moofart's smellyness

polycounter lvl 7
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moof polycounter lvl 7
Hello, you might have seen these things:


I don't make threads usually because I feel like a retard and make a million mistakes until I get something I like then post that and pretend I knew what I was doing.

Well, I actually kinda think I know what I'm doing on these sort of things, and they might interest people who'd like to explore expanding into some different sort of art areas.

My weaknesses are mainly art skill things, but I'm in my own opinion pretty good at manipulating tech to get results combined with what I do know.

I have some pics here that kind of illustrate what I went through on this, but I don't really know where or what to start with.


There's literally a million little steps but I think the big overall ones are;

make a quick study (or a few)
blocking out a rough blockout picture to work with
building up 3d geo in the perspective you want
painting over 3d geo
adding fx and all the little things that make your animation look good including looping FX pieces.
Finalizing everything in after effects
mitigating soreness and clenched wacom fist hands with alcohol and yoga poses

I'll do a run down a little at a time if people are interested, or if you have specific questions or something I can hit that up. I would do a big write up or make a youtube video, but I don't think I'm 100% ready for that, nor do I really have the time atm.

So yeah, hit me up with questions if you have any!


  • Two Listen
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    Two Listen polycounter lvl 9
    Moof, you are one of my favorite artists. All of your pieces have this great, "Let's see where this goes" sort of feeling to them and that's a super cool thing to me, since being afraid to just paintover something or try something new has given me issues in the past.

    Super cool to get some more insight into how these animated pieces were made, I think you did a great job painting over your use of 3D. I would love to see more from you.
  • SaferDan
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    SaferDan polycounter lvl 8
    Love these breakdowns! Thanks alot for the share. Hope to see more of these for sure.
  • Funky Bunnies
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    Funky Bunnies polycounter lvl 11
    much bonerz for your work, moof

    thanks a ton for these breakdowns. I'd love to see a writeup or process video when you're comfortable doing one. These are too amazing
  • Decci
    thanks for sharing! I'll be looking forward of your stuffs! this is really inspiring.
  • drawntothenorth
    thanks for posting these up, im doing quite a bit of 3d paintovers at the moment and its interesting to see how others use it
  • moof
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    moof polycounter lvl 7
    Two Listen: that's really amazing to hear, I appreciate that, hope to keep it up :)
    SaferDan, Funky, Decci, drawn: very cool, glad this all help!

    So I've decided maybe I'll just make a new pic and use the process listed above and show it here.
    I won't be doing animation because I need to take a break, that being said, I'll still treat it as if I were.

    I saw a few Terada pics he developed for Zelda the original and I really really really liked them and wanted to make something inspired by it

    NOT ME , this is Katsuya_Terada Art ->

    So I literally just grabbed a character I did late last year who I call Janibya Moonshadow :

    and made this sketch and I'm pretty sold on it.
    (if you don't see it like I do, there's a creature lurking in the background with a giant axe and is squatting down, legs up to chest, and its looking down unbemused at the girl who seems distracted with the raven)


    So this is what I want to do with this:

    *Make everything but Janibya and the White Raven, in 3d. The monster too because I can't for the life of me draw that thing in perspetive and figure out its design, as well as make it cool. Better to just use a 3d mock up and pose it and not worry if I got shit wrong.

    *Identify extra lighting sources way ahead of time, that includes torches, or lava or whatever.

    *Think about extra small details that'd make the scene cooler that can be reused if made in 3d (torches, skulls, chains, weapons?)

    *Do more sketches of this bad guy lurking in the background, keeping in mind that: it's super tall/big, so we need to figure out: how to make that read in perspective; squishing anatomy in a neat intelligent way to do that that, and make sure it reads from a small person looking up perspective in details.

    *think about background architecture in this perspective and what'd be cool; also this badguy should be treated as architecture too because it's a fairly big creature... put that kind of detail into it

    *tweak Janibya so she has more movement or something, feel like I could push it a bit more

    so yeah, that'd be how I'd execute. I'll get to the actual work this weekend, not in this post just yet (still need a little break before I jump into anything).
  • Twoflower
    Woah how did i miss this thread?!

    Thanks for the breakdown! Really looking forward to seeing more of the progress of this new piece.
  • pior
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    pior hero character
    Hell yeah !!!

    Absolutely loving the one with the chick in the computer chair. So much life !
    Can't wait to see more :)

    (and I really wish Polycount finally had thread thumbnails ... almost missed this ...:poly127:)
  • AtticusMars
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    AtticusMars greentooth
    I think you need to move the ass to the left. The upper and lower body poses orientations don't look consistent, as if you drew them separately rather than as one continuous figure drawing and the fact that they're so far apart just makes it look pretty exagerated. If you look at where you put the crotch and where the center of the ribcage starts it's hard to see how the two line up in a reasonable way.

