The Monthly CHARACTER ART Challenge | July 2015

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Welcome to the Monthly Character Art Challenge - July 2015 !
(July 2015 Challenge)

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How it works
  • Each month, 3 Character Concepts voted by the community will be provided
  • You're free to approach any of the concepts however you like, as long as you stay true to the essence of the original concept.
  • You have until the end of the month to complete any of the given concepts.
Guidelines
  • Leave at least one critique per post. Being able to effectively receive, and give constructive criticism is an invaluable skill as any type of artist.
  • There are no software restrictions; you're welcome to use as little, or as many different software packages as you like.
  • Post your work in progress in the thread. You're welcome to cross post on different sites (Artstation, Facebook, etc.)
  • Before starting your character, break down the concept and plan your work accordingly. Being able to effectively estimate how long it will take to complete a project is an important skill, especially for freelance artists.
  • Your final presentation should be posed and rendered in any real time engine. (Marmoset, UE4, Cryengine, Unity, etc.)
  • Don't be afraid to ask questions, but don't hesitate to find the answer on your own - chances are, the answer to your problem has already been answered within these forums
  • We're all here to grow as artists. Learn as much as you can, and share what you've learned.
If you feel anything should be modified or added to these guidelines, please let me know!


Resources
  • Polycount Character Wiki (link)
  • Polycount Tutorial List (link)
  • Monthly Character Art Challenge Pinterest Boards (link)
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Join us on the Monthly Character Art Slack Board (what's slack?) by sending me a PM with your e-mail

This month's challenges:
Shieldmaster by
Forrestlmel
66f1dc19acd642c42c36cde933a15e48.jpg
Skullgirl by Andrea Cofrancesco
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Cat by Yulin Li
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Good luck and have fun!
ps: Apologies for the lack of a voting thread this month, busy busy month!

Replies

  • xxroxx
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    xxroxx polycounter lvl 3
    FUUUUCK! I have that skull riding girl on my pinterest and was decided to do it at some point! Damn it, Polycount! Can you PLEASE let me focus on something? haha

    Well, onto zbrush, then!
  • pangaea
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    pangaea polycounter lvl 5
    I might do the skullgirl. I have to start doing this challenge anyway. Better start today.
  • DonEngland
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    DonEngland polycounter lvl 4
    Love the cat. I'll make some time for it later this week.
  • independ-hans
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    independ-hans polycounter lvl 7
    I give this Month another try, I am in. I hope I can finish Skullgirl on time.
  • Tripl3M
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    Tripl3M polycounter lvl 2
    I didn't finish last month's challenge but I'll do the shields master afterwards
  • lotet
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    lotet quad damage
    dude that cat s aweomse :) though maybe I shoudnt pick something with fur/hair this time =P
  • xxroxx
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    xxroxx polycounter lvl 3
    So I've been working on her proportions before getting into any specific detail. Started with zspheres, made adaptive skin and added 1 subdivision level until now. I'm fighting it because on photoshop, approximating her size in heads with rulers gives me something like 7 heads total, two 1/3 for torso and 3 2/3 for legs, which is unusual for me xD

    CC?

    wYXGVKC.jpg
  • Crazyb2000
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    Crazyb2000 polycounter lvl 5
    I've always wanted to participate in one of these challenges. Luckily enough, I now have quite a sudden abundance of free time. I'll definitely be participating... He says... I've actually already started...

    Hopefully I can see this through to the end and not get side-tracked by my other projects :P
  • independ-hans
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    independ-hans polycounter lvl 7
    @xxroxx Good to see someone started already. I think here we have proportions of a manga teenager with very long legs. Indeed strange proportions here we have.

    I started with ZSpheres a Mesh and did sculpted on subdivision Level 1.
    The Hands was too big, I scaled them down, not sure if they still too big.

    CC welcome!

    zsperes.jpg
  • xxroxx
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    xxroxx polycounter lvl 3
    @xxroxx Good to see someone started already. I think here we have proportions of a manga teenager with very long legs. Indeed strange proportions here we have.

