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3DEgeria's 3D characters

EgeriaEgeria61 Posts: 0Member
edited October 2011 in Work in Progress #1
Since we couldn't make too much headway on that starship of ours over here, we decided to continue one of our many older project types...

('3D characters in sketchup.

We have, over the past couple of years, made a fair number of them, though most have not been uploaded anywhere.

A couple of them can be found here and here, but rather than to stick each new project in a new thread that we'll loose track of where is fairly quickly, we'll go over to having a single thread for such characters... This one.

Anyways... the current project is a winged female Elderling by the name "Thymara".
An Elderling is a sort of creature that appears in the "Realm of the Elderlings" books by Robin Hobb. They are originally humans, but because of close association with dragons, they have slowly started changing to look somewhat more like dragons.
Such humans generally start grow scales that slowly replace their skin, they nails become claws, and all their limbs become proportionally longer. Certain Elderlings also grow other draconic attributes, though that is not as common.

Anyways... The character we are currently working on is in her late teens, and is meant to have fully changed. Since not all the books have been released yet, some of the traits are uncertain and may prove wrong.

On almost all of our 3D models of humanoids we've used base humans made by another author, known over in the sketchup 3D warehouse as calcm1.

In our first few (unpublished) models, we generally kept the body as it was, only making clothes that were mostly painted on the body and changing textures. Some minor details on the bodies were changed, but on a whole, they were almost shaped like the source mesh.
Our next level of modeling was taking apart other human models and mixing them together to make new humans. One of our last projects (linked higher up here), involved parts from some 3 different main models, as well as adding in new parts we had no source material for, like the tail in the model mentioned just now. As time passed, we started making less painted clothes and more actual clothes that were separate from the bodies. These take considerably more time to draw, since they need to fit the body, yet not touch.

The current project combines all of those techniques.

The source humanoid is from two different humans, and each has been modified significantly to fit our needs. The arms have been repositioned, head replaced, back reshaped and many other changes.
The back was reshaped to provide the necessary support for wings. Where a human back is fairly flat, this character has a significantly thicker back, especially near the mid to upper spine. This thickness accounts for the modified skeleton and the added flight musculature.
Because of a significant weakness in design on sketchup all such changes have to be done one piece at a time; be that piece a point, line or a face. The lack of a "skeleton" to the models prevents the option of merely shifting the arm out without deforming the faces around the shoulder joint.
The wings were made based on the designs dug up for bat wings. They are sized accordingly to what would most likely be able to support a humanoid in flight. In other words, fairly large. As of now, the ratio between height and wingspan is at about 143:320 when the wings are fully extended.
The clothes are drawn outside the body at varied distances, but are not even close to done yet. The shirt will be made from some roughly woven fibers, possibly worn ragged on the edges. We are considering, when done, to add in some patched sections, but we have yet to decide on that. The shirt will also have short sleeves, but we have not decided how short.
The leggings will likewise be worn slightly ragged, and will only go down to slightly below her knees. There will be no shoes, since the feet are fully scaled and are therefore quite resilient to wear and tear. Her feet and hands will also be equipped with (black) claws that are beneficial to climbing trees.
Her eyes are a pale blue, and are meant to glow slightly and the pupils have been made vaguely oval, somewhat like reptiles often have, but not quite as pronounced.

Here is a series of pictures that show current progress:

Any comments, questions or such?
Post edited by Egeria on


  • L2KL2K0 Posts: 0Member
    legs may be a little long, but overall, good proportions.
  • EgeriaEgeria61 Posts: 0Member
    Thanks, but we've not done much with the legs yet... their proportions will probably change when we start truly working on them.
    here's a small update:

    we shifted the wings up a little, then further built up the wing muscles. We also built more of the shirt, finally connecting it in the neck.
    Next step now will be to build a shoulder on the shirt.
    Later on we will work on reshaping the end of the wing framework to fit into the body, as well as possibly stretching out the wing membrane a bit to give more wing surface.

    Although not shown on the image, we have also lengthened the foot a little. This is one small part of the changes in proportion that go from human to Elderling. If we can make it look fairly right, we'll do similar to hands and toes.
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1801831 Posts: 9,995Member
    This is pretty cool so far. :cool: I've never had any success doing characters, so I'm always impressed when other people do them. :)
  • EgeriaEgeria61 Posts: 0Member
    The problem with making characters is in building the base humanoid... It is always hard to get any detailed model to look right...
    Of course, that is where the google 3D warehouse comes in... You can get good base models there, then modify them to fit your needs... Making a human from bottom up using just sketchup would take extreme amounts of work. At least if you want it to look right...
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1801831 Posts: 9,995Member
    MakeHuman is a good starting point for base humanoids, so is Daz. I have Daz but I haven't really tried to use it yet (though, I really need to.)
  • L2KL2K0 Posts: 0Member
    zbrush is a wonderful tool.
    i usualy make a hi poly in zbrush, then retopo it in topogun.
  • EgeriaEgeria61 Posts: 0Member
    we tried using zbrush once. Could not figure it out. Went back to sketchup then.

    maybe we'll try to learn a more complex program sometime later... but not for now...

