Cover Element

SphinxCameronSphinxCameron Southern Escarpment Hill Country ✭✭

Well, as it turns out I was able to get my old backup box upgraded to Ubuntu 16.04.2, and the Blender software finally works albeit excruciatingly slowly (9 hours for a render as opposed to half an hour).

 

At any rate, this cover element is for a very different book series. A Sublabe (Subhuman Laborer) female genetically engineered to stick out in a crowd of normal humans. I'll upload another element (Subani female) in the morning after my decrepit desktop has a chance to render the image.

 

I realize I'll have a lot of work to do once my 64-bit box returns in four to six weeks. Qualifiers aside, does the element concept appear halfway believable as a genetically engineered or re-engineered human (apart from Lousy Book Cover standards)?

SubLabeFemiTest1a.png

I know it isn't great, just a concept to copy over to my better computer once I get it back.

Comments

  • First much better than I can do. Nice work. Second I think that it looks very nice. Apart from the hair maybe I think the rest looks believable in my opinion. It's supposed to be a humanoid/robotic creature right? I that it fits the bill. How it fits into the rest of the cover I'm curious.

  • SphinxCameronSphinxCameron Southern Escarpment Hill Country ✭✭

    The software to make them is MakeHuman while the rendering is with Blender, neither of which I am proficient with at present. I'm doing well to coax something halfway realistic into existence.

     

    At any rate, the individual is actually organic unless re-engineered due to non-conformance with corporate needs. For those who run afoul of authority and get remade, a few nanobots might be left over after the retroviruses have done their work. In the universe of the storyline, the world is run by a few mega-corporations that operate for the benefit of the original investors' descendants.

     

    The pleasure / domestic models are a bit different but distinctive as well.

    SubaniFemTest1a.png

    As for the eventual cover, likely an auction block with a mix of both types. After all, out in the interstellar boonies, it's cheaper to ship what reproduces itself rather than what requires a high level of technology simply to maintain.


    TheJesusNinja wrote:

    First much better than I can do. Nice work. Second I think that it looks very nice. Apart from the hair maybe I think the rest looks believable in my opinion. It's supposed to be a humanoid/robotic creature right? I that it fits the bill. How it fits into the rest of the cover I'm curious.


     

  • I myself am still trying to force myself to learn Photoshop. I have books and everthing, just being lazy Smiley Happy

  • SphinxCameronSphinxCameron Southern Escarpment Hill Country ✭✭

    Books on the software I'm working to learn would be nice.

     

    Good news of sorts is I came up with a fictional auction advert that should make readers either cringe or howl when they read it. Then again the corporate free-market ideal carried to extreme where there is no authority to restrain it is not a pretty picture.


    TheJesusNinja wrote:

    I myself am still trying to force myself to learn Photoshop. I have books and everthing, just being lazy Smiley Happy


     

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    TheJesusNinja wrote:

    I myself am still trying to force myself to learn Photoshop. I have books and everthing, just being lazy Smiley Happy


    I feel your pain (me too).

     

    Sphinx: Both look engineered, either genetically or surgically. The bottom one strikes me as more realistic based on the face -- something in the top model's face seems off. Mouth too small, maybe, but it seems the same as the other. Or the cheekbones, maybe. Can't put a finger on it.

     

    The bottom one looks more authentically humanoid to me.

     

    To emphasize the engineering, you might want to have a natural human in the picture for contrast, or the classic "guy in a lab coat with a clipboard" element. Just thoughts.

  • SphinxCameronSphinxCameron Southern Escarpment Hill Country ✭✭

    Aye, the first one has a bit of snout.

     

    The good news is, because the Verstimmt* aren‘t actually people you don‘t have to pay them, you won‘t have to listen to them complain, and you can always resell them.

    *Corporate policies towards mistreatment of animals apply – you have to provide sufficient fodder and a habitable space for your Verstimmt.

     


    Skoob_Ym wrote:

    TheJesusNinja wrote:

    I myself am still trying to force myself to learn Photoshop. I have books and everthing, just being lazy Smiley Happy


    I feel your pain (me too).

