Trying some archviz

It’s been a long time since I’ve done some architectural or mechanical modelling, but I want to get back into it a bit. It’s also a good excuse to get my hands dirty with cycles. Blender’s not-so-new-anymore render engine. Note: I focused on the house and somewhat the materials. The furniture is downloaded from Blendswap, credit where it’s due. If I start modelling furniture I can just keep going and going, and modelling is not where I want to focus on now. Still a work in progress (obviously), but here are some images:

The outline of the entire house. Well, houses. I designed it to be 2 under 1 roof.

The outline of the entire house. Well, houses. I designed it to be 2 under 1 roof.

And a first go at a cycles render. Nothing outside yet. Maybe I'll open the doors and get some stuff in the kitchen behind it as well.

And a first go at a cycles render. Nothing outside yet. Maybe I’ll open the doors and put furniture in the kitchen behind it as well.

 

And some of the newer stuff.

With dyntopo and skinmod, I have more or less lost the fun of carefully modelling a character the classic way. Whether it was box modelling or poly-by poly. Because this method is soo much faster:

skinmod proportions>sculpt on top of that>retopo. There is a workflow I’m thinking about regarding rigging characters like this. I was thinking about keeping a copy of the main basemesh, fatten it out and use it as a mesh for the mesh deform modifier which would deform the retopoed mesh. The retopoed mesh can then use a multires modifier along with a shrinkwrap (which you could apply) to get some details from the dyntopo sculpture. These are just some ideas… I have no idea if a multires mesh would actually be more suitable than a dyntopoed one in this case, since the animation would NOT come from the retopoed mesh…

I don’t like multires characters to deform based on the lowest level of subdivisions, because the higher levels of subdivisions might not be weighted as you would expect, at least, in earlier versions of blender. Here’s an example: my MTI newfella character was rigged without subdivisions. Then I added a multires modifier and started sculpting to give him more details (muscles). But then when I wanted to animate him, the details didn’t deform as I expected. Around the elbows for instance, the lower part of the upper arm, and the upper part of the lower arm got a fair amount of influence. This meant the forearm would more or less collapse. I would have liked it if this would have stayed confined to just around the elbow. The mesh without subdivisions deformed just fine, but then again it didn’t have any vertices in the area that was affected.

But then again, that was a few versions ago, and upon opening that example file again in blender 2.66a, the multires didn’t deform badly, it looked okay.

Enough crap. Images:

character-doodle01WIP01

I wanted a new default humanoid skinmod. This is the result.

And the rest after the “Read more” bit.

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Traveling

So hey, I’ve been in Sri Lanka for about a month now, and I’ll be staying for another month before traveling to the next country. You can follow all of this on my new site: http://thelowlander.org/ and I encourage you to do so, because I will be updating it more frequently than this site, and it has a lot more photos.

I’ve been staying mainly in Kosgoda for the first few weeks where I did volunteer work, with trips mostly taking place during the weekends. The volunteer work was with turtles, but you can see it as more of a holiday since most of the people who come here are gap year people. The work is not hard. And even though one might argue that cleaning the turtles and turtle tanks is dirty, it is still pretty light labor.

But now my time in Kosgoda has ended, and I’ve moved down south to a place called Weligama, where there is a big project about handicapped people. This project is so vast it makes the turtle project I was at previously pale in comparison. Not that it is any less luxurious, far from it, but there is just soo much more serious work to be done here. Stuff actually needs to be build and maintained here.

And that’s where Blender came in the second day I was here: They had previously built a tea nursery/plantage, but they used wooden poles, and woven ropes, which rot away very quickly around here. Which means the tea also rots/gets eaten by bugs, etc… So they asked me if I can weld one out of metal pipes. I can weld a little, so I said yes. But it turned out they did have the plans in their head, but not yet in paper. So to visualize it for myself, and to more easily calculate the lengths we’d be needing, I quickly drew up something in blender. The thing isn’t build yet, and I wonder how well it will go. The main idea is that the tea nursery is on flat ground, but the actual nursery is on an uneven slope. I’ll also be welding material I’ve never welded before, but hey I’m curious how it will turn out.

Here are some images. The blender drawing, and the photos of the current tea nursery:

Won't win any beauty awards, but it gets the idea across.

Welcome to Hellabeem.

The old tea nursery.

Little fella reboot: MTI_littlefella

A week or two ago I suddenly had someone asking questions about little_fella. It had been a LONG time since I’ve had questions about him, and the rig is so outdated it was tricky for me to give good advice, because I changed a few things about the way I rig nowadays. So I decided to redo him, for good old blender 2.49b. Reason I’m not going for 2.5 is that I am still working on my MTI_biped rig, which is by far superior to this one. Still it is a good and solid rig. And it was useful for testing a new idea I had for the facial rig. For MTI_biped it might need some tweaking, but still, it works nicely :D.

Again, just like MTI_biped/blockman, if you like my stickman character rig, you will love this MTI_littlefella rig. It handles like stickman and it has hands, feet and a facial rig. You can think of it as a MTI_biped_very_light. It also comes with a manual which is useful if you are new to blender.

The license is a bit different this time. It’s the same as stickman, character and rig free for your own non-commercial projects, for commercial stuff please contact me.

Download him at the download page here.

MTI_littlefella, fresh rig for good old blender 2.49b.

The old version, made on blender 2.44/2.45.

And the new version. Made in blender 2.49b.

I also did a few other doodles in between, you can see them after the “Read the rest of this entry” link.

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Clothes and props

The lighting is pretty bad, didn’t bother too much with that yet, but I started to make a number of outfits for him. I might have one or two more planned, but… o well, images (more after the “Read the rest of this entry” tag):

"I still be nekkid here, an I like it."

Muay Thai. Arms should be higher for a correct stance.

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MTI_newfella

That is this little guy’s name for now. Someone asked me to come up with something, so I started and it ended up becoming this new character rig. It reminds me of little_fella, so I called him newfella. His rig is a spin-off, or fork from my other project: lowpoly character.

"Hello world! My name (for now) is newfella"

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Back from Sicily and a small update

So I got back from Sicily last week. I went there for volunteer work, did a lot of gardening. To be honest, it wasn’t as much fun as Bulgaria was, but still pretty cool nonetheless. The other volunteers and I took a lot of pictures, and we haven’t shared them with each other yet (didn’t have access to a computer with the correct cardreaders). Look for some photo’s here soon.

I also have an update on the rig. The facerig is done, all the controls have nice shapes now, and everything just works nicely. There is a slight “issue” with the toes that I might solve for a small additional amount of freedom, but there is apparently a new constraint in the latest build of blender that might have me remove the footroll bone and add footroll functionality to the heel bone instead. Which means I have to rethink the foot setup. Then again, the footroll as it is now doesn´t get in the way of the foot control, while the heel might, so I might leave it and just make the toes controllable.

So yeah the rig works, gotta skin the character to it, make textures, cleanup, etc…. I might also make another rig system for the eyes, one that is for an actual spherical eye, instead of the flat planes of this character. So people with a character with real eyes can use that system instead. I also wanna model more props.

EDIT: not enough for a new post, some bugfixes in the eyes, found some new bugs to squash, and a few new images under “read the rest of this entry”.

rig with just IK controls, and both IK and FK

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