Monday, December 12, 2011

Zbrush... over!!! (just about)

Well I finished up my character sheet for the quadurped!

With that, I'm just about done with Zbrush class. Why just about? Our final exam is tomorrow. Not too worried about it, seeing as it's a practical exam and so it pretty much goes over what I've been doing all semester anyways. I don't see why people get so torn up over these things. The ones I remember studying for were our first character modeling class, and leg rigging was on the exam. At that point I had only rigged legs twice... two legs on the same character. And I still don't remember how to do it off the top of my head. So it's that kind of thing I need to study for. But this is pretty much... common sense.

Anyways, ramblings aside. Just a few more classes to finish up with. Need to finish my English script, finish updating my pieces for Art300, and finish my final animatic for storyboards! Then my Christmas break can begin.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Nearly There

Well, last week to get everything done. I'm doing pretty well, I think. I'm more or less done with projects! I created a new YouTube account especially for Digipen/other art and animations for my portfolio, so I uploaded my final project there. And you can see it here.

Not all that impressive for several months of work... but I'm still happy with it. Also I think I neglected to post the character sheet... well that is up in the portfolio section if you want to see it.

Also nearly done with Zbrush. Sculpting is finished, now I'm just compositing some nice character sheets. Part of that is posing. Now posing hasn't been very nice to me in Zbrush. I tried transpose master but that hasn't worked... well... at all. So what I'm doing is importing all the subtools to Max as OBJs, moving them, then import back to Zbrush. Yes, it's a pain. But it's the last option I have and I will make this work! My biped, steampunk dude is all finished. Now I'm posing the quadruped.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Ok I haven't posted in a while. I've been pretty caught up with all the work... and haven't been very dedicated to posting WIPs all the time. That's my bad. I don't have a lot of images on me now... but here's my quadruped sculpt, which is what I have with me at the time.

I've neglected this blog too much... to sum up everything so far... I've finished polypainting both Zbrush sculpts so far. I don't have any images of the biped guy right now. As for projects, I rendered my first pass of the animation. That's right, it's mostly done! That's exciting. I'll see if I can get that up sometime too. I really need to get more images. next on the list is posing my two Zbrush sculpts.

Hard to believe the semester is almost over. Just a little more.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Short Note

Sorry this isn't a real post, I have no new pictures to share right now. I know I said I'd get some shots from my quadruped modeling but again that slipped my mind...

Anyways this is just to share I decided not to keep post MMD or Metasequoia things here.

If for whatever reason you're still interested in those, I'm posting them to my other blog instead. You can find it here:

Haha, sorry for the short post guys. There'll be new pictures next week.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

School Work #9

Hey guys. I haven't posted in a little while... sorry! Time's been flying by and I'm not really sure where it's all been going. Between last post and now I surprisingly, don't have that much to show. Probably because the whole rigging/modeling progress for our projects character isn't very... well, exciting. There's not much to post on that front. But I have some new additions from Zbrush, at least.

Here's my steampunk dude... again. I continued sculpting him since Burgess wasn't satisfied with, well, any of the class's final products. So now the textures and UVs are due at the end of the semester. I spent a whole day last week UV unwrapping so at least there's that. He has texture pants, haha, but nothing else yet.

I have to say his pants and cloth parts look waaaaay better now. I added more texture to his hat, shoes, glove, and robot arm too. So hopefully Burgess sees it as an improvement too.

Also on the subject of Zbrush, we're starting our second project which is making a quadruped. We had to a creature in fantasy style... so the assignment said. I guess I misinterpreted and decked out a brontosaurus in armor. Well apparently the creature shouldn't exist... or used to exist... and we had to make our own. Whoops. Well with a few quick changes I fixed him up, and got the green-light on him.

I started modeling him today, sadly I forgot to grab some shots of it, but I'll get some tomorrow most likely.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

School Work #8

Well you haven't seen the likes of this guy for a few posts now, been busy sculpting him in Zbrush. Here he is now, though I will need to polish him up more.  I want to add more textures and stitching to his clothes, but he's at a pretty good spot now.

