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DreamShapers sketch book

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  • DreamShaperDreamShaper Posts: 705
    3Jane

  • DreamShaperDreamShaper Posts: 705
    3Jane


  • DreamShaperDreamShaper Posts: 705
    3Jane
    edited November 2018
     Plasticized material.  Not quite metal, wood or flesh, but adaptable to any of the above.  May clean this up and stamp it to create ridged battle armor.  Scaled up, under flatter light, such as where the piece is cut away in the middle, should make a somewhat surreal desert scene.
  • DreamShaperDreamShaper Posts: 705
    3Jane
    edited November 2018
    Some interesting light catching properties.  Multiple angles of the same stamp.  A bit of selective trimming and I seefish fins, ornate textiles and cave walls.  Possibly LED rows, especially if I bend the base stamp or cut it so it lays out along a linear path. 



  • DreamShaperDreamShaper Posts: 705
    3Jane
    edited November 2018
     Elements of this interest me, and may be cut to make various composite stamps.  I am definitely curious about the diamond shape in the center.  The lower half of the stamp has some interesting flow, and can see it being used to create a woodwork kind of texture.  Won'r really know until I separate it out and see how it actually applies.  Also kind of an opera  hall thing going on there, which I'm contemplating. This one's more interesting in terms of potential derivatives, rather than the piece itself.
  • DreamShaperDreamShaper Posts: 705
    3Jane
    edited November 2018
     Above stamp with the move tool in mirroring mode.  M ostly interesting for the crest, which should make for an interesting repeating pattern, although might need to be bulked up before making a new stamp from it.
  • DreamShaperDreamShaper Posts: 705
    3Jane
    edited November 2018
     Interesting properties. Have a few directions I can go with this.  Clearly not something that could be used in anything intended for 3d printing.  Some pleasantly apocalyptic gradiants going on in the upper section.  I'm intrigued by the light catching possibilities in the center section.  Could cut that down and make a pretty impressive artifact, earring, or dungeon accessory of some kind.  That part may actually be solid enough to convert to a restamp, which could be interesting.    Could see exploring this further as the face foundation for a vaguely squid like alien ambassador, or with a broad layout and selective chiseling a basis for a somewhat dramatic landscape.  Anyhow, enough there to spark my imagination, although a lot of follow up work needs to be done if I build an entire sculpt on the core stamp used here.
  • DreamShaperDreamShaper Posts: 705
    3Jane
    edited October 2018
    Interesting. Guess I have some extra slots now
  • DreamShaperDreamShaper Posts: 705
    3Jane
    edited November 2018
    Taking stamp iteration to its maximum level.  This is one of the above water stamps, whihc has been stretched and reforged until its about as thin as a stamp can functionally be.  The design was made using mirrored mode (would love a multi-axis mirror option along with the ability to precisely increment spacing for making mandalas, flowers, and exploration of fractal patterning).    Anyhow, captures a definite sense of texture and organic repetition. Some interesting surfacing potentials for organics and non-organics here.  A technique and atmosphere I plan to explore further.

  • DreamShaperDreamShaper Posts: 705
    3Jane
    edited November 2018
    Stamp patterns, some fairly ornate.   This entire sculpt is the end results of a "scratchboard sculpt", which is what I tend to think of my stamp development projects as.   Basically make materials for a stamp, combine them.  Test the stamp at different resolutions and angles, each on its own layer.   Sometimes cloning and applying different textures or paint to, sometimes restamping, at others testing grid layouts or velocities with different levels of overlay, or whatever else catches my interest.   Frequently this involves sampling from a result and forming a new stamp which then goes through the same process until I see something else I want to look at.   Makes for a fairly systematic process, and often takes advantage of the 100+ layers that can now be created.  Also time consuming, but I've found it to be a useful exercise.

    Idea of this particular project was to create a sense of carved stone, using a stamp layout to define the texture, for things like pillars, wall sconces, sword hilts, and dragon skin


  • DreamShaperDreamShaper Posts: 705
    3Jane
    edited November 2018
    Blue metals.  While I hesitated putting this one up, since I don't like the overall framing, I do like the effect that is going on in the middle of the picture.   There's almost a liquid-metal circuitry thing going on, which would be cool for using as an android backbone, a high tech server farm, or as a "wavelength" pattern. 

    Drawn a bit closer together, the stamp used to make the blue lines might be able to make a convincing glass surface

  • DreamShaperDreamShaper Posts: 705
    3Jane
    edited November 2018
    Red and black. Somewhere between a Jellyfish, a Gemstone, and a Lovecraftian Horror.   Fairly versatile, this stamp also smooths out really nicely to make android metals.  Application in larger project, which is still in progress.  Stamp is naturally curved.  Other side has interesting properties as well, although a lot more red in color. 