    I started with ZSpheres a Mesh and did sculpted on subdivision Level 1.
    The Hands was too big, I scaled them down, not sure if they still too big.

    CC welcome!

    Yeah, I just couldn't help myself. My summer project was defined already, but this changed things :P
    Will be a heck of a challenge, though.

    As for your work, I'd say the neck is too long and the top of her breasts should be a bit wider (the outer area, that is)
  • Joshua Whitaker
    Okie dokie, I love my options this months but the misses insists that I do the kitty. That cat with the cigar has so much personality and I love his tech look. I have a good feeling about this! I am still working on my troll from last months but I missed a ton of days due to a family tragedy (god bless you grandma):(. I am teaching myself a brand new method for hair that can come in handy on this cat as well practice makes uhhhhh..... descent work. Wish me luck :poly124:
  • DavidCruz
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    DavidCruz polycounter lvl 6
    SkullGirl FTW!
    :)

    Don't know if I will do this months, we'll see but otherwise I look forward to updates, also I was going to say where the heck was I, cause I didn't see the poll thread but I hear ya about a busy month.

    Love the cat though also, no offense Shieldmaster. :)
  • PyrZern
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    PyrZern polycounter lvl 7
    ROFL, Fakkkkkkkkkkkkk. I was planning to make some hardsurface armor character, so I started on Sister of Battle from War40k... Then, tadaaa, there's that cat in armors. ROFL !

    Here I come !!
  • xxroxx
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    xxroxx polycounter lvl 3
    So, some more work here! Please, critique me! xD

    Body - upped the res and defined muscular groups. Fought hard to make the belly look flat and right, but still not 100% satisfied. Legs were another challenge, one that involved way more clay build up it should, since it was to be resolved with the Move brush.

    1kEsJ7e.jpg

    And for the main skull, a 256 dynamesh is doing de job for now.

    pviIrBF.jpg
  • PyrZern
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    PyrZern polycounter lvl 7
    @xxroxx Get the general shape first. Still even longer legs, I think.


    I'm picking the Cat this month :)
    o04ZCGj.jpg

    Ref
    11150864_10152975331538929_5792065817017499932_n.jpg?oh=fc10d2532d85969141576ee34be1c8ad&oe=561DF32C
    cat.jpg
  • KingTomislav
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    KingTomislav polycounter lvl 3
    I will do Shieldmaster... Only dilemma i have is: is he human or dwarf? He looks dwarfish to me, but im not sure. What do you think?
  • PyrZern
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    PyrZern polycounter lvl 7
    Based on his height, as well as the size of his nose and ears and also his hair-style and his beards, and mustache, I think he's a dwarf.

    And, of course, the fact that the creator left a note 'Hipster Dwarf haircuts' there in the link.
  • KingTomislav
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    KingTomislav polycounter lvl 3
    PyrZern oh yes, he did left a note, silly me :)
  • MrBFox
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    MrBFox polycounter lvl 3
    Ill give the Cat a go, feeling inspired from playing the PS3 Ratchet and Clank games recently, didn't get last months challenge done (rigging project id been working on took more priority) but its currently to hot where I live to concentrate on rigging, so ill hopefully be able to do this one :)
  • StirFryFancy
    I started giving cat a go. I opened up make-human so I could quickly create a body in the proportions of cat as a foundation.
    Screenshot_1.jpg

    After that I went into Zbrush, remove the human head and replaced it with a big sphere. Using see-through and dynamesh magic to block in the form. I used a cylinder as the cigar. I dynameshed it and inflated the tip to give the cigar more character. Here's what we got so far:

    Screenshot_2.jpg
  • xxroxx
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    xxroxx polycounter lvl 3
    PryZern hey fuck you, who do you think you are to be so good? xD

    yeah, thanks. I'm trying to follow the concept, but it's hard to get away from usual proportions.

    Your cat is looking awesome!
  • Crazyb2000
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    Crazyb2000 polycounter lvl 5
    Hello!

