I’ve been having a bit of fun learning Daz, a 3D modeling program. Long story short, the base program is free, but you can buy additional assets–clothes, hair, facial morphs, etc–that allow you to customize your characters.
It’s fun, because it’s been giving me freedom to create characters from my stories that I can pose and light without searching through endless stock photos. (There are other limitations compared to photomanipulation, and avoiding the uncanny valley is tricky, but each type of art has its trade-off).
A few weeks ago I grabbed a bundle on sale for face and body morphs, and it’s been giving me a lot of room to tweak characters how I picture them.
The first character I completed (face, anyway), is Siklana Covonilayno from The Wishing Blade series.
Siklana is Toranih’s sister. While Siklana plays a fairly minor role in the first two books (Magic’s Stealing and The Shadow War), she has her own point of view and plays a major role in book three… Magebane.
Excerpt from Magebane:
After Shalant paid for a room at the nearest inn, Siklana and Daernan left their horses with the local stable girl and went upstairs to a small, square bedroom that offered little privacy. Mid-afternoon sunlight filtered through a window’s canvas covering. Shalant ordered them to unpack anything important from their saddlebags into the room so he could ward the area for protection.
“Perhaps we could ward the stable instead?” Siklana suggested. The cramped room hardly had enough space for all the books and scrolls stashed in her mare’s saddlebags.
Shalant glanced up from tucking a bag of dry goods into the corner beside his bed. “The stable hand wouldn’t be able to tend to the horses.” He pushed the bag aside, stood, and then dusted his knees of dirt. The smoke from Ashan had brought a thin layer of soot to everything in town.
Siklana shared a nervous glance with Daernan. The mage would find out about the books eventually. “I doubt we can fit all your word magic scrolls.”
Shalant turned around, puzzled. “Word magic scrolls? What are you…” His sentence trailed, and from the flicker of his eyes to the door, Siklana suspected he was using scrying ribbons to see what was in those bags. He gave her an incredulous glare. “You brought my library?”
She smiled sheepishly. “The books might help us find a way to bring Toranih back from the shadow realm. Besides, if Ashan has been overrun by Lord Menchtoteale, do you really want him finding your books? Imagine what Isahna could do with them.”
“You brought my library,” Shalant repeated, as if the notion couldn’t register in his brain.
She nodded. “Obviously I couldn’t take everything, but I tried to grab the ones that looked useful. There are still a few things left in your attic.”
This is a full-body render using only image-based lighting (IBL).
It’s the first test run of Siklana’s 3D model with her new outfit (trying to find something that reasonably fit her character, which I didn’t initially have). I need to find and fit shoes for her, too, but this is a start.
I’m still learning Daz, so more work needs to be done, but it should give an idea of her character. 🙂
Interested in seeing the development process? Let me know. I have some notes on the process, and I’d be happy to go more into it if anyone is curious.
In the meantime, keep an eye on this blog for more news about Magebane, which is coming soon.
Let me know if you’d like to see more characters rendered in the future! 😀