January ProgBlog #4: fixer uppers

5개월 전

I thought I was pretty much done with Zara aside from wardrobe (which I can build out as I proceed through scripts) when I remembered that the goggles are an essential piece of kit as she's blind in the light without them.

Then I spent way too long staring at her for a bit before sending a screenie to Sprat asking if the eyes were too far apart. She confirmed that they were and that I should also maybe move the mouth up a tiny bit. So I did.

And after a bit more back and forth with Sprat we decided it looked slightly better. She still has large eyes because the Wraiths are pretty much owls.

I had a couple of goes at the goggles, initially trying for one piece, and then two pieces in the same object. Then I had to accept the fact they needed different modifiers. More specifically, the lenses need a slight thickness and the frames either don't or need more thickness depending on how I do it. For my current attempt the frames don't need the solidify modifier and currently looks like a badly stretched superhero mask (seriously what is the point of those things they don't disguise anything).

Obviously, I'm still working on them.

I don't like hard surface modelling x_x

After making the slight modifications to the face I had to regenerate the rig (I can just adjust the bones but I think I'm missing a step as it always messes up the rest deformations so for now just regenerating and then reassigning the rig to the armature modifiers is easier on my meagre brain). It's messed up the tongue rigging but I'll fix that when I need to fix it, along with anything else I notice that's messed up. So might have to do the test anims after all.

I really hate rigging.

I needed to fix up some little things with the base models anyway to get them ready for the next characters, so I jumped to Base and fixed the facial features there (brought the eyes in a bit and made them smaller because everyone else usually has normal sized eyes) and moved the mouth up slightly. In doing so I discovered there were duplicate vertices in the mesh for some reason so cleaned them up. Hopefully I got them all.

Then I switched out the default shaders for the new default shaders, using the same procedural thing I bought for Zara's eyes and changing them to red (because all my bases have red eyes) and simplifying the skin shader. Here's the new super basic skin:

And the super basic lips in case I haven't shown it before:

So now they look even more terrifying.

Sent Sprat a front, profile and roughly 3/4 screenies, she thought it looked a bit better so the head will be copy/pasted to the other two bases.

My current plan for tomorrow is to finish the goggles and then bounce back and forth between a test anim and redoing Red again around a visit from the outlaws.

And then I went and published the post on my blog completely forgetting I wanted to end with more test renders, derp. Obviously didn't make that mistake here because I post there first ;D Two of them were posted as ko-fi updates.

The first two were done partly to see if the hair would avoid the mesh (it appears to be doing so but I'm not looking that closely) and to check the weight mapping of the arm socks. I also found out while playing around with poses during the first two that it looks better with "preserve volume" unchecked (I've always needed it on for Lightwave and seem to remember it being the same with previous versions of Blender but could be remembering wrong).

The second two were testing out what I thought was an overkill rig for the head feathers but it's doing a decent job without me wanting to throw it through a wall. It's rigged similarly to the prehensile tail rig and I'm trying to work out if I can be bothered testing whether it will work out fine using just the curve guide (currently there's also a b-bone chain) seeing as the hooks have got a max distance modifier to stop them moving too far away from each other so my feathers aren't stretching longer than they should be.

Hm I might have to do that with the crest rig to stop the crest randomly changing length on me (because the hair is as long as the curve guide is and the curves don't have a max length, they'll merrily stretch to their hook forever). And if I write it down theoretically I shouldn't forget tomorrow.

Speaking of the head feathers, I had to make another edit on the original post to show them off XD Either alphas just work better in this version of Blender or I finally figured them out. Probably the former. So I'll be changing all Avi's particle feathers to polygon ones which will render a hell of a lot faster and be easier to paint. Hopefully I'll be able to use the same alpha map, though might need another one for the primaries as they're a very different shape to the other feathers.

Here's the node tree for that:

And the super kludgy UV alpha map.

Woefully inefficient use of space but I hate uv unwrapping (this is why I use 3dC, I can do flat things in Blender which is why I did this one in Blender, it got painted in Krita because I also really hate Blender's texture painting).

Finally, alphas are off in Eevee by default (which is what the LookDev mode uses) so you need to turn on alpha blending (or any of the other options, I thought blending looked nicest) in the options of the N panel in the shader editor.

This post also appears on my blog.

Want a crowd character? If you interact frequently with me here (either on my posts or your posts or better yet both!) or on one of the linked Discord channels, all you have to do is let me know and tell me what you'd like :) It can be one of your characters (including ones you make up on the spot for this XD) or a self insert. There's a bunch of different human types to choose from, and pets/other animals are also welcome.

Thanks for looking! ^_^

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Oi Vey .... Methinks you should apply for a job with Disney !! So much attention to detail makes a lackadaisical male like me feel really incompetent! {smile} ... and by the way that is a compliment.


Aaaaahhhhh thanks! I'm not that good XD

And it's not a male thing, my sister (who is also pretty attentive to details I think) has told me I pay way too much attention to small details that no one will ever know or care about (but I still have to deal with it BECAUSE I KNOW) and that I overthink too much XD

And also Disney wouldn't want me, I...uh...well I don't actually know if I can do their style or not as I've never wanted to try, and I'm probably too gritty for them anyway, wouldn't be a good fit XD

Also I don't play well with others though I can do a good impression with effort

the bird Tattoo with the hair aligned well, really love the color and the way it wraps around her arm is awesome. It looks like a headache to design, but you did it.


Thanks :D the phoenix was surprisingly headachey, thought it would be easier to do as it didn't wrap fully like the dragon, but that infernal tail! I changed it up a few times before figuring it really needed to go with the flow of the arm x_x not the sharpest tool in the shed but I get there eventually ;D

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