My Project: Brash Lonergan adventures



  • MystiaraMystiara Posts: 38,527

    wonderful insights here!!!

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 17,627
    diomede said:

    (EDIT: although you can read the transcript, I think it is better to watch video by clicking on the pic of David Estein.) 


    I invite anyone to share good reference and similar material for the basic character creation/modeling and for the story project in general.


    I loved the presentation by David Epstein, thanks for the link! He's awesome!

    Okay, I know you've heard me before - and I'm truly not trying to annoy you! This is a totally different type of reference than, I'm sure, what you meant.

    One thing that I've noticed during my watching of The Clone Wars (having to pause on occassion) is that almost any single frame of any of the episodes could make for a beautiful painting. To me, this is outrageously cool - and is inspiring my ambition towards the final appearance of my own project. They use a highly stylized and chiseled look, and then they have artists hand paint (digitally, using tablet monitors) all of the assets. So I'm experimenting the differences between applying a more painted look as post work, or directly in the render. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. 

    So I've created this playlist, which I'll often watch in order or just use the list to skip to features I want to see, which is a "Behind the Scenes" look at the Clone Wars. It's fun for learning their thoughts about story creation, art direction, visual effects... I like it. 

    Clone Wars Inspirartion Playlist

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  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634
    diomede said:

    wgdjohn, all my examples in this thread thus far have been using Carrara 8.5, but the reference book that had the tutorial was entitled Carrara 5 Pro Handbook by Mike De La Flor published by Thompson, and by Charles Media Graphics.  The book is not the manual that comes with Carrara, it is by a 3rd party.  A new copy would pobably be exensive and out of date and not worth it.  But used copies are sold on Amazon for much, much less, some even under $2.  If it comes with the CD of files, then for me an old $2 reference is still worth it.

    Load any image you want to use as a reference in the vertex modeler by going to the "Global Tab," Check the boxes to enable reference images in the directional cameras (front/back, left/right...) under the "backdrop" menu choice.  There is a button to load the images that will enable you to browse your file.

    Note, you could try to insert planes with reference images mapped to them in the assemble room if you want to model in the assemble room.

    Thanks, I grabbed one from Ebay for $7. The lowest price Amazon had was 3x that, highest was over 14x that... which is why I normally stay away from there.

    I was able to load an image via Global Tab in right panel, it is set at Model as default, then picked where I wanted it to appear from the 3 "load image" options and most important is to check the Enable box. Cool... there is no end to features I've overlooked for too many years.

  • HeadwaxHeadwax Posts: 8,783
    edited August 2016

    nice edge looping in that face Diomede :)

    you might recognise this homage to the cover of Led Zepplin IV





    Post edited by Headwax on
  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 12,225

    Great cover!

  • SileneUKSileneUK Posts: 1,806
    PhilW said:

    I love Zep amd I love Heart - and what an amazing version, great to see it again!  I never got to see Zep but I did see Heart once in a rare appearance in the UK. They were at a festival in the early 80s, before they were that well known over here.  When they announced they were going to do one of my favourites - Magic Man - I yelled out "Yeah!!", and I was the only one - I hate it when that happens!

    Does that happen a lot, Phil?  devil

    Saw a US funny video once when living in the US where the American National Anthem was being sung by the crowd at a non-sporting event, and someone at the end sang out loudly... PLAY BALL !!!  (For you non-US peeps, it's always played before baseball games and ends with the announcement being made to... PLAY BALL).  However, those are not the two concluding words to the Stars Spangled Banner LOL!

    laugh Silene  

    Dio, I can try hair caps, but recently found I don't need to include an occipital bun. Just because it's anatomically correct, you really can't see it under the hair. But haircaps are cool as I can save styles and will start using them more regularly now. Eyes are still a problem, so please feel free to PM me with any links. I don't get by often now, but will get an email notification for a PM.  yes  heart

  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 5,108
    SileneUK said:
    PhilW said:

    I love Zep amd I love Heart - and what an amazing version, great to see it again!  I never got to see Zep but I did see Heart once in a rare appearance in the UK. They were at a festival in the early 80s, before they were that well known over here.  When they announced they were going to do one of my favourites - Magic Man - I yelled out "Yeah!!", and I was the only one - I hate it when that happens!

