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Librarian stylised model [Wip]

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BlueChaos triangle
Hey! I thought I'd make this beautiful concept from Tart / Wyrmforge from Twitter into 3d for my portfolio. I had been thinking of that first character for a while, I really love everything about them, so I was really happy when I got the permission from the original artist!

So let's get started then!

I was a bit intimidated by this project, so instead of starting it by gathering references and boring myself, I jumped into maya to already start blocking it out so I could get myself invested. I really really love the shape language that Tart used in this, so I definitely thought the block out would be an interesting phase.

I was planning onto drawing this guy a reference sheet at some point, but for right now I just put the reference image into maya to be able to work on it.
I started work at 04:30pm and stopped at around 06:10pm, meaning I worked for about 01h40.
This is the result. I don't think I'll be doing the reference sheet in the end, since this came out pretty alright. 3/4 and side views aren't included, they're pretty straightforward.

I probably spent too long on this but I really like having a clean base before jumping into Zbrush, as I don't like using it for big shapes and hard modelling. To block this guy out, I used a mixture of overlaying shapes onto the reference and working in a symmetrical manner. The sleeves look like they'll be a bit of an issue when working on the coat, but I'm sure I'll be fine with some masking.
I reused the hands off of my Mushroom Shaman model, but I'll be detailing them and shaping them again so they end up being a bit more unique :]
Here's how I'm going to break up my work, and the notes I have about it.

-🧥 Coat: sleeves will be hard, use masking. Back of coat was made up since not present in reference, play with it to see what you like but remember it won't be visible in the main beauty shot. The way the coat closes looks asymmetrical, so work on it last after breaking symmetry. Make the 💍buttons afterwards in maya. 
-👖Trousers: Pretty straightforward. Play with the flare on the end.

-👒 Hat: I'm not sure what the flappy thing on top was supposed to be, so I gave it my own spin. Play with the shape in Zbrush!

-💀 Skin: The head is more geometrical than the cylinder I made it out of, I'll try use the trim dynamic brush to achieve the right shape. Gotta make an indent and a rectangular shape for the light in his head too. Make the hands more slender. The details on the arms can be made with just a dam standard I think. The shoes are quite simplified in Tart's artstyle and I feel like I already got close enough with the blockout, so minimal work will be needed.

-💍Baubles: the one present on the pic will get details in Zbrush. The three other head ones will be done in Maya, as well as the sleeve one, the chest insignia, and the coat buttons.
-📕Scroll: Was originally planning onto doing this one in Zbrush but the shape is simple enough, I'll make it in Maya. The end bits look circular but also square-ish so i'll have to figure that bit out! Will probably do a mix of the two

I'll be doing most of the detailing in Substance painter simply with a height map :] I find it more pleasing

Life is pretty busy outside of modelling, and I'm also sculpting one head per day so I'm not going to update this place very often. I can't wait to see how everything will come out though! 
Next step, I'll be taking this guy into Zbrush and giving him a general fix, before seeing where motivation takes me ;] See you then! ✨


  • jStins
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    jStins interpolator
    Hey good start on this guy. I think the base pose could be more relaxed (an A-pose should work pretty well with this guy's costume / anatomy). If you position your arms like your model, you'll feel some muscles in your back and shoulder get tense. In general, it's best to sculpt the musculature in a relaxed state. 

    You may also want to revisit the proportions when you come back to this. The legs are feeling a little short, but it's kinda hard to read in the concept since the waistline is obscured in the concept. 

    Last thing I'd consider is using more even quad topology on your base mesh (avoiding long rectangular faces) so the geometry subdivides evenly. Of course this may not be important if you plan on using dynamesh. 

    Good luck with the project and looking forward to seeing more. 

  • BlueChaos
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    BlueChaos triangle
    Ooooh those are all great points, thanks Immensely! I'll do all of that :D 
  • BlueChaos
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    BlueChaos triangle
    Progress shot for today! I worked on this between 4pm and 7pm but had a bunch to do, so I was on and off the project and gotta move on now.
    I tried applying what Jstins told me, and it worked wonders on making the model easier to work with!

    Tried focusing on making this guy's shapes nice and smooth to start adding folds and details. Next up, I'll try neaten up his shoulders, add clothing folds on the coat and detail the head! Maybe apply a little clay polish on his trousers too, the edges feel a bit wobbly right now.
  • BlueChaos
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    BlueChaos triangle
    Hey! Decided to work on this again today :D I started working at 5:30PM. I'll start fixing what I listed above.

