The Bi-Monthly CHARACTER ART Challenge | June - July

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Alemja ngon master

Welcome to the Bi-Monthly Character Art Challenge!

New concepts will be chosen at the start of August
Previous Challenge Thread

How it works
  • Every new challenge, 3 Character Concepts will be provided
  • Pick one concept to work on for the duration of the challenge and post your progress here!
  • Complete a 3D game res model of your chosen concept
Guidelines
  • Help other artists grow! When you post an update, also leave a critique for someone else. Share knowledge you have learned
  • There are no software restrictions; you're welcome to use as little, or as many different software packages as you like.
  • There are no polygon or texture restrictions, it can be a 3,000 triangle hand painted model or a 100,000 triangle current gen model. Just make sure the final result is a game model, not a sculpt!
  • You are welcome to cross post on different sites (Artstation, Facebook, Discord etc.) for additional feedback
  • 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, 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
  • If you feel anything should be modified or added to these guidelines, please let me know!
Resources


Concepts

Please credit and link to the artists when posting on other sites!

Mermay 2017 by David Ardinaryas Lojaya



Mermaid's Song by Manuel Barbez



Shark Dragons by IguanaMouth



How concepts are chosen:
  • Trying to keep it consistently one male character, one female and one other non-human (robot, creature, humanoid, etc)
  • Trying to keep the 3 concepts look like they are part of a theme or could fit in similar universe.
  • Concepts must be full body and clearly drawn. There shouldn't be a lot of guesswork on what the details or proportions are. Turnarounds are a good thing to have, but not required
  • Concepts shouldn't be too complex or too simple to allow people to get them done in the time-frame while also finding something interesting and giving a challenge.
  • Must be able to link back to the original source artist to they can be properly credited, places like Pinterest can lead to link rot. If I cannot find the source or original artist, the art will not be used
  • If you are a concept artist and want your concept removed or want to create a concept for a future challenge please feel free to contact me.
  • If you have any suggestions of themes you would like to see in the future, send me a message!

Replies

  • Lavitz
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    Lavitz polycounter lvl 10
    Love the concepts this time and I'm glad I'm finally getting back into sharpening my work with this set.
    I'm going to work on the Mermaid, here's a quick start on a reference sheet.
  • Raithel
    I am pretty happy to start the challange, because this is my first one :)  There is still a lot to do but i want to show my progress. Still in the zbrush part of the challange. I know the beard and hair is not match the concept art. But that is because i love my style much more than the original concept. But i don't know if i should keep it or change it. Any comments, critics or suggestion are welcome

  • Nicodemaus
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    Nicodemaus polycounter lvl 2
    Started to block in the Mermaid in Zbrush, gonna be quite fun to work on this

  • DbDibs
    This is the first challenge I'm participating in, hoping to improve and learn new techniques! Here's where I'm at so far with the highpoly sculpt before I retopo, started on some smaller forms but still blocking out a few things. I think the head might be just a little bit too large, and the gun proportions aren't correct (not long enough yet). Might try going for an Apex Legends/Overwatch sort of style.


    right now trying to decide if I should make the hair a single mesh, or try using cards with alpha (never tried that before, but this might be a good opportunity to learn!)

    Lavitz said:
    Love the concepts this time and I'm glad I'm finally getting back into sharpening my work with this set.
    I'm going to work on the Mermaid, here's a quick start on a reference sheet.
    Your ref sketches look great so far! Do you usually begin with making a front and side view ref sketch before tackling art like this? it's something I've been thinking about, because when the original concept art is at a weird angle or the perspective is confusing, sometimes it makes it incredibly difficult for me to get the proportions correctly when modeling, and maybe making a front and side reference sketch would help me with that.
  • Alemja
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    Alemja ngon master
    @Lavitz Nice to see you doing the challenge! The start of the sheet is looking nice, don't worry about spending too much time on it though.

    @Raithel You have a nice start, if possible I would recommend trying to make the concept as close as you can making modifications to account for perspective errors and such. It's good practice to try and match the concept and you can learn a lot by doing so. Do be careful about jumping into details too soon, you're having trouble with some keep proportions and some areas are reading as blobby like the arms and face. I would recommend going down a subdivision or 2 and really nail down the overall forms first. For the tail I would recommend looking at shark skin, since that is closer to what the tail is based off of. Sharks don't have traditional scales like fish, but they are much smaller and arrow shaped, it makes their skin seem much smoother from afar.


    @Nicodemaus and @DbDibs Nice starts!
  • Lavitz
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    Lavitz polycounter lvl 10
    @DbDibs You pretty much answered your question from my standpoint which is: depending on the concept. For me this concept has some difficult angles as well as this challenge, which I'm aiming for accuracy. Normally I'd wing it and adjust the model proportions afterword, but I want to focus on a stronger foundation and then detail afterword.

