Saturday, February 28, 2009

Private Commission

My first private commission. After studying the lighting of the situation, I think I have found the problem with the lighting. Danie and Malforno set up the lighting in one of their Pz3 scenes to overpower any shadows.

But it's my first commission!!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Difference between DAZ Studio and Poser

Before we begin mastering DAZ Studio, we have to understand the other side of the Poserverse: Poser itself. DAZ Studio is developed as an entry, or gateway product, into the wonderful world of 3D Art. Poser was originally designed to help artists draw in traditional media.

Poser costs anywhere between $100 dollars (being sold through DAZ 3D of all places) to $250 dollars (sold through Smith Micro). Poser bills itself as a "high end" program. Not at all good for hobbyists. DAZ Studio was produced for the Hobbyist in mind.

But both DAZ Studio and Poser can load poser content. But because there are subtle differences in the way that DAZ Studio can handle Poser Content, not all Poser Content will work with DAZ Studio. This problem is compounded by the fact that most sites that sell for Poser will not SELL for DAZ Studio. Most items you see at Renderosity, Runtime DNA, and other sites have wonderful items that will work -- but they don't come prepackaged with DAZ Studio shaders. People who work with DAZ Studio will have to realize that they are often treated as "the guys down the street your mother warned you about" by vendors at other sites other than DAZ 3D.

However, some stuff from Runtime DNA and Renderosity will work with DAZ. You just have to work with DAZ shaders to get them right (often times that takes man hours on your part). If you don't want to deal with it, you often have to buy stuff at DAZ 3D. Although, Aery Soul and Danie and Malforno both sell items at DAZ 3D, and will often give support to DAZ Studio after a fashion.

There is one thing about DAZ Studio that makes it stand out from Poser. It's like having your own indoor Photography Studio. The 3D models cost less than a real model these days. And Computer Graphics technology has progressed to the point where the difference between real and CGI is blurred for the layman.

The Master Series will use Theatrical terms such as "blocking" to help you form your scenes. This is mostly because of my theatre background, also it fits DAZ Studio's intended purpose.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Mastering DAZ Studio, Introduction

So, you know shaders, you know magnets, you know lighting, you know all about the Cyclorama. You know where your content is, you know how to search for content on your other drives and use other runtimes. You feel confident with DAZ Studio, for you understand it enough to customize your interface and create art. So maybe. . . just maybe. . . it's time to master it to create really powerful ART.

Mastering DAZ Studio is a series of tutorials and projects that are designed to teach you to create stunning scenes with the tools you have, or don't have. These tutorials and projects help you to take advantage of all of DAZ Studio's features. From cartoon rendering, to powerful shader effects like poseworks' Effects. All of these are designed to help you take the next step and to create art on your own.

The first project is something that will test DAZ Studio's rendering time to create the scene below:

It's a scene from classic fantasy that is appropriate for such wonderful Campaign Settings such as the Judges Guild's Wilderlands of High Fantasy, Conan's Antediluvian world, the Ancient Classical World, Gor, and Greyhawk.

And I'm going to put together a tutorial that will help you to build it. So, whet your whistle true believers, it's time to Master DAZ Studio and create the ART you want.

How To Use Magnet Fits in DAZ Studio

I learned this trick from Adam Thwaites when I downloaded his "bubble butt" magnets. He included a small tutorial that makes magnets work. After using the Tutorial a couple of times, I believe I can include it here based on my own experience using it. So, I will be using a magnet set included in this tutorial that is commonly available at DAZ 3d. The V4 Muscle and Creature Morph Magnet Fits by Lyrra Madril. Believe me, at $14.95 American currency, it's a STEAL!

DAZ Studio handles magnets differently than Poser. In Poser, they are magnets. In DAZ Studio, they are deformers. The way magnets work in DAZ Studio is that they are turned into deformers. This allows for some adjustments (although not all adjustments on clothing or figures is necessary).