Oh boy, and now here's a piece that actually isn't from Projects or Zbrush class. This is Art300, otherwise known as... environment class, I guess. I'm not too keen on environments, so I guess it's healthy for me to be suffering through this... or something. Anyways, here's my... what I guess you call a matte painting.

This is going to need some polishing too, obviously... oh gosh, it's worse every time I look at it.

Monday, October 17, 2011

School Work #7

Well, the textures for my PRJ300 model are now done, as are his facial morphers. Well, no, not quite, I'm going to have to edit some of his expressions, but hey! Gave myself a nice bit of time there.

The black background is temporary. Going to fix this up nicely, with a turnaround sheet that's well composed. I can throw this in my portfolio! Whoo! Though I will probably do that after he's rigged so I can put him in a pose too. Also, facials!

I'm so mad because my bottom lid goes through my eyeball

Ha, well, that's what I meant by having to edit some expressions. he looks mean here. He has smile expressions too.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

World of MMD #2

So earlier today I detailed the creation of MMD model in Metasequoia. Well it's a process I do every so often. I created Kirby last weekend, this most recent weekend I created a counterpart for him, Ribbon. If things keep up like this it might be fun to try and create one of these models every weekend. So here, let me introduce you to Ribbon.

Ribbon is actually a character from the old N64 game, Kirby and the Crystal Shards, if anyone remembers that! Her appearance was much different in game though. I've changed her a bit to how I wanted to draw her.

orthographic drawings
Now you might notice the orthographic drawings are a bit rough. They are mostly for my own use; if I was to formally present this, I would clean them up, give them nice lineart and organize them on a page. But for now, this is what it is. I don't have any intention to really present these anywhere.

So during a process that started Thursday night, I began modeling her in Metasequoia. I complete her, rig, facial animations, and physics, Sunday morning (4 AM to be exact. Then I went to bed because I can't sleep at night)

I added physics to her hair, wings, and the... well I'll call it the fringe pieces on her dress.

And here, the final result, with motion data applied in a video.

You probably notice the patches where her arms actually go through her head. Like I said before, most models are rigged to the same skeleton. However, for models with different proportions, the skeleton has to be altered to fit them, like Ribbon. Because of this, the motion data, which was meant for models with different proportions, looks a little funny. This is one of the many downsides to using motion data. I'll have to animate her myself if I want her to work properly, but for now my focus is on the models. Sure looks goofy, though.

Well from now one, when I work on these, I'll probably have more progress shots rather than just end results to show.

World of MMD

Well so far I've only been posting up my schoolwork here. I thought I might branch out and put up some things I've done in my free time. Wait, FREE TIME? What is that? Well believe it or not, I have it. Sometimes. Mostly on the weekends. How? I'm amazing. Oh, and I take a pretty good pride in time management.

But aside from that, there are little side projects I work on sometimes. Mostly for a program called "Miku Miku Dance." It's a program used to create 3D animations. Along with two more programs, Metasequoia and PMD Editor, you can create models and animate them in MMD. I don't know, it's something I do for fun and practice my 3D modeling. The models I create in Metasequoia or usually very simple and require little UV unwrapping and texturing, so I can rig and finish them must more quickly. So here are some things I've done.

Last weekend I made a model of "Kirby" based on the little pink fluffball from the Nintendo games. A while ago, I guess that'd be my high school years now... wow, has it been so long that I can look back on those and reminiscence? I guess so. Anyways back then I had made a human variation of him. A very simple and cute design.

The desu

Well for fun I decided to model him in the Metasequoia program. It is a 3D modeling program, much more simplified than Max or Maya. That makes it both easier and harder to work with at the same time... I mean that because there are some functions missing that I am use to, but it's also easier to work with some things. The interface also took a long time to get used to.

Orthographic drawings

My main problem with metasequoia is that the UV unwrapping isn't very intuitive... or at least, I haven't found a way to do it well yet. the best option I've found is just projecting the UVs. There is no pelt, relax, or unfold options. So I don't know a better way to do this.