    I had a nasty crash about one hour in and lost a bunch of progress that I made on the hands. But you know the way it usually goes! When you have to do things two times, the second time is always quicker and neater :] I got to this result! 

    Seeing the way the arms were made in the concept, I think the plates could have been made entirely in Substance Painter, but I felt like I'd be able to make them more interesting here. They currently feel too defined, but I'll tone it down with the retopology!
    The way I made the plates on the forearm the second time was really easy, I masked off portions using the mask lasso and then used the inflate brush to either give them thickness or have them be recesses! I used the same method on the phalanges. the plates/kuckles on the top of the hand were done simply with the clay buildup tool but they took a bit longer.

    I also realised that geometric objects such as the head, hat and the lone bauble would be much easier made in Maya after all. I gave them a try in Zbrush and the results were less than satisfactory due to their nature, so I'll be taking them to over there instead!

    Here's the state of the mesh before I took it in Zbrush. You can see the failed attempt at the head.

    As you can see, the bulk of the work was done on the trousers, coat and arms. I'll be working on the head a bit now. (well, after a quick family obiged food break haha. I left my computer at 7:15, and came back at 8.) 

    I modeled a low poly for the head, and then tried something for the hat. I watched a very cool video about quad topology and decided to try something out, just in case I wanted to animate/deform the hat later!  (48->16->4)

    Do you think it's a good idea to have such topology for a circular object, at least in this context? In my opinion it's a lot of polygons for not much geometry, so I think it's not useful. I'll keep it for now but might go back to regular stuff later :] 

    In the end, 
    I made the low and high coat buttons, at 100 tris. Three of them will be visible (two only in the concept, but I'll add one more under the arm) sp 300 tris total.

    As well as the low for the hat, baubleone and head, them being 1.3k tris total.

    And I think I'll be done for today! Here's a to-do list for next time.

    🧥 Coat: refine the sculpt. retopologise, then place buttons.
    -👖Trousers: sculpt is pretty much done. retopologise
    -👒 Hat: make the high in maya
    -💀 Head and arms: Make a high for the head in maya, with some dam to separate the gold outline from the rest of the head, same as the cylindrical bit at the bottom of the head. Then take it back to Zbrush, and see if I can do the pretty swirly bits there, or if texture only would work. Retopologise the arms.
    -💍Baubles: Make a high for bauble one in Maya. Make lows and highs for the three other hat ones, as well as the sleeve one, and the chest insignia.
    -📕Scroll: Make it in Maya. 

    (Stopped at 10:50pm, meaning I worked on this for about 4h40 today )

    Any feedback? Do you think something looks off compared to the concept? In any case, I'll see you next time because I'm pretty tired😊Have a nice day to whoever stumbles upon this post!
  • Neox
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    Neox insane polycounter
    i think for better deformation you should make sure the circular loops follow through, otherwise you will create dents when bending it
    if you solve it like this, you stay within the same polycount but make sure you havge clean circular loops. no idea who told you that a lowpoly has to be forced as quad only, but its wrong.
    also make sure you balance out the circular rings to have somewhat the same distance between each other. unless you want to bend only a certain area more than another, then having it denser here or there is fine.

  • BlueChaos
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    BlueChaos triangle

    Thank you for the feedback Neox! :D I think my take was just some misunderstanding from a video I saw, thank you for the clarification I changed things accordingly!

    Good evening, long time no see! I had a bit of a hectic past few days so I had to mark a pause in my projects, but let's try do something today! Not feeling the tablet life, so I'll stick to doing some stuff in Maya.

    I started at around 10:20pm, with making a quick high poly for the head, same as the hat after correcting its topology. After that, I retopologised the trousers, and since it's around midnight now, I'll stop there for today.

    I feel like the topology for the trousers still needs more work (1.2k so far, but feels ugly), and may seek help somewhere before I try the coat, just so I can showcase the topology in the future Artstation post and be satisfied with it. Happy with the head though! chest insignia has some weird artefacts due to the topology, I'll see if I fee up to fixing it in Maya or if I'll do so in Substance/Photoshop after baking.

    With that, here's what's left to do for next time!

    🧥 Coat: refine the sculpt. retopologise, then place buttons.

    -👖 👒 Hat and Trousers: uvs

    -💀 Head and arms: head uvs. Take the head high back to Zbrush, and see if I can do the pretty swirly bits there, or if texture only would work. Retopologise the arms.

    -💍Baubles: Make a high for bauble one in Maya. Make lows and highs for the three other hat ones, as well as the sleeve one. chest insignia uvs. chest insignia thread low

    -📕Scroll: Make low and high in Maya. 

