Verachantesse I - Nude Character Model

I have begun again, after a 15-year hiatus, to play with Blender.

I am a complete amateur. I have no idea how to do…

  1. Clothing (but I saw that Catwoman video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuOfVBSVRTA and textures look pretty promising. I may explore that in the coming weeks)
  2. Lighting
  3. Rigging
  4. Texturing

My goal is to re-create some of my vector art in 3D. Sort of “fan art of my own characters.” It’s a lofty goal, since 3D is really a hard art that requires a lot of skill, patience, and time, and I only have a smidgeon of each.

So. Here she is.

I might as well include a couple “renders” (I’m just doing them in the workspace currently) here, but also, if you want to see more, you can look at the blog I’m doing at http://faemalia.com/3d/verachantesse-i.

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Thanks for looking, and if you feel like this is a project you’d like to collaborate on, let me know. Obviously there’s a lot of things I could learn from the excellent BA community. I’ve been pretty amazed and humbled at some of the other great art I’m seeing from others. I don’t think I’ll ever rise to their level… sadly.

Old cover image:

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you might like the post I have in other software for 3d human models and I’m no expert but looks like your on the right track to me

It always takes actually putting your work out there to see the obvious flaws. Please, no-one look at her left knee in the workspace screenshot. Thank you! :wink:

Here’s another screenshot of the workspace where her knees aren’t all rotated out of whack.

nice work certainly on the right track

Do you have a link to the post you’re talking about?

sure , you might not like them but anyway they are under (other software ) and in advance are NSFW

https://blenderartists.org/t/3d-body-models-with-shapekeys-and-skeletons-for-2-79b-and-2-80/1181490/3

there is also one with a skin node tree that works with them unless you want to try to use your own.

As a spoiler, her elbows are slightly more realistic, and her knees are far better. And this rig includes a scapula bone that somewhat tracks the rotation of the shoulder bone. I don’t know if it will be immediately apparent to anyone not familiar with the setup, but I might as well add another render or two to the pile.

The full post (with more sample renders) is here:

Here’s a sample render:

I’ve also created my own lightbox environment so that I can do a proper render that has a “Lookdev”/“Material Preview” look.

And a bit of ambient occlusion set up. I still can’t get the full effect I’m looking for there, but at least she doesn’t look like she’s floating anymore.

A minor development that is visually important. I’ve begun adding props.

Here’s the post with my ramblings:

And here’s a sample render so you don’t have to go read that.

I think the next development, which should be more interesting than this one, is when I start texturing and adding clothing items to her.

What else have I learned?

After 15 long years of cutting-edge development, subdivision surfaces are now 10x slower than they were on my old 2-CPU 1.2GHz machine!

I spent the entire night last night cutting out faces from her topology. See? Now she looks like a video-game character! Look how amazingly low-poly she is.

And still, doing a one-level subdivision surface at quality 1 slows down my modern 2017-era workstation to a crawl. It’s slower than it was in 2004. I hesitated to say that, since it sounds hyperbolic, but I am about 90% sure that in fact my modern 2017-era workstation is going slower than my 2004-era workstation on a model of similar poly-count.

When I go to read about it, I find out the reason is OpenSubdiv, which is supposed to be faster (but instead is 10-20x slower), is now the only option for subdivision surfaces in Blender 2.80. Hoooray for less choice!

So I went and downloaded 2.79 in hopes that the old Subdiv method would work, but when I open the .blend file in 2.79, I just get an empty workspace, with none of my 2.80 goodness. Not that I expected much, but I did hold out the slightest hope it would work.

Maybe I’ll try exporting the mesh, armature, texture paint (is that part of the mesh?), and other bits and see if 2.79 can import it. Honestly, the slowness of subdivision surface is so bad I’m about ready to make the jump back to 2.79 if it will work.

Gave up, for the moment, on Blender 2.79. Just gonna suffer without subdivision surfaces. Meanwhile, I got some deformations working.

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And re-did much of her topology. See the whole blog post, filled with prima-donna complaining here:

Summary of my complaining: SERIOUSLY, SUBDIVISION SURFACES. This is a horror show. Can I pay someone to port the old Blender subdiv surfaces into the modifier stack as an option, so I don’t need to use OpenSubdiv? Or can someone write it in a way that works on a regular CPU?

The pain.

Also, would be nice if corrective smoothing worked after a mirror modifier. I’m getting tired of deleting half her mesh, mirroring it, dealing with all the tiny little bits that aren’t supposed to be merged, doing work, applying the mirror modifier, and starting all over again when I wanna work on some part of her body.

Fixed her eyelashes. Originally had tried using a mesh modifier to shape them, but mesh modifiers stopped working in my .blend file (!!!). Works in other .blends… just not this one. So they are literally about 200 little eyelashes that I shaped with proportional editing and parented to her eye bones and weight painted manually.

Started adding clothing items. Panties first. Am not at all satisfied with the result - very hard to move her and have the panties go along.

I transferred weights from her body to the panties, and it works most of the time, but at extreme deforms, the corrective smooths on her body are not on the panties as well, so they don’t quite match up anymore.

