Welcome to Issue 7
Lindsay Wagner who played the original “Bionic Woman” in the 1970s television series was a ground breaking female superhero. She created a much needed capable feminist hero working as an undercover agent with super human abilities and the series was admired by girls of the time seeing a striking lead character by Lindsay. She was interviewed recently and remarked:
“The whole point of having a woman in leadership position of any kind is to hopefully bring the feminine aspect of wisdom and intelligence to whatever they’re attempting to do. Hopefully we get used to technology so we don’t have to be mesmerized by it and get back to the story.”.
In this issue with the excellent artists we’ve interviewed, we show a number of good facets of the modern female super hero; strength, character, intelligence, beauty, leadership and wisdom.
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In this issue:-
Digital Art LIVE talks 3D hair, DeviantArt commissions and Patreon, with LaAndra Dawn.
DAZ STUDIO | POSER
“For 3D hair, it’s important to remember that it has specular or shine. Even the driest hair has specular. In fact, everything has specular/shine, even if it’s very low.”
Digital Art LIVE interviews young Aaron Griffin about London, education, and assembling a picture.
PHOTOSHOP | POSER
“I took a night-shift job to ‘pay the bills’ … for three years I practised in my spare time. I then landed my first pro job as a game artist for Gamesys Studios in London, and haven’t looked back.”
Digital Art LIVE talks art schools, Poser, posters, steampunk, and more with Paul Francis.
POSER | PHOTOSHOP
“When I learned that it is fine to composite different elements together […] my art went to another level [and I saw] publishing success [including] in a Neil Gaiman project, and I got to spend the day filming with the great man himself.”
A Segment from the LeAndra Dawn Interview
DAL: Welcome and many thanks for this in-depth interview with Digital Art Live magazine. I know time is valuable to a working artist. First, I should ask… your DeviantArt name is ‘LeAndraDawn’, but you also go by ‘KaAnna’ and ‘Cylithera’. Do you prefer KaAnna, or another name?
LD: LeAndra Dawn is what I’m going by nowadays.
DAL: Super, ok… so, let’s begin. You use both DAZ Studio and Poser with equally amazing results, to make really outstanding compositions. Your work has luscious colours and lighting, and real ‘character’. How did you get to where you’re now at, and who and what helped you along the way?
LD: A lot of what contributed to my improvement in art was experimenting and playing around in the program and stumbling onto things. There weren’t a lot of tutorials on Poser or DAZ Studio when I first started
using them, so I had to just ‘wing it’. I tried to look to other forms of art for tips and methods of working, too, like photography or painting. However, a good portion of my improvement was just using my previous artistic knowledge from Photoshop tutorials and using and experimenting in the software.
I took quite a long hiatus from art, where I did little to none at all. When I returned, contests, challenges and portraits of generously given characters contributed to a large portion of my art. All of these helped me to improve by allowing me to consistently do art where I may have floundered after such a long time away from art. I highly recommend doing challenges and contests — and not necessarily for prizes.
DAL: You do superb lighting and glows. Could you tell us in detail how you go about planning and lighting a picture such as “Mi Na” or “SWD JaeHwa” (seen on this page)?
LD: I wish I could say I plan out my images, but truthfully I very rarely do. I typically just head into my software of choice and play around with things until I start to see something I like. Then I build from there. “JaeHwa” and “Mi-Na” were a little different since they were created for someone (Silverwind, the creator of the characters). She gave me very loose outlines for how she wanted her characters’ portrayed and I based my ideas on those outlines.
After that, it’s just experimenting. Trying things until I like the way they are going or it inspires me to try something else. As for these two images specifically, it was all about showcasing the character as best as I could. That meant strong lighting on the face and figure, whether it be the fire for “Mi-Na” or the from-above lighting for “JaeHwa”. And of course, you can’t forget the rim lighting which really brings out the character from the background and adds interest by having an additional light source. I further enhanced my lights in Photoshop, the use of which is definitely more of my strength rather than 3D lighting.
A brief rundown of lights in “Mi-Na”: orange point-light right above the blade, for reflection and primary lighting. Additional spotlights positioned at the same place as the point-light, but pointing at her hand or other areas so as to better cast that firelight. Distant lights for rim on either side of her. There was also a blue underlight and various ‘fix’ lights that may not be realistic, but provide more visually pleasing light or just more light in general.
DAL: One of the other things I like about your pictures is the hair. You get it just right, and it interacts with the environment and lighting very convincingly. Hair has always been something of problem with Poser/DAZ 3D, and 3D in general. Could you give our readers any tips or advice or workflows, on getting their hair ‘done right’ in a render, please?
LD: Thank you! Again, a lot of my hair work is postwork and done in Photoshop. But, I do almost always have base hairs that I enhance — rather than painting a full head of hair. Though
I have done that as well. For 3D hair, it’s important to remember that it has specular or shine. Even the driest hair has specular. In fact, everything has specular/shine, even if it’s very low. For 3D hairs, you really want to make sure you have a wide, low specular that is set to white. This is so that it reflects your lights properly, thereby making it more realistic and coheres with the scene. Many 3D hairs use the same diffuse texture for the specular, and that doesn’t allow the light to be reflected properly in the hair. This can be good in some cases, and sometimes I’ll use both. But… I always have at least one specular set low, wide and white for that much-needed realism.