I just watched the latest Steven Universe episode, Mindful Education, which features my absolute favorite character of the whole series: Stevonnie. Stevonnie is a magical fusion of protagonist Steven and his best friend Connie. Together they make one person, Stevonnie, who blends characteristics of their source material, both physically and characterologically. For example, Stevonnie has Steven’s gem located at their navel, and they also have Connie’s lithe physicality. Personality-wise, Stevonnie seems to be more mature and reflective than either Steven or Connie on their own, suggesting that the two bring out the best in each other. Also, interestingly enough, Stevonnie is much more at home with magic, transformation, teleportation, flying, etc., etc., etc., than either Steven or Connie separately, possibly because they’re a product of magic themselves. Also they’re incredibly cute!
Aaaaaaanyway, with thoughts of fusions on my mind, I returned to a fusion character of my own that I thought up 17 years ago: Nova, which was me + Frank. Now that I have Daz Studio and all the appropriate tools, I can mess around with morph dials and actually create digital representations of such blended characters, so I did! I made a digital Nova, who is not appearing here because she’s not my focus.
My interest this evening was in doing a digital combination of me + Jareth. I’m digging the result, shown below in the middle with me on the left and Jareth on the right. I’m actually thinking that Jareth should be looking a little more like the middle facially, so maybe it’s time for me to change his digital likeness.
Continue reading I’m digging this fusion character.
Below, 49 Pieces, a mini universe photostory. Click to enlarge.
My digital T-shirt, besides being a virtual model of something I will eventually have in real life, also serves as an efficient metaphor for my raw emotional state. The graphic derives from an illustration in Juan Valverde de Amusco’s 1560 textbook Anatomia del Corpo Humano. Known as an écorché [French for flayed person], the skinless figure proved a popular way to depict human musculature. Interestingly enough, this one appears remarkably sanguine for just having peeled off his skin. He is a lot calmer than I am at the moment.
Continue reading Making art helps me feel better.
Oh ho ho, I just unearthed my renders from the short period during which LHF went digital. Some things have changed, and some have stayed the same. Examples and commentary below. All pictures can be clicked to be enlarged, though I’m not sure you’d want to.
Continue reading Flashback to early renders
Here’s my entry, based on the timeless principle that humorous interpretations are almost always an improvement over “straight” ones. ^_^
Delphinia McAllister, junior career counselor at Land-o-Fae Tech Center, shook her head. It was supposed to be a simple, straightforward final project — “When I Grow Up, I Want to Be a Woodland Fairy.” Indeed, most of the students had taken it that way [much to Delphinia’s relief], offering essays and artistic interpretations of their futures as sprites of the glade.
And then there was Rhododendron Jones. An inveterate troublemaker, she slouched in the back of the class, seeming never to pay attention. But then she’d pipe up with a snarky remark that was so on point that everyone cracked up. As Delphinia surveyed Rhododendron’s willful misinterpretation of her directions, she wondered if the kid was just a smart aleck. Or maybe Rhododendron was too smart for her?
Judging from the proud and gleeful expression on Rhododendron’s face, Delphinia surmised that the answer was a little bit of both.
Continue reading Daz monthly freebie contest entry: “When I Grow Up, I Want to Be a Woodland Fairy”
I’ve upgraded my most-used digital characters from the Genesis 2 Female base model to the Genesis 3 Female base model. The G3F model benefits from a vast array of facial “bones” that make subtle nuances of facial asymmetry and expressions easily achievable. This is mostly awesome!
I can make the model have all sorts of expressions, but I just can’t make it smile convincingly. The top lip doesn’t roll up and thin easily, and the corners of the mouth don’t become as deep and as pointy as they need to.
On the other hand, the Genesis 2 Female has expressions based on hand-crafted morphs. Some of my favorites include the correct nuances of lip flexion in smiles, creating results on G2F that G3F can’t come close to.
