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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!

Dangerous beauty: Anaplkete

Anaplkete is the fastest of the Keres sisters. Although she lacks super speed, she makes up with it using her weapons and their lightning speed.

Anaplkete

A skilled double-wielder of twin short glaives, she’s often found battling with Red Nite Soldier, who also double wields skillfully. Of the two, she’s considerably more experienced, which puts him at a disadvantage. Being fast on top of that makes the fight quite difficult for him. If he’s lucky enough to disarm her, she’ll certainly run the other way. The difficulty is disarming her.

Although she doesn’t flaunt her beauty, she does use it to her advantage at times. This tends to leave a trail of broken hearts and sometimes bodies in the wake of achieving her goals.

All four of the Keres sisters have varying levels of vanity with Ker being the most vain of all and the most dangerous as a result. Anaplkete qualifies as least vain, but that doesn’t mean she’ll get her hands dirty unless it’s absolutely necessary. Like her sisters, she’d rather let the reprobates do the dirty work.

Often accompanied by a large number of reprobates, she’s a strong opponent for our heroes. Like her sisters, even a cracked nail can lead to very, very dangerous levels of anger. Luckily, her speed is much like a cheetah. Fast for a time, but short-lived. It’s during that burst of speed that the fight for survival is most difficult, however.

Beautiful, fast and deadly. The best description around for Anaplkete. Her debut appearance in comic books is Dream Angel #1, found in the shop. Also in the shop is her charmingly adorable plush action figure who simply wants a hug. Will you give her a hug?

Are you of great virtue? Meet Kiryoku!

Kiryoku is a Kirin centaur. She’s half Chinese unicorn. Though there are different words and legends, the idea behind the creature remains the same: punish the wicked.

kiryokuKiryoku only appears to those of great virtue. Dream Angel has a strong sense of justice, and her friends also have many virtues. Though the Keres might see her, they cannot easily understand her.

Kiryoku’s another of the species Nyxus deemed “unnecessary” and marked for hunting. Dream Angel found her in one of the Keres’ traps. She was among the earliest allies and friends Dream Angel made.

The legend of the Kirin is from China, Japan and Korea. Kiryoku’s appearance comes from the Chinese and Korean legend, and Kirin is a Japanese word. The creature, has the head of a dragon, the antlers and body of a deer, the scales of a fish and the tail of an ox. I ended up with a mixture without the dragon parts and instead made it a centaur.

Kiryoku means energy. I’ve often depicted and described her as skilled with a sword, which blends neatly with her scaled body. This gives the impression that she’s unarmed. This falls neatly in line with the legendary creatures’ ‘punish the wicked’ nature.

Though she cares about her appearance, she’s not especially vain about it. She’ll get into the thick of the dirtiest battles and walk away with a satisfied look on her face when it’s over, even if she’s caked in mud.

To some, she might look helpless and even gentle, but being on the wrong side of her sword is quite dangerous. True to her name, she’s very energetic and very fast as well.

She’s not much for jokes, though she does enjoy them. In battle, she prefers being serious. When she met Jake, after a couple of his jokes, she couldn’t keep a straight face around him. Every time she sees him, she starts laughing. Not always loudly, but she would be found sniggering.

What do you think? Is Kiryoku an interesting character? Kiryoku 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 came before it so the story makes sense! Also found in the shop is her plush action figure.

Clumsy Kaida

Kaida‘s a centaur that’s also a Pegasus. His true name is Tristen and the Welsh name for “noisy commotion” couldn’t fit him better. On the battlefield, he’s well coordinated and not the least clumsy. Off the battlefield… well, it’s better to stay at a distance sometimes. He’s clumsy.

kaida

The one who accepts his clumsiness is Larissa. She admits to being just as clumsy in her own youth until she got training in coordination through ballet and martial arts. Of course, they both know many of the exercises from both of those are impossible for him to do. Despite this, she tries to help.

When Kaida first met Larissa, she already knew her daughter’s secret. So it wasn’t a far stretch for her to understand that she’d make unique friends in her fight. Where the two met though, is the most unique of all.

They met in Nyxus’s dungeon. Larissa had been captured in the middle of a fight and Dream Angel didn’t yet know about her being missing. Nyxus had captured Kaida because she wanted him for a zoo. They discovered they had a lot in common, and found a way to escape on their own.

Dream Angel was surprised when the two came out of the castle almost completely unscathed. Larissa introduced the pair and related the circumstances of their escape. Once it was decided that their goals were the same, Larissa gave Kaida a communication device just like Dream Angel’s. This way, they’d be in constant contact as long as it wasn’t lost.

Kaida is a rarity on South Bartin City. His kind would be considered endangered. This would be why Nyxus wanted him for a zoo. Although she’s the one responsible for almost wiping out his species. Many creatures on the planet got labeled “unnecessary.” Then hunted either to the brink of extinction or extinction.

What do you think of Kaida? Is he an interesting character? He makes his comic book debut in Dream Angel #3, which can be found in the shop. It’s recommended you get the books that came before it so the story makes sense! Also found in the shop is his plush action figure.

Leopard with a mission: Kumo Hanahadashii

Kumo Hanahadashii is a very, very stubborn leopard. To match, he’s very clumsy. So clumsy, in fact, he makes Kaida seem a great deal less clumsy than he is.

kumoTo compound his problems, he’s madly in love with Cristiane Jewel. On top of everything, he’s fiercely jealous. This mixture makes him big time trouble.

