View Full Version : WIP: Crafty

John Keates
09 September 2003, 01:23 PM
Here is mine. I am not so exited about the concept so I might do another. I don't have much time though.

09 September 2003, 08:58 PM
Nice shading! Maybe you should call him Shifty or something instead of Crafty... Crafty sounds like he should be a carpenter or something. Wish I could shade like that.

John Keates
09 September 2003, 09:25 PM
Cheers for the reply. The shading was done on a computer so that makes it much easier. You are right about the name, shifty would be good. Do you know how to change the thread title?

09 September 2003, 10:15 PM, lol. Sorry to do that to you, haha. Maybe by editing the post...?

John Keates
09 September 2003, 11:04 PM
Well I tried editing the post title and it only changed the one at the top of my first post. Oh well.

09 September 2003, 06:26 PM
What's the inspiration for the characature? He reminds me of Bob the Bastard from the animated Dilbert (watched a couple of those - the shake 'n' bake from hell speaks to me as an aerospace designer).

John Keates
09 September 2003, 02:43 PM
Funnily enough, the inspiration comes from me. When I was young, I used to make faces in the mirror and one of them was similar to the sketch. Since I started to animate, I have been making those faces again and thought that it would be a good place to start. If I get enough time I may do another one but looking in the mirror rather than making it up.

John Keates
09 September 2003, 08:30 PM
Here's another one.
He is half dwarf and half human so can he enter the compatition? He is a little confused (poor boy). He uses self depricating humour as a way to cover up his fustration and worry. You see him here with his best friend "knucles" who sees himself as a bit of a comedian. Here is one of his jokes:

I say I say I say, why are dwarfs so bad at getting jobs done?

Because they are allways short-staffed.

Short staffed... Get it?
Well why arn't you laughing then?:shrug:

09 September 2003, 09:28 PM
HAHAHAHA this guy is hilarious!!! Keep ON!!!!!!!

John Keates
09 September 2003, 10:53 PM
They called him shorty at school but now he's Mr big. Best to keep on the right side of him and don't mention basket ball. He hates that.

Hey, hang on... this is supposed to be a modelling competition. Please someone tell me which one to do.

John Keates
09 September 2003, 11:06 PM
Air Guitar Dwarf

John Keates
09 September 2003, 11:07 PM
Ooops, forgot to attach...

John Keates
09 September 2003, 11:20 PM
Realy realy dwarf dwarf. Yes, I think I like this one. What do you think? I might give this one a go.

09 September 2003, 11:28 PM
A lot of fun characters and styles, John. The last one's great, go for it!


John Keates
09 September 2003, 11:32 PM
Hey, modernhorse, I tried looking at your website and it says "cannot find server" You might want to look at that.

John Keates
09 September 2003, 11:34 PM
Hey Jim, I think that I will go for that last one. He looks fun to model. Can't wait to see yourse animated ;)

John Keates
09 September 2003, 11:38 PM
Oh, whilst your here Jim, do you think that my varying styles could be a problem? I "trained" as a "fin artist" so I never put much effort into developing a style. I notice that your work varies a lot also. Do you find this a benefit or a hinderance? (off topic I know). Any advice is much appreciated as I am starting to turn to the idea of comercial art as a way to feed myself.

09 September 2003, 01:18 PM
john- have you made a decision yet? you have some really nice ideas but I don't see you "zero-ing" in on anything in particular yet?

09 September 2003, 01:56 PM
Hey John -
Thanks for the reminder. I just modified my link. The previous link was all music, and now its all newbie 3d stuff.

I had a site that was specifically for film scoring and other music for hire, but I took it down as I got ripped on the web hosting and I sort of ran out of bux to reup.

Your sketches are killing me!! I love the really really dwarf dwarf. I vote for that one, though all of your concepts are killer. Best.

John Keates
09 September 2003, 02:02 PM
Yes, I think that I am going to go for the realy realy dwarf dwarf. He is a popular chap. He has to be nice though, otherwise nobody will reach for things for him.

09 September 2003, 02:12 PM
Originally posted by John Keates
Oh, whilst your here Jim, do you think that my varying styles could be a problem? I "trained" as a "fin artist" so I never put much effort into developing a style. I notice that your work varies a lot also. Do you find this a benefit or a hinderance? (off topic I know). Any advice is much appreciated as I am starting to turn to the idea of comercial art as a way to feed myself.


No, I don't see it as a problem at all. In my illustration work I have a few different styles that I use very often even for the same clients. I just don't mix them in one project.

