Alamo Saints

November 13, 2016
facade

Facade with new statues

The facade of the church of the Alamo has four empty niches.  In 1836, it is believed that they contained statues of four saints: Anthony, Ferdinand, Francis and Dominic.  The statue of Anthony had been damaged during some of the work on the compound the year before.  This statue was found years later in a weedy lot near the Alamo and is on display in the Long Barrack museum.

My latest work has been to replace the low resolution statues in my model with improved high res digital sculptures.

The new statues were crafted by using the following workflow:

  1. A base mesh was created in MakeHuman and imported to Blender
  2. The model was posed along with some of the accessories that the figures carry.
  3. The posed models were imported into ZBrush where the clothing, hair and other details were sculpted in high detail.
  4. ZBrush was used to derive a lower polycount mesh from the high detail model.
  5. The low polycount model was imported into Substance Painter and the high detail model used to bake normal maps (giving the appearance of detail in the render).
  6. A limestone material was applied along with a layer of dirt.
  7. The resulting textures and low polycount model were imported into Blender and placed into the scene.

Here are renders of the individual statues taken from Substance Painter.

And here are their SketchFab renders:

 

 


Soldado walking in the Main Plaza

April 24, 2016

Animation of a soldado walking in front of the San Fernando church in the Main Plaza of San Antonio de Bexar.

Continuing my study of animation, this render is an improvement of the previous try.  The feet make good contact with the ground thanks to a feature of MakeWalk.  I fixed some problems with the skinning of the model to the rig and I used the Blender compositor to reduce the render time by only rendering the foreground for the full sequence.

 


Soldado animation

April 18, 2016

This weekend I took a break from model texturing and investigated the workflow for animating my Alamo characters.  The video above shows a test in which an early soldado model was animated by retargeting a motion capture file (BVH) from CMU using the MakeWalk add-on in Blender.  The character is one of my first characters based on MakeHuman.  I created the clothes in Blender and textured them using Substance Painter.  The result was animated and rendered in Blender (Cycles).

There are some obvious deficiencies: the skinning to the rig breaks down in places, the feet contact with the ground is not perfect and the motion blur seems extreme.

Despite these problems, the process was fairly easy.