The Latest News!

Cool news!

Cool news for anyone eagerly anticipating Dream Angel #22 and the printed edition of Techwarrior #3: Dream Angel #22 will be released tomorrow morning live in the shop and Techwarrior #3 has been submitted for listing in print on indyplanet!

What of Hillbilly Hoot? Well, that one’s gradually coming together. It’s good to know that these books are getting back on track and looking absolutely breathtaking!

If you’re wondering, I’m just getting warmed up for the year. You might have noticed I missed the February and March releases for Dream Angel. Well, that just means I was gearing up for bigger and better than ever stuff. New toys for making rendering faster and better, learning new tricks and coming up with all sorts of awesome goodies you’ll love.

So, the year got of to a sluggish start for book releases, you’ll find it’s worth the wait and if you stick around to enjoy the fun, you’ll find some very impressive visitors popping into the story of Dream Angel. I don’t dare spoil it, of course, but you’ll find some fun surprises just around the corner as the excitement builds!

Techwarrior #3 is live!

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Techwarrior #3 is live! I know this one’s been anticipated for quite a while now and it’s finally ready. In this book, we see the scope of Techwarrior’s world and meet a new friend. Well, instead of spoiling the story, it’s a far better idea to encourage you to just go get it in the shop! If you’d prefer a print version, it’ll be a few days before that’s ready, but it’s coming soon!

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What news for Dream Angel #22? Well, with the completion of Techwarrior #3 comes the halfway point of Dream Angel #22. This time, Nyxus has made a bold move in the form of a mass capture of Dream Angel’s friends and family. Will she be able to save all of them? This one is looking at an April 7th release and has some incredible scenes in it.

The story of this cover is almost a funny one. See, that background was a birthday present from me to me. Ironically, it’s a scene I’ve wanted since Dream Angel #6. If you haven’t read that one, you ought to, as it has a quite interesting earthquake in it. At the time I was rendering Dream Angel #6 and Dream Angel #7, the scene was far too expensive to afford sadly. Thus, as readers of the series will find, I had to improvise. Not that it’s a bad thing, just that this scene would have been seriously impressive for those books. It’s ironic since this scene didn’t go on sale until my birthday this year which was fortunate since I did actually have the money to get it finally.

You might also be interested in the third series that’s coming along gradually. Yep! Hillbilly Hoot is beginning to come together. The script is written, the character library still needs to be completed, but it should be ready for production soon. Curious about the cover of Hillbilly Hoot #1? Here it is:

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So, three fabulous series all very enjoyable and all-ages friendly. That’s hard to beat, is it not? What do you think of these covers? Discussion’s open to polite, helpful comments! If you’re not sure, read the rules, please!

3D is lazy?

I’ve heard it numerous times from critics: “3D is lazy! You should do it by hand!” Really? I wonder if they’ve ever tried to use this medium. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not point-and-click. It’s hours of minute adjusting, extreme attention to detail, fussing, tweaking, arguing and sometimes even swearing to get a scene just right. All so a reader can enjoy it for maybe 2-3 minutes as they read the page.

Lazy. Unrealistic. I get a laugh at the complaints when I think of how far this “baby” medium has come. Then I laugh louder when I can prove that even industry professionals use this medium with extremely impressive results. A fantastic example sells things right on the DAZ3D website: John Van Fleet. Here’s his story on the site of how he found DAZ and has put it to incredibly good use for both DC and Marvel! The renders shown on that article page alone are enough to be a total knockout for just about any “lazy” argument I’ve heard.

For someone like me, it’s a matter of learning, getting better tools, studying professionals and improving over time. I have little doubt even John Van Fleet’s earliest renders weren’t near as good as they are now. It takes time to learn, just like any other medium.

So, instead of the useless insults of calling someone lazy for using 3D, how about encouraging them to learn and improve? It’s like comparing a stick figure to the Mona Lisa. I doubt Leonardo DaVinci got that good at painting overnight. Take that into consideration before insulting someone that’s learning to be artistic. Perhaps then instead of being insulting, you’ll be more helpful with what you say to them about their art so they’ll grow and improve.

Mischief on the horizon…

There’s mischief on the horizon!

Lots of mischief on the horizon! For those who have been patiently waiting for Dream Angel #22, Techwarrior #3 and even heard hints of Hillbilly Hoot #1, your patience may soon be rewarded!

As you might have noticed, Dream Angel #22 didn’t come out in February as planned and Techwarrior #3 is months overdue since it was supposed to be November. Well, things have been hectic, but will soon be back on track with Hillbilly Hoot added in for good measure!

