Tag Archives: character

Blender test week four (NSFW?)

I think I shouldn’t just put my successes online. But also my failures. Only then can I learn….at least that’s the plan.

I continued where I left off last week. The face needs a body. Oh a heads up. Maybe this is a little bit NSFW. There will be a naked lady. 3D model, yes, but naked non the less.

seighti sitting

As you can see I draw most of my characters from the front, back or from the side. Just like Seighty here. She sits, I draw her from the side.

Because this is easiest. No foreshortening. No weird or difficult perspectives. Just ‘straight forward’, and a little bit boring. Characters seem even more 2D when drawn in this fashion.

Especially when storyboarding an action scene you want to be able to position your hero, or heroine in a dynamic pose. And I’m not a good enough artist to do that successfully.

So the point was to make a model I can manipulate in Blender for the harder positions and camera angles. And maybe rotoscope, or use as reference material.  I started out by drawing a turnaround again. Always start with turnarounds. Front, side and back. This time everything was drawn on the same sheet so there would not be a scale issue.

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As usual  the character is 7.5 heads tall. I measure my characters in heads. That works the best for me.

The only problem I encountered with this is that you only have 2 of the 3 axes. You have X and Y. But no Z. This means the round shapes are a bit tricky. I noticed when modeling her backside. From the front, back and side the character looked ok. But viewed in 3quarters. She looked like…euh…a bad drawing.

Oh, by the way. What works in 2D doesn’t necessarily work in 3D. In the turnaround her upper body, or breasts, seem normal. After modeling the character, this area was just too much. But you only notice after a while. When working on a detail you tend to overlook the bigger picture.

Here you can see the character as it is right now. I’m still not fully happy with the result. Please don’t mind her shoes too much…or socks. They look more like socks. I kinda lost focus there. I also got a little bit discouraged by her arms. They just didn’t look right. Also her head was an issue. I have rescaled that noggin for at least 10 times.

Just As proof. I did think about her shoes. Sporty army shoes. shoes2

But her shoes just wouldn’t do. And I’m starting to think I went a little overboard with this little exercise. Every day after work I would eat and spent at least 2 hours following tutorials. But my intention was not to make a realistic character. My goal was to make a template for me to use as reference material. A poseable character. Which reminds me; I also rigged the model.

The rig was fairly simple. Even the weightpainting seemed pretty logical. But somehow I kept messing up some of her joints. Instead of compressing the polygons they started to overlap. You can see it in my pictures…the red circles. Well I still have a long way to go…But not right now. I’m going to focus a little bit more on my initial idea. And draw the backgrounds with Blender. And animate the character by hand, with maybe some help of a 3D blender model.

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As a proof of concept I made this T-pose in GIMP. I wanted to see what a rotoscoped Seighty could look like. There is something I forgot when making this model. An organic character doesn’t need to be exactly the same shape every time. Drawing inconsistencies give the animation ‘character’.

But to end on a high note…I do think the image has potential…but just not yet. Hope you enjoy!

Blender test week three

This week I wanted to do something more organic. I tried to make my own character – S8i /Seighty-  into a 3D model.

This is the character;  I think I changed her chin, or at least her mouth. Her mouth should be a little bit lower and her chin should be a bit rounder….but I can’t find the picture anymore.

Then a year ago I tried to sculpt the head in Blender. Blender has a really nice sculpt option. A little bit like zbrush…but somewhat less advanced. I’m sure they will expand on the sculptingtools in Blender in upcomming versions.

This time around I tried to model a head, instead of sculpting it. The same head, but a little more organized. I followed a tutorial by blenderella. you can look it up on youtube. So she (the lady giving the tutorial) started out by making a front and side view. She used photo reference, I use drawings. I’m still not going for realism but for a more cartoon look. In the end I want to have a 2D feel to it all.

So above are the drawings I used as a template. front and side view. Somehow the end result doesn’t exactly match the original. But it will do for my first organic modelling test. I started out around the eyes, moved towards the nose bridge..top part of the nose, and worked towards the chin.

After that I compared the head with the original drawings and noticed that her chin was getting too pointy. Too much like an anime character. By now I was following a manga – blender tutorial.

You can see the subtle differences. The chin is somewhat rounder and her ears are bigger. I can honestly say; I hate making ears.

