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Fascinating Foxy!

Foxy is unique. Japanese mythology tells us that the Kitsune (pronounced “kit” as in sewing kit, “su” as in suit and “ne” as in negative) is a mythological fox demon that would entrap a warrior’s mind and then kill him. The more tails the demon had, the more powerful it was, with 9 tails being the maximum.

foxy

Foxy isn’t too different from her mythical counterparts, but she has her share of twists. For one thing, she’s bio-mechanical. She chose the mechanics to enhance her power, plus she got tired of trying to find clothes that fit over 9 bushy fox tails. Mechanical parts solved the problem for her.

She’s certainly nobody’s fool and hates being tricked. She’ll fight for a good cause and frequently wins the fight. She’s also one of the very few that can go toe-to-toe with Hellbot and possibly defeat him. Clever and sometimes unpredictable, she’d rather not fight at all.

Since she is a Kitsune, her powers include mental manipulation, but the catch is her power only works on the male mind. Also similar to her mythical counterparts, she possesses the ability to shape shift, but can only hold a different form for a short time in spite of her increased power from being bio-mechanical.

Of the two classifications of Kitsune, she might seem to be right in the middle. Neither benevolent nor malicious in the end. She might pull a prank on someone one moment and help them the next with a problem. It’s not really in her nature to want to cause harm, though she sometimes does.

If she finds out she’s been tricked into doing something she’ll do what she can to undo the trick and maybe even utilize some tricks of her own to settle the score.
What do you think? Is she an interesting character?

Foxy’s comic book debut is Dream Angel #3, which is available in the shop. It’s recommended you get the books that came before it so the story makes sense! Also available in the shop is her plush action figure, who loves being hugged.

Using 3D to make comic books part 2

Using 3D to make comic books, for a beginner, DAZ Studio is a good one. It’s free, it’s not too difficult to handle until you start getting into the more advanced features, but for setting up and lighting a scene, it’s excellent for learning. Personally, I dove in with Poser 7.

Poser’s good, but I found myself often having trouble using it despite having a book to guide me. Other programs offer more heavy-duty features for making props, clothing, hair and other things, but as they get fancier, they get more expensive.

A leading complaint against using 3D I’ve often mentioned is that 3D figures and clothes look stiff and lifeless. You’ll be confronted by this, so be ready for it. I’ve begun to counteract it by making things more dynamic. Dynamic meaning realistic simulation of cloth in particular.

The other half of that complaint likely has to do with the lighting of the actor and its textures. That would mean it’s wise to pay close attention to the lighting of the scene when you do renders.

Just like pencil and paper, you need to pay close attention to even the smallest details in your renders as these are actually more noticeable in 3D unless you use depth of field to blur out the boo-boos in the background. What about the boo-boos of the character?

Some don’t like to be posed certain ways and can even poke through their clothes despite fixes. Well, post work is useful if you just can’t get the 3D to behave the way you want it to. The GIMP is an excellent freebie image editor that’s lightweight and easy on the computer.

One thing that’s been extremely handy for me is the ability to render scenes even on my little 2-in-1 Windows 10 tablet. Taking my library on the go and setting up characters, or even scenes has been a heavy-duty time saver, but it just doesn’t have the power of the computer.

That means I need programs that aren’t resource intense. DAZ and GIMP are a spectacular combination for this. Unless I setup a heavily complicated scene, my little tablet can render it. If I do setup a heavily complicated scene, I can save it to render on the computer.

 

 

Fast, fiery, Firebright!

The last thing anyone wants is Firebright angry. This fiery steed is a stallion through and through. He’ll attack Reprobates unprovoked and without mercy.
He’s an exact opposite of his twin, Daybright who has a laid-back personality and loves to just romp and play.

firebright

The only one who can calm Firebright down is Blue Nite Soldier. This is a one-rider stallion and even Blue Nite Soldier sometimes has trouble with him.
Firebright hates Reprobates, harpies and most of all, the giant vampire roaches. Unfortunate victims of Jerigel SwampFang or not, he’ll attack.

