The Beast - Spirit Of The Forest

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Spirit of The Forest
Decades ago, a young couple was traveling through the forest. They had come far from their last known resting place, so they decided to make a camp and settle down for the night.

The night came. And with it came Darkness so thick they couldn't see a thing. As the last rays of light got absorbed into darkness, the forest also came to a still, silent state, which was broken by a howl.

The couple panicked in the dark, as the howls grew stronger and louder by the second. They had to get out of there. They fled out of their tent, with their hands held together strong and determined as an oak. No matter what would come, they wouldn't go their separate ways.

Running and panting as they went, the howls came to a still. One mistep lead the guy to fall down a steep downhill, rotating in every way possible while trying to get it to a halt. When stopped, he could feel something warm dripping from his right arm.

A small glimmer of light came, from which looked to be a tree, closing in on the fellow, who with his last ounce of energy requested to the fairy:"I will do anything to get her to safety." That fellow was never seen.

The girl survived to tell the tale. She said some kind of a mysterious creature had come from the depths of forest, banishing the wolves from around her. The creature came closer and started dragging the girl towards a certain direction, which eventually had lead her out of the forest.

And here's what I have done so far. I started out sketching in my notebook traditionally to find out some interesting proportions and silhouettes and from the I continued onto a sculpted blockout. And here I painted a little bit on top of it to get a better idea of what I would like from the final sculpt. I think it could do with some interesting detailing.

Latest;


Orig. overpaint;


I would like to aim to something mysterious like a Ghibli movie like creature, from which you can not know for sure if it will hurt you or help you, but my text shows the creature in a friendly way. I think of it as a traveller's tale, which has been told to widow's children, who then proceed to forest themselves, see the creature and are scared of it. But then it comes to rescue when a wolf pack shows up and it might have been their long lost father.

Pointing out stuff about the silhouette would be very much appreciated at this point. And here's a link to my pinterest board; https://fi.pinterest.com/tylitalo/beastie-inspiration/

Cheers!

Replies

  • calixel
    Nice, I totally saw Studio ghibli style before I even read your description.

     I really am digging this so far, one thing I could see with the silhouette that I feel you could push  is, that in your 3/4 view it looks like the front legs are very spread apart from each other leaving a big negative space, maybe push the curves on his legs so you can push the silhouette.

    Hope you don't mind but I did a quick draw over yours, to hopefully show it better then I can describe.  
  • Sebeuroc
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    Sebeuroc polycounter lvl 7
    Cool work, you've got some interesting shapes going on. I'm really digging the more rounded horns in the full body sketch.
  • ThePowFin
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    ThePowFin polycounter lvl 2
    Thanks folks!

    Here is an update of where it stand today;


    The mask will most likely go through some (major?) changes. Meanwhile, I am trying to start defining the anatomy and detailing of the lower body.

    @Calixel; I'm not 100% sure how to get it more like that. I'm trying to look at owl anatomy. Maybe some posing will do the trick in the end, or do you think it's something major I should tackle before moving any further?

    @Sebeuroc; Yes, I kind of like them as well, but I think I could do a whole lot with them. What do you think, should I keep this not super rounded and curvy look the have now, or should I redo them with the curveTube brush to get the more rounded look back?

    Br,
    Teppo
  • Sebeuroc
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    Sebeuroc polycounter lvl 7
    I think keeping them smoother and retaining the more gentle curves would look more natural. Reference is your best friend! Look at deer or elk antlers. 

    Also, as you mentioned the anatomy could use a lot of attention. I'd recommend stepping down a subdivision or two and focus on the forms before adding fur and skin details. I'm no expert on mythical animal anatomy, but I did a quick paintover that I hope will be helpful. Again, keep looking at reference!!


  • leoartz
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    leoartz triangle
    Looking cool, Strangely the face reminds me of the court of Owl mask from Batman :) 
  • ThePowFin
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    ThePowFin polycounter lvl 2
    @leoartz ; Thanks! I didn't really know about the court of owl mask, I'm not that into comic books more than as tv series and movies.
    @sebeuroc I am not sure which animal your paintover refered to this time. I'm going for deer's back part, still not even close to it, and I got super confused today trying to adjust anatomy towards elks, reindeer and deer. Also, I made a new set of horns and scaled the mask down a bit. And, well, 3 fingered owl's front legs got a whole lot thinner and I don't like it them that much now.

    Darn, I think I took more steps back than forward.



