Blue (draco caeruleus) by theSea ()
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Hi. Wow, it's been a while. Sorry for not posting, it's been that kind of couple of months. Here's a Dragon by way of apology :)
This started out as a materials test for a personal piece which I may or may not end up finishing. I liked the environment and this funky camera angle so much that I stuck with it.
DAZ Studio 3 render. This is Stonemason's "Winter Kingdom" set with the included volume camera. I have to tell you I'm in love with that camera and I'm using it on almost all my DAZ Studio work. Even some inside shots benefit from a little haze. All it does is give some color over the Z distance from camera, but it does it neatly, quickly and in camera. It does not do volumetric shadows, but I can live with that for now. This completely replaces Moodmaster for me.
I redid the lighting using a single distant light with raytraced shadows for sunlight and a uberSoft environment light for the sky and bounce.
The dragon is DAZ's Mil Dragon 2 with Swidhelm's dynamic cloth wings. I love these wings. I cannot use the old default wings with this figure anymore. Using them with custom poses in DAZ Studio is a bit of a pest, but the results speak for themselves.
Here is how to do it. You'll need a copy of Poser with a cloth room. Poser 5 or better should do fine.
-- Pose the dragon in Studio. Use the default wings to rough out the wing position, or apply a pre-done pose.
-- Load Swidhelm's wings and conform to your dragon. Be sure to check the notes that come with the product as there are important little gotchas spelled out in the pdf.
-- Pose the Swidhelm wing elements using the default wings as a guide. Then turn off the visibility of the default wing elements. Snicker confidently about how frakking cool this is going to look compared to the default wings.
-- Use the free 'export to pz2' utility from DAZ to export poses for the Mil Dragon and the Wing set to your Poser runtime in pz2 format.
-- Switch to Poser and load the dragon and wings as instructed in the Documentation pdf that comes with the wings. When you get to the part of posing the dragon and wings at frame 30 so you can run the cloth simulation; apply the poses you saved from Studio.
-- Run the cloth simulation as outlined in the documentation. It's really easy.
-- After you run the simulation export the wing membrane as an .obj file. Import into studio using the 'poser' scaling option. It should load to exactly the right place. Parent it to the Dragon.
-- If you change the pose of the dragon or the wing elements you'll probably have to re-run that process, but if you have a Poser scene saved with the dragon and the initial pose, it goes pretty quickly.
-- This is, of course, useless for animation. Stills only.
Textures are the blue Mil Dragon 1 set. We have a touch of displacement and the usual bump maps etc. I also used reflection @ 100% and some refraction @ an IOR of 1.8 to gloss things up. Shaders were all DAZ Studio default except the wing membranes which use the uberSurface shader so I could add some translucence.
In Photoshop, I did the usual levels, contrast and vibrancy adjustments. The Dragon's eye was over-painted in post to look more python-esque because I hated what I ended up with in the render. I added the blowing snow (Google Snow and Photoshop, lots and lots of tutorials) and some sun glare to the left side of the image.
I copied the titles from my earlier Red Dragon piece and changed the verbiage and colors to suite. Yea, I can be lazy.
Many thanks for stopping by. Please feel free to post questions in the comments and I'll try to answer there or if you'd like to site mail me here that is fine too.
As always, any comments or constructive critique you'd like to leave would be most welcome.
Image Comments (22)
leoshades () 11:21PM | Mon, 17 October 2011
I don't use Daz|Studio myself, but those are some impressive looking wings, not to mention the rest of the scene...
teecee2107 () 2:56AM | Tue, 18 October 2011
Really an excellent render. Hard to believe you did this with Daz Studio !! The environment is superb (stonemason, of course ...), the pose is neat and materials are nice. And you atmo is a killer ... A fav for me. Thanks for your explanations, btw ;o)
Bossie_Boots () 4:40AM | Tue, 18 October 2011
Brilliant composition looks like a illustration from a book would make a fantastic poster !!
Callisto_27 () 12:57PM | Tue, 18 October 2011
Magnificent dragon! Thanks for the details on camera, materials,wings, etc...
kmcbriarty () 2:50PM | Tue, 18 October 2011
Awesome render, pose and lighting! Great little tutorial also, thanks.
scooby37 () 3:18PM | Tue, 18 October 2011
Awesome render and camera angle, it really adds to the image. well done!!
Orinoor () 8:12PM | Tue, 18 October 2011
Great looking scene, I love how dynamic it looks, and thanks for the instructions. If I ever use Daz Studio, I'll have this to go back to!
maraich () 2:32AM | Wed, 19 October 2011
Your renders are always a treat, but this one is close to my favorite. I'm not used to seeing the DAZ dragon look so amazing - menacing even! Very much appreciate the tutorial on how you got the wing membranes done.
Tholian () 7:02PM | Wed, 19 October 2011
This is very, very impressive for work from DAZ... Excellent image.
DancingCat () 8:13PM | Wed, 19 October 2011
Great piece! And thanks as always for the wonderful explanation.
kobaltkween () 9:29AM | Fri, 21 October 2011
he! you're apologizing for not posting, and i'm having to apologize for not commenting. that's a wonderfully dynamic pose. the wings do look awesome. it's a great image, but i have to admit what really interests me is what you're saying about using this feature all the time. sounds exactly like the depth cue feature in Poser that's been there for ages, yet is almost never used. i think i'll give it a bit of a try. as always, the information you share is immensely appreciated.
Swidhelm () 11:41PM | Wed, 14 December 2011
Wow! Don't know how I missed this. That is one epic render! Love the POV, and the dragon looks super intimidating, I think because of scale on those steps. Funny now though, that that image reminds me of Skyrim :P Heh. Bloody fantastic piece of art! Glad you like my wings too! Cheers.