Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Corvus II (the details)

Two weeks ago someone asked me if I still sold my raven mask. Of course then the gears start turning. It's been ages since I did an animal mask, and I realized I had solved some of the problems posed by a bird mask that had prevented me from making it sooner.

With alpha feathers to fluff it out, an alpha transition to the neck, and fine rings around the eyes, I had finally figured out how to make it less flat, keep my edges crisp, and how to make it blend into the avatar. I wasn't really happy with just doing a face mask for birds like I used to... the shape of the head is part of what makes birds so distinctive. Plus, hair just doesn't seem to fit once you have feathers.

So now, with essentially a bird's head... what would I possibly wear with this? An image came to me, and I had to sketch it down even though I was trying to fall asleep at the time.

I drew an elegant A-line gown, with an upraised wing sprouting from the shoulder. I imagined feathers climbing the arm and delicately falling from the skirt. I'm quite happy with the results, and though I went through innumerable drafts and versions, the result is truly something I'm proud of.

Yet... Corvus is a unisex mask. And most men will not relish the idea of wearing a gown. And so a looming challenge appeared. The gauntlet had been thrown down before me... I had to make something formal that a man could wear to accompany a woman wearing such a gown. A suit.

Compared to the suit, the dress took an instant and was over in a wink. When working on this, I longed to go back to the simplicity of cursing at skirt prims and getting the feathers crisp on the bodice. Of course I had to do a four piece suit, with formal pants, a vest, a jacket and a silk shirt, each layer posing a bigger challenge than the last. My muse is such a bitch, sometimes.

However, seeing the results, I have to thank her. I love the jacket, the feathered shoulders add some flamboyant whimsy, and the jabot (the tie) blends so well into the bottom of the mask that it almost looks like feathers. The silk shirt alone is one of the most versatile pieces of clothing I have right now. I've been wearing it with vests, corsets, as a man or woman, with skirts, with pants, you name it. I made sure to include as many layer options as possible, since I was going through the trouble of making all this I wanted to be sure people could wear it how they like.

Certain pieces are also available separately, if you would just like to buy the dress alone without the mask or other accessories, same for the suit. I also put the silk shirt out on its own. If you just like the accessories, you can nab those up without having to get the whole look.

The Corvus wrist cuff makes a beautifully gothic accessory on its own, and although I imagined it only on one wrist, I made a pair so that you had your options open.

However, my favorite are the wings. They aren't scripted, but in such a lovely black do they really need to be?

You'll want to try the demo for these, they have an elegant curve that doesn't show well in this picture. They also have just a few touches of flexi to add some movement.

This whole project has been one of those times when my muse just won't let go until she's had her way. A vision just unfolded that just had to be realized. So it was with the dress, then the suit, and finally the story. It's been a crazy series of all-nighters, aching wrists and hundreds in uploads... but worth it. I hope you love it as much as I do... enjoy ♥


Tanarian Brenaur ferch Owain fab Bran (Davies) said...

[standing ovation]

Miriel Enfield said...

It's stunning! It almost tempted me back to SL, in fact.

You've become so good at this work. When we first met, I tended to think your building skills were stronger than your texturing. Now? You've more than caught up. The bird mask looks beautifully modeled and textured.

Siyu said...

Thank you so much, Miriel. That is such a profound compliment coming from you, but I have to confess that Zbrush did a lot of the heavy lifting. I wouldn't say I've gotten better with textures, so much as I've learned more tricks to get around my shortcomings :)~

Thank you though, and if you do log in let me know and I'd be happy to send you it.