Late Night Diner Artwork Part 23 – Character Posing and Environment Modelling

alien hide.jpg
Hello all, another blast of work, plenty of pictures and I got carried away with them.  The work started with posing the characters and got back round to where I started, the Diner environment, it was nice to return to it, but, looking at some of the props, they really do  need organising with their names, some of the textures needed new passes and refinement, then I had reduced the polycount of some of the models as they where a little too high. The last thing I should never do a post so late in evening, anyway have a good read, ignore grammar, I somehow did.

3rd October 2017

Spent time creating a library of alien poses to choose from that I can add to the portfolio.

Took a little time setting up took some time to do and here they are with expressions too. Going to do the same to the zombie and vampire next.

So many poses to chose from. There are a few expressions in there I like.

Close-ups of the alien heads with expressions. Posing them was fun, giving expressions even greater fun.

That alien is laughing too much, I must make him laugh less, actually on seconds thoughts, I am going to keep it.

I can’t not help and look at the grumpy alien on the left.

Next step as I said is to do the other two characters and get this finished this week and I’ve just realised that I need to texture Aliens mouth.

4th October 2017 

Illustration of CRISPY FRIED HANDS bucket box moved on to create more food packaging. Had an itching to do, it’s all family-friendly, it’s all chicken, made to look and taste like hands, zombies don’t and for all the family to enjoy, I may come back to it to make a second pass to the branding.

Out of all the environment props, I had modelled and textured early on was the Diner sign and this is where it was left before I returned back to it.

The recent changes made were to reduce the polycount of the model of wasted faces, one main area had reduced polycount was the light bulbs and reduced the polycount of Neon Arrow, happy to say the changes were not noticeable, then worked further on the texture added rust and worn look for it.

6th October 2017

Reworked the sign base texture detail as it was a little too much rust showing, added a bit more surface detail like bolts and edge join, next step is to change the come back soon sign.

The upshot of the Diner sign played around with the lighting and much happier with the result of it, the strength of the colour is not as strong as before. the point of the arrow, I may need to have a look at as there is a jarring bit, I don’t like.

On second thoughts I have something to do on the reverse of the Diner sign, a warped version of the front side. The duality of good and bad and rework the come back soon image.

7th October 2017 

More work on the sign and wall, I reduced the Diner sign polycount further, the face now is less curvy and it has sharper teeth. Added the back arrows bit and the distorted version didn’t really work and reworked the ‘Comeback soon’ sign into a newer one.

Made some changes and much better for the back version, kept the eyebrow.

Now with added Zombie.

And still with the hiding alien.

Gave the exterior wall texture another pass, added dirt and grime to age it a little, the surface was too flat and didn’t have much surface noise, now has surface noise.

Looking alright, I don’t want to work on it too much and as it is good.

Opened the original Diner scene and had a couple of issues with some of the areas, the new wall textures looks stretched on one of the meshes indicated by the arrow, I drew arrows, why do did I do that, I won’t do that again. The problem with the textures are fixable and will get around to that, and those pavement slabs look a wee too big, I don’t like the edges too, I will go and fix them too.

11th October 2017

Got back to the Vampires and been busily posing them with a few busy days with the pack of vampires, just like the alien, the vampires poses were created.

This side view of the pack of vampires does look pretty hypnotic.

This shot, I really do like and will end up reusing again and again.

Now a Zombie plague of poses, hade fun with these. Now Ingot to give them expressions.

Then dropped into Marmoset, again it’s hypnotic.

Like my kung fu kicking Zombie.

My spiderman swinging zombie.

Now, the sign has a few of the zombies and vampire poses.

My favourite pose, the Fonz pose.

The Diner Sign, now with more monsters on it, I’m happy with that lighting and sure I’ve broken rules regarding lighting, shush, don’t tell anyone.  I’m really enjoying creating strong coloured lighting to the environment and props, this is down to my like for Neon lighting in Hong Kong and Bladerunner, I like how the neon lighting bleeds onto other surfaces and influences the environment and scene. Hopefully, I can do more neon lighting with other props and in projects.

Superhero landing with Zombie had to share that, playing around with stock animation.

