Eposic Pre-Made Book Covers

When I first acquired the free DAZ Studio scene editing and image rendering program, it sat on my computer hard drive for a few months. The program was free, so I grabbed it when I learned of it, but then it just sat there, waiting patiently for me to give it some attention. I’d used Poser and Bryce in the past and had fun with them, and guessed that using DAZ Studio would be a similarly enjoyable experience. I didn’t realize how much more I’d enjoy it.

The time came when I needed a distraction from writing on my novel. Working on a novel can sap my creativity. Such a long project leaves my muse feeling antsy, ready to do something different. Creating artwork, snapshots of a moment in time, satisfies my muse’s desire for variety, since I can finish a single image in a matter of days, as opposed to months or years.

One form of artwork of interest to me as an aspiring author is book cover illustration. So I’ve turned some of my creative energies in that direction. I’ve turned out about twenty covers so far. Since my primary interests are in speculative fiction genres, most of my covers were created in that vein. But a few of my covers are intended for other genres.

Here are thumbnails of a couple of the covers I’ve done.

Skeleton Army thumbnail

Cleric and Snow Dragon thumbnail

As you can see, the covers have sample titles and bylines, to give an idea of what the cover will look like with a real title and byline in place. The site provides a tool for authors to place up to four lines of text on covers licensed through the site. Or you can add text in your own image editing program.

The licenses acquired through SelfPubBookCovers.com are exclusive licenses. When an author licenses one of these book covers, that cover is removed from the list of available covers. The artist retains the right to display their artwork as samples of what they’ve done, such as in an online portfolio, but no one else will have any rights to use the artwork as cover art. Visit the site for full license details. All covers on the site are priced at $69 or higher. They can run as high as the artist wants to price them, but all of mine are priced between $69 and $99.

Please visit the Eposic Book Cover Gallery on SelfPubBookCovers.com to see my work to date. Even if you’re not in the market for a book cover, you might like seeing what I’ve done.

Thousands of covers are posted by hundreds of artists selling their work through the site. While my covers are all original works, most of the covers available on the site are created by combining two or more images from stock art sites. Many genres are covered. If you’re an indie author, no matter what genre you write for, you might just find the perfect cover for your next novel on the site, priced to keep you under budget.

If you like my style but don’t see what you want for sale in my book cover gallery, please let me know what you’re interested in. As I’ve said before, I don’t do commissioned work, but if I know your interests, my muse may find it amusing to head in that direction.

Eposic Character Art Pack Vol. 2

I’ve published Eposic Character Art Pack Volume 2 on DriveThruRPG. Like Volume 1, this art pack is royalty-free and Pay-What-You-Want, which includes the low, low price of absolutely nothing. Of course, I do appreciate any monetary support you wish to give, but even more I appreciate your moral support. If you like what I do, please leave a comment here or a review on the product page. Or share with your self-publisher or gamer friends.

a fantasy rogue characterThis guy is just one of the six characters in the art pack. He’s three times bigger than this in the pack.

I don’t do commissioned work, but if there is something in particular you’d like to see as either character art or another form of illustration you think I might do well, please leave a comment. Thanks for stopping by!

Eposic Character Art Now Available on DriveThruRPG

If you’re an individual or self-publisher who could use a bit of royalty-free fantasy character art, check out the Eposic store on DriveThruRPG. I’ve put up a couple of art packs at a price anyone can afford: Pay What You Want. Even if you’re just curious, you can grab it for free if you like. Decorate your web site with it, put it on a roleplaying game character sheet, use it in your self-pubbed fiction or game books.

Sample image from the Dark Jasmine art pack:

Dark Jasmine sample art

There are two art packs available now. Grab them both at the Eposic store on DriveThruRPG.

The New Genesis 3 Female Figure for DAZ Studio

The fine folks at DAZ have released the new Genesis 3 Female (G3F) figure for their DAZ Studio product. Not only is the DAZ Studio product available for free download, but so is the G3F figure. Of course, you only get so much for free. With the free stuff, what can you do? You can somewhat vary the figure’s body type, height, weight and various other metrics, such as breast, waist and hip circumference. You can pose the figure, either by using some of the provided free poses or by manual adjustments. You can dress the figure with a limited set of free attire, most of which can be seen in my render below. You also get a skimpy outfit for free. The outfits come with a good variety of textures. You get one free hairstyle, and it comes with a wide variety of hair colors. There are a few options for eyes and makeup.

If you know how to model clothing, hair, morphs, poses, etc., then maybe you won’t have to buy much to support the G3F figure. But most people will want to buy more of all those things. To me, poses are the least necessary of the bunch, since DAZ Studio gives you lots of options for posing figures manually. The professional quality poses are a lot more easily applied, but even they don’t always give you exactly what you want, and you end up tweaking them anyway.

