Some concept art to help with wardrobe

Trying to post a WIP update any time I get an evening to work on this. Usually the habit is I work on it all night, then am like, "ooh, if I just wait until morning when I add this one thing, then I can post a status update with a better screen shot." And we all know where that vicious cycle goes :P

Was testing some material settings for hair, and in my spare time tried to mock up where the costume would be going. So, of course, now it's 2:20 AM and I spent too much time on concept art

Click image for larger version  Name: maiden.jpg Views: 0 Size: 84.4 KB ID: 124843

www.oscarts.org oscarbaechler@gmail.com


New project, motha truckas!

I showed off the initial exploits for this at the last Seabug. At that point I had just finished the initial body modeling and layered SSS setup. I want to be more regular in logging exploits of this new project. Other silly goals are to first release each of the characters as individual files on Blendswap for shorter, more achievable goals that bleeds toward a longterm short film goal.

For chronology's sake, here's some earlier production pics I sent over Twitter. Here's first pass at modeling:

Click image for larger version  Name: 189643730.jpg Views: 0 Size: 18.7 KB ID: 124632

First progress on multilayer SSS:

Click image for larger version  Name: 193176103.jpg Views: 0 Size: 40.7 KB ID: 124633

And now, where I'm at currently. Eyes are improved, Hair has a start on model and texturing. Her blouse is currently just a modeling test, to get a big stack of modifiers working (Mirror, Armature, Subsurf, Shrinkwrap, Smooth, Solidify.) But chances are still high that I'll flatten it all down and just weight-paint it

Any feedback appreciated. Will try and have an outfit concept drawn up next, so I ain't modeling blind!

Click image for larger version  Name: 216330674.jpg Views: 0 Size: 65.6 KB ID: 124634

www.oscarts.org oscarbaechler@gmail.com


Water simulation I did over the weekend

No raytracing, some mild compositing.

If only there were some sort of venue I could show off how I made this...Oh yeah! December 4th's Seabug is fast approaching! Tickets are free but space is limited, so go and RSVP at http://seabug.eventbrite.com now!

www.oscarts.org oscarbaechler@gmail.com


Head Thumbnails

Two days ago I sat down to do an hour of photoshop calisthenics, and it wasn't flowing out for me. I've started three speedpaints since the last one, and although they're all good at the base level I lacked motivation to work them into frothy completion.

So I started thumbnailing, and I really enjoyed some of the new brushes in Photoshop CS 3. The finished project, meh, but I was on a role.

Then I got another idea: Let's just make a bunch of abstract shapes, sleep on it, then tomorrow build those into finished line drawings. Here's the abstract shapes:

And here's the new heads. Hot diggity! Next up I'm gonna throw hair on 'em all, because leaving characters bald is a bad drawing habit I should work on. Bottom row #3 is my favorite. Might work him up to a finished piece.

In addition to not drawing hair on enough, it's worth cataloging that another bad habit of mine is drawing people with their mouth closed. Food for thought.

www.oscarts.org oscarbaechler@gmail.com


Speedpaint 03

Now with Photoshop CS5! Very fun, lots of cool new features that slap you in the face within the first 2 minutes.

Probably went a little longer than I expected here... 90 minutes? Was chillin' on this dude's Thelonious Monk playlist.


www.oscarts.org oscarbaechler@gmail.com


A small pipeline revision

Okay, so I haaaad originally planned to use Farsthary's most excellent Unlimited Clay tools for Blender. But after 45 minutes of trying to dig up old experiment builds that had it, I decided to wait until it's finished :P

Instead, I'm going the old fashioned route: starting with a low-poly model, which then gets sculpted up later.

www.oscarts.org oscarbaechler@gmail.com


The Reversed Character Pipeline

The 3D character pipeline as I learned it happened in the following steps.

1. Concept art
2. Low-poly model
3. UV unwrap
4. High-poly sculpt
5. Bake and paint textures
6. Make shaders
7. Rig
8. Animate
9. Render/Export

Technology has changed dramatically since I learned this. PTex might mean that UV unwrapping is a back-end afterthought, instead of an annoying front-end necessity. Sculpting tools have grown substantially, but more importantly automatic re-topology tools have grown. More and more, the theoretical pipeline has been shifting toward this:

1. Concept art
2. High-poly Sculpt
3. Paint
4. Low-poly model
5. UV unwrap
6. Bake textures down
7. Make shaders
8. Rig
9. Animate
10. Render/Export

Trying out this pipeline theory is going to be the focus of my next long-term Blender project. In addition, here's some other things I'm looking forward to trying out:
•Multilayer SSS
•Spline based facial rig
•Multiple material types

Here's hoping it turns out well!

www.oscarts.org oscarbaechler@gmail.com


The Cataphract rig, now available!