Gave the exterior pavement another pass and much happier with it. The pavement slabs before looked too big and clean. This time added some cracks to break up the clean look and made sure the edges are hardened and that yellow tint was removed….what was I thinking

Gave another pass on the background prop of the Peterbilt truck, added detail to the Normal map, just to make it look interesting and helps to improve its look.
The truck is good For a low poly background from mid to distance object, it’s good, for close up, it’s not good for that and it won’t hold up.

As an environment prop, I do like it. Adding the decal artwork to it does help with the look. Normal maps make so much difference to the model with fake 3d detail.

There was further work on tweaking the older textures and that they needed a bit of an update, like the table texture, one of the first things may have textured and it needed.

With each art pass on all the asset, it’s looking better and better.

Further work was done trimming down and cleaning the polycount on some of the props and others needed to be fixed with theirs. Some of the props polycount where a little high and considered wastage, the challenge was to reduce them without it being noticeable and as far as I can see, I think I was successful.

12th October 2017

The last few days have been, sorting and fixing the poly meshes/model, additionally with texture amendments.  Some of the model’s polycount where reduced and cleaned up, then, followed by a day of exporting all the modular poly meshes and props, each had to be checked for issues with its meshes and UVs, their names. A couple had a few resetting issues with their world space locations and thankfully easily fixed.

It’s a slow process, but it has to be done as it keeps it all clean and in order.  So far a total of 250 assets have been exported and still counting, a mix between props and modular parts, there is a few more left, but, I’m almost done.

That is the Diner, all in parts and ready to be put together again in a game engine.

Took some of the poly meshes and dropped some of them into the Diner test scene in marmoset, just to see how they looked.
Talking about reducing polycount, the seats on the left are the older ones with high polycount, the ones on the right have been reduced by quite a bit, probably removed a two to three hundred polygon faces from each of the seats, removed wastage and unnecessary loops.

My next texture work was on the Diner interior wall, the interior needs another pass to refine it, some of the detail doesn’t look great and it doesn’t look as good next to the rest of the environment updates and as this is the main area for the game and it really needs work look good close up. There are cracks are too big and little over the place, the wood panel needs a bit of work, the tile parts at the bottom look good, I may need to do dirt map for the edges and joins…. I really cannot remember what the proper name is for that, got its called a cavity map.

The window frames will also need another pass on them, they don’t look great, I may amend the UV too and darken them a little. Over the next few days, I’m diving in to get as much of the textures cleaned up further until I’m finished with the project.

13th October 2017

Spent a bit of work this evening with texturing the wall and I’m happy with that.  Added some surface details of scratches and dents may take down a little.

Going to play around with the details of the edge panels and bolts and the reflectivity of the surface.

15th October 2017

Plenty more work, sorting out the textures of the kitchen wall and gave it another pass

Electric power poles had to go back to these as the power cable is a little too shiny, I will need to rectify that. The original version of the cables where full 3d objects, these ones are just plains, saving a lot of poly count.

Electric Power Pole, had to rework the textures as they were not great and reduced the polycount further on them. I’m happier with the detail on them.

16th October 2017

More work on the assets, there is 287 props and a tiny bit to go, the last few days have been giving another pass on the assets.

Route 66 road asserts added with route 66 Decal. A little bright the screenshots.

The Arizona rocks low poly version look ok, however, they are going to be used for distance object, so they should be fine. But, thinking about it, I have an idea and I may do something else, the longer I look at them, the lesser the fan of them.

Added the logo I created for the Mayonaise bottle, Voorhees, Mayonnaise.

Come back soon.

Test cubes of the wall textures, I did this to make my life easier to see how it looks with the edges. This was done as the modular walls I cannot snap together in Marmoset and helps me to show the edges. The last few days I have been fixing the textures, as some of them don’t look great and really refinements to them and it has been nice to go back to do art after sorting out the assets.

17th October 2017

Been playing around with the textures, well, gave them another pass for the canyon rocks, sorted out the UV and mesh as well.

Exported and dropped the assets into the Marmoset to check how they look and the look good.

They look cartoonish and not a lot of detail all using one texture map. however, again these will be used for distant objects and they’ll be good enough for that, close up I can get away with that. If the Diner was on the top or next to the Canyon rocks, they would be higher detailed, however, as it is going to be used for distant objects, I am going to keep them simple.