    See you all next time! 😊 I hope you've had an awesome past few days

  • BlueChaos
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    BlueChaos triangle

    Hey All! Worked a bit on this project today. I started retopologising the arms and hands, took me maybe an hour and a half. Might come back to them at some point since I received nice feedback about their topology, but that'll be left for next time.

    I then tried my hands at the hat baubles, and finished all the low versions, same as the string (with just a three section cylinder bent around with soft selection!). In the end I don't think the three smaller baubles need a high poly, some texturing will do! The baubles took a bit of nitpicking, so count maybe 45 minutes.

    I'm still not sure how I'm going to make the string that links the chest insignia to the rest of the outfit. I'll probably do a three section cylinder and use curves to bend it around, but it's going to be a pain lol. Any tips on making tubes/threads in maya? I feel like I should download blender just for this 😅

    I usually love jumping around my projects, sometimes doing sculpting, modelling and uvs all at the same time but this time I'd like to do all the uvs at the same time! So no more playing with the more advanced parts of this guy, time for the shoes, scroll and the biggest bit, the coat.

    First step, the scroll! I tried roughing up a quick shape in Maya, see how I like it, and I think it turned out ok even if I was a bit afraid previously haha :D so much so that I just jumped ahead and made a high poly for it right away, which also didn't take too long!

    So for a total of maybe 2h30 today, I did quite lot of stuff that seemed daunting at first :] I'd like to start by the biggest bit next time, so coat first.

    Here's the results! (Man I love the new formatting update Polycount rolled out 😊shame you can't re-order the images easily though lol)

    And here's a to do list for next time.

    -🧥 Coat: refine the sculpt. retopologise, then place buttons. low the front bit

    -👞Shoes: low in maya

    -🧵 Insignia Thread: find a way to make it lol

    -💍Baubles: thread and bauble 1 2 3 4 uvs , low for the sleeve bauble. chest insignia uvs.

    -📕 👖 👒💀 Scroll, Hat, Trousers, Head and arms: uvs (I'll do the swirly patterns on the head in substance after all!) (maybe review arm uvs)

    Any feedback on what I've already made? Or tips on how to make nice tubes in Maya? In any case, I appreciate your comments and wish you all a very nice day or night 😊 and Merry Christmas soon! ⭐

  • BlueChaos
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    BlueChaos triangle

    Gooooood evening, I hope your Christmas was pleasant! Worked a bit more on this guy today. Finished the sculpt for the coat, and even though it looked really scary, it didn't take too long! Which means that all Zbrush work is now done, and we can head to maya for the rest of the geometry work :]

    I sadly noticed the other day that I didn't get this guy's head quite right! I made it taper too much at the top and forgot a little ridge, so I had to fix it. When fixing the head, I noticed some nasty non manifold geometry, so in retrospect this isn't so bad! Managed to fix all that up nice and quick. I made the high poly back from scratch, since it felt like it'd be easier. The result is definitely not perfect, but I'm planning on cleaning up the normals after baking in clip studio paint, and worst case scenario, I can re-make something cleaner! Point is, shape feels better now. I'm choosing to ignore the slimmer-side-of-the-head golden border, as I think it's a stylistic choice and not an actual geometry difference. This means that in the concept pose renders, the side of the head on our left won't be visible sadly. If this ends up being too jarringly different in the finished product, I guess I could always go back and make it match! We'll see :]

    Whipped up the sleeve bauble real fast, no fancy pattern in the high poly this time, I feel like it's not worth it. I'll make it in substance in probably a quarter of the time :D

    For the front bit of the coat, I just went and re-purposed the shape I made in the blockout. At this point I even doubt this piece needed to go in Zbrush at all. I'm learning more and more that I love getting nice and clean shapes in Maya when possible, with no need to move em around in a sculpting software. Maybe this will change in the future, but for now knowing this will help me save time :]

    For the shoes, I also went back to take the blockout, but I did something a bit different! I used the quad draw tool and kinda meshed the blockout to the high poly from zbrush using the sculpt tool, and refined from there. It ended up taking me a tiny bit longer than expected, but I'm satisfied with the result!

    Not gonna include everything cause it feels a bit silly, but have a few screenshots.

    Any comments about the topology? I frankly still don't quite know what I'm doing lol.

    In any case, it's quite late here so I'll call it for the night! Probably worked two hours on this guy today. I can't wait for the uvs and texturing, my favourite part of the process :D

    Good night everyone ⭐✨

    And as always here's the to do list for next time.