I don’t have any renders to show the problem, but that’s not what you’re here to see anyway. You want to see excellent renders.

Need to figure out colouring. When I preview the images with MacOS Finder, they have a certain saturation, but when viewing in other apps, they are desaturated and a bit flat. Probably something to do with sRGB colourspace encoding or whatever. Maybe if I open them up in Gimp and save them back out? Need to learn about colour now.

The blue jewels on her nipples etc are applied costume. She’s getting ready for a photo shoot to reproduce some original 2D art. Costume is done. Makeup is done. Just waiting on the hairdresser to show up and fix up her hair to match the original scene. Will compare those for you in the future, when this is finished.

As usual, I’m keeping a blog with the updates as I go, with more renders etc. I forget where I am on the posts, so I’ll just paste the latest here:

Thanks for watching, and I’ll see you on the flip side!

Hair!!! Pancake Manicure™ Style. Minus a few things because my computer isn’t fast enough to fully do it the way he does it.

Specifically, there’s no alpha at the tips. This makes it look more like clay, and less like hair. One day I will have a real computer. For now, this must suffice.

My wife preferred her with a lot of black hair with highlights of pink, as above. I actually preferred lots of pink with “highlights” of black. Like so.

Any opinions? I admit, she looks a lot like cotton candy the way I do it.

As usual, there’s a blog post with a few more renders and some words. You know. For those of you who like words.

I have kind of hit a brick wall trying to add more props. I gave her a belt, but it won’t deform properly no matter how I parent it. I’ve hit on parenting it to a couple bones then doing some weight painting, but it’s pretty bad.

I suspect I need to use mesh deform, which I suspect means time to dump Rigify and try Blenrig again.

Here’s a render. What to notice: on the back-right, the belt sort of melts into her skin.

I thought about modeling it as a texture, since it’s mostly just attached to her skin, but on the span between the top of her gluts, it separates from her body quite a bit, so I don’t think that would make sense.

In any case, it’s getting close. I’ve tested putting her in the pose that she’ll need to hit for the final picture.

I don’t think there’s a related blog post this time, so I won’t paste any link. Unfortunately, this belt problem along with the tights problem have slowed me down a lot. I’m re-thinking a lot of things here.

I’m also trying to figure out a way to get rid of all the tris in her mesh so that subdivision surfaces will not kill my soul anymore. Unfortunately, there are about 100 tris. I spent about an hour removing 30 of them, and most of that time was spent removing 1 or 2 problematic tris.

I’ve also gotten the Hippydrome mesh and poked around trying to fit that to her morphology, but that looks like it’ll be a multi-day project all by itself. That mesh is pretty dense.

Not sure what will happen next. It might be a while before I get the final render going. Once I finish her, I need to duplicate her, then make enough mods to the duplicate that it’s not the literal same girl, so when they’re posed together they look more natural.

Any thoughts or advice welcome. Thanks for watching!

A few hours of cussing…

A crapload of loop cuts…

A bunch of edge rotations…

Revisiting every single vertex on her entire body, including oops… there’s a 5-gon underneath her lower eyelash, and a few more tris and n-gons in her throat and under her tongue. How’d those get there?!

Select by trait, faces by sides. Not equal to 4. Center selection. Fingertip. Inner ear. Palm of hand.

^ A whole lot of that.

Then, in the very end, a really annoying triangle on the bottom of her foot. The very last triangle! Loop cut one edge… it travels all over her body then comes back to… the other damn edge of the same triangle. Make a loud sigh if you know the pain of what I’m talking about here.

After spending an eternity redoing the topology of the bottom of her gosh-darned foot (this is not where I wanted to fix topology…) then I finally was able to add an edge loop that went all over most of her body, but at least in some places where I wanted a little more detail anyway.

Now time to slide some edges where there’s too much density into other areas where there isn’t enough density.

And?

Looks at those quadseses! Such quad. So four. Ngon gone. Try finding tri. No can do! QUAD ALONE! Poetry sponsored by the Poetic Society of America.

Some of the above words are from the blog post, where I have more words. And more renders. And a farce.

Spoiler, these renders won’t look that much different from earlier renders. All-quad meshes don’t look that much different than tris+ngons meshes. Mainly I’m doing this to vent.

It was finally time to dump the boots I took from another artist’s .blend and make my own shoes for her. Something that would fit the spirit of the first artwork I’m going to mimic:

In case you’re wondering why in a lot of the latest renders, she’s wearing blue jewels and a glittery ruby loop belt. That would be why.

Those shoes look pretty silly, though, so I pulled up my external assets .blend (this caused me a bunch of pain later, which you’ll read about on the blog post, I’m sure).

It was about an hour of a false start, then another hour doing it right. Maybe 30-60 minutes poking at a procedural texture, and boom! Beautiful shoes. Beautiful, simple, elegant shoes.

Now I’m wondering if I should add the frilly colourful tights. It might detract from the simple elegance.