    I've been working on this near non-stop since yesterday, as when I get started it's very hard for me to put down my tablet pen, and here's my base for Skull Girl:

    nY4xP4p.png

    I'm still tweaking the proportions but I figured it'd be better if I showed this off and asked for any feedback regarding my approach. I want to get the model as close to the concept as I can without it looking too weird.

    I also did some tests with polypaint and shaders to get an idea of the effect that's given off from what I currently have:

    IJCxQ0C.jpg

    I'm not 100% sure how I'm going to tackle her clothes as a good portion of them are obscured in the concept. Still, they're next on my priority list once I've finished tweaking the base. I'm not entirely sure if I'll be able to finish this character as I do have other things I need/want to do. I do have another model I'm doing as practice here on Polycount so I may drop this in favour of that. Still, I've fun so far.

    I'm not too sure what else I'm supposed to say, not too familiar with these challenges yet :P. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks :D
  • xxroxx
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    xxroxx polycounter lvl 3
    Crazyb2000 wrote: »
    Hello!

    I've been working on this near non-stop since yesterday, as when I get started it's very hard for me to put down my tablet pen, and here's my base for Skull Girl:

    nY4xP4p.png

    I'm still tweaking the proportions but I figured it'd be better if I showed this off and asked for any feedback regarding my approach. I want to get the model as close to the concept as I can without it looking too weird.

    I also did some tests with polypaint and shaders to get an idea of the effect that's given off from what I currently have:

    IJCxQ0C.jpg
    I'm not 100% sure how I'm going to tackle her clothes as a good portion of them are obscured in the concept. Still, they're next on my priority list once I've finished tweaking the base. I'm not entirely sure if I'll be able to finish this character as I do have other things I need/want to do. I do have another model I'm doing as practice here on Polycount so I may drop this in favour of that. Still, I've fun so far.

    I'm not too sure what else I'm supposed to say, not too familiar with these challenges yet :P. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks :D


    It's looking great! Only thing I'd look into is her head proportions, I think her head is rounder, less human, ya know?

    Oh, and also, I know she's not following standard proportions, but her knees just seem too exaggerated. Like they are about to break.
  • nGreenroad
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    nGreenroad polycounter lvl 4
    Crazyb2000 : I'm really like the stylized proportions!
    PyrZern: I like the blocked out planes of the face. I think the ears could be a little wider in the middle though.

    Here is my progress on the face for the shield master.

    a0dfc8Y.jpg
  • PyrZern
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    PyrZern polycounter lvl 7
    @Crazyb2000 I like where you are going with this :)

    @nGreenroad Looking good there. Probably larger ears and maybe more rounded square face type ?? Not sure, I'm not very good with male anatomy :P


    Still haven't worked more on the face. Still blocking out the body. Such weird proportions :P Going to beef everything up some more.
    XHzcjxg.jpg
  • MidoriKoishi
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    MidoriKoishi polycounter lvl 4
    @xxrox: Good start, dude! I double on what PyrZern said. Also, make sure that your shapes are interconnecting properly. Right now she has those "action figure" shoulders going on.
    @PyrZern: Not much I can say. That is some beautifully clean sculpting! Looking forward to more.
    @CrazyB2000: Beautifully done! One thing I will say though is that her ears are pierced in the concept, and it changes the shape of the ear quite a bit.
    @nGreenroad: Killin' it! I can't wait to see that beard on him! Are you planning to do hair cards or sculpting it?

    I've watched these threads for months and finally worked up the courage to join! I want to get the head to a solid finish before getting the rest of the body done. I'm looking for portfolio material here so let me have it, guys! Full on honest critique b^_^d.

    Lfp5mvw.png
  • xxroxx
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    xxroxx polycounter lvl 3
    ngreenroad: amazing! may be the lack of body, but doesn't look dwarven...
    MidoriKoishi: thanks! your girl's face is looking great too! I didn't understand, however, what you meant about her shoulders. Is it better now?