    @Alemja Thanks, I'm glad I'm finally participating haha. I'm done with my reference/model sheet, by quick start I mean on the project itself instead of the sheet.

    Here's my progress so far, which has been slow with working overtime at my job:
    I'm trying to work slow and smart, with a strong base/foundation. Winging it usually ends up in a lot of clean up and proportion changing.
    With simple shapes I can make sure the silhouette looks good before detailing.

    @Raithel I agree with Alemja, I would use this as a challenge to step outside of your comfort and aim for accuracy over your own style. As an amateur artist myself I need to familiarize myself with other styles before staking my own. I would like to add that the guns could use a rounded silhouette similar to what Dbdibs has. Since the guns are pretty much copy pasted and scaled I would take extra time on them to make sure they're 100% accurate to concept and appealing. The flat edges make them look very boxy at the moment.

    I'm going to keep shaping my foundation and keep it simple for this week so that the base shapes define the flow. For instance I'm going to reshape the collarbone and then move onto the hands. After that I'd like to dial in on the bust and really nail the face in the concept.
    Best of luck everyone!
  • Nicodemaus
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    Nicodemaus polycounter lvl 2
    Here is my update after a wonderful Fathers Day, Normally I would Retopo the final Finished sculpt, but i wanted to do some procedural Sculpting/Texturing So I needed to create a uv map. Hoping it doesn't bite me in the butt and then I'd need to retopo again.

    Next up is Modeling the Pearls, Shells and extra hair wisps.
    Then onto either the Face to flesh that out or the tail as i never did anything fishy before.

    @Lavitz I love your base shapes. I always wanted to try a sculpt by laying it all out like that.

    @Raithel Some of the shapes of the character seem slightly off, the space from the Latissimus Dorsi muscles and the start of the mermaid tail seems longer in your sculpt then in the Concept art. would hate to see you sculpt all the detail out and then try to squish it to better fit the silhouette. I agree with the others in the idea that, as your first challenge try to replicate the concept as best as possible. I do like where your sculpt is going and cant wait to see where it ends up
     
    @DbDibs Looks great, I really like how the face is shaping up, and your sculpt has a great mixture between sharp areas and rounded shapes. The gun belt Seems quite thick up near the shoulder.

  • DbDibs

    Started blocking in all of the accessories to see how everything fits together. I usually model very basic, lowpoly characters, so I'm in unfamiliar territory a bit, but I'm learning A LOT (which is all I can ask for :) )! I'm terrible at sculpting hands, so that's why they're hidden right now, but trying to work through it - anyone have any good tips? Also, I'm going to save adding a lot of the littler texture details for substance painter (ridges, stitches, tiny holes, etc.) when I work on the low rez.

    @Nicodemaus Thanks, yours is really coming along as well! The fins seem like a tricky area to tackle, but it seems like you've got it down - curious how you approach smooth, flowing bits like that. It might just be the perspective, but her elbows seem just a touch high up on her arms. It could be the angle she's rotated at in your shot though.


  • Lavitz
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    Lavitz polycounter lvl 10
    @Nicodemaus Thanks, I haven't done it too much, but it definitely helps get the shapes of muscles.
    Your mermaid is coming along nicely, keep up the good work!

    @DbDibs Nice work he's looking good.

    I'm slowly chipping away at this, had some trouble getting a face that I was happy with, and I feel like I'm finally getting there.
    I know her eyes are closed in the concept, but I want to get a good look with them open and maybe have open and closed shots in final.
  • Nicodemaus
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    Nicodemaus polycounter lvl 2
    here is some more sculpting, I'm gonna try to keep it stylized like the illustration few more things then onto substance painter after some quick polypaint.



  • Alemja
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    Alemja ngon master
    @Nicodemaus ; Coming along! Here are a couple of things I noticed:

    You are missing some forms around the mouth, like it's not quite taking into account where the nasolabial fold would be and it's resulting in kind of a "pinched" look above the upper lip. The examples are more realistic, but those sort of shapes can still help inform the planes of her face.
    The armpit is looking a little melty to me, I would look into some muscles and how it's constructed.


    @Lavitz ; Your face is shaping up well, you have a similar problem around the mouth:


    Hopes this helps both of you!
  • Nicodemaus
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    Nicodemaus polycounter lvl 2
    Here is my update, I took into account @Alemja 's Critique on the Mouth and the Torso. also started to mess with basic diffuse materials and playing around in Substance Painter.





  • Polychromal
    So, this is my first go at joining in with this challenge. Everyone is doing such a good job, I hope I can produce something worthy. I'm also excited to challenge myself and improve my techniques.

