Sketchbook: Pancake

Critique welcome!

I've been lurking around here for a quite a while, ignoring my inactive account, but have now decided to grow up a bit and start a thread for critique after some motivational listening from the Crunch Cast.I don't have much that's actually completed (some of my earliest stuff is so messy the eyes bleed), but here's some of the things I've created so far.

I'm currently still a student (and quite new at this) but after June next year that's all over. So, the pressure's on for me to improve as much as I can between now and then, lest I be lost to *insert preferred fast-food chain here* until I'm 80. I'd therefore appreciate any critique you toss my way. The more I get, the more I can improve, right?

A sketch turned into a digital monstrosity:


An oldie I did about a year ago (the background was rushed, I spent a bit too long on the main prop):




  • LisaKRay
    Very nicely done , I am in learning process and I am sharing mine with you Sketchbook_Anime_by_Demonic_Pancake.jpg
  • Pancake
    It's gorgeous! Perhaps start up a sketchbook of your own too so I don't take the credit for your awesome work? :D
  • Pancake
    Had a go at painting a rock wall. I feel it looks too boring, but I'm not quite sure how to progress with it. Thoughts always welcome!

  • Dani Holt
    When a texture looks boring, it's usually a sign that you need to dial up your values. Try squinting, stepping back or zooming way out. That's what the player will usually see on environment textures; if it all blends together, you need more definition.

    I did a quick paintover to show you what I mean.


    I added a lot more shadow and strengthened your highlights. I also added some subtle randomness in the stone color with a very low opacity overlay layer, filled with scribbled shit. This is still pretty conservative, but I didn't want to change your original look too much. You could push it even further.

    You might want to think more about where your light is coming from as well, the highlights on the cracks seemed inconsistent.

    Hopefully that helps. Let me know if you have any questions or want me to explain more of what I did. Nice work so far, you've got a good start here too.
  • Pancake
    Thanks for the advice! I did as you suggested and repainted over the top of the old wall- I think it does look much better now. I'm not entirely sure though, I think I went too far in the other direction due to over enthusiasm XD

  • Pancake
    Someone showed me this concept yesterday, and I immediately thought to myself "I have absolutely no idea how to turn that into a model".

    So, I just created a quick blockout to see how I'd handle it. Probably won't continue past this stage- I was just curious. (note- the building thing in the background was just hacked together for rough scale, which I then proceeded to forget to use)

  • Pancake
    And this, ladies and gents, is why you use good reference when doing things. My net connection was down for a good portion of yesterday, and, bored, I whipped out the ole z-brush for some practice. Oh zbrush, it's been too long. Anywho, next time I'm using good reference.

    I'm filing this under "learning experience".

  • Pancake
    A modular piece I'm working on as part of an informal challenge. I've just hacked together the modules into a quick maya arrangement, but I'll be putting it all in UDK and arranging it there when I'm done.

  • Pancake
    I have very little experience working with electronics, so with the power of nDo and the internet, I'm attempting to learn as I go (or make it up in the process).

    The horrible Maya shot showing normals as diffuse maps just helps me keep track of what has normals and what doesn't- the two marmoset renders are in-progress.

    Yay! Learning experience! If I hadn't been hooked on Dawnguard for the past few days, I'd be much further along :D

  • [Deleted User]
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  • Pancake
    Welp, just finished this exercise in frustration. The modelling was the tricky bit since I had limited reference to build it from. This also made the controls on the interior kind of a hit-and-miss scenario. Add to this my limited knowledge of all things mechanical, and you've got a party (of pain)!

    Just over 4K tris, an ungodly 2048 texture (I was directed to use this size). Diffuse, Alpha and Spec maps.

    Will definitely brush this up later, but for the moment it will hold up as a basic model.

  • Pancake
    Trying to come up with a silhouette for a weapon for the Dota2 character Slark. Just for sh**s and giggles really. Wanted to incorporate fish bones into his dagger to work with the rest of his slightly horrific outfit, seems he has a fondness for dicing up his fellow denizens of the sea!

