Sketchbook: Gyzmotnik (A-Z of D&D)

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I'm getting into digital miniature sculpting and have set myself a little project for the purposes of having a goal.  I'm going to make an A-Z of monsters from D&D.  Main goals are to take many miniatures to completion and learn as much as I can along the way.  Rules guideline:  at least one letter per week (sourced mostly from Volos guide and Monster Manual).

If all goes well I will put some time/money into printing some later in the summer.  I won't be keying every model, but I will at least try to make models feasable for keying and printing in their final versions (avoiding things like splayed fingers and tiny flyaway details on finals).  Visual style may vary as I find my feet on this one.  I will try to post at least a couple of times per week to keep myself interested - feedback is welcome.


FIRST UP -

A is for ANNIS HAG:
  

Please bear in mind, this is day 1 of week 1 - the plan is to do one finished mini per week - degree of finish may vary depending on the free time I have on a given week, but I'm going to try to hold myself to one per week and get through the alphabet.

C&C welcome, also general abuse for falling behind on posting wouldn't go amiss, but I'm hoping that won't be needed.... long road ahead.

Story for the pose on this one... the Annis Hag is known to pull out one of its iron teeth or nails and shape it into a token.  She can communicate through this token with the creature who possesses it.  The pose is meant to be her offering said token - she will be clothed (in human skin rags) in the final.  

Apologies to any Graphic designers who've stumbled here.  At some point once I'm in a flow of actually making minis I will revise this painfully dull layout and branding, for now I wanted to get day 01's WIP up so that I'm more likely to hold myself accountable as I go on.

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  • Elithenia
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    Elithenia polycounter lvl 2
    This is cool! 
    Looking forward to seeing what you do with it! :)
  • Gyzmotnik

    Not in the A-Z but here's a night goblin I did based on some of Ted Beargeon's Warhammer online concept work - Haven't posed him yet.  Trying to keep things chunky to make him printable.  It was only after making him that I looked back at GWs goblins and realised just how tiny they really are, and that they are 50% head.  This guy wasn't done with any sort of proportions in mind (like larger hands and head for "heroic" 28mm) just sketching to get the hang of doing chunky details.  I since then made myself a proportion guide for the D&D characters based mostly on Eric Belisle's illustrations:



    like the hag herself, everything is still in spheres, it's how I like to start stuff off.  Keeps me from fiddling at the transitions between forms.  My favourite part of traditional sculpture and still the bit I find hardest in zbrush, but only a distraction in the early zbrush stages.

    Those guys at the back are ogres - I realised I never mentioned in the post above, but Annis Hags are ogre sized... she's a big ol' beastie
  • Gyzmotnik
    Didn't get any done yesterday, but here's some progress from this morning.  Probablt will do some clothing next, to see where I need to focus detail on the body.

    I might do a couple of sketches for "B" for a couple of hours so I can come back to the Annis with fresh eyes.
  • Gyzmotnik
    B is for BUGBEAR.

    I love these guys.  Large and brutish looking, but stealthy.  I also like the notion that while they are capable to great ferocity, if left to their own devices they leave well enough alone... they don't really go looking for trouble. 

    These bugbears are based (roughly) on these images:



    on the left, Britt Martin: http://brittmartin.deviantart.com/gallery/
    on the right, Eric Belisle: http://ericbelisle.com/weblogs/

    I will be following the costumes and props that they have, but the proportions and poses may be tweaked slightly.  I didn't do this for the Hag, because I'm making her up as I go.  Y'know, to make my life as hard as possible.  Not worried about matching them as though they were concepts, just using them as a place to steal a startpoint, to practice the process of sculpting for miniatures.  Hopefully more hag to come later today.
  • Gyzmotnik

    annis hag the third!  Roughed in some clothes and worked on the feet and hands.  Next up is the hair and the "monster hand" (her left hand).  Going to take a timeout and remake an IMM hand brush I made a while back with a hand, cause it's acting funny
  • millie_moose
    These are looking incredible! Super excited to see where you go with these <3
  • Gyzmotnik
    These are looking incredible! Super excited to see where you go with these <3
    I'll tell you where I'm going with them.... ALL THE WAY TO Z!  Did you just happen across these while browsing or did I link them to you?
  • Gyzmotnik
  • TeriyakiStyle
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    TeriyakiStyle quad damage
    Cool project idea! - looking forward to more
  • noahcarev
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    noahcarev triangle
    Annis Hag cames out great! I like your challenge, a hard one though. Last weak I tried ZBrush the first time, it's amazing (you working in ZBrush aren't you?) It's inspiring how you start with these 'clusters' to define the shape first. Keep doing :)
  • Elithenia
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    Elithenia polycounter lvl 2
    Coming along very nice! 
  • Gyzmotnik
    @TeriyakiStyle Thanks!  Long road ahead!

    noahcarev  She's not quite done yet.  I really like keeping everything as seperate objects to get gesture and insertions feel right.  There's so little surface noise/ high frequency detail at miniature scale, so I'm trying to limit myself with simple shapes in the hopes that I can make the forms read better.

