I use Carrara for my 3d modeling needs but I have a issue with the toon shader that comes with it.. its horrible. So as a test I quickly set up a city scene in Sketchup using third party models. Posed my gator running in Cararra, went into Photoshop, combined the images, and created my own Toon shading effect using multiple filters. I also tried a FOV look to the render.
For the Alex and Cruz project,I’m actually going to make my own buildings from scratch using Sketchup . Since 3D warehouse’s TOS is as clear as mud, I’m too afraid to use any of the models available there for commercial purposes. I’m OK with using here since it’s just a simple test. Awhile back I made my own models as a ref for a oriental style cityscape I painted and it worked very well.
Tools Used: Carrara, Sketchup. Buildings from 3D Warehouse
Finally . The first comic from a project I been working on and of six months on. It is a 3d rendered comic /animation hybrid (the animation will be lacking for some time). The Cheetah is a little rough still. only the dragon is finished. The dragon is not Alex though, the alligator is. The dragons name is Derrick. I’m actually am still working on the alligator but will start using him in test renderings as well. I brought back the unicorn from the dead, and was able turn the old dragon model into a lizard chick, so I have most of the cast ready. We need to start making sets for the characters to live in My friend is helping out on the project but so far I have done a majority of the work so far. I’m positive he will be very helpful and this will become a co-op project. But just in case he does bale out on me, I have a backup plan.. removing the cheetah character. The only elements he has helped out with so far is the design of the cheetah character and this test panel. But he sounds serious in helping me make the comics , joke ideas, the stage sets and promoting the thing so I don’t think I have anything to worry about.
Alec is finally completed and is ready. He is a co-protagonist for a comic-animation project. He is a humanoid dragon that lives a modern world inhabited by anthropomorphic animals. This model was made for both animation and as a reference for the comic. I went all the way and made his face very dragon like, removing all the human elements (with the exception of the eyes) such as hair and eyebrows. Gave him a dragon snout. Shrunk his eyes, added many horns, changed the ears to make them more fin like. Added a bone jaw. Curved out his neck and made the connection on the back of the skull (like a reptile) instead of connecting to the bottom of the cranium (like a human). Added the textures to the model. I wanted his face to scream ‘Dragon’ despite being humanoid and having no wings. Originally Alec’s skin color was a golden orange but I changed it to white for two reasons. It’s more readable, and since he’s a dragon which is usually associated with ‘monster’, giving him white scales associates him with ‘good’ since that is what the trope tells us, it kinda a balancing act.
It might seem odd to have a dragon as a main protagonist instead of a villain or loyal steed. There seems to be two stereotypes for dragons in popular media, one is that of a ruthless monster ( usually the main villain) that is usually burning down villages, capturing damsels, and sleeping on bucket loads of treasure (AKA Beowulf, St George). The other stereotype is that a dragon is the equivalent of a loyal pet steed aka “man’s best scaly friend” (AKA How to Train Your Dragon). Alec fits into neither of those stereotypes but has to deal with them on a daily basis. However Alec’s personality is ‘dragon’ like. Most of the humor with be about the stereotypes and cliches in our culture and flipping it on it’s head. For example, the two main protagonists are a dragon and a cheetah, the main villains in the project is a rabbit and a mouse. I intentionally flipped the roles. Why are deceased infested rodents that spreed plague and death considered heroes in popular fiction? Why are lizards and reptiles the bad guys in films, when in real life most reptiles are pretty docile? Why is a domesticated dog character never the villain but there are plenty of villainous domesticated cat characters?
You might of notice that I have had been developing two different dragon characters for two separate unrelated projects. At first they both look very different but as I got better drawing dragons the two characters looks have merged together. The major difference is that Chris is a more traditional western style dragon that walks on all fours. Alec is a humanoid with a dragon’s head and tail.
I’ve also included a turnaround of the model so you can see him at different angles, a some facial expression tests. I was also curious if Alec’s design would allow him to stand on all fours. To my surprise, he can. I could think of some good gags with him doing this. It’s rather odd thing to see. Cruz the Cheetah is next on my list to finish.
