Brutalist Astronaut (CLOSED)
So to start off I've never modeled a full character before, primarily I am a hard surface modeler so character modeling is not my comfort zone. Upon finding this challenge I figured that I would give this a go and see what I can do to push my existing skills and learn some new ones.
Currently my idea is pretty basic, an Astronaut who's suit is inspired by brutalist architecture/design.
For now I am compiling reference material and thinking about the story behind my character. But here is a taste of reference I have thus far.
So after a busy week I have an update. The piece I've initially started to focus on is the Helmet. I think the helmet of a space suit is one of, if not the pivotal piece. It establishes not only the silhouette of the suit but our connection to the character within. Sticking to my initial idea of brutalism I have designed a helmet that I've tried to mimic the look of a brutalist building. The rear is boxy with stark lines, a circular detail embellishing it. For the front I initially played with a much more angular style but I wasn't satisfied with how it was appearing. I then began experimenting with hexagons and eventually stumbled into the dome shape you see here. I'm not entirely satisfied with the dome fitting in with the brutalist style I've chosen but I figured I might as well post an update and maybe get some feedback
Thanks for reading!
As I previously stated in my last update I wasn't satisfied with my first iteration of my face dome on the helmet. I took some time and redesigned it and am much happier with the new one being much more brutalist imo.
Other Progress is coming along.
I started creating the body of my character and boy it is a lot harder to design a space suit from scratch then one might think!
Choosing a hard vs soft design was difficult so I decided on a hybrid where the torso is going to be hard material and the limbs will be flexible. I also started sculpting the face of my character. I've never done this type of sculpt before so i's pretty rough but it has been interesting to give it a go and hopefully a few more iterations will improve it's look.
Next I will be making the legs, and O2 pack and then move on to layering in more details as over all this is a fairly rough blocking at the moment.
Thanks for reading!
Hello again and here's another update!
For this update I primarily focused on creating the O2/thruster pack that is attachable to the suit. It was challenging to create a design that I felt was unique.
My primary starting point for inspiration for the pack was a metal sculpture and Robarts library in Toronto, my hometown and former university! The Peacock (or Turkey) head of the library struck me as the perfect piece for the center of my Brutalist O2 pack. I took the general shape placed grills inside and used it not only for the central pillar but for the thrusters for extra vehicular maneuvering. From there I created my o2 tanks and a housing for it all.
It was from there I had to devise a system for the pack to secure itself to the body of the suit. I utilized the rings I had previously placed on the back of the torso section as the mounting points. This was difficult as the pieces were set at angles which made for somewhat difficult job to model as the axis of pieces kept getting thrown out of whack within Maya. But I persevered and managed to create a unique attachment system that I think serves its purpose.
Once that was decided I needed a way for O2 to get from the pack to the rest of the suit. I chose to use the apollo style connection points as they just look very cool imo and it'll be fun to have some accents of anodized aluminium once I get to texturing. I placed some connectors on top of the pack and then created had to choose where to go next, I decided that they would bend down filling the space in between the rest of the pack and the body of the suit in a hard housing. from there the would extrude from the bottom one traveling directly from the pack to the left side and the right side one traveling through a 3 way connector that attaches to an emergency O2 tank directly on the suit. figured in the event of the pack failing there would at least be a supplemental supply of O2 to hopefully allow the astronaut to get to safety.
I also blocked out some legs and feet, although those are very much WIP at the moment.
Still lots to do and there are some things I didn't mention but this is getting long and I am pleased with the direction I am headed!
Thanks for taking the time to read all of that if you did!
Sculpted the fabric bits to look more like fabric then before adding wrinkles and such. I also modeled and sculpted fabric covers for some of the hard parts of the suit. From there I started applying some rudimentary textures that I was using to layout UV's. Will post a few screen grabs of the UV's in a bit. Besides that I am quite happy with the progress. Next will be bringing it into substance to texture it. Also I will probably mess with the sculpt of the face to try and make it look more like a human and less like a CG Monster .
Thanks for taking a look!
I've finished Uving almost everything, still finalizing the face sculpt. I've included a few examples of some Uv's to get some idea to what I've done. Uving took a while to get right as I'm trying balance having enough resolution and detail available while minimizing the total number of materials. I think I've been able to achieve a good balance.
I've also been working in Substance Designer to create a fabric texture which was a nice change of pace coming off of Uving. I'm very much a novice at designer so my material is a pretty basic one. I kinda "cheated" by using an SVG I made in Photoshop and Illustrator as the base pattern instead of creating it from scratch in designer but I couldn't figure out a way to even come close to the reference pattern in designer. If anyone is able I'd love to see how you did it! Overall though I am happy with how it came out.
I have also started in substance painter but will provide updates on that later!
Figured I take a moment to thank Foxy for not only the kind words thus far but for the great job you're doing giving feedback and encouraging all of us in the contest. I'm pretty blown away by what everyone is creating. Y'all are super talented.
With that being said, I've gotten a good start on texturing in substance painter, with the majority at least started. Still working on detailing and finishing it up but I have enough for a little tease test render. I rendered it in Arnold with a super quick lighting set up and a little depth of field to spice it up.
I'll post some screenshots of my substance work once I'm a bit further along but I couldn't resist doing a little test.
Thanks for taking a look!
