Back again, Trying for an Anime style, Again

Hello everybody :smiley:
I have not been here…in a very long time.
I started using Blender in 2012 with the hopes of making sort of an anime inspired webseries.
I had been discouraged from trying in the past but persisted anyway.
It really was alot of fun for a long time and once i moved out and got full time jobs and what not,
3D art really fell by the wayside and my motivation for it dropped until i havent done it in years now.

With the release of Eevee i have experimented with it a little to know i’m in love with it.

And now with this new trend of…Vtubers? is a thing? (I hardly know what that is right now but i know they got some great 3d models) I have been more inspired to look around and what 3D has been doing. I also found Dillon Goo, and a few scattered youtubers.

I have also recently gotten a new job that is helping alot with my mental state? Idk
But i havent had a hobby in a long time now and i think i wanna give this all a try again :’)

So i’m making this thread to try and help keep me moving because i feel like when others can check in on me i’m more likely to not drop it and give up.

So here is where i’m sitting right now…

I had a previous version that looked maybe a little better than this, but im trying to start over to use the methods people are using today so once i improve on those methods maybe it’ll be even better than before.

im also gonna post links to the old threads i worked on so i can easily click back through them and read through old things i may have forgotten.

  1. My First Toon style characters
  2. Quest for Anime Character modeling! - #4 by Razc
  3. My Second Anime Style Characters - #2 by Razc

So here is where i was at before. This is right about when Eevee was released and you can easily tell that my new version i posted first is just an edited version of this one. The difference now is that im actually trying to use some textures. this older one has zero textures and is all materials.
The new one i have textured the skin which isn’t super apparent so far but so far i’m not sure if i like this approach. It probably wont make much of a difference until i texture the clothes too. The new clothes are based off an old game character of mine in an MMO and since it’s so old there isn’t a whole lot of room for detail so im gonna need to figure that out a bit still. And lastly the eyes are that inverted eye socket method i learned from the Vtuber avatars where it’s an illusion of having a white eye socket and a floating pupil infront of it.
I believe this will help alot with blinks and other expressions, but i think i need to do more work on it.

I’ll wrap it up for this first post. I already feel like i should just erase all this and forget i typed it, but i need to persist on this so forgive me for posting

The next things i’m going to work on is tweaking the face some more to look more stylized rather than just the absolute basic pieces.
Try and add more details to the clothes and texture it,
find out how i want to add a fluffy parka to the hood,
and look into options for shading and rigging.
I use to like rigify but i think it’s too complicated in the end. I’m wondering if i want to make my own rig with custom bone shapes or see if i want to try out that auto rig pro add on,
And eventually i want to try a new facial rig that isnt based on shapekeys. I like the result you can get from shapekey face rigs, but i feel like it is limited in feeling like it has life when it’s done.

Anyway, thanks for stopping by :slight_smile: Wish me luck

Alright! Finally the weekend and i can do a little working on this again : D

So during the week i’ll watch some videos here and there and let me tell you, anyone also working on stylized characters i found a tutorial that definitely deserves your attention.

This is incredibly powerful and super creative on how all the different components are mixed together to create this affect.
Plus once the rig is set up its pretty easy to understand and manipulate.

I did not follow through completely with this yet but i did enough testing to have some thoughts on it.

I had to turn back on inverted hull outlines which is something i wanted to do eventually but i need to learn how to do it better in these newer versions of blender.
Anyways. here’s my thoughts on this method.

This is amazing for simplicity and power.
For my model that i’m using, it still was modeled to rely on physical shapes to create some facial features. mostly in the eyebrows. I probably could flatten out the whole face but i worry how that would affect the side silhouette

all in all i think if i worked out the eyelids too and worked it into the final rig to move with the eyebrows too it could flow pretty nicely.
I should point out the pupil is just what i had before shrinkwrapped onto the eye but i had trouble making it look right when movinging the pupil so i decided to rotate the eye itself with the pupil following with a child of modifier.
I didnt shrink my sphere into a flat surface since my face wasnt a flat surface so if you needed to make the eyeball flat and still rotate the eye instead of just moving the pupil around you would have to work in a lattice deformation modifier into all of this too.

Moreover, what i’m excited about is this method of operating the mouth though!
you could create any shape for how the lips are contourted just by using shapekeys or bones on the boolean controller for that and so long as i can find out how to keep the inside of the mouth a dark red color instead of just the skin texture if that makes any sense.