    Anyways, small update:

    We've as mentioned earlier lengthened the foot slightly, though we've yet to fix work out the toes. We will probably do that around when we add the claws.
    We've also gotten somewhat further on the shirt. Its now connected more or less as it should be, though the sleeve is still missing.
    Due to the presence of wings, we will have to come up with some form of buckle or clasp in the neck to allow for the possible removal of the shirt without ripping it apart. We considered a clasp around her lower back, but we decided a neck clasp is easier to deal with than lower back clasp(s).
  • EgeriaEgeria61 Posts: 0Member
    We have now finally attached the wings... getting the texture to shift gradually took quite some time...

    we have also built some more of the shirt, and will soon start making the sleeve itself.

  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1801831 Posts: 9,995Member
    That's great that you got them attached. I like the texture also. :)
  • EgeriaEgeria61 Posts: 0Member
    Thanks... we're still working on some texture areas... not quite yet gotten around to learning how to make textures suitable for draping across a 3D mesh...
    We did make the texture file for the scales ourselves...

    Now at last we've gotten started on that sleeve we mentioned several posts up, but its far from finished. Covers about 1/4 of the circumference of the arm, and still misses connection underneath the arm.
  • EgeriaEgeria61 Posts: 0Member
    Finished up the shirt and started on the leggings now...

  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1801831 Posts: 9,995Member
    Nice work. The clothes look good so far. :)
  • EgeriaEgeria61 Posts: 0Member
    We finished up the main part of the leggings now. Still need to construct some seams, bindings and such. We also need to find a good way to make the edges a bit ragged. Also could do with a few patches to make them look more used.
    Do you reading this thread think the color of the clothes fit? (it has to be fairly natural colors, and not too bright...)

  • EgeriaEgeria61 Posts: 0Member
    We've finally begun experimenting with rendering through kerkythea, and found it does have certain benefits.

    Still fairly new to it, so the product images arent too good yet. Still learning how to manipulate most aspects of kerkythea.

    Here's a few of the images:

    Two rendered versions of the latest elderling model ^^

    ^^ The earliest rendered version of this model that worked
    ^^ Latest Rendering, with some experimentation in materials used.
    A version of that model in the two previous ones that has not been passed through kerkythea.
  • markmasseymarkmassey251 Posts: 382Member
    one thing i would suggest is making the wings much bigger, 2x 3x bigger.. not to me more realistic, but more for dramatic effect. might be a bit late for this but i would have gone with a more animal looking foot, or more animal in general.. I'm saying this as if your an expert so if your just learning how to build a human character then tell me to shut up :)..

    Or you might have that in mind for later on, I dont mean this in a negative way but it sort of looks like a woman model with a set of bat wings attached to it at the minute.. I just mean if your going to all this effort.. because im sure this isnt easy, i'd try and create somthing with a little more design to it..
  • colbmistacolbmista0 Posts: 0Member
    yeah the wing to waight ratio is wayyy off
  • EgeriaEgeria61 Posts: 0Member
    Enlarging the wings to such degree would be very difficult at this point, and would prevent them from being possible to fold up to any reasonable size. They can look a bit smaller than they are, but that is due to perspective.
    We did enlarge them a little bit, increased to about 1.25 times previous size.

    Getting them much larger would essentially require drawing them again from scratch, and we'd rather not do that.

    There are a few changes planned that will make her less human with wings and more of a true mix.
    One of them is adding claws to both hands and feet. Another is stretching out the hands a bit.

    Wingspan is currently about 3.8m
    Height is roughly 1.45m
  • EgeriaEgeria61 Posts: 0Member
    We have now fixed a lot of the parts that were wrong on the 3D model.
    We've re-proportioned the hands so that each joint is roughly 1.4 times human length and replaced the nails with proper claws.

    We have also reconstructed the feet a bit. Rather than simply the previous abnormally long midsection, we've made the toes considerably longer, so that the split between each toe is roughly 1/3rd of the whole length of each foot. We also widened the foot and shifted each toe somewhat outwards, giving it a more dragon-like look. Each toe has been equipped with a claw, varying from roughly 3cm long on the little toe to 5cm long on the big toe. The claws are curved and pointed so that they are excellent for biting into surfaces like the bark of a tree.

    We also built the hair, making it a series of tight braids that join together near the neck and cascade down to her shoulder blades. Mainly constructed the hair using tube along path and scaling tools.

    Aside from minor details, this model is now nearing its finished state. For now at least.

