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So as some of you know,  I just finished my fall semester, and one of the classes I took was a CG Character Production class, where we had to create a humaniod creature from scratch. I decided to show the process of how I went about creating mine!

Step 1: The Design

To begin, we had create drawings of the creature concept in three views, from the front, side and back:

as an added bonus, I drew some concept ideas of what I wanted:

Step 2: Clay Model

The next step was to create a clay model of our character. This is where I fell flat the most. I’m more of a pen and paper artist, and usually cannot afford the materials for stuff like paint or clay, so this was, in essence, one of my first serious ever clay models, needless to say it didn’t turn out well:

Moral of the story: when making clay sculptures, don’t be an idiot and use support.

Step 3: The CG Model

For the next step we were to create the 3d model for the character. I started with the head:


While most of the other class was using Maya, I decided to work in Blender, mainly because it is the program I know best. While most of the group were making their models using reference pictures and blocking them out, I went a different route. I used the 3D sculpting tool and my tablet to design my model. The ironic thing is, that was more like working with clay. I guess the difference is you can’t ctrl+z clay. So I created my 3d model:

Step 4: Textures

Next was the texturing, which I will admit, I am not the best with color, but I decided to edit the coloring for the clothing a bit.

Step 5: Rigging

Rigging is when you attach a 3d model, like above to a rig, or a series of bones you use to make it move. This was a difficult process of making sure all the bones move in the correct directions, and can look a bit intimidating when the whole rig is finished:


The bones allows my model to be posed and move, so I could use it in animation, or games, if I chose to do so. Here are some rendered poses for my model:


As you can see, I had to change some things for my original character design, mainly due to time constraints and laziness. First I removed the “dreadlocks” of the model. originally I wanted them to move with the force of gravity, but some setbacks made me set that idea aside. I also scrapped the tech I was going to give “her” ( I guess it’s a she, it does look feminine for an alien creature) for the same reason.

All in all I’m happy with this model. This was my first seriously made CG model, and I learned a shit load while doing it. I can’t recommend learning this, if not for the experience and watching something you make from scratch come to life. It is a truly interesting adventure.

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So, this leg of my character design project has been taking up more of my time and frustration than I was expecting, all because of one mistake. This project is the main reason I haven’t finished my latest page of Kokoro No Kinu. This project had so much unnecessary clean-up because I made a small, but huge mistake.

That mistake you might ask? I used a mirror modifier on my model.

Now this is usually a very smart idea when creating a CG character, so you only have to make one side of it, then mirror so both sides match. I did this too, but with one major mistake. You see, when you mirror, you should only have ONE SIDE of the model.

I did not have that.

I basically mirrored both sides of my model. This meant that inside my sculpted model was another, nearly identical model. This screwed EVERYTHING up. Both layers were merged together, meaning I couldn’t just separate them and delete the duplicate.

I spent countless hours fixing the mistakes that made.

Being the idiot I was, I didn’t realize that Blender, the program I am using, has a remesh modifier, which basically made all my hours of constant fixing worthless.

Literally worthless.

Remesh basically does what it says, it remeshed the CG character I had been designing, lowering the polygon count and merged the whole thing, so I had a nice, neat simple polygon mesh of my character.

The sculpting began again.

This was fairly easy, because I already had the design down, it was just recreating it, and I did. So here is my basic “Alien” model, My next steps are the dreads/hair/tendrils(?) and the clothing/tech. this should be fairly easy though.

The next page of Kokoro No Kinu should be out later this week.

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