Character: Dark Jester


<ignore>Hey, I realized that my image sizes were way huge on the last thread I started, so I’m starting a new one that I’ll keep better groomed.</ignore>

This guy will be the focus of a thesis project that I will be working on for the next two semesters. The end result should be about 6 short animation tests (the jester lifting a boulder, the jester slicing up a bunch of spheres with a sword, etc…). As he’ll be my only character for two whole semesters, he’d better be good, right? So, I want as much (and as harsh) criticism as you guys have in you.

I’m using Maya 5, soon 6. I’ll be re-texturing him with renderman tools in order to use my school’s render-farm, so no texture crit yet. I’ll be starting on the body in a couple of days.

The look I’m going for is going to be a sort of modernized Renaissance jester. He needs to have dignity, but still look a bit of the part.

Click for High Res


what goes BUMP in the night? Apparently just me, cmon guys, I could really use some feedback. Alternately, I could use some ideas for a dignified dark jester costume with white, black, and copper worked into it.



Well you used the word dignified, I guess ignore my last post on the other thread. oops



No, you deffinitely still have a point, he does have kinda plain features. I may try to touch them up a bit, but mostly I’m expecting to “fix” that with really expressive blend shapes. hmm… maybe if I lowered the cheeks a tiny bit, and moved the fattiness down towards the mouth he’d have a little more character… and maybe if he had eyebrows/lashes… that might just help a bit.

Anyone have any good ideas on how to bind the lashes/brows to the geometry without having to manually move them for each of the morphs?


Been a while since I posted. I smoothed out the face a bit, and added some detail above the lip, but mostly I added a body. Here’s the deal, I’m going to be using a maya cloth sim, so the gray area will remain polys and be invisible, I’ll be building him a bit of a chest attatched to his head. The brown areas of the arms/hand will both remain in the poly version, and have a subdivided one that’ll actually be visible.

I can’t quite get the thumb right… grrrr.


Oh, additionally, can anyone think of a good color scheme for him? I have something in mind, but need someone to independantly verify :wink: He’ll be wearing a long baggy shirt with baggy sleeves and pants.

Any issues that I should be aware of going into cloth simulations? My tests all look decent, but if there’s any speedbump that you guys have run into, I’d love to know about it.


the thumb is WAY too long, and it curves in toward the hand… look at your own hand and you’ll see it does just the opposite… also, are you going for realism with this model, or a stylized character? Cuz if realism is your goal, you need way more detail in the hands and body. Muscle definition is almost non-existant at this point… give him knuckles and veins and such in the hands… but if you’re going for a stylized character then this guy looks like a hundred other threads i’ve seen titled “Character: My first head model”. I’d try accentuating certain features… that might give him more individuality… What school are you going to? If you don’t mind me asking… also, it sounds like you’re modeling, texturing, rigging, animating, and working with cloth simulation… if you’re still experimenting to see which area you’d like to focus on, then cool. But in the actual industry, the vast majority of people only do one thing, whether it be modeling or animation, texturing or lighting, they have one area of expertise… i’d focus on one area and put together a really strong reel… okay, this has gone on WAY too long. i’m going now… hope this helped… and good luck.


Capel, to be fair, my head is a LOT better than most “my first head” threads :wink: Especially since I’ve done a bunch of fine tuning which isn’t visible in any of these shots.

I agree with you on the thumb, I’d been ****ing around with it to try to get it right and just sorta gave up for the day and posted. As for the lack of muscle definition, everything in grey, and most of the brown of the arm up to the hand will be covered in a long shirt, so I’m not worrying about the definition, I just want to get a decent substructure done quickly.

As for what I’m going for, I’m going for “cartoon realism”. I want the shape to be generally correctly proportioned, but I’m going to use really simple textures to give it a bit of a cartoonish feel. Something along the lines of rotoscoping… but… you know, without any rotoscoping.

I go to hampshire college. We have a program in which your last year is spent doing one two-semester project. It may seem like I’m taking on too many things, but really, I’m just getting stuff out of the way, I have an internship that gives me no work, so I’m making sure that I’m ready to start animating within a week of the first semester starting. That gives me two full semesters to take one class and animate this character, NOTHING else. I’ve given the same advice you’re giving me to a number of the 3d total begginers at my school. :wink:

Also on the individuality note, one of the things I’m currently best at is morphs, and that’s where a lot of his character will come in.

Wow, I’ve run on, I’m a bit deffensive today. Thanks for the C.C. on the hands.


it’s not that your head is better or worse than anyone else’s… it’s that i can’t tell them apart… the features are very bland… which would be okay if they were proportioned correctly, like you were going for realism… i’d suggest pushing the model further in terms of style either one way (realism) or the other (stylized character) to give it more individuality… right now it’s kinda stuck somewhere in the middle… no offense. If you’re not working out of an anatomy book, i’d suggest burne hogarth’s “Dynamic Anatomy” and “Dynamic Figure Drawing”. oh, and if you only want criticism that you agree with, i was thinking a good idea might be to post a list at the top of the thread… then we can all choose and you don’t have to worry about getting defensive.:smiley:


Sorry, I’m a bit edgy, I’ve been doing test rigs to figure out the cloth dynamics, and while I love the cloth, I hate rigging with the burning passion of a thousand firey suns :wink: Looking over it again, you deffinitely have a point.


Done some work on the hands, started roughing out the feet and converting a few fingers to toes. Somehow my default texture managed to latch on to the reference material I was using earlier… I must have been a bit tired while working on it :wink: Looks kinda cool… kinda… not really.

Not that much progress, just wanted to keep the thread alive without a BUMP.


Did some more work on the body, which you guys’ll see right after I have someone who does figure drawing help me with the relative lengths/thicknesses… oi… I’ve measured and re-measured everything, never looks quite right. I’ll probably post him in clothes so that you can get the full effect. But, what I’m posting today is my first attempt at eyebrows for him… The lashes are a bit non-descript from a distance… I can’t decide if I like that or not.


Hmm… I need to adjust the eyebrows near the center, I’m stretching that texture map a bit far. Any comments on this new facial hair? Cmon guys, could use a couple.

Any ideas on what’s wrong with the area right above the nose?


Your model is very cool, but i think the jester hat should be fully covering the head. Also more colors would be way cool! But it looks good otherwise, it could use some more gradiented textures, like a bigger difference in dark/light and more accuracy seemingly if you can mimic that…

but otherwise very cool :):slight_smile:

and that freeipod thing is a scam! check your PM


Read the wired article, this one isn’t a scam. People actually are recieving them.


Please note that I have edited the comments about the free ipod from your post. I posted a warning a while back in General Discussions stating that anyone posting anything about them on CGTalk will be banned. Thanks for your co-operation.


Much appologies, had I seen the post I deffinitely wouldn’t have included it. I didn’t think about it, but I understand that if this was allowed the forums would be overun.

Thanks for the warning instead of a ban!

Sorry everybody!


Okay, I’m nixing his crown, it’s a bit too bulky and bling for this guy :wink: I’m considering a strip of black cloth tied around his head with the little jester flames coming off of it… just nix em from the current model and then add some simulated cloth hangin off of the back where the band ties.

I need ideas though, this isn’t final! Anyone who gives me a good hat idea, a bit of reference, or even a crude sketch may recieve as much as sexual favors or as little as thank you :wink:

Here he is with a bit more soul and a little less babyfat:


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