If you want to be able to give your G3F figure some expressions or reshape the body, you’ll want more morphs than you get for free. Then there’s always room for more hair and more clothes. You can never have enough hair and clothing styles.

For my first G3F render, I set the figure to 5 feet 6 inches tall, with measurements of 34/24/34. I used one of the provided poses to get close to what I ended up with, as I did make some tweaks so as to put G3F’s feet both on the uneven ground. Everything else you see in the image dealing with the figure was from the free G3F download. The background and sky did not come with G3F, so don’t go looking for them in the G3F set of free stuff.

The image below took 37 minutes to render to the stage where you see it here, using the Iray rendering engine. When I stopped it, the image was only 33% “converged,” which means it could have run for another hour or so before it would have been “finished.” With Iray, you can interrupt the render at any time and take it as it is at that moment. I don’t know how much improvement I might have seen if I let it run another hour, but I didn’t have the time to do that. I have other projects I’m supposed to be working on. :)

The render below is shown at medium size here on the post page. Click the image to see it at the full size at which I rendered it.

My First Render Using the New Genesis 3 Female Figure
My First Render Using the New Genesis 3 Female Figure

Tell me what you think.

Superhero Rule Number 1

What’s the #1 rule of being a superhero?

I created a graphic for it, to help all you superheroes-in-training out there remember this most important rule. The consequences of forgetting it can be devastating, not only to you but to anyone with significance in your life.

Print out this image. Post it on your closet door. Whenever you put on your costume, this image will help you remember to always put on your mask too. Or to take off your glasses, if that’s the disguise you’re going with. Continue reading Superhero Rule Number 1

No Looking Back – A New Contra Dance

I’m into contra dancing. I’m also a mathematician by training. I’m intrigued by the multitude of permutations possible in a contra dance composition. Many contra dances have been written to date, making it necessary for composers of new contra dances to seek increasingly creative ways of combining the different contra dance moves into a danceable routine. I read that one composer thought that all the danceable contra dances had already been written. When you start thinking about writing a new contra dance, it can certainly feel impossible to come up with something uniquely yours. Continue reading No Looking Back – A New Contra Dance

Alani Rendered with DAZ Iray

The new DAZ Studio 4.8 Pro is officially released. It comes with a new rendering engine called Iray. This rendering engine is intended for use in creating photo-realistic images. That is, you’re supposed to think you’re looking at a photo when you look at the image. See what you think. Continue reading Alani Rendered with DAZ Iray

Alani Rendered With Toony Camera Pro

Did you know you can make manga-style and sketch-style renders with Daz Studio? Compare the first below image with the ones in my previous post. They are renders of the same scene, but this one uses the Toony Camera Pro and a scripted 3Delight rendering engine.

Manga-style rendering of Alani

Of course, there are many variables you can play with when doing any 3D render, and that goes as well when using the Toony Camera Pro. The image above and the other images in this post below are just examples of what can be done, without making a lot of custom tweaks to surface settings or Toony Camera Pro properties. Continue reading Alani Rendered With Toony Camera Pro

Alani for Callie 6 Renders

Just wanted to post some of my latest renders. The images below are copyright ©2015 by Michael K. Eidson.

These images use the Alani character for the new Callie 6 figure. Both images are rendered in DAZ Studio with no postwork.

This first one uses the standard 3Delight renderer.

3D Render of Alani 6 in Lofn Outfit

The second one uses the Luxus renderer via the LuxRender plugin. I didn’t change anything in this image from the setup for the first one. I only changed the renderer. Remarkable difference, I think.

Alani with spear rendered with Luxus

You like?

A Study of Light in Digital Art

I’ve been under the weather for several days, which hasn’t made it easy to be creative. But I was able to set up some scenes in DAZ Studio 4.7 Pro and let them render. I’ve been curious about the effects of different lighting in digital art, not only with regards to how lighting affects appearance but also rendering speed. I spent my down time running some experiments and will share them with you, complete with visuals, in the post that follows.

I set up a scene with a bunch of different lights. I used lights from a couple of professionally-created packages I licensed from the DAZ store: Set the Mood and Advanced D.I.Y Portrait Lights for DS4.

The mood lights consist of spot lights and distant lights, and come with a camera and something referred to as the “mood cube.”

The portrait lights are meant, as the name suggests, for close-up portraits. Amongst other lights, they include an ambient light and a specular light. These terms describing lights are all self-explanatory at a fundamental level except perhaps “specular” light, which is basically a light for bringing out shiny highlights, as you’ll see. Continue reading A Study of Light in Digital Art