View Full Version : Mr. Fat Cat!

01 January 2005, 04:00 PM
Hi Everybody!

I am working full time in a computer game company doing mostly project management and 3D stuff in Alias Maya. This is my first Thread in CGTalk. Because of permanent deadline stress there is hardly enough time to do my own 3D projects at home, so I thought about doing more drawing work in my freetime...

I was allways the pen-and-paper-type of artist, but now I wont to go deeper into character design, color and light - and hope this will also help me with texturing-tasks and will also help me to make design decisions in general. So I did the following: I got me a Wacom Intuos 3 A4 and an EIZO FlexScan L885 and started to get myself used to the freedom of drawing with unlimited undo and all the colors in the world...

I have lot's of scetchbooks full of charcter idea scribbles and I more or less randomly picked Mr. Fat Cat - a character that I drew some time ago for a never even started 3D film project. If the design process is going to be finished I hope to find the time to model the charcter in 3D under a new thread... maybe you guys are interested to join this jurney then.

OK, now more to what I allready did. I took the original drawing (it's abou 6cm in size), scanned it and used it as a background reference in painter. Than I made me a pencil brush I felt comfortable with and drew the outlines, that turned out to be more complicated than I thought before, because some horizontal and vertical strokes are very difficult to handle the first time. Maybe I get used to it, but when I draw on paper I turn the paper around very much what is not that easily possible with your Wacom becouse you loose track of the horizon, if you know what I mean...

After the outlines I made a new layer and placed it behind the outline-layer. I started with acrylics but didn't feel comfortable with it so I started a new. Then I came to Gouache and this was more like it. To find the right colors for my cat I did some research in books and scanned a picture with a colorscheme that I liked. In Photoshop I reduced the picture to 16 colors and than loaded it into Painter as color reference. After that I painted the Cat roughly with these 16 colors and started to fade transitions from one area to the next by making little strokes to create some fur texture...

That's were I am right now after some hours of making little strokes...

so what do you think about it so far?

I'm not so sure about what is going to come next. A friend of mine sayd I should give the outlines some color. Well but I can do this in the last step... I thought about adding some details like whiskers and maybe also claws to the feet. And maybe there is a way to make the fur look a bit more shiny, without going to much into a realistc type of hair-look.

I am happy about comments and critique


01 January 2005, 04:18 PM
Hah, that is a very cute image - although he's not very fat!

I think a couple of things that can be implemented if you wanted, are the pupils of the cat - which is usually more almond shaped than anything, and giving the cat a slit between the mouth and that nose...I dont know what its called.

Also, if you look at most cats, the mouth area is usually a different color from the rest of the cat.

Nice work, will be interesting to see what you do!

01 January 2005, 04:29 PM
its more of a mixture between a rabbit, squirrel, and a cat....but cute nontheless if you could put more texture into the fur...i think the the fur could improve greatly....not many crits though

01 January 2005, 11:45 AM
That is a very cute cat. You could add some details to the fur with a stronger brush strokes and maybe use darker colours for that. Also a couple of whiskers would add some character to it. Good work this far!

01 January 2005, 01:47 PM
Absence of outer outlines would add more life to this cat. Before mentioned crits..Great suggestions.Enjoy your jobbie

01 January 2005, 03:17 PM
I like the style -- he's very cute. I agree that he looks a bit like a squirrel because he's sitting on his hind legs and he's got a bushy tail. Whiskers and a tuft of hair in the chest area might help. I really like how you did the fur -- the light and dark streaks of color (smudge tool?) give the impression of fur without being out of control. Try to keep the highlights consistent on left facing areas -- inside of his left ear and left leg need highlights, but his tail does not. Lastly, your shading is so good that you can do without the outlines. If you don't feel totally comfortable erasing them, you can reduce their opacity if they're still on their own layer. Nice work!

01 January 2005, 09:09 PM
Hi Folks!
Sorry I didn' write before, but I had a ten hours working day and that's the first time I can catch some breath and relax. Thanks a lot to all of you for your helpfull ideas and suggestions!

Thanx magic man: I changed the shape of the eyes and the hint with the mouth area was worth a million! And yeah right, hi is not very fat... well in the first sketches he was - and I kept the name because I like it and the owner of the cat is called Mr. Nervous and this makes such a nice couple. He will be the next project I guess...

ajay1589: well, I hope the squirrel chenged a bit more in direction of a cat by now. I am still not that happy with the fur in some parts and it needs to have more texture and light and shadow areas I suppose.

Dilwica and koinu: Yes I added some whiskers, what makes a better cat! And I tried to get rid of the outlines but that didn' work for me, because the outer area of the cat wasn't painted clean enough... and I kind of like it though... it makes it more cartoony.

But i made the outlines a bit more transparent (now 75%).