    -🧥 Coat: retopologise, place buttons. uvs

    -🧵 Insignia Thread: find a way to make it lol. (low, uvs )

    -💍Baublesthreads, bauble 1 2 3 4, sleeve, chest insignia uvs.

    -📕 👖 👒💀 👞 Scroll, Hat, Trousers, Shoes, Head and armsuvs (I'll do the swirly patterns on the head in substance after all!) (maybe review arm uvs) (note that for the shoes, the high poly is missing a bit at the top. fix the normals in substance.)

    (gotta remember to make all the low poly in soften edge before taking them to substance, same as unlocking all the normals for the high polys coming from zbrush//)

  • BlueChaos
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    BlueChaos triangle

    Good evening, it's me again! 😊 Decided to work a bit on the coat for this guy today, nothing exceptional.

    I still wanted to note that I tried something unusual, I tried reducing the mesh in Maya and using that as a base for the retopo but it was so not worth it. The time taken to clean up the mess would have been much more useful if I had started the low poly from scratch. I assume the usability of this technique depends on the mesh, Maya's reduce tool seems to make a very grid line pattern on the x and y axis, and in this case it was only useful for the back of the coat. Maybe I could get better success with the Zbrush Zremesher tool, I'll try it out in the future! But for right now, I used a bit of the base from this technique but build the rest from scratch. RSI really kicks in whenever I do retopology which is a shame because I love it, so I can only do tiny bits at a time. :[

    I ended up finishing the retopo for the coat in maybe an hour and half, taking it slow and having fun with it! Quite happy with the back of the coat. In this position, the result looks real nice even with a low poly count, and you can't really see edges, so I'd say mission complete at 2.3k tris!

    Now, if I were faithful to what I said... I'd look at ways to do the thread on the torso, but I'm really not feeling it today. Same as placing the buttons on the coat, but for a valid reason! I gotta make the Uvs for these guys before duplicating them, it'll save me some time ;D That will stay in the to-do list for right now

    With all the low poly's done, we're standing at 10.7k tris! Honestly super happy with that. I didn't really pay attention to the poly count during the process but I love working lower poly, which I managed to achieve even while keeping a nice and smooth feel! If the low amount of polygons ends up causing issues as I'm posing the model, it should be easy to add some loops later :]

    So with that....... 👀👀👀 It's it's Uv time!! Uvs my beloved 💕

    Haha, I really feel like people hate Uvs, but it's one of my fave part of the process simply because it's so, so relaxing! Kinda feels like playing a puzzle game. Since I already worked on it today, i'll start with the coat.

    Here are some ramblings on my process!


    The way I always go about it is that before anything, I make a planar projection Uv, and sew everything together, all the while looking for possible non manifold geometry or un-fused vertices. (let's not lie, we all get it once in a while :D the Uv process is the right moment to fix the geometry mistakes imo, the process makes them very visible)

    Instead of using diferent materials, Uv sets or id maps, I'm a partisan of just separating the different textures on the character via Uv cuts and storing everything on the same Uv set. So my first cuts are for just that! I then cut where there are some noticeable angular planar changes (hidden as much as possible) before actually going about cutting stuff up with the prospect of unfolding things flat.

    So with that in mind, I make cuts for the insides of the coat (inside of sleeves, coat itself, and neck line), then I just cut the sleeves out from the coat because a cylindrical shape is easy to work with, and that cut will mimick a hard-edged fold. Only after that do I cut up the coat front and back, and make the cuts for the sleeve cylinders (keeping these in the back even if I could have used the opening to be more optimized. The point is to have the pretiest rendered shot in the end, and using the opening would make the cuts visible).

    The cuts separating the front and back of the coat are visible, but will mimick the edges where one would usually stitch a coat, so I think it's fine!

    A few years ago I would have gone ahead and separated all the golden trim of the coat already in-Uv, but I'm finding myself liking that process less and less for smaller elements. I also didn't intend the topology to work for that technique especially in the front, asymmetrical design part, so I'll just outline the gold trim in Substance. (note: I do end up separating them for the head for example, since it was planned there)

    Even though it's really not necessary, I like ordering my uvs really nicely after laying them out, so it'll be easier to figure out what is what in Substance.

    My teachers have taught me to be very orderly about straightening uvs so that the pixels arent crooked after texturing, so for the pieces that look like the could benefit from it, I give it a try.


    Honestly, I went on a total Uv frenzy lmao, I finished all of it in one go! it probably took me an hour and a half total, and I managed to find some polygons that would never be seen which I deleted. I think I just missed this whole process, so I super enjoyed it! Have some pictures :D quite happy with the hat and how that back coat uv shell is looking. so stylish!

