Dear reader, I hope this article finds you well!
My name is Andrej Jandrić, and I'm a 24-year-old self-taught 3D character modeler from Zagreb, Croatia. I'm a graduate of the Faculty of Graphic Arts, and my dream is to work in an animation studio one day.
I've been modeling for 5 years now, and I'm very loyal to Blender. The abundance of fun tutorials, courses, and a huge community has kept me engaged in this amazing software. For the past couple of years, I've been focusing mostly on character modeling and design.
Come and take a dive with me into this breakdown of the piece I've created called "Cheers!".
While scrolling through Pinterest, I came across a very intriguing sketch. It had an elegant guy in a suit with a scheming, charming kind of look, toasting with his martini. What I really loved about this sketch was the amount of personality the character had, and the drawing was very solid in terms of shapes and forms. I immediately knew that I wanted to model him!
Unfortunately, I couldn't find the original artist. The Pinterest description didn't have any references, and a Google reverse image search didn't give me any results. However, considering the style of the drawing, it could have been made by Sandro Cleuzo, although I don't want to give any false credits.
The sculpting phase of the workflow is my favorite! It allows you to roughly shape out your character, and with some basic vertex colors, it's easy to visualize it early on.
I start with low resolution, and as I sculpt and add more detail, I increase the geometry. It's a good idea to keep certain parts separate for the purpose of easier retopology and texturing. The most noticeable part that I've kept separate is the arm. Since we don't really see the character's lower parts, it wasn't necessary to merge the arm and the body.
At this point, I'm keeping everything symmetrical. It's much easier to unwrap and texture the character that way. Symmetry is the artist's best friend! Later, when it comes to setting up the scene and adding details, I'll introduce asymmetry to the expression.
Retopology is one of those steps that every sculptor hates! Well, maybe the word "hates" is a little too strong, but it's certainly a very long and tedious process, especially if I know that I won't rig and animate the character. That being said, I tend to use the greatest invention in human history - the Quad Remesher addon. I absolutely love this plugin and use it all the time because it delivers excellent results in a matter of seconds!
Texturing characters is always a fun process. It's the part where you can really show your attention to detail. The goal for this character was to make him clean and tidy. I combined texture painting, procedural shading, and free PBR textures to set up materials for this guy. I took some time to experiment and play with it until I was happy with the final results.
In general, I used a basic setup for shading, including color maps, roughness/specular maps, and normal maps. For the skin, I spent more time on color and roughness by texture painting, while for the normal map, I only used a procedural noise texture.
The hair grooming part was very frustrating at the beginning, but the results were certainly rewarding. Prior to this model, I had some minor experience with the hair system in Blender, but nothing too fancy. So I took this project as an opportunity to level up my grooming skills. There was a lot of trial and error during this process, and I had to tweak many values in the settings. I was just playing with it and trying to find what works for this character and fits my workflow.
During this time, I did a lot of rendering and took the chance to play with the colors, especially for the outfit.
And finally, the rendering phase! When looking at this guy, I think most people would agree that he's in some sort of luxurious interior. Another thing I knew I wanted was a cinematic look for the final render. Considering these goals, I started experimenting with various types of lighting and framing.
In the end, I ended up with two backgrounds, both kind of luxurious with warm lights, and two types of framing. One square framing for social media and one widescreen framing for that cinematic look.
RENDER - Cheers!
Thank you for your time. I hope you enjoyed reading this article and found it useful. I also have a thread on another artwork in detail on Blender Artists which you might find interesting. It's called Agent 327: Operation Opera House, made for the “Make a Splash in Amsterdam” challenge on Blender Artists.
Have a cheerful day!
About the Artist
Andrej Jandrić, a 3D character designer and modeler. Aspires to work on 3D feature films.
Just a fix...
The Retopology Add-On that you refer to in the Link is "JRemesh"
The Add-On "Quad-Remesh" is another one, it's paid for, and one of the most expensive, but it's worth every penny.
Thanks for sharing
Thanks for the comment!
The error was made from my side, not the artist's. I had mixed the two add-ons, but it is corrected now. I apologize for any misinformation caused by the incorrect link.
Have a nice day!