Ilikesoup: thanks for mentioning the highlights issue. I have to work on that. And no, I just used the Gouache-Stroke and the Eraser... no other tool. Maybe this is what it makes consistent? The chest area ist still a problem but this has to wait until tomorrow...

Her is the newest update on Mr. Fat Cat. Thanx again!

01 January 2005, 05:08 AM
Looks great!

Though as mentioned he's not "fat", but more "phat".

Call him Phat Cat. I have a character named Phat Cat, maybe I'll post him up someday, though it's only a sketch.

01 January 2005, 07:08 AM
lol, I love it. The expression on his face is priceless.

01 January 2005, 12:28 PM
really nice one ! Good shading and great expression ! Perhaps you could add some shadow for presentation...

01 January 2005, 01:19 AM
Nice cat! I love the snobbish look on his face! Nice one! :thumbsup:

01 January 2005, 01:55 AM
I wish real cats would look like this...
Its lovely, simply lovely!

01 January 2005, 02:00 AM
Looking good! :)

perhaps a soft shadow around his base to plant him firmly on the ground? or a subtle messy background texture? If it's just a model sheet mind, thats probably not important, so i'll shut it!:)

01 January 2005, 02:28 AM
Not very fat!?! The cat has no neck!

I'm thinking if you give him some place to sit, and a good light source, you could use colors from there to make the hair shinier. Something to reflect a little, ya know?

Cool work, this would be interesting to see in 3D.

01 January 2005, 10:58 PM
Thanx Everybody,

Hey Turbonium! I like "Phat Cat"... I had to look up "phat" in the dictionary. If I would have known it before it surely would be the cats name... :applause:

ThomasKl & JMcWilliams: the background and a shadow on the ground is still an issue. Thank you for mentioning - I allready started to paínt it. You will see the finished picture soon. And by the way: greetings to Frankfurt - ThomasKI! :beer:

supremo! Good Idea, with the reflection light on the fur. I will surely use that! Maybe I use different background colors to have the bouncelight in a different color to the rimlight. What do you think? :thumbsup:

Here is the reason why I still can't show you the final picture: I couldn't resist to start modeling the little bastard! I made it with Maya using box-modeling and quads only. It was qouite fun to work on the basis of a more detailed design than what I normaly use. But now after the first modeling, I decided to go back and finish the picture I did in Painter. Because if I don't do it now I will never do it...

I will start a new thread with the 3D cat in the 3D Section afterwards and you are all invited to see the development in 3D.

This is a Screenshot out of SoftimageXSI. For several reasons I switched from Maya to XSI for this project. I will explain it in the upcoming Mr. Phat Cat 3D Thread.

And here comes the shaded version of the mesh. Just a simple Render Region Screengrab:

That's it for today! Now I have to keep on working in Painter to finish the picture that started this thread.

Espen :D

01 January 2005, 09:29 PM
Nice cat!
With the little hair brushes on the end of the ears its like his big brother,
called "Luchs" in german :)
Would like to see more of the finished 3D-model!

01 January 2005, 06:17 AM
Espen - great model, I'm excited to see where that goes! You should link that thread to this on when you post it to the 3d side.

You're definitely going the right direction I think with the bounce light, have you been working on it? I'm interested in an update to that too.

By the way, thanks for the reply on my thread!

01 January 2005, 06:10 PM
Hi Everybody,

I just did the background and some minor adjustments on Mr. Fat Cat. I think the picture is more or less OK by now, and if nobody comes up with more usefull ideas I will start with a new project. I learned a lot out of this work and I wont to thank all of you who helped me! :applause:

Here the final Picture:

Greetingz from Berlin, Germany

01 January 2005, 12:20 AM
he needs to be staring at a mouse. He looks finicky (is that a word?)
like he(shes) a picky eater.
nice design and shape. I enjoy this piece.
You have a nice style. I, personally, would enjoy seeing more business. Life. bustle. Hustle. Muscle. And other things that rhyme with "ustle" like ummmmmmmmmm

01 January 2005, 05:24 PM
I'd say it looks pretty finished, Espen. The coloring job matches the style you used to draw the little fella well and you have a great variety of colors!

I'm no 3d master, but it looks to me like you could even use some of the nice textures you created here on your 3d model.

01 January 2005, 11:20 PM
Thanx to all of you! I submitted the picture to the gallery - let's see if they show it. Well, I mean... it's not a masterpeace or something... but I still like it. Most things shown in the galery lack some individual humor, I think so maybe they show it because it's some kind of different and Mr. Fat Cat! has this funny expression in his face. And maybe not.

supremo: I didn't work on the 3D model any further. I have to do some research on fur and mental ray rendering first and at the moment I have to work 10 hours a day in the game company I was mentioning before. No time for 3D beside that. But I started a new thread showing the first sketches of Mr. Nervous - the owner if Mr. Fat Cat. So have a look at this:
Mr. Nervous! (


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