[WIP] Handpainted Fox Diorama

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valociraptor polygon
Hey guys, I'm working on a handpainted fox character. My plan is to pose him and put him in a small, but detailed environment diorama.

Here's where it is currently, a couple hours of painting over my baked + gradient mapped diffuse. I've just started adding fur, trying to find a happy medium for the level of detail -- I don't want to overwhelm the texture with tons of pointy fur triangles (like I currently have inside the ears), but I want at least some subtle low-contrast fur present on most of the model. I have several hours of rendering all over until the diffuse is done -- some parts are pretty much untouched at the moment (legs and belly).



I sculpted the body from a sphere in zbrush, did retopo in 3Dcoat, and then pulled the lowpoly back into zbrush for some quick projected and  sculpted details. Mostly I just wanted a base for fur direction/fur thickness and basic features -- I knew I'd paint over it very heavily, so I didn't need a super perfect bake. The legs and tail here are a bit dense, I'm going to delete some edgeloops now that I have my bakes done.



I've started sketching what I might have on my diorama. I'm thinking two birch trees, layered grass, a small scattering of rocks, fireflies, and a snippet of painted night sky. I think I want some more pinkish/reddish to break up the green on the grass, so maybe I'll add falling leaves or some flowers.


That's what I've got right now. Any critique or suggestions are much appreciated -- I'm trying very hard to not work in vacuum. 

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  • wormo
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    wormo triangle
    the model is looking really good... I think the eyes could stand to be a bit brighter.
  • valociraptor
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    valociraptor polygon
    I've been hacking away at the fur for the past few days, but I've run into problems with the tail... Now that I've rendered lots of smaller hair, I feel like the large cartoony tufts of hair I had in my sculpt look too different in style. I've been painting over it in different ways:

    "New" is what I ended up with after getting some crit from kind folks. I think its getting closer, but I still feel like its lacking contrast or something to tie it in with the body more... 

    ----

    EDIT:
    I ended up pulling out some geo for the larger tufts of hair near the end of the tail. It adds some dimension and gave me recessed/layered areas to bring in the maroon and purple tones from the rest of the body. Finally mostly happy with it. I still have to touch up the navy and cream parts of the diffuse, but I'm going to go ahead and start posing and modeling the diorama pieces next.

  • valociraptor

    Posing today. Decided to add a little elevation to the pose to get a more graceful flow throughout the body. I'm not 100% happy with it yet, I think the body may be too straight? Any feedback would be appreciated.



  • fdfxd2
  • slosh
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    slosh sublime tool
    This is looking really nice but I would paint out the seam running down his head and back.
  • valociraptor

    Pretty much done. I changed up the foliage and base a billion times while working and it didn't really come together until this past weekend. As you can see I took the advice to brighten up the fox's eyes and paint out the dark seams on his back.

    I'd love any feedback on these first renders, I feel like they could definitely be better. I'm rendering in Marmoset 3.

    Sketchfab and Additional Renders:
    model


    Forgot to turn off the vignette in marmoset for some of these closer screenshots, so they ended up looking super instagram filter-y. I'll retake them for my website.

    Texture
    Fox texture map, for those interested. 1024x1024.

    I'll probably do one more post with updated renders and breakdowns and then call this one done.

  • Optinium
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    Optinium polycounter
    It's nice, I really like the diorama. The fur doesn't read to well for me, the transition on the tail is really jarring. Try using the smudge brush in photoshop and stroke it in the direction of the fur to soften it and any transitions, less contrast in parts will work a lot better.
  • AnyaElvidge
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    AnyaElvidge polycounter lvl 3
    This is so nice! I really like the texturing you've done on the fox! Regarding the transition on the tail it is a bit jarring and I feel like maybe if you just softened the contrast and textural feel of the top of the tail where it connects to the body it would feel a bit easier on the eyes. I really like the rest of the tail though.

    On the diorama I think the dirt under the grass feels a bit neglected, and the way it quite harshly fades to nothing is a bit jarring. Also you could perhaps add some nice height and interest to the diorama with some more elements, such as maybe a tree or the moon or something to ground it a bit more? Then you could do some cool lighting too. Depends on how far you want to go into making a full diorama rather than just a character on a bit of scenery. You could also maybe add some more gradients to your foliage?



    :)
  • valociraptor
    This is so nice! I really like the texturing you've done on the fox! Regarding the transition on the tail it is a bit jarring and I feel like maybe if you just softened the contrast and textural feel of the top of the tail where it connects to the body it would feel a bit easier on the eyes. I really like the rest of the tail though.

    On the diorama I think the dirt under the grass feels a bit neglected, and the way it quite harshly fades to nothing is a bit jarring. Also you could perhaps add some nice height and interest to the diorama with some more elements, such as maybe a tree or the moon or something to ground it a bit more? Then you could do some cool lighting too. Depends on how far you want to go into making a full diorama rather than just a character on a bit of scenery. You could also maybe add some more gradients to your foliage?



    :)
    This paintover is awesome! 
    I'm planning on eventually bringing this in-engine to play with some shaders and particles, so I'll definitely make some major composition changes in this direction for that :) It definitely makes the whole thing feel more "realized". I was going for more of a simple model stand sort of thing to present the fox model on, but there's definitely a lot of potential for making it more of a "snippet" of a full environment.

    I'll definitely give more love to the plants and grass, and you and @Optinium both said the same thing about the tail, so I'll do another pass and soften those transitions. 

    Thanks for the great feedback guys!





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