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Over the past 4 years [ack, has it been that long?], Will has been one of the most physically instable characters of mine. He started off as a default Sideshow Toy general edition Spike 12" doll. Then I put a custom resin sculpt of James Marsters on the same body. Then I went to a Dragon body with CG ankle cups so he could wear high heels. Then I tried to make him a skinny hybrid body, and he was on a weird early Medicom body for a while. Then I got him a modern, shorter Medicom body. Plus I resculpted his hair about 4 times during that period; it went from the default greasy comb-back, to a poofy comb-back, to a meringue-like sort of mess, to a modified bowl cut. I also repainted him about 5 times, each time making his skin paler and his makeup darker.

After the 1:6 modern Medicom body broke, I put the 1:6 Will in storage. Then I got my 1:3 Will.

Then he went digital in October, 2007. Since then, he's gone through 4 reconstructions from scratch and countless textures [or paint jobs]. I need to do a slideshow of him through time in the same way that I collected a bunch of photos of my Frank doll[s].
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Can it still be called a skirt? I dunno. Ask Will. Here he is in the Gothic Doll top mentioned earlier with a modified triple-tier skirt. I would tell him to put some pants on, but he might hit me with his coffin box. This outfit reminds me of a lot of what is available for BJDs.
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Why yes, those are curly-toed shoes...and bellbottom pants slit halfway up the legs...and a pimp hat with feathers in it...along with a host of body straps and a pink vinyl vest...not to mention the ubiquitous corset. You can't tell this from my dolls of Will, but Will almost always wears a corset, a fact that I finally get to represent. It's not merely decorative; it actually squishes, but he doesn't care because he doesn't have to breathe. If I were more accurate, I would show him with an actual very narrow waist, much more dandy-like, but I'm too lazy right now, so look at this instead.

I finally figured out where Will's fashion inspiration comes from. He's a vampire, so he's marginalized from the dominant culture and its conceptions of clothes as utlilitarian objects that should conform to certain rules. Ever since he was a dandy before his death, he has always been interested in clothes more as social currency, body language and extravagant decoration. As he mentions elsewhere, one of his idols in this regard was, of course, Oscar Wilde. Therefore, he continues in the same tradition of dandyism now, but not in a classical, fashionable, well-tailored sense. He's playing. He should stop worrying about his writer's block and realize that he has other forms of artistic creativity.

Oh, by the way, this is probably what his hair would look like if he would stop combing it back like some 75-year-old balding guy. I think he looks much cuter with his hair down and ragged; it softens his skeletal face and adds to his androgyny.
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Here's the result of many fruitful hours with my new best friend Wardrobe Wizard 2. Will now wears the clothes I always wanted him to wear. I love those platform heels...Read more... )
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I've been trying for years to dress my representations of Will appropriately.

LHF toons

Jan. 20th, 2008 10:28 pm
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So I put my favorite LHF characters into toon form and arranged them all together for a group shot. Their poses and facial expressions, as well as who they are watching, give you clues as to their characters....
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I just tested with posing, setting up, rendering and laying out part of LHF 1.1. Already I see some things I need to improve on.

1. First and foremost, I have way too many props, textures and gimcracks in my sets. 2 figures in an average set, which is just a sparsely decorated corner, with maybe 60 props total [mostly books :p] and 3 lights, really slows down my compooper. I can't pose characters quickly; there's a lag time of several seconds. Also rendering takes too long for my tastes, meaning that it takes 60-180 seconds. I need to relegate as much as possible to the 2-D backdrops except for furniture and 2 books, 1 telephone, 1 doll, 1 mermaid, 1 stuffed animal....the absolute essentials. I must resist the temptation to go insane with detail in the sets. They should be very simple, streamlined and highly stylized.

