Saturday, 10 May 2014


To my 3rd year BsHons Computer Character Animation - Final Personal Project Blog.

This blog will be where i post my progress based around my Final year project which will involve me working on creating, sculpting and rigging original character of my own creation.

There are pages at the top directing you to different parts of my blog involving my progress of my project throughout the year.
So i hope you like what i will be presenting in this final year!! :D

For my Portfolio Website go to ->

Friday, 9 May 2014

Final product

The final product of hard work:
- Cindy a Basic start to modelling, allowing me to get used to Zbrush's interface,
- Tasha, allowed me to learn the process of creating a low poly character
- Silvanna, was used to reflect on both my skills and efficiency on modelling a character based on a real life persons face.
- Leah, was the final piece creating going off feedback from recruiters and challenging myself above and beyond my proposal.

Friday, 18 October 2013


Working Title:
Designing and Modelling Original Characters: The Assassins Society

For my project I will be designing and digitally sculpting three or more characters, with different traits, outfits, assets, hair and amount of detailing on them. All of the characters will be from the same story and have a short description, of either one to two page comic back-story.
All of the models apart from one will be posed in a way that would represent their created personalities and level of detailing on the models. Depending on time, the last model will be rigged so that the character will be able to move around with an end result of having them to have a continuous walk cycle.

The reason for choosing to do a modelling project for my final year, was due to the fact that last year when I did the character design and modelling module, it was a module I enjoyed the most and wanted to further my skills in that particular area. I have always wanted to create my own characters and see them brought to life and seen in more than 2 dimensions.
Whenever I watch a film that has fantasy characters such as dragons, Orc's and/or even robots, or a game with different creatable characters have always fascinated me, and have always fuelled my inspiration into character design. What made me want to choose modelling was the Dreamworks art books, of Rise of the Guardians and How to train your dragon. Both of these books show wonderful character designs and in Rise of the guardians final models of each of the characters looked absolutely beautiful and the level of detailing and smooth models were inspirational.
I would love to work in the games, film or TV industry creating characters and modelling characters that other people have designed, as it will give me a chance to see other peoples imaginations through their work.

Technical Overview
The programs I will be using in order to complete this project will be as followed. Maya for a base mash of the characters, and Zbrush will allow me to detail all the characters, retopologise and hopefully UV map successfully. Zbrush will also be used for exporting normal maps from the sculptures and exploring the rigging tool in Zbrush for posing purposes only. I will also be looking into using 3DSMax for cloth simulation, as I’ve heard it's what a lot of modellers use when they pose a character with long flowing cloth for the best effect to simulate realistic cloth.
I will also be using Photoshop to clean up the concept art for each character I design, and sketching out a turnaround of each character to help shape the character in 3D. I will also be using Photoshop to tidy up the colours and add in details to the models for a nicer effect than Zbrush's polypainting.
I will be using Maya to rig one of my characters depending on how much time I have at the end of the module. The choice of which character will also depending on the amount of detailing and assets on the character and what would be more suitable for the character whether that be IK or FK handles.
Books and other references will include Zbrush tutorials from the library, digital tutors and other sites, as well as Maya rigging and applying hair, along with possibly looking at cloth simulation in 3DSMax depending on which character I will be rigging, books and digital tutors, along with asking help from tutors from the university.
I will have to do quite a bit of research based around Zbrush and other programmes that will help me achieve my goal. I can already use Zbrush, but at a pre-intermediate level, so I will be looking into more depth about modelling clothing properly, and hair, and whether that option would be better then modelling, or creating hair in either 3DSMax or Maya. I will be using several books and online tutorials to help me out as I go along, such as introducing Zbrush (3rd Edition) and to help me out in area's I haven't learnt or need help on.
For 3DSMax, using it will be a completely new experience for me which I have never opened or seen the interface for. Using this application will be the big risk of the project, but if I find that there is too much to learn in the allocated time I have, I will instead be using software I already know how to use in order to save time on learning and spending more time in places that are needed. I will be acquiring books from the library in order to help me reach my goal, along with online tutorials and if needed, tutors help if the books and online research doesn't help reach a helpful and successful conclusion.
For texturing, I know how to texture objects in Zbrush and give them an allocated material and use the lighting to help make a material look more realistic, however I would like to look into using Mari, or Photoshop, as I've heard they give much better results compared to Zbrush which colours polygon by polygon.
For rigging I will be asking tutors and diving into any books and websites that will help me out while I'm going through the process of rigging in Maya.

Research ethics
This won't be an issue with me, as the only time when I will be involving anyone in the project will be when I have to ask others for feedback and ask for area's of improvement on my work, along with asking tutors for help in certain areas of the project revolving around software. The modelling I will be doing will not involve any offensive unethical material unfit for viewing, there may be slight blood involved in the project but only through digital dipictions, not real life.

Area's of investigation
I will be looking into different styles for my characters, such as steampunk, gothic, lolita and neo punks outfits, just to give them all a different design and to show variation in creation.
I will also be looking at professional concept arts for films and games and their work flows to get an idea and understanding of how characters are created in the industry. I will be trying to find original models and wireframes from different games, TV shows and Film to get an idea of a professional quality for industry purposes.

Project Deliverables
By the end of this project I will have produced three or more models, all of my own design, one rigged and possibly all textured and posed in a way that defines their personalities, along with complete turntable and design of the characters and short back stories.

Project Plan
September 30th to October 14th
Library, Google, Digital tutors, books, asking tutors for advice/help.
October 14th to October 28th
Moodboards, Further research and Sketches
Images from all over the internet and several different character creation ideas. Plus any other research that still needs to be looked into. Will be asking for feedback on character designs.
October 28th to November 25th
Concept Art
Complete turnaround of all characters, includes separate asset drawings, and anything else necessary for creation.
November 25th to January 3rd

Modelling and Texturing Characters
Zbrush modelling, and either Mari or Photoshopped textures
and experimenting with 3DSMax cloth simulation
and possible hair and receive feedback on models before posing.(will also include further research).
January 3rd to February 17th
Texture and Rigging
Continuing texture depending on time, which includes any normal maps needed, and rigging in Maya.
February 17th to March 3rd
finalising, feedback and extra time
Extra time, any last touch ups on the characters and feedback on final designs.

  • ERIC KELER. (2012) Introducing Zbrush: 3rd Edition. Indianapolis, Ind. : John Wiley

  • JASON PATNODE. (2008) Character modelling with Maya and Zbrush: Professional polygonal modelling techniques. Burlington, MA : Focal Press

  • TRACEY MILLER-ZARNEKE. (2010) The art of How to train your Dragon, Titan Books Ltd
  • RAMIN ZAHED. (2012) The Art of Rise of the Guardians, Titan Books Ltd

  • SCOTT SPENCER. (2012) Zbrush creature design: creating dynamic concept imagery for film and games. Hoboken, N.J. : Wiley.

  • RYAN KINGSLIEN. (2011) ZBrush Studio Projects: Realistic Game Characters, John Wiley & Sons; Pap/Dvdr edition

  • SCOTT SPENCER. (2011) Zbrush: Character Creation; Advanced Digital Sculpturing, 2nd Edition. John Wiley & Sons; 2nd Edition edition

  • KATHERINE DEWEY. (2008) Creating Lifelike Figures in Polymer Clay. Watson-Guptill.

  • 3D Artists.(2013) Creating Stylised Characters. 3D Artist: Create SCFI Creature. Issue 43, p.64

  • 3D Artists.(2013) Sculpt with Zbrush. 3D Artists: Sculpt with Zbrush. Issue 39, p.56