Here’s an example:
Continue reading The one thing I miss about my previous base model
Remember how I admired Ali’s original digital figure, Bod, recently? Well, I ended up purchasing her, and she’s just even more adorable in my runtime than she is in the promos. I ran into some difficulties clothing her until I realized that she is based off Ali’s free human figure Angela. With that knowledge, I was able to purchase her a T-shirt and shorts from Ali’s site [pretty much the only thing that wasn’t a bikini]. I also found some free poses for Angela that worked for Bod with a little accommodation for her different feet. Anyway, here’s Journee, my Bod-based character….
Continue reading Journee, avian therianthrope
Here’s the photostory featuring Jareth in the aforementioned inimitably Jarethian outfit. Other people include Tomaeo [rainbow shirt], Russell [grey sweater], and Nero [black corset]. As usual, there’s a lot of sarcastic remarks and tongues sticking out.
Continue reading Taste Testing: Jareth, Tomaeo, Nero, and Russell at the bar
Tired of waiting for Dimension3D’s GenX3 to automate the process of transferring morphs, I decided to take another stab at approximating Jareth on the G3F base. I’ve been working on moving him manually to G3F for several months, with unsatisfactory results.
Last night I finally figured out how to move him over without distortion — or, more precisely, the chief components of his head morph.
- On G2F, I added to Favorites the head morphs that his likeness depends on: my RedPlanetArachnid [young David Bowie] and Genesis Head [because RedPlanetArachnid was developed for a Genesis 1 base].
- I then used the Transfer Utility.
Source: G2F. Shape: Default.
Target: G3F. Shape [and here’s the key]: Genesis 2 Female Head from Slosh’s Genesis 2 Legacies.
Slosh’s Genesis 2 Female base morph included in this series provides much more accuracy than you would get if you used either the G3F clone shape under Source Shape or the G2F clone shape under Target Shape. As many people have noted, the G3F clone for G2F and the G2F clone for G3F do not follow the shapes that they clone exactly; distortion becomes especially egregious around the eyes.
- After transferring the morphs over to G3F, I did the usual rigging adjustment and ERC freeze. For some reason, even though I was just transferring head morphs, I had to leave pretty much everything selected in terms of bones to adjust and influencing face groups. For the first iteration, though, I unchecked Left Squint Inner and Right Squint Inner, as those bones tend to move way out of line during rigging adjustment. Then I did a second rigging adjustment with only those bones selected.
- I defined limits, colors, names, paths, etc. for the morphs and saved as usual.
After all that, I then loaded a new G3F and dialed in G2F Head 100%, Genesis head 50%, and RedPlanetArachnid 75%. Using the G2F version as reference, I used my G3F Morphalynn morph package, Dogz’ 200+ G3F Head and Face Morphs, and Daz’ G3F body morphs to reproduce the salient features of his shape. Anyway, here’s a full body shot. Needs a little more adjustment, especially the transfer of some age morphs and a Flatten Chest morph, but I think I’m finally ready to use him in digital photostories!
Continue reading Jareth on Genesis 3 Female base
…Seems to be going well for a few hours’ worth of work, all with free morphs, either DieTrying’s 182 for V4, ported to Gen1 by SickleYield, or my Morphalynn G3F set ported to Gen1 by me. Continue reading Digital likeness attempt 2: Adam Driver
Samildanach’s clown robot dolls Black & White are on clearance at Rendo. Time to get ’em!
Also at Rendo, Edart3D’s Pin-up Gynoid Phase 1 implies the future existence of later phases, so I’m keeping an eye on this vendor. As a bonus, this person also does accurate [from what I can tell] renders of outmoded technology in a way that I haven’t seen anyone else do.
Speaking of clearance and also of gynoids, Traveler’s Technophilia Retro Gynoids are in the RDNA discount bin.
And, in recent purchases, I acquired Mannequin for G3F last night. Much to my delight, the geografted head follows head morphs and expressions somewhat, allowing for rough likenesses. Woo hoo!
I also made some sorely needed disturbing overlays for the blank head. Below is one of them. Continue reading Digital robo-dolls and stuff
My alter ego illustrates last year’s and this year’s perspectives [but with better clothes than mine].Continue reading New Year’s render
I rarely share in public what goes on with the characters in my head, but this is one of the more innocuous events.
