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What have I been learning lately? - Firebelly Productions

What have I been learning lately?

What have I been learning lately? A fair question and quite a valid one, considering how quiet it’s been for the most part. Well, since books have hit a standstill, I’ve been learning new things about lights and cameras. Grabbing every tutorial on the subject I can when I can. Anyone who’s read the earliest Dream Angel books will agree those are indeed weaknesses. True fans wouldn’t have those early books any other way, considering the visible evolution of the art through the books. Improving the art has always been and will always be a goal of this artist.

Now, I’ve noted that a leading complaint about CGI art is that it’s “stiff and lifeless.” Well, alongside the lights and cameras, I’ve been on the hunt for ways to solve that problem, as well. On the one hand, the stiff outfits with morphs are much easier to control and less taxing on the computer when rendering. Although, sometimes, a realistic drape is far more dramatic. I figure I might be able to use both at appropriate times to achieve the effects I want in the scene. Sometimes, a dynamic drape just doesn’t cooperate the way you want it to and it’s not an easy thing to control. I do wish to get some tutorials to help with mastering it, of course! So, the stiffer object with the morphs can take over in the meantime while I’m learning. Fair enough, right?

Taking time to learn new things is just as important as releasing new books, right? Admittedly, it’s been a couple months now since the last book was released, but I believe you’ll find the wait well worth it as books to come will benefit from what’s being learned. So, to finish up, I’ll share a couple of the recent renders and let you see what’s been going on behind the scenes.

Let’s have a look at those new

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Now, let me point out a couple things.

  1. Starting with the first image, lighting is good, but could still use some dramatic flair.
  2. Second one, there’s some drama going on. I’m willing to bet some color adjustments or other tweaks would take it over the top.
  3. The third one, with Techwarrior and his villain Cryptolock going at it is pretty dramatic. I’ll bet there’s some room to tweak it further. You’ll also notice that cape of Cryptolock’s is pretty stiff compared to the
  4. next image and its dynamically draped cape. Between the two, his scenes may well be considerably more dramatic and with dramatic lighting to match… Well, I think you can imagine the improvement.
  5. The next one has Techwarrior in his new dynamically draped outfit. Not so “stiff and lifeless” is he?
  6. The last is the newest with the “chibi” figure I recently found. Nothing dramatic here, just Dream Angel and Nyxus showing off with the new figure. This new figure is quite good, but there’s still going to be some hand-drawn chibi figures for comedic emphasis throughout the books. They’re intentionally cute, but good for the overly emotional chibi style of character infamous to manga.

As you can see, despite being quiet around here, there’s still plenty going on behind the scenes. So, what do you think? Any ideas, tips, suggestions?

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