    Now don't pay attention to how these are laid out, I still have to pack them all together. Before that though, I gotta finish the missing thread and place everything accordingly! (well, just the buttons.) For right now it's quite late so I'll stop here for the day, here's what I'll be doing next time.

    • 🧵 Insignia Thread: find a way to make it lol. (low, uvs )
    • place buttons on coat
    • arrange the uvs on the same set
    • 🧥 💀 👖👒 👍👞📕💍Coat, Head, Trousers, Button, Hat, Arms, shoes, scroll, front bit, chest insigna, bauble thread, bauble 1 2 34, sleeve bauble: Export (will do the swirly patterns on the head in substance) (shoes, high poly missing a bit at the top, will fix the normals in ps.) (gotta remember to make all the lows soft-edged and triangulated before taking them to substance, same as unlocking all the normals for the high polys coming from zbrush)

    Any feedback on how I did the uvs, or on topology? If so please let me know! In the mean time I'll be going ヾ(≧▽≦*)o

    No idea if I'll post another update before the New Year rolls out, so please enjoy partying and have an amazing end to the holiday season! I'll see yall later 💕


  • BlueChaos
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    BlueChaos triangle

    Hey hey! It's wire time.

    After refreshing my memory on how to make wires in Maya (am I the only one here thinking it's a pain? I almost wanted to hop into Blender for this one lol) I made the two wires linking the chest insignia to the chest itself, with the classic curve and cylinder method. Since the back of the character wasn't in the concept, I decided to just make the wires dangle past the arm where they won't be visible.

    I then added the buttons to the coat, adding three more under the arm and the scroll to fill the rim in a logical manner.

    After that, I arranged all the uvs together, allocated more space to what was most important detail wise (the head and baubles), and less space to what was less important/poorer in details (inner side of the coat, lower side of the hat).

    I was displeased to find that for some reason, my Uvs had not saved, even though I'm 90% certain I had saved everything properly, so I had to remake them. Probably lost around thirty minutes of work, but that happens! I honestly could have worked more on the Uvs, but I gotta keep moving, so the new ones I made are less tidy than the first ones.

    The way I went about them is that I laid them out using the layout tool, scaled them 3d wise so that the texel ratio would be accurate, then I scaled the objects the way listed above, then I did a layout with the scaling off. In hindsight, this is probably a quicker and better method to get through the first stages of this, so I'm somewhat glad this happened. The good ol' "second time is always better"!

    I was too lazy to sort through the shells and group what belonged together though. Sorry future me, if this was the first time, you'd be better off!

    Now, we export and test bake ;] not my favorite part, but we gotta get it done to go further! I'm thinking this guy could go for a 4096x4096 document, and I'll probably work only in base color except for maybe a few details.

    I recently acquired Substance 2022, so I'll have to install it before I go further! I'm hoping that some of my previously made materials will help when making this guy. While waiting on Substance to install, I made a copy of my Maya scene where I made all the low polys soft-edged and triangulated, and unlocked all the normals for the high polys.

    Besides a few artefacts, I'm really happy about how the first bake turned out! I wish fixing normals was easier to do right in Substance, but for right now, I'll hop between substance and CSP to fix the artefacts. What I use is mostly the blur tool, and I sometimes just put on flat colors on pieces that don't need any normals. It does the job well enough, and I'm able to remove most of the artefacting that way. (it's pretty quick, too!)

    I won't be using the normal map itself, but I'll be using it in generators so it's fine if it's not perfect, but it's better if it looks nice and clean! I'm satisfied with the result for right now. The places that are a bit artefact-y still are the shoulder tips, the inside of the head, and rim on top of the hat. Geometry wise I'd like to bring the sleeve a bit higher so it doesn't clip with the top of the forearm too, but even that isn't a major issue!

    Have some sexy sexy renders ;D

    Well... As sexy as my Pc can make em. It's a bit of a potato haha

    Lots of work to be done, but we're getting to the nice part! ヾ(≧▽≦*)o With maybe two hours and a half on the counter, I'll leave the rest up to future me.

    Just a few guidelines as always, so I don't forget!

    • bring the sleeve a bit higher so it doesn't clip with the top of the forearm
    • block in those base colors!
    • block in the base patterns
    • 💀 head: don't forget the swirly patterns

    Any feedback on this guy? Do you think stuff looks alright so far? Please let me know!