My current thoughts are some simple black fishnets, which are (a) simple and (b) I could paint on with a texture instead of modeling. That’s important, because…

Every time I try to attach something to her rig, something goes wrong. When I parented her shoes to the rig, her eyes flew out of her head, and it was about 45 minutes of “apply all transforms, WTF they are huge and on the other side of the world, resize, place, parent to rig, WTF they just flew off, reset origin, put origin at center of mass, apply all transforms, parent to rig WTF they flew off again.”

I was on the phone with my wife during that episode, and she encouraged me to stop working with Verachantesse, since it was making me angry. But I wasn’t really angry. I was just animated.

Eventually I just forced her eyes back into her head. I know as soon as something happens to the rig, they’ll fly out of her head again, but whatever. I ran out of patience. I told you I’m not very good at this when we started this journey, right?

As per usual, with lots of words and a few more renders, I have a blog post:

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I’m surprised that you’re not getting more comments on this thread. This is outstanding work!

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…surprised that you’re not getting more comments…

I think the problems I have are a bit more advanced than invite fun discussion. I don’t think anyone, probably even Blender devs, will understand why her eyeballs fly out of her head without getting the .blend and spending a few hours poking at it.

Or why only one pose library survives a save/load.

Or why subdivision surfaces are so slow on my machine.

But let’s not talk about that. Let’s talk about fishnet stockings. I watched a Lance Phan tutorial on making a procedural cloth texture. That seemed pretty relevant. I worked and worked at it until it was a simple grid of black, with raised displacement on a plane.

Then I loaded up Verachantesse, and as a test, pulled in the texture nodes and combined them onto her skin shader. I figured what I’d see is her entire body covered in a simple fishnet stocking texture. How hard could it be?

Not hard at all! Simple! Super simple. Just grab the skinshader, do a mix shader, plug it into my Principled BSDF!

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Aaaah… huh. Maybe not quite as simple as I’d hoped. Interesting look, but not really the look I was going for.

Do you have to UV unwrap before applying a procedural texture? The same texture seems to work on simple geometric objects like torus and cube.

Alright. Another post where visually, very little has changed, but there’s been a lot of work behind-the-scenes.

  • Hair particles! Oh, yuck. I definitely don’t know how to make that look good. I’ll play again later.
  • Belt! It only made sense when she was standing upright, and her midriff didn’t have much deform. So I had an adventure with that.
  • Jewelry! More of it. Use your sharp eye.
  • Reworking geometry and rigging again! Because, why not?
  • Figure out a new way the Pose Library loses all my poses?
  • [spoiler]S— ------e![/spoiler] I shouldn’t have typed that. It’s a spoiler from the blog post.

Read the blog post at http://faemalia.com/3d/verachantesse-xii/. It’ll be good for you. It’s got renders.

But for here… a screenshot of my workspace!

Stuff is different. But what? It’s all subtle. Not like the last post, where someone with a tribal ink tattoo book snuck up on her. That one… that one is not subtle.

Hi,
Nice rig! and model.
I was very impressed by this pose:


How do you achieve shoulders this smooth? good weight paints? can you show the weight paints?
any skeleton method? shapekeys?

For beginners (which you aren’t, but there are others reading…): a whole lot of reading up on anatomy, over and over, and even a bit of HippyDrome’s site and ones like it, that talk about where to place the collar bone and how the collarbone and shoulder are placed.

Then, I just use a Rigify rig currently. Place the metarig like so… generate rig, parent her mesh to armature with automatic weights, put her in extreme poses, see how it’s really bad, think carefully what that means, go back and tweak the metarig, repeat.

After some time I realised I still wasn’t getting good shoulder or butt deforms. Again, literally staring at her in this pose for several hours and thinking about how muscles and skeleton fit together, it hit on me. Rigify is missing a couple bones. There is the scapula that helps hold the structure of the upper back near the shoulder, and the gluteus maximus, which similarly in the butt holds shape when the leg is moving.

So I added scapula and butt bones to the metarig, regenerated the rig, and this is what you get. I have highlighted the collarbone (shoulder), scapula, and butt bones (right side only) for this pose so you can see them holding the shape. Again, the collarbone is included in default Rigify metarig, the other two are new.

I also, after generating the rig, would originally try copying the rotation of the collarbone with the scapula a little bit, but I found that 99% of the time, just having the scapula there holding the shape, it’s enough, and I will manually rotate or pull it when I need to. I also toyed for a while having it do a stretch-to constraint to her arm, which also I’ve found not needed most of the time.

The butt bone literally never moves. It seems just having a static bone there is enough, which means I probably could have weight painted this problem.

There is no weight painting or shape keys at all. This is 80% armature deform, with some vertex groups at her shoulders, knees, neck, etc that then have a corrective smooth applied. Then there’s a general (very light-acting) general corrective smooth over her entire body. Those corrective smooths are about the other 20% of the effect.

I’m not sure I’d recommend this workflow - anytime you parent another object to her armature, you have to copy all those corrective smooths somehow, or that object won’t deform the same as her body. EDIT: I guess if you use shape keys, you also need to figure out how to apply that to the geometry above it - so maybe this workflow is superior, if it can be made to work?

In the render, please ignore the fishnets problems - this is a very early test that I have deemed a failure, and it won’t survive the night. :wink:

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