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The Quarterly CHARACTER ART Challenge | January - March

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Alemja quad damage

Welcome to the Quarterly Character Art Challenge!

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

How it works
  • Every new challenge, 3 Character Concepts will be provided
  • Pick one of the 3 concepts to work 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!

Bear Tribe Viking by Seungho Lee


Stormcaller - Martin Kirby-Jackson


Vikings by Cindy Avelino



How concepts are chosen:
  • Trying to keep it consistently one masculine character, one feminine 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, Pinterest as a source doesn't count. 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

  • Torch
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    Torch interpolator
    Great concepts!!
  • riceart
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    riceart polycounter lvl 7
    Torch said:
    Great concepts!!

    Are we joining the party?
  • Avidus
    First progress-update from my side of things for the third concept:


    Most of the body is done (head, hoofs and horns are still missing)
    As this is my first character that I´ve ever modeled, I would like to get some feedback if possible. I know there are some issues with the model, but I hoped that the fur would cover it up at the end ( am I right with that estimate or not?)

    Note: the lower part of the legs still need to be finished still, I planned on doing that when I´m done with the hoofs

    Furthermore I would like to know if we are allowed do some changes to the concept art? I would love to give this guy a tail :smile:

    EDIT: I`ve got one more question. I´m noticing performance issues with my current setup:
             i5-9600k, 32GB CL16-3200 Trident Z, RTX 2080, evo 970 plus 
             Right now its getting really hard to combine all the parts together and I´ve gotta wait like 2-5 seconds with every new stroke. Is this just Blender? My CPU and/or GPU are rarely under full load. I Planned to get a 5950x to resolve this, but will this help at all?


  • d_argolo3d
    Hey, good luck m8 hope you get a lot of experience and fun from this character.
    For the reference board I usually try to find every detail and part of the piece so don't have to stop my work during the production phase just to look for extra references of a symbol, patterns etc.

    About the 3d model I would say it would be better to make get it as close as possible to the character's silhouete and do a hard check for the proportions. From the rereferences you showed here, I would say these two have the closest looking for the upperbody of the character.

    About the performance issue, have you tried to open the model in another file(export then import to a new file)? Also, there is a discord server for Blender which you can take this questions and probably get faster answers.

  • BagelHero
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    BagelHero polycounter lvl 7
    Avidus said:
    -snip-
    Hey! Not super familiar with blender's sculpting workflow but after noodling around for a minute to check, I'd say you're working at WAY too high a resolution for this detail level. I'd recommend using remesh to get that tricount down to, with legs and hands, a couple hundred thousand. I'd personally say that's still a bit overkill but I tend to work at a really low and faceted tricount for quite a while so that could be bias :sweat_smile:
    edit: with remesh, after fiddling in c2.82.7, it seems a lower voxel count = add to polycount, and a higher voxel count = lower polycount. Not a very technical guy so this wasn't clear to me and I thought I'd just make sure to add that here since the default was making my mesh even higher poly at first

    It's frustrating that it caps out at only around that active tricount but yeah you're throwing too many at it anyway. May as well optimise. Also, make sure you use a new seperate mesh for the head! Not sure if you're adding the limbs by sculpting out of the main object, but it's definitely better to throw a few separate objects in for base forms. In zbrush this also has some performance benefits iirc, don't think that's the case for blender, but just like real clay sometimes its just easier block in and move around a simpler, separate piece and only work on the one part.


  • riceart
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    riceart polycounter lvl 7
    Avidus said:
    First progress-update from my side of things for the third concept:


    Most of the body is done (head, hoofs and horns are still missing)
    As this is my first character that I´ve ever modeled, I would like to get some feedback if possible. I know there are some issues with the model, but I hoped that the fur would cover it up at the end ( am I right with that estimate or not?)

