[WIP ] Elf based on Daeho Cha concept

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Koromo polycounter lvl 3
*CURRENT PROGRESS:



I was making an elf until i see that concept art and ugh, this is going to be difficult, yet awesome if i achieve a decent likeness, especially with the smile.

Based on: https://www.artstation.com/artwork/qPoVy

- Beginning with the Wips, this is what i have right now, nothing too fancy, dealing with the low poly/base proportions and on the other hand, the bow half done and the squirrel...figuring how to  :D.

*Zbrush SubD 1 dealing with proportions (ignore the tits topology, i made the base too fast). Ortographic


*Maya exported SubD 2 and default perspective.


*Where i use most of the time, the "neutral" face 


Replies

  • Koromo
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    Koromo polycounter lvl 3
    Hi! After some work today i have some subtle updates( i´m still at a low level subdivision)
    *Some body proportions changed and refinements:


    *Overlaying reference vs actual model (kinda cheating uhh):


    *Actual face closeup:


    What do you guys think? Need to change some proportions/parts about the body/face before going to do the clothes, bow and squirrel

    As far sculpting details in the body part, in this project i´m not going to do them, cause the concept itself it´s pretty stylized/smooth looking shading and this is the approach that i want to achieve.


  • Koromo
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    Koromo polycounter lvl 3
    Ugh so many days passed since i updated this. Sorry i was occupied with other works and this, the "supahdupah squirrel"!:



    Nah, seriously, i used that stupid and blocky thing to start sculpt the little animal!!
    Ended up with this fatty and cutie chipmunk/hamster:


    Then i detailed a bit, added the sunflower seed that he eats in the reference, eyes, the tail( i´ve gone spiky and freerly since in the end  it will not be seen)


    I made corrections into the body and face too: rounded up more, several position changes of different parts, etc. Finally the smile, the simplest teeth and a dinameshed hair acting as a blockout for checking final proportions.


    Next things to do: 

    1- Finalize bow and boots(almost). Make the beautiful yet hard polyhair.
    2- Make Clothes and accesories
    3- Retopo & Uv & Texture
    4- Scene Lightning and Posing (Ugh i´m not a rigger so...)
  • Koromo
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    Koromo polycounter lvl 3

    After finishing the base of some clothes and accessories I went to marmoset to do lightning and shading tests without textures (flat colors + shaders only).








  • Koromo
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    Koromo polycounter lvl 3
    A lot of time since the last update... I´ve lost so many days trying to rig the character before uving and so and well...i´m not a rigger and the last rig i made was when i was a student in the early 2014´s so... time lost, sigh.

    The current state is: almost done with the high poly, half retopo(body/clothes and some accesories) and half baked things.
    I need to finish the bow, duplicate some ornaments and put them into the cloth,belts,etc and remake the hair(i´m not happy at all with the current one)

    And of course, add textures and details, as i want it as close as i can to the concept in a semi-realistic/stylized way. I´m kind of not decided if do the texturing as handpainted/gradients more towards overwatch/blizzard style or a semirealistic way using substances and little bit of Pbr.

    Here are screenshots from the Hp in Zbrush and some from marmoset:
    *Maya.








  • FreneticPonies
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    FreneticPonies polycounter lvl 3
  • Koromo
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    Koromo polycounter lvl 3
    @FreneticPonies

    Thanks! if i hadn´t try to rig it before, i think that i would be finished her already.
  • Koromo
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    Koromo polycounter lvl 3
    I´m in the process of matching to the concept as i can, so some pieces need to be resized and others like the bow( which i made almost in the beginning) i´m about to leave them as it is, and the cape...mmm not sure to match the wind movement of the concept or leave that.

    One big problem (and i seriously need some tips or critique) it´s to match the original lightning into 3d( i´ve already done in a certain way):

    *But into the face area, specifically the jaw it´s suuuper anime proportions when i do the side view if i want to have the front jaw super protruded to match the cheeks leaving me a side jaw short in lenght and angle. I´m a more realistic guy so this seems a little ankward to me, even if the hair cover a lot.

    The body and proportions are a little bit slimmer but i left it like that cause in close up shots even with low fov, it looked super chubby.

