MakeHuman 1.1 Anime Style Custom Target Test

MakeHuman 1.1 Anime Style Custom Target Test

This is a custom morph target for the MakeHuman character generation program. MakeHuman normally creates realistic human bodies. This target morphs the base body into an anime style female character, with proportions based on MikuMikuDance (MMD). The purpose is to allow the quick generation of rigged anime style characters.

This is an unfinished, unpolished test version. I am releasing this so that I can start to gather feedback.

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Project Maiko: Maiko version 3 complete

Project Maiko: Maiko version 3 complete

After much time spent experimenting, and many distractions, Maiko v3 is done. I settled on a scene that would be simple, but also allow for interesting lighting. The end result is an odd mix of toon and elements normally used when trying for photorealism, such as depth of field and reflections. But that's the whole point of using Cycles in the first place!

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Project Maiko: Maiko v3 modeling complete

Project Maiko: Maiko v3 modeling complete

Modeling on the third version of Maiko has finished (save for a few details.) The first two versions had various issues that made them tedious to work with for making actual art, such as elements that only looked good from a few angles and limitations on their rigging. I've taken everything I learned from making the first two, and several months more experimentation, to create a final version.

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Root Node Thumbnail Logo

Root Node Thumbnail Logo

A few weeks back I made a logo for a friend's Soundcloud.com music project, Root Node.

We wanted something simple that would look good as a small thumbnail image. The concept was a more literal node tree than we see in Blender's node editor. My friend gave me a doodled sketch, and I re-created it with Blender and threw in some compositor effects. I recently shared it in the Blender NPR facebook group, and enough people were curious about how it was made that I will share the settings and file.

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Project Maiko: The Shader Group

Project Maiko: The Shader Group

We've covered the basics of what Cycles shaders are doing, how to mix them, and how different lights will affect them. Now we can see it all on an actual model.

The Shader group I used for Maiko is simple. I wanted to follow the manga style of minimal detail, so rather than worry about texturing, I let Cycles provide most of the nuance of the image with nice gradients of light.

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Project Maiko: Understanding Cycles Toon Shaders

Project Maiko: Understanding Cycles Toon Shaders

The node setup I used for Maiko is not complex by Cycles standards, but I am going to start at the beginning for the benefit of those not familiar with Cycles shaders (specifically Diffuse, Glossy, and Toon versions of each). This first post will explain the nodes and lights I am working with so that those with minimal prior experience will be able to understand the full setup. The Maiko shader nodes will be covered in the second post.

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Project Maiko: Adding and Adjusting Outfit Weights

Project Maiko: Adding and Adjusting Outfit Weights

This post shows a step-by-step workflow for copying vertex weights from a body to its clothing, and then adjusting them to work properly. This is not about how to use Weight Paint mode or it's tools, it is about what to do with those tools to get good results. It assumes you have basic knowledge of Blender 2.69's tools and interface, a rigged body to work with (I'm using one from MakeHuman), and some sort of close-fitting outfit. Working off an already rigged body is a good way to learn, but if you have no experience with Weight Painting or Rigging, look up basic tutorials first.

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Project Maiko: Understanding Outfit Details and Weights

Project Maiko: Understanding Outfit Details and Weights

Now that we have a base mesh for our bodysuit, we can start detailing. This post is not about how to use Blender's tools to build shapes, as that is already covered by many modeling tutorials (although if people ask, I will write about it). It is also not a walkthrough of building any specific item. This post breaks down the vertex weighting issues related to mesh complexity, detail construction style, and flexibility. This information will hopefully help you construct your details in a way that will be easy to work with when setting up your vertex weights.

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