Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Clay Sculpt Session #9

Making some steady progress... Have some outstanding eye, mouth & jawline notes to do after the break; stepping back to look at these images is very helpful to find things to improve next time. Starting to really see the value of a good rake tool... as well as this gem from Felipe Faraut's tool store.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Battlesaurs Fan Art Project and 3D Print!

With Disney/Pixar's Toy Story that Time Forgot finally out there, here's a side project inspired by it from earlier in the year! After wrapping from a brief stint on that show at work, my inner 80s kid felt the Battlesaurs world was just too cool to leave so quick.  Taking a little inspiration from Glen Keane to let that kid out to play, I decided to create my own, independent "fan art" / unofficial gladiators at home in ZBrush with the ultimate goal of learning how to make an action figure via 3d printing!

Huge thanks to Tim Evatt, the always-energizing character designer on the show, who lent his design guidance/feedback to the process. The Stegosaurus below is my own design, and the Crocodile took inspiration from a sketch Tim had made (not something used on the actual show). Also thanks to Daniel Arriaga for some great pointers and his online character design class, and Alonso Martinez for his feedback in getting to know the intricacies of the Makerbot Replicator 2 printer.

Just to reiterate, these are not official Disney/Pixar Battlesaurs / Toy Story models - they are fan art, pure and simple. They were not as part of my Pixar work, don't appear in the show, and are not going to be sold as toys. I just made them for pure amusement as an independent experiment. They're not ultra polished either, as the goal was more having fun with the subject than perfecting.  That said, let's see them!

First up, the Crocodile that Tim inspired. Had some fun in ZBrush on this guy and dabbled with the underlying construction (how it might relate to a 3D Print):

As the Stegosaurus was always a personal favorite dino, I moved on from that to make this fully original design. Along the way I was thinking more about creating this guy to be modular; Not visible here are all the keys, sockets and modular parts underneath the limbs that would come in handy for assembly later:


Part III was bringing one of these into reality with an articulated 3D print.  It took a whole lot of trial and error to get this to work on a Replicator 2, as I think this is really pushes that machine's capabilities.  The biggest lessons came from designing articulation joints and learning how to cut up & key the model to minimize support material (It's awfully tough to clean up!).  Thanks to Mold 3D for some great tips that got me started in the right direction. Fist bump:

Having started with very little knowledge of printing, these images actually represent my second swing at this model, and there's still a bunch more I could have done if I didn't need to move on to the next thing. The final print is about 5" tall by 7.5" long.  You may notice that the shoulder armor is missing, and that the fingertips didn't print cleanly: Some visible lessons in cutting up a model for next time! However, I was really happy with how the body essentially just snapped together without any glue, and the joints printed very snugly... Though due to the nature of the PLA material used being somewhat soft and printing in rows, those joints became smoothed over and loosened with use.  If I really wanted to get a useable toy print done, I'd probably need a printer with finer resolution than 100 microns... or do a whole lot of sanding - no thanks ;)

This was an amusing project that reminded me of something I might do as a kid riffing off a TV cartoon in the 80s... Only dark side was the difficulty in actually getting the print to work.  Desktop 3D printers are still very much in Version 1.0 at this point, and it took way too many tries to get good results.  I even had to get a few stitches after a print cleanup with an xacto knife went awry... Like I said, limiting support materials is a very good goal to have.

If you haven't already seen the ABC special that inspired these guys, do it!

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Clay Sculpt Session #7

Adjusted the body pose to give it some turning energy, playing with blocking tube shapes for the hair. Still have a lot to do here... Rhythm of the hair needs work, and the face doesn't turn great from all angles. Then there's the facial features... yep, lots to do! Class will wrap in early January.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Clay Sculpt Session #5

Halfway mark and she's starting to emerge! Stepped back for a significant head adjustment, and explored facial symmetry & rough features today. Anxious to get back in there and get a sense of movement with some significant upcoming changes to the Hair and Body...

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Clay Sculpt Session #4

Progress! Facial features and right arm position are still subject to demolition, but after a lot of experimentation with the head angle that's starting to feel better.  As I get into the major hair forms against the silhouette I'll try to push the twisting action.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

New Clay Sculpt Project!

Amazingly talented sculptor Jerome Ranft has been kind enough to guide a group of us Character Modelers/Riggers at work through the process of making character 3D character studies his way!

I'll be working with Chavant CM 50 clay on this study of a sketch from Disney's Tarzan by one of my favorite artists, Glen Keane.  I've always admired the emotion and attitude that Glen can convey in a sketch, so hopefully a tiny bit will rub off by digging in!