I’ll play around with the texture further, I’ll keep tinkering with the grand canyon rock texture and try to break up the repetition.
Along with texturing the rocks,, I started to sort out the new textures for the branded items and they do look better now, looking forward to getting them all done.
I am almost done with the project, so almost finished, I still got a few things to put together.  I hope people like the final thing once done and aiming to have it all done by Halloween. Right, time to go back to work, tata for now.

Late Night Diner Artwork Part 22 – Rigging and posing

Hell of a time with this rigging.

25 September 2017

Been working away with rigging, what a few days of heads and pain. It’s been one of those weeks, of such slow progress. The models were uploaded to Mixamo to get automatically rigged, then they were dropped into Maya, funky things happen with that as giant handles appear. They’re not supposed to be that big.

The Alien mesh was auto rigged with Maximo and I thought I’d share the result, suffice to say it was not supposed to go like that, the results made me laugh too much…. I’m still laughing.

With the alien rigging, I really got to rethink how to do the rigging properly, I’m still learning the plugin that I started to use with the zombie. Yeah, still getting my head around rigging, something I never did before and I would really like to have a better understanding and the ability to rig models with ease.

Took more screenshots of the alien rig.


Still can’t get over the rig and still makes me laugh. I’ll get back to the Alien soon.

With the Zombie, I had the time to drop them onto a scene in Marmoset all posed differently, so be prepared for loads of images to look at.  For now, I am going to use Mixamo for the character rigging, I really want to get my work finished and up. Mixamo is a good solution, for now, it’s not the best, but to get a rig up fast and posed it’s good for that, however, making your own rig is better for advanced controls.  The last time I used Mixamo, was just before it becomes a paid service a few years ago. But, by luck at the end of August, it became free to rig and get stock animation which is good for starting out.

Attack of the Night of the Eric Dead, having one model rigged and created many poses to drop into the scene.

I couldn’t resist doing more of the Zombie and Vampire in the same shot, this is mostly to see how the characters look posed and putting them together to see how it looks. The Vampire looks evil, but I assure you, he is a nice chap.

With the next scene, had fun putting the characters into a test scene from parts of the Diner,  to see how all of it looks together, from grinning vampire, concerned and angry zombie.

Nothing unusual about this shot, I assure you, nothing unusual in the background of the vampire lying on the table.

Honestly, it looks like a heated meeting in the Diner, I like this shot.

I dropped the Lonely zombie into the Diner scene I built early on the year and it looks good.

Zombie alone, contemplating the next meal that is not a human.  The Zombie is a former monster, like the others, he just wants his dinner.

A bit of a side thought, if I create a simple base for a zombie, I can create various zombie looks both male and female, however, it is something for the future and for now, I got to finish these off.

Additionally, I’m going to have to create dishes for The Zombie and Alien, the original version of the 2d game had meals and will make some in for the Diner, Crispy Fried Hands, a Metal Barrel with Radioactive stew and a Vampiric milkshake for the scene. Even though it’s a Diner it does have a secret Menu for the former Monsters.

28th September 2017

Had to find a solution to the alien rig. So I’m cheating, well-being smart, never work hard, just being fast and smart. I split the body from the shoulder pads, air vents and backpack, with the remaining part of the body, it got rigged and posed, it was then put back together, not ideal, however for now it works.

There are a couple of problem areas that are easily rectified next time. They the tentacles and the cylinders around the elbows, they bend too much.

The next step was to tentatively drop the alien into the scene and yeah made a big impact on all of the work.

And well, I’m impressed and happy with with the results. A few problems here and there, but overall happy with it.

Staring at his meal.


The alien is happy with his meal.  Ok, I may have overdone it a bit, shhh don’t judge, I got excited.

Before the Alien was dropped into the scene I created the Radioactive barrel, will do a bit more to it and it didn’t take long to do. The texturing was done in photoshop With Quixel, I referred back to an old 2d image of the barrel. I should try and use Substance, it’s small and simple enough to do it quickly in substance for practice and fully go Quixel.

Don’t have a name for the Radioactive goop, it looks deadly and dangerous, but in all honesty, it’s harmless and the display of it is for show and nothing more. A lot can be dished up when Diner owners know a little magic with cooking…. Still not good for human consumption though. In the original design document, it was the Radioactive goop, Doritos, İcecream Sunday and I’ll stick with them.


