About the story:
For teenager Nikki Sprite, life at the exclusive San Concord Girls Academy is already complicated enough. Between maintaining her 4.0 grade average, fending off her oversexed roommate, and trying to get that cute new student teacher to notice her, Nikki has her hands full. And now she finds out that she is the Chosen One who must save the forest world of Elphram. There’s got to be some mistake!
About the artist:
I’ve been a professional 3D animator for over 17 years, primarily focusing on product and medical/scientific animations. My career has taken me from Honolulu to Southern California to Arizona to Florida, where I now reside. Along the way I picked up a couple of Emmy awards and have done animation for clients such as NASA, Imax, The Discovery Channel, PBS, NBC, the Department of Defense and Disney.
A fan of comics and Japanese manga, I dabbled over the years with ideas for my own comics. Unfortunately, my regrettable lack of 2D drawing skills frustrated any serious pursuit of this notion. And 3D never seemed a viable approach to create a comic, both from the standpoint of the time required as well as achieving a nice comic look.
Then I rediscovered Poser, a 3D character design and animation program from Smith Micro.
Early in my animation career I experimented with Poser but was turned off by its quirky interface and poor rendering quality. So I dismissed the software as unprofessional and returned to my Lightwave 3D world. But in late 2007 I was lured back to test the Poser waters after seeing some promotional ads from Daz3D, a company that makes, among other things, 3D content for Poser. I was, and remain, amazed at how far the Poser world has progressed since I first used it. Though the software still leaves a lot to be desired as an animation package, it is superb for creating character artwork. Daz 3D sells some outstanding Poser-ready 3D characters, and both Daz and Renderosity offer a wealth of inexpensive Poser content. I began to delve into the Poser world, developing a technique to produce comic-style imagery. Soon I was hooked. Nikki Sprite is a result of these efforts.
About the graphics:
NikkiSprite.com is produced on a P5 PC running Windows 7 (64-bit) with 16 gigs of ram and an 660 Nvidea card. This is overkill, but Poser is one of the least memory efficient programs I have ever used. My software includes Poser Pro, Photoshop CS6, Dreamweaver CS6, Victoria 4 and Michael 4 from Daz 3D, and many clothing/character/prop packages from Renderosity and Daz. Images are rendered using the Poser Firefly engine and then color enhanced with Shadowplay Photoshop actions, available from Renderosity, along with my own custom actions. (For a mini tutorial on my post production steps, click here.)
I hope you enjoy what you see here. Nikki Sprite is heavily influenced by japanese anime and manga. As such, the story is a blend of fantasy, humor, action, and the eccentric. It also has ample fan service. If this offends you, please surf elsewhere.
I apologize in advance for the slow development of this project. My full time job coupled with my freelance work leaves little time to work on Nikki. When I win the lotto, I’ll become more prolific. Until then, I do my best.