper and Larissa could keep making her madder and madder. Just after Dream Angel rescued her, she delivered one final insult that set Ker’s temper off the rest of the way and she exploded, making it impossible for the villains to pursue them.

She has an interesting design history. I must confess that I didn’t design her outfit, but a good friend of mine (who’s been involved off and on in these comic books) designed it. I’d designed the other four Keres with mildly sexy outfits – at the time, Stygere was a girl – but I was stuck on what Ker should look like. I asked for help designing her outfit and she came up with the outfit Ker now wears. It’s changed some from my friend’s design, but overall, it’s the same.

What do you think? Is she an interesting character? Ker makes her comic book debut in Dream Angel #2. It’s a good idea to consider getting the book that came before it, so the story makes sense! Also available in the shop is her plush action figure.

Creative Katrilina

Katrilina has a secret and interesting history. Her first design was a Barbie (no copyright infringment etc intended) in costume that won first place at the county fair. It was a simple leopard skin outfit – fake fur, of course – but it was well made. Tragically, the doll was stolen while still at the fair, so all that remains of her is the video taken at the event.

Where did the inspiration for her come from? That’s easy: the She-Ra: Princess of Power villain known as Katra. Compare the two names: Katrilina and Katra. Similar spelling. Not exactly similar design, but she does have Katra’s long black hair and ability to become a cat. Katra could only do a panther, though. Katrilina can do all 38 feline species. Useful in battle, to say the least.

All right, I’m really betraying no secrets about her here, am I? Here’s one you haven’t heard: she was originally a villain much like Dragonball Z‘s Vegeta. She was originally written to transition into a hero, pretty much the way Vegeta did. Maybe not quite as violently and certainly not as dragged out, but she would transition from villain to hero over time.

In the earliest stories, she was pretty quick about the transition from villain to hero. One or two battles and she’d turn. Why would she turn? She thought Dream Angel could help her be free of her feline appearance. All along she was merely the victim of extreme prejudice venting her frustration on anyone that dared look her way in a way she didn’t like.

When she met Dream Angel, she saw pity and warmth in the girl’s eyes even while they were fighting. Although she didn’t care much for the pity, the warmth got her attention. She’d never encountered the emotion and when she learned of Teikou no Senshi’s healing powers, her hope of being free of her feline appearance began to rise.

Although Teikou no Senshi couldn’t free her of her feline appearance, the attempt at helping the two girls made showed Katrilina that not everyone was prejudice. When the pair coaxed her into attending school and Arora shared her secret with her, Katrilina found trust as well. When she “met” Ellie, another bond of trust was formed when Ellie offered to let her live with her as Katherine.

What do you think? Is Katrilina an interesting character? She made her debut comic book appearance in Dream Angel #1, which can be found in the shop. Also found in the shop is her plush action figure outfit for Katherine.

Katrilina the cat!

Katrilina has quite the history with the Dream Angel series. Today’s focus isn’t on Katrilina herself, though, but on her special ability: the ability to physically change into any cat in the feline family. Most notably, a lioness, leopard, panther and tiger.The focus is Katrilina’s feline forms.

katrilina catsOf all the 38 species of cats of the feline family she can become, these four are her favorites for their varying abilities. Strength, endurance, stealth and cunning, to name a few. In nature, these cats are far from cute and cuddly and Katrilina uses those abilities with great effect. Of course, which cat she picks depends on the situation and sometimes even who she’s with.

She’ll go with the tiger if she’s around Virgo, for example. Her favorite for going after Reprobates is the Panther. The winged creatures don’t like the black streak chasing after them. Her lioness will ground most Harpies if they’re low enough and for some of the higher up opponents, she’ll use the leopard to climb a nearby tree or even building ledge to leap and attack.

The one important marking all of Katrilina’s feline and even her human form share is a pure white tail. Nobody is sure why exactly she always has the white tail, but it is a very distinguishing marking. While it might sometimes be troublesome, she really doesn’t mind it too much.

What do you think? Are these interesting cats? Katrilina’s feline forms make their debut appearance in Dream Angel #1, which can be found in the shop. Also found in the shop are the plush action figures of her leopard, lioness, panther and tiger forms.