You're welcome, and thank YOU for the kind words. When Ion (the owner of RenderHub) asked me if I would consider being the host for this contest, I said yes as soon as he said WIPs would be a requirement for entry.
I don't have the skills (nor would I have the time to learn) to do what you all are doing here in this contest. But I thoroughly enjoy seeing the magic unfold.
You're right - there's some amazing entries here, and yours in no exception!
CONTEST ENTRY DEADLINE EXTENDED TO JANUARY 15, 2021
Some contest participants have been giving feedback that they may not have time to complete their projects, or may have to take shortcuts to make the November 30th deadline.
To relieve some of this anxiety and give artists more time to do the quality job they want, RenderHub has decided to extend the entry period deadline to January 15, 2021.
We thank you all for participating! If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.
Got a lot done in Substance. Here is a selection of a bunch of the materials I've created. I decided on using metals that are not associated with modern space suit design to give the character a unique feel. I found that I really liked how bronze and copper looked together and have used them as the primary metals. (for sake of realism I imagine that these are coatings on top of lighter metals and there are subtle scratches to give that appearance) The Fabric material I made in Substance designer worked quite well with in painter and I quite like how it pairs with the copper and bronze.
Now I completed most of this work prior to learning of the contests extension. So I will probably go back and modify some of what I have done thus far as I have more time to add additional details, but for the moment I am happy with how it's coming along.
Thanks for taking a look!
Face, Rigging and Whacky Colours
This will be the first face that I've seriously modeled. I based it off my self as I had a lot of reference . As it is my first time modeling a face combined with the fact that it'll be in a helmet I am pleased with where I was able to get to. I think while not fully life like I achieved some semblance of my likeness. The eyes are something I think I will have to return to before final rendering but for now it does the job. I modeled/sculpted everything in Maya, textured in substance.
I also managed to rig my character using the quick rig tool in Maya. Using the step by step mode I was eventually able to get a rig working. The main issue I encountered was when creating the skeleton from the guides. I'm not sure why but whenever I tried to create the skeleton it would not conform to the guides. Eventually I tried messing with the HumanIK panel at random and found that when I selected the character as my source and then tried making the skeleton it conformed to the guides. I'm not sure why that worked or if I had inadvertently changed the source at some point but I was able to get it to work. I then painted my weights which was somewhat difficult as my mesh is not water tight but I managed to wrap my head around how it was deforming and paint some adequate weights. Shout out to this blog post which helped me gain some insight into painting weights https://3dtotal.com/tutorials/t/painting-weights-and-skinning-a-straightforward-approach-kiel-figgins-character-skinning
After getting the rig working I began messing with making some lighting. Will tone it down for final images but I was just playing around.
With the contest being extended I am considering what to add next, I was thinking of messing around in xgen to create some eyebrows/eyelashes/facial hair but haven't fully decided. I also have been thinking about making some tools.
Anyway thanks for taking a look!
Very impressive WIP from start - process - to finish. Final image suggests Utalist_astronaut has just encountered Ms Foxy, and realized he forgot the roses!
or it might be ...
He just heard one of the Queens corgis died this evening, and his boss has told him he has to find/tell Harry and Meagan.
Good luck in the competition.
Keep well, keep safe and keep smiling,
Some more renders!
First off thanks, RxLnx for the kind words and yeah it was definitely sad to hear the Queen only has one dorgi (a cross between a dachshund and corgi) left.
Second I made eyelashes! Made them pretty quickly using Xgen.
I also was playing with some emission and lighting values. Pretty pleased with what I have been able to make.
Thanks for taking a look!
Medium close up
Wide Over view
Focus on some Details
Close up (really pleased with the colours on this one)
An architectural inspired render
Rear Wide shot
Hope everyone had a nice holiday break!
Anyway I've made another render for fun!
Will be updating some of the previous ones with this new lighting for final renders of my character before the end of the contest.
Made the planet using Maya, Arnold, and some textures from https://www.solarsystemscope.com/textures/
Final Renders (1/5)
Firstly, big thank you to Render Hub and Foxy for hosting this competition! It was a lot of fun to participate and see what everyone was creating. I learned a lot about character modeling and was very impressed with what everyone else was able to make. I'm really proud to be competing against such talented artists.
For my final renders I toned down the lighting using a directional light to better emulate the type of lighting we can see in video from the ISS and other space missions. I also made a 2d frame in Photoshop to help create a more cohesive look. The logo in the bottom left is the one I created for my fictional space agency that is used throughout my characters textures. I also added grain as I think it helped to unify the frame element and my renders.
Anyway here are my renders!
More Renders below (1/5)
Final Renders (2/5)
More Renders Below (2/5)
Final Renders (3/5)
More Renders Below (3/5)
Final Renders (4/5)
More Renders Below (4/5)
Final Renders (5/5)
Final Renders (5/5)
(Had to split up as I was having trouble uploading all images in one post.)
SWEET! This turned out great. I like the mood you set with the final renders, too.
Thank you for participating in the contest. From concept to creation, I have enjoyed following your project.
I'm just the contest host and won't be judging, but best of luck to you!
This is my first comment... btw, I'm writing for two reasons.
The first is that I find your work very curious: I saw the wips during this period and I really like the final result.
The second reason is that the tutorial that you linked for the painting weights on a rig was very helpful also for me, so... thank you, I'll be eternally grateful to you :'D
Danail, Thanks for the kind words and no problem! I'm glad that tutorial was helpful!