    Even if it´s static i´ll make some s flow into the body for a better future pose into the stylized style.

    In a few hours i think that the proportions will be fixed and the final retopo/textures and pose.

    Of course the hair needs to be detailed and textured; the old one did not match the concept but i liked the stray hairs effect, so i´ll apply it via zbrush and Ekren hair brushes.




  • Koromo
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    Koromo polycounter lvl 3
    As @ysalex suggested, i´ve tried to do some body "S Shapes" to apply some dynamism and fit more into the stylized type of character. 

    As i finished the  body retopology several days in Quad Draw before moving the shapes in zbrush, the topology has moved a little so i´ll apply some smoothing in parts like the forearm and 1 pair of edge loops as for now the body sits in 21034 triangles which is not that bad.

    -Obviosly i can delete a lot of edge loops in the upper area without altering the shape.

    Deleted arms and feets for now as they will be hidden in boots and gloves. Maybe in the end i´ll delete the body parts covered by clothing but nowadays and being a personal project i don´t think the polygons are a big issue. Also, i have some unnecessary triangles in the face that alter the edge flow a little.

    The dual part clothes ( i´ve retopologized the two, dumb decision i think) sits in about 4.6k triangles.

    As always the hair needs to be finished and the cloth/scarf thingy that envolves the neck...i´m not satisfied with his back view. I also finished the quiver of the bow, so no more parts left.

    *If it seems too chubby it´s because the perspective and focal length of Maya compared to the ortographic model in zbrush(much slimmer).






  • Koromo
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    Koromo polycounter lvl 3
    Modified the cape to match more the concept and add more "flow and movement":

  • Koromo
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    Koromo polycounter lvl 3
    Finally i can work on the last piece(unless i do a remake on anothers) the messy hair.

    As i´m imposed to myself to not use any transparency maps and only polygons for eyelashes and the hair... there we go

    Initial flyaway hairs as a second layer to the base hair blockout:


    And how it´s showing in toolbag until i finish/ bake and properly textured :


    I´m not going to retopo the strands... in the end i´m going to have a lot of them on both sides and it´s a crazy amount of time retopo them so when the hair is finished i´ll delete the majority of edge loops in the more straight regions and nothing more i think D:.





  • Elithenia
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    Elithenia polycounter
    looking forward to seeing the finished piece :) 
  • Koromo
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    Koromo polycounter lvl 3
    @Elithenia

    Thanks!! At first i was aiming to finish it quickly but ended in a pretty much likeness to the concept.

    Keep working on your Karinna!
  • Koromo
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    Koromo polycounter lvl 3
    The final hair pretty much done, i´m going to erase the down part and keep only big strands and smooth or have less strands in general (cause i put a looooot) even when i like them when there is direct light like upwards, but the original hair is much smoother.

    And the texturing i´m thinking of retopo base+some strands combined as a 1 mesh and do a simple gradient and will be suficient

    Done a little test with handpainted face textures in a low res only for having a base for the final textures, they cost me around 2 hours but i don´t remember the last time i handpainted diffuse/spec, maybe 3 years ago so i´m a little bit rusted in that.

    I was doubting beetween full handpainted or pbr as the concept is clearly obtainable via handpainted, but i can´t help adding details.

    Not bad at all as a test and it much quicker to reach as close as posible as the reference.

    *UNLIT : Diffuse/spec painted



    *SHADED: With sss and lights.






  • Koromo
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    Koromo polycounter lvl 3
    Danger! An enormous amount of gifs!
    A lot of time passed since the last update,  some vacation and free days doing other things instead of this elf project, sigh...

    The high poly, retopo and uv maps were finished,almost. The hair was a pain and today it is still, mainly because i doubt with what model and bake type will be the best suitable for this. 

    This is the HP hair model:



    The problem resides in the flyaway hairs, as i wanted to approach the concept as far as i can as a challenge, this implies a lot of flyaway hairs and polygons. So, in summary:


    1-Bake all of them into the base scalp hair(5k polys). This works well until it touches these strands far away(baking errors) from the base, i know that even making an extreme cage it will be "imposible" to have a clean bake of all of them. Also it becomes flat of course:




    2-Retopo/decimate the high poly hair completely and bake the original Hp onto the new Lp. Well, it doesn´t work that bad but ends with a looot of polygons, even doing various versions of the retopo and triangulating it´s around 35k only for the far strands!!.
    if i go lower than that the roundness and form greatly suffered from it.




