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

New Release Alert: The Forever Girl Series, Book 2

Today I’m posting a special announcement from Rebecca Hamilton, author of the Forever Girl series, of which I happen to be a fan. Read on!

Coula Killed Me

Thanks for stopping by to view this quick announcement on Rebecca Hamilton’s latest release, COME, THE DARK, book 2 in the Forever Girl series. Although this book is the second in the series, it is a complete standalone following a completely new set of characters. And you can grab your copy today for only $0.99! Still apprehensive about reading the second book in a series? Well, you can grab the prequel, HER SWEETEST DOWNFALL, off Kindle–Always Free–and on January 9th, THE FOREVER GIRL will be free also, for the first time ever! Worried you might forget the date? Join the mailing list using the option on the Rafflecopter below and you’ll receive a reminder on January 9th to download your free copy anytime between January 9th and 13th!

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COME, THE DARK

by USA Today Bestselling Author, Rebecca Hamilton

Come, the Dark 2Rose desperately wants to escape the abuse of the father who impregnated her and the dark spirits that haunt her life. Being thrust from Georgia 1961 into the era of Salem’s infamous witch trials isn’t what she had in mind, and now her daughter is left hopelessly out of reach.

The only way to return to her daughter is by facing certain death to banish the dark spirits that plague Salem. If she doesn’t eliminate these dark spirits in time, they will destroy civilization and trap her in this strange new place, ages away from her daughter.

Even if she can complete the task in time to return home to save her daughter, there’s still one problem: she’s falling in love with a man who can’t return with her. Achieving her goals will force her to choose between the only man who has never betrayed her and a daughter she can’t quite remember but will never forget.

A heart-wrenching tale of a mother’s love for her daughter, this romantic paranormal fantasy underlines the depravity of both historical and modern society while capturing the essence of sacrifice and devotion.

TRIGGER WARNING: This book deals with the sensitive subject of sexual abuse.

Buy Now for $0.99

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THE FOREVER GIRL

by USA Today Bestselling Author, Rebecca Hamilton

NOW OPTIONED FOR FILM!

Beautiful blonde with dandelionsAt twenty-two, practicing Wiccan Sophia Parsons is scratching out a living waiting tables in her Rocky Mountain hometown, a pariah after a string of unsolved murders with only one thing in common: her.

Sophia can imagine lots of ways to improve her life, but she’d settle for just getting rid of the buzzing noise in her head. When the spell she casts goes wrong, the static turns into voices. Her personal demons get company, and the newcomers are dangerous.

One of them is a man named Charles, who Sophia falls for despite her better judgment. He has connections that might help her unveil the mystery surrounding her ancestor’s hanging, but she gets more than she bargains for when she finally decides to trust him.

The Forever Girl is a full-length Paranormal Fantasy novel that will appeal to lovers of paranormal romance, urban fantasy, witches, vampires, ghosts, paranormal mystery, and paranormal horror.

View Now on Amazon

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About the Author

BeccaRebecca Hamilton is a USA Today Bestselling Paranormal Fantasy author who also dabbles in Horror and Literary Fiction. She lives in Florida with her husband and four kids. She enjoys dancing with her kids to television show theme songs and would love the beach if it weren’t for the sand. Having a child diagnosed with autism has inspired her to illuminate the world through the eyes of characters who see things differently. She is represented by Rossano Trentin of TZLA and has been published internationally, in three languages. You can follow her on Twitter: @InkMuse

What is a Forever Girl?

Being a Forever Girl Means

Thanks for stopping by!


Disclosure: The owner of this blog, Michael K. Eidson, is not a Forever Girl. But he greatly admires them.

A Poem for the Would-Be Novelist

Forgotten

I’m withering
and shrinking
in on myself,

retiring,
expiring,
all but a corpse,

unimportant,
but wanting
no death just now,

still surviving,
desiring
not yet to cease,

not to crumble
or tumble
into the abyss,

continuing,
aspiring
to be legend.

So why haven’t I published a novel?

