Apply the POSE_01 preset to Michael – if your props are correctly parented, they’ll all follow his pose. As the right hand is not locked, you can now adjust the grip as required. Now select the Barbell and bend the shaft by setting its Lift Morph to -100.00. Finally, add the Ring prop to your scene.
Now let’s add some lights; 3D lighting is a fairly complex subject. As a general rule it’s best to add a distant light first (from the Create drop-down menu), then add your Spotlights. Again, use the Viewport layout option to best position your lights using the Translation sliders.
There are numerous options such as Shadow Type, Shadow Softness and Illumination, so it’s best to experiment here. Next, hit Cmd/Ctrl + R to do a test render. When you’re happy go to Render > Render Settings and select the Letter preset (1) and save as a .png (2).
Select and delete the Ring and other props, unlock the right hand and go to File > Save As. Repose using the M4_012 preset (Poses > DAZ’s Michael 4 > General Poses) (1). Now adjust the camera settings for a more dramatic angle (2), select Michael’s head and adjust the Expression Parameter dials (3). You can also select his moustache and set the dials to follow his expression. Now render to 3,000x3,522 pixels (4).
Launch Photoshop, set your foreground and background to black and #192e55 respectively. Create a new canvas measuring 23x31.7cm at 300dpi, in RGB mode, with the background set to Background Color.
Add a central guide, then a new layer named ‘Grad’. Shift + drag a linear gradient down using the Foreground to Transparent preset, set its opacity to 85% and change the blending mode to Multiply. Next, open Frame.psd and Shift + drag its layer thumbnail as a new layer. Name it ‘Border’.
Add your initial render as a new layer placed in a group folder called ‘ALBERTO’. Select Layer > Matting > Defringe by 1 pixel. Transform and position it in the top right corner as shown, and label it ‘Lifting’. Hold Alt/Opt while selecting a Curves Adjustment (1), then the Clipping Mask option (2). Now choose the Strong Contrast Preset (3). You can now drop the opacity of the adjustment layer to taste.
Repeat this step for your second render and label it ‘Posing’.