Go download my new Blender rig at http://www.blendswap.com/3D-models/animals/the-cataphract/

Here's is maiden voyage into animation, which I made at last Seabug. The next one's December 4th, be there or be square!

www.oscarts.org oscarbaechler@gmail.com


Metarig Shape Library

Here's a lil helper tool I made for Blender's metarig system. I have always been a fan of any tool that lets people animate faster if they hate the pains of rigging, and the new Metarig tool is a beast when it comes to that.

This tool takes it even further. The Metarig Shape Library takes the bones of your customized metarig, and simply assigns a library of draw shapes. BAM! Where previously you might have had trouble spotting what bones were control bones and how they worked, now they all look like nice grabbable widgets.



www.oscarts.org oscarbaechler@gmail.com



For the past year or so, I've been ashamed to admit a growing nerdiness about textiles. For Seattleites, the Seattle Asian Art Museum and the SAM both have a number of kimonos and primary source outfits with fantastic textiles, so if you're in the area I recommend taking another look at these.

Why are textiles something to think about?
1. You can't sculpt them in a 3D program
2. Outfits can say a lot more about a culture than the creature anatomy wearing them.
3. 3D and 2D art both tend to focus on contrast and silhouette first, material texture second, and fabric pattern...last? There's a ton of resources about fabric drapery for 2D drawings, 3D sculpting and cloth simulation, but very little discussion about what's on that fabric.

It was really bugging me that with most detailed fabrics, the 3D inclination is to #1. find a photograph of a fabric and #2. call it a day. But the more you look at fabrics, the more something even this complicated actually seems to be laid out in an approachable style. This is my first attempt at making up a process to address the problem, and it turned out passably IMHO.

The process is really quite simple; essentially you're making a big detailed square, then putting another big detailed square on top of it. It was so easy, I spent 15 minutes to make a tutorial!

So what does it look like in 3D? Here's a quick attempt to throw it on the Turtle That Won't Die. Not much going on yet other than procedurally unwrapping to the rug texture, plus a node setup to generate a normal map off the texture.

www.oscarts.org oscarbaechler@gmail.com


Blogging your art vs. polishing a portfolio

To start with, the obvious conclusion: Yes, hybrid is the answer, using a blog that surrounds its outer border with your best art, right up front for early viewing pleasure, followed by an up-to-date assessment of what you did last week in the form of a blog post.

But I wanted to sing the praises of blogging regularly. Updating a blog regularly presents oneself in a way portfolios can't: a lifestyle artist. When you are viewing a person's portfolio, it can feel like the job interview, with them casting themselves in their best light. But when you're reading their blog, it's the day-in and day-out of their artistic life. It's habits versus single spit-shined presentation, and habits count for a lot. Nearly everyone can relate to a great first impression with someone, only to learn that their daily habits include no reading, too much television, drinking too much, avoiding spicy food, or chronic lateness.

Many good artists have said drawing is just like physical exercise: talent counts for very little if you don't work out regularly. Similarly, a lack of daily practice in art shows. It doesn't matter if you've won a gold medal, a pot belly speaks about your daily habits in the here and now. If you haven't drawn anything in a week, it's probably noticable.

Anyway, I drew some stuff. Oh snap, 8.5 x 11 is so much more easy to scan! Although this first one's actually a straggler from my other sketchbook, which I somehow forgot.

Ahem, put at small size. On account of da nakedness. Also, I want to give a shout out to Paul Richards, whose blog at http://autodestructdigital.blogspot.com/ has been fantastic to read. I found it completely by accident while doing a GIS for Paul Richards. He's awesome, and everyone could stand to learn some amazing things from his insight. I think he's been behind a lot of my naked lady drawings lately, which he elevates to a masterful art.

Sketchbook theme: BLOW MINDZ. Although I think I also want to bring back extra rendering in this one, since my last book was a bit too gestural for me.

These last ones were drawn off a google search for "Women's hairstyles." Easy spot to get pleasing, unique mugshots!

Thus far, I believe I am failing at blowing mindz this sketchbook. Again with the head drawings! Hopefully I'll pick up the pace in the coming week.

www.oscarts.org oscarbaechler@gmail.com


Anuzzer sketchbook, mon frére

Once again, uploaded in reverse chronology. Which makes the final image a humorous summary of the whole sketchbook: nekkid ladies, dinosaurs, fat dog, and animals. Speaking of which, warning: nekkid ladies. I don't care about gestures, but the ones with more graphic, ahem, renderings are all resized tiny to protect your innocence. Click the thumbnails to enlarge at your own risk!!!

Teehee, at this point I'm ashamed at how many of these I've had to make thumbnail sized.

www.oscarts.org oscarbaechler@gmail.com