There is some clipping in the seat with the backpack, doesn’t fit onto the seat and his legs are short, so they hang off, which is funny, but the alien will be sitting on the Diner stools and I won’t worry about the backpack, although his feet will be dangling a bit.

It has been a tough few days getting things especially rigged, then posed, but with the stubbornness of refusing to give up had helped, I will go back to doing rigging properly, for now, I’m happy and relieved with the look of the characters coming together.

I want to spend a day creating poses for the characters and refining them, an additional day reworking some of the environment textures, some need tweaking and others need empty faces on textures filled. Another day remaining them all coherently from textures to mesh.

1st October 2017

A day of posing the alien and again I got carried away creating them.  Mainly created a library of readymade poses and to see which ones worked and which ones didn’t.

For fun, I dropped the set of posed alien set into Marmoset,

Look pretty terrifying seeing that lot together, a convention of aliens.


Yes, yes, I got carried away.

Right back to work for me, I still got work to do.

Late Night Diner Artwork Part 21 – Vector Artwork

1st October 2017 
The next part of Barbara’s life on the label is the part of her life with the Galatic Revolution fighting the very people she worked for as a Commander.  The work continues creating the assets in vectors.

Worked and made progress of the Revolution label for Barbara, still going to play around with it, as it’s too busy background, I may rework that and remove and reduce the business of the background, need to work on the text.  I need to add more military gear or add more revolutionary images onto the image.

Here it set progressing, I got one label to do, however, I need to finish the current one.

A little bit of work done on the Revolution Barbara label, I think it’s practically finished, I’m not fully convinced with the clothes she is wearing as it looks a little plain,  may add a tiny bit to it and rework the scarf a bit, it does look great.
2nd October 2017 
I got some of the wording to sort out, perhaps change the text from ‘Food Revolution’ to ‘Flavour Revolution’ I actually need to add one more thing to the hair and add a slither of grey hair, but I may go away and do another pass over next time I come back to it.
Added Revolutionary symbols to the edges and a bird with a star onto her hair, recycled a spaceship to use in a battle in the background.
Here is the set of the labels together, I am happy with them,  I can see the story of her life coming across the labels.
I got one more to do, I may have mentioned in one of the very previous posts I was going to do six, but, I’m going to drop it to five and it is either the prisoner or the traveller design for the label.
Tata for now, Back to work for me.

Late Night Diner Artwork Part 20 – Rigging and Vector Artwork

Hello all a quick post of work.

11th September 2017

In the evening started work on the next part of Barbara’s life as a bounty hunter. Reworked the commander Barbara picture into the bounty hunter. Really happy how it is turned out so far and another evening or two I will finish this one and I can move on to the next Barbara illustration. Now the eye patch is gone and replaced with a cybernetic eye, old scares have faded, new scares have appeared and this time with a slight smile.

Experimented more the tools,  the Lighting brushstroke was warped with the warp tool into a curve.  Used the same lightening artwork that was on Frank’s monster coffee artwork. I may do something with that lightning in the logo.

12th September 2017

Went back to my 3D package today and with the new updates and it’s done a bit of a mess with the texture map paths, that’s cool, I’m going to have to spend a day sorting it out by cleaning, remaining, duplicates, and making sure it’s all organised. Additionally, the whole UI interface face has had an upgrade, going to need to do a  refresh with that. Probably in a couple of days will be up to speed and then some. Right, time for some reading and working out the identities of the icons, it’s not worth complaining, I have Google, Youtube, tutorials videos, forums at my fingertips for when I get stuck and not to forget my stubbornness.

13th September 2017

Ok got back into the swing of things, a bit of odd start, some Hypershades did not work and I had to refresh myself with the new node stuff within the Hypershade menu, also getting the hang of some of the tools icons.

Got both the Vampire and Alien in, I’m going to get the Zombie in and then I  will need to rig and pose them, I can’t have them in the portfolio posed like just as they are, I need to add personality to them and they look interesting and not be boring.

I had to go back and clean stuff up because some of the textures were not named coherently…. bad Mus,  I will have to get that sort out, that’s bad practice.
My next step is to get the characters rigged and get them into a  pose, however, firstly I need to do a refresh course in rigging and look at Maya’s solution to Rigging and look at Animation Studio’s plugin for rigging.
Also, a side note I can move the UV easily around with no Issues, zbrush and headus as great as they are, to me they have some limitations and I have a preference to Maya UV selection and functions, but still it was important to focus the low poly modelling with the Zmodeller.

