A Learning Experience/Exercise in Pure Stubbornness

in #art6 years ago

3Ddeer.png

I'm sure there are plenty of Blender Masters out there, but I am not one of them. In fact, prior to this, my experiences with Blender consisted of three different YouTube tutorials, none of which I finished. What can I say, my attention span is practically non-existent most of the time. But my boyfriend is working on a big project and wants me to be part of it. And right now what he needs most... character models and animations. Now for the sake of transparency I should tell you that I don't feel that I'm particularly good at "art." I don't feel like I'm awful, but hardly anything I draw ends up looking the way I intended.

I have a little more success in 3d. Sculpting and origami were way more intuitive for me starting out than scratching a pencil across a paper ever was. So that gave me some hope that if I could figure out how to navigate it, I could learn to make something decent in Blender.

I am a quick learner when I manage to stick to a problem, but sometimes that's easier said than done. There have certainly been plenty of snags already that have caused me to storm away from the computer and stick my tongue out at it like a petulant child. But the fact that the end goal is a team project has me much more determined than I would be otherwise. There's a voice in the back of my head going "No, you can't give up yet! Someone's counting on you!" That being said, I have found myself in a bit of a lurch and I think going over the process so far might help me gain a little perspective.

improved deer.png

Deer profile.jpg

These are the rough sketches I started with. I was getting frustrated with the second arm not behaving, but since I was going to use mirror mode in blender to sculpt, I realized I really only needed one side to work off of. I opened both images in blender and set one to intersect the other at a right angle. That made it pretty easy to just switch between camera angles and sculpt each part of the deer.

The deer started in five different pieces. Most of it was sculpted starting with a square and simply extruding the vertices to match the image and then adding in loops where necessary to round it out. For the antlers on the other hand, I used a skin modifier and sub surface divider that allowed me to extrude out from a single point inside a box to get the shape I wanted.

The project director/boyfriend wants the finished product to look angular and geometric, so I didn't bother applying smooth shading. Truth be told, I think what I have now might still be more rounded than what we need for the final product. But that's okay, because while I like the look of what I created, there are a lot of connection issues with the separate pieces that are making it nearly impossible to texture well. So I'm ultimately going to have to take another crack at this anyways.

If it's this much of a pain to texture, I bet it'll be a pain to rig as well. I've never rigged anything for animation before, just played around with pre-rigged characters, so I really don't want to cause more problems for myself while I'm learning than are absolutely necessary.

I think what this served as for me, was proof to myself that I can sculpt something in blender that I like the look of. But there's way more that I need to be able to do if I'm going to be of any help, so I think I want to take a step back. Now that I know I can make a shape I'm happy with, I want to go back and learn the rest on a much more simplistic shape. Then I can take what I learn and apply it to take two on my deer!

It's a little overwhelming to think about, but if I take it a step at a time, which I think documenting my process here will help me to do, maybe I can make something cool and still come out the other side with my sanity intact!

Wish me luck <3

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"There have certainly been plenty of snags already that have caused me to storm away from the computer and stick my tongue out at it like a petulant child."
You're not alone. It was the inspiration afterall, for Sushi's default pose when designing him:
https://imgur.com/a/1l5ujhZ

Nice :) keep going....

Thanks, that’s the plan :D

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