2. The font in the speech bubbles looks horrid. I think it needs to be 9 point BOLD.

That said, I'm enchanted with how the new medium is working out. I can get much tighter camera angles out of Daz than out of my own physical camera. I can also put the digital dolls in much more realistic, squinched-up postures than I could with my action figs. Plus the digital dolls' likeness is much closer to what Anneka and Will actually look like. Hooray!!!! Is it strange to say that I am most enchanted with the sagginess and wrinkliness of their faces and the elegance of their hands?
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Well, Will finally has appropriate [?] winter clothes. The peanut gallery at right makes typically snarky comments.

I have got to start writing about these characters again...They are BUGGING me.
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You hate getting any colder. Will explains.

Will is freezing in part because he has no scarf. I can't find a decent scarf anywhere, so I'm so annoyed that I have to model one by my own damn self...

Jacket is  actually part of a Chinese set that I bought specifically for Chow, but it goes along with Will's atrocious sartorial sense.
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I made a digital model of me last night, primarily so I could enter LHF and bitch out the characters. Here I am lording it over Will. I am not a nice author. :p I have no hair because I could not find any haircuts with bangs that were buzzed up the sides. Also, I have been bald in the past, so it is not technically out of character.

The latest version of Anneka, not shown, is based on the following digital version of me.
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I made a digital model of me last night, primarily so I could enter LHF and bitch out the characters. Here I am lording it over Will. I am not a nice author. :p I have no hair because I could not find any haircuts with bangs that were buzzed up the sides. Also, I have been bald in the past, so it is not technically out of character.

The latest version of Anneka, not shown, is based on the following digital version of me.
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"They just threw all the black and blue paint in my eyes and ran!" Since I successfully downloaded the merchant resource Gothifully Yours, I've been reveling in the pursuit of hyperbolic makeup. See Will below in a black and blue theme. Maybe I'll make a whole black-and-blue texture set for a freebie... Please note that Will does not usually wear cool colors or drippy styles, but the result is pretty awesome, in an amusing sort of way.
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Three layers of glittery eyeshadow, magenta lipstick and blush!!!!! I've been applying virtual makeup for the last few hours. My artistic vision is becoming reality. Who knew my artistic vision was so goddamned TACKY? :p
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Three layers of glittery eyeshadow, magenta lipstick and blush!!!!! I've been applying virtual makeup for the last few hours. My artistic vision is becoming reality. Who knew my artistic vision was so goddamned TACKY? :p
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I'm drawing again...only, in the terminology of 3-D modeling, they call it "texturing." But yeah, I'm drawing people's faces. Last night and this morning I used a variety of free texture resources, Photoshop brushes, digital makeup kits [yeah, they exist] and some merchant resources [digital makeup you pay for], threw it all in the blender of my creative mind and came out with this... It's a head texture in progress for Will. I thnk it could use more eyeshadow...or sparkles...or sparkly eyeshadow. But it still represents the elaborate and overdone style of makeup that is the pinnacle of attractiveness according to my drag-queeny imagination. [His head is a different color from his body because I'm only working on the head now.]
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With wider cheekbones than take 3.
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I tried to recreate Little Will's features using only the Preteen Vickie built-in morphs. Good Lord, he looks like his parents are about to be murdered before his eyes. Don't worry, sweetheart. That won't happen till you're 30.

Maid

Nov. 24th, 2007 08:32 pm
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Finally, finally, finally, I got a decent French maid set from a temperamental Japanese Web site. Result below with strategic posture to conceal crotchlessness of underwear. Sometimes I spend so much time on details that never appear in the final version...

Maid

Nov. 24th, 2007 08:32 pm
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Finally, finally, finally, I got a decent French maid set from a temperamental Japanese Web site. Result below with strategic posture to conceal crotchlessness of underwear. Sometimes I spend so much time on details that never appear in the final version...
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Photos or drawings converted into vector graphics look really cool. However, manually converting a rasterized file to a vectorized file takes a really long time. If you'd like to automate the vectorizing process, however, visit VectorMagic, a Web site hosted by Stanford where you can vectorize anything. No guarantee on how awesome the results will be, but, if you choose a rasterized image with a low number of artifacts and a relatively narrow palette, you should get stupendous and scalable results.

