I needed to brush up on my female anatomy before jumping into the 3D portion of my Red Riding Hood piece. So I took the whole weekend to do nothing but draw and observe from reference all that is female. I wanted to post this compilation of a few sketches here, mainly because of a neat little trick that I stumbled upon. If you look at the sketch in the lower left I have a colored coded step by step area that really helps out when drawing this part of the body. I start off with the basic box shape of the hips. Divide that in half vertically, and horizontally about half to two thirds of the way down. That cross hair is approximately where the back starts to transition into the butt. If you draw an X from corner to corner you get another approximate area for the hip socket, where the femur goes into the hips. Lastly is just drawing the form that surrounds that understructure. The third image in that step by step is a duplicate of the second that is mirrored. You can see where the inner thigh areas overlap and creates a nice gap (not perfect but that works). You could also draw just a small semicircle on the bottom of your original trapezoid hip box for that same space.
I’m always trying to simplify anatomy into shapes that are easier to remember and faster to get down and be right. So while the above insight may not be perfect (or even correct) it’s an important part of the process to me. There’s no doubt that I’ll refine that as time goes on just as I have done to many other tricks of laying out the body.
So I finally decided to throw my hat into the ring for CGHubs Fairy Tales Re-Imagined contest. This is extremely early on so you’re going to see a lot of my process going from bad to (usually) better in both 2D and 3D progression.
I was really trying to avoid re-imagining Little Red Riding Hood because it has been done so many times in the past and most of those times are amazingly successful re-interpretations. So I read a dozen other fairy tales that I haven’t read since I was a child which really brought back some memories. I had some strong ideas towards a couple other stories but overall the original concepts were pretty powerful as is. Since this is a re-imagining I had to force the issue on the concept. The story of Baba Yaga and the beautiful Vasilisa with her wooden doll that comes to life really attracted me on so many levels. Working out those concepts seem to me would take much longer than what I initially had for Red Riding Hood so I made the call and started my push forward.
So my idea is that Red Riding Hood is a drug runner in the not too distant alternate fairy tale land future. She rides the countryside on a sexy futuristic motorcycle of some design I still need to piece together. There’s a pack of wolves that are on her trail and I kind of envision them more as comedic relief instead of a single dark menace. Grandma isn’t a relative of Red, in fact “Grandma” is the nickname of the grower that Red gets her supply from. He has a house or facility(ies) in the forest. I have a couple ideas on why he is nicknamed “Grandma” but will wait to reveal those. I guess that’s pretty much it as far as the idea goes for right now. There’s a lot more imagery in my head but it has to be sorted out, adjectives properly put to things as well as everything being put on paper.
As I mentioned earlier I’m just showing my process from ugliest to best with the focus on improving the concept more and more.
With the Polycount BRAWL and Dominance War V competitions are wrapping up there’s two more competitions starting. So if you’re looking for something to do then check these out. For future competitions and challenges I’m going to make my best effort to post them here. Too many times I come across things that I would have participated in but with the deadline over or soon to run out. So getting more word out will possibly prevent someone from missing out on a great experience. I won’t get into the details of the competitions, just read them over. Both are very cool and have crazy lead times for the deadline.
3D Challenge: FREEDOM
Start: May, 4th 2011
Deadline: July, 4th 2011
CGHUB & ImagineFX present Bobby Chiu’s Fairy Tales Re-Imagined 2D & 3D Art Challenge
Start: May, 4th 2011
Deadline: August, 4th 2011
Every one of these challenges I have participated in have pushed my knowledge and skills further and further (in more categories than you would think). So I highly recommend giving them a shot. If you stay focused on your personal improvement your sense of accomplishment will be great when the deadline ends.
Also on a side note I’m testing out some different website styles (this may take a while). But I’m going to experiment until I get what I like. The visuals aren’t customized with this one as they were one my last style but that is also in the works. Have never been keen on links that don’t automatically open in a new tab or window which is what is currently happening. Adding that to the “To Figure Out” list. Edit: Figured out the link issue. Just some simple html to fix that. While researching this issue I came across this whole issue of proper etiquette on a link opening in the current window or an existing window. It’s my biggest pet peeve when I’m surfing and wouldn’t be able to sleep at night knowing that I’m contributing to such a disliked function.
I was talking to a friend of mine today and he mentioned that “Perhaps you are over thinking this?”. The subject matter(s) that we were discussing is of little importance, but what is important was his assessment of my thought process. With everything I do and everything I create there is an almost OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) to my thinking behavior. Taking (seemingly) simple ideas or situations adding in ‘what ifs’ and ‘whys’ into the equation to get multiple end results has always been a part of me. Even when creating characters, their intentions and motivations, weapons, stories, (the list goes on) many questions are asked and even if something is very cool but it doesn’t fit the situation I feel compelled to reject for that project, character or situation.