The last render is a test pose with Alec sitting. For fun I used my own paintings as decorations for the wall 🙂
Couldn’t Sleep. Decided to work on the 3d model of Dragon Alec. The actual modeling portion of Alec is almost done. the model consist of 10 various morphs, making it my most complex model yet. Reworked the face of Alec. It just wasn’t draconian enough. I wanted his face to resemble a more western style dragon. His snout needed to be long and pointed. since I had limited geometry to move around, I pushed it out as far as possible. My only worry is it will make it difficult to make the dragon talk when I animate him. I decided against wings for his design, as it would make him t0o draconic. Like most funny animals, not only does he have to resemble a person but a animal as well, adding wings would lean the scales too much toward the animal side. feet are now dragon like with nails and digitigrade design. Added some fins to the head. I just need give the hands dragon like nails and fix a minor glitch in the ear. Then I can texture and paint the scales. Will probably jump to Cruz and work on him for a while beforehand.
Looks like Cruz and Alec are in a pickle now 😀 . Despite my models not being finished. I couldn’t wait to try them out to make sure they ‘work’ well. I had way too much fun making this 🙂 I used some old rejected models below Alec, you might recognize some of them. I thought since I put so much time in them I might as use them at least once so they don’t go to waste 🙂
WIP 3D model for Cruz. The Cheetah version needs better textures as the ones being used are placeholders. Cruz is a cheetah due to my friend’s request. The human Cruz needs sandals instead of shoes. I should uv and texture the tail while I’m at it. I can see so many gags for a fat cheetah character. 😀
It’s been a while since I have worked on this project. Changed Alex’s name to Alec so it doesn’t get confused with another character I have made (Dean,Chris,Alex, and Alec.. Oh what will I name him next :D) . Did some tweaks on the 3d human model. The human model is most important as it will be used most of the time. Gave Alec more weight. Finished the dragon model of Alec. I switched it from a dragon to a alligator ( I gave up on the alligator model) and back again. There is no direct connection in the storyline between the human and dragon versions of Alec. It’s more of a alternate dimension type thing that just gives me more opportunities for gags. The face of dragon Alec is much thicker and stubby then earlier versions and body is now more anthro then funny animal. I still need to model new pants and add shoe strings to the shoes. Ditched the hair on the dragon model and made him white for better readability. the dragon’s feet need some modifications to look more dragon like.
3d model WIP model for Cruze that ‘other’ protagonist. Cruz is the more spontaneous, easy going type compared to Alex who is all ‘Serious Business'(I can’t believe I quoted a meme, no wonder I am forever alone 🙂 ). In the design process I decided shorts would be the best choice for Cruze to wear, because my friend, rain, snow, or shine will be wearing shorts! His ancestry must have polar bear genes. The shoes are place holders and will be changed.
Time spent 2 hours.Created in Hexagon, Daz Studio and Photoshop
First rough of the character Alex. The character that represents myself for web comic / animation thingy that I keep restarting. It is a project with my friend. I be doing the art and character design, he will be coloring the comics and promotion, we will both be scripting, animation, and voice acting. This time due to Carrara’s buggyness, I used just Hexagon to create the model and then imported them into DAZ Studio Pro as morphs that where applied directly to the base mesh. I created clothing and hair in Hexagon as well. The hoodie was on my dragon and I just reused it. The pants and shoes are sliced and diced from clothing that came with DAZ. They are simply placeholders until I can make my own shoes and pants or mod them into something decent. You might be wondering, ‘wasn’t he a gator/dragon in the concept art?’ Yes there was but it doesn’t fit with what we want to do. I feel human characters are a better fit for this project for now. I still have a dragon model I spent forever on, I will be using it for SOMETHING. I still think gators are awesome.
Update: Updated some text text that didn’t make since. I called him my alter-ego, I think that was incorrect terminology.
Time Spent: 3 hours on this model, so far.
Hexagon for modeling morphs(face and body) and clothing
DAZ studio for applying morphs, and posing
Photoshop painting textures for assembly of renders
Alex the alligator is a character I have designed for a comic /animation hybrid that I am working with a friend to produce. The character’s personality is based on my own. It was a interesting challenge to draw a friendly/geeky looking alligator. Funny animal alligators are usually portrayed as bullies. It’s going to be fun to bash stereotypes with this comic. Originally he was going to be a dragon but we decided for the projects to use only real animals. He has a dragon look in him still. My friend chose a cheetah for his character. A fat cheetah, that’s going to be interesting.
Update: I decided humans are better for this project at this time. He looks a lot like my dragon character Chris.