Progress on monster project

I'm a firm believer in project-based learning. There's boundless reasons for it, but mostly I like how problems you should understand and assets you need will arise organically.

Case in point, my turtle monster project. I hated the chair on him, as did most people who saw it. Now he's got something much more likable: a sort of siege tower, which will have a rope ladder leading to a platform. On this platform, cultists will sit to charge up energy within the siege tower's "energy vortex" or whatever. Then, in a saddle slung between siege tower and extruding control posts, a driver will sit, controlling the turtle mount with dark energy from a staff.

As a result, I ended up needing a cinematic-quality humanoid rig! My plateau for this rig was simple: As many bones as necessary for smooth, accurate deformations, without yet going into the much more intense realm of scalar bone setups and muscle deformers.

Here's the initial result, sans a face rig and sans a few more correction bones (such as at the elbows and at the hands). But otherwise, this setup's pretty devoid of rubber banding and bending artifacts, which is all I really need. Next step, rigging the weight skeleton!

Also, here's an update shot of my turtle, with the beginnings of its newer siege tower.

Thanks to CyaNn, who made the shader I threw on these guys. Check out his stuff at the Blender Open Material Repository. His shader made these instantly look cooler than their boring ol' polygon versions as they currently stand.



Top 10 Sketchbook drawings, February 24 to May 9

What a change! Last sketchbook's theme was gesture drawings, and although it went fast (January/February), I ended up with little worth scanning in. So this time around, the theme was finished drawings. I ended up with a lot more stuff rendered beyond mere gestures, and am a lot happier with the results. Here's my top ten favorites, possibly out of order.

#10. Southern slave-owning dwarf concept. Fun and challenging to draw!

#9. Head study. This is a lighting scheme I love to draw, which really clicked into habit from an Alex Ross lighting study for "Uncle Sam." Read it, it's amazing! I was watching Bill Mahr while drawing this, and I think Bill's certainly distinctive mug leaked into this.

#8. Muscular Russian head. Same lighting scheme habit as above.

#7. Two heads of opposite gender and emotional polarities. There's some braid studies to the left of the girl's head.

#6. Assorted roughs, plus a Hans Dahl-esque girl. I admit, I largely chose this in my top ten because I felt lacking in full-body drawings. As always, my love of drawing heads gets too much exercise. The text is me cataloging "monster-style" teeth I like to draw on monsters. Exhibited in rough is a favorite--inward pointing teeth.

#5. The hornbill at Woodland Park Zoo. I live near the zoo, I'm a member of the zoo, and I draw there as often as possible.

#4. Caricature of my dad. He's a bike rider of rare enthusiasm, and I tried to make this caricature of him as extreme as possible. I'm hoping to spruce this up in photoshop as a Father's Day gift for him.

#3. Bowing Satyr. I was quite happy with how this turned out. I was experimenting with something I like about certain Frazetta paintings, where he makes figures' cast shadows strongest on their own person, with shaded chests bleeding out and shadowing much of the lower body.

#2. Brick Fuggler, private dick. Why is this guy so fun to draw? I like that I can go back to older ideas for new inspiration.

#1. Head swarm. This was a lot of fun, and it made me realize how broad you can get when you try and draw in several styles all packed in together. Plus, I love drawing heads! The ugly old man at 6B and the Sean Penn-ish caricature at 3D are probably my favorites.

And although these are nice, I think the best drawing this time around is still the one I previewed in my previous post. So technically, this list goes to eleven.

My next sketchbook will be a new hurdle I am bound to struggle with. Why? Because the goal is to ONLY draw in color. Here's hoping it works out!