I really enjoyed working on this assignment for the limited time that I was able to due to moving house and having no time. Despite the short amount of time I had to do the project, I was pretty happy with the concept and the model itself. (Definitely not the technical side though) I am quite disappointed that I wasn’t able to do everything I wanted to, and I’ll probably do it for myself at a later date for peace of mind.
I think the model itself was great and I was really happy with it, and the texturing wasn’t that bad, especially given how little time i had left myself for texturing. However, when it came to the retopology I thought I was doing well with it, until it came to posing and nothing worked the way I wanted it to. Clearly, I need more practice in this. I wish I’d had more time to fix the things as I’m frustrated that’s how I had to leave it.
In terms of progress over the semester, I think my modelling skills have really improved and I believe it’s clear that’s where my skillset lies at the moment in terms of 3D. I need to practice more with texturing, as I still don’t fully understand how to do all the things I want to do
I ran out of time really badly, and even though I got it all textured, I’m having a lot of issues with uploading it to sketchfab as it has 2 UV maps somehow and sketchfab will only seem to let me display one of them, so I figured I’d upload what it’s meant to look like here.
I’ll look into it more afterwards but I need to hand in this assignment so.
Sketchfab I don’t understand you
I had a ton of problems with exporting the FBX file from Blender as every time it would do it, everything would deform, scale or move around, even though I had applied the transformations, and it took me about an hour to fix it. I redid the hair parts without needing the control, using one of the other bevel options instead and it seemed to help. I also made some other changes and eventually, it worked, so although I still don’t really know what I did to fix it, I’m very happy it worked!!
Then when I tried to import it, Maya basically said no and wouldn’t let me open any FBX files. So I had to look up about that and found a very short video that fixed it for me.
I definitely made a mistake with the timing here. I assumed it would take an alright amount of time to retopology the model, but it took wayyy longer than I thought it was going to and resulted in a lot of panic from me as I realised I was going to have way less time for the other parts I still need to do, like rigging, posing and texturing.
I also think I made it way harder for myself than necessary as I had combined most of the meshes to try and get it to export properly, and I had a really hard time trying to do the retopology for the body underneath the clothing, before realising I could just select and separate it. I also ended up deleting and completely redoing the body mesh multiple times. Essentially this took me ages and it was frustrating, however, I didn’t actually mind the process that much aside from the panic over time.
I completely forgot to take screenshots of my progress, so I’m just opening the different save files I made as I went along to try and find progress to screenshot.
I started with the face and then moved on to the hair block part.
Then the body, which was certainly an interesting process, as I mentioned before I redid it a lot. The hands were pure pain to finish. Also the part deleted near the bottom of the legs is because you can’t see it through the boots so it was a waste of faces.
The finished retopology
I started with the skirt, as it’s underneath the cape thing. I was a little lost on how to start modelling clothes at the beginning, as I overthink everything and started wondering if I was meant to sculpt them on the base or make a new object and fit it onto the base. I ended up going with the latter option, though I still don’t know if that was the right decision.
I watched a video on how to make a frilly skirt and used the basic process to make the skirt.
I was really having issues with making the boots, as I don’t fully understand Blender and how to do the same things I can do in Maya. And I really wanted to force myself to learn it by making the majority of it in a blender. Though due to the issues I was having and the running out of time part, I ended up using the base part of the feet as the shoes and using a cylinder with deleted end faces to make the other part of the boot. Also extruding the rim of it. The smooth mesh thing definitely makes them look a little weird when viewed directly in front view.
I was really unsure of whether or not to model the cape yet, as I’m worried that when I pose her it will absolutely wreck the cape. However I decided to just give it a go, and I can manipulate the vertices to reshape it for the pose if it goes terribly wrong.
Shoulder Armour and decoration
I ended up just using a cube for the shoulder armour and adding loops and extrusions to it, to make it the shape I needed, and then manipulating the faces and vertices to shape it more accurately.
The rope decoration thing is a curve done in Blender, which I definitely prefer the curve tool in Maya to.
Overall I’m pretty happy with the way the model is looking at the minute! 😀 Though I’m very worried about my remaining time.
After importing to Maya
After I finished retopolgising Melanie in Maya, I remembered I had included a shield in the design so I made one up, trying to keep the faces pretty low as well, since I’m more focused on the model looking good.
I decided to sculpt the hair of my model next and looked at a lot of materials to try and figure out how I wanted to approach it.
This video was incredibly helpful, and I thought I could definitely use it with some changes to get the look I wanted. I also ended up having to watch some videos on how curves worked in Blender though, as I couldn’t wrap my head around it for some reason.
I started off making the bangs using the method in the video, although making it a lot thicker and witch less strands.
For the main body of the hair, I took a sphere and sculpted it into the block shape of the hair, and then added the buns too. I liked this look for the stylised, chibi approach I wanted to go for. However it was also due to time constraints that I didn’t try making it all out of strands.
Then I used the strand hair method to add more small hair details, as I was getting mildly carried away with making it look detailed.
I sculpted the hair with it looking like it was being blown to the side, due to the pose I had sketched out having the hair moved like that. I figured it would be easier to just sculpt it like that than try to move it all afterwards. I’m pretty happy with how the hair looks overall, especially with the added smaller hairs for details.
I decided to next work on finishing the actual body of the model, as I didn’t want to start modelling clothes with the base still not done.
I’m pretty satisfied with how the feet ended up, which was due to the video tutorial in the blocking out blog post and the bit about how they modelled the feet.
As for the hands, it was just as hard and fiddly as I dreaded it was going to be. I found a very helpful video tutorial on how to block out/hard model the hands in blender and decided to try it.
It was a really helpful video, although I made the fingers too thin, forgetting I was going to be softening it and they ended up looking a bit weird.
I had a look at an article about the process of somebody sculpting a character in blender, which was helpful to see the workflow and get a general feel and idea for how to go about things, and in what order.
I had a go at trying to sculpt out the face of the model, and I decided I definitely wanted to go with the more cute look with the big eyes.
Then I decided to join and remesh the body, so I could try and make it more comprehensive and smooth, instead of blocky and obviously different parts.
I then continued with the details on the face, adding a flat surface for the eyes and pupils. I also used a cube and extended it along the outside of the eyes, to create stylised eyelashes, as I had no real clue how else to do this part.
This is the video I watched on how this person did their eyelashes, as I was desperately trying to figure out how to do them.
The first thing to do is to block out the character, which I did here by using the primitives and then using the grab tool mostly to pull and push things into a shape I thought would be a good base. It was suggested to me before I started modelling, due to me being incredibly behind, that I should try shaping the block out instead of just leaving primitives.
Overall I’m pretty happy with how this block out of my character looks, especially since I have basically no clue what I was doing at the beginning or how to build it up. I need to practice breaking things down into basic shapes more.
I need to actually finish blocking out the hands, which I’m avoiding because I have no clue how to go about it at all. I used a lot of 3D model block out examples to help me figure out basic shapes and proportions. As well as using turnaround photos of people.
I also watched a video tutorial of someone making one for more help with mine.