Okay, the very first thing you want to do is load up DAZ Studio.

1). You load up the clothing in DAZ (or figure) that you want. Right now, lets use the super sexy Gear Punk V4 by Orion1167.

2). Load up the magnet set for the figure you want to conform the clothing to. If it's A4, you load the A4 body magnet set. We, however, are using the V4 Muscle and Creature Morphs magnet set in this tutorial. Gear Punk can already conform to A4. Watch the clothes conform to the figure. We are going to use the Olympian morph in this instance.
3). Go to the scene tab, and click "Select All" to select everything in the scene.

4). Click on D-form in Pose/Shape and then click on "Spawn Morph" for each of your clothing. Type in a name for your new morph (like Olympian). Click ok.
5). Click on the scene tab, and then click "Select: All Deforms."
6). Right click (for a mac, it's ctrl-click) on one of the deform objects, and then select "remove all items from scene." This will delete all the D-forms from the scene.

7). Select your clothes in the scene tab, and then go to the Parameters tab to search for the morph you spawned and dial it up!
8). Load your figure.

Alternatively, you can save your new morph to its parent CR2 using the Morph to CR2 python script, made to work in DAZ Studio.

Judge the results for yourself. This is the result of adding the Olympian Morph Magnets.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

True Friendship

Songs have been sung about it.

Wars have been fought for it.

People have made sacrifices for it.

However, truly, people don't understand true friendship. Nor do they understand what truly fuels a friendship -- Love. Love is probably the most misunderstood emotion in all of human experience. People don't know what love truly is, so they often associate other things with the word love (like sadism and masochism). Sometimes, love can be falsely felt -- or be mistaken for some other emotion like desperation. But this is the Truth about Love: it is totally accepting the others for who they are and what they do.

My own deep experience with one person that I love deeply has taught me this. True friendship is not greed oriented, or oriented on one's needs to for one self over the expense of others. It's based in love and fueled by love. True acceptance of one's own Self and others.

Commonly, people express love through the joy of sex. Sexual fulfillment, sexual pleasure, and sexual conjugation is very important to relationships if they are to survive. Sex is the glue that holds a relationship together: it can better relationships -- as people who have sex every day can often attest. However, there is an equally powerful way for a relationship to build. This is true friendship. A true friendship is one without limits: no blood ties. No law of any kind can forbid it.

It is also for these reasons that true friendship is also dangerous. It lives without limits. There is no limit to a true friendship: nothing can stop it from being expressed. No blood ties can break it, no limits of the law can smash it, no cannon law can damn it up. Death cannot end it.

Take me for instance. I love a woman; even though she is my first cousin and the wife of another man. She inspires me to aspire to be my best self. She really exalts me, and has me thinking more of exaltation than of damnation. She increases every attribute inside of me that is good, and inspires me to succeed as a man. You can say that she is, and I consider her to be, my best friend.

Since she is married, I can not explore the sexual dimension of our relationship. It's off limits, and if I were -- some unwanted, and undesired, consequences would follow. So, I chose to go the way of true friendship. At least my part in our relationship will be true friendship. Friendship without limits, no blood ties, no law can stop it. Everything that I have is hers, if she wants and needs it.

This is the way I choose to express my love for her. It's not the wrong way to express it. :)

Was John Norman a Misogynist?

Lately, a lot of feminists have fought against the publication of the Gor series of novels, and often won. The term "slavery" punches our buttons. Slavery is indignation, unrighteous, and how slaves are treated in the books -- an outrage!

But please, let us understand why the books were written in the first place. John Norman is the philosopher came up with the anti-feminism philosophy that a woman's place is naturally submissive and the man is naturally dominate. Although it is true, to use slavery to present that view -- and to present it in novels rather than open debate really proves how sick our culture has become.

