Sydney (Blackwood Pines survivor)

polycounter lvl 4
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FourtyNights polycounter lvl 4
Recently I played a PS4 game Until Dawn and I got inspired by the characters it had. So, I decided to create a new 9th character to the group, instead of making a fan art from any of the existing characters in the game.

Her name is Sydney, but I'm not having any detailed background story for her (yet), and to be honest, the original UD characters didn't have any proper foundation of their background stories either. Basically their traits and relationship status defined their personality throughout the game. So, I'm going to give her three adjectives to describe her personality, just like how they introduced characters in the game for the first time. Her name also has a pretty good abbreviation, Syd. Also, I'll build those traits and relationship status for her.

Here is the current state of her head and body. So, it's just anatomy for now. If there's anything on her anatomy/proportions that need fixing or defining, feel free to comment and criticise. I've always thought that my anatomy sucks, but I hope I'm in the ballbark though...







I don't have any specific goals for her head's likeness to look like someone or anything like that. It's just more or less "a pretty face" with a decent anatomy I'm looking for.

Here I have a moodboard for her outfit and accessories. Ashley from the game was the biggest influence from the clothing standpoint.

1. A beanie hat - pretty standard for a winter scenario.
2. A sleeveless turtleneck sweater - it's under the hoodie to keep her warmer.
3. A hoodie - I decided to make it without zipper, just to be a bit different from the clothing used on the game.
4. Jeans shorts - Ashely wears them on the game, so I wanted to keep these pretty much the same. Maybe with some slight differences though.
5. Leggings - Yep, from Ashely's wardrobe again. ;)
6. Ring 1 - most likely a golden ring with a some sort of gemstone. Gonna create it with some sort of own design.
7. Ring 2 - even simpler siver ring with some carvings or ornaments.
8. A neclace with a locket - Could be a bit more complex design-wise.
9. Women's winter boots - this will be exact design I'm going with. Cute ones.
10. Hairstyle - I really like Beth's hairstyle from the game, and it's simple enough to do, just to learn how to create rea-time hair.

These pieces of clothing on the moorboard are just guidlines to go with, so any kind of designs will have more room fluctuate during the modeling process.



P.S. this project is one of my the most active side projects. I also have a bigger main project to introduce later this summer. But yeah, it's been a long time since I've showed any of my stuff here. So, here we go!

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  • FourtyNights
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    FourtyNights polycounter lvl 4
    It's been a while, but here are some updates. I could have taken a full overall render of the work I've done so far along these other shots as well, but it would've been too heavy Ztool to handle at once.

    Sculpted short jeans for her. Sorry for the quality of the render, it's just a quick screengrab from ZBrush without rendering it in BPR, so that's why the jagginess. She also has leggings, but the fabric pattern is on the 3D layer just for previewing. I'll most likely add tileable normals for them with the low poly later on. Leggings are so skintight, so no wrinkles. The original Ashley from Until Dawn didn't have either, so yeah. ALSO, the polypaint is not final, it's just for previewing.



    And I also modeled snow boots for her. Added some fabric patterns to the woolly top part of the boots, and sculpted some patterns to the bottom of the shoes. I'll be adding some stitches later on.





    I also simulated a beanie for her in MD. Then I retopoed it to evenly spaced quads, and followed the natural seams based on MD's sewing patterns, and UV'd it to look like a sewing pattern. That way I was able to tile the wool fabric in a realistic way.




    Next step would be creating the hoodie for her. It's going to be the most time-consuming because of folds and wrinkles. I'll most likely start it from a basemesh instead of using MD.

    To be honest, I'm kinda not comfortable with sculpting cloth, so lot's of frustration ahead, lol. But I think I'll get through with it.

  • demigodssw
  • FourtyNights
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    FourtyNights polycounter lvl 4
    @demigodssw Thanks, I'll try my best. :)

    I also modeled three different rings for her, but I think I'll use only one of them. To me the first from the left is probably the best. In the first two rings, everything else is metal except the gemstone in the center.


  • FourtyNights
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    FourtyNights polycounter lvl 4
    I'm planning to give her an oil lantern for the final low poly real-time posed render.

