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Welcome to our new ‘Atmospherics’ issue, which we hope is well-timed for a moist early springtime here in the UK.
Our 3D digital tools are renowned for rendering perfectly clear and pin sharp images, ideal for scenes in airless outer-space or spaceships, but the real world likes to do things differently. When cold, our warm breath fogs in the air. When hot, there’s often a heat-shimmer rising. Landscape distances mist up and haze even on a relatively clear day, with colours desaturating and shifting with distance. The Shopshire poet Housman’s famous “blue remembered hills” were blue for a reason. It’s thus useful to know how the real atmospherics of a scene would make it look. Adding a little moisture also goes a long way in digital portraits. Think of limpid eyes, recently licked lips, warm brows, sniffy noses, and licked or damp hair…
Read the full editorial in issue 56
‘Kibosh 1’ talks about learning DAZ Studio, and how he learns from both movie-stills and the Old Masters in painting.
DAZ STUDIO | PS
“When I decided to make scenes and post my artwork online I only had one criteria for how I wanted each image to appear overall. I wanted each scene to look as though it could either be a frame from a movie, or lifted from an illustrated book.”
Veteran British science-fiction artist John Harris talks about his many decades of fine work, from the ZX81 Manual to today.
2D PAINT | BOOK COVERS
“My aim has always been to put the focus on the atmosphere of the setting … In the case of book cover art, I would say that tonal construction is the key. It needs to work on a level where detail is irrelevant, if it is to be seen from across a bookshop floor.”
Alexander Komarov has been a painter for fifteen years, and with his brother is the maker of Realistic Paint Studio.
2D PAINT | SOFTWARE
“… after graduating in Programming, we couldn’t find a job … such a profession was almost impossible in Russia. … We created Realistic over two years. Sergei programmed, and I drew and made the 3D models, and the website. … It’s all programmed in C++.”
- BACK ISSUE INDEX
- REVIEW: REALISTIC PAINT STUDIO
- PYTHON SCRIPTING
‘Kibosh 1’ is making impressive pictures with DAZ Studio, full of atmosphere, scale and human interest.
DAL: Kibosh, welcome to the Digital Art Live interview. You’ve begun making wonderfully accomplished and atmospheric pictures with DAZ Studio, and as such we thought you’d be ideal for this issue.
KB: Thank you for the compliment; it’s an honour to speak with you regarding my artwork and I’m glad you find it suitable to feature in your magazine. You’re the first publication I’ve been interviewed by, so this will certainly be a memorable moment for me.
DAL: Super. How did you start out in making digital art? Did you go straight to DAZ Studio, or did you come to it by other software which you had previously spent many years with?
KB: Digital art was something completely new to me, several years ago. As a child I dabbled in drawing and attempted painting with acrylics during my teens and early adulthood… with relative personal satisfaction. But with no training or schooling in the arts it was often frustrating, which is a common experience of many people learning a skill without guidance. So it gradually fell by the wayside. I found an outlet for my creativity in other ways, of course. Visual art has always ‘pulled at my coat-tails’ but I had never tried creating art digitally up until a few years ago. I don’t recall the exact reason for looking – perhaps I had seen a write-up in an online publication — but one day I was searched for 3D software.
I came across DAZ Studio which happened to be a free download… and I took the opportunity.
Again, knowing nothing about 3D, I then tinkered away at learning the basics while signing up for the DAZ Store’s ‘PC+’ discount purchasing club, which inspired me… whenever I saw various props that were reasonably priced. The DAZ scenes I visualised in my head were way beyond my ability to make them, at that time. But not knowing about any limitations or restrictions of the software, I just went about trying to make them anyhow. I struggle to draw people and animals, so this way I could make scenes without having to worry about those problems. So, long answer… but no, I have only used DAZ Studio and to be honest have not delved too deeply.
Not too deeply into the technical aspects of it, like a lot of software folks use it. I probably only know (and use) about 20 percent of what it is capable of.
DAL: Yes, it has a lot of potential once you wrestle the UI into behaving, and start expanding it with scripts and plugins. But you seem to have a strong advantage here in your skill with pictures. Did you train more traditionally in scene composition or lighting, or does it come naturally to you?
KB: That’s an interesting question, it probably doesn’t ‘come naturally’. Although I do tend to observe the world quite intently sometimes, so perhaps that rubs off. With no formal training in any of the arts, I just jumped into it and learnt as I went. But what I do have, is an annoying predisposition to examine something for hours or pull something apart to find out how it works. I say annoying, because it takes me three times as long to do some things compared to other people. I’ll mull it over for ages figuring out the best way to do it!
So regarding composition and lighting – I viewed an awful lot of artwork at the beginning of my 3D adventure, across all genres, from various online sites, in order to determine what exactly made one image better than another (in my opinion). I don’t mean the details or subject matter, I mean “Why has that image got feeling and mood?” “Why does that image draw me into the scene?” “Why does that image have so much apparent depth to it?” And I came to the conclusion –ignoring all the myriad finer points which make a great picture – that it pretty much came down to composition, lighting and contrast/colour values. Now, I still don’t know what the best composition is, or best lighting etc is, and how to achieve it – it’s a lifelong journey of discovery – but I know it makes a vast difference to the end result so I set out trying to learn at least the basics. Mostly just by observing and trying to replicate the various effects and of course exploring the invaluable online tutorials available.