Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Anna's Saloon

Josh sent me this sketch of Anna Lynn Boyd's saloon and brothel.  This is the setting component of my thesis, meaning this is the setting I will model.  I may need to ask him for a more finished drawing, but that will depend on what the review board says.  I'm confident I could work from this drawing as a basis.

I thought of each model with a specific purpose for each.  Basically, they each fill a niche in the thesis, and show various skills I need to have mastered as a modeler.  What they're each for is laid out in my proposal, but I thought I'd explain in more detail here.

1. Bodacious Creed and Anna Lynn Boyd.  Creed fills the spot of the human(oid) organic model that, if in a movie, would have to be done as a CGI character to look right.  Anna Lynn Boyd is there to show that I can do a realistic human, which is valuable in a film when using digital doubles.

2. Coconino.  This coyote fills the need for an animal model.  The steam-cybernetic parts will show that I can do something different with it.

3. Scrumptious.  Anna's robot will be a hard surface model, as opposed to an organic model.  While organic models are living or naturally occurring things, like animals, plants, and mountains, hard surface models are manufactured things, like buildings, cars, and robots.

4. Anna's Saloon.  While this could also be considered hard surface in most respects, the more important aspect is that it's a setting.  It's a pretty complex one at that, and will be very involved, but also very fun to complete.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Coconino Turntable

Josh sent me the turntable of Coconino last night!  Here it is.

Now, he'll get me some sketches of the bordello soon, and I'll be able to send my proposal for the university.  I found out from my adviser today that, if they want more finished drawings of the bordello, I'll have a month to get them in.

So, I'm about to post this to my deviantArt gallery, and then I'll work more on the blog later today.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Team Change

I regret to say that it looks like Allison Stigall won't be able to continue on with Team Bodacious.  Still, I've provided the link under her name here, because she is a wonderful artist, and I hope you'll have a look at her gallery.

Josh is going to provide the rest of the concept art, and for that I'm grateful.  With the time constraints, he'll be doing the Coconino turntables.  I hope he'll have time for some sketches of the bordello as well.

The vlog is coming along well.  I think I'm going to put in some shots of Maya and zBrush and model examples, even do some simple Creed-esque modeling, just to give an idea of what I will actually be doing in detail later.

Oh, and time permitting, I plan to put some more products in the Bodacious Creed store on Zazzle today or this weekend!

Here's a graphic from the Anna Lynn Boyd shirt:

Another Tee

I created a sweet Anna Lynn Boyd tee shirt tonight.

Any profits from these Bodacious Creed tee shirts is split evenly between Josh and me, so if you get one, you'll be supporting two artists.

I wonder how this will go, creating merchandise and buzz for a project in progress?  Time will tell.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Title Change

If you think the title to this blog changed recently, you're right.

When I originally started it to chronicle my thesis, I didn't even have an idea yet for what the thesis would be about.  So, the title was just, "Life of a 3D Thesis."

The other day, I finally got around to changing the name to "Bodacious Creed: The Thesis."  Specific concept, specific name.

Tee Shirt and More

Just a quick note here, since I'm heading out for a walk in a minute!

I just submitted my request to do my Midpoint Review, and should be hearing back from AAU within a week for the date and time of my online appointment!  I'm excited.  I've put a lot of work into this, as has Team Bodacious, and I plan to give an outstanding presentation so I can continue on as an MFA candidate.

The first vlog is coming along, bit by bit!  I do, of course, have other responsibilities, and it's going a little slower than I had hoped.  It looks good though and I'm eager to share it with everyone.

So, like Bodacious Creed?  Think this should eventually go beyond the thesis?  Into my whole Steampunk/Old West/Horror blend?  Then check out the first Bodacious Creed tee shirt!  I will be splitting half of the profits from this with Josh, who did the concept art.  I also have plans for an Anna Lynn Boyd shirt, which I will, hopefully, have time to get done today.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Human Reference, Etc.

Here's another intermediate, "What I'm Working On But Isn't Ready To Show" post.

First, I'm busily working on the first vlog.  It takes time to edit a video correctly, to make it just right!  Plus, while I know what I want to say in the video, I'm figuring out the order, and making sure that the video and music work together for best impact.  I hope to have it done very soon!