    The only problem with this is that the hinge which is supposed to raise the center parts with glass and all for manual ignition, doesn't stay in place on the small metal holder on the bottom of the plate when rotating the hinge. It's always off to the inside or to the outside. What makes it even more complex is that the axis of the hinge's rotation is not straight on the x-axis. It's slightly rotated in z-axis because those two holders of the hinge are on opposite sides of the lantern. I was able to give custom transformation orientation in Blender for correct rotation, but it still doesn't work.

    So my question is, is it necessary for prop/environment/character artist to model functional hard surface models? In this case this is just a static prop where she holds it on her hand from that wooden grip on the top. But I always have this urge to make anything that has something functional, to be actually functional at the end. This frustrates me a bit, but am I stressing about this too much? What if I'm not qualified to model things like this in a real production situation if they're not going to work functionally? Especially when the character artist positions usually requires to have skills in both organic and non-organic modeling. I guess non-organic is more or less equal to hard surface?



  • Deforges
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    Deforges polycounter lvl 5
    Very awesome work so far. This should be a good one :) Keep it up
  • FourtyNights
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    FourtyNights polycounter lvl 4
    Sculpted a hoodie for her, and that small strip of another shirt underneath it is between the hoodie and jeans. Gosh how hard it is to sculpt good-looking folds and wrinkles, but I think I got them decently. Dozens of re-sculpting before I was satsified. So yeah, no MD with the hoodie, everything is hand-sculpted.



    And I also got some detailing done on her eyes, teeth, gums and tongue. On the upper left is the eyeball, and on the upper right is the cornea.


  • FourtyNights
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    FourtyNights polycounter lvl 4
    Detailed her hands, and started the low poly retopology. I'll detail her face after I project the new topo from the original sculpt later on.


  • FourtyNights
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    FourtyNights polycounter lvl 4
    Even though almost a month has passed since last update, but I've been working on this project very actively during that time. Retopology is just such a time consuming task to do, especially when the current real-time AAA 3D game characters' meshes are so dense. So much work by hand including "never ending" tweaking to achieve evenly placed polygons.

    So far I've retopologized her head, beanie and hoodie (tear duct is also a separate retopoed mesh, and eyes were just optimized from the lowest sub-d from ZBrush). At the moment I'm retopoing her teeth. Also, there's still jeans, leggings, boots and hands left to be done. I'd really hope for some faster ways to do retopology in future... This retopo work I've done so far, has almost injured the wrist of my mouse hand. :D

    What comes to her facial expression which isn't really an expression, but a "technical expression" for having clean bakes for upper eyelids and to the opening of the mouth. Mouth being slightly open helps to have that smooth falloff for the AO bake. For the final presentations I'll open her eyes and close her mouth in Zbrush as blendshapes (known as shape keys in Blender).




  • FourtyNights
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    FourtyNights polycounter lvl 4
    Finally finished the retopology for her. It was extremely tedious job! :D


  • kanga
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    kanga polycounter lvl 10
    Looks great! Did you broaden the jaw ir is it just the view? Looks better.
  • FourtyNights
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    FourtyNights polycounter lvl 4
    kanga said:
    Looks great! Did you broaden the jaw ir is it just the view? Looks better.
    No, I didn't. That wireframe render was from Marmoset, and maybe it's the field of view that makes the jaw to look a bit broader.

    Anyway, the next step in my workflow is to project the original head sculpt to this new topology and start sculpting skin details. THEN I can finally start baking. (;
  • FourtyNights
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    FourtyNights polycounter lvl 4
    Just a quick'n dirty neutral expression test with the new topology in ZBrush. Gonna redo it though, because I need to keep the polygon flow smooth. Not that it's not looking smooth already, but that extra push to perfection helps. :D




  • FourtyNights
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    FourtyNights polycounter lvl 4
    Finally all sculpting is done. The last bits were the tertiary details on her head. I'd say detailing skin isn't always so easy though:


  • carvuliero
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    carvuliero polycounter lvl 3
    She looks like someone jump out of Hogarth's book , good job there 
    Even you think she is ready there are few areas that still can be improved like nose: can have a lot more plane changes + glabella ,also it look like you haven't give her a wind pipe-trachea ,nose ->upper lip transition look a bit funky , maybe some indication of superciliary arches can help break smooth look above glabella




  • FourtyNights
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    FourtyNights polycounter lvl 4
    @carvuliero Thank you for the constructive in-depth criticism. But I find changing such big shapes a bit too late already, since I retopologized and detailed everything. I just wish that other polycounters would've come to give feedback ages ago, because this thread's been here for 4 good months already. I'll definitely keep all this mind for the next project though, just so I can avoid these anatomical errors.