Below is an example. It is a picture of Will, made on "logo without artifacts," "medium palette," "medium quality" settings. I like the harsher, more chiseled look that vectorization supplies. The original picture is right here.
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Will is one of them. He also looks good in second-skin fishnet. Also, as you can see, he has a new, much paler complexion, more character-appropriate makeup and reflections in his eyes. The reflections make him look more alive, which is ironic because he's dead. :p
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As much as I like messing around with cross-dressing and humorous sexual situations, that's not my main reason for getting Daz. With tight angles and minute adjustments in posing, this Daz test represents the sort of things I always wanted to do with my dolls and my camera, but could never accomplish.
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Viktor's back!! This scene, which has two characters, a Cyclorama background, two props and an unknown number of clothing items, took about 60 seconds to render.
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Viktor's back!! This scene, which has two characters, a Cyclorama background, two props and an unknown number of clothing items, took about 60 seconds to render.
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Now working with the Daz Cyclorama... Scrawny Will definitely looks better with his arms covered up.

This sucks.

Nov. 3rd, 2007 06:24 pm
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I started on Viktor and did Rori earlier today, but then went back to Will. I used another of those dark, shadowy and atmospheric backgrounds by Tony Hayes, whose work is deliciously melancholy and creepy. [He did the abandoned asylum too.] Anyway, I learned about lights for this picture, adding two spotlights, one over Will and one pointing toward his face, all with the hope that the lighting on him would be equivalent to the light in the background. I made this one extra big so you could admire the background!

This sucks.

Nov. 3rd, 2007 06:24 pm
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I started on Viktor and did Rori earlier today, but then went back to Will. I used another of those dark, shadowy and atmospheric backgrounds by Tony Hayes, whose work is deliciously melancholy and creepy. [He did the abandoned asylum too.] Anyway, I learned about lights for this picture, adding two spotlights, one over Will and one pointing toward his face, all with the hope that the lighting on him would be equivalent to the light in the background. I made this one extra big so you could admire the background!
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Removed obvious seams from skin mat, added fishnets, reposed hyperextended right hand.
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...as I gore your arm with this harpoon in order to surgically drain you for my next meal.

Yeah, I know he's really pale, and you can see the places where his skin textures are a wee bit too small, and he looks severely malnourished with a disturbing resemblance to Richard O'Brien, and he's even faggier than before, with even more of a predilection for violent pink, and the lighting is probably off for this scene, and he's not really holding the syringe, and his hands look like they are flexed unnaturally, but I don't want to hear about it. I am proud of myself beyond measure because I finally figured out how to make someone use a prop that wasn't hair-related and easy to stick on someone's head. Now if I could just figure out a way to move props easily into position, I'd be all set.

I'd probably develop a hankerin' for violently pink makeup too if I'd been dead and out of the sun for 130+ years. I'm not sure about the alarming fingernails, though. I didn't know he had those until...well, they happened. I think nail polish is one of the world's stupidest inventions, but apparently my characters disagree. At least it matches his outfit.

I need to fix the size of the body textures. Dolls don't have seam lines like that....
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...as I gore your arm with this harpoon in order to surgically drain you for my next meal.

Yeah, I know he's really pale, and you can see the places where his skin textures are a wee bit too small, and he looks severely malnourished with a disturbing resemblance to Richard O'Brien, and he's even faggier than before, with even more of a predilection for violent pink, and the lighting is probably off for this scene, and he's not really holding the syringe, and his hands look like they are flexed unnaturally, but I don't want to hear about it. I am proud of myself beyond measure because I finally figured out how to make someone use a prop that wasn't hair-related and easy to stick on someone's head. Now if I could just figure out a way to move props easily into position, I'd be all set.

I'd probably develop a hankerin' for violently pink makeup too if I'd been dead and out of the sun for 130+ years. I'm not sure about the alarming fingernails, though. I didn't know he had those until...well, they happened. I think nail polish is one of the world's stupidest inventions, but apparently my characters disagree. At least it matches his outfit.

