Sep 152014

Spent the weekend updating my new laptop and putting on all the programs I use back on it and also working on Wooden Doll. I came to the conclusion (reluctantly) that my hawk rig isn’t going to be quite what I want for this project and it needs some adjusting. Mainly, the model. My old model was heavily done in my own personal style, which tends to be a blend of real and cartoon. For Wooden Doll, I need something more realistically accurate and not what I -think- a hawk should look like. Wooden Doll will allow artists to pose “dolls” so having it be as close to realistic proportions is the goal. problem is that my old model, if seen from head on, the eyes face sideways (like a pigeon), instead of forward like a hawks. So I went back to my model. I’m working on re-shaping the base mesh to that of a Ferruginous hawk*. I’m going to use mudbox to give it some fine detail (scales in the feet, “feathers” in the body, etc) and add a texture. I’d like to check out Ptex and see how it works anyhow! (Seriously been itching to play with Ptex)

Got the base mesh almost done tonight. It needs a touch more re-shaping to the back of the head and around the brow (and to tilt the whole head up a bit) and he’s done. The last touches and cleaning it up a bit tomorrow before I go play with the fine details in mudbox! He looks a little bit goofy but he’s more accurate now. Without texture and color or detail on him, he ends up with that slightly goofy, slightly manic, look. One big problem I had is that hawks have flatish disk like eyes that don’t rotate in the socket (like someone took a UFO and turned it on its side so that the dome was facing outward), unlike humans which have spherical eyes. The iris is set far back in the skull and there’s a huge cornea and this magnifies the iris and gives the optical illusion that the eye is spherical, looks directly forward and the iris is close up when in reality it’s the not the same. It makes it -really- hard to model both accurately and look good. I think I’ve got it close enough to accurate and functional in this model now.



Old hawk: (This shows the main problem here- nothing but beak in the front view!)

New hawk:

Old hawk:

New hawk:

*I really just want to paint a ferruginous hawk. I got a bit tired of staring at redtails so I went with a Ferru instead this time since I had to reshape the head entirely anyhow.

New project

 Posted by at 8:20 am
Sep 082014

I have a new project I’d like to mention! I’m going to be working on a small program that allows artists to use some of my rigs as essentially 3d “dolls.” Many traditional artists are familiar with the wooden dolls used to mock up poses for reference such as this:
29 - April - 2011 -- Model

Well, what about dolls for other creatures, like a dog, cat, horse or hawk? It’s hard to have a model for everything, and for some creatures (such as a hawk) are impossible or impractical. With rigs, artists can use them certainly, but that requires knowledge of a program such as Maya, which has a high learning curve that many traditional artists either don’t have the time to learn or the interest. There are other good references out there that are similar, such as Pose Maniacs, however, the artist lacks the ability to alter the base pose. My idea is to make a simple program similar to pose maniacs that can be used by artists to take these types of rigs and pose them like a wooden doll in order to use it as a reference. It will also have the ability to change the lighting scenarios so that it can put the character into a negative space setting so that you can only see the outline of the posed character and many other similar useful features.

I will be using Unreal Engine 4 since it can make a standalone game (not a “game” as such in this particular case, but similar function) that will run easily on anyone’s system and can facilitate making the control system for posing the character and the scene. I’ll be able to offer many different rigs, starting with a base human rig (male and female) and the hawk rig (since I already have him and I know a couple artists who would really love to have access to him). Future plans include making personal characters for artists (such as if you have your own character you draw a lot and want a 3d version to pose for reference or just plain fun) and animation loops for reference!

If anyone has any interest in this program, any ideas, or any desired characters or rigs please let me know at! I’ll keep updates posted here. (Really, I WILL try and remember I have a blog and to be more social online, I promise!)