    Anyway, things I agree with you:

    Glabella, the whole construction of that bony plate could be improved, yes. Superciliary arches, well I think I misplaced them just a tad, because those two angular planes going towards glabella are supposed to represent SAs. Nose, I agree that there isn't enough planar changes. I like your definition of the temporal line, that's actually better.

    Things I'm confused about:

    Windpipe (trachea), umm... the only thing that's notable around the throat it the Adam's apple, and that's a masculine feature, so there isn't much to define with females. But then again, windpipe is the inner part of the anatomy inside the neck, and I find that anatomical term a bit weird in this context.

    Nasolabial fold is usually a faint planar change with young females, and it can only be seen with a smile expression, so I'm not sure what's the overpaint for that. Same with the chin and around the ear lobe, what is that you're trying to tell?

    Lips, hmm... did you check from the first images in this thread from multiple angles? Also you talk about upper lip, and yet you overpainted the lower lip? :D Speaking of the lower lip, I have that ridge widening towards the corner of the mouth while slightly diving in, so that overpaint was a bit confusing too.

    Overall you gave few good points, but somehow I feel you overpainted some obvious ones which are already established.
  • carvuliero
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    carvuliero polycounter lvl 3
    Trachea :
    Obviously both male and female have trachea ,only difference is that male have big thyroid cartilage and female big thyroid gland which is most of the time masked by fat -> Richer have a great reference for that 
    Also I have attached some of my own  research - its a bunch of cross section of 3d scans of females from neck area 

    Nasolabial fold :
    Just want to show you that its made of 3 curves not one as you have it : 2 convex and 1 concave 

    Lips :
    Upper lip -  tubercle stick out to much forward
    Bottom lip - looks to round to me , that's why I place some lines that indicate division between front and top plane 



  • FourtyNights
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    FourtyNights polycounter lvl 4
    Oh yeah, I see. That video you recorded was helpful. I think the distance between SCM muscles' primary branches is somewhat wide that the definition of thyroind gland isn't so apparent in between (that nice outward "bulge"). Gotta keep this super interesting feedback in mind with my next project which I'll start right after this.

    Speaking of Burne Hogarth, he actually hasn't really been my anatomical influence, other than his wrinkles and folds on clothing book. But not that much with that book either. :D

    Hope to see you feedbacking in very near future for that project of mine as well. ;)
  • carvuliero
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    carvuliero polycounter lvl 3
    Sure why not , just let me know when you ready 
    If you have some time be sure to check both books of Hogarth about head drawing , he exaggerate forms so much that is easy to learn major forms and planes in almost no time 
    Burne Hogarth - Drawing the Human head
    Burne Hogarth - Dynamic Anatomy
  • FourtyNights
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    FourtyNights polycounter lvl 4
    Thanks for the heads up with those books. I'll take a look at them, and I'll let you know about the new project soon. ^^
  • FourtyNights
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    FourtyNights polycounter lvl 4
    A quick real-time low poly eyes shading test in Marmoset. The depth of the iris and pupil is controlled by parallax effect with a height map. Colors of the eyeball is just a basic polypaint baked from HP to LP as a texture in MT3. Rest of the details and material definition comes from Substance Painter later.


  • FourtyNights
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    FourtyNights polycounter lvl 4
    Over two hours 4096x4096 ambient occlusion bake in Marmoset Toolbag 3 with highest settings, but it was worth it. Sampling was 4x though. This is pure flat shading, and I'm in awe. :O I can't just believe this result. Suberb baker!!! The option to use floor occlusion is awesome too.


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