    3-My favourite for now, an hybrid approach:
    *Lp for the base scalp hair and bake the Hp strands with a custom cage to catch only the nearest and not the flyaway. Making the base bigger enough to match the strands.
    *Use only the far away strands of hair that can´t enter into the initial "bakecage" and blend it with the previous Lp bake and basemesh to cut a lot of polys while maintaining the shape.

    PROBLEM with the third method, i´m unable to delete part of the hair and have a good blending with the Lp...I prioritize the front strands and delete the back ones, leaving the bake only.

    *With this the polygonal hairs reduces to around 20k, but it´s worthy??!




    Comparison between SSS and custom vertex normals with one gradient map:


    ***DISCLAIMER: The hair in the screenshots is not the final one, it´s an older version to test it out the techniques and results.
    And yes, i don´t want to use any transparency alpha for hairs and so, even eyelashes are modeled  :)
  • Koromo
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    Koromo polycounter lvl 3
    Final HP hair, i think, recognizable as the concept. Time to final bakes and textures.


  • Koromo
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    Koromo polycounter lvl 3
    Final HP sculpt, no tertiary details as i want this project to be almost the opposite from my last one, in summary, as stylized as i can.

    Some parts can have a more clean result but i´m at the max in terms of what my computer can handle in Zbrush. So here some screengrabs from different angles:


  • Koromo
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    Koromo polycounter lvl 3
    Retopology done, gloves and boots going to be mirrored after a succesful baking, color masked for different materials:



    I can delete a lot of polygons under the clothes, hairs and cape; also i left almost all the metals retopologized as a "solid pieces" instead of left them as a floaters for planar baking. So it turns out more like a mid poly than a low poly  :s

    Luckily it´s a personal project so i don´t have any polygon limit and of course i can make LOD´s and triangulate/custom normals to reduce a lot of polygons for a future Marmoset vierwer/sketchfab model.
  • PyrZern
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    PyrZern polycounter lvl 7
    I feel like you make her smile by pulling her lips/cheeks to the sides, but not pulling them upward too. And I think you should pull her cheeks upward a tad. 

    Keep going though !!
  • Koromo
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    Koromo polycounter lvl 3
    @PyrZern

    Thanks for the advice! But it´s a little too late, i´m already baking maps and the low poly is finished too.

    As they are little deviations from the original maybe i can modify a bit and conform the low poly to the new changes.

    I pulled her smile up too but as in the concept was a kind of "relaxed smile" i keep it very subtle to match.

    Btw, a proper clay render(maybe too bright and contrasty´ as it erases a lot of details):



  • Koromo
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    Koromo polycounter lvl 3
    Uv maps done:


    Bake tests(somewhat the cape without backface culling shows some artifacts in the front reversed):


  • Koromo
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    Koromo polycounter lvl 3
        I´ve worked a little bit on textures, maintaining the stylized/clean look of the original concept but using the curvature for adding a little dirt and variations and also, tertiary details...

        I personally see the occlusion map overall being too strong and maybe on the final pass i´ll add more variation even differentiating a little bit from the concept. Also the metals in the 2d are super matte but i feel that a little bot more of glossiness while maintaining the hard edges and forms will be beneficial to the final texture.

         In the end the elf came out a bit higher in stature/curvier but not too bad. Maybe i´ll do a little pose to approximate even more to the original.

    First pass on final textures:



    And a GIF showing the comparison between the previous and the current version:


    Tell me what can i change about the textures or other things as i´m too focused on match her.

  • Koromo
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    Koromo polycounter lvl 3
    Testing the web viewer while working on textures: 


  • Koromo
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    Koromo polycounter lvl 3
    Going to the final pass on textures, so i´m auto- criticizing myself to do the final ones:


  • CybranM
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    CybranM greentooth
    looks great man :smile:
  • Koromo
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    Koromo polycounter lvl 3
    Thanks @CybranM!

    Your train is so dope too!
  • Koromo
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    Koromo polycounter lvl 3
    Closer to final textures.


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