Creepy Crawly

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I’m working on finishing up my cages project but I was feeling a lil burned out from constantly working on that.  So just for fun and because I’ve been dying to try creating some sort of creature… I dove in!

Creature creation is something I really want to do more of in the future, but it involves a number of skill sets I’ve not developed enough yet.  Most of what I’ve done thus far has been hard surface, architectural stuff.  While I enjoy making buildings and things (and intend to do lots more, more about that below), I also want to round out my skills and do new things.  Making creatures involves organic (or soft body) modeling, which involves creating very different kinds of shapes than hard surface.  There also things like loop flow and control that you have to pay more attention to so that when the figure moves and bends (if animated or rigged for movement in software like Poser) that it will do so in a way that looks natural.

So, Thursday I sat down at my computer, fired up Blender, and started box modeling a creepy crawly creature straight from my imagination.  I didn’t really have a plan, there wasn’t any concept art nor was I attempting to copy anything.   I just started playing with shapes using a box modeling technique and seeing what emerged.  So I’m not entirely sure where the idea came from but I ended up with some sort of alien / monstrous larvae thingy.  I like to call him Fred (I don’t know why about that either, lol).

Fred with basic geometry, but without all the modifiers applied.

Fred with basic geometry, but without all the modifiers applied.

After about 30 min I had the basic shape, then things slowed down as I played with ideas and what details to add.  I used no sculpt tools at all in creature the surface detail, it was all done in Blender using a subsurface division modifier (2 levels), loop cuts, and applying some displacement modifiers to specific vertex groups.  Pretty simple really but the results look pretty good.  What I’m even more pleased with was the speed, I literally spent more time thinking about what I wanted to create, what detail to add; than I did actually creating it.

So, all said the mesh is currently at a just over 22k polys, all quads with pretty good loop flow.  Next will be to UV unwrap and map it, then redo the vertex groups into the various body parts so that I can import it into Poser and rig it there.  That’s going to be another new adventure as this is the first original organic figure I’ll have rigged in Poser.  When its all done I intend to eventually release it as a freebie.

Fred with all modifiers applied.

Fred with all modifiers applied.  I used displacement modifiers to give the body and snout some additional shape and variation so that it wasn’t symmetrical.

Close up of some of the head detail.

Close up of some of the head detail.  A couple of loop cuts allowed me to create a bony plate on the head, then another displacement modifier to give it some additional detail as well.

I’ll finish Fred up as time permits, I do need to get back to those cages.  After all, I’ll probably want one to keep Fred in, he’s a lil scary!  LOL

Fred with some temporary textures in a test render.

Fred with some temporary textures in a test render.

I’ve also been giving thought to what I want to work on for my next project.  The cage set is coming together nicely and I’m still on track to have it released at YURDigital by end of November (possibly a lil sooner).  Fred will be a freebie I’ll get out when I get him finished, no ETA on that.  I also have an straight razor shaving kit I intend to finish and also release as a freebie.   Both freebies will include the OBJ file as well as Poser Content Library files.  As for my next project, I’m seriously thinking of doing a few small castles.  Not the big kind you often see in movies, but the smaller tower keeps, motte and bailey, fortified manor house, etc. that were actually much more common across Europe.  Stay tuned, lots of good stuff coming.

As always, keep being creative!

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