More Futuristic Fun Than You Really Wanted

I’ve taken on a project doing illustration for a graphic novel based on a community writing project that happened on another board a while back. It’s pretty big and involves a whole load of stuff I haven’t a clue how to do yet so it might well be destined to crash and burn but, even if it does, I figure I’ll have learned a whole bunch of Blender in the attempt.

Project entails two hero assets. There’s a bunch of these guys, members of a religious cult who live in the sewers beneath London. Sculpted in Medium, retop, rigged and rendered in Cycles. He’s currently on version 4 and I finally have a basic rig with IK

The power armour is designed to protect them from these guys who are infesting the sewers and terrorising the good people of London

The sculpts are still WIP, I have a lot of detail still to go in, the rig is also wip but for static poses I reckon even if I can’t figure out some of the more advanced stuff I have just about enough to do what I need to do with what I have. There are pistons to go on the legs which I’m hoping to work into the rig and a length of chain securing the chestpiece to the collar which I’m also hoping I can rig with splines or bendybones or something.

Any advice on where to begin with that would be much appreciated.

wish me luck…

Helmet is retopo’d currently running about 2000-odd polys

I can’t give constructive critism as I don’t have the knowled for it. This looks like a good set of models however. As an image I like the close up of the helmet/mask best. Maybe you could lighten them up a bit for posting? I know that that probably wouldn’t be the right feel for your book however it would make the details much easier to see here.

Thanks. I’m still finding my way with lighting but I know what you mean about it being too dark. Tonight I retopped the neck piece. Totally arsed the main part, tho. Left the Medium export all rough as hell and the main surface and weld is all in one and that doesn’t really work with the subdivision and shrinkwrap so tomorrow I’ll tidy it up and redo.

Cleaned up the sculpt in Medium then did retop in blender. Kept the weld as a seperate layer but that was going nowhere. Couldn’t decimate it much below 80k so I decided to see if I could bake the weld into the normal and diffuse maps for the main piece. Worked a treat. Geometry is much cleaner now. Not sure if the intersecting meshes is a problem but it seems to render fine so I’m inclined to leave it as is unless there’s a good argument for making it all in one?


Subdivision modifier

Story so far…

Learned a lot doing the retop on all the spikes and hoops. Took ages and I’m still kinda clunky moving the duplicates into position and lining them up with the hipolys but at least I can get it done without too much faffing about now. As with all these things I can dial it in with practice.

Once I had the neck and chest pieces done I had a fiddle about with the chain that holds the neckpiece on to the chestpiece using splines and arrays. It seemed easiest to do using a double section of chain link for each section rather than a single one. My reasoning is that controlling the comparatively small volumetric area where the two links meet will mean I have as much leeway as possible for rotation without clipping through the small eyelet hooks. Chain is a bit too chunky, I’ll thin it down just a tad later on.

For now here’s my wires so far and a normal map thingybob cos I was having a blast doing the screenshot and I chucked a bit of effort in as I’ve always really dug this kind of thing when I’ve seen others do it. Hopefully there’s a slight improvement in topology as we travel down from the helmet to the neck to the chest. Still really new to this and everything I have to retop is a new puzzle to be solved right now. I think I’m just about at the stage where solving said puzzles is becoming fun, tho, as opposed to the - pulling my hair out - thing it was before. I’m hoping by the time I’ve done the last piece I should a bit quicker and a lot better at it so I can then go back and redo all these initial pieces if necessary.

Oh, and the quick, non-tilable google image search texture on the chain led to predictable results. Make it procedural - another item on my todo list.

Shoulders and elbows done along with some experiments in HDRI lighting.