John Norman isn't misogynist, he's simply trying to present a different point of view. Misogyny is a label invented. I never even heard of the word before until it was used against me at one point. What John Norman argues through the book that Man and Woman are who they really are. No matter what is done to remake us, we are what we were intended to be.

Not one person invented Man and Woman. Reading all about John Norman's drama with his rights being violated has given me a sense of indignation. After all, truly, no man has ever been maligned so much by misconception and false authority. Save perhaps the Master of Masters -- Joshua ben Joseph of Nazereth -- and Joseph Smith.

Truely woman was made for a true purpose as a daughter of Eve. In our world, in all of humanity there is nothing more beautiful or more prized than a woman. Helen had the face that launched a thousand ships. When she was stolen away by Paris of Troy, her husband demanded her back and a thousand ships were launched -- bringing about the downfall of the Trojan Empire. An epic moment that would be remembered as an event at the end of the Bronze Age.

John Norman does not hate women. Nay, his poetic verse says much about the man. "By their fruits, ye shall know them." The next segment, I'm going to talk about friendship: true, pure, real, and best.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Biguana

Meet the Biguana (another product produced by Digital I Designs and sold through Digital Art Zone 3D). In Atlantis, the Biguana provides the transport over the desert lands of the Mountain Kingdoms, and the grassland prairies and savannas of the Disputed Lands. In in Atlantis, horses are treated like gold, or like superstars. Only the rich can own a horse, so the Atlanteans "bred" [genetically engineered] transport that is cheap and relatively easy to maintain. The Biguana.

Concept Art for the Atlantis graphic novel.

More concept Art.

I'm trying a Belldandy Morph on Aiko 4. I'd like you to judge the results. I'm using my Belldandy look alike to play the part of the wife that gets sold into slavery in my Atlantis graphic novel. Really cool on it's own, but it works out like clockwork. I also have a Naru morph for my Amazons. She gifts herself into slavery, and the protagonist is forced to buy her to save her.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

What if Hasbro gets itself out of the RPG business?

So, what would happen if the D&D brand fails and the RPG development department is suddenly out of a job due to Hasbro's corporate bullying and draconian tactics to protect its D&D sales? One thing for sure, people won't stop playing Dungeons and Dragons. Plus, a lot of talent from WotC will look to find work doing what they do best: create games.

Dungeons and Dragons is forever. There would be no official supplements, but it will be subsumed into the community. The community of gamers will support Dungeons and Dragons on the web and the internet. And various companies will fight to become top dog.

One person hopes that if WotC tanks due to Hasbro mis-management of the D&D brand, it would be sold to Iron Crown Enterprises and the Rolemaster revision of the game would be the 5th incarnation of the Game. Since wizards did everything to make D&D not D&D, Dungeons and Dragons is just a marketing brand if nothing else.

Just something to ponder . . .

Although, if WotC does tank due to mis-managment by the PARENT company; I do hope that D&D is sold to a company that understands how the D20 System and the OGL worked for Dungeons and Dragons. OR . . . even better . . . make it totally open sourced and COPYLEFTED; allowing anyone to produce work for the game with a simple game license like the OGL was.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Unconfirmed Rumor

The GSL may stand to being revised. Note this is an unconfirmed rumor floating around Enworld and other D&D sites (such as Necromancer Games). But there is an unconfirmed report that certain people have seen a draft copy of a revised GSL.

So, what is the GSL? Compared to the OGL, nothing short but Corporate bullying. It's one of the major reasons why I steer clear of D&D 4e.

New Atlantis Concept Art

New Concept Art for my Atlantis Comic. I'm working out concept art for Atlantis. The best part about being a CGI artist is that you can work in 3D and you can create characters using skins, morph dials, and so forth. This character was created using the Shi-na skin and body injection from Heromorph. The base injection is Aiko 4.

The character is an Atlantean slave or kajira. Such slavery is a concept from John Norman's Gor. The series philosophy has been compared to Nazism. Although some aspects of the philosophy is very Darwinistic in nature, the Gorean philosophy is more complex than Nazism. But try as they might, critics have compared the philosophy to Nazism. Has no bearing on Atlantis at any rate.

