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Sketchbook: Wil Hromek

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Hello! I am a new member and I wanted to start a sketchbook thread in order to get feedback on my work.

This is my most recent sculpt:

For the body, I used images of Inca mummies and Otzi the iceman, and for the face I used sculpts like this, this and this as reference without trying to copy any one piece directly. I am not entirely satisfied with the current direction this sculpt is heading, and I wanted to get feedback before I moved too much farther.

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  • wHromek
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    wHromek node
    Additionally, this is my most recent face sculpt from about two months ago:

    For this sculpt I used this photograph as my main reference.
    Here is another recent sculpt I made for an Artstation contest:

    I did not use any photographs or major reference images when sculpting this face (as it was intended to be painted over later), but I feel it is important to include for critique purposes as it is the only sculpt I've textured.

    All these sculpts are created and rendered in zBrush, unless otherwise noted.
  • wHromek
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    wHromek node
    Over the last month, I've been taking a step back from sculpting to develop a better understanding of hard-surface modeling and rendering. Here is a Marmoset Toolbag render of a suit of armor I made. It's around 30k tris, and still needs some refinement but it was a good exercise in learning to make a more game-ready model.
  • wHromek
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    wHromek node

    So, for September I've decided to create a character in order to build my portfolio and teach myself Substance painter. After looking at countless troll/ogre sculpts, I've decided to make a female one to stand out a little. Here's a quick Zbrush render of my current work (with a female basemesh included for size/proportion comparison). I've begun by blocking in the muscle and proportions while maintaining accuracy and realism.

    Once I've reached a point where I think the base sculpt is ready, I'll move this character's progress over to the 3D Artwork section.
  • wHromek
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    wHromek node

    Here is today's improvement over yesterday's sculpt. I decided to focus on better mapping out the muscle forms in order to make sure I had enough mass & definition for the final model. I hope to finish the muscle blockout and add in skin & fat layers by the end of the week so I can move on to the face and detail modeling.
  • wHromek
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    wHromek node
    Since last week I've smoothed out and finalized the muscle forms and overall silhouette of my character. In order to get a better topography to make the final sculpt easier, I decided to retopologize:

    It's probably too early to do at this current stage, but following through with it was a good learning experience.

    In a similar vein, I've also began to work on the character's overall costume. Since this character is supposed to be a cross between the classic sword-and-sorcery style heroine and a God of War-style giant, she's not going to wear much. Therefore, it was important to iterate as much as possible on the few things she will wear:

    I hope to finish her costume blockout over the next few days.
  • wHromek
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    wHromek node
    In order to teach myself how to use Substance painter, I modeled a club-like weapon for my character. It was a great way to learn Substance Painter, and it helped me get a better grasp on how to best create UVs for more complicated objects.
    Here is a quick Marmoset render:

    Additional render with wireframe (~1,600 triangles):


  • wHromek
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    wHromek node
    Only a small update, here's the final design layout for my character:

    These last week I've been working my way through learning zModeler and how to lay out cleaner geometry for Zbrush.
  • wHromek
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    wHromek node
    Another update on my character project:
    I've remodeled a lot of my initial blockout in order to get better topology, but I feel like progress has been good. I threw on some test colors to make sure the design was balanced. I will most likely do another color pass once the final topology is in place.
  • wHromek
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    wHromek node
    Small update on the chest armor:

    I think I'm doing some of my modeling inefficiently. I'll try to avoid that while refining the other parts of this character.
  • wHromek
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    wHromek node
    Another small update on the waist armor:

    I've also began adding more little details like these supplies to better ground the character in reality.
  • wHromek
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    wHromek node
    Another small update:

    I figured out how to create bandages/wrappings in zBrush so I've began blocking those out for the final hipoly model. I also used some of the feeback on my last weapon to create a new flail weapon as a prop for my final scene.
  • wHromek
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    wHromek node
    Today I learned how to use the Nanomesh function in zBrush:


    I also began another character project to take advantage of this. I'm trying to decide on whether I should my previous character's armor to better utilize this sort of lamellar armor or if I should work on this new character instead.
  • wHromek
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    wHromek node
    Another small update:

    I'm moving back and forth between my new character and my old one to make sure armor pieces and props scale correctly between the two. Here is a quick mockup of the scale difference between the two.
  • wHromek
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    wHromek node
    Another small update:

    Further refining the basemesh and blocking out the weapon props for this guy. The nanomesh is giving me some trouble, but I'm making much better progress so I'm pleased.
  • wHromek
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    wHromek node

    Decided to spend this week on refining the mask and adding a few final touches to the basemesh.
  • wHromek
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    wHromek node

    Redid the mask, fixed the base meshes of the props. Started experimenting with asymmetrical layout.
  • wHromek
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    wHromek node

    This character is coming along very well. I'm pleased with the current blockout, and plan on finalizing it by the end of the week.
  • wHromek
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    wHromek node
    Today, I made a mace:

    I think I've made these models in such a way that baking detail may become a headache later down the line, but I'm glad I caught the issue early.
  • wHromek
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    wHromek node
    Happy Halloween! I decided to take a break from modeling yesterday to step back and plan out how I'm going to proceed with my character. This is my first realtime character project using zBrush, Substance and Marmoset so I wanted to make sure I didn't get overwhelmed.

    During the weeks of November I hope to fully finish the sculpting portion of this character. In order to make good progress I've divided up my character into "parts" that I can focus on one at a time. Here is a breakdown of the different "parts" of my character:



    Additionally, I have begun working out the specific textures I'll need. In order to figure out what details I actually need to sculpt and which details I can leave to texturing, I've created this material breakdown:


    I have also started a thread in the 3D Showcase & Critique forum in order to get feedback on my progress.
  • wHromek
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    wHromek node
    I completed a prop this week for a future project: a human brain

    Creating this prop was a good learning experience in retopology and texture baking. It is also visible on my Artstation.
  • wHromek
    Been working on graduate classes & personal projects during the quarantine. I wanted to get a better grasp on PBR rendering/Marmoset Toolbag before jumping to another huge project

    The bottom four spheres are materials I've made in Substance Designer compared to four of Marmoset's default materials. I think mine need a little more work until I'm satisfied.
  • wHromek
    Here's another texture I've been working on for a new character project:

    This eyeball was created entirely within Substance Designer using a Spec/Gloss workflow.
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