    So, here's what I've been up to. Face and arms are still early wips

    jnykNkD.jpg

    9xxa4Kl.jpg

    v1geGkJ.jpg

    And a little progress on her ride, since I got blocked on her:

    GzrkPmj.jpg
  • PyrZern
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    PyrZern polycounter lvl 7
    @MidoriKoishi Keep it up man! Her face might look a bit too stern atm, whereas I think in the concept, she just looks pissed :P


    @xxroxx Here's for her shoulders.
    b65103dc825f16b4cac9bfeacc91bd55.jpg



    Last one tonight :P
    PjzrXdm.jpg
  • KingTomislav
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    KingTomislav polycounter lvl 3
    PyrZern that cat look so cool. You will do armor all in ZBrush?
  • nGreenroad
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    nGreenroad polycounter lvl 4
    MidoriKoishi: I'm trying to up my hair card game, but I'm also interested in trying out the new nvidia hairworks stuff. I don't have shave and a haircut for maya, but I hear you can sort of proxy it using sparse fibermesh as guide curves.

    I blocked out some of his proportions and have mushy armor to reference where it will be. I mostly worked on sculpting the boots, gloves and tabard, and used MD for the raiment.
    SC9Sw38.jpg
    Also, everyone should get on the slack for this thread! It's a ton of fun talking to people working on the same stuff. :)
  • Inhert
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    Inhert polygon
    nGreenroad wrote: »
    MidoriKoishi: I'm trying to up my hair card game, but I'm also interested in trying out the new nvidia hairworks stuff. I don't have shave and a haircut for maya, but I hear you can sort of proxy it using sparse fibermesh as guide curves.

    I blocked out some of his proportions and have mushy armor to reference where it will be. I mostly worked on sculpting the boots, gloves and tabard, and used MD for the raiment.
    SC9Sw38.jpg
    Also, everyone should get on the slack for this thread! It's a ton of fun talking to people working on the same stuff. :)

    I don't mean to be rude or anything but his proportions don't really scream dwarf to me. Aren't dwarfs suppose to have shorter stubbied legs and arms like that of a child? His proportions right now looks like an average normal male.
  • DonEngland
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    DonEngland polycounter lvl 4
    @nGreenroad: I like the head so far. Proportions look somewhere between normal guy and dwarf. Will you push the proportions to be more fantasy dwarf like? (Thicker and shorter)

    Started sculpt on the cat.
    BIdtpZX.jpg
  • silidragos
    nGreenroad : Looks really great but as the others said, it is not a dwarf yet.
    pyrZern : Really looking forward to see where this is going
    Crazyb2000: Love the proportions! The lower legs look a little awkward and the hands might be a little thinner but..really nice!

    My first time on this kind of challenge. I'm gonna go with the Shieldmaster. So..here is the first pass..I think I'm gonna leave it like this for now and add the armor and cloth. Do you guys think the proportions are right?
  • independ-hans
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    independ-hans polycounter lvl 7
    @silidragos: I think the proportions are fine.
    @MidoriKoishi Look´s great, but I think the head is wider on the concept and the eyes are bigger.
    @Crazyb2000: Can't critic too much, maybe the head is not wide enough.
    @PyrZern: great start, I want see more.
    @nGreenroad: Look´s like a human, fixing proportions would change that.

    I tried to stay on Sublevel 1 to use the move brush to change volume and curves.
    I have show my sub level 4 and 1 here, before I cleanup, I ask for advice. I struggle with the anatomy and the volume.
    IjPiGhc.jpg
  • Alex1
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    Alex1 polycounter lvl 3
    How come so many of you guys are starting out straight in ZBrush? Wouldn't it be easier to make the base mesh in Maya/Max first? So it doesn't look so doughy?
  • KingTomislav
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    KingTomislav polycounter lvl 3
    independ-hans anatomy is something you have to study. There is really no other way to help you, sorry. I suggest browsing youtube for anatomy sculpting, especially from one and only Ryan Kingslien. Also get some anatomy books. I use "Anatomy for artists" by Jenő Barcsay. But any anatomy book, ore even 3d app would do. (I even have one 3d anatomy app on my android phone :) ).
    silidragos I like your proportions and anatomy. Good work for start mesh.

    nGreenroad That is pretty good human sculpt, but like Inhert sad, this is not a dwarf. But if you do human version of shield master, then it's great.