    One thing I noticed is that its difficult to add volume to, once laid out.   In retrospect, might be worth making a version that is inflated and sheared on the other side, as thin stamps can be difficult to work with if they are laid out unevenly.  Adding more volume would fix that, and also open up options to exploit further with the move tool.  This is especially important if the goal is to make a printable sculpt.  On the alternative side, the smooth tool tends to break the texture, as seen on the left edge.  This is potentially useful, depending on the "character" of the sculpt.
    ...


  • DreamShaperDreamShaper Posts: 705
    3Jane
    edited November 2018
    Castle piece, and composite stamp, which also has interesting properties of its own.  This is a piece from the stone-metal collection a couple of places up. 

    Selected for the built in granite-like mottling and its ability to shear moderately well.  Surface, as shown, is still a bit more plastic than I'd like, but that can be tuned. 

    Can see this being used for crenelations, monoliths, and other architectural detail, particularly in a medieval setting

  • DreamShaperDreamShaper Posts: 705
    3Jane
    edited November 2018
    Thought I'd give hair a try.  Not perfected yet, but I like it well enough for a first go.  Also may have to watch some videos of a hair stylist working, to get the most out of the technique.  I suspect how it is trimmed will have almost as big an impact as the materials and hair coloring choices.




  • DreamShaperDreamShaper Posts: 705
    3Jane
    Other interpretations... may need to spend some time studying hair styling skills to get a good trim




  • DreamShaperDreamShaper Posts: 705
    3Jane
    edited November 2018
    I know that some of you, who prefer to show more finished work, have looked at these, and thought to yourself, what the hell is he thinking, has  he lost his mind?  Perhaps.  However, the important thing in what I'm doing is closely examining the base level structures that create a sense of surface.  For the most part, I'm interested in working completely within medium, and exploring that medium to the fullest.  Presumably better base results will also create more interesting final renders when exported.  I'll look into that further at some point, but I suspect that the more there is to work with, as a base, the more there is to amplify in final render.  If not, then fully understanding what it looks like in actual 3d, is still worth doing.

    The last couple of image postings, particularly the blonde hair, are a bit closer to the practical application level.  I am actually working on a fairly elaborate sculpt using these techniques, but that's an ongoing project, which I'm going to hold in reserve, for now, especially since its starting to look like it wants to be multiple sculpts using various elements of it, rather than an entire sculpt using everything that's currently in it (currently on variant #70).   In part, this will be necessary to add detail to various figures and so forth.

    I took a few minutes to annotate some of the other posts in this thread, to explain more what I see in them, and why I chose them for posting.  There is, just a bit, of method to the apparent madness.  Systematic exploration takes time, but also leads to surprising results, at leas that is the hope.  If nothing else, I am establishing quite a nice collection of stamps to work with.




  • DreamShaperDreamShaper Posts: 705
    3Jane
    ... sampling of techniques possible using striation inside medium

    @P3nT4gR4m


  • P3nT4gR4mP3nT4gR4m Posts: 1,673 Valuable Player
    Damn, dude, move tool?
  • DreamShaperDreamShaper Posts: 705
    3Jane
    edited November 2018
    P3nT4gR4m said:
    Damn, dude, move tool?
    note:  Can jump to the short version at end of post.  If you're interested in more details, here's the process, with full comments, observations and other assorted ramblings --
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Long version
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I got on this track after observing light artifacting with the move tool, and the way the sphere tends to create a bit of a concentric circle effect.
    Let's see if I can recall it off the top of my head, first thing in the morning...? 
    Mostly muscle memory, but I'll give it a shot.  I might edit this post later after I do it again..not sure about the exact sequence (I don't think it's particularly strict, in that regard), but these are the main considerations, along with some things I've noticed.    I'll go ahead and do a full write up, with optional steps, explaining what I'm looking for, and summarize the basics at the end.

    It's a bit of a process, at least to get the full gradient. Takes advantage of the height/depth variance in topology, and reflectivity (so lighting angles will affect it, although you can anchor a light to the object if needed).  Usually use metals, because they are the easiest to see, fastest to dial in, and naturally reflective.  Tune the top slider to your liking.

    [Note: If you really stretch out the clay to the breaking point, you can observe how medium tears the clay when it gets too thin.  You don't usually want to do this, for this kind of thing (makes a lot of work later), although it is useful to see how clay breaks around the edges when you stretch it at different angles, also useful in a test sculpt so that you can see how materials volume affects the process.  Initially practicing on a form that has thicker areas and at least one extended edge will clarify this]

    Note 2:  Performing this process at different resolutions can create different end result effects, and will impact working speed, and reduce or increase tearing.

