Sketchbook: dGreenberg

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dGreenberg polycounter lvl 2
Hey everybody, my name is Dave! I'm an aspiring character artist, and am currently attending Gnomon School of Visual Effects. I wanted to start up a sketchbook on Polycount, to keep myself from posting each individual projects on the 3D Art Showcase Forum (and so I can hopefully follow my own growth and progress a little easier). 

As I post my work, I'm always more than happy to hear any suggestions or critiques, so if you see anything that looks off and have something to say, I'd really appreciate it.

To get things rolling, I'm currently working on a mech / robot type of character, based off of a concept by Ariel Perez. This is my first hard-surface character, and I had no idea how much more difficult it would be (for me) to make this, compared to a more organic character.

HIGH POLY SCULPT:



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  • dGreenberg
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    dGreenberg polycounter lvl 2
    UNREAL WITH TEXTURE ATTEMPT:





    The shell might be a little too shiny. Might try to dial that back and see how it reacts. I also want to work more on the Unreal lighting and setup. Should probably get something better than a flat cylinder in there.
  • dGreenberg
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    dGreenberg polycounter lvl 2
    NEW TEXTURES UPDATED:





    I ended up adding a new base as well, but I think I'll change it to something else. It doesn't flow as well with the rest of the character. 
  • dGreenberg
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    dGreenberg polycounter lvl 2
    MORE TEXTURE FIXES:





    I think I've been able to get the textures to a comfortable place, but I want to push this guy the last 10 % to make it a possible portfolio piece. I'm going to try my hand at UE4 particles, and try and make the shadows pop a little more on the base platform. Maybe I should dial back the platform gloss as well. Probably only one or two more posts regarding this character.

  • dGreenberg
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    dGreenberg polycounter lvl 2
    PLAYBLAST ANIMATION:



    Okay, so this isn't the last post after all. Just trying to see how GIF quality looks. I'll probably include a vimeo file for the final post. 
  • dGreenberg
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    dGreenberg polycounter lvl 2
    Pausing on the scorcher (it's not done yet!), I wanted to work on a more human type of character, so I found a fun medieval mercenary by the artist, Youngmin suh

    Starting with the high poly first, I wanted to sculpting out as much of the character as possible in ZBrush (with more of the hard surface stuff modeled out in Maya).

    HIGH POLY SCULPT: 





    There are a few straps, buckles, and misc items that I want to finish sculpting, but to switch things up, I started the retopo process in Maya. I'll also be doing some of the sharper or smaller details with Quixel, once my maps are baked and everything is unwrapped. 

    RETOPOLOGY:





    With any luck, I'll be done with the retopo over the next 2 days. Then I can unwrap it, and make all of the little details shine through.
  • dGreenberg
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    dGreenberg polycounter lvl 2
    So I've been a little shitty about posting updates, but only because I've really been trying to get the textures to work in my favor. First full-blown attempt at getting a subsurface skin shader, and trying not to overdo it in texture map size. 

    TEXTURED & IN ENGINE:


    At this point I have the character in Unreal, and I think I'm just about ready to move forward from the texturing stage. Up next will be setting up the rig and posing him with a simple animation. I really want to get this all done by the 29th, so I'll post stuff here once I get some more progress out of the way.

    I liked the presentation lighting for the characters in the Paragon Tech & Techniques video, so I wanted to try for that style when presenting my own work (for the time being).
  • Kamul
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    Kamul polycounter lvl 2
    I'm really enjoying seeing your work, with your mech the progress you've had with texture really got him better, I'm just not sure if I like the pedestal, would love to see the final images.

    Keep it up the good work ^^
  • dGreenberg
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    dGreenberg polycounter lvl 2
    Thanks for the kind words, Kamul! I completely agree with you on the sand platform, and I'm planning on changing it up to better fit the character. I'll be posting more on the mech within the week (as soon as I can finish up the mercenary). I'd love to hear some feedback when I get it posted!
  • dGreenberg
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    dGreenberg polycounter lvl 2
    SCORCHER AND MERCENARY UPDATE:



    I'm thinking that the scorcher is pretty much where I plan on keeping it. I have an emissive map for some hot embers on the end of the branches, but I'm still getting those to work in Unreal. Matinee is a huge pain, but I plan on getting a recording of the animation out of the UE4 engine at some point, so that will probably be the final updates for this dude (unless something else comes up).

    For the mercenary, the only thing left for me (at least what I'm planning) is to get Matinee to record his idle animation.





    I'm always happy to hear critiques and thoughts, and I can't wait to get these finished up and able to start on a new character. 
  • dGreenberg
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    dGreenberg polycounter lvl 2
    COMPILED VIDEOS:




    So I've uploaded the characters into Vimeo, and I think it's just about time to move forward to a new project. I might go back to the cat adventurer that I started, and just do a few tweaks before then, but I'm really pumped to start on a new character. I'll make sure to upload all the stuff onto my Artstation ASAP. 
  • dGreenberg
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    dGreenberg polycounter lvl 2
    Went back and worked on my old cat adventurer guy (some textures and a rig needed major work). A huge thanks to Taylor Whitsett for working on the rig for me. The original thread can be found here. I think I can finally move forward from that, and just focus on some new things! Marmoset Viewer for the character can be found on my Artstation, here.

