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the blood arcane -- takes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

You can jump to the Blood Arcane cover gallery to see the process, plus one shot taken from a different POV that shows all the spots I didn't patch up, and what the colors looked like pre-matching-to-background, and stuff.


take 5


take 5, no text
take 5

TAKE 1


OMFG, I busted my ass on this one. Two minor things I sketched in photoshop (eyes, and pattern on breastplate). Pants, boots, breastplate, helmet--all made by hand.

Oops. Just noticed the background was shifted one pixel to the left. which made the shadow a little weird, on the far right. Will fix if there are or aren't any other changes. Tra la

I REALLY NEED SLEEP.

And I (*#$#'d my camera work and had to recreate the shot; spent probably two hours struggling with that, and I don't think it's as good. But it's (*#$#(*$&(#'d close. I just don't visualize in 3d, or reverse-3d, enough to reverse-engineer the "perfect" shot.

TAKE 2



Who would have guessed that each shot would be such a jump in practical knowledge? This time I learned a little bit about photoshop (limiting adjustment layers to a group instead of all layers under them!), and I did some mesh editing on main dude's face (the mouth, making it look more horrified, getting rid of that crinkle of smile), played with the coloration of his pants until they matched the sky, moved his arm so it was clasped more properly by guard dude behind him, and ... DUH DUH DUH... learned about assigning different materials to different parts of the same mesh! I made his eyes white (which didn't do that much good because I still had to paint over them--they were too bright for the mood I wanted, and I wasn't going to go to the trouble of creating an eye texture... though maybe that should have been the perfect opportunity to learn about UV unwrapping and mesh _painting_... er... next time!), and his lips pinkflesh (which I think turned out perfectly, after several very bad renders where he just had differnt shades of lipstick on, or lipgloss, or...). And I drew some eyebrows on him. WOOT!

TAKE 3



My photoshop file now has layers called 'kohl remover' and 'wrist thickener'

TAKE 4



tinted the top text to make it more part of the cover, then had to deal with the other text--the blue was really out of place, and then the white was out of place, ...

TAKE 5



Friend noticed that pattern on dude's armor was glowing. Oops =) Changed "normal" to "overlay" -- MAGIC! Also cleaned up a few jaggies in flesh here and there. And filtered out two highlights that seemed out of place (may have been background, or may have been 'sun' catching armor in very weird way. _PROBABLY_ were just background that I didn't properly magic-wand-select away)

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
mackatlaw
Jan. 30th, 2006 02:43 pm (UTC)
Suggestion
As the viewing public, I would like to see the top figure with the armor better! Could you move the other guy down a bit, as well as the top figure? Basically just pull the image down further so that the title isn't obscuring the top figure? I'd like to see a version of that, if it's not too time-consuming for you? You did all that work; don't let the cool but large font obscure him for us!

Impressed at all your hard work,
Mack

(enjoying hearing you narrate the artistic process to us)
kaolinfire
Jan. 30th, 2006 05:50 pm (UTC)
Re: Suggestion
I don't mind the request, but I won't be following through unless the author or publisher require. The font size is because the image is going to be scaled down to near-nothing for listing. If it were print, I'd try to be a little more inventive. Placement is because I want his face to be the center of attention... dragging the armor down changes that.

And yeah, all that would be time-consuming. ;)

But I can post the image without the text on it. (DONE <--)
mackatlaw
Jan. 30th, 2006 02:47 pm (UTC)
Also, there appears to be an extra arm on the left not belonging to anyone in the foreground. Not sure if you meant it to be there or if a third person just got cut off?

The title and author font are a little big for my taste, since I think the picture should be the main attraction and I would make the font a little smaller. Could I see a version with smaller font? :)

Hope you don't mind my requests...
cussedness
Jan. 31st, 2006 12:00 am (UTC)
I like the cover. One thing I just noticed is that the shadow gets lost on the right hand side in the final form. Also you can't tell as easily that he's on his knees. However, the picture is so intense and rich, it works for me.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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