    1.   If I want color depth/variance, I start with a mixed color stamp.  Usually created by painting the surface, although sometimes I will just merge different clay colors.  I don't think color is absolutely necessary, but it makes things a lot easier, even if its just a bit of a tonal shift.  Alternately, can be painted directly onto the surface.

    2.  At this point, I'll usually use the move tool, which tends to break the contouring slightly, which is advantageous in that it gets the general shape worked out and tends to speed up the process.  

    3.  At this point,  you'll probably want to use inflate/deflate.   This will help mix any color, and creates some natural ridge lines, although you probably won't see much at this point, you will in the next step.

    4.  This is really the key, and the part that really amplifies the topology so that it is visible enough to effectively work with.  Hit your surface with the smooth tool, and use the flatten setting.   You should see concentricity going on, and the natural formations starting to take place.  If it doesn't jump out at you, I've found moving the sculpt and/or main light around is also helpful, so you can get a feel for how it flattens, or amplifies the effect depending on the angle or brightness.  At any rate, you'll want to see it well while you're working on it, and if it doesn't jump out at you, then you'll want to adjust the lighting.  [note: other smoothing options are useful for filling in gaps, and flattening unwanted lines]

    You can do part or all of the surface, depending on where you want to go from here and what shape you are trying to get to, and how tight you want the lines.

    5.  Usually here, I'll use the move tool again.  This will pull the contours into longer lines, and help define the curvature and/or linear nature of the thing. 

    [optional] If you're doing a variable thickness sculpt, you'll have an opportunity to look at another aspect here.  If you don't have enough volume (say, around the thin edge) you can go inside the sculpt and inflate/smooth as necessary, spraying the fragments and observe how that affects your surface layer. 

    6.   By this point you should have some pretty clear line work going on, and it will stay with the form, since its part of the structure of the clay now.   [You can see this  if you airbrush over part of the surface, try different opacities and colors to explore this further.] 

    7.  At this point, you may like the entire form, or you may just like part of it, or a particular set of contour lines.  Probably a good idea to clone the layer now, in case you change your mind and want to rework it, play with merging, or work with a different part of it.
    8.  Trim up whatever you don't want, using a red shape, such as the pill.  [You can use something jagged, which is also interesting, but that will take you in a different direction].  [If your base stamp was multi-color cut away a bit with the square, and try it at an angle, you may also see something you like there or actually want to manipulate further, in terms of patterning.]
    9.  [optional] If you want big gaps between the lines, just cut away until you have the pattern you want to enlarge. Scale up the object as desired.  If you want tight lines on a large surface,  you'll probably want to be working with a big object.  You can adjust further as desired.

    10.  [note] somewhere along this process, you'll probably have taken a look at the back.   Often that is really interesting, topologically, in its own right, especially on medium-thin sections where the tools have some push through.

    11. [note]  Increasing volume.  Working thin, has pros and cons, which you should be aware of by now.  There are a couple of ways to go about thickening things up safely, if you want to further warp it, or if you are intending on creating a printable sculpt.  

      Usually the easiest thing to do, is simply add material to the back through inflating or merging.  May have to start slow with inflate to avoid breaking the surface, if you go that route.  You'll probably want to clean up the interior as well, to remove/limit the number of voids.  An alternative is to scale it up and fill in on the interior (remove the scraps).  This can be a time expensive process, and probably isn't the best way, unless you're trying to exploit something specific to that process.

    Ok, that's the long version, with most of the variants and a lot of (hopefully) helpful tips and insights
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    TLDR;
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    Here's the short version, with the most important parts. 
    1. use move tool to stretch object
    2.  inflate/deflate to warp the surface a bit
    3.  smooth (using flatten setting)
    4.  stretch
    5.  [optional] scale up and cut away

    [hints]
    1. easiest to start with metals, reflectivity makes it easier to see. 
    2. adjust lighting and/or object position  so you have good reflection and contrast, especially important during smoothing, because if you can't see it, you can't amplify it.
    3.  when practicing, just do as its own sculpt, that gives you lots of cloning layers to play around with variations and take an in-depth look at the process.

    Hope that helps. 