    Does that happen a lot, Phil?  devil

    More often than I'd care to admit...

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 12,225

    RE: eyes distortion and custom morphs.  Might be useful resources for a number of people.  I still haven't found the ne that I actually have in mind, so will follow up with that later.  Meanwhile, some good info below

    Some Guides for morphing Genesis - might help when joint or feature out of alignment
    1a - daz content guides
    1b - daz content guides

    "By convention, Expression morphs are displayed on the Posing tab. These include morphs to adjust the positions of the eyes and lids, and morphs such as “Nose Wrinkle.” These are controls meant to be usable with any character."

    2  Sickleyield (uses Blender)

    3  Winterbrose

    4  another morph with head distortion

    5a forum discussion 1
    5b forum discussion 2

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 17,627

    Without actually watching the above videos through, I can say that, in Carrara, we can do things MUCH differently with far LESS headaches! Gotta just LOVE Carrara!

    First of all, we don't need to export a base resolution mesh as OBJ. As a matter of fact, we don't need to export anything from Daz Studio.

    Instead, we just LOAD genesis into Carrara and work with it from there! This makes it immensely comfortable. It already loads default in Base Resolution at the model level, with a SubD Smoothing of 2 at the render level. 

    So let's say that we need to make a Joint Controlled Morph (JCM) to correct something that gets messed up at a specific pose situation, or to create a shape that we wish to occur at that specific pose. We begin by watching the following video, so we know what to do within Daz Studio with the morph that we create - However, when Josh exports out of Daz Studio, we will instead just apply that same pose in Carrara. Then we conduct our mesh deformation within Carrara, using whatever means we want, and then export Genesis as an OBJ to be imported (just as Josh does) using Morph Loader Pro, and follow the rest of his directions... works like a charm!

    Now, I said that we can use 'whatever means' in Carrara - that is still only a theory of mine - as I have only ever tried using the vertex modeler. But I'd imagine that any feature of Carrara that can deform the mesh, like a magnet, modifier, or whatever, might just export the OBJ deforemed... which is all we need. It would be fun to experiment with some of these other options - although I find the Vertex Modeler to be so incredibly easy - that's my goto tool! :)

    If editing any of the Genesis figures is your fancy, I strongly suggest checking out Josh Darling's YouTube Channel!

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 17,627

    So this makes 'working with Carrara' a really powerful workflow if we want to make things for Genesis 1, 2, 3 or even earlier generations, which may also benefit from using Carrara > Daz Studio via Morph Loader Pro

    Say we want to make a shirt. So we model it around the base Genesis figure. We load it into Daz Studio (from an exported OBJ from Carrara) and use the Content Creation Tools to automagically rig it to work with Genesis. 

    Now we dial up a character that we need to use, and the shirt doesn't seem to look the way we want it to. Perhaps it's too tight in some places, even if there's no poke-through, it just doesn't look how we want it to. No problem!

    Go back to Carrara and load in Genesis, the shirt, and dial Genesis to the target shape. Now simply edit the shirt model to the exact shape we want it to be.

    *** I've never actually tried this, but I've heard that, if we enter the "Animation" tab in the vertex modeler, we can work with a model which has been altered by a morph or a pose - or any combination of those. If that's true, we could save a bundle of time by using the conforming shirt that we've already fit to Genesis, tweak the auto-generated shape, and export the new shape! Again, Josh has videos that explain the DS end of things. He's excellent, and is also a Daz 3d dev!

