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cover: jotsk4, children of wrath

take 1 take 1

Nobody liked this but me. Pout, pout, pout. Okay, grass and hands rendered in blender. I didn't do the hottest job rigging the hands, after exporting the body from MakeHuman. My first hand-rigging. The grass is essentially the same as I did in the 'treefingers' render. Still not right according to the tutorial, but... eh? The stencils on the hands are drawn in photoshop, as well as some extra shading.

Problems with this cover include the hands not being up enough for focus, and looking far too "bulbous". Some of that's foreshortening, some of that's the model (I guess? I didn't check hand targets for options), some of that's the lack of human-skin-texture-knowledge I still need to work on, and... eh. I was up until 3am on this one.
take 2 take 2

So after I get word and confirmation that take 1 is crap (give or take), I ... spend some more time trying to fix the issues mentioned, narrowing the fingers, altering POV a bit, ... nothing really seems to work. So I give up and go to istock and buy a royalty-free picture at far higher resolution than I needed because I misconstrued some warnings on the site and thought that meant I was going to get a clipping path. Thankfully, the wand was pretty decent, and I only had to draw on the quickmask a little to get the true clip, at low-res.

As soon as I made the hands blue, though, they started looking _awfully_ cartoony. Spent a lot of time playing with levels and whatnot. Actually made them _more_ cartoony with a guass blur darken overlay (I think), which made them _look_ less cartoony--blended in more, thankfully. Re-rendered the grass, played with a few things, re-drew the icons (about ten times, finally got something like I wanted for the original picture, and I have to admit they work a lot better on this version).

And hey, even the e-publisher likes this one! At least, "best so far" has to be somewhat promising, right?

I don't think it compares to the dbotl6 cover, but I didn't like this one when I finished with it to begin with, and am just warming to it with everyone else screaming at me how good it is. So, hey, accidents happen, and my eye isn't as good as I'd like, it seems. :)

The biggest problem with these hands as opposed to take 1 is that they're not as visible when they're really scaled down.


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 8th, 2006 10:37 pm (UTC)
Dude, I think that's my favorite of all of the ones you've posted so far. That is *totally* awesome looking!!! Seriously looks like you just photoshopped a pic of someone's hands...
Feb. 8th, 2006 10:46 pm (UTC)
I, er, ... did.

Feb. 8th, 2006 10:47 pm (UTC)
So I give up and go to istock and buy a royalty-free picture at far higher resolution than I needed

Feb. 8th, 2006 11:43 pm (UTC)
(My bad for not reading closely!!) :-)
Feb. 9th, 2006 12:07 am (UTC)
No worries. Everyone really does seem to love the latest cover, and that's cool.

Mostly just a shame that I spent so long on the first version of the cover, where just about nothing from it was 'recoverable' for the second.
Feb. 8th, 2006 11:42 pm (UTC)
Oops. :-D The top one still looks really good too (albeit with freakishly large thumbs.) :-D
Feb. 9th, 2006 04:47 am (UTC)
With this kind of cover, stock photo's really are a better option, since you're going for something more realistic.


Just looked at erif.org. No. Effing. Way. You live in Acton, and go to work in Valencia?!

*double take*

I live in Canyon Country, yo.

- Zeke
Feb. 9th, 2006 06:45 am (UTC)
It's my first time taking the plunge and buying someone else's work to work with. Feels weird--especially with everyone congratulating me on how great a render it is ;)

I actually stopped going to work in Valencia ... just about a month ago. But yeah. :) I think (my memory's shit, so don't kill me when I'm wrong) something like 40% of livejournal users are from Los Angeles? 90% from California? I forget where I'm pulling this from, though.
Feb. 9th, 2006 07:05 am (UTC)
LiveJournal Stats Page.

California's got the top spot, but nowhere close to 90%, since the next two below it make up more than Cali. It could have been that way in the past though, since you've been on LJ since 2001, and things change fast.

You do your own business now, but I'm confused as to what it actually does. I get the idea that it's a web development and business solutions thing, but that's it. O_O

- Zeke
Feb. 13th, 2006 08:12 pm (UTC)
I think I was confusing the country chart and the state chart in my mind, and autofilling random gibberish elsewhere as needed.

It's statistics, who listens to statistics? [[insert mark twain quote here]] ;)
Feb. 10th, 2006 02:13 am (UTC)
What do you do out there in Canyon Country?
Feb. 12th, 2006 05:15 am (UTC)
You want the shadowing on the hands. I like it, and the second pic stencils look better. The first pair of hands looked a bit like monkeys' hands, the way the fingers were stunted and the thumbs were longer and separated.

Put me in with the crowd. Nice job.
Feb. 13th, 2006 08:14 pm (UTC)
The fingers really weren't stunted, I swear! #(*$&#( foreshadowing.

Maybe I should have re-rendered with the hands spread out the way things were in the photo. But the photo does look good, I must admit.

Now I have a couple of months before cuss is done with another book, soundslike.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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