Hi ho art friends.
As mentioned in the last post, I’m going to fully visualize The Monday Report. There are 2 characters to develop next: Miss Camille Starfall and the Corp Sec fella who ends Mr. Al Keaton.
Since the last post, I’ve delved into the Den of Angels (bjd forum), various bjd doll sites, and Etsy looking for wigs, shoes, costumes and props. Specifically for my Soom Mecha Angel Sabik. Clothing is next to impossible to find because he stands at 80 cm.
Purchased as a Christmas kit in 2013, he’s been the most difficult doll to build into a character of any kind. He looms over all my other dolls. A full head taller than my Dollshe lads (70cm) and nearly twice the height of my Narae (42 cm).
This doll has the oddest proportions – ridiculously long, skinny legs and very broad shoulders. Tiny hands and feet, given the size of his head. Perhaps someday, I’ll see about getting a shorter, double-jointed body for him. I got him for his gorgeous face. He looks like Bowie.
I’ll likely have to shoot the characters individually, extract and layer them in Photoshop or get the shots using forced perspective.
But I digress.
Etsy shop BJDivas had a black wig, suitable for a male, with short hair. The wig arrived yesterday, to today I set up my shooting curtain, put the only clothes I have for Mr. Sabik, including a pair of chucks that are much too big for his tiny feet.
I found a Shadowrun non player character name generator, where you roll a pair of 6 sided dice put your numbers together (I rolled a 6 and 2 for 62) then check their table for a name. I got Steve Smith. Perfect name for a Corp Sec goon.
As usual, I took a lot of shots. I delete bad photos as I shoot and ended up with 26 useable shots. The main purpose of the shoot was to see if the wig is going to work for Steve. The trickiest part, I find, of shooting my bjds, is getting an interesting angle that masks the joints, in this case, his neck joint.
All the shots are in color. When I pulled this photo into Photoshop, I thought I’d check the filters in Camera Raw. I tried all of them, thinking I would use one of the modern filters, but the black and white filters looked better. This one was the blue filter, which increased the contrast of the original shot without turning his hair into one big black blob.
Steve will need a different outfit, so for today’s portrait, I’m going to say that Steve is wearing his Club Z outfit to dance his scrawny ass off to Neo-electronica house music.
I used a Carolyn Julia Moore grungy background, my own images (Sabik and the alley behind the Cinema), Amanda Rockwell grungy brushes and Maya grungy overlay 2-2; plus my own image of Steve and 2 50% grey layers. One for dodging and burning and the other to create the light source at the upper right corner of the image.
I duplicated his image several times: one version was blurred about 13%, placed at the top of the stack with a black mask then using white, revealed another layer of light and softening to his face. I ran a high pass on the other copy, added a curves layer to increase the contrast between the blacks and whites in order to generate a kind of sketch around his face.
Once I got all the layers in place, I executed The Move (new layer of all visible layers), put it at the top of the stack, ran it through the Filter Gallery, Dark Strokes, added another black mask and revealed sections of that layer.
Overall, I’m very happy with the first portrait of Steve Smith, Takashima’s Corporate Security goon.
As for the character of Steve, I think I need to get smaller eyes and a different color. I’m thinking a very light iris color. I worked with a woman who had distinctive blue eyes. Very light blue with a touch of green.
He needs his Corp Sec costume, black cargo pants, tight black long sleeve shirt and a black vest – all to accentuate his broad shoulders. Even non player characters need motivation and a touch of backstory, so he dresses to accentuate his broad shoulders. Not sure how I’ll work this in, but he uses his good looks to catch people off guard. That’s where the arresting eyes will help. People will be captivated by his eyes.
He’ll also need a gun and holster. I think Dollmore makes a SD-sized gun, which would probably work with his tiny hands.
I’ll try not to get sidetrack looking for a different body for him. I’ll also try not to become obsessed with finding that cyber arm that some of the Sabiks had in the early 2000s.
But I’m not promising.