Nice work. Excellent use of the sculpting tool. Now you should experiment with textures. add some cloud textures. They’re not just for clouds but has many uses to give the appearance of discontinuity. In other words more realistic. Mix at least two textures to make it more realistic. Just experiment, have fun and make great renders.
The textures are great - you’ve potential!
Well- since you are asking for it I will be a bit more straightforward. You got a strong base for sure- it’s clearly visible you “feel” how characters should look like but when it comes to modeling I think you are jumping to sculpt tool a bit too early. Take my advice or not but IMHO it’s better to learn “traditional” modeling first, with all boring techniques, and only then jump to something like sculpting. That way you will get much better mesh (your seems to be a bit too dense) and better feeling of form. Second thing- lighting. At the moment- it’s not good, using mildest term. You got one light source and everything is underlit. I know that when one starts working with 3d it’s tempting to make rather dark images (as darkness hides all mistakes and gives more dramatic look) but as a basic training- take a cube, put it on flat plane surface and try to lit realistically, so that it is not too bright or too dark, has feeling of mass and shape. You will soon discover that you need at least three lights. “By the book” they would be:
- main light- setting mood in entire scene. Usually brightest and casting shadow
- suplementary light- at angle of 90 degrees from main light- helping to lit model a bit more and simulate (in cheap way) more advanced lighting
- ambient light- your “fill up light”. Sometimes it might be omni or hemispherical (no shadow), sometimes just directional light located in a way it shines in exactly opposite direction to main light.
To see how they work it’s usually good to give them various colors (that way you can judge which light shines on what area) and only after setting proper intensity turn them all to white/yellow/whatever color your final light should be
Sorry to be so talkative, hope that’s of any use- and of course feel free to ignore all that. Good luck man- you got a talent, now it’s a matter of mastering a tool
There are a number of excellent tutorials on organic modeling available, just ask. You have a distinct style, but I’m not entirely sure that’s the style you want.
Generally I find that using set smooth and subsurf level 2 is enough to get decently rounded models. When you use subsurf, the closer you place the edges, the sharper the curve connecting them.
If your models do look the way you want them to look, a critique would involve your use of materials and textures, or whether the mesh will animate well. In order to critique the animatability of the mesh, we need to see the actual mesh (take a screen shot with Ctrl+F3 when in solid draw mode, edge select mode) and post it here.
Usually new Blender Artists have difficulties with getting proper edge loops: the edges should go around openings (eyes, mouth, etc.) and not veer off to the back of the skull or drop down onto the neck.
As MrPerlishells says, have fun, and welcome to BlenderArtists.
Before you rash off into making animated movies perharps you should spend time learning to model, light and texture really well. Animation is tough enough without the added burden of not knowing how to model, light or texture. Aiming to make really good still images will be the best place to start. I always find that in anything you do time spent mastering the fundamentals is time well spent afterall even artistic masters like Leonardo had to learn about colour, form, perspective etc before painting the likes of the Mona Lisa. I feel 3D is first you produce still that amaze the crowd than you step into animation. But you do show alot of promise so I hope to see your future works.
I don’t think one has to model really well to do some animation. One can’T expect to be good at doing animations without the nessecary skills but there is no reason why you cannot start off with animation and learn the rest along side. Keep in mind everyone is different and learning is always an individiual experience. What works for one doesn’t work for others.
So Happy blending and do keep up the good work.
You might want to look at the tutorial section of this forum to get some links to good tutorials. Also the wiki for blender is a great tool for learning the software.
Oh for lightning I strongly suggest to buy the Digital lightning and Rendering book. It’s a great ressource on lightning and rendering. http://www.3drender.com/light/index.html
You do NOT need to apply the subsurf before you start weight painting, in fact this shrinking inwards is a common problem with rigging and animating. You kinda have to custom build your rig to eliminate that problem as best you can.
I’m no good at animations, so maybe this is not valid, but if you’re gonna do characters I figure you need to understand how character move, how the muscles flow, where the joints are, what ways they can and can’t move. and ofcourse, clean topology is key…
Topologywise and for the general shape of your characters you could improve a lot, but you’ve already come a long way as you are. That won’t be a problem for you…
Dude the rig for dance of the bashful dwarf has like over 600 bones in it. Even the cleaned up cartoon version has a lot!! of bones. The most simple complete complete character rigs for blender have about 200 bones in em.
blenrig (bashfull dwarf) uses hammer like setups to get realistic muscle movement at areas like the elbows and armpits. It’s intense… There are TONS of tricks in rigging to get the effect you want. weighting, lattices, assigning to multiplebones, building helper bone/deform bones, driven keyshapes, combinations of all that etc… o yeah, and don’t forget B bones. simple, but if used carefully can do wonders for things like twisting and creasing as well. like at the rig in my sig, the arm and shoulder area. the shrinking there isn’t to bad, it uses subtle b bones in em.
I have never animated before so treat anything I say with a dose of caution. I think your problems are two fold bad mesh for animating and a bad rig. I can’t help you on the rig but as for making an animation friendly mesh I can point you in the right direction so to speak. Try www.subdivisionmodeling.com there is a pdf by Bay Raitit that deals with your particular problem. I have read it, it has an example of a mesh that will break when animated and am afraid yours looks about the same topology wise. TorQ’s ‘A better head tutorial’ will set you in the right direction for creating animation friendly meshes. the sticky on loops and poles in the modeling forum is also worth a read. BTW I noticed you subsurf settings in your screens it’s better to set your levels lower than your render level. That way you can model without your computer grinding to a halt but still render at a higher level.