He’s a skilled archer and the first time he meets Dream Angel, he very nearly shoots her down. After she convinces him she doesn’t know where Cristiane is, he decides to help her look and promptly runs face first into a tree.

Unfortunately for him, Cristiane loves Virgo, who loves Athalia. Of course, this creates tension among the cats. Cristiane and Kumo are both leopards, Virgo and Athalia are both tigers. All Virgo and Athalia want is for Cristiane and Kumo to go away, but the two create nothing but trouble for them. Kumo’s jealousy of Cristiane’s affections for Virgo causes him to attempt to fight Virgo for her and Athalia’s caught in the middle.

Virgo’s affection for Athalia isn’t out in the open, it’s subtle and quietly understood between the two. For Kumo, that means he’s interested in Cristiane.

For Dream Angel, Torakatai and everyone else, the entanglement among the four is problematic until they’re directed at Nyxus, the Keres and the assorted creatures they bring along. When that happens, it’s better to stand back and let the cats have their fun as they send them flying the hard way.

Luckily in a fight, Kumo lives up to the translation of his name: Blur Extreme, or more appropriately, extreme blur. Fast with a bow, just as fast with a sword and quite rough on opponents with claws and teeth if he’s disarmed.

Kumo makes his comic book debut in Dream Angel #19, 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 soon to be found in the shop is his plush action figure.

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.

Villain or not? Stygere

Stygere has got the longest fuse of the Keres. His mother and sisters are quick to anger, he isn’t. Instead, he stays angry most particularly at them, for all the arguing. He’s a dangerous enemy, but doesn’t often show anger toward the heroes. In fact, they have a suspicion that he wants to join them against his mother and sisters. He’s left clues to their plans that have helped the heroes out of many deadly traps.

He’s an enigma to the heroes, but among the many things he won’t admit openly is that he does want to rebel against his mother and sisters. Unfortunately, the few times he’s tried, they nearly killed him for it. So, rather than risk life and limb against them, he secretly helps the heroes without their fully realizing it. He’s considered donning a masked identity to confuse both sides. Unfortunately, he figures they’d recognize his voice and he’d simply be in greater trouble.

A small mystery that might nag at the reader of Dream Angel #2 and #3, is how Kaida knew Larissa was in trouble with Ker and several Reprobates. The heroes figure he was simply flying overhead and saw something that looked out of place causing him to land and investigate. What the heroes wouldn’t know is Stygere planted a clue. One that would attract the Pegasus centaur without anyone knowing. He also left an anonymous clue with the local police. Which is connected to the heroes’ communications thanks to Larissa. This, Stygere knows, and put to good use. It’s common knowledge the heroes and police are working together to solve crimes within the city. So he figures anyone could have left the tip and he wouldn’t get blamed.

He doesn’t want to openly help the heroes, so he flies under the radar with subtle hints and clues to tip them off. His mother and sisters are left frustrated when the heroes escape, but he’s secretly pleased.

What do you think? Is Stygere an interesting character? Stygere makes his comic book debut in Dream Angel #1, which is available in the shop. Also available in the shop is his plush action figure.

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.

What makes 3D so difficult?

What makes 3D so difficult to handle is that it has a very steep learning curve more often than not. I’ve found people that assume because the computer does a lot of the work that 3D isn’t art and it’s lazy to use. Let me assure you: nothing is further from the truth!

True, some programs, like DAZ Studio or even Poser are good for beginners or hobbyists and make setting up a scene reasonably easy to do, but that doesn’t mean the rendered art will be good quality. Like pencil and paper, there’s basic techniques and much more advanced ones. It’s the difference between a stick figure with dots for eyes and a line for a smile and a fully detailed anatomically correct figure that’s nicely lit and realistic.

Anyone can draw a stick figure, but that much higher quality figure with all the details and lighting? That can take years of practice. The very same holds true of 3D art.

First and foremost, it’s very much art. If it isn’t, it shouldn’t be in movies as a special effect since it takes special effects artists to use it for movies. What are they using if it isn’t art? Secondly, it’s constantly changing and improving, so just because some amateur hasn’t yet mastered even the basics isn’t a reason to tell them to use pencil and paper.

Four years ago, I knew next to nothing about 3D art. I posed bald, nude figures in Poser with default lighting and painted hair and clothes in Photoshop. As I learned more, my methods changed. Figures began having clothes and hair, I began experimenting with lights and camera angles.

Being a 3D artist is a lot like being a movie director. You have to be able to work with all the various departments to get the scene just right. Actors, wardrobe, hair, makeup, lights, cameras and other things have to be prepared for the scene to be complete. Finding, creating and effectively rendering the scene elements is more complicated than some might imagine. Even when you think the scene looks the way you want it, it doesn’t mean the final render will have the desired result. That means post work, which can get almost as complicated as setting up the scene in the first place.

The truth is there’s a million ways a scene can go wrong. True, pencil and paper mean you can simply erase the part that’s not the way you want it, but what if it’s already inked? That means hours with white-out or something similar to correct the problem.

Lots of ways to mess up, lots of ways to create incredible art. It’s a matter of time, patience and a lot of practice.

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!