Hello, next batch of updates and my ramblings, enjoy.
8th May 2017
Made a start on the Vampire head, when starting a new sculpt it’s a little exciting and daunting. Exciting as it is new and where will this develop. Daunting because you’re starting from scratch and wondering will it work.
The heads started from the base of Zombie, don’t worry, I’ve double checked, the Zombie is backed up and this is a newly named file.
The progress of the head, going from weird looking less wired, repainted the eyes as I wanted to remove the zombie eye colour. I did get a little distracted with painting, I should have just stuck to sculpting the head.
I’ve given the head sculpt some hard angles, now, in my mind, I think of aerodynamics and streamlined for hunting, I think of him as a shark. I know he looks nothing like a shark, but, in the back of mind, he looks streamlined to move fast.
The first pass of the head for the Vampire.
Done his mouth a little wide, so when he opens it, it is a pretty wide mouth with a lot of teeth, you don’t want to see his teeth when he is angry.
Today was to start on the biker jacket, dear lord, it looks rough. It looks like someone who doesn’t know how to sculpt took over today, I had to take back control and work on the head. Blocked out the shape of the jacket for the next step
Then refined the jacket further, followed by creating the collar and refining it.
At the moment the jacket does not sit right with me, it looks awkward, I
I’m going to check with reference images The collar is not that great looking either, maybe it’s not finished yet. however, I have to remember, I’ve just started on it and need work to refine it.
Teeth time, well a little time was spent on the teeth, I reused the Zombie’s teeth and modified them into sharper ones.
Today, was not a successful day with the sculpting. However, I will not let me put me down, actually, I had found it funny, I was wondering where did my sculpting abilities go in the afternoon. Ah well, I shall jump back on to the work train after my day off and make sure that jacket looks like a jacket.
From the other day of dodgy day of sculpting, today, with determination I focused on that jacket, I wanted to get it looking better and close to being better. Phew! is all I can say, with hard work and referring to reference images, the jacket started to look like a leather jacket.
A turntable of the character without any colour, so far so good, my art skills have returned, thankfully. The jacket looks better, so much better.
My next step is to work on the hands and the shoes.
Looks like a dinner jacket, I just filled it with base colour to look how it looked,
Going to need to add a zip and buttons to the jacket.
Head Turn Table video
Head turntable, colour wise it is just a base with no more work to it, the lighting and shading are from the rendering, I like how the character has formed, I like how it has progressed and with the hair sculpting looking good.
Happier today with what I have done with the character sculpt.
My next steps are to sculpt the fingers of the vampire, then work on the boots to make them look like bike boots, refined detail on the jacket, retopologised the head and the rest of the character.
22nd May 2017
Today, made start on the hands, shaped the nails and gave the first pass on painting the texturing.
Sculpted the jacket to a better result, those shoes really do annoy me.
Then painted the jacket texture, and trousers, from the front they legs started to bug me, their shape looked odd.
Did more work on the head, it does need more work on it as the cheek colour is too sharp and will do another pass to soften those dark areas.
Going to give another pass to refine the hair sculpt.
Retopo day on the face of the character, to some it may be tedious, to me, it is cathartic when It works.
The head topology was done, I got a few triangles around the back of the ear, as long I had none on the main face, I can leave with that.
Dammit, I had to repaint the head, I made an error. When I created the mouth cavity for the mouth interior, it got rid of the texture I had painted on the head, I am never doing that mistake in a hurry.
It could be a blessing in disguise, as this version looks better than the previous version.
Worked on the legs, a little better, it still bugs me that it looks wrong.
24th May 2017
What a day, ok, so I hit my first corrupted files. Somewhere in the progression of the head, when I saved, I had hidden mesh that the software did not like and a few iterative saves lost to this issue. I had to go back to a previous save that was not messed up and redo some work. I had to do the ear topology twice and then gave up for the third time when this issue was really annoying me.
Dynamesh sculpt projected onto the new mesh that I created with a better topology.
Far left is the low poly mesh and on the far right is the high poly mesh.
The low poly head mesh, the UV has not been sorted yet, once that is done, I can have nice high detail on the texture maps applied onto the low poly mesh.
The turntable of the character tweaked the jacket and still need to add the decal on on the back of the jacket. Played around with the boots, I think they are better formed.
A little bit of messing around with the eye texture and rendered a shot out. Actually, I prefer the eyes like this. Going to give the eyes and head the second pass.
Today was sculpting hair day, making a clean sculpt and repainting it. Made a little more effort with the hair, and with the front and side view of the head, it looks good.
May need to adjust bits of the hair, it doesn’t stick out far enough.