For context, I got Whip It by Devo stuck in my head, which is clearly a goofy set of puns, even if you haven’t seen the video. Then I started thinking about Jareth’s workplace, which is mostly your basic corporate office, except for the fact that the business, the Mortal Coil [yes, thank you very much — I like the name too] sells party space, scene space, kinky equipment, and bdsm services. [And that’s one of the ways you can tell it’s imaginary — because such a company would never exist anywhere in Vermont. :p ]
Sadine is the Coil’s rock star domme who brings in so much business that she gets her own assistant, which is Jareth. It’s mostly executive assistant work, with a ton of calendar management. Lately, though, she’s been getting a lot of really low-quality crap from the web content specialists who are ghosting her blog copy, and so we begin our vignette…Continue reading “Doing a Devo,” or, What Goes On in My Imagination
…include the following:
- steel-toed boots
- wool socks
- hard hats
- leather work gloves with padded palms
- rip-stop pants reinforced with grommets
- sweaty T-shirts
Things I do not picture lumberjacks wearing include the following:
- poet’s blouses that have never seen a day’s sweat in their lives
- pointless little vests that don’t do anything
- pants with integrated codpieces
- boots with useless straps
- no gloves
- no head protection
In other words, I don’t picture them wearing anything like the Lumberjack outfit included in the Genesis 2 Male Starter Essentials by Daz Studio. However, I must admit that the outfit is hilarious in its impracticality and thus perfect for Jareth, who likes entertaining and impractical outfits.Continue reading Things I picture lumberjacks wearing…
It’s very hard to portray Jareth in this gender presentation without him looking preppy or hipsterish. That’s why I keep coming back to Luthbel’s G2M Horror Survivors Marius for the texture, hair, brows, and beard. It looks casual, weatherbeaten, and a little stylish [ref. sticky-uppy hair], but not really put-together.Continue reading Jareth is ^_^ !
Wow, when was the last time I posted a render?
One of the things that I really like about having digital likenesses of my characters is that I can change them over time. Applying different complexions and make-up involves simply loading up new textures, while experimenting with their shapes requires pushing morph sliders around. Therefore I can make drastic alterations to them without committing to anything permanent.
I changed my digital likeness of Jareth recently in a pretty significant way. He used to be stylized and cartoony, but I thought I’d see what he looked like in a more realistic representation. Instead of basing the digital version of him on the digital sculpt I made for my Jareth BJD, this likeness is based on my approximation of David Bowie from about 1975, with a lot of ageing, sagging morphs added, as well as some emaciation and curviness. Check him out.Continue reading Jareth has been updated.
In honor of her 45th birthday, a digital vendor, MEC4D, has been releasing limited freebie clothing + hair sets with 1980s style. Here’s Michaela in the latest, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun for Genesis 2 Female.
Continue reading Girls just wanna have fun!
On Halloween, while humans dress up as demons, the demons themselves take off from scare duty. They trade their gloomy and ghastly rags for the brightest, most modern duds they can find and kick up their heels, celebrating that one night of the year during which the humans have assumed the monsters’ usual task of freaking people out. [Nobody ever claimed that demons could coordinate their separates, however.] Here Malicia [center] does a jig, accompanied by Desperanda [left] on panpipes and Maxima Culpa "Maxi" [right] on drum.
I challenged myself to make a render for this contest using freebies only and no paid items. Even with a conservative counting scheme [not counting an unseen freebie, counting an entire outfit set as a single freebie], I think I’ve succeeded.
Continue reading Monster Mash final
Now with background and very basic lighting! This picture is very very close to completion. Lights still need some help, though…
Continue reading Monster Mash draft #2
I edited my Monster Mash concept from 5 Satyresses down to 3 because I really couldn’t justify the character development needed for all 5. So here, from left to right, are Desperanda the piper, Malicia the dancer and Maxima Culpa "Maxi" the drummer. Still have to make Malicia’s hair look like it’s moving. No lights or set yet.
