Breaktime modelling

January 19, 2011

Maya 2011, zBrush 4, Fusion 6, Photoshop CS4.

Been working hard on our animation assignment, and grew a bit tired of looking at it, so I took on a small two-day project for myself, just making something random. Very Myst/Riven inspired. There’s plenty things I’m not satisfied with, like the water, and the lack of building textures, but it was only supposed to be a small project. It did make a nice enough image, and I learned stuff. And I’m finally able to find my way around Fusion without getting totally confused, yay!

Meanwhile, this is what I’ve been doing for the animation assignment.

Maya 2011, zBrush 4, Mudbox 2011. The skin has hand-painted diffuse, spec and gloss maps, as well as a normal map. The hair needs serious work on the texture. The console is all done in maya, but isn’t quite done, and hasn’t really been textured.

Street – Realism assignment

November 30, 2010

Also posted on deviantArt. (One day I’ll properly compile my animation assignment and post it here, but that day is not today.)

Assignment: Create a realistic scene, focusing on textures, lighting, rendering and post. Worked on it for the past 3 weeks, in between classes.
Programs used: Maya 2011, Photoshop CS4, Fusion 6


There’s not really any complex models, but there’s A LOT of simple ones. I started with the fire escape, then a scene to put it in, and it just sort of grew. The most complex is probably the bicycle, which I spent a lot of time on, particularly having fun figuring out how the spokes. (36 of them, 10° apart, grouped by four, from the middle of the rim to one of four places on the hub… I could go on.) I took inspiration from a few streets in Greenwich Village in New York, and spent a lot of time roaming Google Maps, particularly Barrow Street. I probably spent far too much time on modelling considering that’s not what the assignment was about, but I had much fun doing it.


All textures are from CG Textures, some of them more or less unchanged, but I also made composites and heavily edited ones. Most of them are tiled, except for a few, most noticably the pavement. There’s also plenty of bump and spec maps to go around, all made manually in photoshop.


The lighting is just a Physical Sun & Sky. I experimented a bit with other things, but as I wanted an afternoon look, it didn’t really call for lights from the lamps or windows, and I wanted to leave time to do other things. Pretty simple mental ray render: diffuse, occlusion, fresnel and zdepth. Then I took it into Fusion and comped, getting more of the atmosphere I wanted. Occlusion for shadows in corners, fresnel to get more beige indirect light on the sides of things to give it more volume and avoid the too clean one-directional lighting, and zdepth layer for depth blur and fog. Then drew on a lot of grit, dirt, rust-stains and grunge in Photoshop to get away from that clean look in the textures, and also darkened the window which had rendered too light.



Lastly (any by ‘lastly’, I mean after the assignment was actually presented for the class), I rendered some detail shots to show off objects I had worked a lot on. I used basically the same comp in fusion as the main image, with tweaks to make it fit the shot, but not any photoshop post-work, so it’s somewhat cleaner.

There’s plenty of things I could tweak and improve, given the time. There’s a few errors that I’m probably the only one who notices, there’s far too little trash, and there’s several textures that could be a lot more interesting and varied. This, however, is mostly nitpicking. Overall I’m very pleased with the result.

We had 3-4 school days, and then a week’s vacation to do this assignment in. I did a lot of the work in the last weekend, and even the few hours before deadline, cause that’s how I roll, but I had time to everything I wanted to except posing, so it’s cool. It was just modelling, so we weren’t supposed to worry about colour/texture/lighting/render, which is why he’s basically a statue. I didn’t want to do the other stuff half-assed, particularly since we haven’t properly learned it yet.

Concept art

Based on a drawing of mine from last year, updated, with pose taken from PoseManiacs, though this character has been with me for 3 years now.


Used the hands and feet we’d already made in class, cause I’d worked pretty hard on making them good, and kept working on a face we made to get it right, using references and drawing polys. Spent a good long while on making the topology good and suited for animation.

Made a basic body using edge extrude (as I really don’t get along with box modelling), and worked a bit on making the topology nice, and added some fancy edgeloops for definition.

Pulled it into zBrush and worked on the proportions mainly using the move tool, making sure he was more realistic and less… bulky superhero build. He’s supposed to be quite slim. (I later removed the serratus muscles, as they just looked like ribs and made him look starving and lumpy.)

