T.E.O.G.O.D. - Vir Norin's Sketchbook (Warning, nudity!)

Greetings to Blender community. My first post here. Since I work both in Blender and Zbrush, I was a bit afraid to create a thread here cause I know how many open-source users dislike stuff made with help of proprietary software. So if I violate any rules - please tell me and I will close the thread.

Anyways, in this topic I want to post renders mostly related to my project called T.E.O.G.O.D. (The End Of the Good Old Days). It is quite a massive project which already took me about 1,5 year to create. This utopian/dystopian story (heavily inspired by such a great authors like Asimov, Orwell, Huxley, Clarke etc) takes place in XXIV century, contains a lot of cool stuff like futuristic cities, robots, vehicles, but mostly concentrates around psychology of main characters. Currently lots of stuff is in progress (two heroines, one main robot with first AI and many inferior ones, weapons, buildings, clothes and other)

That’s it, hope you like it. Feedback is welcome.
PS English is not my native language so sorry for possible mistakes. Even more - if you see mistakes on image - please let me know.

She looks great.I love the red dress.

Thank you. I was planning to post more images of her in dress, but currently as a new user I don’t have all rights and can attach only three images per post. Will upload it later. Or just check it here on my Artstation.

I would rather see the dress with the color red.

She is perfect!!! well too perfect for realism but maybe is what you want.
Can you tell us what you use blender for? and what not?

Beautiful models. The hair is also really well done. bravo.

Thank you! Yeah, I forgot to mention that I’m not really striving for photorealism. The initial idea is to develop my own style. I’m trying to mix realistic features with strongly exaggerated. For example she has really strong broad hips (I even measured - 97 cm), stylized thin waist but realistic heavy breast with prominent sagging. And speaking about the final look - I was influenced by many great 2D artists (like Sakimichan) and want to make renders bright and colorful so I’m OK with breaking some rules.
The dress is almost entirely modeled in Blender. I tried to sculpt it in Zbrush first but then realized how hard is to sculpt accurate pipe folds without making them too messy (quite crucial for shiny fabric like silk). Making gradual and long folds is much easier with fewer polygons and subsurf. The body was blocked in Blender, then refined in Zbrush and then exported to Blender again for proper topology. Then yet another transfer to ZB for fine details. For hair I did geometry sculpts to serve as a guide during styling in Blender. The curvy red hair was sculpted in Zbrush while straight was modeled in Blender with polygons and then slightly detailed in ZB.
This sculpt is actually poor on details (meaning clothes). In side project (old image, but gives an idea) in fantasy style she has more accessories hence the contribution of Blender is far higher.

To OLG. Thank you! I think I will do a small paint over to give a black hair more variation.

I just went thru your sketchbook in Zbrushcentral, Just Woow those hands! those feet! you really have a beautiful clean style! love it. I’m so glad you come here! hehe, I’m starting with sculpting, but I do it all in Blender. I’m also glad that I’m not the only one struggling with likeness! Please keep this update!

Thank you again. Yeah, after this years my Sketchbook on ZBC became quite big. Though I cannot call myself that good - still many things should be learned and I still not satisfied with results.
I came here mainly because ZBC forum appears dying: in last year the activity has dropped considerably plus themes of most submitted works are out of my interest (forum became too pop-culture oriented and most of the renders are numerous fan-arts to superheroes or anime). And the most important - I registered on forum to talk with people - cause it is a forum after all - but it appears that most people don’t want to chat about things like anatomy, art, personal stories behind their original characters etc. so the only conversation you can see now is short replies like “Great” and “Really Cool”. Not good at all… but I hope that maybe here I will find more interesting topics.

Well! haha I think I’m searching for something like that to, a place that is great to change ideas, give and receive good critics, I try to do my best, and encourage and give feedback to every one that try to sculpt humans. Here there are not many people interested in anatomy, but the ones that are well we try to help each other. For a sculpt point of view not many people I think chose blender, but I find that it is a very good sculpting program. There are some very courageous users that are starting sculpting, and that I think they need orientation (me included) And there are other with great skills that sometimes spend some time helping out. But I think it is pretty small percentage of the users here.
I tried to start a place here in the art subforum for sculpting, but the administrators, think that sculpting is modeling, so we should go there to post about sculpting, witch I think is not a good place, I find sculpting to be very art oriented, and not just a part of a pipeline.
Anyway, good luck, You can see in my human proportions threat some nice comments, and my humble attempt to sculpt realistic humans.
If you can ask for some specific feedback, I’m happy to try to help. I can see that you have a very nice but strong style, so maybe I can’t help much, because I try not to have an style, and just be as much realistic as I possibly can.

I admire your attempts to help people with anatomy. I did this myself on ZBC forum for a while (writing huge explanations about anatomy, making overpaints, posting diagrams etc) but with time all my enthusiasm just vanished. Too much people that cannot say even simple “Thanks” to let me know that my efforts were helpful. Plus there is always a big percentage of people saying their works are bad but instead of expecting critique and help they rather want to hear that they are too humble and their model is actually good. So problem spots and anatomical errors that you’ve pointed will remain unchanged. I hate this. This days I carefully studying a person before making comprehensive replies to make sure I will not just waste my time.

