Welcome to the world where the cover images actually represent the characters.

Can’t find a girl in the period costume and pose your client likes?  Is the image on your cover just like the one on five others books? Not ready to spend $1,000 + for custom illustration? There is an alternative. Customized 3D renders bridge the gap between stock photography and full custom illustration. Take a look and consider whether a 3D customized stock render would be a good fit for your design process.

Prices start at $25 per figure.

Email alex@alexlidell.com to order or ask questions.


Wait, what's a rendered character?


Rendered characters are computer generated from digital models, not photographs. My renders fit the niche between photostock (not at all customizable) and hiring an illustrator (fully customizable). They are great for authors and cover designers working in the speculative fiction genre where finding a model dressed appropriately is difficult, and finding a minority character in period dress is nearly impossible.

The final renders are high resolution png files on a clear background. They can be used commercially in images, but not resold/offered as stock.

What's the process for human characters?

Once you get in touch with me, here is how we’ll work (typically works great as a convo on messenger):

    1. Pick an outfit. I have some of my fav SFF outfits below, but there are thousands more at www.daz3d.com  (click the SHOP menu)
    2. Describe body type. Petite female? Tall skinny man? Asian? Bald? Long blond hair? No, your character won’t look exactly like your Uncle Wally, but we should be able to get in the right ballpark. I’ll share screen shot for your approval.
    3. Describe pose. I’ll send you screen shot of how close to that I can get.
    4. If applicable, pay for outfit: I own some outfits, hair styles etc. I don’t own 30,000 of them. If you decide you want something I need to buy, this is when you send money for it. No surprises here – we’ll talk options and alternatives in step 1.
    5. Approve proof. I dress the posed figure and show you low res preview for approval.
    6. Payment and render: Full render takes many hours of computer time, so I’ll probably render overnight
What's the process for dragons?

You fill out a form. I make the dragon and show you a low res proof. Once you approve, you pay and I render the dragon.



Usually $25-$50 per figure + special materials cost (ie. that outfit you found in the daz3d.com store that I would need to buy). I’ll give you an exact quote when you tell me what you want.


Limitations of 3D renders


It’s like legos: Rendering characters is like playing with legos made of body parts: I can build lots of things – but not alter the legos themselves. Other people can use the same legos to build the same/similar thing. Not everything fits together. Before you pay, I will show you what the best option is and you decide if it fits your needs.

Clothing is as is: I can’t change colors or do other photoshop tasks for you. Modifications to outfits (i.e. “can we take the vest off?”) are dependent on how the outfit was designed. No mix and matching between outfits.

If you are familiar with photoshop, this is pretty much the opposite 🙂  Stuff that’s easy in photoshop (ie. change color) is complex here, and stuff that is impossible in photoshop (can we get a side view of that?) is easy.  I leave photoshop to the cover designers.