Friday, February 20, 2009

What is Dungeons and Dragons anyway?

Greywulf's latest rant about WotC's policies has gotten me thinking. What is Dungeons and Dragons anyway? Dungeons and Dragons, at it's very core, is what you would call a "Gestalt" game. For Dungeons and Dragons to be successful, or any other roleplaying game, you need the collective energy of many creative people. Dungeons and Dragons requires the Creative Gestalt of its fans and 3rd party developers in order to thrive and be successful.

According to Greywulf's post, Wizards of the Coast has gotten itself some trouble over defending it's game: Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition. It seems that Wizards has taked on 3rd party developers for developing items for 4th Edition D&D. I have only one thing to say to Wizards of the Coast about this behavior: BAD FORM!

Copyright and trademarks aside, Wizards of the Coast, nor Hasbro, does not have the right to tell anyone how they report their feelings on their products. This behavior, which I call Corporate bullying, is clearly against our Constitutional Right that guarantees free speech. There is nothing in U.S. Copyright or Trademark Law that proscribes this behavior. A company may justify such behavior by invoking these laws, but these laws were set up to protect both the Producer (Wizards of the Coast/HASBRO) and the Consumer (the Fans).

It is not stealing or infringement for fans to report on how they use Dungeons and Dragons privately in a semi-public venue (such as a Web Log, like mine right here). Not one trademark is used, and your Copyright is not violated. Like I said before, a game like Dungeons and Dragons depends on both fans and 3rd party developers to thrive, grow, and be successful. The Open Game License allowed the 3rd incarnation of Dungeons and Dragons to thrive and grow.

Take away the rights of the fans to talk about Dungeons and Dragons on the Internet; and you effectively kill your fan base. TSR, inc. failed in 1997 because it aggressively defended it's trademark, the Dungeons and Dragons 2nd Edition logo. And they did it right. But at what cost?

TSR, inc.; through its actions, FAILED to endear their target audience to their company. The fans completely became disloyal and TSR started to die. WotC, it seems, is playing the same game again. They are aggressively defending the D&D Brand -- which is what TSR had done. But instead of looking for actual culprits they are hitting the fanbase for some thing as inconsequential as this. Actions like these can actually estrange a company like WotC from its fan base. Something no company can AFFORD to do.

Upgrading from DAZ Studio to Vue

I am seriously thinking of upgrading my tools: adding Vue 7 to my list of things to work with. Vue is touted as "incredibly easy to use." DAZ Studio is a great entry way into 3D, but Vue can do things that I can't do with DAZ Studio.

Here is a gallery on a Colleague's website that uses Vue.

Elfguy's Gallery

Another colleague's site:

Akbour's Gallery

Why upgrade to Vue? Well, I'm looking strongly at Vue 7 Pro Studio. It has features I like that I can't find in Carrara (competitive product from Digital Art Zone 3d). Like a plant editor, eco-system support, Render Farm support, and an import system that will import models from other software besides Poser and DAZ Studio.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Lost Posts?

Did I lose my posts? This is most disconcerting!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Bishounen Invasion!!

Sometimes, you need a Bishounen for those special encounters. Either an evil, beautiful homosexual guy; or a totally good and beautiful warrior against evil and misconception; a Bishounen can be added for such situations.

This is the Gossamer package, an add-on morph for Hiro 4. Essential for those beautiful renders.

Soulknives get no respect!

Soulknives get no respect. People typically treat them like jedi, or something else. Well, here's one that will stand up for himself!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Hiro 4

I recently bought the Hiro 4 Pro Pack from DAZ. Here are the results:

Hiro 4 is a morph of Michael 4. The pack includes:

Hiro 4 base.
Austin Hair.
Quain Hair.
Hiro Realistic Textures (ya, baby!)
20 different poses.
11 to 20 different expressions.
Slicer outfit.
Urbane outfit.
Steam Cowboy Outfit.
Nagase Outfit.
And the Lord of Battles outfit.

