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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Thoughts about releasing my rigs

More than a year ago I started working on a new rig, which would be my new “default rig” for blender. In the meantime I have finished another smaller rig or two. The last one being MTI_stickmanV4. I have not released that one yet, and there is a reason for that.

I only started the remake of stickman because I was asked to and would be paid for it. We came to an agreement, but my client did not hold his end of the agreement. Fortunately, I did not send him the final result. He just has an old alpha version which still had a number of bugs, which from a usability point of view make it useless.

But it does mean I started rethinking how I will release my rigs. This is not the first time something like this happened, and I’m getting fed up with it. I keep working on my rigs, but I’m seriously considering not sharing them anymore, or start a small web-store where you can just buy a license for it instead.

So right now I only have blender 2.4X series rigs available for download, and I don’t think I will release my 2.6X rigs. Not for free anyway. I know there’s a bunch of you out there who have been waiting for some time for me to finish another rig. Sorry, but I will not be releasing them for free anymore. I hope you will understand.

I also have an actual update. I finished the facial system, nice and flexible. I made a version of newfella with 5-finger hands (the normal one has mittens), just so I would have one character that has all the features I consider to be “default”.

Facial rig in place, and a version with different arms.

MTI_stickmanV4

Hey everyone.

It’s been a looooooooooong time… How have you been? Still traveling the world, currently doing a dive master course, but I had some time to work on something new… well…. old AND new. I’m redoing MTI_stickman. The reason for that is that he is still very popular and gets downloaded a lot, but well honestly, he’s the only character that still makes me some money every now and then, and someone asked me to do a 2.5 version.

So coming soon: an old character with a shiny new rig. Same features as before, but more features to go along it, smoother bending in the joints, some more options like control the bendyness of the character without having to use all the tiny little cubes. You can still use these by the way. I came to call those the “freestretch system”. Some things have been simplified, and you have a nice rig menu where you can find everything.

Here are some images and a youtube video:

Looks about the same, handles a lot better.

Here are the work-in-progress colours.

Just starting to take shape.

And he needs a new logo.

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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MTI_Blockman

New character, to test my new rig. It is simple, yet versatile. A bit like stickman, only for blender 2.56, and more features. There are still some bugs that I have to sort out, but there are some bugs in the latest blender version that prevent me from fixing it. The good news is it’s known in blender’s bug tracker, the bad news is no one has time to fix it yet. Not really that important, I have other stuff I have to focus on again. I’ll continue on this as soon as the current armature/roll bugs for edit/pose mode are fixed.

It’s current features are:

– sidebar UI.
– sliders are context sensitive, and only appear when relevant bones (such as limbs) are selected
– FK/IK switches
– Hinges
– Knee and elbow slides
– Stretch
– Bendy/straight limbs and spine.
– Bone layers.
– A LOT of control, with little controls. I try to stuff as much control in every single bone as possible.
– a separate set of bone layers for easier editing and refitting the rig to a new character.

So, images and a video (more after “Read the rest of this entry”):

Kick it!

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