    CAT:



    A bunch of updates to follow soon! I'm done with the mercenary, but I want to finish up a few last touches on the scorcher before I post both of them.
  • RitualSynergY
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    RitualSynergY greentooth
    Haha he has a lot of personality, good stuff :awesome: Keep it up!
  • dGreenberg
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    dGreenberg polycounter lvl 2
    Thanks, @RitualSynergY, I'll do my best! Just another last update for my Scorcher character before calling it done, and moving forward. Fixed and updated the vimeo file above as well. Mercenary will soon follow will a final update. Gaaaah, I really wanna make a new character already!

    SCORCHER SCREENSHOTS:



  • dGreenberg
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    dGreenberg polycounter lvl 2
    Another one done and done. Going for a sci-fi girl next!

    MERCENARY SCREENSHOTS:



  • dGreenberg
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    dGreenberg polycounter lvl 2
    I haven't been posting much, but hopefully that will change. Here's my first completed Character Artist Test for ArenaNet. I learned a good deal through playing with this, and I realize now that I've been taking texture space for granted for a while now.



    I'll try to jump back in on the sci-fi girl that I started as soon as possible!

  • dGreenberg
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    dGreenberg polycounter lvl 2
    Here's the base mesh and current progress of the sci-fi girl. I'll start keeping this Sketchbook up to date alongside the other post in the forums while I work on the character. I'd love to hear some thoughts or critiques if anyone notices something off on the character!

    BASE MESH BUILDING:


    BASE MESH REFINING:


    FACE AND PROPORTION REFINING:



    BRINGING FACE CLOSER TO CONCEPT:


    I was getting tired of the brown material at the end, so I changed it up to give my eyes a different color to look at. More to come!
  • dGreenberg
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    dGreenberg polycounter lvl 2
  • dGreenberg
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    dGreenberg polycounter lvl 2
    Needed to fix some stuff with the arm angle (so it can match up with the other arm at the elbow joint).



    Working on the right arm things went much faster than the left. I hit my stride a little more with working on hard surface stuff, so that's always a bonus. That being said I think the shoulder piece needs a lot of work (in terms of design or positioning).

     



    Moving on from here, I think I'll pause on this character so I can participate in the Artstation Challenge.  
  • dGreenberg
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    dGreenberg polycounter lvl 2
    I've finished up with the ArtStation Challenge, but I really wish I was able to put more time into things. I was a little rushed to finish on time with the texturing stage, but I think it's important to move on to the next best thing instead of continuing to mess with it. 

    I'll go ahead and upload the WIP images here as well as the final results for future viewing. 

    WIP IMAGES:








    HIGH POLY W/ MATERIAL IDS:




    FINAL IMAGES:







    I'm not sure if I'm abandoning the previous sci-fi girl or just pausing on it. I'll be posting here though whenever I figure that out! Maybe I'll work on some stylized head busts instead... Stay tuned!
  • dGreenberg
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    dGreenberg polycounter lvl 2
    New project(s) beginning! Here's my start on a style bust, trying to capture the look of Frank Frazetta's Tarzan.
    I haven't started in on the eyes yet, and everything is still symmetrical, but I'll be sure to update it as I continue to work my way through. I'll also be making hair geometry, and probably some cards (a first for me) for the fly away hairs.


  • dGreenberg
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    dGreenberg polycounter lvl 2
  • dGreenberg
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    dGreenberg polycounter lvl 2
    More updates. I think I'm ready to move on past the face. Might reassess things when the hair volumes are put in.

  • dGreenberg
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    dGreenberg polycounter lvl 2
    Update with added hair and adjusted face stuff. Everything still in ZBrush, so I'm debating if I should just polypaint it and comp it in Photoshop, or if I should bring it into Marmoset with some substance textures. Either way I'll still be going for the same look by the end.  
  • dGreenberg
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    dGreenberg polycounter lvl 2
    Finally got things unwrapped and placed into Toolbag / Painter. I might save myself a lot of trouble on these steps in the future if I just opt to polypaint everything, but I wanted to try this workflow and see how it was.

    I learned something new! I usually don't need to try and match the character to a picture exactly, so I never really messed with the focal length of the camera. Working off of a perspective setting of 28 (not sure the unit of measurement here), I had to bump it up to a FL of 60 mm in Maya, and 90 mm in Marmoset. Interesting stuff, but I'll see what I can learn about proper camera setup to save me a little bit of the struggle for next time. Just the texturing and presentation (going to try and get everything as real-time) is left, so here we goooooo~

    Regular camera settings (Focal Length is at 28.97 mm) . Face isn't broad enough for Frazetta!


    Updated face with a focal length of 90 mm:


    Hopefully I can pull the textures off. It's one area I'm still really lacking, so I gotta give it my all.
  • dGreenberg
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    dGreenberg polycounter lvl 2
    Finished up with my first pass on the textures. Still feels like I have some work ahead of me to try and mimic Frazetta's style, but I feel like this project will at least improve my hand painted texturing abilities (and improve on my patience with textures in general). Currently sitting in Toolbag 3 while I test these things out. 