Continue reading Monster Mash draft
Test render of the dancer in my planned Monster Mash picture. She looks like kind of a ham. 😀
Figure and texture: Pinin’s freebie Satyress. Body morphs and most non-expression head morphs by me via D-Forms. Dress: English Bob’s V3 Butterfly Dress Short [conforming version], converted for Satyress with a combination of G2F base figure, D-Forms, Transfer Utility and Autofit. Dress texture from my Loud Fabrics 01 Shaders Updated. Hair: Aliza G2F by me.
Continue reading Purple-eyed DWEEB!
Shown yesterday in a long shot, she appears today in closeup.
Continue reading Closeup of the Mad Doll
I was playing around this morning with some recent digital acquisitions and came up with this picture. Caption: "I’m pretty sure I made a wrong turn somewhere because this definitely does not look like a shopping district where I can acquire some less skimpy pants."
Continue reading What would a creepy doll be afraid of?
…that you, too, can bask in the glory of his unalloyed awesomeness, even though Daz does not fully do justice to his brain-breaking fabulosity. Man, that guy has a big mouth. Continue reading Frank would like you to know…
Continuing my attempts to make some of my characters in digital renders, here’s Jennifer. She looks like she’s about to unleash whup-ass on whoever stuck her in the outfit. [Who, me? :D] I think I got both the childlike and kind of aged aspects to her face. Continue reading Jennifer in digital
In which are explored the limits of digital rendering software. Starring a digital version of me. Continue reading “Print to action figure.”
I have a much better track record using words to describe what’s in my head. I have an abysmal track record with the visual arts. I really wish that I could draw, but I can’t, so I settle for playing with dolls and messing around with Daz.
Yup, went back to Daz today after a long absence. It’s good for creating characters that I don’t have dolls of. Then, if all goes well, I can then decide with dolls match my mental conceptions best.
But I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a sculpt for this one. If anyone does see a sculpt that matches this one, please let me know.
Yup, I think the brain-to-screen translation mostly worked. He looks scrawny, kinda horsey, old, sorta inhuman, pointy, stylized, kinda androgynous and weird. We’ve also got the strangely shining eyes and arching eyebrows and the expression.
Dude, I so need a doll of him, preferably 1:6. Continue reading From mind to pen: did it work?!
Here’s Cory. She’s my cute manananggal with no fashion sense whatsoever, just like most of my characters. I want a 1:6 doll of her. Does anyone have any suggestions for what head I could use? Restrictions: I’d like something easily obtainable, preferably something that is currently being sold and not too expensive [<$100 for an entire doll]. Because she’s so stylized [long pointy face, full lips, tilted eyes], I think an anime doll might be the best bet.
Davry started out as an experiment in 3-D modeling to see if I could modify a model with average proportions to make a character with achondroplasia, one of the most common types of dwarfism. Then, as soon as I developed his smirk, he informed me that he was a straight guy [unlike most LHF characters], a steampunk aficionado and a UUU [Unitarian vampire]. You’ll see him in the future, primarily because anyone with an expression like the one shown below is irresistible!
P.S. I think I managed to incorporate the common traits of achondroplasia into his physical features.
Inspired by The Bride of Frankenstein, The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, here’s a future LHF cast member, Gemini Beaumont, dressed up for one of Will’s shoots.
Ethan Stuart, leader of the Colos of Salem, is the LHF universe’s oldest vampire. He was in his 80s when he was vamped at the end of the 17th century, so there wasn’t much youth to preserve in the first place. He’s also wasting away, which explains his deliciously zombie-like condition [courtesy of the Mr. Happy package mentioned earlier]. Of course he looks exhausted and melancholy.
Cory is a cunning linguist.
