Here is a video turn around of the low poly 3D outfit that I’ve been working on. It is still untextured; the colors are simply temporary placeholders to give an idea of the final color scheme. There are also no normal maps applied to the mesh to indicate high poly details. Those improvements will be added soon.
I finished the low poly skirt:
It looks like it’s sitting a little funny up near the hips, but that’s just because the thigh armor is pushing it forward up front so that it doesn’t hug her figure quite as well as I would have liked. I can’t very well have the thigh armor mesh poking through the skirt fabric mesh though, so it is what it is - clothing doesn’t always sit pretty in real life either.
After basically putting this project on hold for months to focus on other projects still under NDA, I’m making time for my portfolio again. I created a high poly tube top and a skirt/pant combo in Marvelous Designer, but after working with the skirt/pant clothing pieces in Maya for a little while I decided I wasn’t happy with the clothing design and remade the skirt/pant combo into a skirt/skirt combo.
Now I’m working on the low poly clothing. When I create low poly clothing for characters I nearly always use the character body as a starting point, duplicating the mesh and trimming or otherwise altering it to fit the area covered by the piece of clothing. This ensures that as the body and the clothing deform, the topology stretches and compresses in the same areas to prevent clipping as much as possible. The exception to this rule is loose articles of clothing such as capes or skirts.
Armor is usually a different matter. It doesn’t need to match up because it deforms much less, if at all. I usually build a low poly base for armor in Maya, then send it to ZBrush to sculpt the high poly. I have created the low poly armor for the character already, but have yet to do the high poly sculpting.
Here is what my low poly outfit looks like at the moment. (The skirts are not pictured because the low polys are not finished after the re-design.):
I paused my progress on the high poly sculpt of the female character model to make a couple of new entries in my portfolio using a model created during my time in grad school. For my MFA thesis project I created a sculptural character made of around 50 different props. I dubbed her “the Juggler”, as she’s inspired by all of the working parents out there juggling the responsibilities of work and home and family. I believed that the character would be a perfect way to show that I’m a well-rounded modeler that can sculpt both organic and hard surface models, but I think perhaps I made her too compact and hid too many of the props that I spent so much time modeling.
I’ve been told that my portfolio is lacking in props and hard surface items. I do definitely focus more on organic, and it’s true that my portfolio is somewhat lacking on low poly hard surface, but this character is made up of so many props that I think I just need to feature them more. To accomplish this I am making exploded views of each of the character’s limbs to clearly showcase the numerous props that make them up. I would love to make a bunch of textured, low poly props for my portfolio as well, but since I’ve had a request to show that I can make props and I don’t want to spend too much time away from my progress on the characters I’m working on at the moment, this will just have to do for now.
After many fun computer crashes eating up my work time today, here’s what I’ve got so far:
After about a week of working intermittently on the high poly sculpt I’m still finishing up some fine details, but the shape of the low poly is finalized. I rendered a quick wireframe turn-around in Blender. Here is the result.
And here is some progress on the high poly model:
After 4 years of working 2 jobs and never having time to add to my portfolio, I’m finally down to only one job, so I’m using my time off to update my portfolio. Here’s my latest work in progress:
I'd never baked normal maps out of ZBrush until this model: I've always baked them out of Maya because I heard that they came out so much better. I decided to try it this time because it seemed like it would save a lot of time. What I didn't account for was the learning curve of finding the right settings in ZBrush, so I ended up spending twice as long as I should have because I spent a long time fiddling with settings in ZBrush and actually ended up baking one set of maps from Maya in addition to those that I baked in ZBrush.
I laid out and organized my girl's UVs into 2 separate maps: one for her body and hair and one for her clothes and accessories.
My girl's accessories are now all UVed.
These UVs were painful. The shoelace UVs refused to unfold.
I tried everything I could think of. I cut them into large pieces, then I cut them into tiny pieces, then I selected whole edges of UVs and lined them up by hand. Every time I hit "unfold" they snarled themselves into oblivion: each of the edges of each single section zigzagged up and down like crazy, turning areas that I knew should line up fairly evenly horizontally into sharp, erratic waves. When I straightened these waves by hand and then hit "unfold" to even out the spacing of the polygons, they would inevitably turn into waves again, but tamer waves than they had been before. The more I lined them up manually the more manageable they became whenever I unfolded them, and I finally got them to generally resemble what I knew they should look like. It took hours, though. Hours: spent on shoelaces!
It was one of the most frustrating sessions I've ever spent UVing (and that's counting the time that I was first learning to UV and had no clue tools like "unfold" existed: I used to auto-UV everything and then spend a whole lot of time stitching). It was all the more frustrating because it would have been so easy to say: "They're shoelaces. Forget the UVs. I can slap a procedural texture or two on them and they'll be fine." But I knew that I was going to take the whole model into Mudbox to texture paint it, and as long as I was texture-painting the rest of it I might as well include the shoelaces. I just wanted them done the way that I intended them to be done, so I kept at it, despite the frustration. And I won in the end. The shoelaces were successfully Uved and texture painted with color and grime.
Amber: 1 Shoelaces: 0
Not much art time today. Just a wee bit of UVing. Doesn't she look cute in her colorful checkerboard dress, though?
I UVed my girl's body.
My girl's head, hair, and some clothing is now modeled.
My model now has hands and feet. And boobs: her topology was stretching too much in the chest region so I added a few extra divisions there.
I started modeling the art student character that I designed to add a more "animated" side to my demo reel.
"Calendar" image of Daily Art created in January.
(Note: This image was actually created in February, but since I'm posting late I'm putting it here at the end of the month where it should go anyway.)
I stood my addict up from his crouched position and rendered him to show off the hidden elements of his texturing.
I 3D printed my resume. It may be a bit gimmicky, but I'm hoping it will make me stand out as a modeler to have 3D modeled my own resume.
Note: The blacked out portion of the "M" in these images is concealing the portion of this 3D print that contains my phone number, which I do not wish to make public on the internet. Anyone wishing to contact me may do so via e-mail or by clicking the "Contact" tab on this website.
The model is approximately 5 1/2" x 7 1/2" and is pictured here with a printed sheet of paper slid into some tabs that I created behind the resume text for the very purpose of holding a printed sheet. The 3D print itself is everything that you see in white; the piece of paper is black text helping to define the words "HIRE ME!" against a blue background.
The tabs holding the paper into place on the other side of the print are more modeled words and one small character which I will post images of here at a later date once I finish designing the graphic that will appear on the back side of the card.