  • P3nT4gR4mP3nT4gR4m Posts: 1,673 Valuable Player
    Damn, you're using that heinous topological smoothing effect that I'm constantly trying to avoid with hires inflate/deflate! Thought I recognised it in there. Awesome use of a glitch in the matrix!
  • DreamShaperDreamShaper Posts: 705
    3Jane
    edited November 2018
    P3nT4gR4m said:
    Damn, you're using that heinous topological smoothing effect that I'm constantly trying to avoid with hires inflate/deflate! Thought I recognised it in there. Awesome use of a glitch in the matrix!
    Yep.  Not so good for hard surface or anatomy, but good for organics.  See that in nature quite a bit.   Did something similar with the hair a few posts up.  Didn't do a fantastic job styling it, painting, or cleaning up the loose bits for that matter, but with a bit of practice and refinement, particularly in grouping the clusters, I think I could get a suitably realistic look.  Really time and memory consumption heavy though, even working with cloned batches, pushes it on 32gb, another level of resolution and I think it would be quite doable.   Thinking about shortcuts,  an under layer using striation has potentials.  A few other texture things I'm looking at, then I'll probably move back from the study and experimentation phase and back to the application phase.  I'd like to get better at emulating fire, for instance, gained a bit of ground there and have a few stamps that work reasonably well together, but still not satisfied with the results.  Not sure if its something I'll be able to do convincingly in medium, but I'm going to keep at it for a bit.
  • DreamShaperDreamShaper Posts: 705
    3Jane
    edited November 2018
    Alright.  Couple of evenings in. Different stages.  Initially just wanted to set up a t-pose, for Tvori but then the stamp started doing interesting things.  Started with this figure, which spawned several clones along the way, as I worked out how exactly to do the musculature and still have the color do what I wanted it to.   Got the form roughed out, and most of the chest detailed. 

    Added a background and began shaping another figure.  Managed to do it without breaking any ribs


    I'm starting to think that listening to the album "Psychic Warfare" by Clutch on repeat was having an influence on my work.   The ditty, "Decapitation Blues", seemed particularly relevant, and heads were definitely rolling by now. 

    Had to uprez the face to get it closer to where I wanted it.  I found that the color moving properties varied significantly at different resolutions (as seen in the difference between the face and body).  Had to select both objects together, and de-rez the face a bit, before using the center function in order to avoid accidental loss of limbs, such as can be seen in the right on this particular merger attempt.  The DeRez on the head didn't hugely affect the overall look, but adding detail is likely going to be a challenge.   Clearly a ways to go on both figures.  Background is hidden, might test removing it, and see if that effects how much overall sculpt area is available in terms of resolution, and if that's a factor.  Seems to be moving from sketch to composition, so I'll likely chase it a bit further and get some anatomy practice in.  At this point, I'm not sure if its going to be a study piece, a fully detailed image, or if I'll just polish the figures a bit, clean  up the breakage,  and lift whichever one(s) I try and animate.

  • DreamShaperDreamShaper Posts: 705
    3Jane
    edited November 2018
    A bit more work on the figures.  Mostly worked on the female, although I did fix the jagged areas on the male figures legs.  The project is using stretched/smoothed clay, aside from the female's face, have generally resisted the urge to add more paint directly,  as it tends to change the line flow.  Did concede a couple touch ups when that process caused a dark grey square to emerge from the under-surface.    Makes it a bit tricky for doing details, although the main goal here is to understand the process of  using naturally emerging lines and working with them, rather than obliterating them to change directions.   Do to the coloration and materials, it makes it a bit harder to see the actual clay form.

    Next session will clone and paint one a neutral gray, should help understand what I need to do in terms of shape/volume from here.  Limbs need more work.  Might not do a lot more with the faces, for resolution reasons, see where it goes. Female is at higher resolution than the male.  Surfacing is noticeably different.  The male will probably be left rough,  the female needs a lot more work in general.  Pose is simplistic, as I intend to decimate and export the figures to tvori at some stage, as a parallel project.

    Front

    Back


  • P3nT4gR4mP3nT4gR4m Posts: 1,673 Valuable Player
    That oilslick finish blows me away every time I see it! 
  • DreamShaperDreamShaper Posts: 705
    3Jane
    P3nT4gR4m said:
    That oilslick finish blows me away every time I see it! 
    Thanks.  It's basically a stamp (somewhat rectangular?) painted with prism colors and softened up a bit.  Think I hit it with the swirl and then smoothed it, but not entirely sure.  Could be a stamp cut from something like that after it was stretched, would have to check.  If I was going to do it over, I'd probably sandwich a bunch of colors together to start with, (starters for this were pretty pale, almost pastel, not really pretty) and merge them into a block.  That would keep the below surface color more consistent.  Working with it's tricky, because a lot of grey square artifacts under the surface, and the color tends towards bronze mud if you cut it too deep.  I agree it does give a really interesting look, worked well enough that it sidetracked my t-pose project because I wanted to study it.

