StarMan Character [Completed]

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bkost polycounter lvl 4
Progress Update - Completed



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Hi all, here I'll be logging my progress on a brilliant character concept piece by Russell Dongjun Lu.
During this journey I wish to become more comfortable with:
  • hardsurface
  • matching concept work
  • outfit varieties (Armor on/off)
  • posing (rigged maybe?) 

Below is my inital step in digesting the concept and exploring the shapes, material breakup, and gathering reference. After, I did a quick blockout and got a feel for the model in 3d space.


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  • jose.fuentes
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    jose.fuentes polycounter lvl 5
    of to a solid start

  • Lou_
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    Lou_ polycounter lvl 2
    Hey looks like a fun one man, looking forward for your progress.

    Are you tackling armour in Maya? 
  • bkost
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    bkost polycounter lvl 4
    Thank you @jose.fuentes
    Hey @Lou_ I'm building quick geo in blender then refining in zbrush (boolean/dynamesh detail).
  • bkost
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    bkost polycounter lvl 4
    Fleshing out blockout with lowpoly geo, jumping between Zbrush and Blender is a breeze now with GoB (GoZ addon). I can easily iterate designs and significantly cut down on waiting time now that I dont have to worry about importing/exporting. 

    I've also noticed with this workflow that I can work with lowpoly and highpoly almost simultaneously. Once I get to retopo stage, it won't take nearly as long.

    I need to continue refining shapes, HP anatomy, and matching face likeness. (note: I don't want an extreme anime face, somewhere in between realistic and the concept)


  • bkost
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    bkost polycounter lvl 4
    Refining shapes and beginning to flesh out Highpoly details starting from the feet and working my way up. Touched the head a bit, trying to hit the shapes of concept's face.


  • bkost
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    bkost polycounter lvl 4
    Tweaking shapes and worked on anatomy. Veered away from the face likeness and did a realistic face study. It is a placeholder for now. Going to hop into Marvelous Designer next and work on the clothing before I get back into the waist up armor.




  • bkost
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    bkost polycounter lvl 4
    Adjusting armor proportions some more and worked on HP Clothing. The pants and shirt were built in MD and polished up in Zbrush.

    Trying to work on the face likeness now. I'm running into serious trouble with this face. I'm a little lost in how to nail down likeness from this 2d concept.


    edit: focusing on general oval/triangular face shape before diving into details.

  • bkost
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    bkost polycounter lvl 4
    Working on face sculpt. Definitely still not there, but making some sort of improvement.. Any tips on translating this unique face into 3d?

  • carvuliero
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    carvuliero sublime tool
    I will suggest first to create a fix camera in zbrush [either zapplink or reference views or timeline or in newest version you can have multiple cameras  ] in same pose as concept art so you have some way to check your progress and second head from concept art is all over the place with bunch of mistakes, it will be better to find someone with same face type ,someone who kind of look like the reference and use that for your structure .Once you have correct structure you can adjust what you have to fit as close as you can to the reference[for example eyes and eyebrows rest in kind of misshapen or standard ]
    Face type should be long oval or rectangle

  • bkost
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    bkost polycounter lvl 4
    Hey @carvuliero I appreciate the advice. I wasn't doing too well while only trying to reference the concept. I gathered a set of two faces. One from the 3d scan store which offers great reference. And the other is the chinese actor Yang Yang. One issue that I face with various google images is the camera lens distortion. (notice the two front facing pictures of Yang Yang are completely different). I'm working in perspective 50 FoV in zbrush, I wish there was a way to match the reference camera lens.

    In the quarter angle view, the cheekbone to the lips look blocky. I need to figure out the correct plane changes for this Yang Yang guy.



  • carvuliero
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    carvuliero sublime tool
    Use green guy for your base and actor for details
    Its actually prospective distortion camera is either above or below his head + different lighting + maybe different age


  • bkost
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    bkost polycounter lvl 4
    Armor proportion edit, I feel the silhouette and character as a whole aren't too appealing yet. Needs more tweaks in the HP, I think I'm slowly getting there. 

