Summer Character Workshop - The Baker

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polycounter lvl 5
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Shanana polycounter lvl 5
Hi guys! I got the incredible chance to join in on Mr Almighty Gir's / Lee Devonald's Summer Character workshop.
The next 6 weeks we're gonna go over the whole process of creating a character - from sculpt to texture all the way to Unreal - and I'm going to share my process in this thread.

Yesterday we started off with picking a subject out of the concepts we had gathered. Thinking about color schemes, silhouettes, dynamic pose/postures, material definitions, etc I made a decision.

I wanted to do one of the Marco Polo characters for a while, but since their outfits are either very plain or very complex (hundred eyes vs chabi for example) I decided to go in a totally different direction. Lee also reminded us that the type of characters we have on our portfolio will be the type of characters we'll get commissions for.

With all of this in mind, I went for one of the super cool cuties of MeoMai / Jessica Madorran.
Check out the loads of awesome work she has made: http://meomai.deviantart.com/gallery/ 


I started breaking down the concept to understand better what I'd be up against in the coming weeks.



I'll be looking at Rapunzel from Tangled for the material definition of the dress and skin, other areas were clarified where the illustration wasn't clear enough to start modeling. 

Since the illustration is cut off at the legs I had to make an educated guess on how tall she should be.
For the shoes I tried to find a good match for the outfit and style. Since there are quite some bows present in the piece, I figured it would work well on the shoes as well. This might be reconsidered once I have a model to test it on, of course.

Next up will be blocking out the big shapes!
C&C always welcome!

Shh

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  • Shanana
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    Shanana polycounter lvl 5
    Yesterday we started blocking out our concepts in Zbrush. Starting from a sphere and using dynamesh, we had to try to get the proportions and volumes right.
    This is my result from yesterday and today. 



    I had to play around with the length of her legs, since they aren't in the illustration. To give her a cuter look I shortened them to get to a 7.5 heads high. 


    The face was also a little challenge as I don't have a clear view of the front. I think adding the eyebrows and hair will do a lot...

    Maybe tomorrow I'll get started on the clothes. I'll test out this awesome little tutorial for the skirt and sleeves: http://www.zbrushguides.com/cloth-drapery-trick-zbrush/

    Any feedback would be great!
    Shh


  • lotet
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    lotet quad damage
    beautiful concept. I hope you can make it work in 3d, its a very stylized design. I think you need to make the legs even longer though. right now its making her neck look unproportionality long. it works better in the concept/sketch because all the features are stretched out the same amount, but in your scupt its looking a bit short.
  • Shanana
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    Shanana polycounter lvl 5
    Hmm, you're totally right. I'll play around with the neck and leg length some more... Thanks!
  • Dudestein
    Looking forward to seeing your progress. I'm a bit concerned that the pouty mouth may not translate well to 3D. If that ends up being the case, don't be afraid to tweak it a bit so it looks good in the round, even if it doesn't match the concept perfectly from the profile.
  • Shanana
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    Shanana polycounter lvl 5
    Thanks Dustin! I've had the same concern about the mouth, it'll be a challenge. I've just retopped a basemesh for it, so I can start playing around with the features that I don't like a 100% yet.
  • Shanana
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    Shanana polycounter lvl 5
    With the blockout I made in Zbrush last time, I took it to Max for some good old retopping.
    I already had a strong idea of how all loops should go and why, but what Lee taught us was how to do it within record speed. I spent about 1 short day worth's time on mine, and had almost no difficulties solving problem areas. Thanks for the tips, Lee!

    The method we used goes as follows:
    Place a cylinder around the chest, one around a leg and one around an arm. By counting in multiplications of 4, connecting the separate parts should go easy later on. Here I used 32 edges for the chest, and 16 for the leg and arm.
     
    By using the Conform brush, Relax Conform brush and Relax/Smooth I could snap the cylinders perfectly to the surface.
    I used them mostly in that order - snapping to surface with conform, then relaxing with whatever one of the two did the job.

    By closing the mesh around the crotch, I created a perfect border to bridge the leg to.
    For the chest I had to make a hole to attach the arm to, so I counted the nr of edges on the arm (16) and created a hole that had as many edges. EASY!!!
    For the boobies I simply selected an appropriate amount of polys, made an inset and a couple of extrusions. Relax conform and .... boobs.

