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.
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.
So my tests in Blender are getting somewhat addicting. I can’t wait to get home from work, just to exercise in 3D modeling and sculpting. The idea of working in Blender was to have a tool to make backgrounds. 3D backgrounds to a 2D animation…of sorts.
Then last week I made a donut…..just to get my bearings around Blender.
So this week I followed another tutorial. Again by Andrew Price. See here to follow the tutorial yourself. I made this….a building. The same building as in the tutorial.
The tutorial is pretty good to follow, except for a couple of small actions he doesn’t explain. But then again, I think this tutorial is for more experienced Blenderers. At one point when making the railing he omits to tell how to disconnect the copied part from the array. It took me over two hours to find out what happened. But in general I’m very gratefull for his tutorials.
Just look at his website for more tutorials in making 3D objects (mostly for architecture).
Now I’m learning a bit more on modeling organic material. But after that I will probably return to modeling buildings and environments. And later on how to use textures, homebrew textures.
When I was in China with my wife I took the following pictures. I think it’s a good idea to try my hand at those. These buildings are a bit more like my concepts.
I like the second last building the best. It has a real feel to it.
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.
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.
OH……..I noticed I need a new computer. My computer takes almost 5 minutes to render just one frame (the one with the donut).
After a long break I decided to draw something again. But I wanted to try a new thing. So I made ‘textures’. The goal was to make a background which is easy to modify. Below are my textures used in the scene.
These are some of the drawings for a slum like neighborhood. Similar to Kowloon. I drew these in GIMP. So they are ease to manipulate. Next step was to make it 3D. Or more 2,5D. I wrote down the dimensions made cubes…and started sticking the textures on sketchup models.
Above are two buildings made from 3 cubes. The 2 for the buildings and one extra for the ‘150’ sign. The 150 has no particular relevance.
And below one with a character. Please don’t mind her face. Like I said, I haven’t been drawing for a long time. Also I put in some silhouettes of buildings in the far background. But it still wasn’t coming togheter.
Some of my test scenes. In the second one I put in an extra layer, white. I got the feeling the buildings where compeding with the character. Even though S8i (character’s name) was in color. The scenes are okay, but not exactly what I wanted. They are still too much like painted boxes.
Especially if you compare these to my earlier work on a (very unprofessional) storyboard. Even when I spiced up the scene with multiple buildings and a different viewpoint the scene wasn’t what I wanted. I think I doesn’t look bad though…just not good enough.
So next time when I’m going to make a background, I will probably make a model in Blender. With more parts sticking out of the box. Clothing drying in the sun, round waterdrains and airconditionings hanging from the side.
Hope you enjoy, and I’m open for suggestions or questions.
A first sketch I made for a prologue. This dropship needen to have very specific features. It should cary a crew of 12, and have at least four rescuepods.
I won’t say too much about this sketch because I don’t want to ruin the story. This post is also a test to see if my IFTTTcode works correctly.
Here my progress in drawing a background. I really love setdesigns, and wish to get better at it. But I have to make use of cheap trickery to make my work look like anything at all.
My initial sketch. A road through a landscape…in case you can’t read my sketch.
Then the actual line-art. I just fleshed out my sketch. Adding detail, changing horizons. Playing god in my own little make believe world.
Then the colorflats. Well, I put some degree of color variation in them. Some speckles and the occasional shadow. And then the cheap tricks start.
I put a lightsource in the scene itself. The sun. Next to that a gradient, red. From top to bottom.
And then I put in two dark parts at the top and bottom, just to fake some sort of panoramic view.
My work isn’t as good as other backgroundartists….hell. I’m just an amateur. I want to make the backgrounds to be more cinematic. No blackoutlines for example. I’ll put up more.
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’.
Designing a character is in my case a very slow process. It evolves during the entire time I work on the project.
I make a first doodle, and keep changing it bit by bit untill I like the final product. Except I’m almost never completely satisfied with the final design…and thus am never finished.
Finding the character is very important for designing an outfit or wardrobe. Would my protagonist wear shorts? Does she wear an amulet she recovered in an ancient temple. Does he have a tattoo of a deceased loved one? Would this character ever wear green clothes?
Not all my designs are approved. The upper one is just silly! Why would she run around in large boots, have inward feet and no pants!? Okay, it just looks kinda sexy (?). But it’s not really efficient.
With S8i I started out with a doodle. A woman thief for hire. So her profession indicates she wears a suit in which it’s easy to sneak into places. Running shoes to get away. Those are the overall elements. But what about the details? In my opinion it’s those details which make the character come to life. A bracelet. Different color shoelaces. Some homemade adjustments? Well to be honest. Those elements come when thinking of the stories…I can think of a couple of these attributes. But they seem a little bit forced.The character model itself is another point of interest. In which pose should I put her. Is it form over function? Or the other way around? Does she have a strong stance? Or a strong body?I chose a strong stance and a lean athletic body…but not strong. I hoped to achieve a feel in which S8i is known for her wit. And not brute force. She would lose in almost any physical fight.
Her first line-up. These are the first general outfits. As you can see there is not much of an overall look yet. Not a defining color or design element which returns in every outfit. I decided to redo this line-up simply because I thought it’s too sketchy. Sketchy is good. Don’t get me wrong. But this one is just sloppy. I wanted a little more clarity.Next stop is her body. Like I said, I didn’t want her to look strong.
So I changed her shoulders. I noticed them only after I drew the standard outfit. She looked too strong.
After tweaking I still was unsatisfied with the result. So I looked at it from a different angle: copy image and flip horizontally. Only keeping the outer lines and started drawing her back. Immediately some of the flaws became apparent.Here my first version of her back, next to it for comparison, a tweaked version.
I will probably tweak it and tweak overan over again. And then decide to fully redo the drawing. This is the way I learn how to draw, and hopefully increase my skills.Next step is to take one of these designs and make 3 or five different versions of it. That way I can see which one really works best.
To be continued
As a newyears resolution I decided to update my blog more often. I’m not sure if anybody reads this stuff. Either way, for every update I need to have something to show, so I need some new stuff. And thus is my goal to draw a lot more in 2016.
I like to keep my work nice and sketchy. Hope you enjoy.
Decided to make a fan-art-piece. I’m stepping somewhat out of my comfortzone by drawing a character designed by somebody else. But this is somewhat of an experiment. First of all I kinda like the characters from Guardians of the Galaxy. Secondly I’m trying to generate some more traffic to my website.
Made this one with Gimp, version 2.8. You can get the colored line effect by duplicating the line-art layer and colorizing it (top menu, color, colorize). You will see that all the line turn into a single color. In my case green for the hair. Then use the eraser tool to erase all the green parts, where you want to see black. Repeat the process for all the different colors.
I never read the Guardians comics. But the artwork looks outstanding! A very clear and fluid style. It looks like a combination of the ‘clear line’ and traditinal comicbookwork. I know I didn’t really emulate this technique, I dare not to wander outside of my comfortzone.
You can find the book I read here, but it’s in Dutch.
Maybe I’ll make some other stuff based on other’s work. Any suggestions?