WIP - Joan

Hello, all!

I posted this at CGTalk as well, hope you don’t mind the cross-posting for those who read both. Seeing as how I’ve gotten no feedback (in 73 views) there, I thought I’d try here and see if anyone has any thoughts for improvement!

I’ve been working through Michel Roger’s excellent “Joan of Arc” tutorial (as translated for Maya by Taylor Kingston) in Blender 2.42a. Maya and Blender have very similar modeling tools, making this a reasonably simple copy.

At this point I’ve finished the underlying model and am well underway in working on the armor, and figured it was time I posted for some critique.

Please note that the materials are simply placeholders to give basic shading: I’ll be unwrapping & texturing as we go along. Critique is welcome: I’ve taken some liberties with the original model so as not to do a pure copy of the original as I learn the techniques.


not bad at all! :smiley: what else should i say at this point?
You could give us a closer shot of the belly(with the wire of corse…!), i think i see a few tris there… though im not sure if they will matter at animating, if you eaven will be animating… and i cant see any bad seams being there becaused of them either so… yeah, very nice job.

Thank you! Yes, the tris are a pain, and I may go back and delete them in favor of quads, but in that particular spot (the navel) they were hard to avoid.

Here’s a small update: hair and my first attempt at unwrapping & texturing her skin. LOTS of room for improvement there, but it does help give a basic idea of what she’ll look like with “skin.”


id still like to see the wires to… ^^

lol is there a reason that u started making all the items except her underwear? or do u just like to see her crotch lol

I was wondering, yeah. It’s like… you’ve started unwrapping her skin and she still don’t got nothing down there.

Felix: thank you for the actually insightful comments. :cool:

Here’s a closeup of the belly. I agree with your comment, and did a full sweep of the model looking for rogue tris: found a handful and stomped out as many as I could. There are a few spots where a quad simply isn’t feasable, so they’ll have to stay for now. Thanks for the tip!


A lot of 3D modellers prefer to model the body and THEN the clothes. This makes it easier to create clothing that fits to the body perfectly. Also, have you even looked at the final product of the tutorial? Very exposed.

I was wondering, yeah. It’s like… you’ve started unwrapping her skin and she still don’t got nothing down there.
There are no textures applied… Just materials.

Back on topic…

You should tone down the specularity on her skin unless you plan to make her a plastic manequin. I also find it easier to modify a mesh when I have subsurf activated on the editing cage (click that empty circle in the subsurf box). Oh, and you should probably redo the hair…

Great topology, it’s good that you’re avoiding tris. Do you plan to rig it?

In reverse order… yes, I do plan to rig her and try some animation beyond just posing. Still working on the modeling, but always with an eye towards deformations.

The hair has been redone, but only insofar as giving it some depth: I did play around with Blender’s hair system but got nowhere but funny in a hurry. I may revisit it after I’ve done with the model.

The material settings definitely need work. In fact, I’ve edited the mesh since I did the UV unwrap, so now the unwrap is no good. Sooooo… back to THAT drawing board. :slight_smile:

The update for today includes:

  • Revised Shaders
  • Eyes! At last!
  • Hands. These were a bear: they’re not supposed to be fully accurate hands, but rather gauntlets. Still… difficult.
  • Leather Bodysuit. This was interesting: creating folds in fabric while preserving the underlying mesh edgeloops can be very tricky! Here’s where a program like zBrush would be invaluable: don’t distort your mesh… displace it! Someday…
  • Improved hair

Critique welcome!


I’m not sure if her suit is supposed to have a belly-button. :stuck_out_tongue:

The hands look good except that they’re also rigidly flat. The fingers should have a bit of a natural bow to them. The rest of it looks pretty good… Hm… Might be something funny up with the mouth, but I can’t tell from any of these–Wait. Yeah. Her lower lip looks swollen and bulging out at the sides, like she has marshmallows stuck down her gums.


Anyway. Besiiides thaaaat, uh… All I can really see is the hair looks like polygons, but that’s because it is, and there’s a massively awesome new hair modelling system coming out with the up-and-coming particle re-write, so… j’4w3s0m3.

The hair looks much better now.