    Making JCMs for clothing has some added steps, as seen here

  • SileneUKSileneUK Posts: 1,806

    Thanks for these... I am bookmarking this thread!  heart  Silene

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 12,225
    edited August 2016

    Watched some of the head tutorials again.  Here is a WIP on the face of the heroine, Moxie Espinosa.  That is right, Brash Lonergan and Moxie Espinosa - because he is brash and she has moxie! I am still struggling with the placement of "pole points," where five polygons connect to a single point.  Anyway, I think I continue to improve even if it is at a slow pace.  The edge flow and results are OK even if there are still some imperfections in the topology. I've created some shading domains to display the edge flow in green and purple. The face has 404 polygons so there is plenty of room to add detail with another subdivision and still keep the low-poly approach.


    Moxie is slang for a person who exhibits a combination of energy, pep, courage, determination, and know-how.  Her full name is Mercedes Olivia Xabat-Espinosa, but her friends call her Moxie.  My character concept of Moxie is that she is an official for the Department of Treasury, which is going to have important agency business related to the settlement and funding of the galactic frontier. 

    moxie mesh try 1.JPG
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    moxie face test render.jpg
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    Moxie Ede Flow.jpg
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  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634

    Kewl. Nice work diomede.

  • chickenmanchickenman Posts: 1,196

    Very nice work. I am continually amazed at your work.

  • DesertDudeDesertDude Posts: 1,156

    Really nice work, thanks for sharing your progress. And inspirational, I'm sure I have said it before, but can't be said enough. Great!

  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 5,108

    Great modelling and edge flow. I have to take my hat off to you for creating characters from scratch, rather than using Daz figures. The work involved in both making them initially, but also adding enough facial morphs for expressions, is huge.  And that is all before you even start to tell your story!

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 12,225

    Yeah, the base morphs are going to be a chore.  At a minimum, I will need expression and phoneme morphs for the face.  Each joint will likely need a bending morph or two or three..Hands!  Bend morphs for the hands are going to be a pain.  


    My current thinking is to have more detailed second meshes for the head/shoulders and the hands/wrists, and so limit the expression morphs for the base figure.  These second meshes can be used for closeup shots.  My version of Poser came with head and hand models.  In the more detailed head/shoulder model I plan to add bones to the sides of the mouth, etc. to aid expressions.  My idea is to copy and paste the selected head mesh from the low polygon figure to a new vertex object and then increase the number of polygons but keep the same uvmap.  Then, more morphs.  angry

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 12,225

    Thank you, wgdjohn, Chickenman, and DesertDude, for the kind words.  When it gets tedious, I will remember your encouragement and that will help me persevere.  Much appreciated.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 17,627

    Fan-freaking-tastic, diomede! Check out this wonderful mesh! Only 404 polygons with such beautiful loops... my goodness man!

    I don't think you're running at a slow pace. It seems to me like you're cruisin' right along perfectly!

    I'm looking forward to the day when I'm buying your figures for my work!

    Bravo, my friend!

  • I have a model of female face on my Google Drive available for free (public domain), there are no restrictions on the mesh whatsoever, it can be used in your own model or as a reference smiley

    Here is the link:

    Or go on my GDrive (link in my sig) and browse, you never know what you gonna find, lol wink

    Nice modeling Diomede yes

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  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 17,627

    Beautiful mesh, Fifth!

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 12,225
    edited September 2016

    Thank, thank you, FifthElement.  I will definitely take a look and use it as a practical lesson.  I will probably start from scratch again.  I find each time I start new I get a little better and a little faster.  Did someone say practice makes perfect?  Maybe not perfect, but it really helps a lot.


    And thanks for the kind words and encouragement, Dart.  So glad you help motivate me.

    Post edited by Diomede on
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 17,627
    diomede said:

    Thank, thank you, FifthElement.  I will definitely take a look and use it as a practical lesson.  I will probably start from scratch again.  I find each time I start new I get a little better and a little faster.  Did someone say practice makes perfect?  Maybe not perfect, but it really helps a lot.


    And thanks for the kind words and encouragement, Dart.  So glad you help motivate me.

    Looks to me like you're plenty motivated!

