View Full Version : Sketchbook: Noel Cower
06-02-2008, 02:38 PM
Woo, a place to spam my shit.
Just for the sake of following the rules: if you have crits, please post 'em! Seriously, I would greatly appreciate it.
Some old Quake 3 skins I've been working on:
I like having teeth in skins lately.
06-02-2008, 04:01 PM
Already said all this in IRC, but, just to be formal -
All excellent work, noel. The only complaint i have is a really minor one, everything looks a little bit too universally soft and smooth. I'd go over and sharpen up the blending and gradients in some areas to create a little bit more contrast between forms.
paintover gif from irc.
06-02-2008, 04:05 PM
Attempt at applying suggested changies:
Looks better to me, at least. Thanks mucho sup.
Edit: Because I won't post twice in a row, mooooore:
06-02-2008, 10:44 PM
Started on the legs. Not quite happy with them since they don't follow the same coloring as the upper body, so I'm going to see if I can fix that while working around Ranger's wonderfully stretchy pants.
Fun stuff this is.
06-03-2008, 09:57 AM
All looks really cool, been a fan of your texturing style for ages.
In the same vein as the armor, though, i have a paintover of the face.
Take this worth a grain of salt, some of it is just style, but universally i personally think you rely a bit too much on dark shadows. You have deep red shadowing all over the face, almost doing the work of lineart. Slightly more subtle use of midtones and highlights would let you render the same forms in imo a more believable way.
Anyway, bad paintover -
noelsauce! Man, you need to keep at this stuff. You've always been a good texture artist, but I never see your work. Post more!!
06-08-2008, 08:36 PM
me likey! moar
06-09-2008, 01:48 AM
I'll try to do some more work tomorrow/in the morning (considering it already is actually tomorrow). Been a little preoccupied with other crap lately, so haven't had much time to do anything fun.
06-09-2008, 11:57 AM
Hey Noel, nice to see you posting something :]
My biggest concern is Ranger's Triceps, they seem to be slumped right down to his elbow with a bicep growing above them... Shoulda given the pants more UV space ;)
06-09-2008, 05:08 PM
Sort of an update. Trying to fix the bits on the arm and make the pants look decent. Brown pants suck.
Fuse also mentioned the arms were too bright, so I'm gonna see if I can get that fixed later. Plus splotchy pants (rube).
Edit: Oh, and I did adjust the face, just didn't feel like posting it too.
06-09-2008, 11:55 PM
It's close enough to being tomorrow that I can post twice.
Anyhow, tried to tweak the arms and pants a bit, also starting on the back (backs are confusing, never know what to put there, especially when it's flat). I like the gore on the arm a little more now, but I think I might remove it. On the one hand, it cuts me some slack on details on the hand (no pun intended), downside being that it does look pretty goofy, especially going that far up his arm. Dunno, thinking thinking. Probably will remove it in favor of either a hand or some sort of glove. Hard to decide, since these old models aren't exactly easy to work with. Still not happy with the arm either. Rambling done, here's the picture:
06-21-2008, 06:02 PM
Been a little busy with real-life duties (looking for a job, canceling all school stuff for the semester, etc.), but I found out that the silo 2.1 beta was out, so I decided to give it a quick run. I managed to put this together between crashes (I'm exceptionally good at crashing things):
Old Image (http://www.spifftastic.net/stuff/sumtin-2.jpg)
Man this shit goes fast.
Really loving that new surface tool, totally speeds up stuff.
06-21-2008, 11:34 PM
And pretty much done with the mesh. Also tried displacement painting, but I'm still pretty uncomfortable with it. Much different than the way I'm used to working.
06-22-2008, 09:04 AM
Displacement painting has some decent forms but it's all too blobby, noel. Per magic solves everything --
06-28-2008, 08:45 PM
Fiddling some more with displacement painting, using Bobo's old demon model to paint on. Happier this time, but it's a bit of a pain in the ass since I'm using a model that wasn't made for this stuff.
Nice start. Something in the forehead is a bit distracting. Could be that the forehead is too smooth, or the bump between the brow ridges is too prominent. A few worry lines when you're detailing might break up that impression.