14th September 2017 

Done a small amount of work on the label….. Not much,

18th September 2017

Further work on the label,  I want to stop on this one I may change the colour of the badge, the colour is not working for me, just noticed a couple of things, the straps have gone missing.

Close up of the Bounty hunter glasses,  I recycled unused artwork of the vampire character and made some changes.

I know the detail is too high for food labels and when it’s tiny, it will not be clear to be seen, however, it probably will be used as in-game posters. However, for other labels and brands, I have to keep them simpler and not do spend to much detail on it.

On the flipside, I like to create the labels with a backstory and help to world build the monster universe, those small story details just help with the lore, even if cartoony, just make it interesting and I like to tell as much of a story in small details.
The Rigging of the zombie.

I’ve been using Advanced Skeleton 5 plugin and watching very fast videos, the videos make it so easy to rig. But, they’re not, the videos are too fast and if you blink at the and wrong time place, a step has been missed. I’ve gone to watch multiple videos to get the hang of it and I am, but blimey, those videos go by so fast and catching those steps are tough.

Rigged the zombie and try, try and try again, deary me, I tried a few times to get it working has been a learning curve and crashing has not helped. First time around I got it rigged – ish, it was janky and well, it didn’t bind to the mesh, it didn’t want to.

Successfully got it rigged and this was Maya crashed….. So close and yet so far, back to square one for now and shake my head.

By the weekend, I want to have all three characters rigged and posed somehow, I am going to have to get my head down and focus on accomplishing that task. A little annoyed that I have not got there, however, I am sure I will get it done.

19th September 2017

Funky happening with hands, I am not giving up, it was a day of rigging, rerigging with watching videos and trying to work it out.

Really annoying that it’s not working and I can’t figure out why I am going to get it sorted and done. Had to go online and find a video tutorial that is slow.

 Then finally, I got it to work. A little rough but honestly, I am glad, I rigged it from scratch and it worked, hmmm, I have no idea why it did work, even when the process of the steps were all the same.

I’m much happier and this time I saved the work in progress. Had odd things did happen with PC, it was playing up and things misbehaved, I don’t need that as I need to finish all this work.

Right bind the mesh to the rig, it worked,  then the mesh moved with the rig…. Phew, to me that was a big step, as trying to get it to work has been frustrating and  I’m glad it works. Looks like to me that his going into a Dance move.

Started to do a basic pose, having some issues with the mesh stretching of the mesh in the wrong places.

There are problems with the skinning and that needs to be sorted out, they are stretching in the wrong places, they look awful and funny I need to figure out and fix.

Another issue I had was when a saved file with the rigged character it would get horribly distorted and could not be fixed, I had to go to a previous save,  I think I have to make sure that the rig and mesh movement transforms settings are set to zero before I save.
One of the options to rig called Delta Mush would not work, have not figured out why, it’s another way to bind the mesh and rig together and reduces the problem with the distorted mesh, like the one above.
With the minimum ability to pose, I couldn’t resist and dropped the character into Marmoset with some of the Diner assets.

Gave the character an expression and get away from the blank stare, further played with the face and pulled the tongue out.

Here is the side view of the zombies together and more view of the toilet, honestly, I grabbed the assets.

With the rigging, I got to remember that the model mesh has to be grouped and not combined as for the face won’t be able to rig the face details when it’s combined as it will treat everything as one asset instead of individual parts. Will do that for the next mesh.

In the evening I moved over to the badge/patch and the time I had I played around a little with the badge, better version and I shall keep that.

Happy with the finished version, now I must move onto the other labels.

20th September 2017 

Ok, so got it rigged with the new mesh option, ok, better, but I got some work to do. The legs didn’t connect, so I have some problem solving to do.

Arms up of course for being a zombie

Then, of course, there are odd shenanigans happening with the mesh, ho-hum, I’ll work it out. It’s not rigged properly, I need to add the hair and teeth to the rig, the eyes were added to the rig, so they moved.

The posed zombie was chucked into Marmoset viewer.

A simple view of the zombie from the front.

Playing with the lighting, added emissive maps to the eyes, just having fun with them.

