"Feral Lusus" Anthropomorphic Vampire Project


Pirate boots. For some reason.

If anyone has objections to four-fingered hands, say so now before I make anything else.



Looks like a nun’s habit, now that I think on it.

I know I need to move his legs a bit further forward, but I’m terrified of messing up the surrounding vertices.

As you can see, I’m using free vertices to make sharp points when using SubSurf. Probably not the best solution, but it’s worked so far.

This is a character I’ve been working on for quite some time. I just recently made some serious changes to it, and I’m in the process of setting up a rig.

This character (who I just call Gooseberry) is part of a vampire story I developed over three years ago. I’ve decided to go back to it, and I’m now planning to sculpt more characters from that story in the coming weeks. My ambition is to one day, when all the characters, sets and props are completely modeled, textured and rigged up, to produce an episodic series of short movies telling their story.

However, that is a very long ways off indeed.

Having read around these forums, and having seen the average quality of the work being done, I feel like I might be underwhelming a few people. With that in mind, I think it’s time I took my 3D work more seriously. I plan to do some heavy reading in the Help & Education section to try and learn some new tricks, such as UV-Mapped low-poly hair. Particle fire using halos will be another thing I need to work on (because I can’t figure out how to use 2.53b for the life of me).

Now, if only I could find a quality, free and legal video editor, I’d be set.

looks great :yes: good luck with your project…had a few attempts with making my own shorts too, unfortunately i always fail :o i still try though hehe…
btw blender has its own video editing tool, just go search for blender’s sequencer on google…

And here’s a wireframe with the crude rig.

I would feel a lot better about weight painting this – or even just selecting the vertices for the Vgroups manually – if there weren’t so many finger bones to take care of. I’m tempted to remove them and just use Shape Keys for hand movement, much like I plan to do for facial animations (when I eventually design a character with a face).

I’ll prepare an animation test later today, if I can scrounge up the confidence. And if PhotoBucket’s promise of video uploading proves true.

@marwin: As far as Blender’s sequencer goes, I have a very hard time making it do what I want to. It runs absurdly slowly whenever my cursor crosses a Scene strip, and accessing objects and models across multiple Scenes is something I have yet to grasp. Furthermore, I’d gotten so used to having scads of effects plugins and automatic crossfades that it would take a long time indeed to get used to. That, and I lack the patience to tolerate Blender’s handling of sound files. At all.

I heard some good things about CineFX, but that kind of got to me too, after a while. I’m considering the Sony Vegas Pro Trial version as a temporary solution.

Moving on:
I have a pixel sketch from a few years back of some character designs I made up for this project. It’s just something I threw together in MS Paint, so I’m not sure if it belongs here. If it does, I’ll elaborate further.

I was reluctant to admit it, but the characters (with the sole exception of the specie-less, sexless Gooseberry) are anthropomorphic. However, regardless of whatever bizarre animal malformations others may design for their own lewd amusement, the tone of the story I have created is strictly serious and dramatic, with themes of mortal sin, existential quandary and religious hypocrisy. The most gratuitous aspect would be violence, with typical vampiric promiscuity and cannibalistic gluttony kept to a disciplined minimum.

Remember, if my work looks poor to you, only your detailed replies can help me make it better. I would appreciate even the most damning critiques.

I got 3dementia’s opinion, and as I was not violently ostracized I’m going to show you my two-year-old character sketch now.

Here you are.

Some of the designs I think could do with a lot of adjustment, and at least one I may not even use. These are more guidelines than finished characters, so I’m open to commentary. Javan I plan to make more stern and intimidating, and I may tone down Nefeltari’s bosom. Gooseberry’s design I’ve already worked on considerably.

Whew. Just in time to save my thread from the third page.

Excuse me if I sound a bit flustered. I accidentally bashed my skull into a large block of concrete earlier this week; while I don’t seem to be seriously hurt, I have been behaving a bit differently from my normal self. Or perhaps that’s just the full moon. Eh.

Ugh… it’s been a rough few days, folks. I’m trying very hard to produce an crude animation to show off the rig I’m working on, but I’m feeling rather terrible – both because of things at work and things I ate today.

Bear with me, though, as I should have some kind of rig test later tonight.

Also, I’d like to rename this thread. Do I even have that option? I want to make it a dedicated thread for this whole project, not just for Gooseberry (even if he is the only I have done right now).

Thanks for your patience.

cool character!

the textures could use some work though (painting textures is almost always better than using procedurals). you might wanna take a look at some UV unwrapping tutorials and some texture painting tutorials

to change the thread topic, edit your first post and go to “advanced” and change the topic there

good luck on your project :slight_smile:

Many thanks, Jeepster. I took your advice, and now the thread has a more descriptive title.

I know what you mean about the procedurals, but my computer tends to get funky when I use large texture images in Blender – and even at 720x480, pixelization is hard to avoid. This isn’t to say I won’t use them, but I need to be careful.

Okay, I’ve uploaded a video clip to PhotoBucket. Which probably is a stupid thing to do, but it’s all I’ve got right now, at least until I get around to looking at Vimeo.

If this link doesn’t work, say so:

A simple animation using the almost-complete rig. I did something kind of wacky with the textures, which will probably not be done in any final design. I still don’t know why his frock moves with his left arm. I must have missed something when manually editing the vertex groups.

I’ll be working on Javan, the main character soon. I already have a head from a previous model I can use as a base. It doesn’t have teeth yet, but by newfound knowledge of edge creases will help.

