Ok, I did an action-ish page, experimenting with a brush pen.
Hello, yep I’m late, the daily sketchbook has been burning my eyes and my mind for the last year and guilt. It has been a long time since uploading any of these sketches for ages, well…… since last year in fact, very bad of me. Made some time, going to upload them batches at a time.
Each of these sketches was about five to twenty minutes, had fun sketching them out, some days were more successful than other.
Additionally, a side note, I did stop doing the daily sketchbook this year as I’ve been drawing in other sketchbooks to finish them and I don’t like blank pages in sketchbooks.
Then by chance, I found journal, a proper daily sketchbook at Paperchase with no line called 365 Journal. Man, it was such a pain to find one, now it’s sitting there waiting for 2017 sketches.
A quick post update and want to post as often as possible, seriously the editing take ages and then it’s still not edited properly. The alien is nearly done. Work continues after a few days of being kept busy with other projects.
22nd August 2017
Some more playing around with making label art for the space suit, I want to do more and would like to redo a few as they need a little iteration, Happy with some of the result of labels. One aspect I really enjoy jumping onto illustrator for this is doing vector art and with a nod here and there to other characters.
Added the decals to the Alien, it’s nearly there. Changed the lighting and the background from the black and I prefer it like this look, helps with the silhouette, as on the previous screen grabs, it was difficult to see the Alien. I got to make changes to the helmet as it is a little too reflective.
26th August 2017
A little bit of tweaking took down the reflection of the helmet as it was way too shiny, I’ll probably be playing with the reflectivity until it’s a little bit shiny.
I got bored with the neutral expression and so made a few odd expressions, I think I’m almost done with the character, got a couple of things to work on.
I’d like to get this character finished and I think I am nearly there and the more I look at it, I’m enjoying the look more and more.
Future projects I am going to make more silly looking, colourful and interesting characters with higher polish. Going to try and avoid the serious looking work or generic looking artwork, I want to stand out. One thing I really like is colour, really colourful stuff going to push more for that with other projects when I work on them.
While I worked on the project I took some notes on thoughts about the project process and how I would do things differently on future projects with texturing and modelling.
- Make the low poly model version first instead of sculpting them from scratch, it would be so much quicker and cleaner.
- Teeth I would combine into one mesh instead of separate ones, reducing polygon count and speeding up work.
- Do the UV Map different, reduce wasted space, dear lord have some wasted space.
- Make sure that seams are hidden and edges by making sure that the joining UV face the same direction.
- Reduce cleaning time of textures and meshes.
- Better hard edges with extra support loops as some of the edges are off and too tight.
- Make sure that all cylindrical objects when are unwrapped are straight and not curved in the UV map, to conserve space and make sure that the Normal map edges look clean.
- Move fully onto Substance Painter and Quixel really must do that. That is going to be done next.
Back to work on the alien.
1 August 2017
The first step I wanted to add some extra detail to textures for the Alien, the same as the vampire patches on his jacket.
Made a start in space astronaut space patches, gathered some reference images of astronaut patches and made a few in vector style, kept them simple.
4th August 2017
9th August 2017
More work progress of redoing the character, this time the vents.
Some rework on the characters chest unit, and the side vents, I have no idea it would take me this long, what a silly joke.
It took a few days to do, with a lot of trial and error, looked at car fender vents, exhaust pipes, close ups of concept cars detail and nothing was working, sketches and iterations after of sketches, I went back to the original version and worked on that for awhile make the shape sharper. and enlarged the vents, this time, it does not have the warped edges and corners.
Work on the space patches continues, made some new ones and iterated on the older ones.
So, a brief moment of panic, I saved the file from UVlayout as a .ply instead of the usual .obj file format opened it in Zbrush. Rejoice, the assets were visible now, but, the UV map was not showing up, almost in despair, I opened the .ply file back in UVlayout, checked that the mesh and model was visible, which on both accounts they were, Then, I saved it back as a .obj file and opened it in Zbrush, it worked perfectly, the mesh and the UV were visible, phew.
I really want to get this thing finished, I feel like I am having my own battle with this alien, to me, it’s akin to putting a cat in a Pet Carrier if the cat does not want to go in, you got a mission to get in with its claws.
After the unwrapping, it was time to merge the UV together, so far so good.
Today baking with xNormals has gone well, towards the end started to get issues with some of the high poly meshes in Zbrush.
After sorting out the textures for the Alien.
The next step is to work on the character further and get it all textured up in the next couple of days, additionally finish parts of the mesh have not been textured too. I am happier with this version of the alien.
The second pass of this character iteration has fought me almost every step of the way, sometimes work goes smoothly and a problem pops, this one has thrown issues all the time, I like to think of it as a good learning curve, but man, so many issues to solve, even last night some of the high poly meshes I had previously worked on did not work properly anymore, mainly paint them and even unwrap them. Today the files I worked on and saved last night didn’t open up. I had to go back to the previous iterative saves, lost about a half hour of work and didn’t lose much progress, I stuck with it and got some done. What A week, time to batten down hatches and get the Alien finished as soon as possible.
16th August 2017
Half day of work, Further work on the character done, sorted out the teeth, started to redo the straps, the darker colours I do not like and I want to lighten the colour. The suit was bothering me as it looked blend so I decided to break up the suit colour and it helps. The next step is to refine that further and add some texture to the normal map. Tomorrow, I got to do the buttons, fix up the antenna, sort the feet out as there were parts that were not working both in look and with baking, then add some of the decals of the badges and to work on some of the this is going to be a rush to get this done.
20th August 2017Firstly, well, oh my dear lord, have had a really frustrating couple of days.
Somehow when tweaking new low poly mesh of models created, I moved the mesh a little or was it the texture, that is how my day was fixing a problem, that I thought it was the textures maps I may have moved, it turned out that I moved some of the mesh ever so slightly, now all them mesh of the character, was out just a bit of him and I had thought it was the textures maps were wrong, turns out they weren’t. So in the picture the alien on the right you can see black edges, even the edge padding was not enough.
The mesh has been almost sorted out, just need to align the shoulder pads or rebake them, I really thought that it was all done, all I wanted to do was add some decals to the buttons and caution signs and that was before the weekend, but man, I never want to go through that again, so many issues from a simple mistake, being tired didn’t help, end of the day. On hindsight, I am going to be careful with those issues in the future. I eventually took my frustration on the Uruk-hai Shadows of Mordor, which helped.
21st Aug 2017
The focus was to get the space patches added to the Alien and make new ones, so far so good with patches and a couple of nods to other sci-fi films. I have a few more to do.
Character reminds me of Matt Damon more and more, it’s the hair and space suit