Another Day Another Sculptris Model

Progressing, some might say evolving, from slugs today I’ve tried creating something with limbs.

Meet Teddy…

"Teddy" by A.R Vincent, copyright 2012

“Teddy” by A.R Vincent, copyright 2012

Though I think I’m getting better with the software there are still some things that confuse me – like how to move a second sphere, the best way to make eyes, or how to reselect said sphere/s once they are anywhere near the original mesh. Confusing! I guess I’m just going to have to sit down and watch a few more tutorials. Still, finding a lot to love about Sculptris, perhaps tomorrow I’ll try adding some texture to this less than cuddly teddy bear!

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Sculpting and painting in Sculptris

Yesterday, I tried out the basic modelling tools in Pixologic’s free 3D modelling software, Sculptris, and I loved it. It has been awhile since I tried my hand at anything in the 3D modelling arena and it felt nice to be back in the digital saddle. So, having watched some tutorials on the Pixologic website I decided to try something slighty more advanced today.

Sluggy

"Sluggy" by AR Vincent, copyright 2012

“Sluggy” by AR Vincent, copyright 2012

Sluggy was my first attempt at modelling an entire being in Sculptris. Granted this being, being a slug, isn’t the greatest stretch but it was a good way to test some tools I didn’t use yesterday and get on to the bit I was really interested in exploring…. painting.

Unlike other 3D software, like Maya or Cinema 4D, both Sculptris and Zbrush have a function which allows you to paint on to your digital sculpture. Though the functions are slightly different, in Sculptris you ‘paint’ on to the model where as in ZBrush you paint on to the texture map on the model, the end result is an experience more like painting. The best part of this is that unlike Cinema 4D where you can assign block textures/colours to a model or Maya where you need to create a texture map (essentially flaying your characters and laying out its skin in Photoshop to paint before sticking it back on him!) you can use different tools to create block colours and textures and fine details and see what they look like in situ. Nice!

Of course this was my first and attempt and it didn’t go entirely to plan. I didn’t really get the hang of masks until I had already made a mess of Sluggy’s eye area and once the damage is done Sculptris is not forgiving. So in order to make the finished image look, well, finished I cheated and moved him in to Photoshop for some ocular repair and a little TLC. They are still not perfect, far from it infact, but this was only supposed to be a quick exercise and I had already committed waaaay more time to it this morning then I intended and work is calling. Perhaps I’ll have time to have another go tomorrow 🙂

3D modelled playing cards - Cinema 4D

Model Career Wanted – 2 years of 3D!

Pride cometh before a fall, the saying goes, but throughout my time studying how to create in this medium I’ve always been a little short of pride… but not short of falls.

For those without the God-given gift of “natural talent” in this area, and trust me when I tell you I don’t, the way to creating 3D models is strewn with pitfalls. Let’s start with the software in which the magic happens. These are colossal, computer-crashing behemoths of programming, with complicated interfaces, swelled from years of innovation and expansion, redefine the term un-intuitive.  Take industry standard Autodesk’s Maya, for example, not only presents the user with several rows of icons framing the stage but also incorporates layer upon layer of secret menu options, only accessible through obscure short cuts as obvious to the newbie as mason’s handshake!

Of course, there is a reason that these programs have become SO complicated, it is because they have become so powerful.  In a single application you can build, rig, texture and animate something, you can add particle effects (like dust and smoke), cloth effects (self explanatory, right?), sound and lighting, you can even composite real footage and CG objects! Mind blowing! The product you have on your desktop computer, or even your laptop, is the same thing used to create big name box office animations and VFX spectaculars, from “How to Train Your Dragon” and “Shrek” to “Avatar” and “Transformers” ! None of which is any consolation when you are staring at your early attempt at character creation and wondering why the things arm has suddenly and inexplicably turned inside out! It is like discovering the buried treasure and finding its in a safe with a combination lock!

But it’s worth slogging it out, win your fight with Zbrush, Cinema 4D, Maya, Modo, 3Ds Max and you have the keys to the kingdom! I think for me it is safe to say that the jangle of those keys is still some distance away but this is some of what I’ve managed so far…

Zbrush –

Zbrush

Maya –

Maya

Cinema 4D –

Cinema 4D

… and I’m still only getting started!!

First Attempt With ZBrush…

Post graduating my college course, I have been trying to up-skill and flesh out my bony showreel by doing courses, tutorials and workshops. To this end I have broken open the Gnomon Workshop DVD-ROM on ZBrush I’ve been saving!

This was the result of Lectures 1 and 2 on the disc.

Rig Testing

Well, after an epic battle to get the YouTube upload system to upload this without crashing, I am pleased to present my first test of a professional rig. This is my very short animation experiment undertaken as part of my research in to rigging and character animation for a college project. The animation is not perfect but I think it gives the impression of weight and mass to both character and object.

This was great to animate and I absolutely loved working with this character.

The model I used for this was a prerigged model called Whimp that is included for non commercial use with Maxon’s Cinema 4D. The copyright for this character remains with Glenn Frey (Bonewire)

Cat… in progress!

Make no mistake about it, I am not gods gift to character modelling on any 3D platform. I may be able to draw them, design them, possibly even sculpt them in some physical form, but when it comes to modelling them in the great world of Cinema 4D then its like trying to throw a pot wearing boxing gloves and sunglasses!

But perhaps the problem is that I’m wokring towards becoming an animator not a model maker, still its very hard to animate with out something to… well, animate!! So in an effort to keep my hand in here’s my latest character model.

This cat (just incase you couldn’t work it out) was crafted in Cinema 4D by my own fair hand. I went for a stylized look with cartoon feel to it. Soon I hope to animate the little digital fuzzball but first, with the models real life counter part sat purring on my lap, I am going to journey in to the mirky world of rigging and add a digital armature of bones and joints to the model or as the unfortunate 3D lingo would have it to “bone” the character!!

Key to my Heart

Well, since the end of term, and in fact the end of my academic year, have now past taking their deadlines, their stress and their course work with them I can now concentrate on my own projects again! So, no sooner had I turned my end of year assessments in at uni then I got home and turned on Cinema 4D and began… they have a word for people like me, it’s “addict”!
And here is the result of my addiction…

This is the followup to the heart picture I posted earlier for the book “Craving”. This is the untextured key, which I was quite pleased with, it took a while to get the design for the ‘key to the heart but I thought this looked quite good. I’ve added the key to the banner image with the heart and text. I’m not entirely happy with the texture yet, but I thought I’d mock up the banner with it anyway (see above).

The Heart Of The Matter

Well, I’ve been asked to 3D up a banner for a friends blog. The banner is to based on the art for her book “Craving”. The book’s a totally awesome dark fantasy novel, so the art has to be sort of gothic but without being overly macabre or too gruesome, so as to appeal to the more squeamish of the genres clientele as well as those hardened Steven King aficionados who are holidaying in paranormal romance land for awhile!!

Anyway, the concept for this is a locked heart, and this is what I’ve got so far.

I’ve tried to keep the shapes simple, the heart’s shape for example, is more symbol then anything that would inhabit the human body, and I’ve been testing out textures to try and make it feel more like something that is living tissue… and hopefully hitting gothic rather then gory! For those of you more interested in the techie side, I’m using my beloved Cinema 4D and each of the textures I’ve used have a bump map, expect the lock itself which has displacement instead as it just wasn’t looking authentic enough without.

Its only a work in progress but still I thought I’d share! If you would like to learn more about Craving then check out the blog here … http://theredpenofdoom.wordpress.com/