  • Pancake
    Watching the Walking Dead, I decided to whip out the old zBrush and have a play around with dynamesh. Still needs quite a lot of work while I can still play with the geo, then I'll crisp it up and get to work on the detail. Mostly just a bit of fun :P

  • Pancake
    Had a bit of time away from study today, decided to have another crack at the strange rock spyre. I need to practice my sculpting more- everything always look too mushy :S

  • selvesteHE
    Lots of cool stuff here man. Not much to say, you just gotta keep enjoying this stuff as you are now, and you'll go places :)
  • Add3r
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    Add3r polycounter lvl 7
    Are your rocks based off of Orb's work? If so, pretty solid start! I think with some pinch and TrimDynamic brush work, these could turn out pretty awesome for a port piece :)
  • Pancake
    I absolutely love Orb's work, he turns what could be simple filler props (like rocks) and gives them personality and character. If I could come close to emulating that kind of work I'd be quite content.

    Gave this another pass with the Fast Mallet brush (ah, how I've missed you...) and the Pinch brush, which I'd never considered using before. Hopefully there's some visible difference between the previous upload and this one :P

  • Alismuffin
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    Alismuffin polycounter lvl 7
    Awesome work! Keep it up bro :)
  • Pancake
    Decimated the high down to a 3K low, then manually cleaned it up to a final tri count of just under 2K. At the moment I've just got the normal and a cavity+occ+ndo-created-edge-map combo sitting on it Each is currently at 1024 but I might be able to take it down to 512. I might also try to hand-paint this one up, see what happens :P

  • Pancake
    Just whacked this together for s***s and giggles.

    The alpha isn't showing up properly, I think I need more knowledge of marmo. This is currently sitting at about 1.5K but I'm about to pull it down further by collapsing some loops. Hopefully it won't mess with the texture too much (256x256 - emmissive, diffuse, normal, specular, alpha). I timed this- 5.5 hours, less polish than I'd like.

    Looks like I just need more practice all around :P

  • Pancake
    Painted this strange thing today in between actually graded uni assignments. Not that I'll have many of those soon... graduation looms...

    I went for a really loosely painted diffuse mostly for amusement's sake. Once I stuck the light and ambient occlusion/cavity maps over it though it doesn't seem to matter. Apart from the horrible chunk of wasted space at the base of the image, if anyone has any thoughts please chuck them forward :P

  • NenadGojkovicPF
    Hi there. Love these works, really enjoyed going trough them. The only critique I have here is regarding the back of the boat. The boards there are not alligned with the ones on the sides so looks a bit ugly:-) Other than that, nice work really.
  • Pancake
    I agree with you NenadGojkovicPF, the back of that boat is pretty dodgy. I want to retexture it eventually as the mesh isn't too bad- it just keeps slipping off my mind :(
  • Pancake
    Almost done with this little guy- had a pretty fun time collaborating with Tonix for a DOTA2 model. . I mostly painted the diffuse and did the base sculpt for the high poly, he did the low, baking and masks. We worked on the concept together.
  • Pancake
    Knocked this up quickly last weekend. Did the concept/model/maps on day 1, then spent day 2 screwing around with various engines. Ended up just slapping it in marmoset.

    In the middle of doing this I got a tonne of advice on how to bake in lighting properly (this is all just running on a number of tiling maps fitting all within 512x512, 207 verts roughly for each slice) for a more mobile friendly thing, I'll definitely look into it next time. This was, nevertheless, a valuable learning experience.

  • Pancake
    I've been figuring out a piece I'd like to do for Huskar from Dota2. Worryingly enough, this design is what came out onto paper (or pixels really). The budget's really tight for the in-game model so I'll have to make some concessions on the hair and pull it back a lot in detail, particularly on the spiky chunks.

    I'm going to deform the mask to more of a concave shape once I've for the teeth fixed and the height of all the detail sorted. It'll be harder to adjust these things after I've warped it.

  • Pancake
    Progress on the mask- hair still needs a lot of work

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