a gallery of computer-generated images

Clan of the Cave Wombat


Given the fact that the subject of this piece is holding what is clearly an iron-tipped spear and wearing bracelets that suggest a fairly high degree of metalworking ability, this scene can't be quite as Paleolithic as the title suggests. Never mind ...

The picture began from some fiddling around with Poser, which produced a figure that suggested a story that nearly led me off into another of my interminable never-to-be-completed graphic novel projects. Realizing that since this new one was at least twice as ambitious as any of the others that had previously failed to get off the ground, I decided to limit myself to just this image.

The girl is DAZ3D's Victoria 2, suitably tweaked, wearing the long variant of 'Hollywood Hair'. Her top is part of Phil Cooke's 'Classical Wrap', a free model (thank you, Phil). Her bracelets and necklace are from the Poser Costume Shop CD, with a custom texture map applied to the bracelets to suggest inlaid metal.

The spear and skirt come from a free 'Viking' model produced by Daz3D, and here I have a bone to pick. The spear - which has a number of morphs allowing it to be altered to suit any occasion - is an excellent model. No complaints there. However, I'm frustrated by whatever logic went into the making of the Viking set as a whole.

The 'Viking' was appparently intended to be a kind of Brunhilde-like operatic comic figure, the original fat lady in the phrase about it not being over until the fat lady sings. The set included, besides the spear, a set of boots, a skirt, two metal breast cups and a horned helmet. To get Victoria to fit the skirt and the rest of the accessories, it is necessary to blow her up to gigantic proportions.

My typical Poser female is a skinny wench, and the one in this scene is particularly slender. I had a real struggle to reduce Brunhilde's skirt to fit her, and in fact the fit (as some alternate renders of the scene show) is not particularly good.

My question is: given the effort that goes into making a model, why did DAZ3D choose to make a comical, cartoonish set - the operatic Viking - rather than something with more general applicability? Very few people probably ever render scenes involving gigantic swan-maidens in armored bras; hundreds of Poser users, with myself at their head, would willingly trample on newborn infants to get a few more pieces of general-purpose clothing that would fit well across the range of body types supported by Victoria. There is evidence to suggest that I am not the only person whose artistic output consists largely of hot chicks in fantasy getup. While that's doubtless a sad reflection on me and all the others, the fact remains that if DAZ3D really wanted to make their users happy with a free gift (and, more to the point, lure them back to their shop week after week which is their aim), then they could do well to drop the quirky kitsch and give us something useful. Which this skirt almost is, but not quite. As for the metal breast cups, there you're getting into a realm of fetish that even I will not willingly explore.

I was able to use the skirt for this scene, so I shouldn't be too ungrateful. But it could have been so much more useful, and at no greater cost to the makers.

Having given that particular gift horse a tonsillectomy, let's return to the scene. The texture for the girl's top is a Bryce procedural texture, the props are mostly textured with Bryce metals, but the girl herself is textured using, once again, the Victoria 2 texture maps from DAZ3D. The armband texture is a Bryce procedural using a custom bump map that I made in Photoshop to create an abstract design suggestive of metal inlay. Pretty though it is, it's all but invisible in the final render. Look at the alternative render below to see it.

Some minor post-processing was done to correct the inevitable joint problems.


Bryce 5
Poser 4
Curious Labs
Photoshop 5.0.2