Monday, April 4, 2011

Blood Elf Sorceress

The next two images are of a Blood Elf Sorceress.  The concept of a Blood Elf comes from Blizzard's Warcraft series.  Blood Elves were once High Elves but after Arthas the Lich King destroyed their precious Sunwell, they found themselves addicted to magic.  Blood Elves, the Sindorei as they call themselves, turned to demonic magics to satiate their eternal thirst for magic, giving them their distinctive glowing green eyes.

I made two images, one from the front, the other from the back.  There is nudity, so I'll only provide the thumbnails here.
Click for full: mature!
So why nudity?  Well mostly because it helps teach and practice shading.  Given how skin is about the same color with various shading, it presents a greater challenge to produce an image that has depth.  Clothing really helps because it has multiple colors.

Click for full: mature!
Secondly it is also about form.  The human (well, elf in this case, but close enough) body is not a simple object.  It has proper proportions and scaling.  Certain parts are in certain locations in relation to other parts.  For example, the eyes are aligned with the ears and centered to the head.  The nose mouth and belly button all align (if the person stands straight.)   The head is 1/7 to 1/8 the size of the rest of the body.  A woman's hips, I read, are wider than  her shoulders.  Remove clothing and it becomes easier to gauge these proportions.

There were parts that presented some challenges here.  The staff, you can guess I gave up on it.  That just would not come out right.  It is in two parts, primarily for layering purposes, the split is hidden by her fingers.  It is straight, but due to some illusion I can't seem to dispel, it looks crooked.  Hands were difficult too.

There was also a lot of learning.  The belts around her leggings have a texture I created by simply placing a blurred fill over the belt.  The problem with blurs is that they tend to spill into areas you don't want them to.  You can trim them with an Object Subtraction function (basically, drilling one shape out of another shape) but then the blur reshapes itself.  There's another solution though.  Clipping.  Clipping covers an object and basically says "okay, everything within my bounds is visible, everything out of bounds is not visible.  It is still there, but not visible.  So I took the blur and a fill for a clip, made sure the clip was on top and set the clip.  Voila.

I also learned a lot of technique for working on the strokes making up an outline.  Most of them were turned into paths on their own due to the fact that you cannot make a T shape or any combination with a stroke.  This allows me to separate the arm from the shoulder or to add lines to the hair to give it depth, all of which isn't possible if you don't turn the stroke into a path first.

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