    Note: the lower part of the legs still need to be finished still, I planned on doing that when I´m done with the hoofs

    Furthermore I would like to know if we are allowed do some changes to the concept art? I would love to give this guy a tail :smile:

    EDIT: I`ve got one more question. I´m noticing performance issues with my current setup:
             i5-9600k, 32GB CL16-3200 Trident Z, RTX 2080, evo 970 plus 
             Right now its getting really hard to combine all the parts together and I´ve gotta wait like 2-5 seconds with every new stroke. Is this just Blender? My CPU and/or GPU are rarely under full load. I Planned to get a 5950x to resolve this, but will this help at all?



    No its not blender fault. Your approach is not apropriate. Blender and zbrush will act similarly bad when you rotate zoom or pan view high poly meshes. Difference is when you make brush strokes and sculpt. In zbrush, in most cases it does not matter how much poly you have. In blender the more polys, the lower performance. And you cant do much about it.
    Your setup is more then enought. Keep your model in parts, fairly low poly. I guess less than 3mil for whole thing. I making characters on 3317u 4gb of ram and intel hd4000. And i consider this a usable bare minimum for blender sculpting.

    @edit, small progress on my model

  • Avidus
    riceart said:
    ... Keep your model in parts, fairly low poly ...

    First and foremost: I´m really thanking everyone a lot for every piece of advice here. Its so nice to see that people would genereally take the time to make me understand a little bit more. Thanks for that!

    Does the detail come with the proper texturing then? I was aiming for AAA quality (eventhough I dont think that my skills will hold up to that).
    How do you guys deal with the transitions between two parts? maybe its the lack of my skills, but i always feel like they wont match perfectly no matter how much I try.  Plus I´ve also heard that working with multiple parts will end up giving you a bad topology overall. And since we will need to retopo the stuff anyway for rigging and animation, wouldnt it be better to have a super hires model so your lores model will look good when you shrinkwrap it? 

  • riceart
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    riceart polycounter lvl 7
    Keep model in parts until you have basicly finished model. If you need to join parts, than simple ctrl+j and remesh. Tiny details can be added via sculpting in blenders multiress (but its bugged mess) or added in zbrush. You can even do this in substance painter. Just avoid adding to much tris in blocking phase. Decimate is your friend, it will keep your model low but at same time keep overal silhouette.
  • ghost-d
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    ghost-d polycounter lvl 14
    Avidus said:
    EDIT: I`ve got one more question. I´m noticing performance issues with my current setup:
             i5-9600k, 32GB CL16-3200 Trident Z, RTX 2080, evo 970 plus 
             Right now its getting really hard to combine all the parts together and I´ve gotta wait like 2-5 seconds with every new stroke. Is this just Blender? My CPU and/or GPU are rarely under full load. I Planned to get a 5950x to resolve this, but will this help at all?


    I have the same specs as you do, except I only have 16 GB RAM. The performance issues come with Blender, I guess (never tried sculpting in Blender though...). Because I can work with hipoly meshes in ZBrush without a problem (no lags rotating around the model or between strokes or anything - just tried it on a single 29 mil. polygons mesh and it worked like a charm). I would suggest you trying ZBrush (I think that you should be able to check the trial version for a month), see if you like it and invest rather into that than unnecessarily upgrading your PC, because what you have right now is really more than enough to do the job.

  • Mica_P
    Figured I would give this a shot this round 


    Started pulling together refs and blocking out the other weekend and then did some work on the face today 


  • Alex_J
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    Alex_J high dynamic range
    Hey guys, I am not sure if I will have time to finish this or not but I've wanted to do one of these forever so I figure no time better than now. These concepts are totally different style from anything I've done so I think that's a good challenge for me.

    I am going to do the heavy viking guy - first concept. Just cause nobody else has chose him yet.

    The first thing I want to do to get started is make my plan. Because I am short on time I need to maximize the amount of time I have to iterate on the design - I want to honor the concept as well as possible. So I have to be careful not to spend too long noodling with the sculpt in a fruitless way.

    Because the concept is very blocky and angular, I think I can build 90% of this model in Maya. I think I can keep it relatively low poly. Because the concept has a nice simple style to the color and lighting, I think almightgir's cell shader in Toolbag will fit the bill perfectly.

