Thursday, 27 March 2014

Odin So far

Still have the cape and hem to do as well polishing the belt, bracers and crown up some. I can get a little carried away with this and need to keep reminding myself that the designs aren't overly detailed. Decided to omit fur linings and opted instead for cloth wraps. 

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Odin Head Sculpt

Something I leant while sculpting Thor's head was to stop considering and start doing. I spent far too long noodling with the head that it ended up eating days away that should have been spent in other areas. Albeit Thor's design was the one I had the most confusion over, it's important to just say 'I'm done' and move on because you simply don't have the time.

I've only recently adopted this mentality and I have to say production has steamed ahead. Striving for perfection when you're not a master is a silly thing. That's not to say you should do a half-arsed job. Just need to achieve a relatively high standard is all. 

And with that I'm happy to say I'm done with Odin's sculpt within a single day. I'm sure that's an arrogant statement and there'll be plenty to pick out of this but I really just need to get on. If I managed my time better early on then I'd spend some more on this although really, I am very happy with the outcome. 

Finally starting Odin!

 Thor is now on the shelf, finally. In hindsight it would probably have been better to practice and learn all that I have on Odin rather than risk the main character looking rough. I decided to make a note of how long it took me to do Thor from start to finish and broke it down into different phases. I'll not tell you suffice it to say it was a bit too long although to be fair I was learning. At any rate I figured I'd have Odin fully sculpted in two days... and so that probably means three-four. Still, far far shorter than it took to do Thor. Now I have better technique and know what I'm doing.

Onto Odin. I spent this morning doing the sculpt below. Odin is going to be relatively more detailed on the face than Thor due to all the wrinkles and facial hair.
No wrinkles as of yet I just thought I'd post this clean version up before taking off symmetry and taking out the one eye.
As to the one-eye business, my original concept is for him to merely have one eye closed, no need for any nastiness involving stitches and scars; BUT THEN I thought why not have BOTH eyes open? Just make the other a blind eye. 
Yeah nothing incredible I know I just dont want an eyepatch and the idea of a scar seems a bit too cliche. Though really he is a warrior so I'm sure he'd have a few nicks.

Anyway I put together a reel down here and I'll decide in a bit. Kinda like the scarred blinde-eye myself but a closed eye create asymmetry.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Go home Thor...

Oh god what have I created.
I've inadvertently made a drunk walk cycle.

This was honestly a serious attempt at animating. The one before this looked like he was not only drunk but had the balance of giraffe on roller-skates. I'll be a little more humble around animators from now on.

At any rate this concludes Thor preeeetty much. Should have looked into adding a socket for his hammer but that might deduct from the grace of his stride.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Almost done.

I want to move on to other things now so I'm just going to call Thor done aside from rigging. Same with Mjolnir. (Blogger has done something weird to the upload, it's not that bright.)

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Mjolnir update

Redid the straps to have a nicer overall repeating pattern/angle so there's less noise overall. Also figured out the pommel. All I did was mirror the shape of the head and flip it. I love how that is such a simple adjustment yet it really brings the whole thing together.

If you'd kindly guide your eyes to the image below you'll see my inspiration for a wider pommel. Most Mjolnir effigies are depicted with a wider pommel that usually depicts a face, presumably Thor's. I've repeated the weave pattern from his belt and placed it so you can make out a face, but that it's not obvious as I didn't fancy including that part of the usual design, just hinted at it instead.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Mjolnir WIP

Still need to add one or two things like the deathknot at the top and going to have to get a better technique for the wrap as it doesnt look correct.
Also the bottom (pommel?) of the hammer looked a little falic in the original so I'll look into that as well. So far though I think it looks heavy which is good.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Hammer of the Gods!

Finally got around to redesigning Thor's hammer, Mjolnir. Point is, I think ram skulls are cool.

Pretty happy with this, the tribal feel especially. I feel thunder and lightning is highly associated with nature and so I didn't want to make this hammer look like it was forged; more put together. I hope the messy fur helps add to that. 

Some points about the design:

Thick handle - Thor is only a boy and although this hammer would be wielded with a single hand in adulthood he is going to have to wield this with two for now, so I wanted it to look large and heavy. 
The head is made of stone - no iron or steel just some magical stone, that looks like normal stone. Adds to that natural motif; as does the ram skulls and leather straps. Also strongly considering the actual handle to be made of wood (can see bottom of it, would look like a stake I guess you could say).
Deathknot at the top - Symbol of Odin, Thor's father. Shows this hammer was gifted to him by his father. (In this story).

Also, I think I've found my new logo.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Unwrapped and Baked.

He's now unwrapped and baked via Xnormal. Several odd artefacts to clean up and then it's onto texturing. I've considered rigging first but I hear you can't make any adjustments to geometry after to which I'd like to keep that option open for now.

Monday, 10 March 2014


Had a look at redesigning the belt a bit as I was shown these cool motorcross ones. Dunno if I'll keep it as the simplicity of the original maintains consistency.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Another thing

Enjoy my amateur posing.

Retop so far

So far a few things retopped. Tri count is in there just because. Also spent some tris creating the folds to help along the bake I'll put on later. No doubt a lot of tweaking needed especially after rigging due to deformation issues that may arise even though I've consciously made the joints with that in mind.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Retoping and pipeline adjustments.

Began retoping today which required using decimation on the high poly sculpt. Did have a nice base mesh for the clothing however sculpting brought out more than I originally considered so going to do it all by hand.

Previously that would have really irritated me as my plan was to use Z-brushes own Z-remesher to retop. I knew this wasn't a perfect method but it saved several days worth of hours re-topping by hand.  (avoided with a good base mesh, admittedly, though 20/20 foresight is beyond me).  So the trade off was speed for accuracy which seems to be the way with production, having been told 'just get it done'. 
After all that I tried out Zremesher quite heavily with using the curve-lines and masking for density and although it re-meshed really well in some cases there were areas I wasn't really happy with so I've just decided to do it all by hand. It was never my plan to use Z-brush exclusively for this project but merely as an extra tool. 

So with all that said I'm very happy with the results of sculpting I can get from Z-brush yet I like the control and accuracy you can get retoping in 3DSMax with the freeform tools.

Finally, Polypaint. My plan was always to texture via photoshop (with possibly some 3Dcoat for tweaks) and this still remains the case however I wanted to play around and learn as much about Zbrush as I could hence why Thor's head was painted, and even though I really liked that result I found the procedure to get the polypaint baked was a bit of a faff and (probably missed something) and I like the strength of photoshop with regards to brushes, layers and adjustments.

The reason I've mentioned this is because I've been a bit rose-tinted towards Z-brush. It's still an amazing program with fantastic tools of which I intend to master after uni but for now I think I should respect the fact that Max does certain things better; with a little elbow-grease of course.

Monday, 3 March 2014


 Got around to tweaking after a quick crit. Wasn't liking something about his face, he looked like a meal dodger so rounded it out a little while also scaling up the entire head a tad (the image below isn't lined up properly) to achieve more child-like proportions.
 One more thing that was pointed out is that his shoulders were too broad. Looking at the comparison below the difference is striking. When it comes to making Odin I'll sculpt the complete piece in one instead of the head separately like I did with Thor to hopefully avoid missing key proportions.