    Also this isn't necessarily a bad thing but this looks almost like a book cover composition, like two standalone illustrations split down the center that happen to be overlapping eachother. I'm not sure if its what you were going for, definitely looks interesting but they don't look especially tied together.

    Love the animations btw, been meaning to try some of that myself, trying to fit pictures into gifs color pallettes is a pain though :(
  • moof
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    moof polycounter lvl 7
    Nope I'm in total agreement Atticus, moved that butt over a but, little update there I uploaded.

    I'm going to be working on this tonight, but looking at it, I've decided maybe I'll make some animated elements but not to same level as the others, maybe environmental ambient stuff.

    The problem is how do you have animated elements in a scene where characters or things are in a linear path of motion...? only thing I can think of is treating it like it's a scene stuck in time while other elements are not, like some sort of game loading screen, which might be fun to pretend at (add a spinning 'loading logo somewhere ;) )

    I'll see what happens, but I'm not gonna try to worry too much about the end result.

    pior, twoflower: thnx :)

    Btw pior, I feel that the girl in the chair works so well because it really is kind of perfect for these cinemagraph sort of things. Strongly 3d environment with tons of little stuff to look at, and a character that is clearly embedded in a satisfying way, that doesn't require a ton of movement.

    I'm gonna try for that effect again with whatever I do next, but I'm starting to think that literally making a 3d character for these things is the way to go even further with making these 'come to life' in a really satisfying way.

    Might as well start making an adventure game prototype at that point tho! Anyways just some random thoughts, always interested in everyone's input on these things.

    Oh also, in the future, I promise not to just draw half naked girls. It's sort of obsessive compulsive for me, but I should expand my portfolio fo sho.
  • moof
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    moof polycounter lvl 7

    Alright, so what's going here is I'm setting up some visual reference points so I can make 3d objects that'll align in perspective with the painting.
    I started with the wall next to the girl, and just drew perspective lines, because it seemed to be the place to figure out depth, and worked everything else from there..

    Also what's new for me here, is that I realized it's important to figure out roughly where floors are, and where a character is in relation to another character. You could figure this out in 3d, if at least you could see the ground at all, but since I can't I wanted to draw it in and at least get an idea of what was going on.

    I had an inkling this was true, but it's illustrated for me now; the ground has to drop out and dip down at some point to contain the giant monster character. Not a big deal, it just means its' feet won't be on the same plane as Janibya's, so I can do whatever I want to place it, so long as the internal logic is sound.

    I'll be sticking this into maya next.
  • leslievdb
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    leslievdb polycounter lvl 10
    love seeing your approach on this moof!
    big fan of your animated paint, and just your work in general ^^
  • moof
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    moof polycounter lvl 7
    That means a lot comin from you Ravenslayer, thankie kindly :D

    So I wanted to dump this before I really dig in, because the next phase is a lot of modeling and tweaking, so it might be a bit before another reply.


    So, to break it down

    * put you plate in maya/max whatever, on a ratio correct sized plate. Make a camera and align it to your plate at a preferred focal depth. Distortion is more pronounced at super far focal depth, so keep that in mind.

    This pic is kind of flat in it's elements, so I'm keeping it basically near default level.
    Parent the camera to the plate.

    Now you could align geo to the plate but because that's stupid, we should draw the geo on the grid.

    *Make a couple planes that stretch out into infinity as lines. use that to align you convergence point.

    You should be rotating and manipulating the plate as opposed to anything else. Make sure you camera isn't messed up after doing this, sometimes weird stuff happens when you group things, or parent stuff.

    * next check your sizing with stand in mock up geo for your elemements. Human size is a useful starting place so drop in a human sized thing and align it to your picture roughly. The point is to be able to see size relationships so when you make objects you know how big/small they should be.

    I'm always surprised at this part because your picture becomes very logical after you do this. You will literally see how structure should be made, why people are where they are, and what should be what.

    Like for example right now I feel like the axe is actually too small for how big this creature is, but compositionally it feels good... so I'll be looking into that.
  • pior
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    pior hero character
    I'm always surprised at this part because your picture becomes very logical after you do this. You will literally see how structure should be made, why people are where they are, and what should be what.