    The fingers went the same way. I made one, copied it over and bridged it to the arm.

    The tricky part here was again matching the nr of edges on the hand and the arm.

    Now, for the face I started taking more and more screenshots. It resulted in a video showing which steps I took.
    Check it out here:


    To make the model export ready I had to center the middle vertices, center the pivot point and add a symmetry.
    I thouroughly went over all the area's with the relax brush to even out the spacing, after which I deleted half again, reapplied the symmetry and exported.

    Once appended to the right tool in Zbrush I subdivided the mesh to double check for nGons,tris, unwelded verts or holes. When I discover such a thing, I just use GoZ to quickly bring the mesh back to Max, fix the issue and GoZ it back to Zbrush. This method will make sure any progress I already made on the retopped mesh (subdivs, maybe already projected stuff, ...) will remain, because of the "transfer high res detail?" option you get.
    It has saved my ass a lot of times!!!

    This is the end result:



    Hope this was helpfull!

    Any feedback would be very much appreciated   :pleased:

    Shhh
  • lotet
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    lotet quad damage
    Nice looking mesh, the ear and ass looks kinda wonky, but its a bit hard to see from the screenshots.
  • Shanana
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    Shanana polycounter lvl 5
    Thanks Lotet, I'll tweak the topology some more probably. So far it has served well enough for sculpting purposes, if I get around to rigging it I might have to change some stuff.
  • Shanana
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    Shanana polycounter lvl 5
    I've been behind on the others a little bit, but trying to catch up this week.

    This is my progress so far, been blocking out and tweaking proportions at the Gamescom this week :awesome: 
    Horns and color are totally placeholders. Next up, ribbons, bows and shoes. UUuuuu :)
    C&C many welcome!

  • lotet
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    lotet quad damage
    Niiice. It kinda depends on what style your going for, but I  think you have a bit much detail in the cloth, I wold make the cloth a bit thicker and a few less folds.
  • polymator
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    polymator polycounter lvl 5
    Really cool so far!
    One thing I noticed was that she has a pretty flat head in the concept and you had that down in the initial blockout. But adding the hair has kinda given the head more volume than that. The horns are also extending a bit farther back from where they end in the concept.
    Now if you're doing that deliberately ignore everything I said :D
  • Shanana
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    Shanana polycounter lvl 5
    Lotet, the skirt and overal outfit needs to be fixed further, adding thickness etc will be done soon. I didn't notice the skirt having a bit too much detail, you might really be right. 
    Polymator,  this I also hadn't noticed yet. I knew I couldn't follow the concept 100% because of stuff that might not work in 3D, but what you're pointing out was not deliberetaly. Thanks for that!

    In any case, I have a full blockout  now (the shoes have been added nstuff), so I will do a good revision of proportions, shapes and how well I'm following the concept. Update on its way :proud:

  • Elithenia
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    Elithenia polycounter
    I love that hair! <3

  • Leinadien
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    Leinadien vertex
    It's a nice cartoon, what I have trouble with is not so much your model but whoever made that concept. Why give a black character blonde hair? This is a troubling thing I've noticed online among young black minorities, they draw their "OC's" (Original chracters) as white. It's obviously them subcounciously rejecting black culture, but I still find it a bit disturbing to look at. Especially when it's not done by styles of clothing but by skin and hair color. It's fine that you love cartoons that look like that, but I think you would do 7 year old black girls a favor by giving your model black hair. What I'm trying to say is that the blonde hair isn't necessary and in bad taste on a black girl. It would be in bad taste on an asian too, just like black hair would look bad on a ginger. But keep on cartooning. ;)
  • polymator
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    polymator polycounter lvl 5
    Leinadien What the actual eff man?! Why you do dis?
  • Dimfist
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    Dimfist polycounter lvl 8
    I like the tube method for retopo..very cool.  Would of saved a lot of time back before I started using Topogun.  Good job so far looking forward to this.
  • iRoller
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    iRoller vertex
    Leinadien what is your problem mate, all of the posts I've seen you make are either offensive or pointless. It's a cartoon, for fuck sakes.
  • Leinadien
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    Leinadien vertex
    If it's "just a cartoon, for fuck sakes." You would have no reason to take offense to my comment. Shanana said the colors were placeholders, all I suggested was that making the hair look black might look better since it's a black person's natural hair color. How is this offensive or a pointless suggestion, some people...
  • Natland
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    Natland polycounter lvl 8
    I think the hands are too small in comparison to the feet and head. So cute though, good luck!
  • Natland
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    Natland polycounter lvl 8
    Oh and I don't think it is obvious what race she is, she could really be any kind of human, I wouldn't worry about the hair colour Leinadien. Lots of cartoon concepts of every race have the same sort of generic face. Just look at Lolish's stuff. 
  • Shanana
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    Shanana polycounter lvl 5
    So I hate to break it to you, but I'm not gonna change the hair color to black. The colors have been chosen according to a certain artisticly deliberately chosen color pallette, and that's all I see and will take into account. Not a black 7yo girl who will lose confidence in herself because of this artwork. 

