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Knight dude (W.I.P.)

I've been self-taught in 3D so far, so I have a few gaps here and there regarding knoweldge and proper technique. 😨For example, would his toony style call for simpler hair like in the pics of him holding the sword or is detailed hair like in the two pics below fine even for this style?

Early concept art:

So speaking of my lack of proper technique, for example, when creating a character for rigging, can the legs and arms be like in this pic:

Or should it be with legs straight vertically and arms horizontally like in this pic?

A dirty quick alternate version I made to test in VRchat for comparison.(Via a controlled decimation of the original topology, since any sort of auto-decimation feature just scrambled him up pretty bad.)

Also, do most 3D artist just focus on one thing like modeling, rigging, animation, and so on? I've been trying to learn it all bit by bit, but is this the wrong way to go about it?

Most of my learning process after the basics has been on a "need to know" basis. Initially, I learned all the basics of using blender first, then slowly moved up to more advanced techniques as I needed them for that moment(such as when I needed to figure out how to make ruffles on a skirt of this other character.) Then reading up as much as possible on that specific topic, as well as repetition of said techniques over many hours(to ingrain in the brain, lol) is how I've gotten to this point.


  • Brian "Panda" Choi
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    Brian "Panda" Choi high dynamic range
    1. You could go either way, but as you may notice how other anime games handle rendering, if your hair is realsitic, your other materials better read realsitically too, even though the shapes are NOT realistic.  Your skin rendering right now reads plastic instead of there being subsurface scattering, pore noise, and other elements that I would generally expect realistic skin to have. You'll be fighting and deciding both where you want to risk the uncanny valley and what counts as enough impressionism of the material "idea" to come through.

      I have criticisms about the concept design of the character, but for what you're executing on, a lot of this is going to be about how you do your topology, how you weight your skinning on the body, and how you decide to define and unify the materials so it all reads as one strong art direction.

    2. Most 3D artists, I feel like, focus on one thing IF they're trying to get hired starting out.  It's not the wrong way to go about it, but for me personally, I've been told if I want to be hired on a team to make game art for them, they'd rather someone be good at one thing instead of mediore across a lot of different disciplines.  The end product is what players see; they don't usually consider the individual artist's career abilities.  I still find myselfg qualifying with other developers these days that while I think I can tackle a non-primary skill, I need more time than expected to make sure it's up to quality for final release/publishing.

    3. Your method of doing it on a need to know basis isn't unusual.  There's just going to be tradeoffs.
  • Froton
    Thanks for your concise feedback, Brian.

    1. Ah, yeah, for the detailed render, I should have mentioned I withheld the skin pores because I was trying to figure out if a "bio-metal" person would have metallish skin or have skin pores despite the composition or a mix of the two. I won't go the Collossus route since their skin isn't that hard, but more like it has enough metal composition that their skin can be silver/gold or other colors.

    You have a point though, either way, some sort of "skin texture" should be present. I did for the princess character(she's carbon based like a human would be, thus regular skin is okay) I was working on when I posted them together at the start of the year. Although maybe her skin texture isn't that good? :anguished:

    Yeah, I did actually experience the uncanny valley effect when I got the 2nd, skinnier version of him in VRchat moving around, which is why I'm on here and why I'm working on the topology again. That's why in the VRchat screenshot, this version is thicker(3rd for VRchat) than the blender version. The new one I'm working on is taking into account what I learned from trial and error.

    Version 1, which was a decimated version of the blender model. It became noticeable how the joints deform.

    So I made him thinner and taller, then gave him a helmet, this version 2 is what gave me the uncanny valley experience, lol.

    So I got to work remaking major parts of him, like the joints. For example, I saw a technique for collapsing elbow joints, although it was meant for very low poly models, so I tried to adapt it to higher poly, it was a quick job so I got the position of the elbow wrong in my haste, but wanted to see it in action.(The VRchat version was a throwaway anyway for when I got back to the higher topology blender version.)

    When version 3 was done, the movement was a lot better, although the topology was a mess, so everything I learned I'm gonna use to upgrade the higher topology model, but I'm hoping to gather a bit more knowledge before undertaking that task.

    Regular human proportioned models in comparison to mines:

    The sword I have is a decimated version of the most simple sword I have, since bringing in the rune sword would have been more time consuming since my 1060 is slow at baking procedural textures(and the results so far have been buggy with weird noise in the results, but I'll tackle baking later.)

    Also, what are your criticisms regarding the concept design? For some background, he's not human, as I mentioned before, he is a bio-metal life form. I'm working on a series of mine, so I'm turning all the characters 3D.

    These are some of the knight characters, although they are all still W.I.P. with the designs.

    My style was weird in 2015 though I think. (Note: That bee became a fairy in the redesign as I wanted to give the bee motif to another character.) 

    In my current style, some characters may have humanish proportions, while others will be leaning towards toon/stylized, such as with this villain from the story, and two of her minions who are more stylized than her. Would you say it's disorienting visually?

    The only reason I don't go full realism/human proportioned style is because characters like these will end up having literal animal faces or some really weird hybridization of human/animal face, see the recent Sonic movies 1st iteration to see what I mean, lol. I experienced the same thing when I tried to go that route, so I try to keep them toonish.

    2. I see, thanks for sharing, yeah, out of all the 3D skills I've learned so far, so far, it's looking like hard surface modeling might be my 3D affinity. I was able to pump out decent looking weapons relatively fast before I had moved on to other 3D subjects. The next best thing might be whatever this subject of 3D is called? This is a planet I made for the project I mentioned, the planet is sideways, which is why the dark side is at the bottom in the picture(one side of the planet is always dark, as the planet's rotation doesn't bring about night and day.)

    The dark side of the planet.

    Day side no atmosphere/clouds.

    I drew the continents with a wacom tablet in photoshop and then made a bump map the same way in ps but playing with the gradient of black and white to give the impression of mountains/coastlines, etc.

    Would a planet count as environmental 3D? Speaking of which, I do have some pics from my training in making 3D environments, but I already posted too many images for this post. imo

    Once I dabbled in all the different 3D subjects, I will focus on one to become my primary, whether it's hard surface modeling I guess I'll know once I've tried them all.

    3. Yes, and those trade offs are hitting me hard now. : P

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