Second, I just asked a great stock artist on deviantArt if she'll post some pictures of herself standing in the anatomical position. I think she has the right body type for Boyd.  So, using a real human reference in addition to Josh's drawings will help enhance the character.  She's done tons of great poses for artists, but I can't recall seeing any in anatomical position.  Her other watchers will probably appreciate them, too.

And, I think that's it.  Oh, I have started writing a Bodacious Creed graphic novel.  It feels like a natural thing to do while working on this project.  In many ways, writing a graphic novel is easier than writing a novel.  The tricky part will be going back to the script when it's done, and breaking it up into frames.

I have indeed written novels.  Now that I'm focused on being a 3D modeler, I didn't know if my writing would be useful.  True, I can write an "A" paper for school in two drafts.  It also helps with creativity.  The ability to generate, organize, and fuse creative ideas is just as helpful in the visual arts.  It's good to know that being a writer for so long wasn't a complete waste of time. ;)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Joshua Stewart's Final Creed Concept Art

It's hard to believe that the concept art phase for Bodacious Creed is coming to a close!  Josh sent me the his final images yesterday and today.  It was strange for me to get the final one and to think, "Okay, what is he supposed to send next?" and realize that the answer is, "Nothing."  It's been a blast working with him.  I hope to work with him again in the future, but I know he and I will be following each other's work.

So, here are those pictures.  First, we have the clothed turn around images of Bodacious Creed.

Finally, we have Josh's innovative work on Creed's heart unit.  This isn't actually an artificial heart.  As I think I talked about early on in the blog, it's an ether power cell that energizes Creed's body and keeps him, well, undead.

I'll be putting all this together in my proposal soon, so that I can send it off to the university, so that the review board will have it when I do my Midpoint Presentation.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Head of Creed

Josh just sent me these great head shots of Bodacious Creed!  This is the look I've been wanting.  And, these are going to be great to model from when I'm detailing Creed's head.

You can see the mechanical parts that Anna Lynn Boyd put in Creed's head to fix his jaw and some of his facial muscles.  I love that we can also see the stitching on skin and muscle alike, plus of course the muscles and bones themselves.

I'll also be using these in my first Creed vlog.  Good times!

Monday, June 21, 2010

First Creed Turntable

Here's the first turntable image of Bodacious Creed, courtesy of Joshua Stewart!

I'm expecting a couple more Creed turntables from Josh.  He's just about finishing up his batch of the concept art!

Meanwhile, I've been working on the first Bodacious Creed vlog.  Video editing takes time to get just right, but I hope to have it done in the next few days.  It's set to the karaoke version of Jonathan Coulton's tune, "Better."  Head over to his mp3 store for a free listen and you'll get why I felt this song both musically and thematically fit with Bodacious Creed.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Working on the Vlog

I just stared putting together the first Bodacious Creed vlog today!  Most of you probably know that vlog is short for "Video Blog" or "Video Log."  This own will compliment this blog and allow me to better show the process of modeling the characters for my thesis.

I feel that Team Bodacious (me, and the two wonderful concept artists helping me... see the sidebar for more info) now has enough concept art material for me to create an intriguing first video post.

I also created a new YouTube channel for this today.  I figure that there's always a small chance I'll get a lot of subscribers and be able to make a little money back being a YouTube partner.

You Jonathan Coulton fans out there may like to know that I'm using the Karaoke version of "Better" as the music for this first video.  His music is free to use for non commercial projects, which the vlog is at this point.  If (big if) I do get to be a YouTube partner, I'll see if I can work out with him a way to send him a portion of the proceeds from views of any of my videos using his music.  Fingers crossed, yeah?  But seriously, that song is perfect for this first video.  Gotta use it.

I'll post here when it's live.

Nailing the Look of Bodacious Creed

Josh sent two new Creed pictures to me today!

The first is getting closer to how I envision creed, but still not there.  It's been a challenge for both of us, for me to get across exactly what I want, and for Josh to interpret what I want.  I think a big part of that challenge comes from the fact that Creed presents a series of contradictions.

He needs to be majestic, yet decrepit.  Ugly, yet clearly having once been handsome.  He needs to have some machinery replacing a parts of his face, yet still clearly be an organic being, not a robot wrapped in skin.  On top of all that, if he were in a movie, he would have to be done as a CG character, to look right.

This has been good experience for both of us, that I'm sure will be a boon for future projects.