    I've made reasonable progress and am now onto re-topology. I also had a quick go at replicating the eye texture, (I know the colours are off) so I can get a feel for the styling, ready for the hand painting later.
    Still so much to do.
    I've had a few issues with the poly flow around the frondy bits and gills... I also feel like the nose may be too dense. Any feedback or advice would be much appreciated.

  • lerrine
    Hello eveyone!
     This is my first time participating! I only heard about it one week ago, so I start pretty late, but if I keep my schedule, I should be in time!
    Everyone is doing such a good job! I am quite excited to see how everyone work will turn up! 
    I'm still modeling on zbrush right now and I'm planning on starting the retopology at the end of the week! but I still have a lot of work to do! details to do and general shape to change.

    Good luck everyone!

  • Nicodemaus
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    Nicodemaus polycounter lvl 2
    @Polychromal I'm very excited to see where you take this, he's already super cute. Its gonna look super neat with a hand painted texture.
      
    @lerrine welcome aboard, looks like a great start. I really like the shape of the hair, however I think the deltoids look a little doughy.

    Well this is my submission, as regular 3D work will be taking up most of the rest of this month. 
    There are a few things i still wanna do, and a few things I do plan on cleaning up in Photoshop. this was quite fun and I'm looking forward to doing another hopefully next month.



  • lerrine
    @Nicodemaus
    Thanks for your comments!
    Definitely still working on the shape and details right now! i will be careful with the deltoids!
    You did such an amazing work, I'm in love with your mermaid tail material! Really delicate!
  • Polychromal
    @Nicodemaus well done on your submission, looking good.

    Glad you think he's looking cute. There was definitely a distinct dopey looking stage during sculpting.

    I'm hoping It turns out well and I can make the skin more interesting, whilst keeping the feel and style of the original.
    I'm about half way through roughing out the spots and have done some texturing and a little line work on the head.

    Still a long way to go.
  • Polychromal
    Okay, I'm as done as I think i'm going to get for now, so this is my submission.
    Tempted to come back to this later and do some animating.



    Not sure the lighting is quite as good as I'd like, but overall i'm pleased with the outcome.

    Looking forward to the next challenge.
  • Alemja
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    Alemja ngon master
    @Polychromal What are you rendering this in? Depending on the software, I think I have some ideas to help it out!

    @Nicodemaus ; Nice finish!
  • Polychromal
    @Alemja Any ideas are welcome. It's rendered in Eevee.
  • Polychromal
    Okay. Because I wasn't happy with the lighting, I gave it another go. 


  • Alemja
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    Alemja ngon master
    @Polychromal If Eevee supports depth of field, it could really help sell it as underwater by blurring out things that are farther away. If this was in marmoset I would also suggest some fog to give the atmosphere some thickness, it looks look it's something Eevee is capable of as well.
  • Polychromal
    I've played around with the volumetric lighting and fog. Also re-worked the bubble texture. Thanks to @Alemja for the tips. hopefully it's an improvement.


  • Alemja
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    Alemja ngon master
    @Polychromal Definite improvement! The fog helped a ton!
  • Torch
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    Torch greentooth
    @Polychromal love this piece, you really nailed the concept. Great job :)  You should post some of your sculpt shots as well so we can see more of your process. 
  • Polychromal
    Thanks @Torch. I didn't take that many screenshots while I was in the early part of the sculpt. Here are the few I took throughout my work on the piece.

  • Torch
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    Torch greentooth
    Oh cool so all in Blender including sculpting, no Zbrush? 
  • Polychromal
  • Polychromal
    Any news on the August-September challenge?
  • Alemja
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    Alemja ngon master
    @Polychromal Sorry for the delay, I will have it up either today or tomorrow
  • BananaManyana


    I've never really done character stuff before and now that I look at it again I've screwed the proportions up a bit compared to the concept. This is from a quick coloring in painter mostly to check how well it baked. might go back to a lower subdiv and fix some parts before taking it any further.

    Just Zbrush so far, was being lazy so just built the base mesh using the Sculptris pro mode.

    This is fun though will probably participate in more to build character skills!
  • Polychromal
    @Alemja No need to apologise  ;)  Just enjoyed the last one so much that I wanted to get thinking about the next.
  • Nicodemaus
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    Nicodemaus polycounter lvl 2
    @Alemja and @Polychromal same here super excited.
  • Alemja
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    Alemja ngon master

    As always you are welcome and encouraged to finish your piece from this challenge, you can use this thread or make your own, it will just no longer be stickied.
  • lerrine
    Hello! I know I am late, but I finished-ish so I share anyway!
    I need to stop making a manual retopology when I don`t have the time.
    I did the model in zbrush, the retopology in maya and did the texture in substance painter.
    I would have want to put more time into it and want to change a lots of details, but it`s the reasons I don`t finish the majority of my stuff. So here it go.

    here is the model if you want to see it in sketchfab: https://skfb.ly/6MFzz

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