Lovecraft Style Creature

A while ago I saw this post from @brianbrook:

He posted a reference picture of the sort of creature he was interested in, and I was intrigued. It’s unusual to see such an asymmetric character, and it’s pretty different to anything I’ve tried. I’m interested in rigging and this looks a bit of a challenge! I offered to give it a go. More for my enjoyment than Brian’s film I guess, although it’s good to have someone to chat to about it.

The intent is for the creature to to be large and frightening appearance, but in fact is wise and compassionate.

I thought I might post here as well in case anyone’s interested.

I’ve done the bulk of the modelling and retopo, and started in on the rigging side. The ‘hair’ on the back is just a placeholder, I’ll get back to that.

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That’s very cool! My compliments!

I did a quick ‘proof of concept’ rigging test with the main limbs. Rigify is pretty good for this job with arms, legs and tentacles stuck in odd places, but some customisation is still required.

Still, I’m fairly happy with it. There is so much weight taken on the right arm/leg I thought walking might be tricky, but it doesn’t look too unrealistic. I think I can do better though with a 1, 2, drag rhythm.

QuickTest

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Looks great!! It’s a very creative approach with a ‘beautiful’ Lovecraft influence.
Really good animation, as well!
I mostly like the melancholy expression in his/its face, though. This is extremely rare for ‘monsters’ and gives it so much more depth and character.
The animation underlines this, and makes me even feel pity for it. I instantly forget, that this is only CG character. And that’s what it’s all about.
Really great work! Bravo!!! :star_struck:

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Thanks for taking the time to say that. Made my day!

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The majority of the rigging is now done. I haven’t used the rigify face rig before - I’m more familiar with Blenrig which has more features, but is humanoid only. I had been planning a fairly limited set of face movements using shape keys, but I changed my mind.

This is the first model that I sculpted in a final pose. It was a conscious decision as it would have been hard to find any sort of ‘T’ pose that would suit, but I knew it might cause issues. And it did cause issues! In hindsight I should have at least rotated the head to match the axes after the initial blocking out.

I ending up matching an empty to the head geometry, and used that to ‘carry’ a copy of the head mesh to line up with the axes. The I generated a rigify ‘super-face’ in the metarig to match that. The main rigify rig had to be generated in that space as it didn’t work at all if the metarig head was rotated. Then I used the key-framed empty to carry the posed head back to the correct location to be attached to the neck. It still left quite a few fix ups to do.


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This is fantastic work, both on a technical front (your head topology is really good, and the initial animation really shows the weight of the creature) and also artistically - I agree with JollyJumper that you’ve managed to give real depth and emotion to a character that also has a malicious monster feel.

A small critique on the animation. I appreciate it’s more a ‘proof on concept’ at the moment however I think the foot/claw/arm should come further forward. It looks as though if this animation carried on another few seconds he’d topple over onto his face.

Brilliant work, I can’t wait to see more!

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This looks amazing!

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The book, oh man the book kills me! :joy:

I don’t know which scenario I like more:

  1. The book’s author was going to the beach, and suddenly he is transported to another plane of existence. He finds himself standing before this Lovecraftian creature that towers over him. The orbs in the center of the creature’s head begin to glow with a green bio luminescence as it telepathically fills the author’s head not with a horrifying voice he would expect, but one that conveys power without being over powering. “Would you please sign my copy of your book? I thoroughly enjoy your work.”
  2. Bob (the human character) was excited to to finally start social activities after the end of COVID-19’s social distancing period. In April he had joined a book club that he had found online, figuring since he was stuck inside he was definitely going to read more. He received a reminder email about the book club a week before the first post COVID get together. He decided not to RSVP that he couldn’t make it, because hope springs eternal that although he hadn’t even purchased the book yet, the upcoming date would force him into action. However, between Netflix marathons and getting sucked into TVTropes, the purchasing, let alone the reading of the actual book just didn’t happen. Upon getting the final ‘Please RSVP if you cannot make it’ reminder email 6 days later, he just deleted it, treating it as just one of the multitudes of other hobbies he had said he would start but never did. The next evening he was slouched on the couch, 6 hours into a “Tiger King” binge when the room went dark, and he was teleported to another plane of existence. Before him was a towering deformed creature. Although totally alien to anything he had experienced before, he could read the expression on the creature’s face as totally none too pleased. “Please be mindful of the groups rules. As this is your first time coming, I don’t want you to get the impression that such behavior is tolerated. Rule 1 clearly states that we expect all members to come fully prepared, having read the assigned chapters before arriving at the meeting. Now please have some of the refreshments that I prepared while we wait for the others to arrive.” Glancing at the Smörgåsbord laid out on a nearby table, the only thing he recognized at all was a small, carefully arrange vegetable tray with hummus dip. Bob had a creeping realization overcome him that he was the only human member of this group.
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In other words, I totally agree with the others that you have given a lot of character to this creature in the little that you have shown us.

Great Work!

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@gallifrey_falls Thanks for your feedback. The support for the center of gravity is tricky for this character! It was one thing that interested me. Before long I’ll do some work on a ‘walk cycle’ if you can call it that. I’m not sure the head topology is that great - I thought I’d try a more detailed approach and I had some theories on how I would do the shape keys, but then changed to base it on the rigify face. Fewer vertices on the low poly version might have been better. Still I’m finding with this character, small facial movements are very effective.

@EAW Wow! Fantastic post! @brianbrook - Did he guess your movie plot? I think maybe not, but some great ideas. I’ll have to keep them in mind!
I left my sunglasses in my daughter’s car a few weeks ago before the travel restrictions here. She’s been sending me snapchats of my sunglasses in various poses ever since. I had borrowed a copy of ‘The Haunting of Hill House’ from her, so I got her back by sending her a pic of the creature with her book. Then I liked the idea of a monster reading a copy of a ‘horror genre’ book so much I just left it there. I didn’t think anyone would notice.

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damn, i love every lil detail you put on him and the amount of work you did to make him more poseable
are you planning on making a small CGI skit with him, or just a small animation for demo?
either way, im looking forward to what youre making with him :DD

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I haven’t had too much time for this project recently, but I’m back onto it!

The reference image shows the creature with a tentacled back covering that acts like a shawl or a cloak. It’s big part of the effect. I had the thought that I could use large hair particles, partially covered with a cloth simulation.

Well, I tried but it didn’t work at all. For one thing, thick stands of hair look ok in cycles, but not in eevvee, and I was keen to be able to render in either. Plus lack of fine control.

So I went back to mesh modelling, uv unwrap, sculpt texture, rigging etc. I think it was the right option, and at least he model is pretty standard.

!

So the character is fairly close to done. I want to try some animation to get the kinks out of the rigging and skinning. I’ve done the walk cycle below to try to get a feel for how the creature can move. It’s tricky - I would normally have a reference, but with only 1 & 1/2 legs and a tail I’ve had to make it up as I go along. That was what first attracted me anyway - how would he move? I’ll try some more approaches.

@Burfles I am mainly making the characters for some film makers who asked if anyone wanted to make a monster, but I’m sure I’ll make some sort of short film myself as well.

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A walk cycle…
Not quite there yet, but good to see the big fella move.
Walk1

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Your walk cycle is much better than the previous one, I can really see and feel the weight of the creature as he drags himself along. I love the head turn, it gives it a really menacing feel.

I’m loving this project and can’t wait to see your final result!

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