    On that note, good night, and good luck on the folks getting out from the holiday break (❁´◡`❁) ⭐


  • Fabi_G
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    Fabi_G polycounter

    Hey, cool progress 👍️

    It looks like the shading is breaking at some pointy edges (hat rim, shoulders, "face"). Do you use hard edges for the low poly? I would consider putting hard edges + UV seams at edges with steep angle so the difference between shading of high and low poly is not so extreme.

    Then UVs for some parts could be stacked (hands, feet, pants) to maximize UV space. You could also give elements that get more attention (hands, face area) more space. And you could straighten some UVs, this will help to minimize steps in the normal map and possibly help with the packing.

    Keep it up 🙂

  • BlueChaos
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    BlueChaos triangle

    Hey Fabi_G, thanks for your comment! :D I never use hard edges for my low polys, it's something that has been taught to me at school, but maybe I'll try using them next time, see how it looks! I also completely agree about the UV stacking, same as the UV space. In hindsight I should have thought more about this but I just jumped into the texturing process and regretted it afterwards. Thanks immensely for your comment, I'll be sure to pay more attention to those things in the future! 💗

    (so note for self in the future: don't be lazy with the UVs!! Learn how to bake with Uv stacking (by putting the stacked pieces one set over), and please group stuff together better. It'll be worth it for the texturing stage)


    Hey all, I'm not dead! I've been slowly etching away at the texturing for this guy and it's been going slow but steady :D

    I completely underestimated how long itd take to emulate the outlined look, but now that I'm into the groove, I'm able to make progress! Been writing here less since texturing is such a strange process to me, and I don't think I can talk about how I do things and make sense at the same time 😅

    I cleaned the baked normal in Clip studio paint some more, and just went to town painting. I use many layers in my process which makes my computer run suuuper slow sadly! Been thinking about flattening the texture set and paint on top of it, just to alleviate some of the workload for my PC.

    Here's how he looks so far in Base Colour!

    (concept again for comparing purposes)

    I'm honestly super glad with the result, aside from some topology issues.

    I think I'll try a hybrid method for the stylisation, and do shadows right in the texture, same as the outline, then I'll bring him to an engine (either Unity or Unreal, don't know yet), and play with an outline shader :D that's gonna be so fun and I can't wait!

    I still got some big bits of him to texture still though, so I don't wanna get too excited yet. Biggest points are

    1. the arms
    2. the trousers
    3. the rest of his coat (folds, edges)
    4. the sleeve bauble
    5. and the scroll.

    Since he has a very unshaded look in the concept art, I'm not focusing on the normals or the roughness map too much. I think he'll only need a Base Colour, a Normal Map (I'll give it low strength most likely) and an Emissive map.

    After I'm done with the texturing, I wanna take him to Maya, correct his proportions (while having the textures still on him, being careful not to break anything (things like the head shape, the shoe height, the sleeve connection with the arm,...)), use Mixamo to rig him and then and pose him the best I can (then correct him some more...). After that I'll take him back to Substance in his posed state, add the remaining shadows (like the one under the arm. In hindsight I may texture the scroll at that point, it'll be easier to get right! After that, I'll see from there ;]

    In the mean time I'll keep painting often, and I'll try keep you all updated!

    Notice anything odd about the textures? Anything else you think I need to fix or keep in mind for the next stages? Feel free to drop a reply, I'd love to have a chat! 💖

    With all that said right now, I'll bid you all a good night, and have fun on your personal projects! o(* ̄▽ ̄*)ブ ✨⭐


  • BlueChaos
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    BlueChaos triangle

    Hey! Quick update on this guy.

    I finished his textures the other day, well, at least the first pass of it! Nothing particular to say about it,except maybe that symmetry was a bit hit or miss so I kinda had to do the hands separately. It wasnt very fun haha. I also came across a weak spot in my uvs, where the in between part of the fingers was really had to texture because I didn't unwrap them properly, same with the tippy tips of the shoulders. I don't think I could fix those at this point sadly, but I may try later!

    I'm leaving the scroll for the next texturing phase (as well as the emissive) as I said previously, so don't mind that part please :] Have a potato pc render! (Forgive the shaded look, I have no knowledge on how to do a nice basecolour render in Substance D: )

    (concept present for comparison purposes)

    After this, I set off towards the rigging part of the project. I tried putting this guy through Mixamo but there were some quite funny mistakes (His scale was way off so he looked very small, and also the website confused the sleeves to be his thumbs. Made for some funny animations!)

    Soooooo... I had to bite the bullet and rig a character for the first time!

    To be quite honest, he won't need to be moved around in extreme ways and this was my first time rigging something from the start (had some experience with weight painting), so I didn't go too wild with it. I found that placing the bones was super fun, while painting the vertex weights was a total drag.