Well, I ordered some guts and bloody stumps for my manananggal, but they didn’t come, so I worked on the rest of her, that is, her top half. You can see Cory [short for Corazon] below. I am not sure what her style is, but, whatever it is, she is rockin’ it hard. She is a lot of fun to make. I put her in the therianthropes category because she has bat wings and an insectile tongue, so I think of her as therianthropic. I added the “devil horns” because they seemed to go along with the bat wings…and her tough demeanor. I don’t know if you can see this, but she has three eyebrow piercings, one nose ring and rings at either corner of her mouth!
…by illustrating something that I saw with my very own eyes…how the squirrels around here get so damn big. Apparently I broke my Comic Book Creator export functions, so it looks like I’ll have to go with Comic Life and redo ALL the LHF eps I’ve done so far, aaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrgh. Anyway, this comic is just a screen-captured jpg. Also I am aware that the French fry looks like a rectangular solid colored tan. Go bite the wax tadpole.
I just tested with posing, setting up, rendering and laying out part of LHF 1.1. Already I see some things I need to improve on.
1. First and foremost, I have way too many props, textures and gimcracks in my sets. 2 figures in an average set, which is just a sparsely decorated corner, with maybe 60 props total [mostly books :p] and 3 lights, really slows down my compooper. I can’t pose characters quickly; there’s a lag time of several seconds. Also rendering takes too long for my tastes, meaning that it takes 60-180 seconds. I need to relegate as much as possible to the 2-D backdrops except for furniture and 2 books, 1 telephone, 1 doll, 1 mermaid, 1 stuffed animal….the absolute essentials. I must resist the temptation to go insane with detail in the sets. They should be very simple, streamlined and highly stylized.
2. The font in the speech bubbles looks horrid. I think it needs to be 9 point BOLD.
That said, I’m enchanted with how the new medium is working out. I can get much tighter camera angles out of Daz than out of my own physical camera. I can also put the digital dolls in much more realistic, squinched-up postures than I could with my action figs. Plus the digital dolls’ likeness is much closer to what Anneka and Will actually look like. Hooray!!!! Is it strange to say that I am most enchanted with the sagginess and wrinkliness of their faces and the elegance of their hands?
I’ve been working on a custom Victoria 4.1 character for the past few weeks. She is scrawny, with a long, snout-like face, inspired by the gangly, mischievous critters in Brian Froud’s illustrations. Because I am too chicken to create a custom texture [skin] because V4’s UV map [skin texture layout] is confusing, I am just making the morphs and poses. So far, I’ve made the character’s custom head and body morph [using the pretty cool Creature Creator morph pack] and some custom poses. Here she is sleeping. It was a real pain to make her pose because I had to adjust each of her finger joints individually. The result looks quite relaxed and naturalistic, however, if I do say so myself. I put her in the “therianthropes” category because I used all sorts of animal morphs [including “HeadGoat” (?!?!?!) and “EarGremlin” 🙂 ] to deform her features.
When you look into the abyss, said Friedrich Nietzsche, the abyss also looks back into you. He neglected to mention that the abyss could quite possibly be wearing an evil smirk. Because she has a snake tail, the subject of this picture is classed as a therianthrope, even if you can’t see her anguineous parts.
Here’s my custom “The Girl” character, Guerdon, as she stands tonight [not finished]. I Made her custom body shape [longer legs, smaller hands, longer neck, bigger feet] with “The Girl” base package, no extra morphs. Her homely, pointy face is also entirely an original product of several tedious hours with D-Forms, although I did use “The Girl” morph pack to create her expression of fierce concentration. Corset, shorts, boots and arm warmer from Glorious Goth. Streamer sleeves from The Dress. Hat from The Dress Headpiece. Shoulder pads from Planet Vixens Toxic II freebie. The skin texture is my work, and it incorporates seamless skin tiles by kabuki-chan at Renderosity and PSP 7 Stitches brushes by slshimerdla at Renderosity as well.
Anyway, she’s a well-disciplined member of the Goblin Royal Guard who has been trained since she was a toddler to protect the life of the Goblin Queen. Highly skilled and unquestioningly devoted, she knows the seven defensive arts of the Lower Orders and the eight tongues of the Roundaway world, making her equally talented in warcraft or espionage.