Worked on the skin texture further and refined it this time, instead of restarting from scratch when it was first lost. Feeling a little bit more confident with the brushes added some details to face, skin blemishes, veins around the side of the head and discolouration, made the eye sockets a little darker. My next step is to do the eyebrows, retopologize the arms and jacket.
Had a few days off to take time away from work. Mainly it was a bit of frustration some of the details were not transferring onto the new lower model I made It would not transfer, something was not working and I could not figure it out, trouble shooted for almost couple of days and come up with nothing, I will still look for a solution and when I find the solution, I will reproject the detail.
Fixed a few of the mesh today and reduced my base mesh polycount, my poly count for the base mesh went from 12,000 to 7,500. It is still too high. I really got to cut that down to 5000 or below. I still have mesh hidden that needs to be cleaned up.
I reckon I can get that down to 5000 and maybe below.
Some trousers topology needs to be sorted out in some of the areas, I am not really concerned with the legs and back as they will not be seen as much as the front upper body and I will make sure those areas have a slightly higher poly count.
Headshot again and this time you can see the topology, some bits of the hair need cleaning up, I shall leave that for now.
I also corrected the side bits of the hair with more volume, in the previous post the side bits of the hair was not sticking out as much.
I assure this is a slight tweak to the hair from the previous day version.
Almost done with the Vampire and turntable of the character. Need to do some expressions like I did with Zombie.
To cheer myself up from not being productive as I have wanted to be. In the evening I started to sculpt the Alien head and a blob for hair.
Some fun with time lapse.
A little bit of progress on the hair, happy with it. I am going to go back over the characters face a little more and then work out the topology for it. Cyclops are really difficult to do.
Blocked out the body, that is the easy part. Looks like a diving suit.
Blocked it out further with. Then started to block out the bits for the space suit, technically only a bit of it, then, going to continue to do that tomorrow.
Some of today has been watching tutorials on a few of the tools to remind me how to use them. I’m going to do a little hard edge modelling, I have not really done that in Zbrush, I’ve done all that in Maya and I want to know how to use the Zmodeller tool in Zbrush. The other is to create an Insert Multi Mesh (IMM) brush of tentacles from scratch, once I’ve done that I can save that and use to in other sculpts.
Focus for tomorrow is to work on the space suit sculpt and get that finished, the move on to hard edge modelling.
Sometimes, you make a mistake with tools that you are trying to learn and you get things like this happens.
Ok, here we are with the alien. Work continues to block parts out. My only problem, well a few of them. The ztool/Z modeller is something to get used to, another couple of days and I will get on happier with it, not become an expert, just get on better with it.
The day was spent looking at helpful tutorials, at times I have needed to do something in Zbrush and did not use the right method, it ended up taking longer, then, while I worked I spotted a small solution on the video stream of an artist fixing that method I needed which made it quicker to do… , I shook my head, took note of it to never forget and carry on with the knowledge….. Typically, I cannot remember what it was.
Worked on the space suit, it is shaping up and looking like an old diving suit. I’m happy I’ve got the form of character, it’s the next few days that it will be shaped up. I will make sure that there will be no painting until the model is completed.
Extended the arms as they looked short and separated tentacles from the main body to make sculpting them easier on a separate layer.
The helmet does not match the shape of the illustration, urgh, can’t get it, will get it right.
“Shakes fists out of anger. Going to keep working on it until I get it right.” Hehe, that helmet looks so wrong.
There are some bits I need to work out how to do them, so a little research and development time is needed to figure out how to do it and do it properly.
A slow day, just trial and error of modelling, I thought I would get somewhere with it. I think I overestimated as I did spend my time experiment with Zmodeler. It is beginning to make sense with how it works, it was a productive day, just not progressive.
I stuck to working on the suit for and the shoulder pads, as the shoulder looked flimsy and thin, I had to bulk it up.
This character has caused me more trouble than the other two, it has been a lot of trial and error, going back over things that didn’t work like the shoulder pads, not forgetting looking up videos and reading tutorials, this is down to having that bit of missing knowledge and I had to look up .
The helmet test, Looks like the alien is contemplating life while spinning around.
I wanted to see how the helmet looks like with transparent. Snug or tight you decide, I think it’s snug. I do have to go back over the character with another pass, as he needs teeth, he needs to look grumpier, he looks too calm and not worse for wear.
Yeah, he’s still rotating and contemplating life as I am contemplating how to make this better.
Spent a bit trying to do a nice render of vampire face, I was practising with the renderer. I shouldn’t have done that, it was a moment of distraction.
Then, in the evening, goofed about with artwork, I had the image in my head. It has inspired me to work on.
2nd June 2018
What a slow progress, however, I shall push forward with the work.
