I tried out the new Reality 4 renderer for DAZ Studio. The Reality renderer is primarily for photo-realistic renders. But it does a good job with non-photo-realistic renders too. The Aiko 6 model is intended for anime / manga style renders. I tried the Reality 4 renderer with Aiko 6, just to see how it would turn out. I haven’t read up on all of the advanced settings, so I only used basic settings for these renders. You don’t have to mess with lots of lights in DAZ Studio when you use Reality. You set up one or two Reality-specific lights, and let Reality do the work. The results of my experimentation are below. I’d love to hear what you think of them.
In this installment of Khayd’haik the Troll Mystic’s series on elementals, he discusses how elementals can interact with air, gases and empty spaces. Khayd’haik refers to empty spaces as voids. You may know them better as vacuums.
Check out the introductory installment on elementals if you missed it or any previous installments, or just want to refresh your memory on what has come before. Yes, it has been over a year since the last installment.
Interactions with Air, Gases and Voids
Not all elemental types can fly. Some can travel through both air and voids, while some can only travel through air, unable to travel in a void. “Air” in this context includes any gaseous environment, even a toxic one. Some elementals would be harmed by passing through a toxic cloud, however. It depends on the type and strength of the toxin as to which elementals would be harmed and how badly they would be harmed by passing through the toxin. There are too many variables to list all conditions. Continue reading →
I’m glad to announce a new stock art product line from Eposic. The first product in the line is the Bruter character, shown here in a low resolution image constructed from the images available in the Bruter stock art collection, for sale now on DriveThru RPG. The image here is composed of three images from the Bruter package. The Bruter character, the stone ruins and the sky are separate images in the collection. I touched up the image to add a shadow for the character on the ground.
This stock art product line is intended for small publishers and self-publishing authors to use in their products as interior illustrations or in creating composite images for book covers. Licensees can also use the images as illustrations on web sites, or resize or crop an image from the collection for use as an avatar on forums.
Cover art for Dark Light, the second book of the Web of Light YA Fantasy duology by Kyra Dune.
The Web of Light, a magical force lost for three hundred years, has been recovered by the heirs of the land of Solice. But its return bears a heavy price. A price that will be paid in blood.
Seva and Valdor have fled to the Outlands, where an unanswered question drives them apart. And as Valdor seeks to prove his worth, Seva struggles to control the power threatening to consume her.
But the web is not what it seems and by the time the truth is discovered, it may be too late.
I love it when I give an unknown fantasy author a try and their work turns out to be a great read. Kyra Dune’s work is known to some, but I’d never read any of her books until recently, when I checked out Web of Light, the first book in the Web of Light duology, from the Kindle Lending Library. I enjoyed the read and admire how the book is structured. For the most part, each chapter is written in five sections, one section per each of five different viewpoint characters, giving the reader insights to events that none of the characters have individually. It’s a pleasure watching events unfold and interweave.
Dark Light, the second book in the Web of Light duology, has just been released, and while I’ve not yet had a chance to read it, I’m looking forward to it. I don’t want to miss seeing how everything set up in the first book plays out. Continue reading →
So here’s my first stab at a cover for my debut fantasy novel, Love After Death. Click on the image to see a larger version. I rendered the 3D portion of the cover in DAZ3D Studio using the Genesis model. Postwork and titling were done in Serif PhotoPlus X5. The title font is Showcard Gothic. The font for the rest of the text on the cover is Century Gothic.
It’s not easy picking fonts for cover art. You want them to stand out even when the cover is displayed at a small size. I think the fonts I chose will work well for that. Here’s a smaller version of the cover art, at the size you’d expect to see used in an Amazon ad or brief listing for a published book. I have to lean close to the screen to read the text at the very top of the image, but I can definitely make it out. I can read the title okay, but then I already know what it says.
What do you think of this cover art? Does it pique your interest in the novel? What kind of story does this cover make you think the novel will be? Any suggestions for changes?
Here’s a synopsis of my debut fantasy novel, “Love After Death.” That’s still a working title, but I’m thinking more and more that I’ll keep it. See what you think.
The story takes place on a world called Pharas, where magic is the norm. Humans on Pharas are said to have come to the world from Earth a couple thousand years ago through a magical portal that is still operational. The protagonist is a thirty-two-year-old human man named Alonso. He’s married to a shadow elf woman, Ngozi, whom he’s known since he was sixteen. They are childless and since being married have discovered they can’t have children. They own a tower by the sea and now they are broke. Ngozi works but Alonso doesn’t because he’s too depressed. Alonso wants a daughter, and although he has secretly “adopted” the ghost of a twenty-year-old woman as his “daughter,” he wants a flesh-and-blood daughter.
