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.
I’ve just finished creating this logo for Richard Eddon over at The Hairy Painter, to use for his new miniatures rule system which he’s working on. Modelled in Blender and rendered with Cycles. I also did a little bit of post work in Photoshop. Not much, just touching up a few fireflies, cleaning up some reflections I wasn’t happy with, adding a few glints and highlights here and there and some colour correction.
Here’s a few wip images from the process.
Initial Sketch from Richard’s sketch.
Clean lineart from Illustrator to model from.
Some colour tests from Illustrator.
Initial Blender model.
Model version 2.
And here are a few Blender screenshots of the finished model to keep you Blenderheads happy! If you’re wondering what all the hemispheres are in the last screenshot, there’s a great tutorial on Youtube from Scifi Animator about using them to light scenes in Blender Cycles, a great tip which I’ll be using again. Best new feature in Blender that I’m loving at the minute is the Inset tool (shortkey – ‘i’), it would have been a nightmare job trying to do those little borders without it.
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!
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.
This is Sally, she will be the other star of the iRover short, in other words iRover’s owner. I built her head over the past couple of weeks and her body was adapted from the Pepper model I built a while back. I was never happy with Pepper’s head, the topology was very messy and didn’t animate very well. Here’s my initial sketch of her, I did play around with her proportions quite a bit.
So I did a bit of searching and found a few good professional workthroughs on youtube that helped me sort the head topology out. So a quick thank you to Angela Guenette of Ponder Studios for her ‘Sintel’ making of videos:
And also a thank you to Glen Southern over on 3D World’s youtube channel for his 14 episode topology workthrough. Be warned his whole tutorial is around 2 hours long.
After studying these videos for a bit, I started building Sally’s head and got a better feel for the flow of the curves, it’s looks and feels a lot better now, and I’m 100% confidence that it will animate a lot better.
This is another work in progress of the star of the short film which I’m working on with Craig Smith, mentioned previously in the Apartment mockup post. Obviously he’s not textured yet, and the animation is pretty rough at the minute, I didn’t spend so much time on the running cycle since this was just a test to make sure the rig was working okay. Although he’s a robot dog, I still think I need to use some artistic licence and loosen up his legs a bit, his movement doesn’t feel quite right yet. I also think his feet may need tweaking, they’re too long as they are. The rigging is all pretty simple, it’s mostly all ‘hard’ rigged, in other words there aren’t many soft areas in the vertex weights.
Here’s some of the original sketches I did, I think he looked a lot more like K9 back then, when I really wanted him to look more like Gromit. I definitely prefer the floppy ears as they are now, than these antennae types…
I’d started building him in C4D version 8.5 a few years ago. I’d managed to get some really nice renders there, but the rigging wasn’t so hot in that version, so this was as far as I’d got…
But now that I know Blender a lot better, I’ve a better feeling about getting further with the story. I’m still working on the animatic, so I’ll post that when I get the first draft done.