The untouched feet pull at the eye, but their contrast (with the rest of the sculpt) show you're getting more out of the sub-d level you're at than with the earlier sculpt. Getting the most out of each level of division is important versus blobbiness -- a good sign that this will continue to turn out well.
06-28-2008, 10:21 PM
Thanks. On zee feet: yeah, hadn't touched the feet at that point since when I applied anything to 'em, it affected backfaces as well. Then I went and did stuff with them (selected a foot- assumed that it'd mirror the changes on the hidden part (WRONG)), and it's still really difficult to work on those small things.
Tried to do something about the brows, so hopefully it's better now.
Anyhow, slightly more 'done' (I guess?).
Sort of gotten the hang of this, I think, but damn it can get hard.
(Also: probably table breaking if you're using the fixed-width forum)
06-29-2008, 01:39 AM
very cool! you can see that you know how to do the art part, just gotta learn the tool some more. When you do you'll be creating all sorts of awesome :D.
keep it up!
06-29-2008, 03:53 PM
Thanks, taking a bit to get used to this since I have half a clue what brushes to use most of the time. Pretty much the only ones that seem to be worth anything are clay and clay tubes, in addition to smoothing idea by Per (mentioned above) since it's pretty similar to the way I paint a lot of stuff (put down stuff, blur some edges, more stuff, blur it appropriately, so on and so forth).
Anyhow, I think I'm done fiddling with this model. Getting to the point where it's a real pain in the arse working with this model since it's not very good for this (as far as I'm concerned). Great model for texturing, not so much for this stuff.
Anyhow, picture and then I'll probably wander around the house for a while trying to figure out what to do next. :poly132:
Normals were done with xnormal, btw. That program is fucking awesome.
06-29-2008, 06:44 PM
Clay tubes to bulk up forms and standard + smooth per's way to refine and add tight details is how i sculpt, it's a pretty natural way to work.
Normals look sweet, diffuse and, naturally, spec, needs work. Break up those highlights as much as possible.
06-29-2008, 08:24 PM
Tried to improve the diffuse and specular, I think it looks nicer. Nowhere near what I'd call complete, but since this was mostly for testing sake, I think I'll leave it be and move on now. Of course, every time I say something like that, it ends up being untrue... :femme:
nice work are you gonna put him all together and let us see what he looks like finished :P?
06-30-2008, 10:14 PM
I'll look at putting him back together. Next paragraph is rambling about zbrush mostly, so most people should ignore it since I have half a clue what I'm talking about and less what I'm doing.
The only problem is right now there are a few issues rendering the normals (there's a reason I keep showing him from that angle), which zmapper more or less solves because, and I don't know how, it renders really nice normal maps. Problem is it doesn't really fix seams with UVs from what I've seen. Don't know, I'm still learning this stuff. In addition to that, the diffuse and specular maps make the seams rather obvious, so I'm trying to work out what I'll do about that next. The projection painting thing in ZBrush is completely useless for mirrored stuff from what I can see- it's at least acted very useless, plus you can't paint mirrored stuff from what I can see, so I need to mess with that.
Anyhow, was toying with my ghoulie dude up there a bit:
It'd probably be a good idea to show a picture of the seam problem and of the UVs. I imagine someone would be able to diagnose from that straight away. Have you tried grabbing the normals with xNormal? Any difference?
For the diffuse and spec; you could reUV the problem area, and put the fix back into your original map. Tutorial for Max: http://www.gamasutra.com/features/20061019/kojesta_01.shtml I think you can do the same with Silo, using xNormal to replace the RTT.
Painting in ZB; Have you tried Polypainting (http://www.zbrush.info/wiki/index.php/Polypainting)? That has a much better painting feel then Projection Master, and you get a decent map to start with (the details you paint across seams will burn out into the map etc). It'll need clean up in PS to get what you want, but it is a great jump-start.
07-09-2008, 12:46 AM
Started work on a skateboard, mostly 'cause I was bored. This isn't really something I intend to continue, since I've figured out a few things in the process of doing it that I think would make this a whole lot easier and look a whole lot better, plus the trucks are pretty screwed as the proportions of the parts go. Have my skateboard sitting right next to me too, so not much excuse for that.
High poly stuff isn't exactly my specialty, so I'm still learning a lot about it.