    So the first thing I like to do is get my whole pipeline setup and verified. I don't want any surprises.  What I'll do first is use Daz studio quickly get out a base mesh that is roughly the right proportions. I send this over to Toolbag where I will make my final renders. I want to get the shader setup so that as I am working on my model I can keep checking it out under the same conditions it will be rendered in. I find that working on gray sculpts in zbrush or texturing in Substance Painter is always misleading. So it's better to iterate with the model in it's final render engine the whole time.

    So I know what the shader is going to look like and within just a few minutes Daz studio has given me a base mesh I can start from. Now I'll return this posed mesh to the A pose and take it into Maya. I'll build a new, extremely low topology over the Daz model. The concept kind of looks like one of those Asaro head style things where the body planes are greatly reduced. That is great - a low poly model should work well to reproduce that in 3d.

    Once I get the new base mesh blocked out I will go ahead and setup UV's and transfer the albedo texture from the Daz mesh to my new mesh. That's just so that as I am tweaking and working on the model, I have a bit of color on it and I can keep checking it in Toolbag. I want to keep it as close to finished at all times as I possibly can.

    Once I have the visible upper body portion of the model satisfactory, I won't go straight into finishing the modeling. First I will go through the rest of the pipeline - texturing and rendering. I want to discover if there is any surprises before doing all that modeling work. Maybe the way I make angles on the model will play important role in the way the shader will display things? Maybe I'll need to go higher poly than I expect. Who knows what problems I might face, so I think finishing a vertical slice of the model will be a good plan.

    So in a nutshell my plan is:
    • Low poly, angular, and blocky mesh
    • Render in Toolbag 4 with AlmightyGirs cell shader
    • Minimal materials with probably only an albedo map
    • Complete a vertical slice of the model first before modeling all the clothing and gear
    I also want to make some "improvements" on the original concept. Just my opinion of course, but I think the contrast between the materials isn't as interesting as it could be. I like the shapes but I will take a little liberty with the colors and values. We'll see if I do better or fuck it all up, but this isn't a job so I think it's a good time to push boundaries and have some fun.


    Update:
    A couple more hours work. New topology.
    Some sculpting and polypaint.
    The highest subdivision level right now is 40k verts. I might need to go up one more for where the muscles tie in together because it's so exaggerated, but maybe I'll just send the mesh back to maya and retopo so the low geo follows those contours more. May be easier to get those polished edges if the topology is working with me.


  • djwiley912
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    djwiley912 polycounter lvl 6

    Body and Hair Pass at the moment. I want to give her a little more muscle definition and hope to get to her cloth pass tomorrow 
  • dMartinezMoreno
    Work in progress.
    Not much to say for now. This is my first time attempting one of these challenges and the first time attempting this style.
    First block out almost done.

  • Corweee
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    Corweee polycounter lvl 5
    Decided to hop into this challenge as well. Chose to model the second concept because I really like the design and really want to sculpt all that fur/hair (even though retopo's probably going to be a nightmare. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ) Started a couple days ago so still blocking everything out / building all the forms out. Already feel like I need to make the hands/feet bigger...
  • Corweee
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    Corweee polycounter lvl 5
    Hair block out:
  • ghost-d
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    ghost-d polycounter lvl 14
    I´ve decided to take part in this one too. Liked the viking concept, great opportunity to try a little bit of a stylized torso anatomy. Started blocking some rough shapes in Zbrush:

  • djwiley912
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    djwiley912 polycounter lvl 6
    Was able to get the clothes done and spent sometime on the weekend get the fur setup
    I plan to do an optimization pass before anymore detail work 

  • ghost-d
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    ghost-d polycounter lvl 14
    A little more blocking and a few more details. torso, shoulders and the rest of the arms are separate pieces at the moment, will merge and blend these at a later stage.

  • Corweee
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    Corweee polycounter lvl 5
    Hammer block out in Maya.
  • Corweee
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    Corweee polycounter lvl 5
    Fur! Still placing and sizing it, but it's getting there. 
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