     

    Sphinx: Both look engineered, either genetically or surgically. The bottom one strikes me as more realistic based on the face -- something in the top model's face seems off. Mouth too small, maybe, but it seems the same as the other. Or the cheekbones, maybe. Can't put a finger on it.

     

    The bottom one looks more authentically humanoid to me.

     

    To emphasize the engineering, you might want to have a natural human in the picture for contrast, or the classic "guy in a lab coat with a clipboard" element. Just thoughts.


     

  • SphinxCameronSphinxCameron Southern Escarpment Hill Country ✭✭

    SubaniFemTestX1a.png

    I'm working on a few other elements, and since it takes many hours to render an image on my antiquated pizza box I thought I would share some of the psychology that went into the Subani image.

     

    I realize I'll never be an artist the way others are. I also realize it's easier if I utilize skills I have more competency in.

     

    The model is aged 18 years and is slightly over 5'1" tall. This image could have been tweaked very slightly and elicited different reactions from observers. Had all factors remained the same but the image appeared more juvenile it would suggest a very different theme for the book, hence the full bloom aspect.

     

    The psychology behind the image is fairly easy to understand. An Austrian biologist named Konrad Lorenz developed his theory of kinderschema long ago, though the term used today for nurturing and / or protective instincts is Neotony. Other psychological studies (i.e.: regarding aggression responses and /  sexual attraction) also apply.

     

    The female in the image would not be considered a threat due to her short stature. The slightly over-sized eyes and other semi-juvenile facial features would inspire a feeling of protectiveness. The obvious physical maturity of the female's body indicates both health as well as the ability to mate.

     

    In short, the psychology behind the imagery is as important as the images themselves. In this case subtlety helps convey the sense of not-quite human but worth taking care of while also helping avoid aberrant reactions.

     

    Then again to paraphrase Mongo: "Sphinx only pawn in game of life."

     

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKRma7PDW10

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    I did make the assumption of maturity, not the least because of the secondary female characteristics. If you explain the psychology in the story, I'd put it into a dialog, as one character explains the wisdom of the design to another.

     

    As far as conveying the age of a character, I have been told that there is a certain proportion of head size to height that is a good visual cue. Not sure if that would be helpful in establishing the age of your pseudo-human.

     

    Is the navel an actual artifact, or an element included because it is expected?

  • SphinxCameronSphinxCameron Southern Escarpment Hill Country ✭✭

    The default navel almost isn't, meaning it was adjusted.

     

    Bits and pieces about who the creatures were do crop up in the different stories.

     

    As for the psychology behind the appearance, it might get included.


    Skoob_Ym wrote:

    I did make the assumption of maturity, not the least because of the secondary female characteristics. If you explain the psychology in the story, I'd put it into a dialog, as one character explains the wisdom of the design to another.

     

    As far as conveying the age of a character, I have been told that there is a certain proportion of head size to height that is a good visual cue. Not sure if that would be helpful in establishing the age of your pseudo-human.

     

    Is the navel an actual artifact, or an element included because it is expected?


     

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    As I recall, Heinlein's Friday only used her navel to store small objects, so even if it isn't part of how the creatures are developed, it can be a useful construct.

  • SphinxCameronSphinxCameron Southern Escarpment Hill Country ✭✭

    With the androids the navel hides access to a data port.


    Skoob_Ym wrote:

    As I recall, Heinlein's Friday only used her navel to store small objects, so even if it isn't part of how the creatures are developed, it can be a useful construct.


     

  • SphinxCameronSphinxCameron Southern Escarpment Hill Country ✭✭

    SubLabeFemTestX1a.png

    The psychology behind the Sublabe's image is slightly different.

     

    The eyes are slightly smaller and more inset than normal, while the face has more projection as in a snout. Slightly more pronounced on the snout-like quality would lend a grotesque feel.

     

    Other bodily proportions have also been tweaked to give a less than Anatomically Modern Human feel.

     

    The arms, legs, and overall musculature are more reminiscent of a Neanderthal or earlier hominid while other details lend themselves to a certain visual aesthetic that avoids provoking feelings of disgust.

     

    Even though the female stands just under 5' tall, she could probably tear a normal human male a new one if attacked. The good news is the Sublabes have been pre-conditioned not to attack or fight a normal human.

