Art Spotlight: Puppaccino

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Hi! My name is Katherine Diaz but I usually just go by Kathy. I’m a Chilean born 3D artist living in the US. I freelance on both organic and inorganic low poly models. I originally studied graphic design, but it wasn’t until after I found Blender that I picked up 3D modeling.

My main goal for 3D was being able to model any and all of the characters I could come up with, as I have just as much fun drawing as I do 3D modeling.

Originally, I wanted to come up with something to help me promote my Ko-fi, but in the end, if it was just something people enjoyed I was okay with that too! So with coffee in mind, the idea for Puppaccino came from photos of cappuccino foam art. The first step was to draw up what I wanted it to look like, a simple enough sketch just to get the idea down.

Generally when I create a new model, I like trying to learn something new in Blender as well. I thought this would be a fun project to learn jiggle physics with, so for the sake of animating Puppaccino with Jiggle physics, I modeled each section separately (shiba, foam, coffee cup, etc).

Following along with the original drawing, I wanted the pup to sit in a mug, but once I finished modeling it, it just seemed kind of plain overall. So I changed the the cup and added a plate and spoon to complete the scene.

 

Texturing

Usually a cappuccino is topped with sprinkled cocoa powder so for texturing I used a custom brush created on PaintTool Sai. If you make the brush big enough it has a transparent rough edge that I thought would suit a sprinkling of cocoa powder. The textures are pretty simple in general since I wanted it to seem cartoony.

Jiggle Physics

In order to get jiggle physics working in Blender, I used a spline IK Constraint.

Rigging is simple enough, I made three separate bones with no parents. The Shiba is weighted to the top bone and the foam is assigned to the middle bone, while the last bone is basically there as a root.

Once that was done, I selected my bones and added a bezier curve to the length of each bone, making sure both curves were parented to the root. These bezier curves basically serve as a target for your IK constraint. With the curves selected, I turned on soft body and adjusted the settings so that the “jiggle” effect had a bit of resistance and wouldn’t just fold in on itself. Then parented the bones to the curves using a Spline IK.

The end result giving me this jelly dog:

Unfortunately setting up jiggle physics this way only allows it to work with Blender’s engine. It works for rendering, but it’s not something that I can export. When it came time to upload it to Sketchfab, I redid the rigging from scratch and animated the model “jiggle” myself. Following the same rigging method, three separate unparented bones, the shiba weighted with the top bone, the second with the foam and the third as a root.

In the end, animating it this way gave me way more control to make a nicer looking loop. Hopefully the dog looked less like jelly and more like it was sitting on top of a liquid. Since the materials are simple, I kept the scene shadeless and set the sharpness to 20 to make the colors clearer.

I usually used gifs to show others my 3D models, but thanks to Sketchfab, I’m able to present my models in more detail no matter how simple they may be.

Thanks for taking a look! I hope I can continue making fun and enjoyable 3D models.

You can find me on Twitter and Tumblr or email me at prichuu@gmail.com. Feel free to reach out to me!

About the author

Kathy Diaz

3D Artist and Dog Lover


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