I need to fix the size of the body textures. Dolls don't have seam lines like that....
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Here's Will again as he dresses for the Harvard Square midnight showings of Rocky Horror, which, he would like you to know, he attends very rarely, and he only played Riff that one time because he had promised the girl who usually played him that he would do it, and besides, he never would have done it if he wasn't drunk, and the only thing he is going to say about the Short Skirts showing is that "madness takes its toll [50 cents please!]."
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Here's Will again as he dresses for the Harvard Square midnight showings of Rocky Horror, which, he would like you to know, he attends very rarely, and he only played Riff that one time because he had promised the girl who usually played him that he would do it, and besides, he never would have done it if he wasn't drunk, and the only thing he is going to say about the Short Skirts showing is that "madness takes its toll [50 cents please!]."
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Tonight I learned that you can put makeup maps developed for Victoria onto Michael's face. However, when the designers made makeup maps for Victoria, they apparently erased her eyebrows and replaced them with thin, high lines that make her look revoltingly surprised. I ended up approximating Will's makeup by pasting the eyes from Victoria's map onto a map for Will. Then I just changed his lip color in the Surfaces menu, with some gloss from the Victoria maps. Besides all this, I also closed his eyes slightly so that he doesn't look so much like a bug, then puckered his lips slightly, since his mouth is supposed to be short.  If anyone says he looks like an aging queen, why, you're right. He looks a little softer with makeup on. It's definitely an improvement from his stark look with invisible eyelashes....
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Tonight I learned that you can put makeup maps developed for Victoria onto Michael's face. However, when the designers made makeup maps for Victoria, they apparently erased her eyebrows and replaced them with thin, high lines that make her look revoltingly surprised. I ended up approximating Will's makeup by pasting the eyes from Victoria's map onto a map for Will. Then I just changed his lip color in the Surfaces menu, with some gloss from the Victoria maps. Besides all this, I also closed his eyes slightly so that he doesn't look so much like a bug, then puckered his lips slightly, since his mouth is supposed to be short.  If anyone says he looks like an aging queen, why, you're right. He looks a little softer with makeup on. It's definitely an improvement from his stark look with invisible eyelashes....
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Here's the second installment of the Daz test comic. Will is distracted from his gender-related bitching by a mysterious noise. Strangeness ensues.
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I don't know what he's doing. It's just that this pose amuses me. I finally found him some underwear too, thank God, so he's not flashing me any more. This is actually a more accurate rendition of the clothing that I imagine him wearing: short, bright and tight.

You do know that no one can take you seriously in these clothes, right, Will? It's not the boots so much, and the underwear isn't a problem because usually no one sees it, and even the shirt is kind of acceptable...but what's with the dress?
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I don't know what he's doing. It's just that this pose amuses me. I finally found him some underwear too, thank God, so he's not flashing me any more. This is actually a more accurate rendition of the clothing that I imagine him wearing: short, bright and tight.