    Entire piece is one layer (although I separated the head at one point, it's remerged).   Detail cost, but makes moving the surfaces a lot easier.  Piece, as it is currently, only has one lighting source. 

    Metals, top slider somewhere in the 5-20 range, inflate/deflate/smooth.  Don't think I changed the default (the materials  settings on all three layers affect the surface, I've noticed).  Bands were created by stretching it a bit when first applied.   Lower resolutions tend to make blending easier and keep colors stronger (male figure), higher rez and you get more of an oil slick effect. 

  • DreamShaperDreamShaper Posts: 705
    3Jane
    edited November 2018
    Learned something today.   First thing I did was clone the sculpture, mirror it and paint the first one gray.   So much easier to see what needs to be worked on.   The coloring really distorts the surface, was a bit shocked at how lumpy and inaccurate the underlying model was, since I worked with the colors from the beginning of the sculpt.  Definitely see why people like working in gray. although it was instructive in the way it demonstrated how powerful color and line are on the perception of form.

    back view at start of session, using grey clay clone for comparison
    ... For most of the rest of the section, I worked on the pair using mirror mode.   Switched back and forth between models, due to the inconsistency of tool results across the mirror plane.   In the final image, it's particularly noticeable in the grey form, which doesn't get fingers.  Over the course of a long sculpt, using this approach, I'd probably redo the cloning process a few times to minimize distortion.

    She did eventually get boots, or at least the start of some.  They came out very differently than I expected them to, enough so that I'm curious how it would look on a full sculpt.  Along the way the clones started cracking, which was interesting, but generally not something I would do deliberately very often, assuming it sticks during the relaod. Ended up stopping to delete some layers, and called it a night.

    Will try and post a couple of the more interesting progress shots (where unexpected effects happened), and a "where it's at now" image sometime tomorrow.  Time for some rest.


  • P3nT4gR4mP3nT4gR4m Posts: 1,673 Valuable Player
    I tend to go back and forward a bit when I'm doing portraits. Sometimes I need to blast some paint on there just to quickly check how it looks but if I don't have a look at it in grey before the end, I find I can be miles off. The good thing about Medium is a rough paintjob only takes 5-10 minutes
  • DreamShaperDreamShaper Posts: 705
    3Jane
    edited November 2018
    P3nT4gR4m said:
    I tend to go back and forward a bit when I'm doing portraits. Sometimes I need to blast some paint on there just to quickly check how it looks but if I don't have a look at it in grey before the end, I find I can be miles off. The good thing about Medium is a rough paintjob only takes 5-10 minutes
    Before the 2.0 update and/or Win10 (switched at the same time), I couldn't even consider doing it this way.  Massive optimizations when they changed the layer storage approach, I think.  Generally, I'd know it was time to stop working on a figure when the memory got shaky, even with 32gb.  Duplicating it, would cut the working memory in half, so was out of the question.  Early on in this figure, I found that I could duplicate it at different stages, rather than relying on multiple save files to backtrack, if needed.   I've almost always worked in color (by itself not too bad), and like the metals look, using both makes it pretty hard to read, adding lines in the clay, even more so.   As a result, the clone and paint gray, work on both at the same time, thing was something I didn't even consider until a couple sessions ago, when Inky's comments about preferring to work in neutral colors popped into my head. 

    Upside of learning the hard way here: depending on the purpose, there are clearly avenues to change the way metal reflections work by deliberately distorting the surface .  I might go back and look at some old sculpts now, I'm curious what the sculpt with the manta ray and red-metal lady, look like in that form.

    This technique wouldn't really lend itself to an end stage paint-over, although, might be able to do a block subtraction thing to apply the base color, like that dinosaur stamp thing I did a long time back, to speed things up. 

    Anyhow, happy about finally wrapping my head around that, should speed up figure sculpting times considerably.





  • DreamShaperDreamShaper Posts: 705
    3Jane
    A couple of interesting things along the way, one of the gray clones fractured, which is another artifact that may have a place and time to build an image around.   Perhaps in a rock monster or an impact area.  How exactly the lines form is a bit unpredictable, and would probably require a long process to figure out.  The effect is reliably produced when the GPU gets overwhelmed and cloning is used, so it can be forced at any point by just recloning until that happens.  When the other objects are deleted the crackling remains, although I'm not sure if it would survive a save and reload.  Also due to the non-precise nature of the mirroring effect, none of the silver/grey clones have fingers, which is a feature that could be improved, or set as a precision option, if memory is consumptive.  Anyhow, mildly interesting effects that are worth noting.

  • DreamShaperDreamShaper Posts: 705
    3Jane
    Same effect reproduced in color

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