Self Portrait / Space Marine
Like most personal projects, this was one was a learning curve. The model for the head is a self portrait I created several years ago. After creating the head I then decided to create a character from it. I built the body, which is a mashup between the well known Anime character Deunan Knute (although I wouldn't call myself a fan of Appleseed, this is one of my favourite character costume designs)... and a Halo figure I bought and used for reference.
I often find it more challenging to re-create something that already exists than it is to create something from my imagination. The challenges this sometimes presents I feel improves my modelling skills. Many CG artists advise to create a character that already exists for their portfolio, but I've found many CG artist download these pre-existing characters from websites such as Turbo Squid and pass them off as their own work. At least with a character based on a self portrait no one can accuse me of this, plus it helps to make my work stand out a little more (I hope). I have seen so many artist portfolios online with characters like Iron Man included in them. Having been advised to create an already existing character, then to build a mash up of two separate character designs with my head on there, I see as a compromise which results in a more unique outcome.
The character is fully rigged using a bone system with controllers. The materials and textures are all Mental Ray, as this was the best render solution I had access to at the time of making this. No normal maps have been used for the face, only a Sub Surface Skin Shader, a texture map and a bump map. Since building this model I have began to use Z Brush. I intend to create a high poly version of the head to create a normal map. The hair strands are very thick on this current version of the model, as the computer I was using at the time could not handle the amount of strands of hair needed to make this look decent.
The facial expressions rely on approximately twenty morph targets.
Future renders will be carried out with V Ray with the use of normal maps for the face and a better use of the hair and fur modifier.
I've been playing around with the idea of using this character in an animated short, hence all of the renders below showing it in various locations I've also built from scratch, specifically to showcase the character.