You do know that no one can take you seriously in these clothes, right, Will? It's not the boots so much, and the underwear isn't a problem because usually no one sees it, and even the shirt is kind of acceptable...but what's with the dress?
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I finally got my CrossDresser program to work, converting clothes for female figs into clothes for male figs. I'm still running into problems with skirts for anyone, male or female, but I'm happy to report that XD successfully converted a ridiculously short, long-sleeved crop top [not shown] and some black pleather platform heels! Well, at least Will's footwear [and certain shirts -- he always did have a thing for crop tops] is accurate now. I'm going to go to bed and work on the skirts later... Heels below.
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I finally got my CrossDresser program to work, converting clothes for female figs into clothes for male figs. I'm still running into problems with skirts for anyone, male or female, but I'm happy to report that XD successfully converted a ridiculously short, long-sleeved crop top [not shown] and some black pleather platform heels! Well, at least Will's footwear [and certain shirts -- he always did have a thing for crop tops] is accurate now. I'm going to go to bed and work on the skirts later... Heels below.
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Me trying to make Will wear something more in his style. Every time he moves his legs, though, they poke through the skirt, so I have to fix that. Remarks were made that his is not a very sophisticated outfit. This is true. He can dress very much the macho part [with relative success], but, when it comes to his true tastes, they are either flamboyant or clueless or both... The best part of this outfit are the boots, which are textured with a picture of a swirling pink fantasy planet!! Please also note that he is flaming, as per the flames on his shirt. Nyar har har.
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Me trying to make Will wear something more in his style. Every time he moves his legs, though, they poke through the skirt, so I have to fix that. Remarks were made that his is not a very sophisticated outfit. This is true. He can dress very much the macho part [with relative success], but, when it comes to his true tastes, they are either flamboyant or clueless or both... The best part of this outfit are the boots, which are textured with a picture of a swirling pink fantasy planet!! Please also note that he is flaming, as per the flames on his shirt. Nyar har har.
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Today I learned some important things. 1) I can now keep characters' pants or skirts on so they don't leap out of them when being posed. 2) Clothes made for Victoria do not behave when fitted to Michael. That goes for shoes too.... 3) However, poses developed for Victoria 3 translate nicely to Michael 3, thereby expanding my library of poses easily! 4) Whenever Will comes out of his closet, his [lack of] fashion sense always startles me.

Anyway, here he is in another sartorial folly as only he can accomplish. [Pinstripe pants and red pleather... I weep.] He is in a Victoria model pose, which explains why he appears to be on the verge of spinal whiplash. [Modeling poses are pretty dumb, but he does look pretty anxious and intent.] I do like the lines in the pose, though. They really convey a sense of quick, focused motion.
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Today I learned some important things. 1) I can now keep characters' pants or skirts on so they don't leap out of them when being posed. 2) Clothes made for Victoria do not behave when fitted to Michael. That goes for shoes too.... 3) However, poses developed for Victoria 3 translate nicely to Michael 3, thereby expanding my library of poses easily! 4) Whenever Will comes out of his closet, his [lack of] fashion sense always startles me.

Anyway, here he is in another sartorial folly as only he can accomplish. [Pinstripe pants and red pleather... I weep.] He is in a Victoria model pose, which explains why he appears to be on the verge of spinal whiplash. [Modeling poses are pretty dumb, but he does look pretty anxious and intent.] I do like the lines in the pose, though. They really convey a sense of quick, focused motion.
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All right, here's my second try on Will's Pussy Part I. He's now against a real live photo backdrop of the Charles River, along Memorial Drive between Western Ave and JFK Street, looking toward Western Ave. Now you can see the details of my photograph and of his bulge. I assume this is an improvement. No comments about the size of the bulge, please. It's a function of the outfit, which apparently maps its textures directly onto his skin.

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All right, here's my second try on Will's Pussy Part I. He's now against a real live photo backdrop of the Charles River, along Memorial Drive between Western Ave and JFK Street, looking toward Western Ave. Now you can see the details of my photograph and of his bulge. I assume this is an improvement. No comments about the size of the bulge, please. It's a function of the outfit, which apparently maps its textures directly onto his skin.

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Here's the first panel of a test comic that I rendered in Daz tonight. Will is standing in the pre-loaded Faerie [HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH] Forest scene that came with the program. The lights are on "night." Auspiciously enough, my computer did NOT have a hernia while rendering a high-res character with a bunch of high-res props and a background. Let's see what happens when the second character enters the scene....
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After downloading the necessary stuff for actually getting shit done in Daz [base figures, face/body morphs, standard textures, some clothes, some poses, Will's teddy bear, etc.], I spent several hours tonight tweaking Michael 3.0 in order to get Will out of it. He has the skinny body morph with a lot of tweaks to his face that make him look rather old. These are about the only clothes that I knew how to put on him without parenting something to body parts. A full report on the program and its usability ensues later, but so far it's exceeding my expectations. Look at how close up I can get in the photos below. [Any resemblances to James Marsters and the character of Spike are completely intentional and probably accentuated by the outfit. I should have made the coat leopard print, but I was getting lazy.]

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