Mintaka (ArtWar2 entry)

I noticed some people were posting their entry for the ArtWar challenge here, so I figured since mine was made 100% in Blender, I could post my own to get some more insight and critique to help me know what in what domain I should improve. (I choose Light as my theme)

So here’s the final picture:

and here’s the detail sheet:

Usually my comfort zone in Blender is in low-poly (sub-10000 polys) hand painted characters for game engines so this project pretty much made me leap into uncharted territories. I got to learn about high poly modeling, the modifier stack, the node editor, smoke and particle simulations, rendering in Cycles and a whole bunch of other stuff. So this turned out to be a very experimental piece, but I hope it doesn’t come across too much as such. Unfortunately there’s a few blemishes around that are due to me running out of time for the deadline, I hope they’re not too bothersome.

Looks really good!
This comment is applicable pretty much exclusively to Mintaka, but I’d consider adding a good amount of strength variation between various ‘stars’ in the nebula scarf thing.
In posing, did you use reference images? It looks a little stiff for some reason.
As far as modeling goes, it’s a bit hard to tell without a wireframe but it looks good to me.

I would say the face is not a good fit for this character. I might be wrong but removing the face entirely gives a totally different impression.

Hi! thanks for the reply! I agree about the stars in the nebula, unfortunately at this point I only had less than two days left until deadline so I didn’t take the time to learn and test all the features of particle systems. But I suppose cranking up the size variation could have done the trick. (the stars and made from very tiny icospheres with an emissive material)

As for the Pose, well no, I didn’t have a reference more like a vague image of what I wanted. I guess the reason it looks stiff might be because the entire body is made of hard surface materials, a bit like a robot. but I tried to make sure all the articulations are in the right place and bent in ways that make sense.

I’ll try to get a wireframe shot, once I figure out how to. my biggest problem is that the character is made of lots of individual objects and it seems combining them has a tendency of breaking the modifiers. Right now I thought about maybe try to make a full retopo of the model, maybe I could get it to work in a program like Sketchfab or something.

Haha! Actually some of my earliest designs went into more abstract directions like this. But I decided that was not where I wanted to go. I wanted to keep some warm and whimsical qualities, and getting rid of the face would make it look too cold and distant. The intent was not to go full hard sci-fi but more modern light fantasy.