    I think that's the best part really. It's kinda funny how in digital art today, there is sometimes that strange assumption that everything should come directly "as is", from layers and layers of repeated scribbles on the canvas or frantic lasso selections "until it works"... yet historically (and especially before the invention of photography !) everything was actually composed inside the space of a room/studio, thus creating a strong sense of space and purposeful relationships between picture elements. Ironically, this process rapidly became the most important part of photography and cinematography ... while painters, especially digital artists, seemingly moved away from it now.

    (What I mean is, I would assume that a huge majority of fantasy paintings being produced today are being done straight "as a painting" or maybe assembled just like photo collages, putting elements next to each other ... as opposed to how someone like Waterhouse was obviously placing live models in a room. Now of course the original composition is always a 2d sketch, but indeed, having a real space to work, IRL or 3d, seems like a huge plus to me.)

    Anyways, sorry for the derail - just wanted to nod in approval :D

    Also one thing about the 3D scene setup : maybe things end up being so stretched because of CG programs always rendering in "straight" perspective ? The human eye (and any lens really) sees more in a curvilinear fashion, which I think you suggested nicely in the image of the sleeping girl. Maybe something to take in consideration ? (No idea how tho !)
  • moof
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    moof polycounter lvl 7
    Also one thing about the 3D scene setup : maybe things end up being so stretched because of CG programs always rendering in "straight" perspective ? The human eye (and any lens really) sees more in a curvilinear fashion, which I think you suggested nicely in the image of the sleeping girl. Maybe something to take in consideration ? (No idea how tho !)

    Well the interesting thing is that the sleeping girl I set the focal distance to warp any object in an almost fish eye manner... it's very very distorted. However, I set up the composition in 3d and added the girl in after so I never had to worry about anything in 3d but making it look interesting.

    I've been thinking maybe that's what I should do here. I have an initial composition but I imagine after I model out some stuff I'll be able to find something even 'better' if I tweak the camera a bit. I'd have to ditch whatever expectations I have with the initial sketch which is actually probably the best thing to do anyways since I'd be foolish to get too attached to it anyways.
    So long as I stick to the idea I'll probably achieve my goals if only better.
  • moof
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    moof polycounter lvl 7
    So where I'm at right now: sketchy_58.jpg

    In the process of relighting and figuring out the color comp.

    All that happened between last post and now is that I made zbrush mock ups of the monster, its armor and weapon, the wall next to Janibya, and some really quick interior bits just to sell perspective and distance.

    Those were seperated into plates rendered invdividually... the architecture, the monster, and the close wall all rendered as seperate elements, and then recombined in photoshop. After some color tweaking with curves you get this:



    here's how that nonsense looked in maya


    The monster was tposed somewhat, and then I just put some bones in what I exported from zbrush. Done super quick and dirty, but it works. I just literally built the armor on the tpose, then refit the gear on it in its' new pose.
    Messy to the extreme.

    Back in photoshop I just keep my curve adjustments on the top of the stack, and work with black and white (greyscale), and do a paintover in photoshop, putting very subtle color just to help where needed.


    I'm pulling everything back down to an even level so I can relight stuff, . From here I could make this painting anything... dark and creepy, light and colorful, super bright/super dark, painterly, or line art... it's just something to work with.

    I always feel torn because I see what this painting could be at this point in so many different ways, but I'm gonna stick with the inspiration paintings, and work out some sort of weird chroma and color composition like the Terada paintings.
    Stick to the plan.

    So, now I'm adding color and tweaking light, and I'm still in the process of discovering what I want to do there.

    Its just rendering from here on out... if you're just doing a painting.

    I'll discuss adding some sort of animated element next time. The thing to keep in mind would be how to be able to paint what you want, but keep elements on seperate.

    Also next time, I'll talk about going and rendering out a zdepth layer from maya so you can have proper depth of field (camera blur), which is pretty friggan powerful sometimes.
  • Daew
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    Daew polycounter lvl 5
    This is so cool moof, your work is always inspiring!
    I know you said you won't be animating this but I dont think anyone would mind if you changed your mind ;p.
    Also this isn't image breaking or anything but you might want to adjust the sword angle as its just touching the axe.
    Thanks for sharing your process and I hope you don't mind me using this as my wallpaper when it's done :)
  • ScribbleHead
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    ScribbleHead polycounter lvl 6
    This is really cool, if i have to put my finger down on something its that that both characters are moving/looking the same direction and that pose of the female character seems a bit stretched anatomically (like the chest and spine is being unaturally stretched).

    Great breakdown of your workflow too, appreciated!
  • moof
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    moof polycounter lvl 7
    Daew: Rawr! Yeah if I did add animating things it'd just be smoke or something.
    The piece is getting a little too complicated for anything but simple FX additions.
    I'm gonna look into it though.

