99* Days of Blender

Wow, yes they do. How did I just completely miss that? Thank you, I’ll fix that for sure!

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It does look better already. I feel like knees maybe too high, though? Or maybe not… :thinking:

Don’t worry about arms - they are just ever so slightly curved cylinders! (Don’t take that too seriously - this is just my way of coping with anatomy :rofl:)
Forearm is probably my favourite… Start with elongated box, add two loopcuts, move them to make shape as in the picture - wider at one end, curving with a step toward the wrist. The shoulder is a similar box with loopcuts pulled down slightly.
I don’t trust my ability to form coherent sentences at this hour of the night, so I attach an image (which I messed up at the elbow, I think) and a (cut version of the) file. But I should say that I’ve box-modeled a character exactly once (and it was bad), so I’ve no idea how to do it in practical terms.

bm_d(stray_notes).rar (240.4 KB)

I agree with @Minamookevlar though! Don’t forget to get some rest. Especially if you’re still not feeling well. If you THAT worried about loosing the momentum, try to do some related studies to aid the model, maybe sketch for 10-20 minutes from figure refs. As long as it’s properly irresponsible, light activity.


Day 43 (hopefully part 1) - we got arms again!

MASSIVE shout-out, and endless thanks, to StrayBillie. I could not have done this without them. Sometimes when you’re stuck, you need some external prodding, and the provided arm blockout was enough to get me going. I now have correctly sized arms, the elbows are in the right place, the twist is correct:

and in short, everything is excellent once again.

I’ve also adjusted the waist and the thighs quite a bit, adjusted the neck slightly, and adjusted the shoulders and shoulder blades. Currently, this bald woman has Wonder Woman thighs and skinny little arms like mine, which is kind of a silly combination, but my goal here is to have a highly flexible base mesh with realistic enough proportions that I can adjust volume and tweak proportions to create a wide array of body types. I’m still not perfectly happy with the head, I’m probably going to rip that off and make a new one, but the body has met my goals. It’s flexible, deforms well, and has good topology. It’s easy to add volume where needed.

One thing that’s a bit odd is that Mixamo won’t rig it - it won’t even try, it just says the rigger failed when I upload the file. I don’t use Mixamo for anything other than quick deformation tests, so this isn’t the end of the world, but it is strange. I know for a fact this model has perfect animation topology :thinking:

Unless anyone else has any glaringly important things about this, I’m going to call it done for now. It’s a good starting point for future character projects, which is good enough for me for now, I really need to pick up the pace of this sketchbook since I’m almost halfway through.


It snowed, so I can officially listen to Christmas music now. So we’ve been listening to a nice playlist of jazzy Christmas music this morning- ranging from Bing Crosby to The Beach Boys to Ariana Grande.

What did I learn today?

When in doubt, ask StrayBillie for help :wink: Or @TrueDetective (thanks again for the thigh tip!), or any of you lovely people. It’s really nice having a community, I definitely grow faster because of you guys.


Nice! Coming together very nicely!

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Thanks for the mention.

Move a little here (maybe just a little, not too much)

This is the thigh bone and some of the muscles around it.


Day 44 (probably part 1, you know the drill) - ink wash painting

I’m taking a mini-break from character work to try something out stylistically I’ve been wanting to do for a few days. Don’t worry, @TrueDetective, I saw your tweak and I will implement it soon :slight_smile:
Specifically, I’ve been wanting to try out @polygonvariable 's ink wash shader, so I did, and I’m delighted with the results:

This whole thing- shaders and all- took about 20 minutes. (ANT Landscape tool came in handy!) Pretty cool. Definitely a trick to remember.


Mmmh, that looks lovely.

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Day 45 - watercolor paper test

At the end of the day, what I do best is NPR shaders (I’m more of a technical artist than anything else). I used an old scene from a weekend challenge to try out a new look- I think it turned out really well. I used this as inspiration, but I ended up heavily deviating from what they did.

I’ve been super busy at work + lacking in motivation so I haven’t had a lot of time to do much. There will for sure be a Part 2 today


Day 45, Part 2 - halfway retrospective

I can say for sure that this was a good idea. I’ve gotten better at expressing myself artistically, I’ve learned a lot of new techniques, and I’ve definitely benefited from the discipline of trying to do something every day.

On the flip side, I’ve been reminded that I struggle with getting distracted, and when I feel like I’m not doing well enough, I have a tendency to shut down. I’ve been quite harsh on myself here- not anything out of the ordinary, it’s just interesting to go through this thread top to bottom and notice the patterns. I’ve also noticed that when I’m struggling with feelings of inadequacy or failure, I tend to revert back to my comfort zone instead of pushing myself. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, I think it’s a good safeguard against burn out, but it can be taken too far and get away from me. Something to be aware of.