Look at the ten-yard stare. Made a second pass on the head, Created the cavity for the mouth interior, then added teeth and gums. Thicken the lips of the head, going to keep working on the head, had to make space for a few of the teeth that poke out.
On the note of cavity, I had to rebuild the edges of the mouth, as the got wrecked when the cavity was created.
What has been going on with me these last few days, I think I am going through the valley of crap, the long way round,
Worked on the characters tentacle arm, dammit, stuck in this valley.
This week has been a mixed bag, on one hand, I finished another and started a new one. Then the progress has been slow, I will get out of the valley of crap.
I think I just need a day with the tool and not work on the character, just experiment and focus on the tool instead trying to focus on both the model and tool , I know I can do the low poly 3d modelling in Maya quickly, but, I’m forcing myself to stick and learn the ztool/Z modeller and its quirks.
Had a couple of days off with this, I needed it and I returned to work on the character.
Made a second pass tentacle and a better result. I used a premade tentacle IMM (Insert Multi Mesh) brush, I gave up on it and went back to the original one I worked on and this time spent a good bit of time on it, below is the image of the tentacle, there is a temptation to do a third iteration as I am getting there, but you know, I’m happy with it, I think I shall make small adjustments to tiny bits.
What a day, I am in deep in the valley of crap, first I thought it was a detour of a long way round, I think have gotten lost on the way.
I knew this one would be the toughest to do, however, it is the learning curve. I admit it, it can frustrating trying to get something done with it while learning. I will keep working at it and have something by the end of the week, it will look good, I will make out of the Valley.
Made some headway with the character, worked on the backpack, not going to put too much detail as we are not going to see the back much. Those vents on the side were tough as it was a long lesson with Zmodeler, however, I have been able to get to grips with it. Not one hundred percent or have mastered it, but, have a much better understanding than a few days ago and that will get better.
The side vents are not great and can be better, I may go back and give it another go and add more curves it.
I think I have progressed through the valley further, I am still in there somewhere, I’ve got a couple more bits to add, like the knee pads, redo the shoulder pads and some further detail needed on the chest.
Really got to do something about that collar and neck, as that part is not finished, I will get to that. The main body of the character is sitting at about 500,000 I’m going to take it above a million to add extra detail it and then when finished, I will bake the detail down to the low poly model.
Transparency, I was checking the characters head in the bubble. I may increase the size of the helmet, as it is at the moment tighter than snug.
Worked in the eye socket a little more and gave it detail. Sorted out the eye, I had one already made, so I swapped it with the one I was using. It now looks closer to a finished monster.
Sorted out the collar, it was bothering me for a while on how to fix it.
I’ve realised something, I’ve missed the antenna on the side of his helmet. The original illustration had that and I shall get that back in.
So nearly done modelling the character.
Refined the suit further and added some linework, they are too fine to be picked up in the screen shot, I may do something else to suit, but, for now, I can’t think of one.
Next step is to sort out a few details, like the plates on the arm and knee pads.
Looking at the character, I’m happy how far I have come with. It looks good, can be better. Close up of the head turntable of the character. Made some changes to the head. I’m not happy with the side profile of the character, it looks a little too flat for me.
It feels really odd, it feels like I didn’t progress much today, however, I have done a large amount of work on the character from his suit, to his head, shoes, knee pads.
There are times when I do a quick sketch review of the work, it helps sometimes to work things out that need to be fixed.
Ok, the character is coming, fixed the bits on the head. Added bolts and screw alphas to the model surface, it helps a lot. I may be tempted to texture the head tomorrow, that is after, I have done the retopology of the head.
I want to get the alien finished and vampire together for Screenshot Saturday on Twitter.
Another Orthographic view of the alien, you must love these. 😃 Added Alpha maps of little details and it does make a difference.
Currently, I need to fix the sleeve they are a little messed up, they’ve been turned into blobs.
Had to do a render with the transparent helmet. All in all, I am happy with what I have done. I got a couple of issues in areas of the model, one is the air vents, they’ve gone a little lumpy and hard edges became curved, so, I need to fix that, I don’t know what happened, going to try to figure that out.
I’ve actually forgotten to give this character a tongue, must do that tomorrow. I got to do something about the shoulder pads, they don’t look great. Even though I’ve done all the hair for all the characters and I like them, there is a temptation to go back and redo the hair on all the characters to make them simpler, in hindsight, I think they may be too detailed. but, for now, I shall leave them, otherwise, I will be in a perpetual circle of fixing and changing that with never finishing.
I think I can see the way out of the Valley of crap, finally.
Angry looking expression of alien.
Just played around with alien face and looking angry is good…. It works.
A little slow day of having the main electric cables being replaced, so no power some of the day and when got power, I updated the blog, I was hoping to get the alien painted today, however, I will get that done for tomorrow.