    The elbows could use some more work, but for right now it's functional! Any mistakes i can just correct by moving them around myself anyway.

    Here's a little bit of a look but don't judge it too hard please! (❁´◡`❁)

    Since it was my first time not having the restrictions from Mixamo I had some fun with additional bones lol, like some for the sleeves, baubles, the front cloth bit or the cape! Not sure how well that will hold up or if I'll even use them, but it was a lot of fun.

    That's it for today's update though! That was really quite time consuming for such an un-flashy result, but we gotta keep going!

    Next up, let's pose him, fix his proportions (uv break on the shoulder tips, always keep textures on him, careful not to break them (correct head shape, shoe height, sleeve connection with the arm,...)), and do the second texturing pass ( remaining shadows, scroll, emissive). Or well. At least some of these things would be nice! u_u

    In the mean time I'll drop to bed, have a nice evening everyone! ( ु⁎ᴗ_ᴗ⁎)ु.。oO 💗


  • BlueChaos
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    BlueChaos triangle

    Hey all, here's today's update on everything!

    Sadly I just noticed that while rigging, I broke the uvs, again . This always happens but I always forget about it (it's only due to forgetfulness on my end, I really need to check things better before jumping in).

    I only managed to find a triangulated mesh with the right uvs, so I just dug around the program a bit, and found out the mesh-> transfer attribute tool can transfer uvs. Sadly the result wasn't satisfactory at all.

    In the end, I found no satisfactory automatic method, so I ended up using the stack similar method with all the UV shells. It did take me a while, but it gave me a perfect result so it really felt like the only option.

    So what I did was overlay the two UV sets on top of each other and slowly matched each piece to the other a bit like a puzzle using the stack similar tool (select the right UV first, then wrong one, then click stack) . after that was done, I had to make a clean copy of the base mesh to clean its history, and used the method i usually use of

    1] duplicate mesh

    2] bind skeleton

    2.5] and delete bindPose using commands if there's one( delete bindPose1 ), case sensitive

    3] copy vertex weights (the one with the box next to it or else it doesn't work)

    4] delete original.

    That leaves me with a clean history to start posing this bad guy!

    After that, I actually tried fixing the proportions a bit before posing. Corrected sleeve connection with the arms, made his waist smaller, tried tweaking the head shape, all that good stuff.

    I then posed this bad guy! Now I'm not going to lie, this is taking a lot of placing vertices by hands and perspective tricks. from any other angle, he looks completely broken but that's to be expected when working with concepts not made for 3d!

    I did fix how he looked like from other angles and he still isn't perfect, but for right now I'm happy! Next days, I'll just spend correcting more and more stuff, such as

    the curve of his trousers on bottom of the leg in shadow,

    the arm angles,

    give a taper to the head shape,

    correct the thigh thickness, …

    For today, my RSI is kicking back in so I'll bid you all farewell! If you notice other things I could improve or know how to have maya work in basecolour only (not shaded), let me know!

    Love yall, byebye! (´▽`ʃ 💗 ƪ)


  • BlueChaos
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    BlueChaos triangle

    Hey, it's me again with what's probably some of the last updates on this guy! Busy busy life means it was harder putting work into him and recording the process, so I had quite a few small work sessions I'll summarise here.

    For the first two sesh I corrected his pose a bit more and got to this result. Not very different looking than the last, but I'm glad with the changes.

    I then took him in substance and corrected his textures like planned, adding details to the scroll and putting down the missing shadows.

    Iray rendering doesn't give his unlit style justice, so have a Substance screenshot!

    After working on his textures like I usually do, I set out to put him in an engine! I suddenly got the motivation to open up Unreal4 again after so much time, and looked at this lovely french tutorial about toon shaders and outlines to get to a point I like. Make sure to check this guy out if you do speak french!

    I do have minimal experience in shaders but this still took a significant amount of time, and I'm not satisfied with how blown out the colours look here. For now, I think I'll be off!

    If you have any feedback about Unreal renders or camera renders, or even if you feel like the character feels off/ that the background colour doesn't fit, please let me know!

    Next time, I'll refine the Unreal render, make a nice turn around video, see if I'm motivated enough to make a Unity version, and make a post on Sketchfab. It'll probably be the end of the journey at that point, so I'll catch you there!! ヾ(^▽^*)))

    Have a super nice evening 💗


  • Crazy_pixel
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    Crazy_pixel interpolator

    That looks really nice. I love the shapes and the material/ texturing style!

  • Fabi_G
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    Fabi_G polycounter

    Cool progress!