The only other person Firebright tolerates is Dream Angel. The only reason he would is if Blue Nite Soldier isn’t around to give him direction. He may be a wild stallion, but he still looks to Blue Nite Soldier for guidance.

His special ability is to become a blazing inferno and melt through just about anything. Combined with Dream Angel’s own fiery power, the blaze can approach supernova heat. This combination leaves both Dream Angel and Firebright completely exhausted.

The Keres don’t even want to cross his path. He knows his enemies and is unforgiving. At one time or another, he has had a bad experience with all the Dream Angel villains. This has left him bitter toward them and he isn’t the type to forgive. This makes him dangerous toward them.

He’s a stunning stallion and a wonder to behold in flight. The last thing anyone wants is him to be angry. His twin tends to solve the problem squirting water in his face in play. Being a horse of fire, he doesn’t like it much, but it does calm him down anyway.

In spite of his savage attitude most of the time, he’s a lovable stallion. He has gone romping with his twin.

What do you think? Is Firebright an interesting character? Firebright’s comic book debut is Dream Angel #2, which is available in the shop. It’s recommended you get Dream Angel #1 so the story makes sense! Also available in the shop is his plush action figure who loves to be hugged and cuddled.

What’s a leading lady without her best friend? Here she is: Elizabeth!

Clever, quick-witted Ellie, short for Elizabeth, is a fun girl to be around. She might sometimes play a harmless prank, but always in fun so no feelings are hurt. Usually, her little pranks are in fun to get Arora laughing.

elizabeth amphitrite

The two girls are complete opposites, but get along perfectly. Arora tends to like spending a day at the mall mostly window shopping to unwind, Ellie would rather be outside in the fresh air and sunshine, but goes along with her best friend anyway. This isn’t to say they don’t switch off.

Generally, both girls would rather be at an easel than anywhere else. Both have artistic tendencies and find painting a very soothing activity. Both are peaceful girls, but neither wants to see or be bullied. Both will come to the defense of a bullying victim if they should see it happening. Being bullied doesn’t happen often and the bully more often takes to their heels and leaves in disgust.

Ellie also has a leaning toward science. She enjoys exploring old ruins and is sometimes found helping scientists at dig sites. While she enjoys finding interesting artifacts, she enjoys just as much sketching them or taking photos. Sometimes to take a break, she’ll do a painting of the dig site. More than once, the newspaper has bought these paintings when something significant is found.

Ellie’s name holds some meaning of its own. Amphitrite, if you follow the mythology carefully, is the wife of Poseidon, god of the seas. Since water has healing properties, she has healing power as Teikou no Senshi. This makes her both a perfect opponent for Nosos and Nosos’s primary target.

What do you think? Is she an interesting character? Her comic book debut is Dream Angel #1, found in the store. Also found in the shop is her plush action figure who loves hugs.

Our lovely leading lady Dream Angel!

Dream Angel is today’s star. She’s a fascinating character with a fair variety of interesting undiscovered powers, but there are some really cool things you don’t know about her.

dream angel

Dream Angel’s original name was Destiny. She was based much more closely on Sailor Moon, too. Initially, when I first started drawing her I set the time period to right after she graduated high school – the day after.

If you’ve read the Sailor Moon manga, you know that in the first book Bunny goes racing around getting ready for school and quite clumsily. She does similar in the anime, but it was the manga I was going from. Destiny also goes racing around getting ready for school but as she darts past the calendar, she remembers she graduated.

Breezer, Katrilina and Hanaji have changed some too since then. Hanaji retained his name from this earlier story. There’s more to this early story line, but it won’t be discussed here. Actually, there have been several early stories and one even won second place at the county fair.

Her powers are largely unknown, even to Breezer and Ryu who’ve been her best advisers and mentors. So, any new abilities discovered tend to be a surprise for everyone, hero and villain alike. These moments of surprise have caused both sides to stop fighting long enough to try and understand what happened and one side or the other takes advantage of the moment of hesitation.

So, what do you think? Is she an interesting character? Dream Angel makes her comic book debut in (of course) Dream Angel #1, which can be found in the shop. Also found in the shop are 3 Dream Angel outfits for Arora Arum.

