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August ProgBlog #1: branching out

posted on: Sunday, 8 August 2021 @ 9:40pm in

The scales are still going. The only thing that’s changed is that I’m now in the yellow PURPLE section! XD

I was in the yellow section when I was writing this progblog, I missed Friday for various reasons to intended to post over the weekend, missed the weekend for related reasons, thought I’d post on Monday, didn’t, thought fine I’ll just cram over the week and the cramming got done but I missed Friday again for very slightly associated with last weekend reasons x_x

And I realised after actually looking at ko-fi that I haven’t updated for over two weeks, oops x_x (I only paid attention because they said they were letting gold members trial the tiers and that I had early access to be able to provide feedback, it was supposed to be for gold members but I’m not one so I guess there was either a slow rollout or a trial group, either way it seems to be open for everyone now). Part of the reason for that is because I was doing very short update posts on Tuesday which has now changed to working on something else day (other project or cameos which I really need to get back to as well) and I quite often will work on the Fridays til really late before I actually do and post the progblog (Friday being my designated progblog posting day) so after I’ve posted it I usually just go to bed (because it’s between midnight and 2am by then) and then forget to update when I wake up again.

Think the main thing I need to do there is work out if I’m changing or nixing the minor update days or just posting the alternate stuff I’m doing just for something different especially during periods where I have to be doing something (like these scales) for a very long time to break things up a bit.

Think I might try that and see how that goes (may as well it’s not like I advertise the ko-fi or have enough visual stuff to be interesting yet).

And you know how I said when I was drawing roleplaying characters that I was really tempted to 3d them?

Well after talking with the GM we decided to 3d stuff (he’s supposed to be doing ships and other inorganic things and I’m doing characters because he hasn’t started doing organic stuff yet). Not sure what if anything will be done beyond visuals with this project but it’s fun. I asked about style and got a response of “as anime as possible” so I started with freestyle (what the lineart thing is called) and toon shading.

GM was happy with how it looked and otherwise the common feedback has been it reminds people of Borderlands.

Still haven’t quite figured out what’s what with the freestyle settings, and I’m using the toon shaders in the most basic of basic ways (hair uses gloss, skin uses diffuse, and I messed around with sliders til it looked somewhat acceptable). And the subtle expression is very Yue but was mostly to make sure I’d drawn the eyebrows and eyelashes/lines in the right spots.

While I was doing this I found out that UV Packmaster had stopped working at some point probably because Blender had updated, so I updated that, and have to buy a newer version of the engine which is not expensive but currently annoying because it’s not something I can do immediately because all my money kind of evaporated because children insist on having growth spurts and it’s comp season. So I just used the internal packing algorithm because it wasn’t the biggest deal for this model but its inefficiencies still annoyed me.

As the GM and I were discussing look he mentioned something about normal mapping Gundry’s scars and I said it wouldn’t look great with the toon style shading, and showed him what Zara’s bump mapped scars looked like (done as bump rather than normal because I know how to paint bumps whereas I only know how to sculpt and bake normals).

close up of bump mapped scars in Blender 2.93

We ended up deciding to go with an Advent Children type look instead.

nb: I’m not that good but I try.

I’m glad we got there earlier rather than later, and this pleases me as I can use my existing shaders and particle hair and all the fur can be floofy!

And I can also sculpt the level of detail I have a rather unhealthy obsession for.

Yue sculpting

Getting shapes right is yet another nemesis. As is the apparent inability to properly smooth the freaking mesh which infuriates me no end (the smooth tool seems to flatten rather than smooth). It makes what’s already a long process for me (because I keep fussing over it x_x) take that much longer.

GM has also apparently got me an appropriately sized chain after I told him I needed to get a chain I could put paint on to wrap around my arm as reference for Gundry’s scars as there was a chain (which may or may not have been the right size at gymnastics) which I tried to imprint by wrapping it really tightly but it didn’t leave a clear enough mark.

One of the upper boys who was helping set up or pack up or whatever we were doing in that area was initially mildly confused but after I said it was a reference he understood immediately as his brother is also an animator, and we usually have a lot of fun chats about that and related things.

Weekend just gone has been pretty full on with comps. I did not get enough sleep or work done for the entire weekend (I did try to do enough of one of those things x_x). 16yo missed his comp as he hadn’t shaken off the dregs of a minor flu that went through the house. 14yo did pretty well (got two medals) although she wasn’t happy with her performance. There’s lower level comps in a couple of weeks and then it will be full on for states. Weekends should be back to normal though and I’ll hopefully get sleeping (both youngest and I are violently out of whack, he’s part of the reason why I’m out of whack) back under control and hit high gear a bit more reliably again.