    And here's a little peak into my Trello board, it's a great way to stay organized. I recommend creating a to do list when tackling a big project, it helps you keep on track and leaves you feeling less overwhelmed. No need to remember what needs to be done if you have it written down




  • bkost
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    bkost polycounter lvl 4
    Testing out the pose, I'd like to push the stance more and make him feel heavy. Any recommendations on doing so?




    edit: fixed pose
    Now to figure out how to translate proportion edits to a-pose model

  • bkost
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    bkost polycounter lvl 4
    More proportion changes, I'd like to level up my shape languange. Any resources out there for doing so? Basic design principles are critical for appealing design.

    Built his axe today. Next are his gloves, sleeves, and finally try and hit his face likeness. Then onto hair cards, retopo, bakes and texture. I've been thinking on how to tackle his short stubbly hair with cards. Maybe something like Del's hair from Gears of War


  • Alex Javor
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    Alex Javor polycount lvl 666
    Good progress here.

    About your comment above concerning making him feel more weighty -- or rather his armor feeling more weighty -- I think one small detail that might make a nice difference is to go through his armor piece by piece and kind of imagine he has been wearing it for a week, battling, he's sweaty, the straps are pretty worn -- you get the idea. It starts to shift and isn't going to be sitting perfectly in position anymore. So just some subtle little tweaks with gravity in mind my help sell the weightiness a bit more.


  • Nuclear Angel
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    Nuclear Angel interpolator
    Hey Bkost you got a great start on this character! Some things I noticed that I think you should check up on.
    I think the folds on the leather pants make the leather seem really thin, but if he is a warrior he probably have thicker leather that would create more silhouette changes and heavier creases. Even in the concept his pants have more volume than in your sculpt. His legs are also a tad to thin I think over his thighs, his legs are massive and got a nice tapering shape while your legs are very straight. I did a quick thing in photoshop to illustrate what I mean with the shapes. 
    I also think the creases on his tank top are to thin, yours read like a cotton tank top while in the concept it seems to be either some kind of thick linen or medium thick leather. Notice the green lines next to his tummy on the concept, he got way more silhouette change there than you have right now. 
    I think overall your sculpt is lacking curves right now, like subtle curves that give it a bit more of a oumph, I did a quick liquify on the weapon to illustrate. 


  • bkost
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    bkost polycounter lvl 4
    Pushing form some more and working on high res gloves sculpt. I'm mostly happy with the forms (bracers need some editing) now and will be moving onto the face sculpt and retopo! 

    Thank you Bigtime for the food for thought, giving some backstory and thinking of the character's environment/circumstances is a great way to help flesh out the model.

    Hey Nuclear, I appreciate the critique and paintover. I've pushed the forms some more and added some more curves here and there. I need to work on hitting that 'oumph' / study up on shape language. Cheers



    @BIGTIMEMASTER
    @Nuclear Angel
  • Aydhe
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    Aydhe polygon
    great work on gloves. they look super smooth. Though i feel like you could have another go at the elbow guards, there seems to be something off with either proportions of shape language for them. I can't exactly put my finger on it but they don't seem to match up with design of shoulder pads.
  • bkost
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    bkost polycounter lvl 4
    Thank you Aydhe for the comment. I'll take a look at the arm armor again.
    Here's the glove texture so far, I'd still like to push it further. Any thoughts?


  • AndresZambrano
    The gloves look awesome, 
  • CallumBaws
    Awesome work! Can't wait to see you push this!
  • bkost
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    bkost polycounter lvl 4
    Thank you Andres, I've spent the day reworking the textures and aging the glove.

    Hey Callum, thank you! Now that I've wrapped up the glove, I've got a few more tweaks with the HP and face sculpt. Then I should be on to retopo/UV and finally texturing!



    @AndresZambrano @CallumBaws
  • bkost
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    bkost polycounter lvl 4
    Nearly wrapped up my retopo and UVs. I'll be using three texture sets: Weapons, Armor, and Clothing w/Skin. I decided to hop into texturing the weapons to take a break from all the retopo and uv packing working. 