So, here, I present you the first image he sent me today, and the second.  We got into more detail about Creed's look after he sent me this first one.  As I said, the first picture wasn't quite what I wanted, but is still a terrific image.

It also allowed me to narrow down my description.  Josh used that to create this concept drawing, which really nails down the look!  Creed will be dressed on the final model, but I will be modeling him, and Boyd for that matter, nude before I model their clothing.

More later!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Good News for Me

Most MFA majors at AAU, when they're going to present their Midpoint Review, need to send in two professionally printed copies of their thesis proposal.

I found out today that 3D Modeling candidates don't have to do that.

That makes things a little easier for me!  I need to mail in two CDs, each with a copy of my proposal, instead.

Also, I thought my review would for sure be at the end of July.  Turns out it could be as early as July 7!  So, the end-of-June deadline I gave my concept artists is still smart.  It will give me time finalize the proposal and mail the CDs to AAU.

That's it for this minor update.

Simply Scrumptious (Turntable)

 Well folks, Josh (check his link in the sidebar!) just sent me this turntable for Scrumptious, the Steampunk robot in my thesis!  I love it.  It has all the elements I wanted: tall, strong looking, and definitely a blend of Old West and Steampunk.  As I further develop the back story in my mind, Scruptious is a pretty important character.  Though mechanical, Josh has infused him with personality.

It's going to be a lot of fun to model this guy.

Scrumptious is the main hard surface model of my thesis.  That means, he needs to look more manufactured than organic.  You can see here how the hands look pretty organic.  The way I'm going to make that work is to have the hands beneath be metal and very structured, and the look you see here from leather gloves that go over the hands to protect the machinery when he's doing heavy work.  In the story, he'll take the gloves off when doing intricate work that requires high dexterity.

Scrumptious is a servant robot.  He (huh, can't really bring myself to say "it" very often for him) can be programmed for certain tasks and can follow many simple instructions.

Monday, June 14, 2010

How Turntables are Used

Though we're still in the concept art phase, I wanted to give everyone an idea of how I'll use the illustrated turntables when I start modeling.

As shown here, they will be attached to various cameras in the scene.  The way they work, I can actually move the images very far back in virtual space and still have them match up in size in each camera!  This will allow me to line up vertexes (points) to the reference images, helping me to block out the basic shape of the model.

I'll probably be using a human base mesh creation technique that I learned from Tareq Mirza in Organic Modeling for Boyd and Creed, and shaping it to the correct basic body shape for each character.

I'll be moving around the image planes here before I start modeling, but I thought in the current positions, the image would be easier to understand.

What's a base mesh?  It's a simple and rather blocky, low polygon model, that can then have its resolution increased for more detailed modeling.  I'll share some base mesh images as the thesis goes on.

In this image, each of the four panes shows a different camera angle I can work from.

Anna Lynn Boyd Turntables

Josh got back to me fast on these!

Here are the clothed and nude versions of the Anna Lynn Boyd turntables, with her in the anatomical position.  This will be ideal for modeling.

How so?  I'll write a separate post showing how that's done either later today or tomorrow.

The nude drawings will help me to model Boyd herself, and the clothed versions, to create the clothing as separate objects on the model.

Meanwhile, here are his marvelous drawings.

Josh's Web site link and a description of this thesis are in the sidebar.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

First Turntable!

Josh just sent me this turntable of my main female character, the madam, Anna Lynn Boyd.  I love it!

I let him know that I also need a turntable of her in the anatomical position, which would allow me to use it as a direct reference when modeling her, and also a turntable with her nude.  That way I can model her body, and then model the clothes as separate objects.

I've asked for nude and clothed Bodacious Creed too.  That's not going to be pretty, like a nude Anna Boyd, but I'm going for realism here.

We've also gotten the look of the robot, Scrumptious, nailed down, so he's going to work on those turntables as well.

More as they come in!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Between Post

I have no new concept art to share yet, but there's a bit of news, anyway.

The concept artists on Team Bodacious are working hard on the project.  Josh (Joshua Stewart) and Allison (Allison Stigall) are working on the turn table art of Anna Boyd, and a color version of Coconino, respectively.  I got to see the colored version of Coconino in progress, and it's looking great.