Please, any remarks are welcome.

How’d you animate the rig, rotating a bone at a time or did you set up IK constraints.

This animation uses by-bone animation, posing each bone separately and inputting Loc/Rot for all of them at once. There’s an excess of bones in the hands, I think. I could probably remove about ten bones in all and not affect the motion whatsoever.

I’m not quite done with it, so I’m not sure what I’ll ultimately do. IK works for me sometimes, other times not.

I know the video is poor quality (not to mention short). I tried to compress it using JahPlayer, but I’ve had enough of that stubborn thing. Rendering out to the Cinepak codec still only got it down to slightly less than 6mb.

I wanted to do some serious Blender work today, but I’ve run into to some unexpected snags.

  1. I was going to use a mesh I’d started on from a different .blend file to start work on Javan. I exported the mesh to Raw Faces as I usually do, then tried to open it in the other .blend. It gave my “Error: Check Python Console” and refused to work. It worked fine until I installed Python 2.6 the other day.

  2. For reasons I may never understand, I cannot move the vertices on a new mesh in my main .blend without the vertices leaping to the other end of the universe (10k range). They shake and jitter and fly but do not go where I am guiding them with the XYZ arrows. I have never seen something like this before, but it has shut me down modeling in that file until I can figure it out.

I’m going to start a new .blend and see if I can work in that. If all goes well, things should return to normal and I can work on my next character.

You might have snapping on, the little magnet on the bottom right.
Can’t remember the shortcut key for it right now but you can try that.

Tried that, it’s still not working. If I showed it to you, you’d probably say it was more bizarre than that.

I’m very frustrated right now. I’m trying to get some work done, so I can have something to show for all my big talk, but I can’t seem to focus. Mostly because I’m extremely nervous about having openly confessed to creating anthro characters.

I’m terrified of being torn to shreds as soon as someone less understanding than the members of this artistic, open-minded forum finds out about it.

Really, I’m starting to think that might be the cause of the lack of public interest in my work across both of the forums I attend. I’ve associated myself with something that makes people think I’m a sick, twisted bastard with perverse pleasures. I’ve already gotten some negative feedback elsewhere – and not for quality issues, either.

Should I abandon this project? Or take it to “the rest of the Internet,” where it’s welcome?

I know nobody likes the sad sack, but not asking for help only makes me more sad.

EDIT: Damn my ignorance, I had Retopology on all along. I’m back to work, now.

After overcoming my spasmodic fit of low self-esteem yesterday, I’m back to sculpting.




These are sculpts of the head of Obadiah. Alas, after watching Trinity Blood only just a few days ago, I realized my two-year-old design is an almost complete ripoff of Abel Nightroad. Whose picture I may or may not have seen in a preview in a certain anime magazine.

This character is supposed to be a goat, but I can’t figure out whether goats have those two knobby things on top of their heads or not. I’d go look it up, but I’m terrified of using the search engine for images. Especially with the word “goat”.

The two protrusions are sawed-off horns. I sculpted this head from a 16-ring UV Sphere in about twenty minutes.

Having gained confidence and renewing my love for my work, I now demand feedback.

not bad!
how detailed are you wanting this to look? the sculpting you did doesn’t look very high poly

if you do want to make this really detailed, you might wanna take another go with the sculpting system (use 2.5 beta or jwilkins branch from graphicall.org for sculpting)

first, you should take a look at this video to see all of the new tools in 2.5’s sculpt system

i also have a few tips for you, if you do decide to make it detailed:

-to set your model up for sculpting, be sure you’ve recalculated normals (ctrl N) and dont have any vertex doubles (W -> remove doubles). Add the multires modifier (get rid of subsurf) to your object before you go into sculpt mode.

-it’s a good idea to sculpt at the lowest multires subdivision level at first, then work your way up. Instead of subdividing a whole bunch at first and sculpting with the highest subdivision level, try perfecting your current level before working with the next subdivision level. this helps prevent lumpyness by forcing you to use lower subdivision levels for larger changes, and higher subdivision levels for smaller changes

-focus on anatomy. Even if it is a fantasy character, a somewhat accurate muscular structure is a good thing to aim for. When you’re focusing on one area, take a look at some anatomy diagrams in a google image search.

-I’d encourage you not to go up to a ridiculously high resolution just so you can sculpt in the skin irregularities (pores or whatever). While deail looks nice, this kind of stuff will usually distract from the more important anatomy sculpting. if you do plan on doing lots of little bumps, a texture would really save on vert count and it makes it easier to adjust

good luck on your project, looking forward to updates :smiley:

Thanks very much for your input, jeepster! Well, I only really had in mind to do mostly low-poly models, letting Subsurf do the rest. But there may eventually be more complex models which will require heavier detail. I have to keep things simple, not only because my computer is ancient but because of the size of my workload: not only do I do all of the modeling and textures, I do all the rigging and animation, I compose music, record and design sound effects, and I do all the writing.

And, as for what I was working on while my exorbitantly expensive cable internet went out mysteriously for about half an hour:
Now he has a hat.

My main concern is topology. Right now, I’m just concentrating on the overall shape. But when animating, those awkward faces and vertices may come back to haunt me. Is there any good place to learn about designing movable vertex joints for animation? I’m tired of strange artifacts caused by bad face arrangements.

Thanks a lot, and don’t stop now! I demand more observations!