Art Spotlight: Whale-Creature Box

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Hi I’m Pierrick Picaut!

I’m a 3D freelancer working mainly with blender on video productions, industrial design and I’m also a Blender Foundation certified trainer. I graduated in graphic design more than a decade ago and came to 3D like 5 or 6 years ago. I’m currently working on a new commercial video and as a character rigger and animator for a video game.

This piece was done as a training purpose to set better workflow before preparing a new character creation/animation course. I love creature box design as they have strong style and lines that are easy to translate into 3D. I’ve done a first piece several month ago which received quite a nice interest from the community.

For the Whale-Creature model, I focused on using mainly Blender for the whole workflow. I’ve started with dynamic topology sculpting which allow you to generate geometry on the fly as would ZBrush dynamesh. One of the benefit of blender is that you can have heterogeneous mesh density while using this tool and it updates on the fly. I’ve sculpted body and limbs separately to help me reaching occluded areas of the model like the inside of the arms and legs.

Once I was happy with the base sculpt, I go over retopology using face snapping tool. I didn’t go for a very accurate topology as the model wasn’t done for animation. Once done, I combine the multi-resolution modifier with a shrink wrap modifier to source the details from the dyntopo sculpt. I then do some sculpting refinement and start adding details like the nails, teeth and small shells.

For the rope creation, I’ve created a rope section that was able to merge when combined with an array modifier (allowing you to create multiple copies of the mesh along any axis) and combines it with a curve deformation modifier to wrap it around the character.
For the spear modeling, I’ve directly box modeled it and then go into some multi-resolution sculpting.

Once done I’ve unwrapped the character and items trying to put them on the same UVmap to avoid having thousand texture maps to deal with later on as I was planning to upload it to Sketchfab and have a try on the new blender Eevee real time PBR engine.

I’ve painted a very simple colour map and then combined it with baked ambient occlusion and curvature map. I’ve also painted a roughness map and a subsurface scattering scale map.

All map were edited and combine in blender using cycles node editor.

I’ve then set a simple lighting setup using an HDRi map and few emission planes for rim lighting and go for a pair of cycles renders that I’ve post processed in photoshop combining AO, beauty pass and some colour pass.

Once done with this I’ve given Eevee a try with a downloaded WIP build of Blender 2.80

It’s pretty close to a sketchfab editing so I wasn’t totally lost even if the UI is quite different from the current Blender official releases.

I’ve exported a short turn table that can be seen in my making of video.

I finally setup a Sketchfab export and edited the Sketchfab model as I would do using environmental lighting and using additional lamps to create rim lighting.

Beyond being an incredible tool to showcase models, Sketchfab really got me to understand PBR workflow. It’s becoming an universal process and unifies engines workflow.

Sketchfab latest updates are also just awesome and I just fell in love with the Lily & Snout project. It makes you feel like a young child again!  And this what I do this job, keeping a young state of mind when watching 3D art.

You can contact me at my email and go grab some free tutorials on my website or go for a full course on my Gumroad page or on the Blender Market. I’m also on Artstation and Behance.

About the author

Seori Sachs

Community Person!


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