Haven’t heard about the Hoot? Well, that’s because he’s a new series that’s been in the pre-production script writing stages for a while now. Hints have been dropped and even the Hillbilly Hoot owl plush has been added to the shop, but not too much is known as yet. Like his counterparts Dream Angel and Techwarrior, though, he’s a series designed for all ages to enjoy.

So, if you missed your favorite heroes, here’s a small taste of what’s to come with the cover of Dream Angel #22:

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Okay, I confess: I can’t get enough of that scene! It’s just so impressive having her flying like that. Cool, isn’t it, though? Now, why do you suppose I separated the story and art credits? Could there be a reason…? *Hint: It’s something fans of characters like Midora and the Dragon Trio will love!

In other news…

You might have noticed the share for discount buttons on the product pages weren’t working properly. That’s been fixed! Share away and get a 10% discount. It might not sound like much, but it’s a good reason to share the fun goodies and awesome characters to be found in the shop anyway, right? I have little doubt there might still be kinks in things on this site, but it’s returning to 100% normal gradually. I think it’s at about 85%. The important areas are all working, especially the shop!

If you didn’t know, this site suffered a double hacker attack in late October early November last year and has moved to new hosting with far better security measures in place. It’s been under reconstruction since and while the major areas are back to normal, there are still things that are missing or not quite yet working completely. Patience is greatly appreciated and I ask that you help me out by reporting these problems when you find them.

Adventurous comic books

What happened to the adventurous comic books? I confess I don’t read as many comics as most, but what I’ve seen lately has been disappointing. I’ve seen my share of classic “Golden Age” comics with the funny stories and cheerful colors. They were adventurous with the stories, too. Heroes didn’t have to die constantly to keep reader interest alive.

Even the darker characters such as The Shadow and Green Hornet had their moments of fun and wit with interesting stories more often than not. Looking at more modern comics I find myself wondering, “Where’s the fun and adventure?”

Well, not to sound like an ad or anything, but I can say Dream Angel and Techwarrior both have some of the Golden Age fun and wit. Techwarrior is the darker of the two, but he still can crack a good joke to bring a smile to readers’ faces.

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The idea is to balance old fashioned and modern. The art uses CGI techniques while the stories have that classic adventurous fun and wit. Engrossing beauty with fun characters and thrilling story. This mixture gives both series their marvelous charm.

In other news, Dream Angel #22 has begun rendering! Okay, it’s going far slower than usual, but it has begun. Artistically, this looks to be quite an adventurous comic book. For those that saw the end of Dream Angel #21, you know something big is going to happen very soon. If you haven’t caught up with the story, you should! This is going to be very exciting!

All-ages friendly comic books

All-ages friendly comic books. What does that really mean? Well, it means parents and kids alike can enjoy them, much like a classic Disney movie. Granted, The books found on this site are a pinch more mature than your common Disney movie with their writing, but they’re still a lot of fun for parents and kids alike. There’s no swearing, sex, blood or seriously over-the-top violence. There’s fighting, sure, but it’s just exciting enough that it’s fun for all. A balance of fun and violence that makes the stories more character-driven instead of driven by the fighting.

Add in the realistic CGI art (which is constantly improving!) and you’ve got a fun, engrossing, enjoyable, playful and charming story that’s worth reading time and time again. These stories have wit, a good pace and a lot of interest. Why should you care? Well, if you’re a parent that values classic morals and ideals, you just might. The idea of friendship, loyalty and will to overcome hardship is central in these books. There’s even a pinch of romance.

Like many others, I grew up with the common morals: friendship, loyalty, the joy of helping others – yes, I was a Girl Scout, too. Though that didn’t last long, I still live by the Girl Scout Law which, if you want the truth, is pretty much exactly the same as the Bible’s Ten Commandments. There’s no harm in faith and those commandments ought to be common sense, but so many don’t follow such simple ideals. Well, getting away from any political implications, I favor using these classic morals within the stories and despite the heart-pounding action (particularly in the Wyvern Wars story arc of Dream Angel) you’ll still find characters fighting cleanly and in a respectable way. This keeps the story family friendly and enjoyable for everyone. Characters offer playful wisecracks while they’re battling to help ease tension.

 

 

Where do I find 3D stuff?

Where do I find 3D stuff for my library? Looking at my library, you’d find an incredible array of… well, stuff! Characters, animals, sets, props, lights, cameras… I’ve got an impressive library that’s taken years to build up mostly. While DAZ3D is indeed my primary source, I’ve got a long list of other sources I tend to exhaust first and I thought it might be interesting to share a few of them here.