07-13-2008, 09:34 PM
Was looking around at old stuff and found some old video "tutorials" (not really tutorials because there's jack-all explanation, but that's ok, they're fun to watch) by Dark Horizon. Soes, I decided to dig up the Magdalena model by Skullbox and do a head sort of like what was in one of DH's videos. Result:
Old Image (http://www.spifftastic.net/stuff/necrotic-2.jpg) (See next post)
This shit's still fun to do, don't see why I haven't seen more people doing it. Maybe they're chicken.
Also think I'll try modeling one of the creatures from either BLAME or Biomega some time... not sure which I'd choose, they're both just so fucking awesome and chock-full of cool monsters.
Edit: 2nd page! Bwahahaha.
07-15-2008, 02:14 AM
Made some minor changes to the face, mostly touching up that bit since I didn't see anything I really didn't like already. Did the underside of the jaw and the inside of the mouth as well, so I'm calling this fucker done 'cause I don't want to even touch the body UVs.
I actually like the way the teeth turned out. They looked pretty stupid just against black, so I decided to see if I could give them some more depth by putting the tops of the teeth into the inner mouth texture. Gigantic pain in the ass, but it looks nice. >_>
07-15-2008, 01:30 PM
very cool! could you post a link to that model? ;). and the tutorial?
what alpha do you use for the clay brush? i played with it today and still need to figure out the "correct"(e.g. working) options.
your diffuse-only is improving quickly!
EDIT: found the model :D
07-15-2008, 01:54 PM
very cool! could you post a link to that model? ;). and the tutorial?
what alpha do you use for the clay brush? i played with it today and still need to figure out the "correct"(e.g. working) options.
Well, you got the link to the model (I think, you may have gotten the UT2k4 one by accident, but it's pretty easy to read filenames..). The tutorial can be downloaded from here (http://www.fileplanet.com/hosteddl.aspx?%2fplanetquake%2fpolycount%2ftutoria ls%2fvideo%2fdarkhorizon%2fDHskintut.zip). It almost goes back to when I first joined (and it was a big help for me back then), so I don't know how much it applies to current work anymore.
As for the clay brush, I just use the default stuff and turn down the intensity a bit. I turn it down way more for clay tubes, since it has a pretty big effect with the default setting.
yeah noel if you render normal maps in zbrush it seems to mess up the seams.
looks fine in zbrush but shit in max
07-17-2008, 07:07 PM
Random-ish update to the mechguy skin I was doing. Was looking back at some pictures of it and went "fuck, that's ugly" to the skull sort of bit (really, it's horrible). Soes, I decided to do some quick changes to it just to make me happy.
And for reference, this (http://www.spifftastic.net/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/mechguy-4.jpg) is the old one.
07-19-2008, 09:56 PM
Decided to do some red/blue versions of the skin. Blue I'm pretty happy with, but I can't seem to do red in a way that works. First one is the newest version of the red skin. Second one has a slightly older blue and a different red.
Such a cool oldschool vibe... Want to see more!
Did you consider using that kind of q3-esque asset, then go back to the model to add cuts where needed aso to make it much smoother and dense? With such a nicely crafted texture it would look kickass...
(You can use Max's 'preserve UVs' for that or Maya's implementation of it in the recent bonus tool pack- be sure to doanload the 'christmas update' for it tho, they forgot to put the actual preserve UV code in the original BT release... )
07-20-2008, 12:12 AM
I was going to reply or something, then I deleted what I wrote by accidentally pissing off Firefox and causing it to shout and scream and finally explode.
Anyway, I hadn't thought of that, but it might be neat. I don't have Max (anymore) or Maya, so I couldn't really do much about the UVs getting all messed up (although Silo seems to handle changes to UV'd models pretty well, I don't think it's adequate). In the end, I think it would be easier to paint the texture I'd want to see in UVs and then bend the UVs to my will. I've done this for a few things before, since I enjoy texturing far more than modeling usually, so I might try that for whatever my next little thing will be.
07-20-2008, 12:30 AM
Excellent sketchbook! I check this out daily for updates :D
Everything looks soo purdy
08-15-2008, 02:10 AM
Between going to Quakecon and then getting a job, I've been a little busy, so now that I've got a day off I think I'll spend some time fiddling around doing crap. Don't know what kind of crap, but I guess quick doodles like this:
08-15-2008, 02:16 PM
the cheekbone/jaw area is really nice, but i don't really like the middle of the face, seems kindof pointless imho :P. keep it up!