First IP pic, from the end of Session 2:


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Summer Dabbles

Few posts but lots of projects have happened this summer! Current one is just starting; I'm attempting to build my first character for a game engine.  Working from some loose exploratory sketches from a friend's passion project, I'm trying to better define a process of exploring loose concept sketches to find the character in ZBrush. This is the "second showing" which would be about Wednesday morning if this were a full-time project. Lots to do here and more to come!

A few weeks ago I completed that long-running 3D printing project!  After many stop-and-go cases including one that involved 4 stitches to my left hand, and I had 2 full ZBrush designs (one fully original design, the other inspired by a friend's loose sketch) and my own working, 3d-printed toy! Goal was to create some chars that would fit into an existing world of designs from work, then use those to learn the ins and outs of desktop FDM printers. Since that world isn't pubic yet, I'll hold off on sharing the results here for now.

I also took an "Intro to Watercolor" class, which was a fun change of pace since I'm not much of a painter. This also marked the death of my 14-year-old scanner (sorry for the blurriness). It's been a journey, Epson 640u.

Finally, I took a Robotics class with the genius mad scientist behind EastBay RC !  Had to miss a couple of classes so my 3d-printed robot isn't able to do a ton outside of driving two motors given commands until its treads fall off, but I did learn soldering and basic arduino stuff, which was super cool.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Ecorche Finished!

17 x 3+ hour class sessions plus a few lunches and I feel happy putting down this project. Learned a ton of anatomy and would highly recommend a class with our uber-talented guide through the journey. Hopefully Head, Hands & Feet studies will be down the road somewhere...

Now it's all about finishing up the 3d printing project and starting a new one!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Ecorche 3.5/4 WIP

Nearing the end!  I still have to fix some volumes and do a ton of cleanup & polish in the next 2 weeks, but there are only a few more muscles to add.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Ecorche 3/4 Mark WIP...

Just 4 full sessions left! Really cool to see this guy coming into form.

Also been doing a small bit of zbrushing on the side continuing that aforementioned private project. Hope to get back into stuff that I can share soon!

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Ecorche Halfway Mark

We've hit 8 out of 16 classes, and the skeleton is mostly blocked in... since this pic was taken we've started carving out the ribcage and adding torso muscles.  Lots more to do!

After a brief hiatus I've also been back into side projects in zbrush lightly, but can't post the material here this time around.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

New Ecorche Class - Work in Progress

Started a full-body clay ecorche class on Monday nights; we're now at 4 nights in out of 16.  Nice to get away from screens a bit!

Thursday, February 06, 2014

45 Minute Spitsculpt - "Troll Workout"

Had fun with this one, but the buzzer rang before I could pose & touch up in a few places... Next time!

Monday, February 03, 2014

45 Minute Spitsculpts

After a busy week, picking back up speed sculpting exercises. 45 minutes each plus a little render time... "Nerd" and "Disney Princess".  Starting to look into ways to get better renders out of ZB.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Two 45 minute Speed Sculpts

Playing around with more 45-minute speed sessions at Daily Spitsculpt this week... "Giant Foot Creature" and "Extinct Species". In this time frame you have to learn to live with limitations, but you also learn a lot about workflow... 

Friday, January 10, 2014

45-60 Speed Sculpt: Frankenstein's Monster

Probably went a few minutes over 45 since I had a few interruptions and lost track of my timer... so let's say definitely under 60 minutes:

Sunday, January 05, 2014

2013 & Realms Unreel Recap

In a world torn between the sirens of congressional reality shows and celebrity twitter soapboxes, thought it would be in the blog's spirit to post a brief recap of side project stuff in 2013. It was a tremendous year of my personal life (getting married, remodeling our first home, wrapping character work on The Good Dinosaur.... for now, enjoying some fantastic times traveling and among great friends), among which I actually managed to do more in side projects than ever before.

2013 was the first year where I was able to actively start protecting time to take on hobbies and side projects, and hey, it feels good! Hope to build on it more. There was a good bit of ZBrushing - I've even been able to do some of that forbidden magic at work - and a fair amount of drawing. Ended the year with a resonating thought accented by a talk I attended by pencil-sorcerer Glen Keane: It's extremely easy to get caught up in the academic or perfectionistic in creative spaces.  However, real joy and reward in art comes from simply being playful and enjoying the process, much like a kid playing Make Believe.

Easier said than done, sure, but it sets up a sort of resolution: To think more primitively, to return to the roots of What drives interests, and to simply enjoy the process itself in 2014.

That said, making the Realms Unreel hardcover with author Audrey Auden was a treat, and certainly 2013's side project highlight. We had a limited time to get the job done in a gap between home repairs/move-in and the wedding, but having never really illustrated a project like this before, I learned a TON along the way and I'm so thankful to the Kickstarter backers who let us do it! My part in the project was finished early in 2013, but I never actually posted the final key images to the blog... so here they are!

Enjoy your 2014!