Yep, I love Blender. That was my first software and a love from a first sight. Though in terms of sculpting I like Zbrush more. So many cool features Blender hasn’t. But more importantly - Zbrush has really small system requirements so I can run it on my 10 years old PC and still work with relatively big models (15-16 millions polygons per object). Blender will just crash my system if I try to reach ZB level.

I like both modeling and sculpting. I prefer to think about it as activating both parts of my brain during work: logical and artistic. And actually, I have a feeling that sculpting is confidently expels (or better say replacing?) modeling so I am glad there are still places like BA where modeling is still appreciated. The much bigger problem is that more and more people use non-artistic methods at all to create their works. Oh, it is a long and painful topic. And one of the reason why I always don’t visit ZBC anymore. People use premade models created by someone else (DAZ, Poser, Makehuman), or simply use cleaned scans (not against them as educational source), or create all clothes in Marvelous (knowledge gathered in hundreds of years by great masters about fabric behavior was just reduced to simple button pushing). Add on top of it extreme cases when people don’t even create their own textures and use downloaded assets. I see “artworks” like this more and more often (enough just to visit any 3D related group in Deviantart) and don’t understand why should I like something that has no artistic input at all. Yeah, the modeling process might not look too artistic in canonical sense but it is still an art cause author expresses himself. Especially when it is something original that goes from his soul and not a 200th sculpt of Batman in standard pose that you have seen so many times. That was my two cents.

Thanks. Yes, I’ve seen your thread. Gonna find some time and read it more carefully. Even have something to add (about misunderstanding of heroic proportions). You are doing well, your male character looks especially good. Keep it up!
I will be happy to hear any thoughts - that’s why I’m posting my stuff. Despite being a huge anatomy geek, there are many situations when I learn something new from other users (since it is journey that never ends).

Yes!!! I end up frustrated some times when I do my critics of feedback, some find it useful, but many don’t seem to care… but for the time been I’ll keep trying.
I’m new to this world of 3D so I don’t know how really people work, For me is a need to create, from scratch as much as possible, so I think I understand what you are referring to.

So if you don’t mind I like to make some paint over, of the images you post, in the things I’ll go more realistic. And if you want you can post more views so I can do more, also If you show me your references I can see more things. But just for the exercise, not because I think is wrong what you did, just what I’ll do if I were you. :slight_smile:

Actually I discover that gimp has some tool to move pixels, Here is my version of Nastya in a more realistic stile. I hope you can forgive me!!!

[Remove picture

I’m soo sorry I couldn’t stop!!

Remove picture

Of course It is just to showcase the realistic approach, It is not perfect, and I’m not suggesting that you do.

Oh no sorry, not my type at all - up to the point they look repelling to me now. I get your point and I hope my words won’t sound too harsh, but please, can you remove pics. I spent so much time polishing her face to my ideal that seeing her so different makes me really sad. Sorry.

Done! Hehehe, now we now it is not at all what you are looking for! Don’t be sorry, it is your art!

its kind of sad you had to remove the pictures. it would have been interesting for me to see the differences.(its kind of funny, that a person, that is longing for more dialog, kills it, when its not at his taste) Vir Norin as to your artistic verdicts, I think it is more a question of time management. I have read Nastyas bio and find your ideas and storydesign very interesting whishing to get more , but knowing from my own experience, you will hardly be able to achieve most of that on your own. So by concentrating and focusing artistically on certain topics one would be possiby better enabled to achieve epic goals. for instance, i wouldnt mind using marvelous designer, if it would free me time for animating or whatever is needed to get my project finished. in these days there is simply too much to be learned and done, so its all about focusing. sorry for my english best of luck Jake

Hello! Sorry for not replying for too long - I had lots of work to do and haven’t time to write comprehensive reply.

First of all: as I said previously I’m working on this project for about year and half. During this period three main characters of this story became very dear to my heart. They are not simple models made for practice but almost a living persons to me - with their own tempers, habits, stories, even preferences in food and fashion. This might not be obvious by a couple of images I posted here or ZBC but behind the scenes there are much more including tens (or maybe already hundred) pages of a plot. And speaking about Nastya’s appearance. When I create my own character I don’t use references at all since I want her to be completely original and not based on someone else. Nastya personifies my ideal of female beauty (well, one type of a beauty from several I prefer). I hope all this text explains why seeing my character after such a drastic changes forced me to ask to remove them. It is like seeing your old best friend after unnecessary plastic surgery.

Yes, previously I’ve said that I like talking about anatomy and other stuff (if you, Jake, visited my ZBC thread you probably noticed it). But when I wrote that I would like to hear any critique about realism and anatomy - I thought that Tonatiuh was talking mainly about the body. Cause earlier I said that my character is semi-stylized combining realistic features (like big but slightly saggy breast with quite specific shape which is uncommon for modern heroines with perfect round boobs) and idealized ones (very broad hips and narrow waist). But when it comes to the head I actually consider her quite realistic (idealized, but still real) and didn’t want to see any modifications due to the reasons mentioned above.
And this leads us to yet another important topic. Personally I always trying to remember this when I’m helping other people on forums. The thing is: don’t confuse (or mix) anatomy with personal tastes. When I criticize someone’s work, I look only at anatomical mistakes (like origins/insertions, proper volumes and surface influence) and proportions/silhouette (and only after clarifying if the model intentionally has some stylized feel). But I never ask people to change breast type, the shape of bum or, like in this case, the facial features if there is no obvious mistakes.

