Lovecraftian detective cinematic shots

Hi all!

I’ve been working on and off (mostly off) on this project for so long, I need something to motivate me to work on it and finish it! So I decided to start this work in progress thread, it was very helpful and motivating the last time :slight_smile:

The goal of this project:
-Making a rigged character, a lovecraftian detective; this character isn’t smarter or braver than average, he’s a physically strong character that is confronted to events he’s not equipped to face.
-Animating a closeup shot of the character holding up a lantern, with facial animations and full hair dynamics
-Animating a wider shot of the character in front of a flesh portal
-All shots will be in cinematic 21:9 ratio in 3440x1440, rendered with filmic and composited in Fusion + color graded in Davinci resolve

The project is already well on the way, the character modelling is pretty much done, as well as the clothes (made in marvelous designer) ; all the textures are made in substance painter.
The main inspiration for this work is Spielberg’s Tintin, aiming at a “realistic cartoonish” style.

Here are the first work in progress images:

Next step is to finish the pants and add shoes, add fingernails and start working on shapekeys for the face.

Small update of the hand:

And here’s the shoe

I began rigging and it’s definently the hardest part so far.
Auto-weight didn’t work so I’m currently skinning by hand to the rigify pitchipoy rig. The face is now completely rigged.
I had to review the topology alot. The model is now at half the resolution, I will probably bake a normal map from the previous high-res as some detail is lost. Completely retopoed the eyeslids.
I also retextured the eyes, and made some adjustements to the skin texture, in particular the lips.
Since it’s a new topology the hair is to be redone.

That looks really cool, I preferred the mustache look though. How did the mud texture come about?

Character is almost fully rigged, just a few adjustements to make.
He has eyebrows and eyelashes that deform well now.
Next step is top model a few accessories and perfect the rigging.
I also ran some animation tests and tested the film look in Resolve, finding out the best techinque to get a filmic 35mm grain inspired from the Blade runner aesthetic.

Feel free to comment with feedback or if you see improvements to be made of course :slight_smile:

@goffley3 thanks! the mustache is definently coming back :wink: everything is done in painter, the mud texture is a simple fill layer with a few dirt and dust smart masks

Greate work! keep it up! 5 stars!

@Tonatiuh Thanks :smiley:

Getting closer and closer to the final result, at least for this shot.
The mustache is back, and the hair as well
Lantern modelled and textured.
here are some shots with quick posing and lighting:

I think I’ll go on to model the flesh portal (concept: )
Then it’s off to animation and lighting

Here is a before and after of the first color grading tests in Davinci Resolve;
Note the very heavy grain, which is voluntary, not from the render but recreated in post-processing, emulating a 35mm grain look. It looks awesome animated, even on a still frame. All those renders are 3440x1440 so feel free to go fullscreen.


Color graded:

(Sorry for the kinof duplicate post)
As always, feedback and suggestions are more than welcome!

Looking great Gabriel! Can’t wait to see more :slight_smile:

How much time is taking to render each frame?

@julperado thanks Julian! :wink: Right now this frame took about 25min on a 1070+1080 setup at 1500 samples with denoising, although it’s not optimized for rendering yet

Didn’t have as much time to work on this project lately, but today I began working on the portal:

Still needs more texturing, also have to find a way to add some drool, ideally simulate it, if someone has knowledge with that kind of simulation outside of blender I’d be glad to hear it

More texturing on the portal:

More importantly, experimenting some more with the film look with this test scene:

Wow, that looks fantastic! Wonderful job!

Nice. Very booky.

@Miss-Tiacht , @Addidi thanks! :slight_smile:

I storyboarded the few shots that I plan to make, I added a new one and made this environnement for the scene, there will be a wide shot following a few steps of the character with an horizontal pan:

Only quick compositing and color correction in Blender for now:

Here is the first animtion preview!
I’m nowhere close to being an animator, if some animators out there have some advice I’ll be very greatful, I can see how the walk cycle seems to float a little, needs more work for sure.

Here are the first rendered and final frames with pretty final grading:

I also reviewed animation in the post above, adding movement for hips and shoulders, still not perfect but much better.
I think the hair settings need adjusting in the first two frames above.
Then, animating shots 3, 4 and 5.
I think I will make a complete video breakdown of this project if it can be interesting to some (?) from storyboard to grading.
Also, considering rendering at 1720x720 instead of 3440x1440, because the difference is barely noticeable once the 4k noise is applied. Will do more testing before deciding.
Cheers! Feedback is always welcome

I like how stark and dramatic the lighting and other objects are. They’re fearsome. I’ve always appreciated good one-point lighting. Very theatrical in this case and that suits the project from what I understand of it.

Such careful textures on the pants and shoes - any fabric threads on the shirt (Aside from the stitching) or is it just blown out in the lighting?