08-15-2008, 10:55 PM
Ammo boxes for quake2world...
Still need work, but that's about what they'll look like. Needs more use of their respective colors though.
Edit: Yeah, break those tables, baby. MMMM.
08-16-2008, 07:54 PM
That's pretty much done until I get pissed off and remodel the things. As soon as a model format I can work with is supported. Man, it'd be awesome if I could just load Silo models directly...
Edit: And flat-chested women:
08-19-2008, 11:41 AM
Was remodeling the ammo packs and got started on a rocket pack, but that's been shit-canned for now. Picture of that anyway:
(psst: it's a set of dildos)
Then I changed the coloring on the ammo packs since I guess they weren't noticeable enough at a distance. I don't think I have any pictures of that right now..
Also made a flag pole for Q2W:
Edit: Just removed that spike at the bottom of the pole 'cause it's stupid.
11-20-2008, 02:24 AM
SupRore was fiddling with Bunker, so I had to as well.
I still hate painting this dude's nose.
Oh noel, you big queen. I love it all.
11-20-2008, 12:21 PM
Some nice stuff here!
11-21-2008, 01:16 AM
Did some of the helmet thar. Kind of happy with it.
Hands are now very cold...
oh man noel, never stop! I've been wanting to revisit bunker soon too.
11-21-2008, 04:45 PM
Think I'm done with the head. Thinking about doing the body- maybe tomorrow. Requires a bit more planning than the head to do that.
11-22-2008, 06:58 AM
great stuff! i really really like the "ear" detail, and the facial expression.
11-22-2008, 07:23 AM
That bunker head is exceptional! Nice stuff!
11-22-2008, 02:28 PM
awesome noel! head armor looks really good and his expression is funny heh. something is off about his beard stubble though, looks like it was drawn on him with a bic pen or something, also that he doesn't have it around his mouth and under his nose but i guess he could have shaved it.
11-23-2008, 05:38 AM
nice one :)
11-28-2008, 02:42 AM
Couple things I did that I figured I'd toss in here 'cause I think they're cool and go well with the rest of the sketchbook. Both head skins for Scooby's head model thinger. It works pretty well for a variety of ideas I think.
02-23-2009, 02:42 AM
Boy, it's been a while. I think the last update was shortly before I got my Mac and everything hit a stand-still while I adjusted to the system. Anywho, got art stuff and all that mostly down again (although I miss having a proper model viewer). So, with that shit out of the way, I set out to figure out how to code for my new-found object of masturbatory acts. Given that I just quit my job, I've had a ton of time to spend on this sort of work again, and after a few days I think I've gotten the sort of flow down to do this work.
As such, for practice I've been working on completely rewriting my old level editor (http://www.spifftastic.net/stuff/we-7.png) of sorts using Objective-C/Cocoa, in a way it's an exercise in teaching myself the MVC pattern that Apple shoves down your throat like so many other sexual jokes relating to the Mac.
This is about 6 hours into the rewrite, and I managed to get some Blender-style panels going and a quick GL view (I haven't thrown input tracking into it yet, but that shouldn't be too difficult).
It's kind of bare right now, since I've not bothered with any views other than the 2D grids. Most of the time was spent on the nifty little panels that I'm oh-so proud of.
it's like if a butt programmed a program
i guess it's ok. i guess
02-25-2009, 04:57 AM
Now I'm just confused.
Sweet! Are we looking at a bsp editor, or just static meshes?
02-25-2009, 02:42 PM
Probably something like Radiant if I get that far. At least brush-based stuff, since that's always been my personal favorite way to make maps.
03-09-2009, 04:10 AM
Q2W got .obj loading support, so I can continue making models again I think. At any rate, I don't have to worry about jumping through the flaming loop of poo to get an .md3 model anymore.
o and i maed a burl
04-03-2009, 02:14 AM
Health tank models. Not quite finished, but close since I more or less have how I want them to look finished.