This provides you with Hiro fun for a long time. ;)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Series Bible

Instead of the pitch, I call it a series bible. I'm currently writing it for Factor 1. I admit that superheroic comics are not totally my bag. My head has been swimming in Dungeons and Dragons like fantasy for so long, to do a Superheroic comic will take a lot for me to pull off convincingly.

I'd have to read a lot of comics, again, to get back in the swing of the Superheroic story style. So, I thought to bridge the two somewhat. Using ideas from Urban Arcana campaign setting; I decided to make a new brand of superheroes that fight threats that come out of the the Shadow World. Perfect job for Factor 1.

Factor 1 wasn't meant to be a new Youngblood, nor have all the prestige of the Youngblood. They fight in an Urban Fantasy. This is a different sort of Superheroes. They fight to keep the people safe from the threats that the Shadow World may bring.

I'm writing up the series bible right now (they still call it a pitch). I'm using DAZ Studio to illustrate the book. I'm hoping it would be an ongoing series. ;)

Saturday, February 7, 2009


I could not go to the New York Comic Convention. However, SomeRandomGuy has produced probably the best series on DC and Marvel Comics. The writing is awesome; and it is all about the heroes of Marvel and DC.

And it's a better story than what the current writers, and editor in chief, are dreaming up for these heroes.

Autism as a subject in Comics

I wonder . . .

Autism is really getting around these days. I have a nephew who is autistic, and I have Asperger's Syndrome. My brother has an idea on doing a story about autism since his son is full blown autistic.

He wanted to write about autism using the werewolf trope, stating that a Werewolf story is a Victorian Erotic Romance. I'm thinking the same thing, but in a superhero vein (not a Victorian Erotic Romance). I wondered if Kirkman's Astounding Wolf-Man had that potential. After reading the previews and the free first issue, there is nothing autistic about the Astounding Wolf-Man. It's very tragic, but nothing explicitly romantic about it.

However, Autism can be expressed for all comic book readers, even without the Werewolf (besides, my Werewolf would probably be heavily influenced by the Werewolf: the Apocalypse RPG, so it would be a tad different than Kirkman's Wolf-Man; but then I could be wrong).

The best thing about comics now a days, you can write about positively any issue through the independent, creator owned comic world. You can put any spin you'd like on it. Shadowhawk is a superhero with AIDS, he's like Doc Halloway -- a man with a Death Sentence (Doc had TB). That's something that can't be explored in DC or Marvel at the time. Now that Stan Lee might introduce a gay Superhero, I say that character belongs at Image.

Image and Darkhorse cater to the right demographic according to Kirkman (30 year olds, which is making me rethink my own demographic for my own comic). Creators at Image and Darkhorse should explore such powerful issues for the Adult Audience. After all, Dragon is back to being one of Chicago's finest. In Marvel and DC's universes, none of the Crimefighting superheroes work for the Police Departments in their own cities. Batman is a quasi-exception.

Marvel and DC should return to stories that speak to young kids, about 9 to 13 years old. Image Comics and Dark Horse should appeal to older readers. In the mean time, while I prepare a proposal for Factor 1, I believe it should speak to my current generation.

I don't have a gay hero on the Factor 1 roster, but I will eventually have an autistic one. Maybe even said werewolf.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Factor 1

I like you to meet Factor 1.

Story: Factor 1 is a Superhero Team that was incorporated by the Government to deal with threats that the police couldn't handle. I.e. rampaging metahumans. Evil metahumans have been stalking the good folk of Salt Lake City, and the real life Superhero community tried to stand up to them.

