Frank's Sketchbook

Hi everyone,

recently got motivated again to start some creative projects and learn to use Blender more than the little side tool for some 3D related coding. Had been looking at Blender for quite some time, but usually was looking in the past more into Houdini. Since the advancements in 2.8 and the sculpting enhancements I now want to get into this topic. So here I start my little sketchbook (hope I find enough time to post something from time to time).

First image was inspired by the great video from Andrew Price: Improving Your Art - Making a Teddy Bear Look Great, but giving it a little twist by not doing a shiny new teddy, but an abandoned one. I still see quite some issues in the image, like distortions in the unwrapping, the procedural displacement map could be improved, etc. However in order to move on, I post this one now in the sketchbook area and hope to post soon further images…

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Learning how the sculpting brushes work. I like how easily accessible the sculpting workflow is. It took less time to sketch this creature than putting together the shading/lighting/staging… Looking forward to more 15 minute sculpts :slight_smile:

Today it’s a little monkey:

Made a little angry comic head, but I’m not really happy with his teeth. Think I need to study teeth a bit more…

Tried just a single tooth today… still not really happy about the result…

Was reading a book about the loneliest whale of the world. This one is not the one from the book, but an arbitrary other whale.

This took me a bit longer this time (and having just 1-2 hours per day of free time is also an issue…). I was taking a famous mouse as inspiration, but wasn’t going for complete likeliness. In case someone has some some remarks, please comment :slight_smile:

Started modeling a hand to finish a character, I started years ago. This is the base-mesh. Sculpting details will start after I modeled an arm and connected it to the existing torso.


Here’s the wire-frame for the topology:

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This time a huge update. I’ve attached the hand to a torso I had modeled long time ago. The character should stand at the edge of a canyon. So I needed to research into how to get good terrain into blender.
Started with blocking out the scene and modeling a low poly version of the canyon:


Brought the low poly terrain into Houdini:

Utilized Houdini’s procedural tools to shape the terrain:

Houdini allows for creation of masks and other useful maps to scatter and shade objects. I wanted those to be usable in Blender. So I hacked the ply importer to not only import a single set of vertex colors, but also custom vertex colors. Additionally single channel vertex attributes of the ply will be imported as vertex groups, so I can use them for scattering objects like rocks. Here’s a link to the GitHub repository with the modified ply importer: https://github.com/FrankFirsching/blender-addons
Here’s the terrain in Blender with some vertex colors and vertex groups:


Utilizing the vertex groups to scatter cubes as stand-ins for rocks in specific areas:

And testing the terrain in the block-out:

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Today I’ve spent most of the time on non-visual stuff (proxy mechanism for the terrain and scene reorganization using linked scenes).
Also applied some color ramps driven by the imported channels for debris and sediment. No textures applied yet, just 2 layered color ramps on the base color.

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Tried today what could be the best approach to get some stones onto the canyon. Was quickly taking some images of 2 stones lying around when I was outside and processed through Meshroom. Result could certainly be improved, but this was the default Meshroom pipeline and afterwards quickly cutting away the floor.

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