To say I'm happy with how Nigel has been transitioning into the third dimension would at this point be an understatement, I have been working feverishly for the last couple of weeks on capturing my illustrations, but what I also found was as I could start to see my creation forming in 3D, I began to see my own mistakes in my Anatomy Studies.
I realised that some things I had chosen with the drawings were more stylised than correct and really didn't work, but I was able to improve on my own design as I went along, fixing anything that didn't look right, but also keeping the stylised look that I was going for. Part of it was reminding myself that I wasn't modelling an anatomically correct human body, this was someone who was once human but his body had been warped and transformed into something more monstrous.
I started to find that I was liking the model more than the drawings the further I progressed. So I worked harder and harder capturing everything that I wanted on the model, even the things I really couldn't visualise too well on paper. I also focused on having this be a very accurate, detailed, and clean model, that I would be happy to display from any angle.
With that in mind, here is my progress thus far.
(disclaimer, I made multiple saves of my progress to access later as I went along so I could make this post)
Here is the first basic shape I built around the orthographs, while being very low poly I was very happy to see the proportions working in 3D and the muscle tone emerging.
I turned the faces on so you could see how simple this first model was.
After showing Alan my foundation, I spent the next few hours picking Alans brain on my anatomical sculpting and getting feedback, he showed me some changes and I started working on the upper body for the next few hours, the image above was the result.
When I got home I spent much time using what I had learned and defining the upper body, thus far I have put the most work into making sure the torso looks as best as it could, and I added more shape and successfully blended his bicep into his shoulder. I am really happy with how his shoulders and pectorals all blend so nicely, and captures all the subtle curves and dips of the chest and arms. This was the point I got really lost in making everything work. I also started on the back but it still needs refining.
As I was happy with the chest, neck and arms for now I moved onto the next most important part, the Abdominal area.
Something I tried to capture in my illustrations, was the idea that Nigel has gills that run under his rib cage, and curve nicely into the groves of the Abs, it was hard for me to show this on paper. But when I started to build the Abs I realised this might actually work quite nicely.
So after getting the rough shape of the Abs I started to shape his gills into the curves, and the end result was something better than I thought. My idea worked great! and I love how I was able to convey it properly now.
Here you can get a better look at the nice ridges of the Gills flowing into the abs, still keeping with the sharp curves of the chest.
After taking a break to look around the body, I realised one (of many, but that's another post) anatomical issues I hadn't thought of. You can see this in Part 3 clearly, this being a smooth area between the Pectorals and the Abs, where the ribs should be, so I added those in. Due to Nigel being very lanky and twisted, I made his ribs very prominent, matching the thin but lean look I'm going for.
Also here are the curves of the abs with the lines turned on so you can more clearly see my workings.
At this point I decided to finalise the arms, the shape here changes a lot from my orthograph but essentially all I did was turn his forearm 45 degrees, so its less twisted.
Also after referencing many arms from many angles I realised the elbow is not usually visable on an extended arm, and blends into the forearm. I still wanted to keep Nigel's forearms quite bulky and stylised in keeping with his concept art so I made sure his muscles were shaped properly and defined where needed to keep them relatively close to anatomical correctness.
From here it was more about refining what was already there. So I started fixing small things and defining features.
In keeping with my research and idea's for his design, In my drawings Nigel's pelvis was very visible, partly due to skinny look but also adds some more nice sharp edges I'm looking for.
I spent a long time perfecting the curves of his hip bone and how it runs into his lower Abs, but again this was another piece of the body that after much study I found that I could improve upon my drawing, but only very slightly this time to have a more accurate pelvis shape on the sides.
After I had finished sculpting this area I was very happy with the end result, one of my favourite parts of the model. Again I was able to capture the minimal, sharp, but detailed look I had with the rest of the character. The mix of Low Poly and High Detail I was hoping to reach was starting to really show
I also changed the shape of the butt a lot, I took some weight out to give him less of a "Bootayy" and made it more boney, which captured what I had meant to show in the orthographs much better,
)The Belly Button still needs to be added but I decided to do that closer to the end)
So here is all those steps and pieces of detail together, his knees and calves still need a little polishing, and the neck muscles will be worked on when the head is connected.
As I've mentioned I am very happy with this piece of work, and can't wait to show off the finished product so soon! (Hands and Feet post including full body assembly coming tomorrow!)