SeightiFace 3d test

Colors/hair and such are painted over using GIMP and SketchBook. That’s where I was last week. Now I’m working on the rest of the body.

Enjoy

Blender test

OK last time I made some buildings in Sketchup, but I wanted to have more detail. So I decided to use a proper 3d-manipulation program…and…..since I don’t have any experience working in Blender I did a tutorial online. A very good one at that.  A beginner’s tutorial made by BlenderGuru. A nine part tutorial in which you learn how to make a still life: donuts on a plate.

donut tutorial

Of course the subject has nothing to do with the S8i story. This was just a way to learn about blender; the User interface, shortcuts etc. etc. The tutorial focused on a photo-realistic render.

But photrealism is not really what I am going for. My goal is to make the backgrounds with blender, but still using hand drawn textures. The overall feel should remain that of a cell animated feature. I want the backgrounds to be reminiscent of the work of: Kazuo Oga (the man is a genius!) and of Jean-Leon Gerome (another genius!)

I’m still in doubt: should I make the characters in 3d or keep them 2d.

Like you see in my (GIIMP) sketch below I work with gradients, shadows, highlights and rim lights. This is possible in cgi (3d). But not as much in 2d animation. I really want to make an animation that remotely looks like this sketch. And I should find out what mix of 2d and 3d would be best.  The sketch is made for a prologue. More on that next time.

uniform try 2

OH……..I noticed I need a new computer.  My computer takes almost 5 minutes to render just one frame (the one with the donut).

Sketchy two

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So as said: more updates in 2016. Above is a new version of Cat. A friend of S8i. A girl who hangs around a lot with this guy. Same girl by the way. A couple of weeks ago I looked at Thomas Romain’s work in Oban Star Racers. And decided to add the braces as an homage, just like Molly. As I am doing currently with S8i; I should also make some sort of modelsheet for this character. I don’t really have a lot of background information on Cat yet. And I think that’s a good thing. The less I know, the more she can remain a bit of a mistery. I don’t know where she comes from, who her parents are or what her goal is. I only know she’s been in ‘jail’.

Enjoy.

Multi Purpose

For my oldest friend I promised I would make a couple of designs for his game. I never really came around to it. But this evening I had some time. So I started working on the first of in total six designs.

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I sketched these out in my sketchbook and redrew them in blender. I use multiple layers, every time I add a layer and some more detail.

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I actually really like to draw robots. So decided I maybe should use these (this is only the first of three) in my own ‘production’ as well. That’s the reason I’m showing these designs here. This robot was developed and manufactured in the same company the other robot here was made. Namely Orqa. This is just a quick render. The final piece should have more weathering/shadows and whutnots.

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This is the robot’s opponent. A human. Her gun is still missing, Cause I noticed I’m lousy at drawing weapons (maybe because I don’t really like them).

If you are interested in Emiel’s work (my oldest friend) click here to visit his website.

Cushioning the Blow

This one I drew a couple of weeks ago. And to my surprise my wife actually liked it. Don’t have that much to say about it though…so here ya go.

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Above you can see my first sketch. Had some difficulty drawing the leg furthest away from the viewer. Every time it just looked too small.

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Colors are rather basic. No fancy light effects here. Maybe I should revisit this one some day in the future and do the coloring anew. But for now: Enjoy.

Dragon Riding

One of the first drawings I did with S8i was this one. I sketched it out rather quickly in my booklet. It’s a small book I carry around with me all the time; you never know when a ‘good’ idea pops up. I’ll make a post on my booklet some other time.

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And below is a colored version. I have a lot of different versions.

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Then one day I learned of an exposition of Brandon Graham’s work in Amsterdam. I read a comic of his: KingCity. And that was actually the inspiration for making my own story. His comic was drawn in a clear and not overly complicated way (but simplicity within comics is tricksy and much harder then it looks! Just think of Herge’s work, or other ‘Klare Lijn’ stuff). I thought…maybe I could do what he did. Of course I failed epic. I just emulated his style in the beginning; and that always reads as a knock off. Anyway…He was so kind to make his own version of my dragon riding S8i:

brandon graham walrussketch1

I cleaned the line art…which in GIMP means: erased all the stuff you don’t want to show.

brandon graham S8i sketch line

And I added color. Hopefully in a way Brandon Graham does in his comics.

brandon graham sketch color

You can see his work here: Royalboiler.