Gave him some basic trousers, then pulled them into zBrush and sculpted the hell out of them to make folds. Then I retopologised them (which I found quite fun and easy, surprisingly) and put them back into Maya, where I redid the upper edges.

I made a hair base (pretty much just a slightly complicated box), then worked on it in zBrush, using the brushes move and claytubes initially, then slash2 and polish to define the hair. It was wonderful for making it wavy, as well, and fun to use. Then I used the Decimate Master plugin to bring the polycount down while still keeping the shape, resulting in some pretty insane mesh, but a good (if unanimatable) final result.

Finally I added some details like jewellery, eyes, rope belt… I didn’t get time for quite as much jewellery as I wanted, alas. Apart from the hair, it should be pretty animatable. Although I’m not entirely sure if I want to subject myself to trying to rig him.

Final result
Lowpoly with wire

Smoothed in viewport

Closeups in viewport


Finally, a thousand thanks to Simon, who is generally awesome and basically my private tutor through IMs and on weekends.

Adric – digital painting

September 24, 2010

Finished this painting a week ago, never got around to posting it here. It’s the first full colour detailed painting I’ve done since May, so I’d like to share it.

The character is Adric from original series Doctor Who (years 1980-82), played by Matthew Waterhouse. One of the most interesting companions ever, particularly in that era, and sadly misused and misinterpreted by episode writers and fans alike.

I originally planned to keep the lineart, then changed my mind with all the details I put into it. Blocked out, then did a lot of crosshatching with opacity set to pen pressure, and used smaller and smaller brushes. Different layers for background, shirt, skin, and hair, to keep them apart. I also used a reference photo. I changed the background colour to blue because it would contrast better with the red/orange/yellow tones, and also tweaked the colour curves near the end.

Work in progress pics:
– sketch/guidelines, and cleaned up lineart

I’ve already done a tutorial for this kind of painting, which you can find here.

The deviantArt entry for this painting is here.

The render isn’t quite as pretty as the chess assignment, nor the models as interesting, but it turned out pretty nice. I have some issues with the glass, but that’ll just have to do. And the knife isn’t serrated, just smooth, because Einar said we’d do that sort of thing in texturing, not in modelling.

Human modelling

September 20, 2010

Just posting the bodies we’ve been making for now — the head is too gruesome to look upon. I need to poke at it some more before.

Yep. I cover up the fact that they have no heads or hands with that they’re Greek statues. Obvious solution. We’re working more on the lady tomorrow. The male model ended up with too many lines and got lumpy, the the female model looks quite nice.

“Each game of chess
Means there’s one less
Variation left to be played.

Each day got through
Means one or two
Less mistakes remain to be made.”

-”Story of Chess” – Chess, the musical

Our morning assignment last week was making chess pieces. I rather liked the final picture. I went with glass pieces with metal rings to help distinguish black and white. The reflection is pretty. Also, because I am a geek, the set-up is from a game between Boris Spassky and Bobby Fischer in 1960.

Inspiration 101

September 2, 2010

A vampire is any person or thought or feeling that stands between you and your creative self expression.

En av mine yndlingssanger når det gjelder kreativitet, inspirasjon, og skapelse. Nå som vi begynner å lage ting, ville jeg gjerne dele den.

Sangen på YouTube.

Die, Vampire, Die – [title of show]

There are some people in the world who say that writing stories,
or composing music or dancing sparkly dances is easy for them.
Nothing interfers with their ability to create.
While I celebrate their creative freedom,
a little part of me just wants to punch those motherfuckers in the teeth.
This song, I sing this song for you guys and for all the rest of us. Help me out, y’all

BACKUP: We’ll sing backup!

SUSAN: You have a story to tell, a novel you keep in a drawer.

BACKUP: Old sock drawer!

SUSAN: You have a painting to paint, but you’re lazy like an old French whore

BACKUP: Je suis whore!

You have a movie to make, Shrinky Dinks you can bake
but you best grab a stake, cause,
in sweep the vampires, in creep the vampires, knee deep in vampires,
Filling you with doubt. Insecurity, ’bout what you art should be
In sweep the vampires

ALL: Die, vampire!

