This is How I Do It

People frequently ask me how I make my artwork. It’s mostly 3D based, using a process I call Virtual Photography, 3D objects are arranged in space (vertical, horizontal and distance), colored, lit with virtual lighting and photographed with virtual cameras (what’s known as a render). Once the scene or object is rendered it’s cleaned up, filtered, or further arranged in a 2D software application. The approach is very much like how a studio photographer would work. I use a number of graphics applications to get the job done:

1) Blender is a full featured 3D modeling and animation program. I use it for modeling, adding textures (color) and modifying clothing and props. It does a lot so I still have much to learn, but it’s Open Source software and can be downloaded for free.

Here are a couple of models I created in Blender.

3d model of african masks image

2) Store bought or hand made models are imported into another software app called Poser. This is where the majority of my work takes place. I arrange the objects, adjust the camera angles and set the lighting here. Then I take a photo (render) and export it out for the final stage.

Here is a short video about Poser from the developer.

3) Finally the image is brought into a paint application for what’s known as Post work. I use Photoshop to adjust contrast, add text or any other image based tasks. In the image below you’ll see an early render from Poser next to the final image with text, background imagery, and line work added in Photoshop.

Kuji Before and After image

This is the basic overview. There are a number of other utilities, plug ins, and applications, along with my trusty MonoPrice tablet, that I use to get the job done.  I’ll go into more detail of the various software and hardware at some point in the future so stay tuned.

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