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ajz3d

AJ's doodley doodles

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I'm Mr. Blobfish (Psychrolutes marcidus) and I inhabit waters of Tasmania and Australia. My body is a gelatinous mass with density lower than water's, which enables me to easily float above the sea floor without too much of a hassle. I'm currently facing extinction thanks to you humans utilising bottom trawling.

 

Sculpture's eyeballs are just temporary geometry. They will be finalised outside of 3D Coat.

I'm now retopologising the model, but all critique is welcome as it's still not too late to change poor sod's appearance.

 

There are so few photographs and illustrations of this particular fish that it was hard to determine it's real appearance. It seems to look completely different when swimming in the ocean and when taken out from the waters. Maybe, due to pressure differences, its gelatinous flesh begins to dissolve over time when it's taken out of its natural habitat? Also, many websites seem to confuse and mix photos of Psychrolutes Marcidus with Psychrolutes Sculpin, and there's a slight difference in the appearance of both fish, even though they're very close cousins, so it's even more confusing.

 

Anyway I tried to sculpt its state after being freshly fished. Just imagine poor Mr. Blobfish lying on a table and fishermen talking about their find while laughing loudly, playing cards and smoking cigarettes, because they somehow find this fish, when fighting for its life, to be very amusing (http://www.afsc.noaa.gov/race/media/photo_gallery/photos/Cottidae/psyphrcomp.jpg). Oh, humanity. :angry:

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Edited by ajz3d
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Meanwhile, I'm working on Jean Reno bust sculpture from the times of Leon. Got the general shape fairly right I think. However, the bust has still a long way to go before I can call it done and ready for retopo.

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Thank you folks for your kind comments. It might be the camera angle, but yeah, now after you said that Pix, whenever I look at Jean he looks exactly how you described him. :D

The power of suggestion is huge, I guess. :)

 

A little update on poor Mr. Blobfish.

I've done some corrections to the fins' sculpture and I'm almost... almost done with the retopo. This stage always gives me headaches because I think that I really suck at it. And that's why I'd  appreciate any comments about current edge flows, because they're probably wrong or could be refined.

The current polycount is ca. 7.5 thousand faces, with a few triangles here and there. Fins were kinda' problematic to retopo. I'll probably be fixing some edge loops around them later, but hopefully it won't be necessary. So, the next step after retopo is checking out deformations of the Mr. Blobby.

 

P.S. Anyone knows why 3D Coat's display viewport rendering (in the paint room) looses some wires when in the wireframe mode and displays quads as n-gons? It's puzzling.

 

P.S.2. Oh, now I've noticed I haven't relaxed the side fin.

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Edited by ajz3d
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Interesting that the blob-fish has a horizontal tail like marine mammels. The reference you showed was all front views so maybe this doesn't fly in the face of vertibrate evolution. ;)

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After reading Tony's post and then looking at pictures of Blobfish tails, I think that when underwater the blobfish's tail is vertical like other fish.  Most pictures, however, are taken after the fish has been brought to the surface. The fish lacks muscle tone.  As a result, the tail parts flop over and sit on the table in the horizontal position.

 

I think the model, above, shows the tail as it would look at the surface if the blobfish were sitting on the deck of fishing boat. The top fins, however, are not flopping over at all to match the tail.  The fins look as if the fish is swimming in the depths.

 

Bonus morphology points forTony!  But tell me, have you seen the marvelous bread fish?  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxhHtET3308

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It's funny that you mention it Tony, because I had the same doubts. Judging by the Wikipedia illustration of the fish, one could conclude that it has a vertical tail, but if you look at the photographs of this fish that lies on a table, the tail is oriented horizontally. I've never put a fish on its belly when gutting it, so I'm not sure how the tail would orient itself, but I think it's safe to assume that a casual fish, if placed on it's belly, would probably quickly roll over to one of its sides. But when we're talking about jelly like flesh of Mr. Blobfish, we might imagine that its tail would orient itself horizontally as seen on the photos. And because I was sculpting Psychrolutes marcidus lying on a table, I followed those photos more than Wiki's illustration.

Edited by ajz3d

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The top fins, however, are not flopping over at all to match the tail.  The fins look as if the fish is swimming in the depths.

 

Bonus morphology points forTony!  But tell me, have you seen the marvelous bread fish?  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxhHtET3308

Hey Pix. The top fins look like that because it was easier for me to sculpt them in this position, unlike if they were leaned to one of their sides and stuck to the body like it can be seen on some photos. Though I'm still not sure if they had just flopped over or were cut off by some fishermen. Anyway, I can always deform them fins with bones or dynamics after I'm done in 3D Coat.

 

I concur with you about Tony. I've never put any attention to fish' and sea mammal's tails. Good show, Tony. :thank_you:

 

P.S. The bread fish looks like a fine stuff to sculpt. I should probably team up with Robert (http://3d-coat.com/forum/index.php?app=galleryℑ=7), because his tasty bread still makes me drool whenever I look at it. :D

 

Speaking of bread... where did I put my Brie?

Edited by ajz3d

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What?  You sculpt your fins the easy way?  Luxury!  Why, when I was a child, we had to sculpt fins with both hands tied behind our backs while peddling a stationary bike to produce the power for our CRT monitors.