    My bakes are complete for the Weapons and Armor. Skin/Face retopo needs to be completed and face sculpt still needs to be done. I'm struggling with the face likeness. 

    Here's my axe texture wip. Working on getting some wear and slashing streaks into the steel blade.


  • bkost
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    bkost polycounter lvl 4
    Updated axe textures


    edit: updated

  • Alex Javor
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    Alex Javor polycount lvl 666
    Looking good. I wonder if desaturating the edge of the blade could give it a little more interest.
  • Lou_
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    Lou_ polycounter lvl 2
    Great work dude, love the lil tut of the Asian face. (Those forms are tasty)

    So I think the concept has a lot more contrast in the Axe, especially around the rim of the axe (the blade). Other than that looking quite nice.

    I think you could try and highlight the metal edges a bit more with wear to get a bit more shine. Really show off those hard surface forms!
  • bkost
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    bkost polycounter lvl 4
    Hey Alex, good idea. I'll give it a shot once I come back around to finalizing the weapon textures. 
    Thank you Lou. That tutorial was all by carvuliero! He has some great anatomy knowledge. Good idea with the axe.

    Worked on the head a little bit today, much happier with the results I'm getting after some face and skull studies. (Still lots to learn)
    I'm going to move onto the armor texturing and come back to the HP face before I retopo and uv.


    @Alex Javor @Lou_

  • bkost
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    bkost polycounter lvl 4
    Working on clothing texture. Lots of editing to be done. Not happy with the results to far, I believe I have too much micro detail and not enough medium noise. I want a mix of the handpainterly look and realistic pbr. 


  • bkost
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    bkost polycounter lvl 4
    More Leather pants work 

  • artofmars
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    artofmars polycounter lvl 4
    this is looking real good, cant wait to see more progress! 

  • bkost
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    bkost polycounter lvl 4
    I appreciate it @artofmars it's slowly coming together and I'm in the home stretch! All I have left to do is Hair cards, Face texture, and Armor/item texture then final presentation.

    Here is the baked head and clothing texture update.


  • Nuclear Angel
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    Nuclear Angel interpolator
    Your getting there man! Keep it up. 
  • bkost
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    bkost polycounter lvl 4
    First couple texture passes and hair wip.

    Any suggestions on the color balance of the character? Cheers




  • bkost
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    bkost polycounter lvl 4
    Initial hair pass is nearly complete

  • bkost
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    bkost polycounter lvl 4
    Nearing completion of this character. Textures are almost entirely fleshed out and complete, may add in the "A" tattoo on the forehead if I can make it feel right. 

    Going to be focusing on the Posing, Hair Shader, Cape, and Lighting in the next couple days. I hope to be done by the end of the week. I'm struggling a bit the hair shader, I need to add in some more to fill in the gaps and figure out a proper shader setup. I'd like to give him white hair to help fit the concept but it doesn't read well. 




  • Nuclear Angel
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    Nuclear Angel interpolator
    Nice job man you are doing great! Some things I noticed. You should add some eyelashes, or if he has any they are barely visible right now so crank up their visibility. Also his eyebrows are quite mad looking right now, but his smile got a little smirk which feels of, but you might solve that when posing him. The pink color of the lips stand out a bit to much imo as well, they almost look like he has used lipstick =P. 
    I think his feet are a bit to small as well. 



    I would also just add some more loops to break up these holes. They will be to visible on face closups and 100 extra triangles to give your closeups more oumph would go a long way. 
  • bkost
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    bkost polycounter lvl 4
    I appreciate the help Nuclear! Made some edits to the hair texture with your great breakdown, edited the lashes and lips. Time to pose him and make his face more angry looking and mess with the feet/body proportions. Good point with the edges on the armor, I'll keep that in mind next time and make sure the silhouette isn't so jaggy.


  • bkost
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    bkost polycounter lvl 4
    Finally getting around to posting the final piece! Lighting could be adjust a bit, but I'd like to move on. Thank you all for following my progress :)






    High res photos on artstation
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