Using Blender to Explore Character Design/Concepts
Firstly, I am a bit hesitant to post this information because I am still very much an amateur in the field of illustration. Like many here, I did not receive any formal art training and often felt very insecure about pursuing a career in art. It has been a rocky journey for me as well but one that I never regret making. In fact, communities like this forum encourage me to continually learn and share with so many like minded people who share so many of the same struggles and ardent love of art. That is why I hope that this small post can help someone in some tangible way.
I have spent about a year learning Blender during my free time and I have to say that it was well worth the investment. Between juggling marriage, 3 kids, ankylosing spondylitis, and work, it was definitely not a cake walk. However, I would highly recommend it simply because I think that it can help artists/story tellers map out so many possible scenarios in a tangible way. Especially with the addition of Grease Pencil which allows you to draw directly in Blender (and onto your models!) , you can sketch out compositions natively in the program as you would in Photoshop, move around the camera, lighting scenarios, textures, play with an infinite number of variables etc.
Here are a few screen shots of the illustration that I worked on for last month's challenge translated into 3d.
If this was helpful, just let me know and I can try to post some of the free resources I have used to help me become acclimated with Blender. All of these resources, including Blender, are free.
K.Flagg last edited by
These are fantastic! I dabbled in blender briefly about 6 years ago but I would like to find some time eventually to revisit it again.
@K-Flagg It has changed dramatically. Definitely has gained much more respect in the industry as well. Thanks so much for your kind words!
Jeremy Ross last edited by
Awesome work @notfitkid! Especially love the movie watching scene! Great character design, super cute.
@Jeremy-Ross Thanks Jeremy! Your submission for the July challenge was super charming. Loved the style that you chose to render the scene with
Jeremy Ross last edited by
Thank you for your kind words @notfitkid!
I don’t know why, but I’m so messy with my line work and coloring, but really appreciate your comments.
I thought about blender as i studied a book called framed perspective. I prefer using traditional media to draw but it would so much easier to explore a scene if i could just put a camera from any angle i wanted, and use that as a reference for a project. I also like the idea of modeling a whole cityscape and use it as the scenario for a story.
Would love recommendations of tutorials for an entry lvl newb in the world of 3d rendering. Thanks for sharing your experience and i love the bunnygirl!
notfitkid last edited by notfitkid
@Ghartark Regarding the use of perspective, I completely agree. It can be so tedious and particularly gut wrenching when you are asked to make multiple revisions on a page/spread that contains a ton of architectural elements. That was why I actually chose to dive into Blender in the first place. I was so tired of having to draw out interior/exterior elements by hand repetitively.
Right off the bat, I would recommend basic youtube channels like Blender Guru, Blender Daily.
Here are a few tutorials that might help you right off the bat:
Basic Character Modeling:
Shape Keys to make a variety of expressions
In fact, I was following along with the tutorial just yesterday and came up with this:
a Tutorial on how to use Archimesh, a free Blender Plug-in that helps you visualize architectural elements:
How to draw traditionally (like you would in photoshop) in Blender. This one is one of my favorites:
Follow Sophie Jantak for a ton of useful Grease Pencil tips.
and last but not least, one more grease pencil tutorial that teaches you how to use the camera, lighting, and the grease pencil to come up with a variety of compositions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGRt24fYYWU
Jama Jurabaev, a renowned concept artists uses it frequently and had done work like this:
His tutorials cost a little but are well worth the investment
I hope that helps! Let me know if you have any questions and please post your work in blender if you have time! I'd love to see your progress!
@notfitkid i will... Once i free up some time. My days are a mess lately.
RachelArmington last edited by
@notfitkid Sophie Jantak is amazing.
@Ghartark I know what you mean. No pressure at all.
Alzamon last edited by
I like what I see here I just upgraded my old clunker to a M1 Mac precisely to delve further into 3D and video. I've dabbled on and off into Blender and zBrush (the learning curve isn't laughing matter), but the former seems to be more versatile to explore this kind of possibilities with my own characters, not to mention potential animation. Need to pick up my pace again ASAP.
@Alzamon I know what you mean by the steep learning curve (not to mention the price of Zbrush!). I still struggle with balancing enough time to practice the concepts that Ive learned and find myself avoiding the software all together when I feel overwhelmed. No rush and no pressure intended whatsoever.