Billie's sketchbook

Hello! I’ve been told I should stop silently watching and get out more, so here I am.
Mostly I’m just flailing about without a purpose, trying a bit of everything and progressing erratically at best. But if I had to chose a goal, making slightly stylized real-time pose-able characters could be it. Right now I’m at the point where I feel stuck but don’t have any particular questions.

Critique and advises are always welcome =)

Latest fanart sculpt of an imp


About the girl you posted, i like the emotions and feelings that you conveyed here, i literally feel this image.
Her lips and look are really exciting and organic, shows some specific emotions. She may have eyes that are a little too wide apart, but she’s totally cute and flirtatious, which you have portrayed here well. Of course, for the viewer, because she seems quite feisty(?). And about imp, i really love Doom 3, but maybe he(?) could be more dirty, he is made great, but does not feel too dangerous. But i like theese really angry teeth:)

@Harnaz_Nerville, thank you!
I agree about the imp. Truth be told, I’m usually too focused on silhouette of their hands (and putting bullets in these guys), I didn’t considered much beside it. Since it’s vertex paint I just added some color to make it less boring (too high poly, painting gets sluggish in some places). Next demon will get more love hopefully =)

For now rough z-sec sketch (disguised as face anatomy study?). I do have a problem with eyeball placement…


i love your characters - especially the girl and laserman!


@stefanwacker, oh no, missed your post, sorry. Thanks for stopping by!

This Pinky demon is a good example of how not to approach modeling. It’s bad enough that I’ve spent so much time figuring how to keep flat areas looking flat ('cause I’m a total noob when it comes to hard surface), I didn’t have a clear idea of how to model the cybernetics. There’s a pretty piece of artwork circulating on the Net and I wanted to model THAT design. It looks great but doesn’t have enough info on how this thing is supposed to work.
Oh well, in the end I’ve become too exhausted for the retopo, so no proper textures. Added spots of color by placing empties and using them as texture coordinate origins for spherical gradient masks.

I’m pretty sure I’ll be doing this all over again next time I see that awesome Doom movie scene or decide that I want to replay on Nightmare.


Random rushed night sculpt. In the end I couldn’t figure out shading+rendering (I suspect it’s not working without at least some value variation in the skin), but I enjoyed sculpting so it’s a success =D Getting a little more comfortable with making clothes.

Aaand the point of this exercise is to take the time and think. At least that’s the idea. I feel like I might need help, but I wasn’t able to form a coherent question so far.


Step one: spend a lot of time on high-poly.
Step two: throw it all away.
… well, no, I did bake normal and ao maps, but probably went a bit too low on polys for no good reason.
He turned out nothing like the mustache guy above but I like him more that way)


Maybe a little bit of VFX can change that ?

Made a basemesh…

…and tested it. Some choices seem weird now.
Ended up with this Unreal fanart. The idea was to model only a textured head but things got out of control =D Aimed to make it game-ready (-ish) in terms of polycount/maps (probably too fuzzy a limitation these days).
In the end I couldn’t wrap my head around color spaces and external textures (at least I think that where the problem is, but I’ll leave that mystery for the next model) :upside_down_face:


Oooh boy, feels like I started this model forever ago, don’t even remember what the original goal was.
In the end, I’ve decided to try three new things: basic clothing details, Substance Painter and long curled hair cards.
Didn’t quite figured out that last one yet, so settled for a braid (it’s much easier to model and skin once you stop screaming).

These arrays may not be an elegant solution, but my PC was much happier not having to sculpt 2million triangles… in one clothing item.
It was pretty fast to model and baked into maps just fine … not in Blender though - unfortunate aliasing issues got in a way of baking.

Modeling part needs some optimizing, baking and texturing need research.

Hair looks so much nicer with one level of SubDiv… which is not the point.

Two and a half goals achieved… i think.


Random stuff


Amazing work, you know your stuff! I don’t know how to sculpt so precise, do you have any tips or a good tutorial? The mesh seems to bend in all possible ways except the way I want lol…

Thank you!

Can’t think of any One True Tutorial: I’ve been randomly sifting through many tuts and time-lapses both on sculpting and painting, finding an occasional tip that appeals to me the most.

All the while just trying to sculpt.
Thing with mesh bending in the wrong ways is a problem of muscle memory, I think, when your brain sort of knows what needs to be done but hands have other ideas. It’s that one thing that no tutorial can give. But all of them talk about how to get it… practice =D Unoriginal, I know, but so true. Practice, reference, focused studies. It gets frustrating to hear these “obvious” tips that everyone’s giving again and again and hard to truly appreciate… until you start to see their impact on your progress.
I heard someone say “You have to believe in the process”.
You stare at a sphere and it’s just not anywhere near that awesome space marine you envisioned. Start sculpting and now it’s a creepy ball of digital clay with tentacles. In your eyes it might look that way for a good while. Keep applying knowledge, try different approaches, invent new ones, consult personal taste and things will shape up. Eventually. The important thing is not to get discouraged and everything else will come with studies AND time. And improved motor skills.
Well, that’s the biggest lesson I’ve got from my experience this year for what it’s worth.

(Saying this even though lately I’m feeling like “Whaaa, I’ll never get good at this, send help T__T”. Because a person can be reasonable only to a certain level ='D )

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Yeah, I agree with everything you said. The staring at the sphere is so true! It feels like the first brush must be perfect otherwise everything will fail from that point on :smiley:

I know practice is important, but I have to know what to practice first. So I was hoping to know some technical things like what tools do you use most, do you have some special combo to polish the mesh, do you enable dyntopo and if so what settings do you prefer etc. I mean I’ve seen some tuts on Youtube but asking first hand sometimes is much more valuable. Hope I’m not bugging you :innocent:

@StrayBillie, you’re showing some nice improvements in sculpting/modeling! Way to go :slight_smile:

Not at all =) Though I don’t have much to tell on technical aspect, sorry.
In my case PC limitations dictate the process: performance really drops with high triangle count (around 1mil is too much for comfort), and it’s hard to get any crisp lines and fine details. Haven’t got a good feel for dyntopo yet, so my current “special combo” is: sculpt with Remesh up to a point (grab, scrape, clay strips, crease), do manual retopology (!), maybe some modeling (like with clothing seams above), then subdiv/multires and more sculpting. Retopo can be a pain (or a fun puzzle) but can’t see a way around it on my rig. So… yeah, that’s about it :slight_smile:

Thank you very much! =)

Great thank you! I thought dyntopo is a must for serious sculpting, and I haven’t used scrape yet. This have been helpful! Manual topology must be a hell though, I don’t think I’ll try that :smiley:

Sometimes you know you’re making a stupid decision and just can’t stop. Knew the hair won’t work and went with it anyway :face_with_raised_eyebrow: Let it be a reminder.


While I missed quite a few prompts this SculptJanuary, it was a very productive month.