    Painting work is done in Painter with a follow-up in Photoshop. Really think learning 3Dcoat will help me with future pieces similar to this. 
  • dGreenberg
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    dGreenberg polycounter lvl 2
    Think I'll be winding down with this piece now. Did another pass and feel like I should move forward to the next project. 



  • dGreenberg
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    dGreenberg polycounter lvl 2
    For my current sculpt (eventually going to make it a real-time game rez model), I'm working off of a character doodle from the fantastic Serge Birault

    Here's the concept:


    Starting with the base mesh, trying to nail down the proportions:



    Reworking the face to nail down the likeness as close as I can get it:




    More attention and refining the face. Working on the shirt and jacket as well:





    Getting closer with the main body:


    Fixing the proportions. Working on the sheath and sword, and started putting everything together: 




    I still gotta get that hair to look more polished (maybe with Dylan Ekren's hair brush) and add the hair ties before I move into the low poly. I'll also be updating things here since I'm hoping for any suggestions or advice I can get to make things better.
  • dGreenberg
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    dGreenberg polycounter lvl 2
    New updates including the new hair and material ID setup. I put in some placeholder tattoos until I can give them a little more love and attention in Photoshop.








    Retopo is up next!
  • dGreenberg
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    dGreenberg polycounter lvl 2
    Retopo is underway! Currently sitting at 17K tris, I'm hoping to keep it under or around 30k with everything included. Might be a stretch, but we'll see how it goes. Thoughts or suggestions are always welcome!



  • dGreenberg
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    dGreenberg polycounter lvl 2
    Retopo update. Finally finished with the NEXT girl's main stuff. Just gotta take care of the sword and sheath before moving on to the unwrap.




  • dGreenberg
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    dGreenberg polycounter lvl 2
    I've just finished with the first pass on baking things down and put everything together in Toolbag. Really liking TB3 for baking purposes! Will jump into the texturing stage, next.


  • dGreenberg
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    dGreenberg polycounter lvl 2
    First color pass update. Took a while to get here, and still got a long way to go!




  • pmiller001
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    pmiller001 polycounter lvl 3
    That character is coming along great! to me it really, reads like the concept. Those textures are cool too. I'm trying to figureout how to do something like that for my next model. 
    Question about the hair, its just a solid mesh yea?
  • dGreenberg
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    dGreenberg polycounter lvl 2
    @pmiller001 Thanks, man! Yeah the low poly for the hair mesh is just a single piece but I created the topology in chunks before lining the border verts up and merging them together. When creating the high poly I had the hair in 4 different pieces (front bangs, the two twin tails, and the middle part). I feel like I really lucked out with the bake since I wasn't expecting the final result to look so clean. 

    Best of luck when you decide start in on your next model! I think it's always fun but challenging to get a new character started.
  • dGreenberg
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    dGreenberg polycounter lvl 2
    Updates on the textures!




  • pmiller001
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    pmiller001 polycounter lvl 3
    Cool!,
    sidebar- sorry for responding so late. Thats really useful info, Ive always ran into trouble retopoing/baking hair  like that. I've also never tried just creating the topology in chunks so that'll pr probably help. I gotta say I really like option c. The blue looks better imo. Which is your favorite? 
  • dGreenberg
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    dGreenberg polycounter lvl 2
    Thanks @pmiller001! Option C really feels like its the most fun version right now, but I still have that bias towards Option A since I've been staring at it the longest. I might need to let it sit in my head a bit before I know for sure, but I'm thinking I'll definitely incorporate a few things from each version.

    No worries with the response timing either. I'm glad the info can be helpful in any way! This was kind of my first attempt baking the hair like that and I expected that I'd have to clean up a huge mess in Photoshop afterwards. I'm not sure if it was luck, but I'm glad it turned out the way it did. Once you've retopoed everything in chunks, you could even try to stitch the UVs back together again if that's the look you're going for. I wasn't really able to do that because of the pigtails though. Too much going on.
  • dGreenberg
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    dGreenberg polycounter lvl 2
    Lots of images to update here!

    Since last time I've finalized the textures and have been working on the lighting, but I'll show my image process from where we left off.
    Textures without the weapon:



    Wondered how she'd look without glasses after all this time. 


    From there, a good animator friend (Taylor Whitsett) was willing to work on the rig which ended up being a huge help. 



    I still had some cleaning to take care of on the mesh and texture, so I went in and moved some verts and repainted some details here and there. Once that was taken care of, I worked on the blood splatter and started playing with some different lighting setups. I figured it'd be good to have one light setup for showing off the model, and 1 or 2 mood passes to play around a little bit. 







    I tried another setup with the head position, and I'm currently trying to figure out which works better for the character:


    I'm nearing the finish line with this character, so the next few updates will probably conclude NEXT girl. Really excited to get the character all fancy and presentable before moving onto something new.

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