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  1. #16
    Just Another Philistine Hereford Eye's Avatar
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    One wonders where said recon specialist stores her communicator and her binocs when they are not in use. Since they are much more shiny than anything else about her person, one cannot imagine a recon person simply hanging them on her outfit to sparkle in the sunlight.
    Also, said communicator makes her seem to be engaging in karaoke. Imagine that: a musical intel report. What will they think of next?

  2. #17
    Keeper of the Hikari Radthorne's Avatar
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    The initial version of this picture was from further back, and she had a small one-person ship behind her, from which said equipment would be stored. As for the equipment color, one has to also deal with making sure things are recognizable in the image, particularly when it's only going to be 2 1/2 inches tall. If everything were accurately dark, as you might expect in reality, it would not serve the purpose of the picture as well, because you wouldn't be as easily able to tell what the things were as when they have some contrast with her outfit. Such are the compromises I consider when putting these things together...

    As for the singing, well Rocketsheep and I have just been discussing her purported facility with singing. She claims she has none, but I reminded her of the glorious singing she did when you visited her, but of which she has no memory, which I ascribe to excess intake of spirits. But then again, I imagine you have no memory of it either...

  3. #18
    Just Another Philistine Hereford Eye's Avatar
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    Au contraire!
    I remember well her singing the praises of the folk running the Commonwealth Games, the wonderfulness of her home, the bitterness of the emigre, and her appreciation for a good red.
    I started to sing but TLWSHLWM kicked me under the table which I took to mean she preferred Sheepie's singing to mine. Why? I'll never comprehend.

  4. #19
    I AM too a mod! Moderator Rocket Sheep's Avatar
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    You make me sound like some kind of half-crazed bard!

  5. #20
    Just Another Philistine Hereford Eye's Avatar
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    Half-crazed? You don't give yourself enough credit, Sheepie!

  6. #21
    Fulgurous Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    I like both of those, and remember the red ninja picture. I think I like the first thief picture best of all of them so far. The recon one looks good -- I generally like most of your SF pictures, I find.

  7. #22
    I AM too a mod! Moderator Rocket Sheep's Avatar
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    Ahem! Fully crazed? Could this work for me?

    I like the recon specialist too. I like how the rocks appear to be organic... not sure what the green bits are doing in the background.

  8. #23
    Keeper of the Hikari Radthorne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocket Sheep View Post
    ... not sure what the green bits are doing in the background.
    I actually fixed that in the final version I uploaded to the publisher. It was just a bit of background mess I forgot to clean up...

    I have three more to show. I'll spread 'em out over a few days. This first one actually ended up being the hardest one. The character was described as being basically a Mafia gal, in with the "big boys" and playing one boss off against another. The story snippet scene was in a boardroom of an office, but that turned out to just look really dull (maybe it's because I work all day in an office, and somehow the site of cubicles just doesn't seem very exciting...).

    Anyway, the picture went through quite a few variations for both character and setting. At one point I had this one, which, while an interesting scene, wasn't so great at focusing on the character (and that is after all the point of the pictures, to be character cards for the game). One reason I wanted to show this version was because it took a lot of work to get it to this state. I came up with the idea for the elevator, remembering that there was this really nice one with chrome walls available at one point. Well, it had gone off the market, but I tracked down the creator of it (in England!) and he agreed to sell it to me via email. The publisher then suggested the three guys in the elevator with her - a boss and two goons. It was very tricky getting the perspective right, so that you could see her in the center, have a clear view of the boss glaring at her, but partly obscured views of the goons so they wouldn't be so prominent. Complicating the issue was that, for her character, I felt she would be wearing a business suit with slacks, but I couldn't find any. So the other characters are also carefully placed to hide the fact (that would otherwise be visible in the reflections) that she's actually wearing a skirt.


    Whew! Then after all that, we ditched the whole idea and I went in a different direction. He provided me with a sample picture where a man was blurred out in the background, so I took two of my men and created a scene off of that, and also, based on his direction of look and feel for the character, changed her around too. So what we ended up with is this, which is quite different in tone:


    This version actually took me nearly all day today to complete, due to various technical difficulties. I ended up composing everything behind her in a separate image, then bringing that in as a flat background for the render of her. At any rate, the publisher does like the final result.