    @Elithenia  XD  Cheers!



    A little work on Bugbear poses.  I'm probably going to just make one of them (for times' sake).  If I get time this evening I'll do some Annis Hag finishing work.  Should only be a couple of hours left in her.  At worst I'll get to finish her tomorrow.
  • Gyzmotnik


    So I'm pretty much calling her done, but I'm leaving the WIP tag on, because I'm going to render in batches... So when I get up as far as letter "D" done I'm going to render them all in a group.  There might be a little extra cleanup before render, as I learn more about the process of mini sculpting.


  • Elithenia
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    Elithenia polycounter lvl 2
    Looking great! Keep up the good work! =)
  • Gyzmotnik
    @Elithenia  I'm tryin!  Cheers for the encouragement

     When I started I promised myself I would try to avoid doing only humanoid creatures, then I looked at the creatures I had planned for A-D block and realised that they were nearly all humanoid.  I was torn between carrion crawler or beholder for my monstrous creature... Still not decided.  I might do a block in on both and see how I like them.  Here's the beholder:


    I have changed the way I'm thinking about it slightly, and I'm trying to approach the alphabet in four letter blocks -  this way when I get "I can't see the problems because I've been looking at it all week" eyes I just switch to another letter.  I still want to average one 4 letter block per four weeks.  Maybe as I continue the timing will improve - proper renders to come in week four.




  • Elithenia
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    Elithenia polycounter lvl 2
    He looks cool! :) 
  • Gyzmotnik
    Random jump forward- and yes it's from the PHB rather than Monsters Manual or Volo's guide - but... I had an idea I liked, so I thought this would be a good place for it.  He's a coastal druid who uses creatures he gathers from the sea as minions to hel him fight, or straight up weapons through cunning use of the enlarge spell (octopus is a pet, but the anemones make amazing grenades... poisonous too).  

    This is just a sketch to get  the idea in three dimensions.  It's supposed to be a gunslinger look, about to grab and fling his pal the octopus, casting enlarge on him mid flight.  He is a gnome.


     
  • Gyzmotnik
  • Gyzmotnik
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    Gyzmotnik vertex
    Some costume updates on the druid.  I might not keep his cape.  His cape  would be made out of seaweed, but at the moment I think it's making the sculpt look a bit busy.  I'm also very aware of the fact that he is only supposed to be gnome sized, and at miniature scale would be TINY... so needs to read clearly

    I also made progress on C.. which is for carrion crawler.  


  • Gyzmotnik
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    Gyzmotnik vertex


    more work on druid's hair and face.  Going to go back to B for a while
  • Oliver Hopley
    Great project idea. I love the way Annis Hag is looks and I can't wait to see the others!
  • Gyzmotnik
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    Gyzmotnik vertex
    @Oliver Hopley
    Thanks dude!  She was super fun to model.  I'm going to go back to the bugbear this week to try to apply some of the bits I learned from sculpting her, and get my dramatic posing going!
  • TayAllen
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    TayAllen triangle
    Your minis are really neat - I'm especially loving Carrion Crawler.  *adds to favorites*
  • Gyzmotnik
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    Gyzmotnik vertex
    @TayAllen
    Thanks!  Carrion crawler is getting some love tomorrow, should be able to finish it up


    having some issues resolving B.... I will probably nd up using the beholder, just because it's closer to completion, but I'm not really happy with him.  Still though, need to be getting on with the letters.
  • Gyzmotnik
    So today should be last day of this modelling block, but I am going to push it until friday.  This will let me get a little more polish on them before I start the rendering.


    Beholders are silly creatures...  But he is starting to look like one


    Carrion crawler; his back needs a little more punch on the details and I might change the eye again.  I don't know if I'm going to end up totally satisfied with the eye no matter the outcome, but I'll have to let it go soon.