  1. http://www.most-digital-creations.com/freestuff.htm Now, I have to warn you about this one in particular: It’s quite adult-oriented. Plenty of the stuff is obviously for… well not to put too fine a point on it, porn-type art. If you can ignore that, you’ll find other stuff that is quite good. The ferret model I use for Breezer came from here.
  2. http://www.sharecg.com/ I’ve been known to spend hours digging through this one, but file format can be bothersome at times. The other bother is license. Not everything is able to be used for commercial use, and sometimes that can be quite the headache when you find something good.
  3. http://www.daz3d.com/forums/viewthread/9443/ If you’re like me and looking for superhero stuff, this forum article has no shortage in the slightest. Did you know Stygere borrowed Power Girl’s cape for a while? If you check the books carefully, you’ll notice I recently changed it to a similar model that’s not Power Girl’s cape anymore.
  4. http://www.runtimedna.com/ Not all of these are free, but it’s quite a nice collection of 3D stuff anyway.
  5. http://www.optitex-dynamiccloth.com/FreebieDownload01.php I love disproving the “stiff cloth” complaint when it comes to 3D, but it takes a lot of power. This site has a wonderful collection of dynamic soft cloth items that work extremely well in DAZ Studio. Just keep in mind that you’ll definitely need a strong computer to handle the dynamic calculations involved in making natural-looking cloth.

This is only a few of my favorite sources, I’ve got a lot more and I’m always on the hunt for new ones. Know of a good source I might not? Tell me! I’d love knowing about it and exploring it! If you’re on Facebook, you’re welcome in my group where I have a complete list of all my favorite sources. If you know of one that’s not on my list, I’d love to know about it!

It’s fixed!!

Happy to report it’s fixed! The images are back to normal. That means I can show off this cutie, even though she’s still in progress:

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Adorable, isn’t she? You might have also noticed that a new product has been added. Terance Baker’s Pink Hammer is now in the shop as part of the ICC Specialties group. To keep her company, Jellybean Dream has also been added to the shop in the ICC Specialties group. These two charmers are fabulous characters in their own series and may make appearances in the Dream Angel series as well.

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Adorable, aren’t they? As Pink Hammer demonstrates, they can hold a pose thanks to a wire armature inside the body.

Well, with images back in working order, things will be needing updating around here, but things should return to normal soon. How soon, is difficult to say, but being fixed is the first step.

So, thoughts are welcome. Simple request as usual is to follow the site-wide rules. What do you think of these new plush action figures? Who would you like to see next?

New Character Plush Action Figures Coming Soon!!

With Dream Angel #22 on temporary hold, I’ve been busy at the sewing machine. Well, it’s pretty easy to guess what that means: New character plush action figures are coming soon!

Who they will be is yet to be seen, but even as they are, they look very good! I’d share some images, but this site’s still having difficulty with those for the time being. Hopefully, the site hosting manager can get the problem straightened out soon and things can return to normal.

Now, here is where I very much want you to chime in(politely, mind you!).

  • What first attracted you to Dream Angel, Techwarrior or both and why?
  • What do you like about the series and why?
  • Do you like the idea of bundling the character plush figures with signed books and would you buy them if you could/they became available?
  • Do you have a favorite character?
  • What do you think would make these stories better (excluding blood, sex and violence)?
I’d appreciate honest but polite thoughts that are preferably constructive. The point of asking is to learn.

Signed books available right here?

I’ve considered it for a while, and I’d like to hear thoughts on having signed books available right here in the shop. I know people have reported having trouble with IndyPlanet’s checkout system or would rather get a signed copy from the artist, so I’m opening the idea for discussion.

To clarify, I’d have to markup the price of the books even though I can get them at cost, which is a little over $6, generally. Including shipping to me, that’s not bad. Now, think about it this way: to break even, I’d have to markup the books to about $12 on individual sales. To make a profit, we’re talking $18 – before my own shipping cost is added on. Fortunately, if I can order a bunch at a time, the cost is driven down for me.

This would mean I could do an unsigned book for about $6.50-$7 and a signed book for $7.50-8. A fair price, all things considered. Individual shipping to you via flat-rate (My preferred method because it’s insured!) comes out to $5.75. So, we’re talking $12.25-12-75 and $13.25-13.75 with shipping. Still pretty fair, all things considered.

Why would I reveal the prices? Well, I like letting people know what they’re paying for. I was taught early on “Honesty is the best policy” and I’ve stuck to that consistently for years. I’m being honest with you concerning the prices of these books, but for those who want printed copies and don’t want the hassle of IndyPlanet’s checkout system or want it signed by the artist, well, this would be a golden opportunity, don’t you think?

The other consideration I’ve put out before for discussion is doing a signed book and plush action figure combo pack for $25. I’ve had people agree that would be an extremely good deal, but I’m opening it for discussion again. I really do want as much input as possible on these ideas.