  9. #24
    Just Another Philistine Hereford Eye's Avatar
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    That elevator scene is very impressive! Getting all the reflections on sides and back must have been excruciatingly painful.
    Now, for mafia girl, you just can't tell a book by its cover. She would certainly come up on the goons by surprise as there is nothing about her indicating cold and callous, except for maybe the pinkie to the mouth. That's a calculating/calculated pose if ever there was one. Watch out for her; she is less to be trusted than a roadrunner in a quai's nest.

  10. #25
    Keeper of the Hikari Radthorne's Avatar
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    Thank you! Yes, the reflections certainly made for an interesting time, but were worth it for their contribution to the effectiveness of the scene. I was glad that a) I remembered such an elevator was once available, and b) I was still able to get it. Even though it's not the picture we eventually used, I still rather like it.

    And as for the final outcome, the description of her the publisher had me eventually go with was "scamp." And that seems to fit somewhat your impression of her, I think.

  11. #26
    Fulgurous Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    Well I like the elevator one better. In both pictures, the woman looks scared, but in the second, she also looks impish, so I guess that fit the character better. But the elevator one is very cool.

  12. #27
    Keeper of the Hikari Radthorne's Avatar
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    I like the elevator one better too; it's a more interesting scene. But given the project need (for a 2.5" character card), I think the publisher's choice was the right one.

    The same situation came about with the next picture, for a character called Frostdancer, described as a historical Kung Fu China doll in peasant dress (think of the young heroine from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). In the story snippet, she's barely in it; mostly we read of a guard who's collar bone she breaks almost effortlessly. Anyway, for most of these pictures (aside from the Mafia gal), I come up with one idea and then refine it with the publisher, just changing the character or background details around as needed. For this picture, I actually came up with three different concepts, as I wasn't sure which direction the publisher wanted to go. He ended up liking two of them, but in the end again chose the portrait one as his final choice.




  13. #28
    Just Another Philistine Hereford Eye's Avatar
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    Yeah, I like that one as well. There is nothing exagerrated in the portrait making any physical prowess she might possess a matter of speculation and not something that would immediately take the hackles on the back of the neck from 'parade rest' to 'attention.'

  14. #29
    Keeper of the Hikari Radthorne's Avatar
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    This one is called "The Countess," a mid-40's lady of wealth and determination, circa 1890's, who is trying to hold her little principality together against dark forces ranged against her.


  15. #30
    Keeper of the Hikari Radthorne's Avatar
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    For this one, allow me to include the entire story snippet describing the character:

    MERISSA OF RAVENNA – THE REVERED ICON
    Class: Hard sci fi romance
    Traits: Powerfully charismatic early-thirties intelligent beauty. Not at all an action hero herself, she's more of a pacifist.
    Story Stub:
    Merissa remained in her audience chair when the Autrians forced their way in. They had little reason to be gentle. Their fleet owned the skies.
    Merissa stood. Her guards made no move to interfere as the Autrians slid a constraint around her and escorted her from the chamber. No one moved to intervene. From fanatics proven to die for her, there was no resistance. Yet the Autrians showed no sign of suspicion. After all, they owned the skies.
    The courier containing the prisoner slid quickly through the destroyer screen and mated with a savage-looking warship. Merissa was escorted off, without the constraint, and by different guards.

    The Autrian commodore motioned Merissa into position beside his command chair as he continued a conversation with an outraged admiral on his visual.
    "You will return her to the courier and send her to the flagship or I will place you under arrest, Commodore!"
    The commodore responded by placing a fleet disposition grid on the visual. "Pay careful attention, Admiral Rictese. I am taking command of this fleet immediately. The ships marked in blue are loyal to me and My Lady. They constitute 58% of this fleet's firepower. As of sixteen seconds ago, they have begun battle prep. Any attempt to resist would be quite one-sided. Please stand down and accept a boarding party.
    The Admiral's eyes burned in hate, but not at the commodore. His eyes were upon Merissa, who now owned the skies over her homeworld…


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