Determined delightful Deirdra Dragon

South Bartin Dragon News is the major news outlet of South Bartin City. This puts a lot of pressure on the Dragon family to word the news carefully or risk repercussions from Nyxus that would cause them an awful lot of trouble.

deirdra dragon

Deirdra Dragon is the only daughter of her widower father and is quite determined about how she reports the news. True to her family name, she can be just as much a dragon as Ryu is physically at times. She’s still smart enough to be cautious about how she reports on incidents between Dream Angel, her friends and Nyxus and hers. Although she won’t openly support either side, she’s usually to be found on scene and frequently interviewing Larissa, who’s typically on crowd control.

Being on scene in the middle of the fighting usually presents a problem for the heroes and sometimes even the villains as she tends to get into the middle of things trying to get an interview. Since she’s a noncombatant, both sides – even unintentionally – take pains to avoid hurting her and sometimes find themselves getting hurt instead.

Deirdra’s photographer is just as interesting as Deirdra herself, though I’m not really qualified to formally discuss her character since she’s actually a real person. Melissa has yet to develop her character and by this I mean I don’t know exactly how much of her real-world personality she wants the character to reflect. It has been agreed that her character will always be nearby when Deirdra’s around, though. She’s always got a camera in hand and wearing an “I love photography” t-shirt. If you’re wondering how a real person could be the photographer of a fictional one, check out the 3D me page.

What do you think? Is Deirdra an interesting character? Deirdra makes her comic book debut in Dream Angel #7, which can be found in the shop. It’s a good idea to get the books that come before it so the story makes sense! Also found in the shop is her plush action figure.

Playful but dangerous Daybright

Daybright is today’s special feature. This even-tempered stallion might seem boring to some since it takes quite a bit to really upset his calm demeanor. Just like his twin, however, he only allows one rider: Red Nite Soldier.

daybright

According to mythology, (depending on the story you find) Daybright was one of the two horses that drew the Sun God Apollo’s chariot across the sky each day and was cared for by Apollo’s sister Aurora, Goddess of the Dawn.

So, he’s not especially interesting mythologically, he’s not especially interesting unless he’s angered in my story, why should you care? Hmmmm…. He’s cute? Just a little chuckle there. He’s more than just cute and he does get interesting in battle. Very interesting at times.

His interest lies in the most dangerous and desperate situations, though. His special ability is to become water. It doesn’t happen often and only when all other options are exhausted, but he has gotten our heroes out of a couple very tight scrapes.

I bet you’re wondering why a horse that in mythology would draw the sun chariot across the sky would be able to turn into water. Well, that’s a good question… I’ll leave that up to your imagination.

What do you think? Is Daybright an interesting character? Daybright makes his comic book debut in Dream Angel #2, which can be found in the shop. Also found in the shop is his soft, cuddly plush action figure. Who, like his human counterparts, has a full wire armature that makes him able to stand on his own and hold a pose.

 

Dangerous Daragon IronWeasel

Today the spotlight’s on Daragon IronWeasel. After Xalibe WildClaw’s repeated failures to destroy Dream Angel and her friends, the very ambitious Daragon replaced him as leader of the Reprobate elite.

daragon ironweasel

Upon his predecessor’s demotion, Daragon quickly proved himself worthy of his new post in Nyxus’s eyes by capturing Dream Angel, but thanks to her friends, it didn’t last and he felt the consequences. Since then, he’s been more determined than ever to prove his worth to her, but is often stopped by Xalibe, who wants to regain his post.

Daragon’s always looking for the fastest way to regain the favor he had initially after Xalibe’s demotion. He’s a devious, determined elite, but not as strong as he thinks he is. He’s not as strong with a sword as Xalibe and often slower in flight.

Physical strength makes up for his shortcomings, however. In a bare, hand-to-hand fight, he could bring down even Ryu. That is, unless he fought fair. Like most villains, he takes every advantage possible without exception. Every underhanded trick imaginable, he’ll use if he thinks it’ll help him take down his opponent.

Of course, his underhanded tricks only work if Xalibe isn’t in the middle of the fight trying to discredit his replacement. When he is lucky enough to not have Xalibe out to discredit him, he is quite the formidable opponent and fierce warrior. Of course, he’s only that lucky when Xalibe has someone to guard in the castle dungeons, which really isn’t too often.

