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February 2014 – daveleack.com

Month: February 2014

Yaaaaaaaaaaawn :D

Taking what I remembered from the video I was watching last night, I tried to set up some tri-layer SSS on my yawning man model.

It may not look like it, but I did spend a while tweaking this. I like the shadows, but if I could muster the enthusiasm to go back and fix the backscatter so it wasn’t so strong, I probably would.

Yawning again while uploading this...
Yawning again while uploading this…

Skin Deep: On Projected Paintmaps and SubSurface Scattering

It seems I spend a great deal of time thanking Kent Trammell for his videos.
Perhaps I should do so more directly, I’m not sure he’s heard any of my thanks thus far, but I can’t see him on G+ so there we go. Gratitude extends only so far, and FB is far too far.

In my usual style of trying to pick and choose bits of learning from a larger programme, and thanks to a tip from +Thomas Sanjurjo, I took a look at Creating a Realistic Head in Blender over at CGCookie. Skipping over the sculpting part and getting straight into skin texturing, I fired up my Jon Stewart sculpt and plastered it initially with pixels from the low resolution photo I used as a source for the sculpt.

Plain diffuse material
Hackily projected diffuse map










Then moving onto the next video, I was instructed to ignore the delightful (snrk) colour-map that I’d created. So I put to one side the messy, low-res, hack-job of a texture and delved into the sub-surface shader world.

I had been aware of the wonders of SSS previously, but with my brain firmly planted in Cycles-land and being a thoroughly impatient fellow (CPU rendering!??! Whaaaaaa…), my first dealings with the concept were a frustrating chore.
In stark contrast to that experience I found working through the video to be a wonderfully methodical, comfortably predictable, easily understandable pleasure.

Single layer SSS (pretty shoddy, but there it is)
Single layer SSS (pretty shoddy, but there it is)

And at that point, my impatience kicked in once more and I jumped ahead, slinging textures on, inexpertly mixing them in the SSS settings, knowing not what I was doing. This was very silly of me, but I quite like the outcome.







Amazingly accurate image of Jon Stewart
Vaseline on the lens, but still, pretty nifty IMHO

I’m going to go back to the first couple of videos and either add detail to this model, fixing the various ways in which it’s wrong, or produce another one from scratch, because what I see thus far is quite promising, and it was easier than I thought it would be 🙂

Thanks Kent!


Sculpting Continues

Hair is a bit of a let down on this one also.

I think I might be addicted to sculpting practice.
It’s not a major problem I suppose. I quite often find myself thinking about what to sculpt, how I’d do it, what it would look like, who might like it etc. and then I realise I was supposed to be doing something else. Fortunately, I don’t drive, so nobody’s in direct danger.
Anyhoo, a few more heads were attempted which you’ll find below.
I really ought to focus on materials, hair, lighting, backgrounds etc. but I burn through a lot of enthusiasm getting the face done, then I just want to see it look good.
Maybe I’ll spend some time setting up a little “head-studio”.

Hair and beard needs to be black for this to work…
Hooray! Bald! But I yawned 18,000 times while making this.
Oh my word, can someone do some free hair tutorials for me…
Another baldie thank goodness. Needs de-symmetrising in at least one spot

The Sculpture Update

Firstly, I want to say a big thanks to Kent Trammell over at CGCookie for (the first part of) The Art of Sculpting: Caricature.
I’d never tried caricature before (officially anyhow) and the way the subject was introduced and the techniques explained was exceptionally useful.

A few posts ago, I wrote about the loan of a graphics tablet from my Mum. In that post I added a picture of something I’d sculpted. It was a head. Well, it was supposed to be. Looking back on it now it looks absolutely dreadful.


Between then and now I bimbled around practicing here and there sculpting a lot of very uninteresting stuff. I got to the point where I could get something looking half decent, but was still fairly unsure of myself.

Hmm, not too bad…

Getting somewhere…

That’s the ticket.

Then I found the aforementioned tutorial. It was just around the time that I wanted to make something to show my appreciation to my brother, so I snagged one of his holiday snaps off FB and caricatured it up.

“Glad I’m not one of those fake fans that jumped ship and now can’t preorder their Xbone”

From that point, I kept on practicing, using some of the techniques showed in Kent’s tutorial and after a few tries, I think I managed to get some good likenesses without going too cartoony (not that there’s anything wrong with cartoony, I just wanted to dial the exaggeration back a bit).

“Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t the promised land, it’s just New Jersey”
“Agnostics are just atheists without balls.”

So I’m going to keep practicing, posting to G+, occasionally updating on this site, and hopefully I’ll see more improvement on the scale shown between the top and the bottom of this page.