SUSAN: You sketched that turtle you saw in an ad on late-night cable TV
BACKUP: Tippy Turtle!
SUSAN: But your fourth grade teacher said
BACKUP: “You can’t draw”
SUSAN: Aww, those vampires just won’t let you be
BACKUP: Fuck you, Ms. Johnson! Word!

SUSAN: And when they come, run like hell, see those bats in your belfry, then call on Van Helsing. In swoosh
BACKUP: Ooh, the vampires
SUSAN: In a whoosh
BACKUP: Ooh, the vampires
SUSAN: Babaganoosh
BACKUP: Ooh, all the vampires

SUSAN: Filling you with thoughts of
BACKUP: Self consciousness
SUSAN: Feelings of
BACKUP: Worthlessness
SUSAN: They’ll make you
BACKUP: Second guess

There are so many vampires, inside, outside, and nationwide,
it helps to recognize them with this vampire hunting guide!

Listen closely.
A vampire is any person or thought or feeling
that stands between you and your creative self expression.
But they can assume many seductive forms.
Here’s a few of them!

BACKUP: Tell us, Susan!

First up are you pigmy vampires.
They’ll swarm around you head like gnats and say things like:

“Your teeth need whitening.”
“You went to state school?”
“You sound weird.”
“Shakespeare, Sondheim, and Sedaris”

“Did it before you and better than you”
Or they might say that you cannot
sing good enough to be in a musical
Or they might say:

Ooh, your song’s derivative!
Ooh, your song’s derivative!
Ooh, your song’s derivative!

SUSAN: To keep that song from you! Just tell them:

BACKUP: Die vampire, die!

Brothers and sisters, next up is the air-freshener vampire,
she might look like your mama, or your old fat-ass, fat aunt Fanny.
If she smells something unpleasant in what you’re creating,
She’ll urge you to [Spraying sound]
It with some pine fresh smell ‘em ups.
The air-freshener vampire doesn’t want you to write about

Bad language
Or blow jobs

She wants you to clean it up and clean it out.
Which will leave your work toothless, gutless, and crotchless
But, you’ll be left with two tight paragraphs,
on kittens that your grandma would be so proud of.
You look at that air freshener vampire in her fat ass, fat old fuckin’ face and you say

ALL: Morte Vampir Morte

The last vampire is the mother of all vampires and that is the vampire of despair.
It’ll wake you up at 4am to say things like:

“Who do you think you’re kidding?”
“You look like a fool.”
“No matter how hard you try, you’ll never be good enough.”

Why is it that if some dude walked up to me on the subway platform
and said these things, I’d think he was a mentally ill asshole,
but if the vampire inside my head says it,
It’s the voice of reason.

You have a story to tell, pull your novel out of that sock drawer!
You have a painting to paint, you best paint it and then paint some more!

Oh baby, you must escape and grab it by the nape of its neck, by the trachea
fuckin’ break it, go on drive a stake in,
Yeah there’s no mistaking, now you’re shake and bakin’

Die, vampire
I said, “Die, vampire”
I said, “Now die, vam-pi-re, die!”

In fly the vampires, oh my the vampires, then die the vampires,
filling you with LIFE, creativity, all that you heart should be, out go the vampires
Die vampire, die vampire, die vampire, die!

Geekery 101

September 1, 2010

Et par folk og de fleste lærerne kjenner meg nok som hu som satt og var sekretær/journalist/spion på praksisplass inne i klassen til Wictor i 12 uker. Den bloggen kan leses inne på IdePraksis. Jeg likte meg så godt her på skolen at jeg bestemte meg for å bli, og søkte på 3D Design, og nå har jeg startet ny blogg for å representere meg selv istedenfor jobben jeg hadde.

Kommer nok til å poste både 3D og 2D tegninger her. Men hittil har det ikke blitt no ferdig 3D. Jeg satt i flere timer for å lage en 3D figur i går, og så…. spiste Maya den. En bug, tydeligvis, siden alle som har peiling er helt forbauset. Jaja. Treningen er alltid bra, og da har jeg lært å lagre flere versjoner til neste gang. Det er høyst mulig jeg bare lager den om igjen.

Men inntil da, for å få no fint å se på, kan jeg poste det jeg har tegna i sommerferien.

Photoshop CS4, Wacom Intuos4 tegnebrett, bare vanlig round brush til alt.