Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Digital Painting: In the Asylum

In the Asylum is a prestudy for Demogorgon, a piece I haven't done yet. I got the idea while working on the Dinosaur Rider series of pictures, and just had to break off and do something different.

Being a photographer is very different from being a cartoonist or painter. Cartoonists and painters usually create their work from scratch. A photographer finds things that already exist, modify them if necessary, and put them together in interesting ways.

This is a simplification, of course. Painters and cartoonists often work using photo references, or like a photographer, with live models. I sometimes create 3D environments as backdrops for my photographic images. The lines are blurred.

Me, I am interested in the results. If I can find a simple way of accomplishing what I want, then that way is the way I go. I constantly strive to learn more, but as a means to an end.

I created In the Asylum by setting up a scene in Daz 3D Studio. I used a stock model, the Genesis 8 Female as a base, and changed skin color, the shape of the ears, and the proportions of the body. Some of the modifications are easy tweaks using pre-built controls, for others, I changed the mesh directly, using scaling transformations. I experimented with a D-Former, but found that, for what I wanted to do, the scaling transformations gave me better results.

The backdrop is a room from the Daz Asylum package. I threw out the pre-packaged lighting, and replaced it with my own lights.

Notice the shadow on the floor to the left of the woman? That is from the window. I placed a light outside the window to get the shadow, and also to control where the light would fall on the floor.

I also added a point light, for ambience, and gave it volume to soften the shadows.

When I had a render, I opened it into Affinity Photo, and used a paint brush with the Paint Mixer tool.

I also tweaked the contrast, and changed the white balance to give the light in the room a greenish cast. I wanted the light in the scene to match the green skin of the woman.

Storyboard or finished picture? I don't know. I could shoot this using a live model, and even a real environment, but I am actually quite happy with the picture as is.

I'll probably move on to Demogorgon instead, unless something else just pops into my head.

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