filed in Book Cover Illustrations and Artwork on Jul.02, 2016
I just got word that John Bowers’ newest sci-fi novel Manhunt on Tau Ceti 4 is now available at Amazon. The book is number six in the Nick Walker, U.F. Marshal series.
I’d created a 3D figure of Nick Walker for a previous cover I did in this series, so I was able to rapidly repose the model for this project. After adjusting the lighting for a quick “rough render” of the character, I bounced the picture off John for consideration. After a few adjustments suggested by the author, I repainted the final render of this character and had him ready to go:
The next task was to create a female figure for the cover. I had a model I’d created as a “for fun” project earlier which I ran by the author as a possible start for the second cover figure. He felt she worked well, so I employed her as my starting point:
I reworked this 3D figure’s eye makeup, and pretty much kept her pose as it seemed perfect for the cover layout. Dressing her in suitable clothing, I then rendered the figure in my 3D software (DAZ Studio). The rough render was then repainted in my art program (Corel PhotoPaint), keeping the figure on its own layer for later compositing with the figure of the Marshall over a background image.
The background image was the next step. A castle on a distant planet figured in the story, so that seemed the perfect choice. I painted a fortress into the background, and then added two moons and a spaceship which fit with the storyline and also helped establish the novel as a science fiction story rather a Western.
The final task was to composite the figures over the background, adjust the positions of the background elements, and then apply a color gradient over everything so it all seemed to be in the same environment. Finally, a few more tiny adjustments to accommodate the lettering.
Duncan Long creates magazine and book cover artwork — and especially loves illustrating science fiction stories. You can see more of his art at: Duncan Long’s Online Gallery.