This is part 3 of 2. Part 1 is why I’ve stopped work on Hat Trick for now (I have and I haven’t), part 2 is I’m likely to work on Awesome Moments next (we’ll see), and this is less a member of the series and more the fallout of that decision.
Here’s a bunch of pictures I’ve made by slapping down a 3D render, and then painting over it.
It’s not the only way I do things. I can also paint stuff without relying on 3D to cheat.
And I left out the more egregious examples where the end result looked worse for the technique rather than better.
But I’d like to use the technique for Awesome Moments.
Or more specifically, I’d like to use a variation on the technique.
I would like to create a library of character pieces that I can mix and match to create a wide cast of characters. Stick Head A on Body B with Legs Q, and we all have the same hand model…
With each book I release, the new parts exponentially increase the number of characters, situations, etcetera, I can use. But first, I have to settle on a style and build the parts library for a single story.
It’s been about a year since I last did anything serious in 3D. I was starting to get a knack for sculpting in Blender when I made a lamb for a nibling.
But that knack has gone. And so, last night and today, I have been working on relearning how to sculpt in Blender.
I started with a hideous gargoyle because “hideous gargoyle” was what I was going to get regardless of what I tried.
Followed it up by trying to copy the head proportions from the John Michael Jones sprite.
That is what I’d call an unqualified and total failure.
Not to be daunted, I loaded up some art by Luigi Lucarelli and tried to copy those proportions. It went a lot better.
But my favorite style of 3D look has got to be the style from Disney Infinity. Awesome Moments will not be aping that art style, but it will almost certainly be heavily influenced by it.
So I figured I’d finish my sculpting warmup by trying to do a couple faces in a related style.
The male face was kind of a disaster. The female face actually came out kind of nice. But every step taught me something:
- Good reference, even 2D reference, is better than eyeballing it.
- What is it with me and spirals for ears? I don’t know. I should probably ditch it.
- Outlining every muscle group around the mouth is a bad plan.
- Maybe on the next male character, try drastically understating the lips.
- Merging the lower eyelid with the cheek is a good plan.
- Nobody cares about nostrils. If I need to show something going up the nose, I can paint a nostril in after the fact.
Anyway, before this exercise is complete, I’d like to try and a face or two by Bruce Timm
And maybe something by Dennis Jones.
My hope is quite frankly to synthesize something I can use for any books going forward, whether Awesome Moments or Alphabeasts or what have you. Something that feels like me.