On a related note I’ve been listening to a great podcast series on the gaming industry (Games Industry Mentor check it out here: http://gim.acanaday.com/ ), it’s very informative on many levels and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to get into gaming or is curious about what the gaming culture is like. During Episode 17 one of the guest speakers mentions about someone being a ‘Critical Thinker’. It’s a term I hadn’t remembered or even heard of since some middle school or high school unmemorable class. So what do I do when I’m curious about something? Open up the search engine and start researching; I do this a lot even on little things that are deemed common knowledge (just for self-improvement and intellectual reinforcement).
Here’s the Wikipedia page on Critical Thinking: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_thinking.
As I start to read over the Wiki it becomes clear that this is what I do and how I work, you could say it’s a way of life to a certain degree. While not a new term, re-finding this information and being able to recognize my traits and associate them with this term is something I think I’ve been searching for a while. It may sound odd, heck it’s a bit odd for me to even type this stuff for anyone to read but I feel stronger as an individual for finding this info and being able to connect myself with how I will best fit in this world. A lot of us do various things in life that we don’t like, or thought we would like but end up being miserable with. There’s a person that wants to really be good at being “A” but will never be and is unknowingly amazing at “R” and a lot of times is stuck doing “N” for the meanwhile until “A” happens or “R” is realized. If you understood that – great, if not; it’s no big deal but I wanted to share it in either case. I can DEFINITELY say that the more you understand the principles and fundamentals (and beyond) of the Critical Thinking process then the more you will understand and know me. By the way, there’s a lot more resources out there on Critical Thinking if you’re more curious and it’s fascinating and endlessly valuable IMO. The search engine is right there. 🙂
I haven’t posted in a while so here’s a big dump of stuff that I did for the Evolve CG contest that just ended. Sadly I wasn’t able to submit my most recent work to be judged because of some learning hurdles that I quickly…uh…hurdled within the day or two following the deadline. So while I’m bummed about not officially entering I’m not bummed over the amount of stuff that I learned.
The character still isn’t finished but I’m going to keep going back to this until I hit my concept art goal as well as play with some of the versioning I’ve done (and have in mind) with it. At worst I’ll have some spare parts to kit bash together at best I’ll have a few different version of a cool looking character AND kit bash pieces. 🙂 Character was created with ZBrush, Maya and a tiny bit of 3DS Max. As you can probably see I still need to get some sculpting done in ZBrush as this is mostly just modeling work.
The assignment was to create a Hero or Legend from any cultures Mythological stories. Mythology has never been one of my strong points in knowledge and while I am familiar with Greek Mythology it’s also the most overused. So on to research, and research, and more research. Until I finally reached the Norse Mythology. If you haven’t come across these original stories I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you give them a read. They are extremely original and creative and they don’t pull ANY punches. So if your thing is unicorns and rainbows these stories may traumatize your for life. With that warning aside I highly recommend checking them out.
If you’re interested in Tyr’s backstory here’s a couple of links. The cool thing about the Norse Mythology is that all of the characters connect to each other in some way so while researching one character you may find yourself going through the whole gamut of characters because of the complex and crazy relations. Things can be a bit confusing because of translations and different names and spellings of characters but in the end it’s worth sorting out.
If you read through that stuff you’ll know why he is missing a hand. I’m giving him a new right hand but in the form of the ribbon that binded Fenrir. I went with this techy looking style but still have the urge to go all Medieval as well as an alternative Tech Armor more like the Too Human video game art style. There’s still a ton more to talk about but I’ll save some of that for a future update.
This is a quick PlayBlast turntable from Maya:
Here’s a linear look at how things progressed with the most current being at the top of this post. So while there’s a lot more work to do and a ton more learning I’m looking forward to it.
There’s a really cool contest over at cghub.com (http://cghub.com/blog/view/cghub-presents-warriors-an-autodesk-mudbox-challenge/). It’s a Mudbox “only” competition and is a good chance to broaden anyones software skills as well as a good opportunity to create a kick ass piece and show it off to the community. I have a pretty good grasp of ZBrush and am curious to see what I can pull off in Mudbox. The contest started back in October with a three month deadline, so if you’re coming across it now you’re going to have to hunker down and make the best use of your time. My Warrior character is a concept I created for a comic book idea many years ago. Now that I’m able to create in 3D this gives me a chance to convert 2D projects and works into the 3D realm.
Already I have come across translation issues where something works perfectly fine in 2D but breaks down when made in 3D (when trying to exactly match reference). When working between the two mediums things really have to be thought out and spelled out much more; and when they’re not, a aesthetic (and sometimes functional) look must still be created. These are older drawings that show the original concepts that came to mind. I have more revised and refined versions that I may post later but for now this is pretty much the core concept. I have a very clear mental picture of what my final piece is going to look like and that is what I’m shooting for. I think it’s always a good idea to have that vision in your head, you don’t always get there but having such a bad ass target in your sites surely makes for a better piece in the end. I started on the sword already but haven’t had a chance to get a decent render. More to come…