  • jecastej
    The anatomy looks better. Also the neck could be impressive if it shows. I think the horns should be more organic.
  • ThePowFin
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    ThePowFin polycounter lvl 2
    @jecastej ; Thanks, I was glad to read that. Not sure if I want to show the neck although I do admit it would give it a freaky/horror-ish look.

    Proceeded to resculpt the same details to the back legs I had before my first updated post. This time I looked at a drawing of a deer's anatomy as well as a Roman sculpture I also pinned to my Pinterest. For the front legs, I added musculature of a lion's front legs. Next I should retackle the neck and the antlers.



    Cheers,
    TY
  • ThePowFin
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    ThePowFin polycounter lvl 2
    Another update.
    Decided to just start blasting through it with the vision I have had for this.



    Cheers,
    Ty
  • RakibHasan
  • Cersei_Lannister
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    Cersei_Lannister polycounter lvl 4
    Nice idea, it's coming along nicely! 
  • Spoon
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    Spoon Polycount Sponsor
    Very interesting :)
  • ThePowFin
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    ThePowFin polycounter lvl 2
    @RakibHasan ; Thanks! Glad you like it!
    @Cersei_Lannister Thanks! Nothing compared to your emotion-filled Manticore, though :)
    @Spoon Thanks, hopefully it'll be when it's finished as well!

    Today I added organic, realistic horns with details and touched the mask slightly;

    Cheers,
    Ty
  • RogerP
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    RogerP polycounter lvl 6
    I would love to see bigger antlers on it, implying a bit more Majesty for a creature like this.

    Hope you don't mind the paint over

  • ThePowFin
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    ThePowFin polycounter lvl 2
    @RogerP Not at all! Wow, that does look cool. This gave me an idea of the horns being living energy actually. So I had to try out a quick CurveMultiTube brush blockout and learned it actually works in screenspace (I didn't know that, honestly);

    Not quite the shape I'd wish it to be, but thanks for the great idea there! Have to explore it a little bit further.

    Br,
    Ty
  • ThePowFin
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    ThePowFin polycounter lvl 2
    Long time no updating, so I made the LP, unwrapped it and baked out the maps. Next step would be basic texturing, adding fur planes and what not. We'll see.
    I personally preferred the smaller horns because they give more of a tense character of a beast, showcasing more of a young creature with unpredictability. Also, I think that antlers like these work better with other shapes.



    Br,
    Ty
  • ThePowFin
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    ThePowFin polycounter lvl 2
    Started out with the texturing work and took a render out of the wireframes as well (I triangulated the lp with blender's export).





    Br,
    Ty

  • ThePowFin
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    ThePowFin polycounter lvl 2
    Alright, here's an update. I feel like a lot could still be done if SP/Toolbag workflow worked like a charm. Now, Painter doesn't show any normal map artifacts between uvs but Marmoset does. Not sure why, and it's only visible close-up if you look at it.



    Regards,
    Ty
  • Dimfist
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    Dimfist polycounter lvl 5
    I like this idea  alot, but I do think you lost something with changing the horns to minimal deer antlers. 
  • BrianDolan89
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    BrianDolan89 polycounter lvl 2
    I like this so far. I agree with the above comment with the horns. It kept your character balanced. This is just my opinion but I would suggest boosting the contrast in the face or wherever you want to draw attention to. The colors are great but they're all in the same range. The lighting is saving the map. I look forward to seeing the progress. :smile: Good luck!
  • ThePowFin
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    ThePowFin polycounter lvl 2
    @Dimfist Yes, I'm sure you're right. Life is full of choices, and I feel like this is more within the character I wanted this thing to be.
    @BrianDolan89 You liked the curved antlers, or the huge ones I tested after RogerP's suggestion? The height and tallness factor are what I am trying to go for here. Also, this is my first character I'm doing high poly first, baking down etc., so I'd like to explore slightly, and get more accustomed to the workflows. (Hopefully I don't come off as stubborn guy who doesn't listen to anyone's suggestions and comments)

    I made a quick rig for posing purpose. I have been slowly trying to enhance the texture as well.





    Cheers, and thanks for all the replies and views! This thread is helping me and I very much appreciate all the support, feedback and help I can get here, even if I might not get it across to you with this thread.

    -Ty
  • ThePowFin
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    ThePowFin polycounter lvl 2
    Today I started to sculpt a pedestal.



    Cheers,
    Ty
  • Rhimor
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    Rhimor vertex
    Might be similar to what others have said, but I think a bigger pair of horns would suit this creature a bit more (although the "young creature" idea behind them is quite interesting if you manage to pull it off at the end). Maybe it's front feet make me want to see bigger horns, I'm not sure. I really like the design otherwise.

