Sunday, November 22, 2009

Introducing Dougal Smeaton

Just an excuse to post another GIMP experiment, really. This was assembled from several photos scrounged off the internet here and there, then painstakingly pieced together to make a vintage-looking photo.

Click the image for a better look.

Dougal Smeaton is my Scottish engineer, a giant of a man who believes in steam and not magic, even though he keeps company with a witch and an empath. He comes from a family of whisky makers, so he's been around boilers all his life. His name is a tribute to John Smeaton, the Glasgow baggage handler who became famous for intervening in the terrorist bombing attempt on Glasgow International Airport (however, in a cool bit of serendipity, there also happens to be a noted civil engineer of the same name from the 18th Century-perhaps an ancestor?). I'm thinking of using this guy in a story sometime.

The body was a British soldier's portrait taken in the 1870's. The face was of a player from Hibernian FC, a Scottish football team, in the 1880's. I combined those into one person, pasted into an old photo of an empty factory, and added in some steam boilers. Every object I added had to have an extra layer to change the angle of the lighting, a fairly simple effect that doesn't work perfectly, but well enough, and a shadow as well. I did a bit more fussing with the lighting on Dougal than on the boilers, and it shows. Then I added a layer of damage on top, and another subtle iris effect on top of that to tie everything together. If you look closely, you can see the seams, but it looks pretty good at first glance, I think.

(ETA: Looking at the photo further, I realized that the lighting and shadow on the big boiler was really poorly done, so I fiddled with it and futzed around with the lighting on Dougal more and replaced it here. There are still some little details that nag at me, but I think this is as good as I can get this one, so I'm going to move on now.)


Bat-Cheva said...

VERY nice!!!

Now I'll have a picture in my head during gaming. :)

TheyStoleFrazier'sBrain said...

Thank you. I'm probably going to be doing more of this type of thing, though maybe not game-related.