    She has an extremely thin waistline too. Anyone?

    Natland, you're very much right. It's not 100% clear what the race is, and that's both nice and hard to sculpt... 
    I'll take a look at those hands today.  Want to finish the sculpt by tomorrow !!! :awesome:
  • Daf57
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    Daf57 polycounter lvl 5
    I think this is coming along wonderfully! :)
  • Maxilator
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    Maxilator polycounter lvl 4
    @leinadien Yeah, those horns are such a dead giveaway that this is a black person, it's impossible that this character lives in a world where there are other races than the ones in ours, sigh, some people indeed.

    @Shanana Love the character so far, can't wait to see when the details in the clothing come into place! I'd give the folds on the arm "thingys" a bit more love, I'd look at the concept for inspiration on how to sculpt it. Keep at it!
  • Shanana
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    Shanana polycounter lvl 5
    Hi Guys,

    Thanks for the kind words!
    @Maxilator, yes I just got a tip from Leslie on how to tackle the puffy sleeves, so I'll definitely will give them some love ^^.

    In the meantime I've been working to get the sculpt ready so I can move on to UV's, bakes and textures. Hell, I might even sneak in some rigging.

    Here's some progress:




    I made a big change, however, all the way towards the end, and I'd like to hear your opinions about it. 
    I tried to follow the concept more accurately and so had to make the hair less voluminous, and her face less round (front view).

    L is the old, R the new


    Next I'll try to add a final polish/detail pass on a couple of things (read: everything). I've been behind the workshop a bit anyway so I'm not gonna texture until my fingers stop itching to add to the sculpt. Imo a style like this can benefit more from a killer sculpt than a killer texture, so I feel like I can spend some more time on it...

    I'd love to hear what you think!
  • amirabd2130
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    amirabd2130 polycounter lvl 5
    this looks great
  • Catzcratch
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    Catzcratch polycounter lvl 4
    I'm loving this so much
    her hair is so pretty >.> . interested to see how you tackle it in low poly
    the only thing bothering me is her mouth . i know your trying to follow the concept but it doesn't translate well into 3D IMO
    maybe I'm wrong but i think the artist intended a facial expression ( like a kiss ) hence  why the O shape with her mouth
  • lotet
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    lotet quad damage
    Niiice!
    great update, your getting there.

     I think the "old" hair looks beter though, or at least has better shape, it might be the loose hairs thats changing the silhouette to much on the new one. the concept have these really clean fluffy hair blobs that you lost with the loose hairs.

    the face looks a bit wonky in front view, not sure how much you wanna deviate from the concept though. but I think the lips could use some more volume at least, the inflate brush would probably do the trick.
  • polymator
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    polymator polycounter lvl 5
    About your decision to make the hair less voluminous I think you should have it localized to the head. If you look at the concept there's a lot more hair over her left shoulder than her right shoulder. That means most of the hair shifted over to her left shoulder because of the rotation of her torso. I'm probably nitpicking but those were my two cents


    And while what Catzcratch said about the the reason for the lips may be true, I'd suggest leaving them the way they are.
    If you're not going to rig her it will be better for your portfolio to follow the concept instead of making a non-expressive face.
    Really amazing sculpting on the hair btw.
  • Shanana
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    Shanana polycounter lvl 5
    Haha, the mouth, guys... :'D I've tweaked it so often already. I'm trying to get the expression in, even through I'd love to rig it. I should just pick a goal and go with it. But I'll definitely tweak it some more. @lotet&nbsp;are there any other pointers on the front view besides the mouth that I could take a look at?