…And now the crits. The bodysuit should be a different color. Right now it looks like really crappy skin. Also, remove the belly button in the suit. Her finger gauntlets should have hinges where the fingers bend. I know this isn’t part of the tutorial, but it will make things just a little more realistic than bending steel with every motion.

I think that covers it. Nice job! Could we see a closeup of the eyes?


Okay, been working on this for about a month, and the modeling is finally done. I must say that this has been one of the finest tutorials I’ve seen. Despite being geared to Maya it was pretty easy to translate to Blender. Talk about learning experiences! I highly recommend it to anyone serious about learning how to model human figures.

That said…

Good point. The tutorial didn’t set it up that way, but I think that is something I’ll add before rigging.

Aaaah… thank you for the reference pic! I’ve done some adjusting (as you can see from the fact that the UV unwrapped head now has missing polys since I clobbered some more tris). Better, but still not quite “right.” I"ll keep prodding at that as I do the texturing stage!

Alden pointed out that the gauntlets should have hinges… the real answer there is “the gauntlets should be leather, not metal.” :smiley: Thanks: fixed!

As for the leather color, yep: modified that. These are all placeholder colors until I finish the texturing. She’ll be all UV-mapped.

Belly button? C’mon… my girlfriend spotted that one right off. grin The tutorial didn’t include modeling a belly button so I tried it myself… and forgot to delete it at this stage. It’s not really there, but there was a depression where it WAS that looked like it. Gone now. Thanks!

Without further ado…


and a C/U…


Next step… UV!

lol, very nice! is it much to ask if youd try useing my “Skin shader” on your model as a “skin” just so i could see it :smiley:

the shader can be found here:

(you might need to change a few things tho, im not sure)

Yeah, that’s looking better. As you said, though, it needs a bit of refinement. Maybe her lips should taper a little more near the corners; but all-in-all, though, it’s looking good. :]

Now, I know I’m a hopeless evangelizer of this stuff, but if you’re looking for hair, check out http://mediawiki.blender.org/index.php/BlenderDev/Particles_Rewrite, the first patch is set to come out in a few days, apparently. Which would be awesome. So, if you have the time to wait, eh? :stuck_out_tongue:

All-in-all, it’s looking good so far, keep it up.

And on a quick note, the ambient occlusion is making it really speckly, would you mind turning up the sampling a bit?

Thanks! I’ll keep tweaking throughout. Appreciate the crit!

I’m a habitual CVS builder, so I’m up to date on most of this stuff. I am very curious to see when some of this is due to come out! Like I said, I tried some static particles & guides etc. but had no luck.

I’ve switched off “random” and bumped up the samples on the AO and it’s much smoother now. When I have made some progress in texturing I’ll post a new shot. Thanks!

Well, the texturing is nearly complete. It’s been a long process to UV unwrap her, but the new tools available in Blender (most notably LSCM with pinned vertex live unwrapping) have made this almost easy. Quite impressive, really, to have that level of sophistication available!

I’ve got all kinds of experiments going on here taking advantage of some of the newer features of Blender. Here’s the list of what’s new!

  • The chainmail is Normal Mapped to give the illusion of a great deal more detail than is really there.
  • Unwrapped hair: painted on texture isn’t really working for me yet… I’ll keep tweaking this one.
  • Ditto with the face: I’ve used a photo texture, and it isn’t working well. I may go back to a procedural one.
  • Partly image textured, partly procedural chest armor: the other armor pieces are pure procedural for now.
  • The glove leather is entirely too flat: probably something to do with the lighting.
  • The leather on her belly isn’t very convincing: I was shooting for a dark doeskin, but this isn’t quite pulling that off. I have ideas though…

Overall I’m pleased with the progress, and looking forward to wrapping up texturing and moving to rigging!

As always, Critique welcome…


This is much better with texturing. The face texture doesn’t have much detail yet, but everything else looks pretty good.

Hello, all!

Thanks for the kind words! This has taken much longer than I’d anticipated, but it’s proven highly instructive. Of course, compiling from CVS source has both its drawbacks and its advantages: sometimes the cool feature that just made your work easier turns out to be quite buggy. :slight_smile:

Anyway, I’m nearly finished with rigging, and the Texturing is as good as it’s going to get for now. Here’s the “more or less final” textured version:


I have a 360 degree pan-around which I’ll post after I fix the problems my rigging has caused. :slight_smile: