Scales and wings 🐉

A little sculpting WIP from my current VRChat avatar project. 12.6 million triangles at this stage, but the final mesh with baked normal maps will probably have just around 44k, including the wings.

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@kianga Ooh, this looks promising!

And as someone learning Blender a tiny bit by bit, it's neat to see others' efforts, too (instead of only the finished product).

@digitalfox Agreed, I always enjoy seeing other artists' works in progress too. This one has a few weeks of work behind it already and is getting close to the texturing stage, which is always my favorite!

Do you have plans to... make a 3D digitalfox someday? :blobfox:

@kianga That's only a few weeks of work? Wow, congrats!

I haven't tried sculpting myself, but a friend has been working on a 3D game-ready character for many months (sculpt to high poly to baked low poly, currently texturing), and it's reinforced just how much effort and learning goes into all this.

And, yeah! Emphasis on the "someday" - after years of unfocused efforts, I'm on draft 1.5 of a 3D digitalfox - low-poly with basic shape and vaguely acceptable topology - good enough for size perspective, but not render ready. I've been getting feedback from the aforementioned friend, too, and when they're available I may commission them to continue.

@digitalfox Oh, I'm glad to hear it! Then I hope you keep going, and I look forward to seeing your 3D fox someday, when he's ready for sharing!

I sometimes envy my 2D artist friends who can doodle a complete character in a few minutes, while 3D has to go through that whole lengthy process first... We do have reusability on our side at least, so all that effort usually pays off.

@kianga Thank you for the encouragement! I'm almost certain I'll sort out a 3D data-fox with how useful my incomplete prototype has been, it's just a matter of when, and how much I'll personally achieve (vs e.g. commissioning a friend).

And, yeah. Even for me, 2D is faster (though on the scale of hours to weeks, not minutes). I have wondered what the equivalent is for sketching in 3D. At times I've used cubes in Blender to roughly block out scenes for a perspective size reference - perhaps that sort of blocking out is a more fair comparison?

@digitalfox I've seen 3D artists do amazing speed sculpts (e.g. YanSculpts on YouTube) - that's probably the closest thing to sketching in 2D? I've tried it myself a while ago, and it was definitely fun... but still not very speedy. Sculpting usually has this initial phase where your sculpt looks absolutely horrible and you can't imagine it ever looking good. Pushing through that is often the hardest part, and can take me a while.

@kianga Ah, that's a good point. I've viewed a couple speed sculpts, and I appreciate that recommendation.

And that makes sense - there's a lot of visualization to sort out the fundamental sculpted shapes to ensure you have a solid foundation for adding in the details later.

@monsterblue Thank you! "Drawing" those scales on the sculpt was fun and satisfying at first, but did turn into "ouch my hand" after the 100th scale or so. They're all done now though!

@kianga This looks amazing! Is there a trick to sculpting all those scales?

@SquareZer0 The big scales on the chest are modeled, for the rest I have a set of sculpting brushes that also includes scales of various shapes. I don't think it's possible to do it completely by hand, at least it would be insanely hard to get these clean shapes. Even using the brushes this took me roughly two days just because there are so many.

This is the brush pack:

@kianga Oooh there's fur in that brush pack too. I might have to look into that. I've been trying to make fur by hand on the model I'm working on and it's a nightmare.

@SquareZer0 Heh, I can imagine. That brush pack has saved me so much time already - I've used it for sculpting rocks, cloth, scars, wood, fur, and now scales. Was definitely worth the price for me.

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