So yeah very powerfull! just needs more tweaking than what i put into this.

I also tried to draft on paper a little bit how i could make the clothing a little more detailed because i feel like that would help my model if the clothes had more detail but that’s still in progress.

Okay yeah i added the eyelids and made a face other than the Pog meme and this is awesome o:
Just gotta figure out how to make the outlines behave better


Cool any tips for a newbie

You are probably jumping into Blender at the best possible time.
I tried learning it long ago and then had to stop for many years. now coming back and seeing everything that’s new it’s like i’m reverted back to being a newbie too. it’s pretty crazy.

Being that you replied here on my post i’m assuming you’re trying to use Blender to make characters and also of a similar style to this?

If that is the case,
Youtube tutorials are easier to find than ever and cover far wider topics than ever before.
You will want to find a video that teaches you the basics of the interface to begin.
How to turn the screen, edit mode vs object mode, how to select verticies and faces, how to move, scale, and extrude them around, connect up faces, and such.

Then after you kind of understand that, it’s fun to find youtube courses that slowly walk you through the process of something that sounds interesting to you.
Lately i’ve been enjoying watching VTuber creation and time lapse videos.
Time lapse videos will make more sense as you learn the program.

I prefer box modeling over sculpting and it mainly requires a vague front and side view of what you’re trying to make.

from there you make your character as you see fit, find a face method you enjoy, find a rig method you enjoy (manual vs rigify),
find a method for making hair you enjoy (mine is the method using curves),

im trying to learn some new mouth methods right now because shape key drivers were growing tiring after a while.

Coloring is something i’m also experimenting with. I’m kind of new to node based systems but i’m looking at toon shaders on youtube, BlueLightning Studio’s shader (BLS), BEER NPR (i forget what Beer stands for but NPR means non photo realistic)

And really just consume alot of these videos and see what you like best.

Don’t stress over it, be patient, and don’t worry about adding too many details. You can really get stuck always thinking you can polish a project more when it doesnt need to be.

Hope something here helps :slight_smile:

Alright alright alright. So it has been a few weeks since i posted.
Originally i wanted to make a weekly update but i have been hitting some walls.

First i got Auto Rig Pro, Pretty cool add on, but i think due to my long hiatus of using blender there were some basic things i had not been aware of their updates and it caused some struggles.
I believe i’ve mostly worked past that now, and am nearly done rigging the character.

I was having alot of issues getting the eyes right, i decided to go for the floating pupil in the concave white iris cavity like newer models people tend to use these days do. However im struggling at getting the pupils to stay inside the eye or not disappear behind the eye cavity before reaching the edge of the eye. (As im typing this i had the idea to increase the size of the eye cavities to extend past the outline on the inside of the head if that makes any sense… hopefully that will solve one of the two issues)

So now i have created a cap to cover the eyes and made this cap invisible. The bone that controls the location of the iris is now shrinkwrapped to that cap with normals activated to hopefully keep the eye from leaving the iris.

Next where i think i’m stuck at right now was i had reason to believe making a face rig based entirely off of bones instead of shapekeys was going to be a good idea in the long run.
I don’t remember what those reasons are now and with how many bones i have on the face im struggling to decide which approach i should use.
Making shapekey drivers attached to bones is something that i’m proud to know how to do, however it is such a strenuous task i know it’s a danger zone for me for giving up on a project. I have lost many hairs to pulling them out over trying to figure out how the graph editor portion of that works.

So now i think i just need to look at some other people’s rigs they have for their faces and make some decisions.
I got my Boolean mouth set up rigged and i was excited for that until i tried to pose them and realized i had to move 20 different bones to create one mouth shape.
Hopefully setting up a pose library might alleviate that and i would have to only go through the pain once to set up phonemes… but wow it feels rough.

And then the eyes i noticed many people have like 10 bones around the eyes to control blinks and everything. I worry that animating all of that will be extremely slow too unless i can maybe find a way to make a extra bone move several all at once. So if it’s a simple action i can save time but have teh ability to really get in and make changes if i need to.
I suppose if i change the bones on the eyes from rotations to be a location based movement i could use simple parenting for that. but… again i guess i need to look up other people’s rigs to see how it went for them.

That’s where i’m at at the moment.

I think you trying to make everything too complicated it’s better keep everything very simple so you can focus on moving forward than standing still.

One thing to Understand the thing with doing art you always fail an you might succeed once in your life after failing over 9000 times.