    Just keep rockin' out those impressive models!!! Love 'em!!! :)

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 12,225
    edited September 2016

    Well, Ray Harryhousen's legacy still has nothing to worry about.  After making a concept birdman for air adventures, I turned my creative juices to a concept oceanside figure.  This is sort of a combination crabman, turtleman, anome, etc.  He has both lungs and gills.  Here are some screenshots of the mesh, the uvmap, the rigging, the figure in t-pose with a checkered texturemap applied, and a sample pose with placeholder shaders, and closeups of default face, posed hands and posed tendrils.  Oh, and the eyes are just temporary primitive spheres.   I haven't morphed the eyelids yet for real eyes.  The gills can open and close.  Will coninue working on the mesh to get better fingers, but definitely an improvement over my previous hand (Note - not a human hand, just talking about how the mesh deforms when posed).  My concept also includes some weedlike hair, eventually.


    As always, suggestions most welcome.  I think Brash and Moxie better be careful on this planet.

    Crabman 1.jpg
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    CrabMan Face.jpg
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  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 12,225

    Just to have in the same place, here is the mesh, uvmap, and rigging of the birdman.  Used n the monthly contest but really a concept sketch for this project.


    Birdman rigging.JPG
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    birdman mesh and uvmap.JPG
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  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 5,108

    A lot of work going into these designs!  Very creative.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 17,627
    diomede said:

    I think Brash and Moxie better be careful on this planet.

    Oh... you mean he's not a friend?!!! LOL

    Yeah, like Phil said... man, I love your imagination! Keep rockin' out! And I love that you're paying homage to our dear friend, Ray Harryhausen! 

    In my YouTube Playlist: VFX Inspiration, starting at #37 in the list is the six-part Harryhausen Chronicles - an excellent memory of the great artist! 

    While that playlist has some great features on some of the latest ventures into our screen magic techniques, I've also found some real treats from the past - I feel that knowing how some of these film vfx geniuses performed their magic is fundamentally important towards applying post effects to animated clips even beyond the sheer entertainment quality of watching these older techniques. It really does make me glad to be doing my project on a computer - but I sure would have loved to be part of those teams creating film magic!

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 17,627

    When I bought Corel's PaintShop Pro, I was offered a chance to get a bundle of that and VideoStudio Pro for not much more than just the one. So I bought the bundle. Well I then noticed that VideoStudio has a special workshop built in for creating Harryhausen-style stop-motion! I thought that was really cool! Not that we need a special stop-motion workshop to make stop-motion... not even sure what it does! LOL   Just thought it was cool, is all ;)

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 17,627

    Also, I wanted to say that I really like how the Birdmen turned out in the challenge! ;)

    I don't like commenting in the entry threads until voting time comes - and still only to vote - until voting closes, then I'll comment sometimes.

    But I really see how you've envisioned him being posed like that! It's a confrontation/conversation mid-flight, and I think you've pulled it off really well! 

    I love using Howler for such things - painting out a sweeping selection shape, then blurring that shape and applying a bit of motion blur, radial blur, lately trying Bokeh blur, etc., being somewhat subtle sometimes, other times very much in-your-face blur to simulate motion in a still, especially, but it also takes a lot of the crispness of CGI out of my anomations as well.

    Even when I need a motion blur over the whole frame, I'll often begin with a sweeping shape - a path of obvious motion, and apply that blur first, then do the more subtle overal blur over the whole thing. It's very fun and addicting once we start playing with this stuff!

    Anyways... Bravo! I love fantstical imagery of the imagination, and you're always pulling that off very well! I'm still too busy to join you in this whole modeling original figures thing... but I do want to join this club when I can! As much as I dislike rigging figures... I'll do it anyways. It's good stuff t practice!

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 12,225
    edited September 2016

    It does sound like a great VFX setup, Dart.  Will be headng over later this weekend to look through your Harryhausen stuff.  Love that.

    As for being buddies, I don't think Brash would be lasering the dude if he was a buddy.  Actually, it is very common for the same folks to be good guys sometimes and bad guys other.  Think Prince Barron in the old Flash Gordon serials. 


    These are the old figures, not the new Brash and Moxie.  Just doodling.



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