Kicking ass

Another weekly update. This one gave me trouble: somehow I couldn’t get her face correct. I’ll look if I can find some tutorials on drawing faces from multiple angles.

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And again a colored version. I changed some parts. Made her bum smaller and repositioned her legs/feet. Because, well, because it looks more believable.

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It’s the same girl you can see here: Unusual Pair

Enjoy

F500

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A drawing I made inspired by Hayao Miyazaki’s Lupin III: the Castle of Cagliostro. I’m trying to learn how to draw properly. Have good character models, hard surface models (car), backgrounds and effects like smoke or clouds.

Layout

wpid-wp-1441884391521.jpgBefore trying to draw anything I like to know what I’m making. So I put my rough ideas on ‘paper’. Road, Car, mountains…note that I didn’t think about adding S8i untill later.  Also the billboard is something I added in at a later stage. Her hair fell flat against the background so  I had to frame it somehow.

Fiat Cinquecento

Of course an homage to Cagliostro. The chase scene in that cartoon is marvelous. Full of action, humor and consistent animation. Hayao Miyazaki knows his vehicles; planes, cars and even walking castles.

I used a method I learned from Thomas Romain. Known for the backgrounds in code Lyoko and Oban Star-racers. A couple of very nice animated series, especially Oban. I saw a post on Tumblr where he explained his workprocess. There is also a book on his work: ‘lost in animation’. The moment I know where and how to get is…I’ll update this post.

He had some tips when you want to draw something ‘complicated’ in perspective. He started out by drawing the object from the side.

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So there ya go, a Fiat500 from the side. Then he manipulated the image so it looked like it’s in perspective. Just screw, warp or change the dimensions. It’s really easy in GIMP, I guess same goes for other drawing applications.

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So…there ya go again. Of course this still isn’t enough. Next do the same thing with the other side (the backside).  I have to admit; I was too lazy to do so. Besides I didn’t really think the backside was so complicated. So I just sketched the entire car on top of this one.

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I always lower the opacity to so I can draw the ‘line art’ on a new layer on top, without being distracted too much.

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This layer is the definitive one. I like to keep my work a little bit sketchy. So much is lost in using perfect lines.

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In the end all the hardsurface elements will be made in Blender, but I want them to look like a 2d object.  Maybe rotoscoping, maybe some good cellshaders.

Mountains

I really like the work of: Kazuo Oga known for a lot of the Ghibli movie backgrounds. Also a huge fan of the artwork shown in Rime. I’m still trying to figure out who is the one responsible for those great backgrounds.

I can only say I still have a lot to learn about drawing backgrounds. The line-art is no problem for me. But coloring it, making it believable…THAT is the challenge.

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So this is a learning moment: I know I have to improve the way I draw trees, mountains…well backgrounds in general.

S8i

The character was already designed. I drew these kind of clothes for the first time though, wanted to give her more of a vacation feel. Although it was somewhat difficult to find an interesting pose: I actually wanted to tell a story. Failed of course, and came up with a more traditional position. So here she’s just resting on the car.

(picture of character in outfit, and color choices).

The first version had her leaning like this:

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But somehow It just doesn’t work. A: she’s too big.  S8i wouldn’t fit into the car. B: it’s a bit boring. I always have the problem that I can’t spot the problem after I’ve drawn something. I have to step away for a couple of hours/days.

A couple of days later…

OK I revisited the picture. And yeah, she’s way too big, and I just don’t like her pose. She just stands there. Being observed. It feels wrong to me. That’s why I gave her something to carry, some idol she’s holding.

But you already knew that. The picture on top is posed different, and she’s smaller.

Hope you enjoyed my stuff.

A girl and her Dog

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Sketch of S81 and her mutated dog-creature. The dog is still nameless and without a final design. When sketching multiple characters I tend to use different colors. Because I’m easily confused.

I grew up with a Canadian Shepherd. He was my bestest friend in the world. So I like to take the dog along on the journey. Storywise I’m not so sure yet, because the dog doesn’t have a special role to play, except maybe: make the other characters look more 3-dimensional. Give them someone to interact with.

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If you look carefully you can see I changed the angle of her legs. Her knees in the sketch are almost pushed to the ground. After drawing the lines this just didn’t look right.

Hope you enjoy.