Emily Faulkner: AI-Assisted Character Design; or how I learned to stop worrying and love the Machine

Hello everyone! Here is a thread to collect my work on Emily Faulkner, the protagonist from a show I am producing. The Divided States is a project to create a full-length series told exclusively through the comic book/animatic format. Aside from tons of drawing, I spend 1 day every week to study and think about ways to improve our pipline. My latest endeavour is making CG models of all the main characters to speed up the creation of dialogue scenes. You can learn more about the project at https://dividedstates-project.com/

I joined BA.org to learn more about realistic cycles portrait rendering, so I hope to learn and share what I know!


The current state of my style transfer tests. Through clever shading work and paint AIs, I hope to make the painting step minimal, but I have not found great succes right away.

Here is the concept art for Emily


Attaching for reference some handpainted frames with the look we are going for.


Wow, inspiring stuff. I really love the last one. What is the overall storyline of the series?

Thanks Photox! The Divided States is set in the 1940s in a fictional Second American Civil War. It’s part of the Kaiserreich Universe, an alt-history world that we have been building for the better part of a decade. Most of the lore can be found on the website (https://dividedstates-project.com/) and through our Youtube Channel (links on the website)

Trying an SSS test today. I feel her skin is coming out too baby-like, like the SSS is drowning out the diffuse. Should I make the normals more agressive or try and tone down SSS?

Going to wait with Cycles until Chris Jones finishes his skin shaders, for now I’ve given up and switched to marmoset - for that sweet, sweet, easy juice. Light paintovers before texturing to assess where I should put stuff like freckles, damage

You have a nice project going on here, Vincent. I will follow your progress with interest. And yes, like you mentioned in your previous post SSS is known to fade out the diffuse. This got better with the random walk algorithm in Cycles. And the scale of the model in real world dimensions and the SSS radius are important too for good results. A good balanced SSS should be somewhere between Cycles and Marmoset.

Maybe this link can be helpful, somehow?

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