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.
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.