In a wrestling match with Jake, Daragon would only have the upper hand a short time. Even retired, the wrestling champion is a force to be reckoned with and his wife is even tougher. Daragon learned the hard way to leave these two particular opponents alone. Their daughter, of course, he goes after no matter what.

Daragon makes his comic book debut in Dream Angel #3, which can be found in the shop. It’s a good idea to get the books that come before so the story makes sense! Also found in the shop is his plush action figure. As tough as he might sound, he’s really a big softie that’s good for cuddling!

Using 3D to make comic books Part 1

Using 3D to make comic books is a challenge in many ways, but don’t let that discourage you. If you love 3D and love the idea of making comic books, nothing should deter you from it.

Let’s look at some harsh realities to be sure you’re determined to follow this path. First of all, the comic book market is cut throat. These fans in general are hard core about how comics are written and drawn. Plenty of them just aren’t ready to accept comics rendered using 3D software.

If you’re like me, your hand drawings aren’t bad, but just not up to industry standards for some reason or another. My shortcomings include proportion and shading along with perspective and foreshortening. My drawings are good, but not impressive in the comic book world, yet I love making them. The solution to my problem became using 3D software to make up the artistic difference. This led to a whole new set of problems, though.

While characters, props and sets are consistent and look good, new problems arose. These included lighting, camera angle and composition like in the two images above. How then, to solve this problem? Study, practice, constantly scrounge around for tutorials to learn as much as possible. That’s still pretty much fumbling along in the dark, isn’t it? I’ve found that a good many movies have special features on the DVDs and frequently include featurettes talking about how the movie was made.

Using 3D is similar enough to making a movie that these lessons have been extremely valuable to me. They discuss lighting, camera angles and movement, ways to setup a scene for dramatic actions and all sorts of other related things.
Okay, it doesn’t have to worry about sewing costumes or anything along those lines, but making props, making up the actors, dressing actors, setting up a scene, placing the lights and cameras for the best effect and things like that? Definitely!

So, will it someday be accepted by the comic book industry? Probably. I’ve got a couple how to draw comics books that already discuss using these programs for background elements. I’ve seen others on the market and at the local library that use it for the cover or a photograph, even. It’s a slow transition so far and for 3D artists, it’s not going to be easy. Still want to make your own comics using these programs?

 

Spotted beauty: Cristiane Jewel

Cristiane Jewel is a leopardess. She’s got quite a problem, however. She’s in love with a tiger.

cristiane jewel

She’s expected to marry a leopard, of course, but her love for Virgo FireKeeper is so strong it often gets them both in a lot of trouble.

Her intended mate is Kumo Hanahadashii, who’s deeply in love with her to the point of being blind to dangerous situations. It also leaves him terribly jealous of Virgo, whom she showers her affection on.

Virgo doesn’t want her affection in the slightest and would prefer she leave him alone. Of course, this causes friction with Kumo, who all but worships Cristiane, who doesn’t want his affection any more than Virgo wants hers. Virgo, instead is in love with Athalia, but hasn’t shown it openly because of Cristiane. Athalia knows of his affection and waits patiently in hope he can chase the overly affectionate leopardess away eventually.

Cristiane’s skilled with a quarter staff and will often jump into a fight if she thinks Virgo’s in trouble. This has more than once caused trouble for the heroes as they have struggled to compensate for her fighting even them off at times.

Everyone prefers she fight with them instead of against them, so they’ve decided to simply give her room when she shows up. The exception to that being Torakatai, Keru and Athalia. They understand why everyone else gives Cristiane room – they don’t want to get caught up in the quarrel.

The tigers on the other hand have managed to group up and chase the leopardess off more than once, sometimes with the help of the others. Keru in particular wishes she’d go away so his brother could marry Athalia, as it’s obvious to everyone how much he loves her.

Her comic book debut is Dream Angel #7, which can be found in the shop. It’s recommended to get the books that came before it so the story makes sense! Also found in the shop is her plush action figure that loves to be hugged. Will you give her a hug?