Pushing to get some more advanced rendering techniques- at least those of Q3 era shaders- for models, but as-is the best I can do for these is a diffuse map. Should I get something more advanced, I'm aiming to get an effect like this (http://www.spifftastic.net/stuff/q2w/health/htank-t-2-po.png).
Images lost in server crash.
09-25-2009, 09:52 PM
Bunch of images above are gone, just ignore those posts, the pictures were lost in a server crash (was hacked) and I don't have 'em anymore.
Anyhow, some pictures.
(I removed most of the overlaid vaginas from this picture - the others aren't visible >_>)
Dinky little one
And a few things over at odosketch:
Also, while it's not really visual, I ended up working on this for a short consulting job:
If you read the dev. blog, Josh talks about using Lua and such at times - I wrote the Lua interop layers (there were two versions, I was contracted to replace the first one [first one was an experimental project I open-sourced]). Not all that interesting, but hey, my code is in a moderately successful (for the market it's aimed at) product.
09-25-2009, 11:18 PM
No, just doodles that I may one day (in other words, not likely to) apply to a model.
09-28-2009, 10:59 PM
Decided to make a model for ol' fisheye up there. Still WIP, since making a model to fit a texture is kind of a pain. Also, modeling is hard now that I haven't done it in a while (doesn't help that my mouse jumps around on the screen like it's got epilepsy either - I have a whole host of disparaging comments about Logitech).
09-29-2009, 02:53 PM
09-30-2009, 07:15 PM
That is coming along very nice. I'm curious how the cranium will look.
10-17-2009, 12:40 PM
Was working on this last night since I got bored.
Starting to do very basic shading and draw a piece of meat on top of its head (http://www.spifftastic.net/skitch/corpseflower-20091016-225435.png)
Did some work on the eyes, wasn't sure what to do about the cheeks. (http://www.spifftastic.net/skitch/corpseflower-20091016-232612.png)
Saya suggested doing a profile sketch to get an idea of how the cheeks should look. (http://www.spifftastic.net/skitch/flowerprofile-20091016-234524.png)
Work on the upper and lower jaw, as well as giving the cheek bones some depth.
10-18-2009, 06:17 AM
I like your style!
It reminds me of id-games like quake 3.
Keep it up!
02-14-2010, 03:11 AM
This isn't strictly art, mostly coding, but I've been fiddling with UI stuff recently. So, I'll go through these chronologically...
First off was a sort of vertical tabstrip thing I made.
There are a few (http://www.screencast.com/t/MDE4NGRiZTc) more (http://www.screencast.com/users/nil/folders/Jing/media/0a05144f-d41a-455d-ac20-3e46057d1296) videos (http://www.screencast.com/t/ZWFiMDYzNm) of this, at varying stages of development. Not really a lot of difference between them unless you know what to look for. I thought it was pretty fun to write, the end result is definitely something I can reuse later (although it could certainly do with optimization, since I was using my pretty slow animation code [it depended on reflection for most things, so there was a pretty significant cost to speed]).
However, I wasn't really happy with having it all done using the 2D module for BlitzMax (I'm rather fond of my BASIC variants), since this sort of stuff is a lot more useful in native applications - in this case Mac OS applications - so I set about rewriting that code as an NSControl subclass using Objective-C. End result:
Again, more work (http://www.screencast.com/t/N2UzOTA4YzA) in progress (http://www.screencast.com/t/ZjI5MzQ2) videos (http://www.screencast.com/t/MzNkYmUwZmMt) are up, but they're not that interesting. The end result is less reusable than the first version just because I hadn't bothered to make any code for this to work in Interface Builder and I didn't feel like taking the time to turn it into a library instead of just having it a bit of code in a test application. Still, served as a nice intro to NSCells (they're used to render the text for the tabs). Performance isn't as good as it could have been, I think using Core Animation would have produced better results.
And that leads to the latest test, which was to familiarize myself with Core Animation. This is, in many respects, much more reusable than the previous things - and it's not a tab strip - and is much, much faster, but it is frankly a very useless bunch of code. I have no plans of making a chat client or some Twitter app, so the code will likely remain unused for as long as it sits on my drive, which is fine. At worst it'll serve as a nice reminder of how things work if I forget what I learned. So, more video, because I like to abuse Jing:
There are only two other videos of this, and they are actually quite distinct (at least visually) from each other. As such, I will give them their own image links:
http://www.spifftastic.net/skitch/click-20100214-030919.png (http://www.screencast.com/t/ZjU3Mzk3MTYt) http://www.spifftastic.net/skitch/asd-20100214-030608.png (http://www.screencast.com/t/YjU4NGJiYm)
So that's that.
