Sydney Kendall Says

Thinking in public about anything that matters.

Learning 3-D Art

My husband, Prodos, is creating a hilarious, astonishing fairytale based on a few characters I drew for one of his websites. That was a few years ago, before we ever knew we would fall in love.

The original plan, once my drawings inspired Prodos to make a story out of them, was for Prodos to write the story and for me to illustrate it. It was during this project that we fell in love with each other.

But once I came to live with Prodos, we decided to combine our talents to create a storytelling show, with pictures and songs and the two of us performing it , before we try to make it into a book (or several books). The story has now grown into so many episodes (which are both self-contained stories and part of a story arc), with so many characters and events, that it could easily become a TV series or a series of movies, not to mention the illustrated book.

But we want illustrations – many illustrations – of the characters and main events. For the book. For the show. But I was having trouble drawing the same character in different poses and perspectives, without a visual reference. So Prodos took a look around the ‘net and found the Poser 3-D figure-creating program. I originally intended to use the posing 3-D figures to create basic characters and then use them as models to draw from. But the models are so visually appealing, and so easy to “morph” into the people and creatures we want, that we have decided to use the characters and scenes I put together straight from Poser (and also the Bryce Environment program+DAZ Studio). With some “postwork” for touch-ups and special additions done by hand in my 2-D Painter IX art program, I can create exactly what we want, and still have time to do some of the other things that life requires, like sleeping and laundry. (I’m a rather slow hand-illustrator. I could not turn out even a small fraction of what we need and at the quality we want by the time we need them.)

I don’t want to make this sound too easy, though. LEARNING the programs is time-consuming, and sometimes frustrating (yet very fun and rewarding). But there’s a very active and generous online community of professionals and students helping each other master this new medium.

Want to see where I am right now in my learning curve? I’ve been at it for a few months now:

Faery Play
“Faery Play” Not from the fairytale. There are no fairies in Prodos’s fairytale. *8 : )

Faery Surprising

“Faery Surprising” The male in this picture is “Don”, the default fellow that comes with Poser. I was practicing with the sparkles and the fairy wings and a couple of other aspects of the scene. I got the fairy wings for other projects – mainly to entertain a little girl I know who loves fairies. *8 : )

We DO need cats, however. I don’t know if they’ll show up in the fairytale, but they are going to have a full-time job at Prodos’s online store “”. (Cheeky name, eh?) Here are two perspectives of the exact same scene, where I was practicing with the cat model.

Friendly Visit

Friendly Visit_above

And here’s a couple of other practice cats.

Self Control
“Self Control”

Not the Usual Birdie
“Not the Usual Birdie”

And here’s Default Don and a new-found friend.

Don and Patches
“Don and Patches”

And here’s what all this cat-practice was for: the creation of the first image of Learnalotmore and his Curlycats.

“Learnalotmore and His Curlycats”

I don’t know whether Learnalotmore and the cats will show up in the fairytale. But another character from the website who will feature in the fairytale is BobbeShopper and her Budgeridoodahs:

“BobbeShopper and the Budgeridoodahs”

Two close-ups of Bobbe on two different occasions, just practice:

Bobbe_pleased expression

After the Dance
“After the Dance”

And there you have it. Some of it, anyway.

Later on I’ll tell you something about what’s in that 3-D learning curve I mentioned, in case you’re thinking of having a go.



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