Anyways, finish modeling in Metasequoia, and export the model. Then I load it into PMD Editor. This creates a PMD, the type of file used in MMD. In PMDe I rig the model with bones, and add facial expressions. In MMD there is a physics engine which actually takes care of all the secondary and overlapping animation, if applied correctly of course. It took a while to figure out the physics engine and I'm still learning. But I applied physics to Kirby's hair, hood, and the pullstrings of his hoodie. So when he animates, those parts move automatically! It might not sound convincing.

Anyways, after the rigging is done, I can load the finished model into MMD. And now I can have all the fun I want with it. Though MMD is an animation program, I don't find it very intuitive. There is no way to "scrub" between frames, or at least I haven't found a way. As of now I have no worthwhile animations, but thanks to the community surrounding the program, people will animated models and give out the "motion data." Most models are rigged to a uniform skeleton, so this motion data can be shared easily!

So far, that's what I've done. I will apply motion data I like to my models and they will animate, and well, helps me show them off. Here's pretty much the end product.

I would like to restate that I DID NOT animate the model! I created the model. I used the motion data used by someone else to animate it. But here you can see how the physics work as secondary animation. It's pretty neat.

Anyways, I'm fairly fascinated with MMD and the other programs I use with it. I like doing these kinds of things for fun. Now that I've explored it here, I might add more production images of while I'm creating models in Metasequoia.

On a final note, MMD, PMDe, and Metasequoia are Japanese programs. They originated in Japan. So yes, that is the kind of thing they are gears towards.

School Work #6

It's been a while, it's been hard to update lately because well, there wasn't a lot to show during the unwrapping process. But I've been texturing my PRJ300 character. Looking pretty good. These pictures below are a little outdated, I've since finished texturing, so the bottom of his tunic is done.

I've been managing to get this done in a pretty timely batter, so I decided to take this guy into Zbrush. I only sculpted out some folds on his tunic and belt, but it makes a difference! I created normals from the high poly Zbrush model and put them on the low poly. Great effect.

And the same amount of geometry. I like normals, when they work.

I'll try get some more updated shots this week. Been working on facial morphers for now. Can't wait to get him rigged, then I'll have actual animation to show.

Monday, October 3, 2011

School Work #5

Hey! I had PRJ300 today and I got amazing feedback for my environment! Amazing meaning it was less of critique this time around, and more just general compliments from the professor himself. YAY. Mission accomplished, or something. Just watch, Jimbo will hate it by next week. Ahh.

Speaking of projects, I finished modeling my little dude. Working on UV unwrapping, but hey! I like how he looks.

Well actually his eyes are the only thing I've unwrapped and textures so far. Reason those went first was because I was trying a wacky eye-rigging technique. This guy's eye sockets are oddly shaped and normal sphere wouldn't fit in there correctly. So I ended up looking at some tutorials, and I managed to find one that suited my needs. I'll throw it here, just because of how handy it was. Others may want to reference it, even if they don't have cartoony eyes, because it shows some pretty neat stuff you can do with them.

Obviously I made a texture instead of doing the sub-object materials, and I didn't have lids the same way this guy did them, since I put my eyes into a face. I did want to use the pupil size slider, but that ended up breaking my UVs every time I tried to use it.

In other news, I actually finished modeling my CG305 model as well! I exported him as an object and put him in Zbrush, and after a few edits after that, he's in pretty good shape. I did end up changing some of his facial geometry, but it's for the better.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Environment, master shot

Well I don't have a lot of pics today... I made more progress on my PRJ300 alien character as well as my CG305 steampunk dude, but I didn't snap any pictures before I left the campus today. I'll probably have those tomorrow though.

What I do have right now is an updated version of my environment. Yeah, it was pretty much done, but I updated the textures a bit and widened the platform up front so there is more space for the run animation. Here is a bigger, wider "master shot."

