Here are two version of the Gengar “alley” scene. I’ve been fiddling with his pose off and on over the past few days, as it never felt 100% right. What I think significantly helped nail it down was that little movement of his back leg in the second image. I had been thinking for awhile that from the camera his pose wasn’t really coming through. It always seemed like he was standing on an invisible floor, like he was shoddily Photoshop in there. I hadn’t paid very much attention to that back leg because it’s not really important to the pose at all. But finally tweaking it, I realized it provides a HUGE visual clue to the fact that he’s floating with his opposite shoulder turned towards the camera. To be honest, I was really surprised how much of a difference that made.
If you compare these two images with each other, and the ones in the last post, you’ll see a bunch of other little details and changes. One of those is the adding of some black threads in the air towards his back hand. I had been planning for quite awhile to add a “shadow ball” type of effect to the image, but I’d been holding off until things were largely locked into place before tackling it. I had originally planned the ball to be “burning” with a sort of blacklight-like flames. But that..didn’t look right. I’m not sure what it is exactly, but it doesn’t look natural..at all:
So I ended up multiplying the flame-ball on top of the threads, and decided I liked that effect enough to keep it. As for the threads themselves, I created them with a bunch of particles rendered as a volume with the point density texture (yeah, back to BI for this layer…joy…). There are actually 2 million particles making up the effect, it just seemed like a good idea to keep increasing the number. I wound up dropping the size of the points very small to compensate, I like the way it came out here. I am a little concerned it looks too noisy, but I’m going to have to see that against the full-quality version of the main image to know for sure.