    I lost a save!  I lost a save on the druid and had to redo a fair bit of work.  I like where he is now.  I am considering adding a last minute staff.  The clothes will also need remodelling from low poly, cause the folds are rubbish.
  • Gyzmotnik


    left to do this evening - hands need fixing.

    Jars on belt need detail and attachment.  Belt also needs holes and buckle at back, attache shoulderpads to pauldron.

    Need to put ties on the bottom of his pants.

    Octopus needs some fuckin character!

    Hair needs to be looked at.
  • Gyzmotnik
    forgot I wanted to post this too.  Trying to decide on eye type for carrion crawler.  I think if it was being produced as a mini I would try to make the options available as part of a kit (so you get all three and could choose which to stick on to your own model).  This would also be cool to do for mouth variations.  His body will be getting some love too, just to neaten up the curves and add a couple of dents.  Want to avoid high frequency detail that could just end up looking like noise at this scale.


  • noahcarev
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    noahcarev triangle
    Wow lot of cool new work. I like how the druid comes out. Thanks for sharing the progress.
  • Gyzmotnik
    @noahcarev
    Cheers man!  Feels like slow progress on my end, but at least I'm still ticking away at it!

    the cape is back... well, half cape.  More to do, more to do.

  • Elithenia
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    Elithenia polycounter lvl 2
    They are coming along great!
    I'm impressed with your perseverance :) Keep up the good work!
  • Gyzmotnik


    rendered two ways... still working out the kinks- obviously the undercuts will need fixing on hos weapon, and I'll probably make the anemones chunkier, to read at print scale.  I think I like the look of the small one better, but I'm still playing around with settings.  I don't want the render itself to be too flashy, but clear, and readable.  Rendering it has forced me to rethink a lot though


  • Gyzmotnik
    @Elithenia  Cheers!  I'm changing up some stuff now that I've seen some renders -  makes the world of difference

    There's a fair bit in this lady that would need cleaning up for print.  At this point the alphabet may shift sideways slightly, because I think I need to re-think my modelling approach.  4 week deadline finishes tomorrow anyway, so we'll see how far I get, then the next four model block will be a little different.

  • Elithenia
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    Elithenia polycounter lvl 2
    Well I think it is a good way to try out different workflows and techniques! Congratulations on making it through the first block.
  • Gyzmotnik
    @Elithenia
     cheers dude! I'll push for learning more in the next block.  The block in phase is pretty vital where minis are concerned I think, because of just how badly intersecting geometry messes you up later.



    perspex base for funsies.



    cheated a little on the eyes here, because it looked cool.  I meant to go back and apply what I learned about tentacle shaping on the druid's octopus to this one, but no time left in the end.




    I think this is the last update for this block, but I'm excited to get to the next block, because I need to apply some knowledge to still up in something that can be 3d printable.  I'm going to step away from D&D for the next 4 figure block so that I can try some modern figures.

    I've got two reasons for this:

    1. I want to try clothing and packs.  I'm not happy with how the clothing on these looks, and I think I have a better idea for how I will approach it.

    2. I want to do some "modern" figures and some sci fi, because it's something that tends to be in demand, and I want to get a folio up of sculpts in the hope I can get some paying work... learn some of this stuff on the job and get some money in.


    When those are done I'll come back to A-Z with a vengence.  I mean, the next A-Z block is going to involve an Ettin and a Flesh golem... what's not to love?  (Ettin are two headed giants with orcish facial features).  Next up though, some people with more natural proportions and real clothes... then back to monsters!


  • Gyzmotnik
    working on a mini outside of the alphabet for a portfolio piece.  It's based on this:


     by eric belisle: http://ericbelisle.com/weblogs/

    I plan on doing another character based on his work too.  Pushing out of my comfort zone of blobby monsters.  I might start work on the Ettin soon though,  to give my brain a break.
  • Gyzmotnik
    current alphabet sketch.  E is for Ettin.  Ettin are double headed giants with orcish facial features.
    pose and clothing are based on this:

    again Eric belisle.  He just does the perfect amount of detail for miniatures.  Everything is clear and there's no fiddly small stuff.

    The heads are a bit different cause I like my orcs a bit more tusky and brutish (like Brian Nelson style orks).  The body is also a little different physicality wise
  • Gyzmotnik

    Other human I'm working on to practice clothes and props, as well as the more human proportions that a lot of miniature companies use now.  The concept is also by Eric Belisle (noticing a pattern here?)


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