Creating a Digital Painting from a 3D Art Render: Part 1

A postworked likness in 3D of an actorLately I’ve been playing with ways to achieve a hand-painted look with 3D renders. This includes actual digital painting but also quicker fixes with filters. I thought I’d share that process.

First, of course, you need a suitable render… and that step is entirely up to you. It doesn’t matter what render engine or software you use. Some people create all their content themselves, others use ready-made figures, clothing and props. Do what works for you.

I chose to do a male portrait. Female portraits are overwhelmingly popular in the 3D world, as you won’t have failed to notice. I found it interesting to work with a male character instead and my approach to post-processing and even lighting choices was influenced by that.

Creating the Character

For those interested, I rendered my … Continue reading

Creating 2D Games using Your 3D Model Library

Maybe you’re an aspiring game-maker who needs low-cost or free game assets? On the other hand, like many of us, you might already be a digital art enthusiast who has collected more 3D content that you want to admit to, done a lot of renders, and is now wondering what next?

Either way, you should take a serious look at creating fun games using your DAZ Studio assets in combination with a free game creator like Construct2.

To be clear on that word ‘free’, Construct2 can be downloaded free-of-charge for personal use via Steam or direct from This no-cost version has everything you need to get started, with very few limitations compared to the fully-featured edition. If you want to start using it commercially, you’ll need to get the licence, which for individuals making less than $5000/year on their games is a very reasonable £79 (visit Steam for the current price in your country’s currency).

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Using Ron’s (Deviney) Photoshop Brushes in GIMP

If you are a Daz 3D customer, and haven’t yet taken advantage of the Fast Grab 70% discount on Ron’s brushes, these are a fantastic deal. The bundles especially are amazing value. They have been there a couple of days now but look set to stay for the weekend.

I know the first time I treated myself to some Deviney Photoshop brush sets I was worried that they wouldn’t work in GIMP. However, GIMP can read the Photoshop .abr format just fine. Here’s a quick post on how to get them from your product library into GIMP. There are a few forum posts with similar information but the forum can be hard to search once things vanish from page 1, so I thought it worth sharing what I do myself, step by step. This process works for any other brushes you have downloaded from free brush sites too.

Loading an .ABR File in GIMP

  • Forget about DIM or … Continue reading
  • You Too Can Use G2F, G2M and Genesis Morphs on G3F!

    A couple of weeks back I shared some of the most useful current (Summer 2015) tools and methods for transferring your Genesis 2 and earlier generation characters, clothing, etc. to the new Genesis 3 female base (and characters built on it: Victoria 7, Eva 7, Bethany 7, Karen 7…).

    The store-bought utilities seem to be getting lots of positive feedback in the forum, so those are definitely worth a look. As for the free step-by-step procedures that have been shared for converting your own morphs and textures, I promised to let you know how I got on with these. The verdict? I’ve had success with both. The original posters deserve all the credit so I won’t duplicate their work here, but you can leap on over to their posts with the links below.

    Converting Textures: My Experience

    The texture conversion process is time-consuming, but the results more than meet my own needs.

    While the … Continue reading

    Using Older 3D Content on New Genesis 3 (V7 and Friends)

    So you have your gorgeous new Genesis 3 Female characters Vicky 7, Bethany 7, Eva 7, and their sisters. Now you’d like to use some of that vast library of clothing, characters and other stuff you love on them, right?

    While there’s some great new outfits coming out for them (and expect some new treats in the upcoming PA Sale… starting soon), there’s no need to let the old and not-so-old content for Genesis 2 Female characters, Genesis, and Victoria 4 gather dust. Here’s a quick look at some of the recently-released utilities that can breathe new life into things you bought for generation 6 (Genesis 2) and earlier.

    Auto-Fit Genesis 2 Female — Free and Included in DAZ Studio

    Now, what you need to know here is that your free Genesis 3 Female base and the characters built on her (e.g. Victoria 7) can wear Genesis 2 Female clothing right out the box. DAZ Studio includes an … Continue reading

    Fun with Filters: G’MIC for GIMP (Part 4)

    GMIC Filters Part 4And so to Part 4, where we’ll take a look at the remaining filters in the Artistic category of the G’MIC menu. To learn what G’MIC is and how you can use it for free (entirely above-board and for any purpose) see part 1 of Fun with Filters: G’MIC. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, you don’t actually need to use GIMP to be able to access all the wonderful tools of G’MIC. However, GIMP is also freely available and I find the GIMP plug-in a convenient way to access G’MIC since I generally have GIMP open regardless.

    A quick recap: we’ve been looking at some of the most colourful and creative effects in the G’MIC filter arsenal. In Part 1 we previewed … Continue reading

    Fun with Filters: G’MIC for GIMP (Part 3)

    20b_graphicboostContinuing from part 2 and our look at fun postwork effects you can add to your 3D artwork using the G’MIC plug-in. Right now we are still looking at the Artistic category of filters, which have some of the most interesting results from the point of view of a digital artist. In Part 1 we looked at Anguish through to Cartoon, and in Part 2 we have examples of Chalk It Up through the rest of the C and D filters to Ellipsionism.

    Here we’ll start again at F and look at Felt Pen through to Morphology Painting.

    Felt Pen
    You can get some nice, clean results with this filter. Because … Continue reading

    Fun with Filters: G’MIC for GIMP (Part 2)

    GMIC Filter Postwork in GIMPIn Part 1 of Fun with Filters, I started showing you the arty effects you can get when you apply G’MIC’s Artistic category filters to your renders. (Learn what G’MIC is and how you can get it for free in my previous post.) I use G’MIC in GIMP but it can also be used via a web interface or with digital painting software Krita.

    This plug-in surprised me with how good it is, and I now spend many happy hours trying out different effects. In a bid to show you how they work with digital art, I’m continuing my journey through the Artistic subset in the G’MIC menu to produce some demo images using a 3D render. These example images are rather small … Continue reading

    Fun with Filters: G’MIC for GIMP

    03b_blackcrayonPostworking can be a great opportunity to make a render or even a photo come to life. All you need is some image processing software and you can fix flaws and make a dull image shine. Add some filters and effects and you have even more ways to work on your digital art to get the look you want.

    I love filters, and as a GIMP user I was thrilled to discover G’MIC. This amazing package of filters and effects can be downloaded free and installed as a GIMP plug-in. Since GIMP is also open-source and free of charge, there’s no catch. Just a whole lot of fun and potentially some impressive results.

    G’MIC stands for GREYC’s Magic for Image Computing, and if you follow the link in that text you’ll arrive at the … Continue reading

    My Blender Citizen Diary: The Pilot Character Tutorial

    Blender tutorial on character creation -- my reviewIf you’ve been looking in on my Blender Citizen tutorial progress, you won’t have seen a whole lot here over the last 3 weeks. The reason is not that I’ve given up, but rather that I’m still in the middle of a long and challenging tutorial: the Introduction to Character Modeling in Blender.

    This character creation course by Jonathan Williamson is another multi-part tutorial that is filed under the Beginners section. Once again, I have to stress that this does not make it an ‘easy’ tutorial. If you are ready to push yourself, though, you’ll get many hours of quality instruction that guides you expertly through each step.

    If You Don’t Mind Hard Work, You’ll Learn a Lot in this Detailed Blender Course

    All credit to Jonathan who has … Continue reading