This week on Drawergeeks, I got to pick the assignment! So I chose my all time favorite superhero, Chickenman. Jeezum Crow, did the drawergeeks ever rock the house on this one, wow.
So, here’s my Chickenman, and some step by step stuff on how I created him.
First I started with a sketch. I actually sketched him in the fabulous program Alias Sketch, on my tablet PC while I was sitting in the backyard with my daughter as we made up stories about the restaurant the toads in our garden are running. Anyway, here’s my intial sketch:
It had the silly feel that I was looking for, but it’s a pretty stiff, boring pose that doesn’t really reveal his character at all. So I did another. I also sketched in a quick background.
That’s more interesting, huh? Now that I had the sketch, it was time to jump into 3d! My drawing style is, well, decidedly “undimensional”. Flat and squiggly even. Crude? Naive? The list goes on and on. Definitely not much in the way of form going on here folks. But I’m geeky enough to try and get these things to work. Here’s the initial rough models for Chickenman:
Don’t look like much do they? But you can probably see his parts here. His tail, legs, body, head, etc. (ready to be shrinkwrapped and place in the poultry section of the meat department). Don’t worry, we’ll be putting them together and smoothing them out next.
Here’s the model slapped together and converted from polygons to subdivision surfaces. Wheeee!
Here’s a close-up of the head model so you can see how the geometry is looking. It’s so, so, so, delightfully tesselated no?
And here’s the final model, in the final set, with simple shading, in all it’s gray plastic glory. You can see I went with a cutout style for the background buildings and clouds, because I’m lazy.
Next it’s time to start assigning some colors and textures to the models. I wanted it to look kind of like this was a little clay model set or something, so I put some toothy textured loveliness on all the models. Now hold your breath, here’s the shading network for his body texture/color:
Whew, that was almost too exciting. Okay, so once I had the textures going, it was time to light the scene. I decided to use a photograph to actually provide a lot of the lighting in this scene. Here’s a picture of the entire scene, with the photograph wrapped around it.
The photograph provided a nice base of subtle lighting in the scene, but I wanted some more definite shadows, as well a yellowy light hitting the C-man from one side, and a blueish light from the other. So I added a warm, shadow casting spotlight on one side, and a cool directional light on the other. Just like a McDLT!
Here’s the rendered image with the final lighting. All done right? Oh no, think again my friend.
While that looked okay, I wanted Chickeman to pop a little more off the background. So what did I do? Yep, that’s right. I rendered out some fog.
Why fog? Because it’s so mysterious and Scooby Doo? Well duh. But also because it let me separate out the character from the background in a depth of fieldy kind of way. Then in Photoshop I used it as an alpha channel and blurred it using the lens blur filter. I also used it to desaturate the background a tad to make Chickenman stand out a little more. And there you have it. Again, click on the image for a bigger version, but only if you want to.