I still plan on using the last half of this sketchbook go focus on animation, but that may change slightly. My writer friend has begun writing a graphic novel I’ve been booked to illustrate, so we’ll see. I’m really excited for that project, it’s going to be a huge one. If that does get handed over to me fairly soon, I’ll instead be focusing this sketchbook on nailing down the style for that project.

Lastly, I know you’re all thinking it - “45 isn’t halfway through 99?” This is embarrassing but somehow I thought it was… I’ve been saying “ok I’ll write a halfway retrospective at day 45” since day 25 or so, I wrote this whole thing out, and only now did I realize that I have made a mistake :sweat_smile: so we’re going to pretend like 45 is half of 99, since I don’t really want to throw this away.

No new art- spent the evening cleaning


Those shaders look so good. And nice wind turbine blades :slight_smile:

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Time spent on art is not linear - it’s “halfway” when you feel like it :slight_smile: You’ve been diligent and made good models, interesting scenes and shared some very exciting tech-art knowledge. Looking forward to the other half =)


Day 46 - Something Very Strange

What if, in a strange corner of the future, someone hacked together a pile of junk including a CCTV camera, a US post office box, and a WWI era bolt action rifle to make a patrolling robot?

I don’t know why I had this idea or even where it came from. It just… kinda happened when I sat down at my computer today. It’s a strange project for me, I’m not a gun person at all, and I don’t usually do hard surface :man_shrugging:

This isn’t done, obviously. It’s just late and I need to sleep.

I modeled the camera and all the trappings myself:

The gun was a royalty-free, and financially-free, acquisition from CGTrader. I don’t really care to take the time to get good at modeling guns since I’ll never do it again. Kinda like feet, if I really need it I’ll just have someone else do it.

I’m also testing out a way of using silhouettes to check shape language. Currently, the shape language is very off-balance- too heavy and thick on the left compared to the right. For this reason, I’m going to use long spindly robot legs to hold the post office box up, instead of something like tank treads. This will help balance out the composition.

This is another day where doing anything in Blender is a win for me. I have had no motivation all day. But I did this!


Much like @piranha4D - something about great minds - Xenoblade Chronicles. For me it’s been mostly XC3. Earlier today it was Coldplay. If you haven’t listened to older Coldplay in a while, do yourself a favor and turn on Yellow


Not bad for somebody who doesn’t do hard surface! I like all those couplings.


Interesting concept, looks good!

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Day 47 - Well, that’s done :slight_smile:


The Ramones, earlier, it fit the vibe of what I was working on here :slight_smile: Also Coldplay


Ohh nice! Very unique not to use a humanoid to man a gun :slight_smile:
Reminds me of Signal from Tölva

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I like it, simple and weird robot-spider-like thing, great way to start the “second half of 99” :wink:

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Day 48 - trying out Cycles

I’ve never really used Cycles, but now that I have a 3070, I figured it was worth taking some time to learn how it works. The bricks are procedural, but they’re not initially mine- I found a really nice generator on YouTube and tweaked it quite a bit to meet my needs.

Today, my focus was on figuring out Nishita sky (mission accomplished!), figuring out Cycles rendering settings (the default values are… so wrong?), and I’m happy to say that the image above rendered in 3 minutes. With default Cycles settings, it would have taken an hour and half :open_mouth:

I haven’t done anything in the last couple days because I’ve been working on a screenplay and a fairly massive software project. Both for fun, I don’t get paid for anything I devote serious time to :wink: I so badly wish I could clone myself and get twice as much as done per hour. Maybe someday! Right now my wife’s whole family is staying in our house, which is cool but also stressful. I haven’t had a lot of time for anything.


Nice texture(?)!
If you haven’t, I suggest saving your new settings as the default startup file
File>Defaults>Save Startup File
But do keep in mind that the scene gets saved as well as the layout, I suggest changing the settings on a new file without moving your camera, etc, as this caused me to start this process all over.
Load Factory Settings gives you the default default startup, in case you did the above.

Just looked up Nishita, and wow, I should use it :smiley:
It’s impressive! That, it flew under my radar for so long…
Takes me back to Unity! (No not really, unity’s skybox was $#!T)


Thanks :slight_smile: I have a very comprehensive startup file (I even have some Python scripts in the default text editor that run on startup), but I didn’t think about saving my Cycles settings from today. I’ll do that for sure! (Even though I really don’t use Cycles, never hurts.)

Nishita sky is definitely incredible. It’s overkill for what I normally need , but it’s always good to have another arrow in the quiver :slight_smile:

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