My daughter’s alien.

Posted by bryan
November 3, 2006 | 3d, illustration, process

The latest DrawerGeeks assignment was to take a drawing done by a child, and then so an illustration based on that drawing. So I picked this drawing by my five year old daughter:

I decided I want to do the illustration so that it looked like painted clay, while following the spirit of her drawing as closely as possible. So here’s what it looks like:

click on the image for a nice zoom, and look below for some making of stuff.

After getting my daughter’s sketch, the first thing did was to do a very basic simple low polygon model of the alien’s head. I know, I know, it doesn’t look like too much right now, but just wait. It’ll get better. I hope.

Next I converted the polygon model into subdivs to smooth it out. Oooo, so subdivilicious.

Then I did some 3d sculpting, adding some wrinkles, some brows and the I popped in the eyes and the teeth. Paying special attention to getting the teeth the same as my daughter’s original drawing.

Now he’s starting to look not too shabby, it’s definitely time for some texturing. The first thing I had to tackle was the UV map for the model. I have to confess, I haaaaaaate texturing polygons and subdivision surfaces. I’ve always avoided it in the past. But when my buddy Keith Lango showed me the roadkill plugin for maya, it made me very happy. Here’s the original uvmap for this guy.

As you can see, not so easy to see what’s going on. But after using the roadkill plug, I got this:

Much better, much cleaner. I can now see where all the eyes are, the mouth is, etc. So then I took this into Painter and could paint the surface knowing exactly where all the strokes would go.

I used a brush with “impasto” in Painter. That means it includes some depth information for the brush strokes. I took that information and created a bump that I could bring into Maya.

Then I brought the painted texture and bump map into Maya and created a very simple material shader for the alien. As you can see, the painted texture is just going into the color for a blin shader, the bump map is going into the bump channel, and I have custom brownian 3d texture that I drove into the blinn’s eccentricity to scatter the highlight across the model more. To make it less plasticky. I like to talk like this at the checkout line too.

Next, I wanted to use some image based lighting for this illustration, so I picked a photo that my wife had taken of me and my daughter at the beach. It had the light blues and purples I was looking for to light my scene.

Then I set up just two extra lights, one key light to cast some shadows, and one rimmish light to cast a night green color from the side.  I also turned on Final Gathering so it would calculate the image based lighting and color bleed as well.

And here’s the final render again and some zoomed in areas of the illustration. I hope you like it!

Blog Comments

wow!! I just crapped my pants!!!

Awesome work dude. I love it. Thanks for all the technical info. You make it look sooooo easy.

Mike: Thanks man! Can I put that on my resume?

Bert: After your last comment, I tried to include a little more texturing and rendering info. Thanks for the prodding! You know what? I am really not a master of any aspect of doing the 3d stuff. I’m a mediocre modeler, a ham fisted texturer, and a naive lighter. But darn it, I’m going to try and have fun with this stuff anyways! 🙂

fantastic. love that clay look.

and always excellent to see some “making of” steps. thanks for sharing that.

All I can say is duuuuuuuuuuuuude! What IS UP with you? Everyweek on DG you pull out a different look, angle, color palette, style and it ALL comes off as B.B.! You got the tools. You got the talent. You got my attention and respect. Awesome job man. Thanks again for getting me in on the DG thing. Great timing. Right before the mass attention from the Drawn article.

Playpotamus: I appreciate it, thanks!

Jim B. Ha, thanks man. I totally love what you’ve been doing for DG, I’m so glad you got in. I love your work in general and your style. It rocks.

Like daughter, like father.

Yo, Bry-man!
I totally cracked up! Inspired work! And might I say, what an amazing idea too!
You could go on the road with this one!
Beth

DH, now that’s a compliment!

Beth, Thanks! Bellieve it or not, I’m thinking of how to work this in to my presentations to school visits, etc.

Bryan! This is just wonderful. I love the detailed breakdown of how you did it. It just amazes me the way you blend 3-D with your 2-D art.

i think this was my favorite of the bunch, bryan. this monster is just so cuddly!

and you’re process- jeez, man!!! i feels so lazy for just coloring mine after work the night before!

you are a genius.

Thanks Sarah, I wish I had more time to play around with my 3d/2d stuff even more. Some day maybe.

Wow Mike, thanks! There were a lot of great DG’s this last week. Genius, ha, not even close.

i am a HUGE FAN of this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! you are so good!

Very very inspiring – thank you.

Bryan,
Awe inspiring is somewhat understated. You might like to know I used this image and process steps to try to communicate mathematical thinking to a student of mine, as well as show her how she might take her love of art and direct it towards a career.

Thanks you guys. Stephen, wow, that rocks! You made my day.

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