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!Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
Experimenting with blending multiple toon shaders by introducing noise into their size and smooth sockets. The result is a painterly effect, like you would get if digital painting in Photoshop.
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.Read More
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.Read More
I have shared what I know about using MakeHuman to create bodies. Now, I will go over the creation of Maiko's outfit. The modeling techniques used were not particularly complex, and there are many tutorials out there that explain how to use Blender's tools to create shapes. I am going to write about the less covered, and more tedious issues of constructing decent topology, and using vertex weights to rig your outfit.
NOTE: This article contains images of uncovered anatomically correct 3D female bodies. It may not be considered appropriate in some work or school settings.Read More
For those of you who have not tried it yet, MakeHuman is a lot like the character creators you see at the beginnings of most modern big budget games—think Saints Row 3 or Skyrim. You use sliders to adjust the traits and proportions of your character and have fine control over many features. Except that MakeHuman gives you a rigged character with an incredible level of anatomical accuracy ready to export in the format of your choice (I use Blender, but it supports most common file formats.) And it's open source and free. For detailed information on all the excellent things MakeHuman can do, check out their site: MakeHuman.org
In this post, I share some of the things I wish someone had told me when I started using MakeHuman.Read More
For my first major project, I chose to experiment with a generic anime girl. The subject matter has a huge amount of references and visual memes for easy concepting and allows for diverse styles. We'll call her Maiko.
Below is a summary of the techniques used in Maiko's creation. I will be writing a post about each aspect and linking to relevant tutorials.Read More