    I would say the background is a bit to dark and saturated - when squinting, parts of the character merge with the background. Maybe you can even add some ground shadows?

    What textures did you end up using? Is it diffuse only?

    Much success finishing it 🚀

  • BlueChaos
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    BlueChaos triangle

    Thanks Crazy_pixel! I'm really glad you like it c:

    And Fabi I completely agree! I always default to a dark blue background but I'll change it to gray just like the concept :D Thank you for pointing it out! As for the floor shadows, the original doesn't have any and it'd be kinda hard to add with the set up I have, so I don't think I'll be able to but it's a very good idea c: Thank you for your comment!


    For today, I set out to make a render for this guy in Unreal first! I used this nice English tutorial, only the animation part, and rendered a turn around video.

    I had quite a bit of trouble with the lighting, with it adjusting oddly between the start and the finish of the video. Same as the outlines that look a bit jittery, but for right now, it should be alright! It took a bit of trial and error and I tried messing with it in an editing software but the raw footage felt much better.

    I sadly can't post it here, but please check ou this hyperlink! (or just this link if you don't trust clicking on random hidden url's : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ks2hi6rEK-0 )

    Now it's Sketchfab time ;] I found out that there's sadly no simple unlit mode, so I used a trick of having the base colour both in the AO channel and the Emissive channel, set as 1. It meant no using the emissive channel to make the blue details pop, but the result is still satisfactory!

    Here it is : https://sketchfab.com/3d-models/to-substance-second-pass-877e5548a1524981a43b4cf9484871bc

    I'm a much bigger fan of the Sketchfab render to be honest, even if it doesn't have the outline like the Unreal one.

    With that, we're ready for an Artstation post and a tweet! :D Aaaaand we're done ✨


    Wyrmforge seems quite pleased with the result which couldn't have made me happier. Honestly, there's no greater compliment than that ( TT‿TT) 💗

    So the journey comes through an end it would seem! It was such an awesome one, and I loved recounting everything here. I'm sure this will be super helpful for future me, and I hope it was of value to you too!

    In the mean time I'll be off, do make sure to stick around for my next projects, and I hope to see you there 💞💕💗💖 Thank you so much for the feedback everyone!

    Have an awesome rest of the night and see you next time,


  • Eric Chadwick

    This is nice, great job capturing the concept.

    Can't help wondering what it would be like with a bit of realtime lighting to show off the 3D shapes? Have you thought about lighting it? Like the bolero hat for example, it would be awesome to get across the feeling of the black felt. https://i.etsystatic.com/9169083/r/il/cd1426/1772213207/il_1140xN.1772213207_6ful.jpg

  • BlueChaos
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    BlueChaos triangle

    Hey Eric! This is a really interesting idea, and I'll probably try it in the future!

    As of right now this guy wasn't really made to be lit at all, so I anticipate he'd get weird shading artefacts all over ( I've actually already seen some while testing out Substance Iray renders..), I'll have to keep this idea either for a future project, or for the day I decide to clean this guy up a bit more c:

    I'm really glad you like it though 💕it means a lot, and thank you for your nice comment!


    Hey all! Didn't think i'd be back so soon c: just a quick update regarding this guy, people on social media seemed to like him a lot which made me really happy. A professional artist advised me to clean up my uv's though, and I couldn't agree more! So I spent a bit of time today just doing that.

    Here is the original texture.

    Notice all the useless black space? Well, that was allocated for things like the hat, the left leg, and other fully black objects. Same as those fully blue areas. They could be scaled much lower! So that's what I did, and here's how.

    I got one version of my model with the good textures but icky uv's, then one version of the model where I prepare the new uv's. Anything that's stacked and very small I keep on the outside of the main grid. I then went in here

    and transferred the maps with my desired parameters! The result wasn't perfect and i got about three nasty crashes, but I corrected all the mistakes could see in Clip studio paint (and made the little squares on the top right to place the uni colour shells), and was left with this new and prettier texture!

    Quite a bit more optimized wouldn't you say?

    Since I stacked my shells, I couldn't use the layout feature easily so every Uv shell was laid by hand, which is why this isn't as packed as a computer layout :] The operation also made some of the lines blurrier, this will teach me about not taking care of my Uvs properly first thing! (It's barely noticeable since I'm working with a 4k texture ;p past me knew how to be safe)

    It still feels a lot better now, so I'll be updating this guy's Artstation post and Sketchfab turn around!

    He also has a post on here to showcase his finished state, so feel free to check it out here 💕

    I doubt I'll tweak more important things about him, so until then, see you all later! ╰(*°▽°*)╯⭐


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