Extruding a Dream to Reality: Case 1

This is a personal project, one of a few. But this is one of my top 2 most important ones to me, personally.

For those who maybe don’t know or at least don’t know the details, I have a character who is pretty much the icon of my art world, including pixel art, potential games, sketching and all kinds of story concepts. I’ve had Ryo since 2004/2005. For the longest time, I’ve wanted to have him actually do things. He’s one of the main characters I’ve progressed my sketching skills with and overall I have a major connection with him in heart. But every project (aside some sketchwork) I’ve attempted to have with him never really goes through and mostly it’s due to a lack of understanding of how the methods work. Blender was something I’ve found to be a possibility to at least play with a model of him and see if I could eventually get him animated and with that, maybe other people would like him, too.

He’s evolved over the years, but he’s now in his perfect base form, I think. And with that, plus new training and developing of my Blender Powers - thanks to the courses by Alex - Ryo is making the transformation from 2D to 3D. He’s already gotten a low-poly model, but I’m working on another low-poly model with a little more detail. At least to give him a face, you know? The body might be relatively the same, but I do intend a slight bit more detail while keeping the obvious squares.

I fully intend for Ryo to eventually become High-Def, life-like and believable. But for now… we’ll call this Low-Poly: Phase 1.

I just wish to show the steps taken to make this happen. This project means a lot to me.

(Second picture and the reference shown in the last picture are drawn by the fantastic artist Xelgot. I did the first picture and the models.)

Dude this is so awesome to see and hear the progress of Ryo! Definitely a cool character you came up with and definitely see a video game or TV show made from it! Keep it up man. Can’t wait to see it animated in Blender!

If you drew those images then I commend you. I would like to draw like that and hope to some day. It sounds like you have some ambitious goals and I think your well on your way. The low poly rendition looks like him so is a great beginning. Will look forward to your future renditions.

I drew the concept art of him in the bone armor. The one of him in green pants and the ref image I’m basing the model on were done by a friend of mine and fantastic artist, Xelgot. But thank you, all the same!

Well, the second model with more detail on the face is done. However, I’m left in a bit of a mixed emotional state when seeing it. The hair particularly, I don’t know what to do with to make it look better. While I do like that he has a more recognizable face, something about it is not doing it for me. And I’ve figured out why:

The newer model looks unfinished, even though it is finished. It looks unfinished because it has the look of the basic building blocks to a high-res model, but it isn’t a high-res model. It looks like an in-between state in its finished form, which makes it seem a bit odd. So when it comes to a specifically low-poly scene, I’ll continue to use the first model done, loosely based on Martin.

Don’t think this means I feel like my time was a waste. It wasn’t. It was a major learning experience and I feel as I learn new techniques, I can use this model, edit it, refine it and make it the beginning step to a higher-res form. More will be in store for the buff elf, but I wanted to give a report on the latest news on him.

Also, expect a slight change and some experimentation with the first model as well, as Ryo will need to at least attempt to have some of his barbarian-style clothes at some point.

Wow super cool man! He is evolving! Fingers and eyes and everything. Can’t wait for the final rendition of it :slight_smile:

Going back to the old low-poly model, I made some modifications. Let me know how you guys think it’s going. I think this is the kind of thing the previous attempt was going for. I’m posting the previous and then the newly altered version for side-by-side comparison. Face, hair, legs and chest are the main points, as new loop-cuts have been added, and then re-aligned with the reference images to make sure proportions were on point.

Looks a lot better man! Very nicely done. Just the overall look is better :slight_smile:

Another comparison picture. That’s one good low-poly muscle chest, right there, I think.

They scale and anatomy looks a lot better. He looks more buff and less like he’s wearing football pads.

A new, higher-poly model is underway. This is a model I had halfway made before on an older computer, but I have to re-make on this computer. It’s fine though, as I have learned a lot more since last time and I will be applying my knowledge (especially on face loops) on the body of the new model, making it superior to the other, older model anyway. This is going to be a long, tedious journey, but one that’s certainly going to be worth it.

So far, I have just his face.

Nice man! Love how he’s evolving

This current version of Ryo is on hold for a little while longer. I do plan to resume it at a later point, but I need to learn some more techniques first, especially in regards to the body. Especially as I plan to make muscle definition with modeling, rather than sculpting, for this particular model. There are ways to do this, but until I work more specifically on it, it will need to be on the back burner, much like it has been during the Power Rangers kick I was on. (Also, Dragonzord will be coming relatively soon)

The reason for this update is because I will soon be attempting to get Ryo into 3-D by another method. Low-poly with pixel textures. Yes, that is how I got SpyBorg into 3D and it works. So now I want to try this with Ryo. However, I do plan on it being a different style, model-wise. I also plan on still doing the textures, myself. This is going to be another learning process, as well. So we’ll all get to benefit from the successes and mistakes I make through this process. And the best part is, if this is successful, this will be easy to make textures for environments and thus will be easy to make videos for.

I’m not exactly sure when I’ll be getting to this, but I want to do it soon. Right now, my Blender motivation is in a low spot. Maybe just winding down from the month-long contest or I’m just feeling off in general. But eventually, Ryo will make another appearance as a model I hope will be fully successful. It’ll help train my modeling and pixelling skills.

Well, while the update I last mentioned didn’t wind up happening (yet), I did manage to do something akin to it, but on a different level than I was first thinking. I did manage to make Ryo in a Minecraft kind of style. Now, I actually texture originally as a Minecraft skin, as the PC version allows you make your own skins and has allowed this for a very long time. Over the years, I’ve greatly improved my abilities to make sprites and Minecraft skins. But now I am applying that knowledge to make things in Blender! This is good and I am a little surprised I didn’t think of this sooner.

There are bigger plans for this style of model to make him completely custom. However, I am known for overwhelming myself by having bigger ideas than I have plans or knowledge. So, I have constructed a list as to what and how I wish to accomplish each part of my plans for him, to maintain his compatibility with the style, yet make him far more awesome.

So far, I have completed phase 1: Mimicking the style and points of articulation exactly. No modifications. This is the base for which the rest will be made. And if nothing else works out, mimicking the basic, initial origins of the model would suffice for an animation. With this success, it means I have achieved at least the bare minimum of what I need to be successful in this area. I will continue my plans, but in the long run, I have already won. Stay tuned as I do my best to get Phase 2.

Here is proof of my success:

Very well done Drift! Looks cool! One step at a time!

Phase 2 is complete! His ears now point outward and his hair is attached to the head instead of being details on the body!

very nice… looking great!!! ??

Phase 3 complete - torso is now two separate blocks, aiding in showing the character’s musculature. To show this, he’s throwing a whole block of Redstone Ore!

One thing that is interesting about Minecraft is that most blocks don’t obey gravity. Only a select few do. One commonly found one in the mines is Gravel. If you’re not careful, the stuff can come down on you if you dig out the block holding it up. Seems Ryo got a little unlucky…

And with that, Phase 4 is complete! He can change expressions, now!

To prove my point, here’s some more!