03-05-2010, 02:44 PM
Found this (http://www.chromeexperiments.com/detail/scribbler/) neat drawing thingy on ChromeExperiments and did a bunch of doodles in them. Still doing a bunch. Most of them have been culled for the sake of removing what I don't like.
http://spifftastic.net/skitch/lumpy-20100305-015449-t.png (http://spifftastic.net/skitch/lumpy-20100305-015449.png)http://spifftastic.net/skitch/tree-20100305-021540-t.png (http://spifftastic.net/skitch/tree-20100305-021540.png)
http://www.spifftastic.net/skitch/teef-20100305-032053-t.png (http://www.spifftastic.net/skitch/teef-20100305-032053.png)http://www.spifftastic.net/skitch/lumpsy-20100305-110952-t.png (http://www.spifftastic.net/skitch/lumpsy-20100305-110952.png)
http://www.spifftastic.net/skitch/asd-20100305-130115-t.png (http://www.spifftastic.net/skitch/asd-20100305-130115.png)http://www.spifftastic.net/skitch/skelly-20100305-125726-t.png (http://www.spifftastic.net/skitch/skelly-20100305-125726.png)
03-05-2010, 03:27 PM
NIce stuff noel.
03-05-2010, 03:42 PM
That Scribbler is awesome.
Nice sketches using it!
05-08-2010, 01:51 PM
With finals upon me, I am now doing what I do best: procrastinating by doodling. And I got mudbox recently, so the doodles are 3D. And on spheres.
Anyhow, this is a ball I gussied up with some faces and ears and hair. I like the back face more, I think.
And a picture of the back face, since it's the best:
Edit: Another video.
05-09-2010, 08:47 AM
ok.. that fat boy is kind funny. awesome stuff here
01-10-2011, 03:53 AM
Been doing some zbrushery lately, since I finally pulled enough money out of my ass to afford the student license as a gift to myself. Anywho, to start, here's some random alien body I was working on, just built it out of zspheres/sketching to get used to that. I'm sure you'll agree the feet are retarded as hell.
And lately I've been working on a solitaire app for Chrome ('cause I need a solitaire app on my Cr-48), so I decided to do the artwork for the cards by making these little sculpts. First is the ace of spaces bit, second is a WIP ace of hearts image.
And on the card:
Will probably look sort of like this scaled down:
The card sculpts are ultimately going to end up being crammed into a space that's about 68 to 76 pixels wide, so I'm trying not to spend too much time being perfect about everything on 'em. Scaling it down should make any small errors more or less unnoticeable, too.
01-13-2011, 10:13 PM
After running on very little sleep and fucking around in ZBrush/code/watching videos of kitties all day, this is all I have to show for myself:
I am good at nonsense anatomy. Also, this is inspired by Jasp's sculpt over in the speed modeling thread (http://www.polycount.com/forum/showpost.php?p=839452&postcount=91), so I thought it would be a lot of fun to sculpt something like that.
01-14-2011, 07:22 PM
Currently toying with doing higher detail bits and polypainting. Was baffled why I sucked so much at polypainting earlier, but I think the big issue is that my sculpts previously have had no real texture to them and so it just ends up looking pretty flat and ugly. Doing the painting while putting in smaller details seems to work pretty nicely.
01-21-2011, 11:19 PM
More polypainting fiddling. Posted the sculpt (http://www.polycount.com/forum/showpost.php?p=1274838&postcount=1460) for this over in the speed modeling thread, too.
01-22-2011, 08:16 AM
That's awesome! Where are the hands and feet?
03-12-2011, 12:59 PM
Well, been a while since I posted anything. Anywho, did a quick sculpt of a tooth-baby thing (not really a baby). Was inspired by this one baby thing in Fuan no Tane. Large teeth in it seem to be a recurring thing - not sure if that's a staple of Japanese horror or what's going on there, but I like it. Not really decided on what to do for the hands and feet. The head also needs some fixing up.
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