Critique request: I'd like to become a character artist

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TayAllen triangle
Hi everyone

I think I've gotten to a point where I really should start seeking out as many critical eyes and opinions as possible. Far past time, really, but I've been shy, lol. Essentially, I want to progress and improve my work! Below are a couple of images from my portfolio.  Any input from you would be very helpful -  and greatly appreciated.

 What mistakes did I make and, if you don't mind sharing advice, what I can do to avoid those mistakes in the future? Also/or, what would be the most meaningful change I could make to improve the quality of either, or both, models? 

Thank you, in advance, for your time!


Right now, I've been painting my characters. I'm designing the next set to be pbr though.



I'm currently working on the retopo for this model. I'm going to use planes to handle the rest of her hair (clumps of curls, individuals). 

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  • TayAllen
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    TayAllen triangle
    Hey TeriyakiStyle, You've helped a lot! Thank you very much.

    I see what you mean with my values - mine is really flat compared to your adjustment. I'll have a go at fixing mine. And, noted, regarding me taking advantage of maps and tightening up the UVs.  I'll fix what I can here too, and certainly incorporate everything you've pointed out into the newest model.
  • TayAllen
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    TayAllen triangle
    I'm starting to get model 1's updates in. First thing, the gradient:



    The value range is much improved just from this step. I baked a gradient from Handplane and set the layer to 40% (though, I'm more comfortable at 35% - it kind of looks, to me, like I'm blowing out her skin :s). I like that I have the room to add more contrast to her upper body now.

    I also adjusted the gradient map to warmer colors from b/w to keep it from washing out. Since it warmed the entire model, I'm going to duplicate the layer for a cool version going towards her feet.

    overlay @ 40%


    overlay @ 60%



    here's the value difference, 40%:


  • Brian "Panda" Choi
    Just as something to play with, but this would understandably change the art direction, try splashing some off-hues in very light opacity on the leather or metal to give it some slight discoloration.  It may add more body to certain surfaces of the materials of the costume.
  • jarsef
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    jarsef polycounter lvl 2
    Don't be afraid to push those values! Hope this helps
  • TayAllen
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    TayAllen triangle
    Hi Panda and Jarsef :), Thank you both for pitching in!

    @ panda, awesome idea! I'm thinking both the materials might be able to handle it if I'm careful. I'll post a test after later this evening.
    @jarsef, Yea, I'm probably being too precious with the bump - it's a quick fix, so there's an image below!


    __
    I spent time since my last post on the paint itself because it is shameful, sloppy work :/. Here's a peek at her so far, before and after. 







    And, this is another bump to the gradient, plus a shot of the values. Newest -> first update -> original:






    Is this good? Also, I'll touch up her skin by next posting




  • TayAllen
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    TayAllen triangle
    Here's a screenshot of model 1's progress so far. Current vs. Original.  Thank you @TeriyakiStyle, @ Brian "Panda" Choi, and @jarsef for helping me nudge her in a better direction -  I hope I've put your advice to good use!




    Her repaint is still in progress, will do a final post once done.
  • TayAllen
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    TayAllen triangle
    Final post for a before and after.




    As an aside: same pose, same texture - why does marmoset hate this particular crack?

  • TeriyakiStyle
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    TeriyakiStyle polycount lvl 666
    nicely done!

    For the crack - it may be a triangulation issue?  Try adding a cut down the middle of that piece or checking your uvs.
  • TayAllen
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    TayAllen triangle
    Thank you! I really appreciate your pointers. Now, I have a good baseline going forward into new projects.

    For the crack, I started by trying the cut, but it turned out that my weights were slightly off, so two of the verts were tweaking that polygon. After touching it up, she looks good now :D.
  • Elithenia
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    Elithenia greentooth
    Looking much better! =)
  • ashraful mobin
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    ashraful mobin polycounter lvl 5
    I don't know if it is your design choice or not but the thigh is way too large compare to the lower part of the leg. or you might need to define the knee properly :)
  • TayAllen
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    TayAllen triangle
    Thank you, @Elithenia!