    Scribble: Thanks man, yeah it's a little exaggerated in the proportions, I kind of like it that way at least for this character (note for example, there's no way human hands could work those claw gauntlets).

    In my mind I've always thought of this character as like a changling from D&D, and she just adjust her porportions. That's a cheap excuse, but it's also kind of interesting as a character.

    Anyways, here's where it is atm. -before
    and latest:

    I'm forcing myself to just keep refining 'readability' by adding more highlights and whatnot. I've always thought my greatest weakness was making things look unfinished because I wouldn't put the polish into things.
    There's other things that need work too, and some things that need to be rendered...

    I'm thinking about how to go about some animation just for the purposes of deomnstration (and perhaps adding something cool to finish this off).

    But yeah, I'm hoping to have this done soon, so I can work on the polycount contest.

    Thoughts, crits, paintovers; all appreciated :)

    Also since I've painted somewhat in my normal way... this in addition to any animtion piece; I'll be able to make a paint process vid too, so yey!
  • pior
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    pior hero character
    Good job at pushing that guy back in the background with the softer brushstroke definition and contrast ! It was bound to be tricky but you did it :)

    My only comment would be about the obvious : I feel like the boobs-and-ass pose is forced, and might detract from the storytelling. Now I am not saying that showing skin cannot work here ; it's just that the pose, plus the wind blowing right at the moment of action to show all the juicy bits might distract the viewer away from what you are trying to tell (ie the story of the crow distracting her.) In a way I feel like it would work better if her outfit was skimpy to begin with (like the proud warrior princesses of Frazetta for instance).

    I hope that makes sense !
  • Two Listen
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    Two Listen polycounter lvl 9
    I am incredibly hesitant to paintover anything of yours since I feel like you've got a lot more control and experience than I do, but I took it as an opportunity to try and learn of what I might do if I were able to get an awesome base down like you seem to do so easily.



    I didn't do a lot to it, mostly just took my sharpest, scratchiest brush and went over a few areas of note since you tend to work much more softly. Introduced a few new colors here and there, tried to bring a bit more focus to her face/head area, and tweaked some warm/cool parts (bit warmer tones around the crow, cooler tones on the crow itself, cooler colored chain on the right side, etc). Previously the image seemed pretty split in half, warm on the right, cool on the left, which is awesome and adds some nice depth, but I think a few more off bits to break that up may be of benefit.

    Feel free to ignore the paintover, it was honestly more for me, but maybe it will give you some ideas.

    I really appreciate you posting your progress in this thread.
  • moof
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    moof polycounter lvl 7
    That's a great paintover two listen. I've been noticing the two tone color contrast that I always tend to work into my paintings working its way in; thus working in some golds, and splitting some values here and there to seperate elements seems very smart and I like where you're taking it... excuse me if I just literally steal some of that from yah. ;)

    Pior; man I totally agree with yah, but I just wanted to draw a half naked chick honestly. There's a part of me that knows this is totally cheeseball, but I feel burnt out on 'trying' lately if you know what I mean.
    I consider this in the tradition of heavy metal... light on story telling more about breast style.
  • Luke_Starkie
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    Luke_Starkie polycounter lvl 8
    Fucking awesome dude! Really nice stuff.
  • moof
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    moof polycounter lvl 7
    Thnx Luke !:D

    Today's pass. Think it's about finished, more or less minus some extra fx additions. I'm gonna sit on it for a couple days, and figure out what I'd want to do with animation stuff.

  • pi77a
    Great work man! Nice angles
  • hattonslayden
    well that is some fantastic work. i would like to know what program you use for animation (my guess is after effects) and what tutorials you'd recommend looking at
  • kaktuzlime
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    kaktuzlime polycounter lvl 8
    OMNOMNOM!!! So good.
  • Isaiah Sherman
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    Isaiah Sherman polycounter lvl 9
    I really like your stuff, Moof. I love the combination of 2D & 3D with effects and creating animated GIFs.

    I honestly feel like this is the next stage of concept art, like how Riot created their moving illustrations for League of Legends.

    The one thing concept art is missing is animation. This is the gap that bridges 3D and concepts!

    I wanted to give you a quick crit on scale.

    In your 3D piece, the monster is fucking massive. But in your most recent image, all the values blow away any sense of scale.


    I went to an earlier version of your art because I felt it was actually stronger, before you added lots of glows onto everything.


    What I did here is increase the contrast in the foreground, decrease it in the background, and add a few small gradients in a couple places. Then I blurred out the beast and sharpened the lady's face to help your focal point.

    This was just a 5 minute quickie, so still lots of room for improvements.


    Keep it up! I love this thread!
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