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September ProgBlog #1: getting hairy again

Posted on: Sunday, 5 September 2021 @ 11:15pm
Blatting about

The slow and painful days are starting to become a habit I really need to snap out of.  Both projects are plodding along and I'm kind of bumbling my way through everything else around them with varying degrees of success.


After switching back to the colour map, I attacked the shape of the dragon tattoo, adding in these little belly scale segmentation things.


Trust me it's one of those tiny little things that you don't notice when it's done but that you would definitely notice if it hadn't been done x_x


I"m now calling the dragon done and switched over to doing the phoenix.  I guess the good thing about having to redo it is I think this one is better, or at least the phoenix is better.  The general shape and flow is better and I think I also got the longest point of the tails (on both the dragon and phoenix) to line up nicely this time.  The dragon was pretty good last time and I'm undecided if this one is better or worse but it's not making me mad (yet) so going with that.

drawing phoenix tattoo in bpainter, blender 2.93.3

Up close the feathers are looking very anime fluffy.


They look a bit better further out and fortunately I was only three feathers in before remembering that primaries have shorter leading edges.

painting feathers in bpainter, Blender 2.93.3

This one theoretically shouldn't take quite as long as the dragon to do but me being me I'm going to get super finicky about the feathers so it probably won't be too far off.


I continue to wish I'd remembered multires was a thing some months ago (I'm such a monumental dumbarse -_-).  It's quicker and smoother and actually makes nice bakes.

udim bake from multires in Blender 2.93

There were a few sections on the nails I probably should have smoothed out but I'm not using the normals on the nail materials.

Pro-tip: every single texture slot on the object in question needs an image node loaded with the bake target image even if it's not actually going to be using it.  It took me the better part of a a couple of hours to work out that's what the "no active texture" error message the bake thing was spitting up was on about -_-

Further pro-tip: multires is only really good for adding fine detail to an existing base mesh.

I hate baking.

Normals baked meant I could turn the multires modifier "off" (disable in viewport and render) and turn the subdivision modifier back on and be able to render without Blender exploding (I tried with both multires and subd on just to see what would happen and got exactly what I was expecting).

Then it was time to hit the hair.

I think out of all the main characters Yue probably has the most difficult hair with those dreaddies.  The particle hair system has some kink settings so I tried playing around with them and had my usual early on interesting situation with non-standard hair.


I did finally make some settings work

yue particle hair dreadlock settings in Blender 2.93.3

However it kept rendering like

yue particle hair not rendering how I want

Conversations with sibling dearest always help (we didn't project chat last night as she had gone to an event, should probably do it soon seeing as we didn't end up roleplaying this weekend again because children stayed up all hours and then didn't get up til stupid late):

Screenshot 20210905 143518

There was only one checkbox I needed (B-spline under the "path" pane in the particles panel) and it was unchecked by default.

Screenshot 20210905 143955

And the step count needed to get bumped up from 2.  I maxed it out at 10 but may get away with lower.

I then experimented with using curve guides to apply the hair styling as I noticed the same settings in the curve guide panels but it wouldn't go as tight as the particle panel settings.

I completely forgot to get a render/screenie of the working hair because it was getting late and I realised it was not working and that I would probably have to do one guide per dread, and will probably need to rig every single one of them too.  So I resumed doing what I'd started doing with the freestyle experiment and startted laying it out with thick beziers.


Both sides got done simultaneously rather than being mirrored as I didn't want it to be that symmetrical.

"For some strange reason"  the hair styling ended up different to what I drew.

For new readers, I 3d a lot better than I draw.

Pro-tip: sometimes a good idea to check references before and while doing anything as I realised after I'd gotten a fair way into head coverage that the dreaddies were a bit too close together as it seems a fair bit of hair goes into each one so the base is usually larger than the dread.  Less did mean a bit quicker to lay out at least.

Couldn't see a damn thing with the grey after a while so I made it candy coloured (random viewport shading).

Yue candy dreadlocks

I was really hoping to finish this tonight and probably could have if I hadn't had that unnecessarily long break earlier (okay the long break was actually necessary as I forgot to take breaks for pretty much the whole day).  I really shouldn't push too many more late nights and early mornings though (I'm now waking up at 7am again which is great, but not going to bed til midnight or later which is not great), I just recovered from the last burnout not long ago x_x

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