HalfChicken Monster WIP - My First Post

Here is the current state of the model. Below is the development thread. Thanks.

Hi all in the Blender Artists community. I have not done any 3d in about a decade I think. I used to do a lot of stuff in 3ds Max. I used to do some games dev stuff. I never really got into high poly modelling back in the day, and a decade ago Blender was a no-bueno for me also. Anyway. Virus isolation put me in a more contemplative mood, and I decided to have a go at some modelling. I decided to give blender a spin, and damn, is it a very new beast. Anyway, in one day I managed to get a pretty OK looking monster together.

So I decided to post some screen grabs up as a way to say hi, and to get some pointers as to where I am perhaps going a bit wrong. I still need to figure out the poly modelling in Blender. That is a bit more annoying, as it is quite a bit different to my old max skills.


Woah that looks really cool. I love how unique the design of this creature is, I’ve never seen anything like it.

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Thanks @aplayeraplayer I took the stalk off the top. I felt it really was not a good touch. I am now trying to do a reptopology mesh. It is a real learning curve.

Having the retopo model always rendered in front of the sculpt leads to some real headaches seeing some of the loops going right through the model underneath. I also forgot to applymirror when I started the model, and now it wont apply right. I am hoping I can finish doing half the model, slice it in half and mirror it afterwards. I am not really sure if that will work, so I am just hoping I learn to fix these problems before they become serious.

Looks awesome! There is a channel on Youtube called FlippedNormals, they recently made a retopology tutorial video for Blender and I believe they included some tips to keep the retopologized mesh visible and above the sculpted mesh.

Yes, I have watched the FlippedNormals channel. Some good videos there. I figured out that I can hide selected areas with the H key. and that I can mirror the model correctly by selecting the high poly sculpt in the “target” of the mirror modifier on the low poly retopo model. I have no idea why that works… but it does.

This is where I am at so far with the retopo. Not sure how I am doing tbh. I have a few ngons and tris which I need to get rid of. I am trying to figure that stuff out as I go. Some of them I will leave in until I have a more finished model, then I will try work out the various cutting and merging operations I need to do to make them leave. I find that stuff to be challenging for my tiny brain.

I have the majority of the retopo mesh done. I need to get into doing the mouth, and the tips of the horn. I feel my retopo is not very good. It doesn’t have the nice sleek look of how other people’s work looks, and I think I have a lot of unneeded geometry. I was never good at organics though. If this more or less works, I am happy. I have some tris and ngons also. I don’t know if they are acceptable or not. I will try get rid of them if I can.

Over-all, I am finding blender a really pleasant and effective modeler. I would like to know how to deal with smoothing groups though, and also how to not render backfaces in the edit window.

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Hey, I think it looks fine - we all start out as pro’s right ?? It will look much better once you apply the high poly normal map

I think its ‘Back Face Culling’

I am exhausted. Got the low poly model done, unwrapped, applied the multirez modifier and shrink wrap to bring in details from the higher rez sculpt. Deleted the higher rez sculpt. Now I am molesting the low poly model with a x6 subdivision on the multirez modifier. I am not perfectly happy with it, but it is progress.

This is a good looking creature. I’m glad you shared this. Welcome to blender. I like doing creature creation too, but I’m not yet very good at it.

Looks good so far. Are you going to animate him?

Yea, I am going to use this poor creature to try figure out everything I can in Blender, so that will hopefully include rigging and animation. My background (a long time ago) was games dev, so I will try make it work in a games engine I guess. Likely Godot. Busy with work at the moment, so that is limiting my playtime.

I took some time today to try figure out how to use the texture paint tool. All I have here are two basic textures painted on to the skin and nail/horn bits. I obviously have a lot to learn about texture painting for organic models, and also within blender program. I am far far away from happy with the result yet. But I think I am getting there. My instinct is to go in and try paint in highlights and shadows to add depth, but I think that would be a mistake. Perhaps I need to sculpt further?
If anyone has suggestions for improvement, please do share.

Yes,Sculpt a version and bake a normal map to apply :grinning: NORMAL + BUMP map
Its looking good so far

I got home from work and played further with the texture paint tool in Blender. I am developing a bit more of an understanding for it and had a fun hour with it. I thought I would share the results so far, as I have a busy week ahead, and don’t know when I will get to open blender next.

I have been looking at this model at it’s current stage, and I was thinking, “If only I could paint normal maps etc at the same time as the diffuse map.” So, I was looking further into the paint tool and material editor, and tried to figure it out. I think there are some paid-for plugins that might be able to do it, but it seems to not yet be possible to do it in Blender easily? Maybe I am wrong, blender has a lot of stuff going on, and I have a lot to learn.
I found a program called armour paint, and I am trying to compile it now. Perhaps this is what I need ? I don’t know if the baking process of high poly to low poly will translate the normal created in the material of the high poly onto the material of the low poly, as well as the high poly geometry. If not, I will try and blend them manually. I will hopefully get more time to work on this next week.

I have been knocked back in this project.
Earlier in the week I managed to compile Armorpaint, but it really does not have the features I was looking for yet. So I chose to go further with TexturePaint in Blender, as it is pretty good, even if I cannot work with full materials in the way I imagine in my head. Anyway I found some errors with my UVs. There are some areas overlapping I need to find and fix. Not fun. I need to get a better grasp of the fundamentals of blender for sure, and I am starting to hit up against some of the less-enjoyable aspects of the blender workflow. Teething problems. It was bound to happen. Anyway. A good few steps back. Nothing can be done. Just have to work through it.

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I am still battling away with this thing. Got it reunwrapped. Now repainting it. Running into some random bugs. Battling through it. I am still not fully happy with the unwrap. I find trying t omanipulate the UVs really tough in this program. Seems you have to have all the faces of the mesh selected to be able to even see the UVs. And if I try select verts and faces for UV manipulation, I cannot see the rest of the layout to know what I am doing. Obviously I am missing some key information here. I used to be good at unwrapping in 3ds max, way back in the stone age, so hopefully I can eventually figure this one out.
I am just posting up the textures I am using to paint the mesh with. Just shopped textures from CG-Textures, or whatever they are called now. Glad I kept a folder full of the textures from there before it went to a pay-for business model on it’s full rez textures.

3am… I need sleep

Diffuse map is coming along nicely I think. I used stencil to apply the base colours using the previously prepared textures. Then I went in with a brush using “soft light” and “multiply” settings to give the tones some character. I was trying to suggest thickness of the hide. I feel if I can get a good bump and specular map on here it could really come together.