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  1. #46
    Books of Pellinor alison's Avatar
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    Cool! - the guy in sandals and underpants is pretty drool-worthy but - er -what's with the cat?! Is the cat (I mean the one with paws) called Alison? Or the guy? Now I want to know what the story is, so you'll have to write it...

  2. #47
    Keeper of the Hikari Radthorne's Avatar
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    I think the kitty has to be Alison... ferocious lioness of the castle... unleashed upon all poor unsuspecting males...

    After all, you did say he was "drool-worthy." Might make a tasty meal...

  3. #48
    Books of Pellinor alison's Avatar
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    Cor! Me a lioness? And I'm such a demure little thing...
    Though I guess that's a small feline there, which makes the beefcake, however spectacularly muscled, positively Liliputian! Hmmm....

  4. #49
    Keeper of the Hikari Radthorne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alison
    Cor! Me a lioness? And I'm such a demure little thing...
    Ah, you may have the others fooled; but methinks I hath devined your true nature...


    So, here we have a little somthing in the Anime vein... I uploaded this one a bit larger so that the detail would come out better.

  5. #50
    Palinodic Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    Hmm, I don't like that one so much. The jacket and the background look fairly realistic, but the lady herself looks like a doll, and I don't think the contrast works. But the dragon and cat ones are cute. I definitely think you could use the dragon one somewhere. It's got the cheesecake, but also a contemporary style to it.

  6. #51
    Keeper of the Hikari Radthorne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KatG
    Hmm, I don't like that one so much. The jacket and the background look fairly realistic, but the lady herself looks like a doll, and I don't think the contrast works. But the dragon and cat ones are cute. I definitely think you could use the dragon one somewhere. It's got the cheesecake, but also a contemporary style to it.
    Kevin practices responding to the publisher's art director, making adjustments as required...


  7. #52
    Palinodic Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    Ooo, much better. You'd attract the comic fans with that one still too.

  8. #53
    Keeper of the Hikari Radthorne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KatG
    Ooo, much better. You'd attract the comic fans with that one still too.
    Thank you! Coincidentally, just as I got the email notification of your posting, I've been sitting here drafting a cover letter to a local small press whose owners I know. I printed up a few of these samples, and I'm going to see if they might be interested in commissioning any cover art for future projects. I'll let you know if anything comes of it!

  9. #54
    Palinodic Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    Good luck! I've certainly enjoyed them.

  10. #55
    Books of Pellinor alison's Avatar
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    I rather liked the anime-style one - but I'm a big anime fan (Miyazake is my hero). Depends I guess on the book!

  11. #56
    Keeper of the Hikari Radthorne's Avatar
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    I like 'em both. I think the anime one works for those in to that sort of thing, but those who aren't probably would find the contrast a bit jarring.

    By the way, I've not only added some of these cover images to my website but have also uploaded some more 3D art I created over the weekend. Feel free to go take a peek, under the Artwork button.

  12. #57
    Palinodic Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    Aw, come on, I'm running out of room to store these things. Here's a question -- since the background, the hair, the props, are created by such and such person or company, copyrighted to them, would you be able to use them for a book cover? I mean, without a paragraph of credits and having to pay a lot in permission fees? Does the software let you make your own backgrounds and such?

  13. #58
    Keeper of the Hikari Radthorne's Avatar
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    The commercially-produced 3D models are free to use in any rendered artwork, since that's pretty much their purpose. One can't re-sell the actual 3D model, to use inside a graphics program, since that's the thing that's copyrighted. But one is allowed to create artwork from the models, such as I have here. So in the case of the Lady Shimada picture, the articulated Aiko3 model that is the person, which is produced by DAZ, is a copyrighted 'file' that I purchased from them, which can be used inside 3D modeling programs. The resulting artwork is then copyrighted by me. In the opinion of one of the model creators, she considers it like creating paint, for painters to use. She said a credit would be nice, but that the payment for the item is the only expectation. On my website, where I've posted all these covers and the other art I've done, I've credited all the creators of the objects, since their artistry is certainly contributing greatly to any of my own. In my books, I've done the same in the Acknowledgement section for objects I used on the covers.

    For freebie stuff, of which there is a ton, it all depends on the artist. Some don't care, others only want you to use it for non-commerical work, others will let you use it commercially if you ask permission. I've never seen one that wanted a commission, but I suppose they might, if you were a big company or something. I keep track of where all the objects come from, and make sure I only use either stuff I paid for, or that the artist clearly stated that all uses were free and clear.

    You can also create your own 3D stuff, of course. For the scenery things, like on my book covers, or the tower on the Darkening Angel one, I could have modeled those myself (if I had the time!). Likewise, I could probably design clothes for the figures (the clothes are also just models, that fit over the people models), but that takes more expertise. The people themselves are quite complex, with all the joint parameters, facial movements, etc., and most of those of any quality are always going to be commerical items.

    Was that too long of an answer? Most of mine have been kinda short lately, so I guess this one makes up for it...

  14. #59
    Keeper of the Hikari Radthorne's Avatar
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    Just to expand on the do-it-yourself theme a bit, if you look at the cover of The Road to Kotaishi, the pavilion consists of two pre-built models that I heavily modified.


    The structure itself originally had an onion dome on top, and came without any textures. I removed the dome, and then disassembled the parts, adding textures to the wood bits, the rope bits, the stone bits, etc., before putting it all back together.

    The bell was a large vase with a square base. I removed the base and turned it upside down to make a bell, applying the rusty metal texture to it.

    As a trick of perspective, the bell is not "actually" hanging in the center of the pavilion. When I set up the scene with the bell where it "ought" to be, it was too hidden by the corner post, and "looked" off center. So I moved the bill kitty-corner until it "looked" right from the view where I had placed the camera.

    These are the sorts of things I modify in the models. In the Darkening Angel tower, I opened the bottom door and removed the upstairs windows, and placed lights inside the tower to shine out. So the original creators do most of the work to create the models, and then I come along and modify things, and combine them together into an actual picture.
    Last edited by Radthorne; May 19th, 2005 at 06:30 PM.

  15. #60
    Palinodic Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    Huh, interesting. See, these are the sort of things that drive poor book publishers crazy. Copyright, not copyright, permission, not permission but credited, not credited. They have no clue which way to go with this stuff and the courts are still figuring it out while people work out the issues themselves. I went over to the Baen Books site, and they have a library going where authors have uploaded entire novels that you can download and read for free (ones published by Baen of course, or at least the rights owned by the authors.) They believe, in their experience, that this causes people to then buy copies of the books they like and to buy and read other novels by the authors, much like a library (though libraries insist on getting their books back.) I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing, but I probably will make use of it to check out various authors.

    So here we have a combination of both art and software programming, units purchased like nuts and bolts that can then be assembled into something else, and a variety of ways that it's handled. I suppose, for the modelers, the wider the model is used -- for which they are paid -- the better for their business. I wonder how more traditional cover artists, many of whom are also heavily involved in the Net to sell wares and develop their art, are dealing with this issue.

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