    Thanks for the opinions on the hair. I felt like I had a good thing going but was deviating from the concept too much. Now it looks like a mishmash between my style and the concept. Again, I should pick one of the two and stick with it. @polymator I won't put the swing in the hair yet (to fall over one shoulder), since I'll pose it and then tweak the hair.

    Sometimes I'm hesitant of really pushing my own style and take on the concept, and thus I try to match the concept better but... This doesn't always give the best result and it makes me not have a clear goal in mind. How do you guys feel about taking a style and converting it to your own interpretation? 


  • Maxilator
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    Maxilator polycounter lvl 4
    @shanana I think it's fine to tweak, you always have to assume quite a bit when working from a concept with only one angle like this one. As long as you don't change the intent of the design I'd say there is no problem, it's all subjective of course to what degree something may be changed, but I think everyone understands that sometimes elements of the 2d concept doesn't translate well into 3d and hence it has to be changed/tweaked for something more suitable.
  • Shanana
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    Shanana polycounter lvl 5
    Holy :open_mouth: Yess that's cool. There's a lot of usefull information in the gif, thanks a lot man ^^.

    This is what I adjusted so far with the feedback I received from some. I like the way the eyes are in the concept, so I think I'll leave them as they are atm.
    I'll also completely change the hair. So much to do...................


  • Tomtegubbe
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    Tomtegubbe triangle
    @future-fiction That's a great critique especially the lips.
  • lotet
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    lotet quad damage
    agreed, I think @future-fiction  pretty much nailed what you need to do with the face!
  • Isunoj
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    Isunoj polycounter lvl 5
    Awesome model.
  • STRIKER
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    STRIKER polycounter lvl 10
    looking sweet!
  • gfelton
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    gfelton polycounter lvl 5
    That gif was pretty crazy, it's amazing the amount of difference you got just by switching small things around like lip size and eye gap. Anyway, this looks great, looking forward to more updates! :)
  • PyrZern
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    PyrZern polycounter lvl 7
    I was quite concerned about her lips as I scrolled down, but then future-fiction came to the rescue !!!

    Great stuff indeed.
  • Wendy de Boer
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    Wendy de Boer interpolator
    I really like how you have been translating the shapes to 3d. Great stuff!
  • Funky Bunnies
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    Funky Bunnies polycounter lvl 11
    great face refinement and really nice hair.  Lovin it! :)
  • Louisk
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    Louisk polycounter lvl 3
    The hair is insane! really nicely done all around. I like your take on the face, I agree future-fic's paintover was nice, but too disney generic.
  • Mateus
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    Mateus interpolator
    Really loving this. The hair is looking great! I'm curious to know what was the process to create the hair, since it's always a pain to me.
  • lotet
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    lotet quad damage
    I still think the Lips could use some work. but the new hair looks perfect!
  • future-fiction
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    future-fiction greentooth
    Nice hair update!! Did you end up moving the eyes closer together? The shape looks much better overall, I think this works fine ^^ I feel like the teeth look a tad small and make the lip area look a bit noisy, you could maybe chunk those up?
  • PyrZern
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    PyrZern polycounter lvl 7
    So, how would you do the hair in lowpoly ??
  • Isunoj
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    Isunoj polycounter lvl 5
  • tda
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    tda polycounter lvl 12
    These latest updates are great, subtle stuff but it's making such a huge difference. I was going to comment on her ears looking a little too overinflated earlier but you sorted them out in the latest, looking much better. I'd also love to hear how you handled the hair. Something like a hair curve brush over a base combined with dynamesh and polished up, or just straight up hand sculpted?
  • Elithenia
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    Elithenia polycounter
    It is awesome to see this coming together! Can't wait to see the end result! :)
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