    DonEngland Not bad for start mesh. Keep it up.

    Here is my WIP. This time i decided to go on little diferent aproach. From bottom to top. I will do head later, cause im "at home" with sculpting heads and faces. I struggle with hard surface stuff, so i did that first. This is only rough shapes so i can ask you people what you say about proportions. I did a lot of jumping form Max to Zbrush while sculpting those parts. Also, if you know of some great tutorial on hard surface armor like stuff in ZBrush that would be great :). I would like not to have to jump from one app to another so often. HkqKrcd.jpg?1
  • DonEngland
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    DonEngland polycounter lvl 4
    @silidragos: Sexy dwarf. Those proportions look good for the concept.

    @independ-hans: You're making good progress. For the move brush, don't forget to use alt to push the form in and out. Also, before increasing sub-division levels maybe use clay tubes to help build the form up. anatomy4sculptors.com has great reference.

    @Alex1: Speaking for myself, I'm only using zbrush for the head and blocking out the body. All the armor will be straight lowpoly. I'm guessing the doughy look comes from increasing sub-division levels before the underlying form is correct.

    @KingTomislav: Thanks. Nice blockout. I think the thighs might need to be a bit thicker. For hard surface, I really like sub-d modeling. Zbrush has come a long way, but I think it is far easier to adjust a control cage with standard 3d tools than to mess with zmodeler. For tutorials, zclassroom has a lot of videos on the zmodeler brush. Using the zmodeler brush with dynamic subdiv might be what you are looking for.
  • PyrZern
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    PyrZern polycounter lvl 7
    @DonEngland Looks good there man !

    @silidragos I like the proportions ! Also good job on his face.

    @independ-hans Personally, I'd focus more on skeletons, then bones, then muscle than on the fat last. That means, put in rib cages and shoulder bones early, and put in boobs last. For adding in more volume, my trick is to use Move Brush with "Back Face Mask" on. And use more reference. As for silhouette, aim for something similar to this ?
    2v9xg1v.png

    @Alex1 Usually I use basemesh as well (if it's humanoid). Sometimes I don't, though, for practice purpose.

    Update :P Maybe I shouldn't have the cat so crouched down already. Might have to straighten him up now...
    YaAc9A9.jpg
  • jarsef
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    jarsef polycounter lvl 3
    What started as a warm up sculpt, ended up turning in to a 3-4 hour speed sculpt
    q2FnPdO.jpg?1http:
    TdbvYIo.jpg?1
    Still a lot of tweaking to do, but I think I'm going to make this game ready.
  • MidoriKoishi
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    MidoriKoishi polycounter lvl 4
    @jarsef: Looking swanky, sir. Those solid forms are sexy! Looking forward to more.
    @independ-hans: I think there might be such a thing as having too few polys. Your subdiv 1 doesn't seem to be giving much room to establish the primary forms or the silhouette. Might I suggest using ZSpheres to make an adaptive skin, then Dynamesh at super low res? That's what i like to do when starting a body from scratch.
    @sildragos: Good lookin' dwarf there! make sure to give him some big hands.
    @PyrZern: Watch those ears mate! Working with super thin surfaces like that could cause a gaggle of problems later on (for sculpting, retopo, baking, etc), or that may be just my bad experiences with those surfaces (i.e before I knew about backface masking T_T).

