sculpting

Matcha Girl by Rok Andic

matcha_girl_960px.jpg

About

I’ve been working mostly on ‘B is for Ben’ lately and I thought I just need a week or two off and do some sculpting practice. As it happens I’ve just received Ira Sluyterman van Langeweyde beautiful art book ‘Cozy Days’ when she posted a #drawthisinyourstyle challenge on her Instagram (@iraville) page. I thought it would be really fun to try and do a sculpt based on one of her characters. So this my version of the ‘Matcha Girl’.

The sculpt

I sculpted and posed the girl in ZBrush and tried to stay more or less true to the original design. I did make a few changes, most notably her lips have more shape because I found it worked better in 3d. There were a few things that were more noticeable only in 3d like her left arm (screen right) is a bit longer then her right arm if we looked at her from a different angle. But since I kept the angle of the camera similar to the original I decided to leave the arms as in the original painting. It simply works better. Don’t know why but it does :)

Once I finished the sculpt I exported it to Substance Painter where I textured the model. With textures I tried to keep a simple overall look and not overdo it with the details. I love the simplicity of forms in Ira’s work so I tried to leave the textures as simple as possible adding only pattern details in the clothing and basic colors. After that I exported the textures and rendered in Houdini together with the plants around her.

The hair

hair_01_600.px.jpg

I’ve never styled any long hair in Houdini before so I thought this would be a great chance to try it. I tried many different approaches but in the end decided to split the hair into different blocks like left hair strand, front short hair, back hair, etc… and style them separately which allowed me to match the specific shape of each block. Houdini is really great in this regard as it allows you to build any hair shape required.

The plants and leaves

In the original painting the leaves were left to a more open interpretation. Since there’s a lot of detailed work on leaves and plants in ‘Cozy Days’ I decided to texture them based on the designs in the book. I modeled and built them procedurally in Houdini and textured in Substance Painter to achieve a more painterly look.

Now back to ‘B is for Ben’ :)

B is for Ben: 3D model texturing by Rok Andic

Here is the final textured model of Ben. If you look at the environment concepts post you can see that I initially had blue details in mind for his suite. I really liked that idea of contrast, but once I put it in 3d he just looked odd. He looked more like an aquanaut rather than an astronaut. So I started playing with warmer colors and decided for a more orange/brown colors for the suit details. It instantly looked better and his space suit didn’t look like it belonged underwater.

I also added some model details before I started texturing. I decided to add a small computer/button panel with straps on his chest. It looked a bit empty when I made the final sculpt so I added it just before going into texture. I was going back and forth with small gadgets and what would work and what not and in the end decided to stick with a small button panel.

Workflow

I did all the texturing in Substance Painter. For initial fabric pattern I used Substance Designer and then added all the grit and dirt details in Substance Painter. I really like how patterns are easy to create in Designer and used as a base in Painter where I can add all the details. I am also one of those who uses a lot of layers. So whenever I add some scratching, tear or wear I always do everything on a separate layers so I can come back and remove every single effect if I need to. It also means that sometimes I just get lost in all those layers :)

When everything was painted I exported EXR UDIM’s to Houdini where I connected everything together to create the final look you can see below.

B is for Ben: Ben base sculpt by Rok Andic

Finally started working on our hero character sculpt. I decided to do it a bit differently than the way I worked on “A is for Al….”.  On later I did the final sculpt in Zbrush, retopology in Houdini and then reprojected the details back on the retopologized model. The problem with that is that some details don’t necessarily stay the same when reprojected. This is the reason I decided to do a base mesh without high detail first and do retopology on this mesh. Once that is done I will work on the details on this model. This will help me speed up the work on the details of the model by working on them only once.

Apart from that, my workflow for creating the character is pretty straightforward. I start with base shapes like spheres and boxes and shape them to best  represent the character. These are merged together into shape via Zbrush Dynamesh. Then I simply work on the details.

Notice that I leave certain things unsculpted, like the mouth and inner parts of eyelids. I will do this in Houdini when I will be making the retopology of the model. I simply find it faster this way to work on interior shapes there, also it is easier to work on the base sculpt for me if there is no interior shapes to worry about.

Next stage - retopology in Houdini.