  • Pixelgorilla
    amazing rock work!
  • ThePowFin
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    ThePowFin polycounter lvl 2
    @Rhimor Uhh, yes. Sounds like everybody expects bigger antlers. I need to do something about it. I wish I can find this somehow presentable at first on a bigger scale and then give it a go.

    Next update is here; so here's the LP of the stand I finished baking today.
    Tomorrow I will start texturing it.
    Then I'll try to do some grass and small rocks to add some small detail to the scene, maybe light ball fairy.




    Cheers,
    Ty

  • ThePowFin
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    ThePowFin polycounter lvl 2
    Gave a go at the pedestal textures with some of the default materials from Substance Painter. After having a look at my Marmoset scene, I realized just how much I'm breaking the shading with the beast. So I gave it a quick do-over as well (with a completely different color scheme as well). Right now it kind of looks as dead as the rock it is standing upon, grrr ...



    Cheers,
    Ty
  • ThePowFin
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    ThePowFin polycounter lvl 2
    After some time spent in Marmoset and Substance Painter, it's starting to look like this now. The pedestal has 1k texture set while the beast has 3x1k sets at the moment. I also posed the claws to touch the ground.







    -Ty
  • ThePowFin
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    ThePowFin polycounter lvl 2
    Added some grass material to the pedestal and tuned the lighting.
    I made a new fx-map graph for the grass and then painted with it in Substance Painter.


    Cheers,
    Ty
  • melli06
  • ThePowFin
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    ThePowFin polycounter lvl 2
    @melli06 Thanks. Glad you like it!

    So, I made a quick one-day rock and then tried adding some fur planes. The ones on the front legs kind of work, but I'm not sure about the ones on top of the legs. Doing fur requires some additional attention, I think. I feel like I could kind of submit this already, but we'll see.



    Cheers,
    Ty

  • llRobinll
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    llRobinll polycounter lvl 2
    Looking nice, the fur doesn't really read as fur yet and I'd try to get some more shape in the claws, they look kind of flat right now.
    I'd also tweak the moss on the stone, I think it looked better without it. It doesn't really make much sense that the moss is in the cavities (no sun).
    keep it up!
  • ThePowFin
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    ThePowFin polycounter lvl 2
    @llRobinll Yes, I noticed. I think I need to sculpt it, bake it and then position the planes all over the wanted area and not texture the piece of fur first and then position the planes and skin them to the animal to get a clear picture. When it comes to 'moss', it is supposed to be just grass, as the story unfolds in a dense forest, so I tried to mimic that a little bit. It looked slightly more interesting. No, they aren't in the cavities but they can be on small ledges and protuberances/appendages, right?

    I figured it was time to head back to the sculpt from playing with lights and texturing. I sculpted a feather and created an insert mesh out of it and filled most of the neck area with it and started iterating on the horns. I think the creature itself gets away from the center of attention like this, but so many people have suggested it so I had to go back. (Ps; the feathers will cover the whole of the neck probably in the end, it's just wip on that part.)



    Cheers,
    Ty
  • ThePowFin
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    ThePowFin polycounter lvl 2
    New batch of images. I separated the mask and the new antlers to different texture sets to get more out of the texture space and to iterate more easily. I also got a happy accident with rotation with import/export roulette, so I figured I'd show it as weel. That way the horns would be more upwards and majestic-ish. Right now, the mask and antlers neither have textures really, just the base color with normals, ao and curvature acting as the cavity map (even though it is kind of incorrect to use it straight out this way, but it makes details more visible).

    I also took out the grass from the pedestal and added another layer of material to give it more character. I tuned the pedestal and rock shaders to use curvature maps in cavity-slot of the shader to test out the result.







    Cheers,
    Ty
  • ThePowFin
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    ThePowFin polycounter lvl 2
    Alright, I am calling this one almost done. Might still make some small fixes, but I think this is pretty much as final as it can get.
    There's a lot to learn still; like fur for example, and my portfolio doesn't showcase anything about my anatomy knowledge so there are lots of things to do, not to mention I'm unemployed already so I should try to spend my time to my fullest.

    Here's the link to my ArtStation breakdown. https://www.artstation.com/artwork/lz96Y



    Hope you like it, and I look forward to pushing myself further in the future. Maybe next time I should aim to get one of the grand prizes.

    Cheers,
    Teppo Ylitalo
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