So yeah, I consider Nastya’s face as idealized but still realistic. After I saw Tonatiuh’s edits, my first question was “But what does he mean by realism?”.
Basically, what he did. He made her nose longer with sticking nasal cartilages (almost angular) and flaring nostrils, made the upper lip much thinner, made the chin heavier and did square jaw. There might be other changes but it doesn’t matter. My logical conclusion was that Tonatiuh didn’t make work on hypothetical mistakes but rather conformed her face to his personal tastes. Which has no real use to me but even hurts.
But really, what exactly in Nastya’s face look unrealistic? Yeah, she has very clean skin with smooth pores, but that’s a matter of color and microdetails. Yeah, she is totally symmetrical now, but your edits weren’t focused on this aspect. She also have slightly bigger cranium (cannot fix it right now due to the layers) but it is covered with hair. It appears like you consider straight nose, plump curvy lips and delicate jaw as a clue of non-realism, hence changing them drastically. But I can show you tons of images and videos from my inspiration folder where girls and teens have exactly the same proportions: accurate narrow chin, thin noses and feminine plump lips (even my own lips look similar to Nastya’s so nothing special here).

About tools for working. It is very complex topic and it would hard to explain it shortly but I will try. Let me say first that previously I never considered my works as an art. I consider them mainly as anatomy sketches and nothing more. Because renders of characters in simple poses don’t usually arise emotions in viewer. However the T.E.O.G.O.D. project is my first attempt to create something bigger, important and hopefully artistic. Something that might influence at least someone’s heart.
This might sound rude but I believe that art and tools to create art shouldn’t be simple and available to everyone straight from the beginning. Artist should work hard to gain his experience. This hard work will discipline him and will take a lot of time, causing him to think twice before wasting his energy on numerous projects. The difficulty in making art and the lack of time will give a birth to more solid and elaborate art. I’m not against all this modern technologies, especially when it comes to professional work when time is money. But look here. Very soon we would have very detailed and perfect scans (read characters) for free, and even now there is DAZ Poser and other stuff that doesn’t requires you to learn anatomy and hardcore modeling, there is a software that creates almost perfect clothes, there is programs that will paint everything for you etc, etc. In theory, this means that artist will have more time to create more and better artworks. On practice… on practice we see endless conveyor producing cheap and vulgar, often porn images (say hello again to DA), numerous uninspired characters that are technically good looking but have nothing behind them… I will not continue the list, I hope you get the idea. Remember how photography was created and replaced drawing and painting that was requiring high skill? The intent was to make everyone being able to create an art. And what we have now? Millions of people shooting themselves in WC with duckface.

So yeah, I wanna make everything with my own hands. I don’t want allowing software like MD making job for me. Sculpting clothes is pretty much a separate science and I feel bad seeing how many people prefer just to forget this knowledge and simply push buttons. Remember the joke about “There is no MAKE IT PRETTY button”? Well, we are almost here to invent it. I’m afraid to imagine what would happen to 3D art then.

PS Thanks. Glad you like my story. Lol, you are a third person in this 1.5 years who said me this :slight_smile: Makes me thinking I’m not just wasting my time.

PPS I’m not planning to animate my characters. That would be a series of images depicting important moments of a story.
I’m moving slowly mainly due to the two reasons. First, lots of stuff is happening behind the scenes so the progress might appear slower then it really is. And second - due to health problems. Currently the right hand is barely functional for holding a pen so there are periods when I’m forced to wait for weeks. Maybe I will start learning sculpting with my left hand.

What I can see is that you have a strong emotional bond with your characters! And if you think that is humanly possibly to have that faces I wont argue with you, because I don’t own the realistic “style” but I can’t see them as realistic faces, I just can’t, They are someway possible as a heavily photoshoped faces.
I’m really interesting in seen thous models that you said that they have similar faces, or parts of their faces like that. But anyhow, it is not important at all, I love the faces they have, the way they are.

@Jake Rupert: Don’t worry about not seen thous images, they were just as Vir Norin said some variations, to make more common anatomical features, more prominent. Nothing really interesting except for me that I learned a lot.

Right now I’m not at my working PC but I found an archive with some girls on my Google drive. Here is the link. You can see variations in beauty, including similar lips, noses or jaws/chins to Nastya. I still cannot understand why this features look not realistic to you. Again, there is a huge difference betwen idealization (meaning staying within reality) and stylization.
I intentionally mentioned videos expecting arguments that images might be photoshopped. Google some beauty-blogs where girls making videos about applying make-up. You will find lots of pretty ones with delicate structure like Emily Rudd.
PS Also her chin was heavily inspired by Dave Bowman - love his face a lot.