a gallery of computer-generated images



When I first started playing around with Bryce and Poser, one of the first images I made was inspired by the science-fiction novel “Protectorate” by Mick Farren. With an aesthetic that has been described as ‘Gothic hippie’, it’s a fun, pulpy read, full of rich imagery and Grand Guignol horrors (humans who upset the alien Wasps are likely to have their heads telepathically imploded).

In this image, I revisited the subject of my earlier image, an interview between the Protector and his alien masters. It’s not quite faithful to the text: in the book, the Wasps are actually on foot (if they have feet) during this scene, there should be three of them, and so forth. But it’s close enough for my purposes.

For this version of the image, I used the Genesis 2 Fly Girl figure, the only character I was able to find with compound eyes. I’m not convinced that they are an improvement over the figures I used in the previous version, where I actually played around with the mesh to create the wasp-like head of the aliens. But I was feeling lazy, and was happy just to make something vaguely insectoid.

In the first version of the scene, the honor guard of Killers -- the thuggish riot police who keep rebellious humans in line -- were made using billboard images. In this version, I posed and clothed a single figure, then used instancing to create a small army. Maybe the reason I keep returning to this scene is because it's easy to simulate a crowd when everyone in it can be posed and dressed identically. A mob scene would demand many different originals (at a substantial cost in memory and processing time), but soldiers on parade are easy.

The vehicle that the aliens are riding is assembled from pieces from a modular starship construction set. I retextured the pieces and used an emissive shader for part of the main ring. To make the glowing effect look better, I set the Iray renderer to generate an additional emission buffer in which glowing objects are rendered bright and everything else is black. I then applied a Gaussian blur to this emission channel and composited it with the original render in Photoshop using Linear Dodge (Add) mode. This creates a ‘bloom’ effect -- a blurry brightness around the edges of bright objects.

The figures in the scene are uniformly dressed in black or dark clothing. This is in keeping with the novel, where one character comments “Didn't everyone try to look like the Wasps? You never saw so much black. The Killers wore black, the Gywannish wear black. Even you wear black most of the time. Trenhyass is still doing it.” But the scene is also very dark, with a dark background, so in early renders the figures were lost against the background. To resolve this, I used Atmocam2 to create a misty effect, brightening the background slightly and allowing the foreground figures to stand out.

The two Legates in the foreground wear the same clothing item, the Elite Commander Outfit. Autofit was used to fit this male clothing item to the female figure.


DAZ|Studio 4.12
Photoshop CC 2020