Words come and flee,
un-captured
free-form spirits

flown far away
on the wind
twixt my temples,

now out of mind
out of touch,
out of space bar,

all out of time,
same as I,
so soon, too soon.

I’ll not e’en be
a mere speck
within God’s eye,

not e’en a joke
or a whim,
no afterword.

Because I haven’t published a novel.

—Michael K. Eidson

Farewell, Mystic Sounds

I’ve closed my Mystic Sounds music blog. I have too many other things I’m working on, I’ve not the time to keep up with it all. So it’s gone. If I feel the urge to post about music, I’ll just do it here or on Facebook or on Twitter. Thanks to all who visited the Mystic Sounds blog and left a comment or found any post there of interest.

Happy Holidays From the Troll Mystic

Happy Holidays From the Troll Mystic

Happy Holidays From the Troll Mystic. Image copyrighted ©2014 by Eposic. All Rights Reserved. Rendered using DAZ Studio 4.7 Pro.
 

 
Happy holidays all!

(If you’re wondering why the Troll Mystic looks the way he does, just remember that he’s half elf. He’s technically a trolf, not a troll, but most people don’t understand the distinction. So he let’s everyone call him a troll. He looks more like a troll than an elf.)

So who has plans for 2015?

Codex of the Troll Mystic: Elementals, Part 8 – Dimension Hopping and Summonings

An elven wizard summons a fire elemental

An elven wizard summons a fire elemental. Image copyrighted ©2014 by Eposic. All Rights Reserved. Rendered using DAZ Studio 4.7 Pro. No postwork. Click on the image for a larger version.
 

 
In this installment of Khayd’haik the Troll Mystic’s series on elementals, he discusses how elementals can move between dimensions, including when they are magically summoned from their home planes.

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.

Dimension Hopping Basics

Elementals can freely pass from one dimension to an adjacent dimension, but only to an area that contains a concentration of its associated element. Elementals may also cross dimensions in answer to a wizard’s proper summons. A proper summons will involve some amount of the associated element, the purer, the better.

Summoning Basics

Elementals can be summoned by wizards to perform tasks. They often do not care they have been summoned nor do they care they are being given tasks. An elemental has a strong survival instinct, however, and will abandon any task that threatens its survival unless the magic binding it is too powerful for it to break. There are not many wizards who can work magic that powerful. Wizards are best served by giving an elemental a task that involves the elemental’s associated element and does not put the elemental in danger. Continue reading Codex of the Troll Mystic: Elementals, Part 8 – Dimension Hopping and Summonings

Reality 4 Render of Aiko 6

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.

Full-body portrait of the Aiko 6 character

Full-body portrait of Aiko 6. Image copyrighted ©2014 by Eposic. All Rights Reserved. Rendered using DAZ Studio 4.7 Pro and Reality 4. No postwork. Click on the image for a larger version.
 

Closeup portrait of Aiko 6

Closeup portrait of Aiko 6. Image copyrighted ©2014 by Eposic. All Rights Reserved. Rendered using DAZ Studio 4.7 Pro and Reality 4. No postwork. Click on the image for a larger version.
 

Codex of the Troll Mystic: Elementals, Part 7 – Interactions with Air, Gases and Empty Space

A flame elemental flying through the air over a green landscape with birds flying in the background.

A flame elemental flying through the sky. Watch out, birdies! Image copyrighted ©2014 by Eposic. All Rights Reserved. Rendered using DAZ Studio 4.7 Pro. No postwork. Click on the image for a larger version.
 

 
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 Codex of the Troll Mystic: Elementals, Part 7 – Interactions with Air, Gases and Empty Space

Announcing New Stock Art Product From Eposic: Bruter

Sample Image 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.

Check out the Bruter product page on DriveThru RPG.

Dark Light – Author Interview and Book Excerpt

http://www.onlineblackjackexperts.net

Cover art for Dark Light, the second book of the Web of Light YA Fantasy duology by Kyra Dune.
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 Dark Light – Author Interview and Book Excerpt