ISo… that post that was meant to be out in December never happened. Sorry about that, illness sucks. Especially the kind that makes you bedridden for days, or puts a loved one in the hospital. We’re all good now, but it was rough, not gonna lie.
Doing any form of creative work was just a horrible experience, so nothing got done at all in December. This month, however, has been much better since we recovered from our illnesses 3 weeks ago.
Models have been getting much-needed improvements. Primarily in the bump-mapping/retexturing department. The major difference though is making use of geometry nodes, which was something I hadn’t touched before and making better use of shaders.
Whilst I still paint a bump/normal map, I have started adding procedurally generated noise to the maps via geometry nodes; this gives my scaled creatures more natural-looking textures, thanks to the randomization noise brings to the table.
A few of the models only need minor mesh tweaks, others require entire rebuilds of the mesh itself. I don’t intend on rebuilding any other models right now, as I want to start making brand-new rigs for the better models first, so I can build new models around the improved armatures. I did, however, rebuild the snake dragon because its shape was relatively simple. (it wasn’t)
The funny thing with this particular rebuild is that the new model is actually lower-poly than the original, but looks smoother and animates with the old rig better. This is because something I have been learning alongside geometry nodes is doing cleaner topology. Is the topology perfect? Absolutely not, but it is far better than the old stuff was. You can even see in the older snake model how bits of the mesh deform unusually at sharp bends.
Below is a gallery of some of the models that have been upgraded. More is to come, but the majority of the scaled critters are now up-to-date and only need a new rig. Fur and skin textures are still something I am learning when it comes to geometry nodes, so updating the old mammals, and even birds, is going to be later in the pipeline.
Something else I have been doing via geometry nodes is learning how to improve my space scenes! The nebulas and clouds on my planets are now controlled by them, rather than using textures or shaders exclusively. This makes the nebula render as a 3d object, rather than projecting the same image no matter where the camera was positioned.
You can buy prints of the new space scenes, as well as one featuring my most realistic nebula ever from my redbubble shop!
Just been working on the creature models and improving space scenes? NOPE. I am developing buildings as well, again taking advantage of geometry nodes. Here’s a quick scene I mashed up of a street. This stuff is going to come in handy when I start making replica scenes and environments of Edris’ locations; it will speed up the process of building the cities significantly.
That’s it for now. I haven’t written much for Specimen G-13 part 3 really. I may take a break from 3D modeling in February and focus on writing. Regardless of what I decide to do, I cannot guarantee I will post updates every month, but if I have a lot of work to show then I will (kinda like this one!)
Thanks for being patient, and hope you had a happy new year!