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    I'd say then that you've hit the mark. It is a slightly disquieting look.

  • SphinxCameronSphinxCameron Southern Escarpment Hill Country ✭✭

    SubLabeFemTestZa.png

    The snout on this one is more pronounced without affecting the level of unease.


    Skoob_Ym wrote:

    I'd say then that you've hit the mark. It is a slightly disquieting look.


     

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    I would definitely not ask her to dance.

  • SphinxCameronSphinxCameron Southern Escarpment Hill Country ✭✭

    Kind of the reason behind the more subtle approach. I guess I'm doing okay for someone lacking an advanced degree, though graphics is not something I'll ever be likely to master.

     

    Since I've mastered wiping poopy butts, I guess I've found a niche where I'm useful.


    Skoob_Ym wrote:

    I would definitely not ask her to dance.


     

  • SphinxCameronSphinxCameron Southern Escarpment Hill Country ✭✭

    For whatever it's worth, the general concept I had of what the auction block would carry in the way of genetically modified chattel.

    AuctionX.png

    Then again as hard as it is for me to get two minutes silence, much less time to write, this can wait.

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    That's very assembly-line. I definitely get the feel of clones. 

     

    I might mix the pairings slightly, so that each is not matched with the same skin tone of the other model. Also, either the taller ones are floating slightly or the shorter ones are very dense (looking at the feet). But that's very minor.

     

    In general, very nice.

     

     

  • SphinxCameronSphinxCameron Southern Escarpment Hill Country ✭✭

    The problem I've been having with the program to render, the feet are either not on the floor or in it. What tutorials there are on the software are geared towards people with prior CG experience, meaning enough small steps are left out to make it almost impossible for someone like me to do much.

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    I understand. I think most programs are written by programmers who never use the program, and most tutorials are written by people who assume that you don't need a tutorial.

  • SphinxCameronSphinxCameron Southern Escarpment Hill Country ✭✭

    I used to have to make and at times revise system operation guidelines geared toward the user who just walked in off the street.

     

    If someone with no experience couldn't take the guideline and successfully complete the process in question it had to be redone. I rarely had to redo one of those.

     

    Sometimes I get the feeling that some of the people doing tutorials actually get a bit of a kick when novice users get frustrated and give up.


    Skoob_Ym wrote:

    I understand. I think most programs are written by programmers who never use the program, and most tutorials are written by people who assume that you don't need a tutorial.


     

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    I think it's more that they cannot understand someone not understanding.

     

    I've seen it many times. People simply do not know how to explain things. They either tell you irrelevant details, like what they were wearing when they first saw the program, or they gloss over major steps.

     

    I fell into the latter trap a couple weeks ago, when I left instructions for a colleague that said, "Take ownership of the folder." I assumed that he would know how.

  • SphinxCameronSphinxCameron Southern Escarpment Hill Country ✭✭

    Makes sense, and I've been in a similar situation regarding explaining something more than once.

     

    I remember having to explain my major skill-set to a PhD holder who took about twenty minutes to finally get the point I was trying to explain as simply as possible. A few years later he instituted a course of study for a B.S. degree (at that college) based on what I had told him, though it's heavier reliance on math means it's not something I could finish. The man was far from either unintelligent or under-educated, his mind simply didn't work the way mine does and we had to find common ground.

     

    And then there are days like today when a 3.5-year-old who is an order of intelligence above me takes the time to break something down for me like I'm a mentally deficient child. Kind of funny in a karmic sort of way now that I think about it.

     


    Skoob_Ym wrote:

    I think it's more that they cannot understand someone not understanding.

     

    I've seen it many times. People simply do not know how to explain things. They either tell you irrelevant details, like what they were wearing when they first saw the program, or they gloss over major steps.

     

    I fell into the latter trap a couple weeks ago, when I left instructions for a colleague that said, "Take ownership of the folder." I assumed that he would know how.


     

  • SphinxCameronSphinxCameron Southern Escarpment Hill Country ✭✭

    I have made a little progress since I got the good 64-bit box back.

     

    Desiree Swan, of the last book in the Regenration series. Now if I could just figure out making her hair red...

    DesireeSwanT2bc.png

    Oh well, work in progress.

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