I like that, it looks pretty scary, I’ve really made it uneasy and got carried away, I should really get back to work.  Next is to fix the rig, paint the skin weights on to other parts of the body and each step, I am getting closer to finishing this.

Late Night Diner Artwork Part 19 – Texturing and Vector Artwork

Hello all, still going with the project and more ramblings.

6th September 2017

A lot of 2D illustration work, specifically more vector work, this time as I had some time to play around with character, I created a backstory for Barbara and for each of her moments in her career and I shall draw snaps shots of her in badge form. Her career started as a Commander of a starship fleet, a wanted outlaw, Bounty Hunter, revolutionary and Cook.
I took the original version and created a younger version of her.
Going to create new glasses, may do sun glasses or something more like Neon glass, I may entirely remove her glasses, but, I think it may be her signature look with the glasses and hair.

The next batch of label branding has been done, I like these. I had restart as the file crashed while saving and I lost the iterations, set me back in time, however, I reworked them again.
The new ones look better from the previous ones. A lot of stuff in the artwork has been recycled and reused, I’ve tried to be smart to speed up my work flow while trying to reduce repetition with the labels. The next step is to add them to the texture maps to replace the previous versions.

7th September 2017
Some ordinary, some extra ordinary packaging designs improved upon, ordinary as with the Malted milk, nothing horror related, just cows…. Well, that is if you’re terrified of a cow, then it is scary, the others are the Coffee and the Mayonnaise changes.

I kept the milk one simple, I reworked it a little, I swear that cow is too happy, however, I found it too funny to change.  I’ve done the same again with the coffee, I reworked it a tiny bit, if I had the time and did it first time around I would’ve done an illustration of Dr Frankenstien or Frankensteins Monster, but in this case,  added the words ‘Extra Bolts’, with art lightning bolts and coffee beans.

The Mayonnaise I like, a nod to Jason, honestly the original version of the Mayonnaise was Monster Mayonnaise, it didn’t work and it really did my head. But the Jason one just clicked done in less than an hour. If the game went on sale I would redo the names and change the mask as to not to get in trouble.  I think I am going to have to take a hi resolution screenshot with all the labels together as a wallpaper, I like how it looks.  they are pretty good as a whole.

Made a newer version of the Anti bacterial and some home I have missed to post this update, now resolved, a better version, they are both good, I prefer the newer one as its monster related.

Went back Barbara, were on a first name basis now, I think these labels are done, there is one more tweak I may do to each of the images, play around with the background planets behind Barbara, as the one as in the commander does look good and change the whites of her eyes to black, it can be seen in the Commander Barbara label.

A closer look on the Commander Barbara, I added new glasses, I was thinking about it last night, the sun glasses were hiding her eye patch and I like the eye patch, so I wanted to show it off more, the best method was to do transparent strategic glasses and it works pretty well.

Added the hands that are holding the tray and reused the previously created food images and added eggs, I’m happy with it, when I look at the images, I giggle. They are practically finished, just got a couple of things left to do as I mentioned before.

I have a couple more images of Barbara left to do, the outlaw/revolutionary and the Bounty hunter will do them at some point soon. I really want to get all this work done and finished as soon as possible. I’m hoping when all shared at once it has a nice impact when people view the work. I really hope it does, if not, I’ll keep pushing forward.

11th September 2017

Last few day have not been as productive, been doing much needed uninstalling software, doing updates to software and installing new ones….. One I dislike doing, if I have to I will, I don’t go to the latest version, if it ain’t broke, then don’t fix and besides, it may break things in the middle of a project, that can mess things up and I try to steer clear of it until I have to upgrade or update.

I’ve put some of the labels together and there are a lot of them and still, there are more hidden and not posted up, you’ve seen them.  I am pretty impressed with myself and I do like the labels I’ve created, looking forward to more popping up.

I think this project has been a bit of a big one, I have done so much artwork in different areas of 2D and 3D, I have been world, building and I am glad I did. over time I will keep adding and expand the world with additional characters and other related artwork and importantly I like it.

A few Characters have doodles and profile written up, I swear having and using Evernote on my phone has helped me to write notes on long and short destinations and kept them together neat and tidy in one place. At the moment the additional characters are waiting to be illustrated, sculpted and made into 3d model game characters, just need to finish this batch of work, finish the portfolio, get it up, then work on the next group of characters in the queue finished.