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Yeah, this time I'm gonna do it with my hands untied. Besides, I seem to have lost my CRT tube somewhere in the basement and it's one of those murky, dark caves, so what lands there, is never to be found again. Sometimes I wonder what treasures that basement might hold. I guess I could still find my olde' 386DX there. :D

 

Creepy basements aside, I also wonder how do you guys handle meshes that generally are symmetrical, but one of their sides differ in some areas (details, or in the case of this fish - "spikes", or maybe they're pimples, on its head or wrinkles near the mouth)? Until now I always used virtual mirror until I was done with general retopo. After that, I copied symmetrically the mesh and manually replaced the geometry in regions that were different, by adding some closed loops or redirecting the edge flow. But maybe there's a simpler way? I'm asking this because I've noticed that when a need arises to change the topology later on, it's a bummer because all details introduced to the other side of the symmetry axis are lost after symmetrical copy operation is applied.

Edited by ajz3d

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Okay, I've managed to find some time to work on Mr. Blobby. The textures are almost done, but there's still the bottom side to be completed. I thought about skipping this part, but if I am to pose the poor sod laying on a table inside a cabin of some rough fishermen's boat, some textures must be applied there I think.

 

I'm really angry about that... that... sea mammal's tail I made, but... it may not be visible on a final render. :db:

 

Anyway, here's the current WIP progress. Nothing fancy, just some rendered angles from the built-in engine, no SSS or anything yet. Any comments, and especially hard critique, are very welcome:

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Tony, I'd recommend to put some flour on the fish and fry it in a butter. You might want to throw in some onion. The butter should give you a nice "French" taste, but a regular oil will do too. I think five to ten minutes would be.... Oh God, what am I talking about...? :blink:

 

Okay,  let's be humane here. We're talking about the fish that is on the verge of extinction after all. This means: no eating and not even thoughts about eating it, dammit! :p:

Edited by ajz3d
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When I was texturing this fish, I've noticed something very useful that I wasn't aware of. It turns out that the problem I described in my whines about additive specularity painting (which was about the inability to paint lower specularity if layers with higher specularity are present or, to simply put it - the problem of additive specularity painting on multiple layers) can be solved to a certain degree by tweaking Specularity modulator value below zero. This works best if the modulated layer has 100% specularity. Lower values of specularity might need even lower values of modulation. With 100% on the brush usually -1 is enough, but if there are various high specularity layers crossing each other underneath or over the current low-spec layer, -3 or lower is required.

 

Specularity modulator cannot be changed to negative numbers using the mouse. It needs values to be typed in with the keyboard.

 

Similar effect can also be achieved by lowering Specular brightness very low negative numbers: around -1000 if Specularity modulator is set to 1 and around -600 if modulator is 0. But because I prefer to tweak only one parameter instead of two, I prefer lowering only the modulator.

 

Now, there are two problems with this workaround:

  1. The specularity modulation affects the whole stack of layers which means that layers that are below of the modulated one, as well as above, will be affected by it. To negate very low specularity modulation value (like -3), several layers of 100% specularity are needed.
  2. The smaller the modulation, the more aliased are edges of the specular channel and they cannot be smoothed by brushing.
Edited by ajz3d

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Back from vacation with a quick update on Mr. Blobby. Got SSS shader's parameters fairly right I think. Textures need some tweaking in the tail area. Eye is still nothing but a temporary geometry awaiting for a replacement. I already have the proper fish eye model which when shaded and textured should look just right when raytraced, but I don't have any textures and shaders created for it yet. :rofl:

After eyes are done, the next step will be the environment. As I mentioned earlier, it will be a cabin of a fishing boat. The fish will be laying on a folding table, with fishermen's yellow rubber coats and hats hanging on the wall and some machinery (steering wheel and stuff) in the background. Gonna' drill some rounded windows too. They're so "boaty".

 

Also, when I was on a vacation, I was working on a praying mantis model. I'm still finishing it in NVil, but will move it to 3D Coat for sculpting as soon as I'm done with its mouth and wings.

 

Leon will have to wait a little bit longer.

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Nice job on the mantis! I notice that Mr. Blobby's front view has a passing resemblance to Edgar G Robinson for those of you with enough moss on your back to remember him.

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Oh I completely forgot. There's also a sculpture that I've christened: The Politician. Sculpted from the generic_male_figure. No clothes yet, but he'll get some smart suit and a nice chimney pot hat pretty soon. ;)

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Nice job on the mantis! I notice that Mr. Blobby's front view has a passing resemblance to Edgar G Robinson for those of you with enough moss on your back to remember him.

Gosh Tony, I can't feel any moss on my back yet, but I do remember this guy from SOMEWHERE. I love ol' movies, they have this THING that modern movies lack of. The thing is though I completely fail in remembering people's names. Especially if they're foreigners. So, from the times of Mr. Robinson's: Boris Karloff and Lon Chaney Jr. are the only ones that I can recall tonight. :blush:

 

Wow, the fish face looks great! Where are you rendering?

Thank you Timmy. It was rendered in mental ray.

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Edgar G. Robinson generally played gangsters and gestured with a cigar.post-1430-0-31298700-1378016591_thumb.pn

Edited by Tony Nemo

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That ugly fish is really turning out great!  I think he looks more like this guy then Edgar G. Robinson. 

 

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A mutated blobfish! I knew the oceans are polluted but I thought we still had several more years until invasion from the depths begins. ;)

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