Monday, September 26, 2011

School Work #4

Yay, time for more progress shots. I'm realizing a trend here, most of the stuff I post is either from projects class or CG305. You can see what two classes are most important... I'm really focusing on those. I also have storyboards, environmental art, and English, in case anyone was wondering if I was taking more than two classes. English is pretty self explanatory. Don't know why I'd put up anything from there. Maybe when we get to scripting I'll see how it goes... as for Storyboarding and ART300.... honestly I just forget to put up storyboard stuff... ART300 I just don't like how any of it has been turning out...

But anyways, on to the important stuff.


Today I got surprisingly good feedback on my environment (put up in the last post). Only comments were some low-res textures and maybe extend the left platform a bit for more running space, but other than that, pretty swell. A lot of people were impressed by the fog too. Ha. Alpha planes. Gotta love 'em.

All of this has pretty much given me the time to start modeling the character himself. Oh boy! Another character model. This one is significantly less complicated than that Steampunk dude though. :P

Yup, I'm sure you remember him now from the character sheet I posted a while back. I really love how his face/head turned out. I never had such weird proportions when it came to the eyes, nose, and mouth before. Not really sure what I'm going to do about the eyes. They aren't half spheres because those simply wouldn't find in those gigantic, elongated sockets of his. Right now they are half-spheres that I flattened and then distorted. So they are a little rounded. But the pupils moving might be a problem.


Speaking of steampunk dude, I made some progress with him as well. Got him pretty much done. Got to add the lacing on his hat and finish his leg-pouch thing... yup!

Also known as Count Candyman.

For some reason his robot arm feels so much longer than his other one, but you can see they are the same length. Not sure what gives it that impression.

Also, here's another image... less colorful, I changed the materials to more matching colors... these aren't textures, just so you know. Also the fancy new color ink viewport thing in Max 2012. Very fancy. I still don't like 2012.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

PRJ Environment Render

Haven't been updating as often, simply because most of what I've been doing is the same... just progressing on it a little bit more. Still working on that CG305 character. Low poly model is due this Thursday, so I'll have a nice shot of him to put him once that's done.

So this entire week for projects class has pretty much been modeling, UV unwrapping, and texturing the environment (oh yeah, throw a bit of lighting in there too). It was a long haul, but I managed to do it. I'm rather impressed with myself. Over the summer during CG300 we had about 5 weeks for each of environments. We were given roughly... 1 and a half for this one. I say one and a half because the first was mostly block-in... I got a head start by modeling early though. Thank goodness for that. Unwrapping and texturing are quite time consuming. Anyways, here's a little render for the thing.

Compare this to my look and feel:

Pretty darn close!

I might make the textures a little lighter. The platforms are pretty dark. The fog is actually just two planes; one in front of the midground, and one in front of that mountain-thing in the back. Rendered some clouds in photoshop, put that on the plane, then alpha out the top gradually and there you go. Decent-looking fog. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

School Work #3

Well after working today, here's what I've gotten done. I finished blocking in my environment for PRJ300, it's been a little bit frustrating especially because I wish I defined what the looming shape in the back was a bit more. I kind of just went, "meh, it's a mountain, I guess people can live inside it or something," but never really plotted out the actualities of the thing. Well, since this is just a block in, it's passable for now. I'm gonna have to go back and do a little extra work though defining the shape and texture of this thing before I screw it up too badly. Other than that, I like how the rest turned out.

If you remember form my environmental sketch a few posts back, you'll know what I'm talking about. For this environment I was trying to go for a more "abandoned ruins" look since part of the assignment is showing that this location is a secret. So I had this vision in my mind for these old ruins, except they are located in the sky, high off the ground. I know how to make a nice atmosphere and clouds in Maya, but 3DSMax I'm not too sure about. But I still prefer working in Max because I'm that much more familiar with the modeling techniques, interface, and controls.

Also more modeling was done today. I made a little progress on my CG305 character, he now has a face.