The result was failure except for four super-powered humans that repelled their attack. The result was that the four of them: Shaper, Ms. America, Thermique, and the Serpent; was eventually approached by the Utah Department of Homeland Security on the Factor Initiative. The Factor Initiative would sanction the four of them into a team that would handle any superhuman, or extraterrestial, threat to the peace and security of the United States.

Their powers are as follows:

Ms. America: Due to exposure to toxic waste; Ms. America has increased strength and durability. She fought during the Afgan War, and became a body builder and Pro Wrestler after her tour of duty. She was then subesquently transformed by "toxic Waste." But she actually volunteered for the Super Soldier program of the U.S. Army. She is married to a man who is not a U.S. Citizen, but a citizen of Guatemala.

The Serpent: The Serpent is a mutant animal who is a near human-rattlesnake. He can speak passable English except for a slur on his s's and sh's. He has heat "vision" and poisonous fangs. He is also warm blooded as part of his mutation. The Serpent is an expert on Kung-Fu.

Thermique: A French ex-patriot who is named Anne Chevalier. Miss Chevalier has thermokinesis; which allows her to generate an amazing amount of heat. She can fly, create fire, and project fire in a blast.

Shaper: He's perfect (his "ability" is actually a hyperactive Subconscious).

Monday, February 2, 2009


Shaper is the male hero in my universe. I was going to design something more flashy, but since his ability is Metacreativity, shared by all humans, I'll keep him in normal clothes until at sometime I decide he needs a costume.

His power: Metacreativity, is the ability to create anything he desires from the Quantum Element, or quantum objects. His source of power is his own thoughts. Ultimately, it is also his weakness.


Okay, I have decided on her look. So the meet the new Superheroine, Thermal.


My Universe

Real Name:
Anne Chevelier

Thermokinesis (the control of Heat), heat projection, flight, fire creation

Anne is from France, thus she is a citizen of France. But she's living in the United States of America. She got her powers from the backlash of a magic spell. She was hit by a magic fireball, but remarkably recovered. The spell's magic had subsumed into her being, giving her the powers to control heat (thermokinesis).

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Designing a Superhero

I'm in the Superhero design business. Well, their suits, anyhow. Here is Thermal:

Thermal Suit 1

This is suit A.

Suit b.

Finally . . .

Alternate Costume c

Suit C.

All rendered in DAZ Studio. Her superpowers: I'm deciding between Thermokinesis (control of heat) and Pyrokinesis (control of fire). She can project fire from her hands, fly, and create fire. I don't have an origin story for her yet. Nor any RPG stats. If you want to use her for an RPG (Mutants and Masterminds, D&D 4.e, or any other heroic RPG), contact me first and we an work something out. :)

Rolemaster Adventure: Interlude

Before we get into keying, we need to talk about Rolemaster itself.

There are two products for Rolemaster. Rolemaster Classic, and Rolemaster the Standard System/Fantasy Roleplaying. I want you to know -- both have their strengths and weaknesses.

Rolemaster Classic
Rolemaster Classic is the original Rolemaster system. With all of it's associated problems: profession creep, and a large amount of rules in each of the Companions its silly. But the rules are optional. All you really need for Rolemaster Classic are Character Law, Arms Law, and Spell Law. The pictures are found below of each of these books. If you are the GM, Creatures and Treasures comes in stark reality.

It is going to be the system of use for this series because the original system is simpler and it is easier to generate NPCs for it. Only the first three books are going to be used -- Character Law (and Campaign Law), Arms Law (2003 Edition), and Spell Law.

Rolemaster Fantasy Roleplaying (or the Standard System) is a more advanced system where you need just the basic professions, but you use training packages to produce your characters. There are many sourcebooks for RMFRP, all of which are either available from ICE, your local game store, and the web.

Three products transfer from RMFRP directly into Classic easily. Parts of Character Law (RMFRP version), Arms Law, and the Armory (with it's famous table for throwing gnomish -- or halfling -- henchmen). Rest assured, though, the Stat Blocs in Classic are easy.
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