I have a young-kid oriented style, with flatter color, simpler lines and rounder shapes. I have an slightly older-kid oriented style similar to the disney art look. And I have an older-kid oriented style that has funkier shaped characters. I use varying degrees of realistic rendering with each style depending on what the client wants. I occasionally do realistic illustrations, but with a painterly style.

Here's a link to one of my advertising pages:

Showcase (

And another with the Workbook, click on the letter "T".

Workbook (

If you look through these illustration advertising sites, you may see a lot of different styles or you may see several different styles that other people are copying.

I think my "style" is really a combination of influences from Norman Rockwell, Frank Frazetta and saturday morning cartoons.

Styles come and go, first put your focus on drawing the best you can and understanding what your client wants.

Sorry for rambling,

09 September 2003, 03:28 PM
Hey Jim,
I like your illustration styles! I think strong traditional art skills are a real plus when modeling in A:M. And your work looks great in either medium!:applause:

09 September 2003, 03:31 PM
Thanks, William! And now back to our regularly scheduled WIP thread....;)


John Keates
09 September 2003, 04:42 PM
Hey Jim, thanks for all that advise. Your work looks realy realy great there by the way. I quake in your presence. Back to modelling...

John Keates
09 September 2003, 06:13 PM
Ok, here is my model after about three hours work (probably less). The area where the mouth, nose and beard meet was a real nightmare but I got there in the end. He is a bit hook-tastic and he also has his fair share of three and five point patches but what the hell?

I just have to make the legs and the hands now before perhaps adding a few wrinkles and changing proportions. I am thinking that maybe glasses would sute him. Half-moon ones maybe?

I only had one crash and that was when doing a c/f/a on the shoe. I often find that this happens after a lot of modelling. Memory leak?

Other than that, everything went pretty smoothly with none of the glitches that were happening in recent versions.

Sorry that he is so small, I am having trouble fitting him in. I will try linking to some web space later.

John Keates
09 September 2003, 06:14 PM
Oh, I just noticed how big his nostril is. I will change that later.

09 September 2003, 06:46 PM
Good likeness to your sketch. And fast!


09 September 2003, 07:49 PM
Wow! That is excellent. I also can't believe the quickness of you work.

09 September 2003, 08:31 AM
He looks fantastic so far!

John Keates
10 October 2003, 10:45 PM
OK, here is an update:

I am still trying to work out how to link to an image on my webspace so I don't have much to show at the mo (I am a complete dunce when it comes to this kind of thing).

I have finished modelling him and this went ok. I cleaned things up and made them more animatable. I found that I got many more crashes when the model was more complicated (particularly when I was changing the flow of splines). The crashes are mostly random.

Here are some bugs that I noticed (it would be good if people sent these into hash if they havn't already):

5p patches and hooks on the centre line get lost when doing a copy/flip/attach.

Most of the cps on the centre line don't move when in mirror mode.

When I hid most of the geometry and was working on the remainder, the hair that I had went all wacky so I turned it off.

When in bones mode, the 5p patches will be in whichever real-time devision level that you have set so that if you are in adaptive real-time mode then bones mode will be slow and look odd where the 5p patches are.

Sometimes when I select a number of cps, I get no bounding box.

A random driver appeared in my model (which I deleted).

When I updated the position of a bone in bones mode, that bone behaved oddly in the action that I was testing it in. I had to clear the action each time that I made a change.

I was trying to use expressions for the beard rig and had no luck at all. Look here for more:

I have realy gone to town on the beard rig. I thought that I would use it for practice. It is my main selling point (how else could I keep up with you Jim?;) )

The beard is distorted allong a spline that is controlled by three bones. there are also controlls for moving the pointy bits at the end of the beard (I call them beardlets). There is even a sub-controll for moving the tips of the beardlets. He should be fun to animate even though I thought at first that it would be hard to get any movement out of him (he is very very stumpy).

I hope to show him off soon.

10 October 2003, 10:27 PM
Please hurry and post an update!!!!! :drool:

10 October 2003, 11:17 PM
Regarding posting an image link...I had the same problem.

Just insert your link in this reply box in the following format

{img][/img] (all brackets;))

and it should work. Can't wait to see the update!

John Keates
10 October 2003, 12:35 AM
He he. Nice to get some attention!

I will see what I can do. I am planning on getting drunk for the next few days but hopefully I will remember after that.:beer:

John Keates
10 October 2003, 01:32 PM
{img] with bones.jpg[/img]

Hmmm. As you can see it didn't work. What am I doing wrong?