    Just a quick update with some basic body proportions and the tweaked face (Job's got me busy atm ~_~) If you guys see anything off so far, let me know \^_^/.

    sAnJuYS.png
  • jarsef
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    jarsef polycounter lvl 3
    @MidoriKoishi:
    Proportions look pretty solid - looking forward to seeing more!

    tdNTTFH.png?1
    I was able to sink a little bit more time in to this before bed! Hair is definitely just a quick gross blockout for now
  • independ-hans
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    independ-hans polycounter lvl 7
    @KingTomislav: good blockout and the proportions looks right
    @jarsef: looks great, sexy dwarf
    @MidoriKoishi: nice to see some in progress sculpt too. good arms and hands. I need still put more time in these areas.

    I try to understand some torsor anatomy, looked in my anatomy books and Sculpting books, I did use ZRemesher instead of Dynamesh because dynamesh would destroy my hands and did fix my asymmetry in the model.


    wJAnsWm.png
  • spicycricket
  • silidragos
    Jarsef - I would have made a bigger head, but other than that I love it.
    MidoriKoishi - Can't wait to see a further version

    I added as much cloth as I found necessary to keep the symmetry. I hope I'll manage to pose it over the next few days and then add the rest. Hope the posing won't ruin everything :poly122:
  • MidoriKoishi
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    MidoriKoishi polycounter lvl 4
    @jarsef Teach me how to do that gross hair stuff. It still looks boss! :D.
    @independ-hans Getting better, broseph! Try to lower the subdivs a bit and readjusting the proportions a tad. I think the difference between her hips and the rest of her trunk is one of the most essential things to get, and right now yours are too evenly sized. Also, I'd suggest saving the breasts for later. Get the ribcage first do.ob.
    @silidragos That dwarf's coming along nicely! I'd say one thing I'd check is the ear. I don't know if its ZBrush's camera or the perspective, but it looks slightly bent and warped.

    Thanks for the props guys! This is as far as I've pushed it today. Still much to do (the hands especially need some affection), but it's getting there. Let me have it!! ^_^

    7Q0wEgM.png

    P.S: For anyone interested, here's my compilation of references for the face and body. I've been using this along with my trusty anatomy books to make this little lady. Thought it might help some of ya Skullgirl dudes :D.

    Face:
    4UU8Si1l.jpg
    Body:
    ipcHrA3l.jpg
  • Byrd
    @Jarsef That is looking really good so far, even if his underwear confuses me. However, he seems a little tall for a dwarf. He looks around 5 heads high at the moment and I'd be tempted to aim for closer to 4. Hard to tell without the armour though.

    I've decide to tackle the adorable kitty. I'll be working on it sporadically when I grab coffee breaks. First coffee break today gave me enough time to knock up a quick armature and block out a few forms. I'll try to get some more done later.

    TQN1cZU.jpg
  • 2cat
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    2cat polycounter lvl 5
    Never participated in a challenge, so let this be the first!

    I chose the cat, mainly because I like creatures and I've never done hard surface in ZBrush before. So this will be a good challenge of something I like and something I'm terrible at.

    Ready for all y'all's C&C!

    i3ax71N.jpg
  • PyrZern
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    PyrZern polycounter lvl 7
    Glad to see more ppl giving this challenge a shot :)

    Will be back to post comments later. But I straightened the cat lower body, and gave him a nice pair of pants.
    XBtCZph.jpg
  • jacob thomas
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    jacob thomas polycounter lvl 5
    @jarsef - He is looking ace dude.
    Small anatomy notes though, just watch his calf/ankle area there. Missing a lot of form flow. Here's a pretty good cutaway.
    His back area around the scapula/lats/traps looks a little made up as well.

    @Pyr - Looking good dude. I think his ears could use a little more depth. They feel really 2d at the moment.

    @MidoriKoishi - Not bad. I think you would find it easier to map out the anatomy if you first locate the bony landmarks. It especially helps when you are using exaggerated proportions.
  • nGreenroad
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    nGreenroad polycounter lvl 4
    Pyr: I like your cloth sculpts!

    Midori: Upper body is looking good. I think the length of the feet are throwing me off.

    Thanks for the tips on the scale guys. I think I still need to make the torso wider.

    7YDZRL9.jpg
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