She was the one who intercepted the Elvish assassin who tried to kill the Queen during last year’s Festival of Worms. For this feat of selfless bravery, she suffered a disfiguring amputation of her eyebrows, sheared off by the vengeful assassin before he expired, choked to death by Guerdon’s hat streamer. The assassin intended to shame Guerdon by removing from her the most prized features of goblin physiognomy: their thick, swooping, expressive eyebrows. [Elves often take goblin eyebrows like scalps in battle, and goblin soldiers have been known to kill themselves before submitting to such dishonor.] Guerdon, though, was not to be daunted, and she had stitches tattooed in place of her brows. This is how she came to be known as Guerdon the Bald-Faced, in reference to her eyebrowlessness, as well as her general courage.
I was playing with a new fig tonight, the toonily proportioned “The Girl.” Her gravity-defying pose and wide, rubbery mouth just call for exuberant poses. Isn’t she cute? She was wearing a skintight boob squisher but I kept getting poke-through on every pose, so I went for second skin clothing.
Here’s Gareth, a long-time character of mine. He’s made off a Will base because I’ve been using that physique for characters for decades. Since he’s a predator of ideas, he has many bestial characteristics, including talons, vespertilian wings, feline eyes, big pointy ears, hollow bones and a predatorial sensibility, highly apparent here.
Here’s a unicorn therianthrope character using the same skin mat as my bad-ass octopus therianthrope. [I like the skin…it’s versatile for a myriad characters.] Yes, I understand that you can see part of her tail through her butt…but she’s just a draft.
Over there…no, wait…she ran away. Fortunately I took this picture. She shares the same atrocious fashion sense as all of my characters, as well as the Signature MW Evil Smirk. I like her blocky face and her horsey teeth. 😀 She has yet to tell me her name. Oh wait…she just did. It’s Kelly Ashley Brittany Dupree.
Okay, she was going to be a mermaid with head tentacles, but she informed me that her tentacles actually go on the lower half of her body, so I had to oblige. You don’t contradict someone with teeth [and muscles] like that. I need to work on making her octopus parts less plastic and more like shiny wet skin.
She is dancing happily because I constructed her with her tentacles in the appropriate place [on her hips, not on her head]. Please don’t ask how she goes to the bathroom or reproduces. It’s magic.
Removed obvious seams from skin mat, added fishnets, reposed hyperextended right hand.
A mad scientist discovers a fatal flaw in her master creation.
Messing with iClone again. This is the default character, a female Hero. Apparently this body style is the “plump” one, but I don’t really see that. The scientist has a “sad” expression, while the clone has a “tease” expression with a “dance” animation.
Okay, here we go. I imported a picture of my Will doll to use as the base for this version of Will. I couldn’t get him as cadaverous as I wanted, but the skin is a nice interesting dead color. Eyes are accurately blue, sockets accurately shadowed.
Here’s his atrocious yet riveting outfit. Both the pants and the boots are “female casual.” I didn’t know over-the-knee fuck-me boots were casual wear….
And here’s a close-up. Why yes, he is smirking with 100% “Evil Intention.” He also looks like David Bowie, no?
Using my trial verson of iClone 2, this is as close as I can get to Will. Hairstyle is inaccurate [not sticking up enough], as are eyes [not brown] and pants [not tight enough], but the complete lack of fashion sense, the cadaverous build and the eeeeevil smirk are right on. I am very amused to note that there is an “Evil Intention” emote generator, which I cranked up to 100% to get the following smirk.
iClone 2, interestingly enough, separates everything by sex. Bodies, clothing and shoes are understandable. [In a bonus for me, women can wear “male” clothes and men “female,” although “female” tops have prefab breast bumps in them which do not look good on a male character who is not a drag queen. In the case of shoes, though, it’s no problem. Will’s wearing “female” casual black boots.] But even body language is segregated! “Male” poses connect solidly with the earth, looking dynamic and forceful, while “female” poses show more imbalance and tentative, swaying movements. [But the sex of the character does not determine available poses and motions; Will is in a “female” casual seated posture.]