As most of you Deviant muffins know, I started out modeling for my husband's art (he's been kind of stalled lately and I don't think he's posting anything in a year or two). I used to call myself "Mrs. Mike" but began to feel like I wanted my identity as a model and artist to separate a bit from him and began calling myself Molly Footman. The Footman came from Second Life. You see, in the days of old, you chose from a list of "family names" and I chose Footman for a lot of reasons I won't go into here. Since I was in transition for naming and sense of identity I used a really silly mash up of "Mrs. Mike" and "Molly" for my first name in Second Life: "MissuzMollyMike". It was foolish as I am stuck with it now, but I have changed my display name there to my preferred digital identity as "Molly Footman".
I started messing with Poser about 4 years ago. Here's my first effort good enough to share:
I like to think I've come a long way and am getting pretty good. I have developed a work flow and I think I'm ringing a lot out of the Firefly rendering engine that comes with Poser and have been learning a bit about alternate rendering engines like Luxrender and Octane.
I started trying to improve my ability to draw free hand about the same time I began messing with 3D rendering. You see, I was laying out my pictures by hand to help me figure out how to set them up in Poser. For a time I even did a hand drawn comic strip "Molly Matters" which I may return to someday:
I recently got some very nice feedback from an artist I respect and I have picked up my pencil and paper again. I usually do my rough sketches on paper and then scan them into Sketchbook Pro where I refine them and finally into Photoshop for finishing, background and such.
I have been doing comic book stories and my tool for laying out comic book pages is Comic Life.
I have been dabbling in content creation and modification for Poser and my tools are Silo, Hexagon, Sculptris, Curvy and Misfit3D. I would like to get one of the big commercial programs but am hesitant to spend (literally) thousands of dollars unless I get to the point where I can use one of these cheaper 3D mesh editing programs pretty comfortably. I am thinking along the lines of Maya, Modo, Z-Brush, 3D Max... hard to say as there are things I like about each of them but am so unsophisticated that I'm not really sure which would be best for me.
My chief sadness about tools and techniques is the widening chasm between DAZ 3D and Smith Micro. DAZ (an acronym for Digital Art Zone, Mike tells me) started as a provider of content for Poser. As they have developed their own 3D rendering program they have moved away from supporting the Poser format (which is incredible at maintaining support for legacy files) toward their own refinements. Their business model is interesting. They give away the rendering program (in a basic form) for free with the hope of selling an enormous amount of content for people to play with in it. It appears to work as they seem to be doing just fine. Smith Micro has taken a Swiss Army knife approach to Poser trying to make it a program that does more than just set up and render... the latest "Game Dev" version has some very interesting features but one thing it does not do is make it easy to import the newest DAZ formats, especially the Genesis 3 characters that have just been released.
Although I'd love to be able to fool around with the Genesis 3 characters I'm not ready to let go of Poser which is the one program I have a really good work flow for.
Interestingly, the next version of Poser promises to add an alternate rendering engine comparable to Octane and Lux but there is not mention of supporting the DAZ Gen 3 characters... I smell competition between these two products which make teh Mollz sad.
I guess that is the way of innovation, though, and I hope Smith Micro can keep up.
A last note for those interested in my tools. I have and use the latest versions of Poser, Sketchbook Pro, Photoshop and Comic Life. I can help you with those programs if you ask as I am very familiar with them and can at least tell you how I am doing what I am doing (Caveat: I am a Windoze user and my experience with the aforementioned programs is within that OS).
I am dabbling with DAZ Studio (mostly to convert content for use in Poser
), Hexagon, Carrara, Silo, Curvy, Misfit3D, Bryce, Octane, Luxrender and most recently BlackSmith 3D. I just got Manga Studio and it may replace Comic Life
. I also use Second Life as a storytelling medium and as an art tool (although not so much of late).
Perhaps I should do a survey on this last thought: is there any interest in my doing commissions? What sort of media and such? What should I consider charging?