I am Frogov D'Well 鄭帝華, a self-taught hobby artist who works after-hours and has never received formal training, so take all of this with a grain of salt.
I wanted to learn the new Blender Hair Curves system and needed a subject other than hairy donuts. The Trolls movies had been on repeat in my household, so I attempted Queen Barb and then added Poppy, and decided to animate them.
I guess instead of looking for inspiration, inspiration can also come knocking.
Setting a goal lets me know when it's "done," or at least, when I’ve hit a ceiling and must admit that it’s too difficult.
The project took around 2 months of after-hours and weekends, with a pretty standard workflow of:
Sculpt/Model/Texture > Rig > Animate > Render > Video & Post
I picked Queen Barb's hairstyle as a starting point to learn Blender's latest hair curve system.
I found the new hair sculpting tools to be more intuitive than the particle system, requiring less fiddling with settings and test renders. The Add and Density brushes give a more natural distribution than the particle system brushes.
In short, her hair consists of the main mohawk and the sides.
For shading the mohawk, I used the Strand Intercept to get that root to tip variance.
I used geometry nodes to place the studs on the choker, headband, and around Barb’s guitar.
Rigging the guitar was an interesting problem. Sometimes you want it to nudge with the right hand, other times the right hand needs to move independently, such as during the big strum motions.
Rather than building a one-size-fits-all rig, the guitar was constrained based on the shot. If it's a shot of her picking, the Child Of constraint is parented to the forearm, and for the power chord shots, it's parented to the hip.
The audio was recorded using a PRS SE (yes, that explains Barb’s guitar) and a Fender Micro Mustang Amp into Audacity. I then used the pre-mixed solo track as a rough visual guide for placing the key frames.
RENDERING & VIDEO EDITING
I rendered in Cycles, and when possible, I rendered separate layers to save time. For example, backgrounds need only one frame if the camera doesn't move.
Finally, I dropped everything into DaVinci Resolve for editing and post-effects.
QUEENS OF THE TROLL AGE
And that's it. Thank you for reading my article.
I hope you have a nice day!
About the Artist
Frogov D'Well 鄭帝華, an after-hours self-taught hobby-artist, who dabbles in digital painting and 3D.