I had a painful delay to the project lately.  Fortunately, it only lost me a few days.  Three words: Hard Drive Crash.  My main drive decided to die on me.  The Geek Squad guy I talked to when I went to Best Buy checked it, and said that power was getting to it, but the data port was blown, so no information was being passed from the drive.  The upshot is that the data should all be intact.  The downshot (that should be a word) is that it is impractical for me to try to retrieve the data at this time.  The second upshot is that I had a backup of most of my data.

So, I had to get a new hard drive.  Probably a good thing, considering I'll need more space as I created models for Bodacious Creed and other things.  I've been doing a lot of reinstalling.  I still need to reinstall MS Office and re-register Quick Time Pro, but otherwise, I'm happily up and running.

Was that fun?  Did you enjoy me talking about my hard drive crash?  Yeah, blogs can be dull.

I'll have more interesting things to share soon.  I promise.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Coconino Plateau

Readers, you know what?  I told you you would get the entire process of my thesis creation, and that includes side roads and mistakes!  I've been thinking a lot about the name "Picacho" for the coyote.  I don't want people to think about Pokimon when they hear about this.  Sadly, though it's the name of a majestic place in Arizona, where this thesis takes place, it sounds too much like "Pikachu."

Argh.  Back to the drawing board, or in this case, the Google search.

There's a place called Coconino in Arizona, and a Coconino Plateu.

Coco is another word for chocolate.  I love chocolate.  Yes, there have been people and characters named that, but it's not such a specific name as "Pikachu."  It sounds like a pet's name.  It sounds like something Anna Lynn Boyd, who named her seven foot tall robot, Scrumptious, would name a pet.

So, the coyote is named "Coconino," and called "Coco" for short.

I don't think I'll change my mind this time.  But if I do, I'll post it here.

Saturday, June 5, 2010


I've decided to name the coyote "Picacho," after Picacho Peak State Park in Arizona.  It's a cool sounding name, and seems like something Boyd would name it.  Yes, it ends up being Creed's pet, but Boyd saved it from dying by putting in the steam-cybernetic parts.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Coyote by Allison Stigall

Allison Stigall, the new member of Team Bodacious (I just made that title up... I kind of like it), just sent me her first concept sketch for the project!  I gave her the general parameters of what I wanted (which is what the director/art director generally does) and she came up with this great concept image.  She'll be working on it further, and I can't wait to see what she comes up with.

Allison will be illustrating the coyote and the bordello.  I had some ideas to enhance the bordello in a Steampunk way.  I'll be bouncing ideas off of her when she gets to that, because I'm sure she'll have some terrific input.

Josh and I had a small misunderstanding of the look of Bodacious Creed, and I take responsibility for that as an incomplete communication on my part.  True, in the story, the ether energy keeps him from decaying more and makes him close to invulnerable, and I think that may be where the misunderstanding came from.  It's all good though; it's part of the process.  Josh thought that I wanted Creed to have a more refreshed skin look, but I want him to look really zombie-like.

Anyway, here's the coyote!  I'm trying to come up with a name for it.  If anyone has any name ideas for a steampunk coyote pet in 1860s Arizona, please share.  Help me come up with some ideas!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Bodacious Creed Color Concept

Here's the first color concept image of Bodacious Creed!  I just got this from Josh.

I did ask for a few changes, which is all part of the concept art process.  Basically, I've asked Josh to remove some of the machinery, so there's more bone and muscle showing.  More zombie, less machine... though the machine parts are important.  I do love this picture though, no mistake!

Last night I heard back from Allison Stigall, who is going to be the second concept artist for the project.  She's an Academy of Art University MFA student, and another fantastic illustrator.  She's going to start off working on the steam-cybernetic coyote, and she's already pitched some great ideas to me.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Madam

Though she's not the main character in Bodacious Creed, Anna Lynn Boyd is as fascinating as the undead lawman, and perhaps even more complex.  She is certainly a main character, mysterious, tough, sexy, and pivotal to the plot.

Josh (that's Joshua Stewart, who is doing concept art for my thesis), just sent me two new concept images of my dear Anna, and here they are!

(If you're new to this blog, this is what it is: It's a chronicle of my master's thesis, starting from before I had a name for it or even an idea.  A thesis about an undead gunslinger?  Yeah, you bet!  Click the first link in this entry to download the proposal and read all about it.)