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 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…
Here’s a few more Jeep renders. This is a no light set up that has luminant polys with global illumination turned on. I think I may have one light in here just because it softened the shadows slightly and I like that looked just a tad better. But adding that light has almost zero effect on making this look the way it does (think I used it really low for a contact shadow). Since the Jeep isn’t complete I’ve tried to keep the angles to ones that don’t obviously show it’s unfinished state. However it’s plain to see through the glass and into the interior geometry as well as through to the other side. It will be great to get the interior finished so the hard top can come off. This is a very quick set up to do and get a pretty cool look fairly fast.
A quick composite of my Jeep in an image that I thought I would share. It’s not perfect but it looks pretty cool for the time I put into it.
Here’s a project I just started working on this past evening. I’m just a few (or so) hours in at this point. This piece is for something that I can’t reveal just yet, but I am able to show it in its current state. Also working in ZBrush 4 for the first time. A lot of cool new things in this update as well as some 3.5 features that don’t seem to work (at least just yet). Lately I’ve been making a conscious effort to make sure my silhouettes are looking good. It’s so easy to get hypnotized into the details of sculpting, all the while blinded to incorrect proportions or shapes/oddities.
Just to give a quick run down of the process so far. Once I got my idea I started a ZSphere rig. Created an Adaptive Skin and pretty much exclusively used FormSoft for most of this work with a little bit of Move/MoveElastic here and there. It’s pretty amazing how much work can get done with just a few brushes. I’ll be finishing this project up shortly and getting back to my Darkness model. The upper body is mostly all I need for what I’m creating and that was where most of the focus went. I haven’t been able to get my hands in this program in quite some time, but every time I do I seem to be getting better.
Here’s a couple quick screen grabs of a ZBrush project I’m working on. The Darkness is one of my favorite comic book character designs and is perfect for a ZBrush piece (as long as I pull it off decent enough). This is still very early and I put on some place holder hair real quick to see if my face is meeting the proper proportions. This character is a challenge in itself to sculpt because everyone draws him differently or hides areas of the body (mainly the back and legs). So coming up with a design for some of that stuff is going to be left up to me. There’s a couple awesome reference pieces out there but in the end I’ve decided to try and match Marc Silvestri’s original work from the original issues.
Side Note: I have most of these books in my collection but don’t currently have access to that collection. So I am going off of the limited reference that I could find on the net.
UPDATE: Just posting a quick update since I’ve had some free time to work on this some more. Still some proportion issues to work out between the overall look of the figure and the armor and details that will be added on. This has been quite a challenge trying to break down the character and interpret that into the best case scenario for ZBrush as well as other programs down the pipeline. Whatever comes of this in the end it will be a rewarding learning experience. Enjoy!