Tax time is coming soon, and Ngozi isn’t making enough money to pay the taxes. So she takes the initiative to find Alonso a job that she is sure he can do: a job delivering hats in the nearest city, Hooblaport, which is where Ngozi works. The city was founded by a lizard-like humanoid kindred called the hoobla, hence the name Hooblaport. Alonso’s employer is a hoobla milliner, but it’s a human sorceress called Lady Ryley who got Alonso the job, and she has some requirements of her own. It turns out that more is expected of Alonso on the job than he or Ngozi realized. Alonso is expected to do a little more than deliver hats. Continue reading →
I need your help, big time. My debut fantasy novel, now tentatively titled “Love After Death,” includes a number of explicit sex scenes. I’ve written them this way because that’s how they flowed onto the page. I have no qualms myself about publishing the novel with the sex scenes remaining as explicit as they are currently written. But I know there are some readers who are turned off by the inclusion of such scenes. Are there that many readers who feel that way, or just a few? I’m at the point where I’m ready to revise as needed and I’d love to have your input.
When it comes to sex scenes, I see four basic approaches:
Not having any sex scenes at all, not even to mention that sex happens
Mentioning that sex happens or alluding to the fact, but not describing any details beyond kissing, hugging or other activities that many people might do in public
Describing or alluding to actions that most people would not do in public, but glossing over the specifics, and not mentioning people’s private parts in any way
Placing no restrictions on descriptions of the actions involved during sex, typically being specific about what is done to or with people’s private parts
I say these are “basic” approaches, because between any two of them, there are many degrees of explicitness. Continue reading →
It’s been a while since my last blog post. I was sick for about three weeks, but I’ve also been so focused on my debut fantasy novel, I’ve let this blog slide. And slide. And slide. Three months. Ugh. At least I’ve finished my third draft and the fourth rewrite of the ending. Next up are the edits needed throughout the novel that I made notes about while rewriting the ending. Then I’ll make a few editing passes through the whole thing. Once I’m satisfied with my edits, I’ll be looking for beta readers.
But this post is not meant to be about my novel….
In this installment of Khayd’haik the Troll Mystic’s series on elementals, he discusses how elementals can interact with water and liquids.
All elementals can swim in hot, warm, or cool liquid surroundings.
Water elementals naturally swim fast in water, regardless of the temperature of the water, as long as the water is in liquid form. They swim slightly slower in other types of liquids. The thicker the liquid, the slower the water elemental can swim through it. They cannot survive on an extended basis in very hot liquids thicker than water. For instance, a water elemental could survive indefinitely in a hot springs but not in a lava flow. Continue reading →
In this installment of Khayd’haik the Troll Mystic’s series on elementals, he discusses how elementals can interact with solid objects, including traveling over or through them. While most of this discussion concerns earth-based solid objects, Khayd’haik also addresses interactions with ice-based solid objects.
All elementals can travel across horizontal solid surfaces, such as the ground or a floor. However, elementals that can fly will typically be able to cover a distance faster by flying rather than walking. If walking, an elemental’s movement depends on the shape it takes. An elemental in the shape of a human would walk about the same speed as the average human. If it formed longer legs it could walk faster. If it took the shape of a horse, it could move about as fast as a horse can gallop. A sizable elemental that took on a roughly spherical shape could roll down a grassy hill more quickly than it could walk or run down the hill in humanoid shape.
A shadow elemental in two-dimensional form can travel quickly across a solid surface, whether it be horizontal or vertical, provided the surface is not brilliantly lit. If the elemental can be seen, it may appear to be the shadow of a flying creature. A two-dimensional shadow elemental traveling across a partially lit or unlit solid surface can move as quickly as a wind elemental can fly through the air or a water elemental can swim in the water. A three-dimensional shadow elemental cannot traverse a vertical surface.
Other elemental types, including stone elementals, cannot travel along vertical surfaces without handholds or some way to grip the surface. Continue reading →
I took a little break from writing for a few days to revisit another favorite hobby of mine, which could have some bearing on my self-publishing efforts.
Back in the 80s I fiddled with Bryce 3D and Poser 3. More recently I tinkered with Poser 8. Yesterday I downloaded DAZ Studio 4.5 Pro and tried my hand at a quick 3D render with it. I’ve posted the resulting image here. I call it “The Sentinel.” Click the image to see a larger version.
You can do a lot of the same things with both DAZ Studio and Poser. I don’t know what improvements have been made to the more recent versions of Poser, but even they would have a lot of the same basic functionality. If you are comfortable with any 3D rendering program you can probably figure out the others. Continue reading →