This face has been the quickest one I've done, and it's also the best to turn out so far. Never been quite happy with a face yet, but I like how he looks here. There are a few adjustments I still need to make, but it turned out rather well.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Modeling Progress

So I've pretty much lost all hope on finishing my ArenaNet art test on time. I haven't worked on it since the last progress shot I put up, so it's still just a low poly model, with edge flow I still haven't fixed. I haven't touched it in ZBrush yet so I've pretty much put it to the side and am just going to focus on my schoolwork now. I still want to continue it and eventually finish it, if I made it nice I think it'd be a neat portfolio piece. Oh well, in time, and meanwhile I'll look at other company days and internships.

Speaking of modeling, been working on my low-poly model for CG305. That's right, the steam punk dude.

Hopefully it's low poly enough. I don't think I'm adding too much detail, just making sure the edges flow correctly. The head/face is going to take the longest, I know that much from experience. Still debating how to do that metal arm. I think I'll shot an e-mail asking how to deal with it.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

School Work #2

This week was a little crazy and sleep-deprived, mostly because I failed to manage my time effectively. Hopefully this will be a lesson in the weeks to come. Though I will be very lonely the rest of the semester... a certain someone will be in Japan until Feburary. I guess that gives me plenty of time to work. (I'll miss you Shigi!! I love you!! <3)

But onto more school stuff I guess. Ah, school. Sometimes I don't know whether to love it or to hate it.


Here's my little key-storyboard for projects class. I got my little dude, running, jumping, landing and walking off. When it was showed in class today I was rather surprised by the good feedback I received, and the very meaningful critique I got as well.

Make the recovery keys more clear (panels 10, 11, 12)
Add more emotion in the poses, rather than relying on facial expressions to convey it
Expression should read without facial expressions, use body language!
Needs better posing to clarify the actions
End needs more nuance, clarification on exactly what he's feeling (WHY is he prideful? Because he thought he couldn't make the jump but he did it? Or did he know he could make it all along?)
Perhaps play with some camera angles.

Pretty much the gist of the critique I received, so I'll be working that in to the story keys due next week.


Ah, CG. Burgess more or less approved my character design, but like a few others, he needed more context. Basically he asks me, what's the catch of this character? Perhaps the environment would provide more context. So I added a little bit of an environment into the character sheet.

It's hard for me to be objective about this, because I already know where my character exists, so looking at things like this I'm unsure of if I'm conveying that properly. Basically what I'm trying to show here is that it's not a generic Steampunk guy in a generic Steampunk world. What I'm going for is a guy, lives in mid-1800s London, but it's without all the kooky Steampunk-ness.Yeeah, the only Steampunk thing about this place is this guy, a genius inventor who's quite a bit ahead of his time. I sort of got this idea from watching that Will Smith movie, Wild Wild West. The setting is pretty much what you expect from a western movie, except with a Steampunk twist. Kind of what I'm going for here. So imagine this dude walking down that cobblestone road at night, holding one of those old-timey lanterns or something. the people in the town think he's insane. And maybe he's a tad crazy, but what he creates from old junk heaps miraculously work.


Should've probably put these up yesterday, but here's just a few of my sketchbook images that I'm real happy with. Our assignment was location sketches. Basically drawing stuff outside because... being inside is lame, or something.

The other part of the assignment was to storyboard a scene in a movie that you enjoy. here I chose to do one of the opening scenes in Despicable Me. I LOVE that movie. I chose the scene that introduces Grue. It's a great scene, done completely without dialogue, the character's actions tell the story. Kind of reminds me of the kind of assignments we got in the last projects class. Expression and body language make it work.

Pfff. I'm far from a master storyboard artist or anything, but I enjoyed this. I focused a lot on the character silhouettes more than anything to try and stand out. And by doing this I learned a lot... about the composition. Love how the entire time Grue is just standing over this poor child, even when he's trying to look compassionate it really comes off as condescending.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

ArenaNet Art Test + Moar Class

Ok, so I've been working on the ArenaNet art test for the last few weeks. I'm not very confident, especially for the fact that I've had to start this model over several times. Ugh. But I am trying for the character side and so I am attempting my first creature model. Not sure if I regret this yet, since this is my first modeled quadruped, but I think I'm on the verge. Of regretting it, I mean.

image copyright (c) ArenaNet

So here's the cute little guy I chose to attempt to model. Now the pipeline for this is something I'm very unfamiliar with (hence why I've restarted a few times...). Low poly model, import to Zbursh, Sculpt, retopoligize and... textures and normal map... type... stuff... yeah. So here's what I have so far.

