Dawn SE: a few more dial faces

Still haven’t felt motivated to do much, but there was some dial spinning today as I worked on a mature woman and then a tween/young teen.

I rendered with iray for this one; you can tell because it’s grainy. I’m still experimenting with a few iray light sets I bought but with these renders taking nearly two hours to complete, the experimenting is…slow-going. No freebie morphs with this one, just the sets from the Hivewire store.

And an “artsy” kid. Used some of my free Dawn morphs for her.

Now I’m wondering if I can get something similar out of Dusk and his morphs.

Random Renders: Crone for Etta HD for Edie 8

One thing I’ll say for DAZ’s Genesis 8 characters is that quite a few have added much needed diversity and originality to the lineup, especially in regards to older and quirky fantasy characters.

I don’t own many G8 core characters, but I had to have Edie 8 and Ollie 8 and took advantage of several good sales to acquire them within my budgetary needs. Got the Edie 8 Starter Bundle for $20 and the Ollie 8 character for $10.

(I now have Victoria 8 because she was free and I snagged Michael 8 for $10 in the same sale I got Ollie 8. The other G8 core characters in my wishlist are Alexandra 8, Edward 8, Mabel 8, Floyd 8, Mrs. Chow 8, Mr. Woo 8, Sanjay 8, and Kala 8…and OMG I’m still not done collecting Genesis 3 and Genesis 2 core characters!)

After getting Edie 8 I decided I needed Etta HD for Edie 8 and the Crone add-on for Etta, which were all on sale at the same time I bought Edie. Major budget wrecking ensued. March Madness at DAZ was mostly a bust but April and May had a few great sales that didn’t involve me having to buy something I didn’t want in order to take advantage of nice discounts.


Edie 8; Etta HD for Edie 8; Crone for Etta HD

Anyway, I love these characters; they’re just so unique and fun — extra points to Crone for a bit of ethnic diversity.

Alas, HD morphs take forever to begin rendering on my old computer, so I do small and simple projects when using them. The Crone render above took a while — not sure exactly how long because I gave up waiting and went to bed but it was more than three hours and less than six. 😀

I worked a little on Etta’s materials. The 3DL materials for most of these newer characters just don’t look nice when I render them. Usually far too dark and orange-ish. I’ve been making 3DL material conversion to Ubersurface for days now — Victoria 2 through Victoria 8 — just to get characters to a starting point where I can work with them and experiment with different settings.

For Etta, I’d like to get a little more sheen on her skin and lips, but HD effects have been a bit of a challenge for me. Too much specular and they look really, really plastic. Not enough and the skin looks flat, like above. I have the same issue when using ZevO’s aging HD morphs and still haven’t found a solution I’m completely happy with.

Despite that little quibble, I’m having lots of fun playing with my new toys.

And the new kittens, of course! Both are zonked out right now after a morning of strenuous kitty chase-and-ambush games. They really like the dust ruffle on the daybed in my office. Great for ambushing…gotta love those comical little butt wiggles before the dramatic pounce.

Dawn Indian woman WIP

Yeah, I was correct in anticipating the nose part of this project would be a bit of a problem. Just not enough fine-tuning nose morphs available for Dawn, and the mesh gets a little temperamental when the space between lower nose and upper mouth is narrowed. Not all Indian women would have this feature, of course, but the photo references I happened to have on hand showed a fair number of women with that narrower space and a more down-turned nose tip.

The rest of the face isn’t too bad though.

Also, how can I have hundreds of hair props and still not find the one I’m looking for? Argh!

The Elegant Bun for G3F/G8F is nice (though I need to work more on the ear wisp when fitting this hair to Dawn) but what I really wanted was a long, loose braid where the braid starts at the nap of the neck. The closest I had was Loreley Hair for V4 and Arki’s Dragon Braid for V4 — and I don’t own the Dawn version of the latter (yet.)

The Genesis 1 Vintage Sari (from MEC4D’s personal store) autofitted rather well to Dawn.

I also have the Vintage Kurta for G1…and for the heck of it, here it is fitted to G3M EleBeast.

Ha! It’s almost Ganesha, though with a couple less arms.

The kurta fits EleBeast better than the Egyptian sandals meant for G3M. I added a small amount of push modifier to the outfit, but there were only a couple very small areas of poke through around the thighs, which was easy enough to fix in PSP. The EleBeast does not have small thighs.

Looks like Hexagon’s a no go for me

So I sat down to try a simple tutorial on making a coffee mug in Hexagon and I can’t even create a primitive. Followed the instructions but nothing happened and the program just crashes again and again and again.

I suppose it’s an issue with my aged computer, though Hex 2.5 is an older program and I thought I’d be in the clear. Ugh. Very frustrating.

I finally read the instructions on how to use the Nerd Footsteps tool I bought many years ago (it’s now at Hivewire.) So I taught myself something today, just not what I’d intended.

I guess I’ll be sticking to kludging together primitives in DS for the time being. Not so great for creating a round mirror, a feature of another recent attempt at background filler props for a render project WIP that has elements spanning several decades.

I wanted to recreate something similar to this:

And I got fairly close, except for the round mirror:

Using a sphere for the mirror, even after scaling the Z axis way down, produces a distorted effect.

Now if I were creating an image in which someone had bought a piece of antique furniture at a flea market and then discovered the mirror was actually a time portal, the effect has great possibilities! Alas, I’m not doing time portals.

The only other thing I can think of is to use a plane with a round transparency map. But maybe I can still work with this just by using some creative posing and/or camera angles.

Or…a cylinder. LOL!