    Finishing height is roughly 142.8 cm
    Finishing wing length (from back joint to wingtip) is 2.12m, giving a wingspan of about 4.3m

    Currently what she looks like:

    Her foot:

    Her head, with hair:

    Whole model, from behind(ish):
  • calcm1calcm10 Posts: 0Member
    Glad to see my models out there being used. She looks great guys. You have certainly made some amazing modification:-) I have posted several more models over at the 3Dwarehouse. Feel free to use any you want:-)
  • EgeriaEgeria61 Posts: 0Member
    It took time to reshape, but its more fun to reshape humanoids than to make them from scratch... At least in sketchup.

    We'll take a look at your other models later on, when we next get some character idea we feel we have to build. Your models provide source material of the finest quality.
  • EgeriaEgeria61 Posts: 0Member
    Hmm... started (or to some degree, continued) another model yesterday... We'd made a simple version before, with only the bust, but now we're making the whole model...

    This time we used a single source file, but we're modifying it considerably more than usual... like restructuring the face and chest... We also flattened the feet, since the source mesh had her standing on her toes.

    The clothes are, as always of our own design, no borrowed parts there (except for the leggings, which are modified from one we made for the winged model earlier in this thread... so borrowed from ourselves.)

    We're also experimenting much more with the kerkythea materials... Not found a setting or texture fitting for hair yet, but we have found textures for nearly every other part...

    This first one is an early stage, from when the leggings were only partially drawn. The top is also unfinished here.

    This second one has the basic mesh in place, though it is missing mesh for practical details like pockets, belt, etc... We may need to improve the mesh for the insignia as well. We're not quite satisfied with it. We tried replacing the flooring, but unfortunately that messed up a bit.

    This third one is from the other side, with a different flooring, but otherwise identical to the second one.
  • EgeriaEgeria61 Posts: 0Member
    We've worked a fair bit on it these past couple of days, getting it into a fairly nice shape... The rendering is really starting to work well.

    We've now begun with creating our own materials using kerkythea, gaining a basic understanding of how kerkythean materials work. Still some trouble adding materials easily, but at least we now know how to make our own, so we wont have to modify materials every time...

    This image is a fairly high-quality render of an early stage of the mesh, where there are still several holes in it, and some parts are missing.

    This is one of the renders from when we couldn't yet figure out all the kinks in the kerkythean material application... It annoyed us for several hours till we found the error.

    We took this render while trying to figure out that error, thinking that the box she stood in had any effect. Most silly in hindsight.

    At this point, we'd figured out the material problem, but not quite fixed the lighting... we had too many lights still...

    Frog perspective view of the the previous stage. As of this stage, each half of each of the clothes is a solid shape, having internal faces that effectively look like seams or similar in a rendered form.

    First attempt at next stage, a quick render of it. Now we're adding colored side panels to the clothes. These side panels are copies of the area beneath, but are separate components. there is a hidden version beneath as part of the base clothes, so that the rendering will not mess up in the edges between the colors.

    This is the stage we built yesterday stage. Added a second set of panels on the shoulders, same style as the leg panels, and constructed a segmented metal belt. aside from the mid-front and mid-back segments, each segment is identical to the others, based around a 3.5*2.5*0.5cm rectangular prism. In this render we've colored the belt using a dull metal texture, with half the hinges and half the front connection made from copper.
    In the past two renders, we have used a self-composed form of dark red leather for the panels. The materials for the rest of the clothes are also self-composed, one being gray leather, the other dark gray leather.
    Still using basic sketchup texture for the black part of the insignia, though we use a pre-made silver texture for the non-black parts of it.
    We're still annoyed that we cant figure out how to get the skin to reflect more light, and the same for the hair. those parts just do not fit as nicely with the well-rendered clothes.
    anyone with kerkythean experience can feel free to aid us here... (in particular exactly which parts need to be modified in the material to get a slight shine to it... )

    one of the next challenges is to construct shoes. (adding more panels is no challenge)
    Since the theme of the character is Stargate, clothes being a modified form of Lucian Alliance uniform, the shoes need to be semi-militaristic in nature... Though obviously with some details not usual to earthly shoes, seeing that the Lucian Alliance has not developed its styles along the same paths as earth.
  • EgeriaEgeria61 Posts: 0Member
    Fixed some parts up a bit...
    Reshaped the leggings somewhat to be more correct to hip shape, cleaned up some of the body mesh facings, built several new textures, mainly for skin, hair, eyes.

    We also built the shoes. Used base material from someone else, but rebuilt several parts, as well as cleaning up the mesh and of course replacing all the textures... The shoes had to be rescaled to fit the feet. Enlarged sideways and vertically, as well as shortened to fit the feet. Source for shoe mesh:


    Feel free to comment about anything on this model. Critique is especially welcome.
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