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Saturday, January 30, 2021

What Do They Really Look Like?

After a bit of fun making avatars of my characters, I've moved on to Artbreeder. All I can say is... wow! "Real" people that don't exist! 

One use for Artbreeder is to "breed" any two images together (such as a cat and an octopus, which was the first thing my daughter did). So you could upload "parent" faces and create "children" - but in my case I just wanted to visualize my book characters.

Creating faces is not entirely under the user's control - you can't tweak a nose exactly the way you want because you're mostly adding or subtracting "genes" from different parts of the world. But you can easily get photorealistic portraits with a few twists of the dials.

So, here are my results - just my impression of how the characters look, for my own amusement. Most of these characters are related to each other one way or another, so for many I started with the same "base" and fiddled with the age, gender, hair and eye color, etc.

[Mild spoilers ahead for the later books in the Wynter Wild series.]

Let's start with the three Heathcote-Brown sisters from Vermont: Miriam, Patricia, and Katrina. I tried to convey their different personalities - the cool serenity of Miriam covering for the evil acts of her past, the friendly hostess Patricia, and the shy but well-put-together Katrina.


You can age the faces up and down - here's young Harry and Miriam at about the age they met:


And here's Harry now, along with his adult daughter Joy:


Harry "raised" his three sons after Miriam took Joy away. Here are the four children at the time the family was split:


And here are Caleb, Indio, and Jesse today(ish). I'm still getting the hang of controlling the hair so these aren't quite right (but changing the hair changes the faces, so I concentrated on the latter).


Are they anything like you imagined them? (One reason I use minimal physical descriptions for characters is because I'd rather readers imagine them any way they like!)

At the ashram, Wynter met these two Aussie boys when they were 16:


The next blog post shows Xay today, a little older (age 21).

Finally, this is Wynter as a young child (maybe 10, when her mother left), at 14 when she escaped the ashram, and a few years later at the end of the series. 


I had so much fun with this that I kept going... and going. Part 2 and Part 3 illustrate some girlfriends and boyfriends, the cousins, and other random characters including Rosa and a few schoolfriends/bandmates.

Let me know what you think. I'm particularly happy with Patricia for some reason - she looks so kind and trustworthy. Her life is already complete, but here's hoping she adds true love before the series is over...

Don't forget to check out the Wynter Wild Wiki if you want to learn more about any of the characters.

8 comments:

  1. That's cool how you can age them down. Hope we meet Roman soon!

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    1. Book 10 ties up all the loose ends... or as many as I have room for, anyway.

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  2. Caleb is the most like I imagined and Indio is the least, but now the more i look at Indio I do get it, he looks intense. He's my favorite character. Wynter is so pretty.

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    1. LOL it's the other way around for me - I don't think I got Caleb or Jesse quite right. Unfortunately, I didn't save all the characters I made on the website itself, so I can't go back and tweak them. I'd have to start again. Near enough will have to be good enough.

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  3. Those Fairn kids are such cuties! How could their mother abandon them? How???

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  4. What a great program, I like how it age the characters.

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    1. It really brings them to life for me. I've always found it easier to write a character's personality if I have a visual reference.

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