Yeah, not exactly impressive. Very blocky but that's the state of a low poly model. Next to import into Zbrush to sculpt, which I have hardly any experience doing. This model in its entirety is due on September 21st. My hopes aren't too high about getting it done by then... but it'll be good practice and something to add to my portfolio. And if I'm correct in assuming this is the kind of thing we're doing for the second half of the CG305 class, that means I am doing that entire half of the class in little more than a week's time if I get it done on schedule... neat.

Speaking of CG305, finished up that character design and it's all nice and shiny and ready to hand in. Well, technically I already did because I uploaded it to Moodle not a few moments ago.

I'm starting to like this dude, and I'm excited to start working on him. Granted, at first I was going to create a female character and shock everybody, but I just love my mens.

Monday, September 12, 2011

School Work #1

Well, being that I'm an art student, it means I'm in the constant state of working on SOMETHING. Fall semester of my junior year started last week, so that means I'm going into my second week of the semester. So here are some things I'm currently working on.


Here's a piece from my projects class. Our main goal is to ultimately create a 3D character and environment, then animate our model running and jumping across a pit.   Of course there's more than that, we have to take into account the emotional state and motivations of our character to determine exactly HOW we animate them. But here is the basic premise so far. I got my little dude I designed, and that is the environment I designed for him to act in. here's the sheet I made for the dude, which we actually finished last year, in our character design class.


So CG305 is our Zbrush class. I'm learning the ropes now, and to start off with we need to design a character we're going to work on for the first half of the semester. I'm designing this pretty awesome steampunk dude. It's a little out of my realm, I've never really done steampunk before but I've always really admired it and thought it was awesome. So what better time to really go for it?

  So here's my dude so far. I've come up the with tentative name Dr. Alexander D. Kehoe. All right so I just used a steampunk name generator. I'm still coming up with his backstory, don't know if I want to throw him into a steampunk world or just have him be a very erratic inventor in a more normal setting. Whatever the case, what's more important now is finishing the character sheet. I still need to finish and color his 3/4 view/pose and then make the sheet's design all spiffy. Maybe add a back view when I have the time.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

1st post! Whoo!

Welcome to my art blog! Here I will be added both finished pieces and WIPs, both from school and outside of school (but mostly from school because that's all I have time for most of the time). So I guess I'll start off my blog with an introduction.

So my name is Jacqueline Sessa. I got to Digipen Institute of Technology in Redmond, WA. I do in fact still live with my parents, and I commute every day, which is a pain. Currently I'm looking into roommates to move closer to campus, so if you happen to see this and are also looking, please feel free to let me know.

I like to think I specialize mostly in character art. Since last year I've been starting to work in 3D, and it's a blast. Time flies while I'm working on modeling, and to me that's a good thing! It means I'm enjoying myself if I don't look at the clock for long periods of time while working on something.

Aside from 3D art, I'm very into other forms of digital art. I use Photoshop most of the time. Ok, here's the moment of truth. I do in fact draw in a manga/anime style but I'm trying to break the habit of it. But when it comes to my own personal projects, such as webcomics or fanart, I will use the manga/anime style simply because I enjoy it. Often I'm ridiculed for it, but I understand why. But as long as I'm improving myself and continuing to learn, I am happy.

I have a great interest in working on comics. My two great passions are drawing and telling stories, so I like to put two and two together. I have tried writing in a simple literary form, but I am not very good at it. My interests in genre are mainly sci-fi/fantasy, but I also enjoy a good western or mystery novel as well.

I think that'll do it for this first post. I hope you stick around, and visit again sometime!