    @ashraful mobin - I had another look and I'm not entirely sure! It seems like a combination of several things - very likely need define it to rework the topology to define it better. 

    Proportions: I notice that I definitely made her torso a little long, which could have thrown off her lower body from the start. I did a quick sketch in Ortho for notation. 

    Design: I made a couple of decisions here. With the top of her boot/legging that does give her leg width in an awkward spot. I was trying to maintain some visual separation between that border and the hem on her skirt (shorter skirt looked meh.  The first metal ring on the lower half hits right at the bottom of her knee, again, for visuals. It's been a while, bu I think I thought lower placement was going to crowd the top of the shin guard (not defending either, bad choices are bad!).

    Topology: I'm a newb. I'm learning quickly though :smiley:! I was skimpy on the polys because I thought I was using too many. I think I should, at the very least, add another ring above her knee to pull out the side, I'd also thin out some of her upper legs. There's a set of screenies of her legs at various angles in slight and full bends if you're interested in having a look!

    Render: There's some foreshortening going on in most or all of the images. The final is using a 30-degreee fov. She's also close to, and tilted a bit into, the camera. This likely exacerbates the above three mistakes.




  • TayAllen
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    TayAllen triangle
    @Elithenia - Thank you!

    @ashraful mobin - I'm It's likely a combination of issues. 

    Proportions: I made her hip area a bit too long, which likely threw me off from the start. There's a quick sketch below on an ortho screenie.

    Design: I made some decisions to keep some visual separation in two areas on her legs. Both sit in awkward spots, and I don't think I did well in compensating for the choices.

    Topology: I'm a newb - but I'm learning quick, lol :smile:! I skimped on polys because I thought I was using too many. In a rework, I'd, at the very least, add another ring in the area to define it better.  Plus another one in her upper leg to thin it out some. Added another set of screens of her legs at different angles and degrees of bend if you're interested!

    Render: This probably exacerbated the three notes above since there's some forshortening going on.



      
  • ashraful mobin
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    ashraful mobin polycounter lvl 5
    this is what I meant by defining the knee(check the flow line of the image.). there is a bone which is always visible and little extruded or bumpy. you can bring that using texture or you can change the topology which will give you better silhouette.
     



  • TayAllen
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    TayAllen triangle
    Oh. Well, yeah, I can do that.

    *quietly erases all my previous nitpicking*  :p
  • TayAllen
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    TayAllen triangle
    Her torso is totally too long, for real tho. I'm keeping that bit.
  • TayAllen
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    TayAllen triangle
    Thank you, @Elithenia!

    @ashraful mobin - I had another look and I'm not entirely sure! It seems like a combination of several things - very likely need define it to rework the topology to define it better. 

    Proportions: I notice that I definitely made her torso a little long, which could have thrown off her lower body from the start. I did a quick sketch in Ortho for notation. 

    Design: I made a couple of decisions here. With the top of her boot/legging that does give her leg width in an awkward spot. I was trying to maintain some visual separation between that border and the hem on her skirt (shorter skirt looked meh.  The first metal ring on the lower half hits right at the bottom of her knee, again, for visuals. It's been a while, bu I think I thought lower placement was going to crowd the top of the shin guard (not defending either, bad choices are bad!).

    Topology: I'm a newb. I'm learning quickly though :smiley:! I was skimpy on the polys because I thought I was using too many. I think I should, at the very least, add another ring above her knee to pull out the side, I'd also thin out some of her upper legs. There's a set of screenies of her legs at various angles in slight and full bends if you're interested in having a look!

    Render: There's some foreshortening going on in most or all of the images. The final is using a 30-degreee fov. She's also close to, and tilted a bit into, the camera. This likely exacerbates the above three mistakes.




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