Category Archives: 3D work

Some more sculpting practice in Blender 2.78. I started this for the Sculpt January challenge, but unfortunately this is the only one I managed to get so far.  I’ll hopefully get a few more done throughout the next few weeks.

Clubber King pics

Being a child of the 70s and 80s I was a d&d roleplayer. Along with that went the love of all things miniature, mostly painting, I never really seemed to have the dexterity for sculpting.

In the past few years 3D printing has come a long way. Blender’s sculpting tools have also developed a lot in the last couple of years, so I thought it was about time to sit down and put all these elements together and try to produce something out of a couple of sketches I’d done a while back. Here are the results. Two gunslingers, printed by Shapeways, where I have a shop set up. The figures are around 35mm, slightly bigger than normal tabletops miniatures (that’s a 10p slotted in beside in them to show scale). They’re printed in HiDef Acrylite, which seems to be the best material Shapeways currently have for miniature printing, it prints at a 50 micron layer thickness in black, you can see the layers on the closeups. These cover up quite well once an undercoat is on. I’m very pleased with the way they’ve turned out, with not much cleanup, hopefully I’ll get around to painting them soon. There’s also a rendered turnaround of the sculpt below.

Turtle-y Blender!

Turtle BI1

I know, I know, bad pun, but what else was I going to call this post!?

Here’s a guy I’ve been working on the past week, for a bit of modelling practice, but also more importantly for texturing practice. I haven’t really done much in the way of painted textures in Blender, so I thought I’d work on this and see where I got to. The AMD Radeon 6750 in my IMac seems to handle the viewport GLSL display pretty well. So here he is. He has a basic rig for posing, but I’m going to work up a proper animation rig over the next couple of weeks and see how he turns out. Might be a bit tricky with the shell, but we’ll see. He doesn’t have a name yet, so suggestions on a postcard, please!

Bughunting!

Here’s my June entry for the 11 Second Club, using the CG Cookie rig with some custom added texturing. I did a bit better with this one, 77th out of 190, I’m pretty happy with that. As usual though, I’d have liked more time on this to smooth a few problems out and give their faces a bit more expression. I’m still trying to figure out a good workflow with Blender as far as character animation goes. I’ve read various methods from different animators, so I’m just trying to settle on one that I’m comfortable with and is the most efficient. It’s very easy to get lost in keyframes for all the body parts early on so you need to use your time wisely.

This time round I worked up a rough 2D version in DigiCel’s Flipbook first. This helped when I started the blocking phase in Blender, and also helped me to iron out a few parts where I wasn’t sure how the body was going to move and what timing it would take, it was a very big help in the breakdown phase too.

Family of Thieves

My May entry for the 11 second club. I actually managed to enter this one, but only placed about 120th out of about 240 entries. Tried to concentrate on the lip sync on this one and keep it simple. A bit more time would have been nice to polish it up more.
Blender 2.66 with a slightly modified Cookie rig.

Picard on Shore Leave

Picard goes on on well-earned shore leave, but is extremely disappointed when he see’s what’s waiting for him.

This was my final render of the April’s 11 Second Club challenge. Unfortunately I didn’t get this finished in time to enter, but I thought I’d finish it anyway, saying as I’d already got so far with it. It’s far from perfect, but I’m starting to get the hang of more complex animation in Blender now. I got my hands on the CGCookie’s Blender Animation Toolkit recently, highly recommended if you’ve just started to work on character animation in Blender and you want to move it up a step.
All done in Blender 2.6 with the CGCookie Cookie Rig.

Sally’s Face

Here’s a few screen grabs of Sallys expressions testing out the face rig that I worked on over the Chrimbo hollies. (I love the bottom left corner one the best!)

Her body’s all rigged up now after a bit of tweaking to the mesh, I needed to do a bit or work with her arms and shoulders by adding in a few more edge loops, just to get a more even bend. I used Nathan Vegdahl’s  Rigify to rig her body, I hadn’t used it before but it saves SOO much time than doing it yourself.

Now I’ve started adding the shape keys for her face with some control bones. Most of her expressions will come from the shape keys, but I’ve also added an extra layer of weighted bones in case any tweaking needs done to things like her lips. She won’t be talking in the short, but I’m adding some mouth shapes in there in case I want to use her for other things in the future. I haven’t done any animation with her yet, but I’ll hopefully get a chance to get some done soon.

I also moved up to Blender 2.56a last week. This one includes improvements to the Smoke and Fire sims, a major tweak of the Bevel tool, some more additions to the Cycles engine along with other enhancements and bug fixes

Sally face contact

Sally character – wip 2

Here’s the latest mesh of Sally, co-star of our 3d short, iRover. I think this is pretty much the finished mesh now. I still have some tweaks to add in a few folds to her clothes, and I need to work some more on her textures, like her eyelashes, eyebrows and hair. I’ve decided not to use particle hair in this, I still haven’t quite got the hang of it, so I’m sticking to poly hair for now. She’ll also need a couple of wardrobe changes throughout which I’ll work on later. But this will be enough for now to work on a rig. I did some mild tweaking to her face and head, my previous version seemed a little too young in my opinion, you can see the comparison in the pic below. I think you’ll agree she looks a lot more natural.

Improve Your Home Commercial

Here’s a commercial I produced last year for a local DIY event, based on a concept and storyboard by Stephen McCreight over at GraphicsGarage. The tape measure was built and rendered in Blender 2.5. The logo was comped and the commercial was finished in After Effects. I still know After Effects too well to be finishing commercials in Blender. I’ll maybe get to the stage where I’ll become proficient enough with the video sequencer and nodes, but in the meantime, I’ve been using After Effects for about 15 years now so I’m way more confident with it.
It was quite tricky to get the animated shape of the tape measure. From what I can remember I modelled a straight length of the tape then used a curve modifier on it. I then used the Rotobezier plugin to animate the curve into the shapes of the house and the pound signs, while the mesh moved along the length of the curve. It was pretty fiddly in places, the transition of the curve from shape to shape almost had to be keyframed every frame to make it move the way I wanted it to. But once I got the hang of the Rotobezier it got a little easier.