10 October 2003, 02:43 PM with bones.jpg

Here you go!

He looks fantastic!


10 October 2003, 02:50 PM
The first one should be a bracket [ just like the rest...I just put it in wrong in my example because I didn't want to put in a bad link to an image. with bones.jpg

John Keates
10 October 2003, 05:37 PM
Aaaah!! I see! Thanks :)

And now we have to of him. A little scary. Anyway, I will give you the low down on him now:

You are seeing an earlier version of him where I had only made half of him. It was a real chore doing the rest. I tried saving him out, flipping him and importing him back in again. This had the advantage that all of his poses were copied across. I didn't do it in the best of ways though and ended up with a load of bones in the rong hiarachial order.

His controlls are as follows:

You see those large bones at the base of his beard? They control a spline which has a load of little bones constrained to it. The beard tassles (or beardlets) each aim at one of them.

There are two nulls below him. A big one and a small one. The beardlets are children of bones that point towards the big one so that if you move it back and forth, the beardlets also move (in the opposite direction). The tips of the beard have the same relationship to the smaller null that is a child of the bigger one... Phew!

This all means that you have quite a lot of beard control.

As you can see, his nose, eyebrows and ears all move. I thought that this would be necessary as he doesn't have a lot of body to play with. His mouth can move quite a way around his head and has blended fan bones for opening and closing. I recently added some face bones that controll poses using smartskins and I will add more.
He also has a rig on his hat at the back which is good for making it flap in the breeze.

All that I have to do now is to texture him and possibly add hair. I would realy like to use the v11 hair but I am not sure how this would work.

One texturing problem is that I would realy like to go to town on his nose as it is his largest feature. However I don't want it to look too much like Sclitzy's as that would seem like plagiarism.

Oh, I may add a few hidden features but they are strictly confidential.

10 October 2003, 09:23 PM
Good Lord! That is fantastic, lol. Poor guy, always getting dirt in his beard.

John Keates
10 October 2003, 07:46 PM dwarf.jpg

Here he is again with that rig in action. He was a little angry at the render times caused by his new hair at the time of the photo session but he is calming down now. I will have to do some tweeking before I and he are happy but I have assured him that everything will be ok.

I have copped out of doing proper textures as yet. I just used a procedural with some red splotches alpha'd off at the edges.

That drinking binge went of with a bang and so did my immune system. I am still recovering from a mighty temperature. I have several other commitments but I will see what I can do for the sake of improvement before the deadline.

Any suggestions very welcome.

Oh, by the way, I have done a test and yes, he can walk.

10 October 2003, 09:04 PM
John, awesome work, very imaginative.

I dig the hair. I'm glad you didn't necessarily make it white. Maybe ease off on the specular intensity if you want to avoid the synthetic look.
Knowing you, you've probably deliberately made his mouth tilt to one side, I'm not sure that works though.
Can't wait to see more.:thumbsup:

John Keates
10 October 2003, 10:08 PM
Thanks for the compliments ;) . I decided to make him into a fiery little scott. I know what you mean about the synthetic hair though, I am in the early stages of pruning it (a little behind you and your beasty). I just love shiny things though and I was hoping that the roughness setitings in the new alpha would be such that I could make the hair look more natural without using kinkiness and upping render times. It never came though (boo hoo).

I will have to do some pondering about the tilting mouth. I was thinking that it was working but now that you have picked up on it I am not so sure. Perhaps it looks better in animation but should be kept out of stills. Hmmm.... (John frowns, his mouth moving to one side).

Ahhh!... The teeth should stay. The mouth should move but the teeth shouldn't... Maybe...

John Keates
10 October 2003, 11:26 PM
Here he is being angry at a ball that seems to have gotten stuck in his beard. I toned down the hair a bit. at ball dwarf.jpg

John Keates
10 October 2003, 11:46 PM
And here he is facing his nemesis - the stairs. How is he to attain haggis we wonder?, nemesis and haggis.jpg

10 October 2003, 12:09 AM
HAHA! I love this guy. I love the beard.

10 October 2003, 06:00 PM
one heck of a concept John.. this guy has really grown on me.


John Keates
10 October 2003, 08:53 PM
Thanks for your support. Glad you like him.

"this guy has really grown on me."
Thats good. I like to push things to the extremes which doesn't allways go down well, but it is amazing what one can get used to.

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