Kamiko in 3D by Dan Christensen

Mar 17, 2016, 2:24:06 PM

Kamiko in 3D

Today's fan art of Kamiko is from one of my friends and member of Drawing Meats Dan Christensen.

One of the things we did at Drawing Meats was the "Original Character Challenge" and I offered up my character Kamiko for the first one to get the ball rolling. You can see the other entries for Kamiko here, and they'll all eventually show up on this site.

His version of Kamiko was done as a 3D model and rendered using high contrast.

Dan was nice enough to put together a high level writeup of how he created her.

I'll let him explain in his own words...

The frilly parts of the dress were probably the most unusual challenge in creating the actual model. I ended up modeling long strips of "frill" by duplication and then stitching them together, then basically doing a space warp on the result to wrap them around the dress.

The rigging was pretty straightforward, if just because I was able to lean on not having to make the rig general purpose or robust or anything. Doing a really flexible character rig is hard, especially for something as fussy as Kamiko's outfit. So I didn't bother; I just did a really rough pass on binding to a skeleton, then manually fixed up all the stuff that broke for the specific poses I wanted.

The shading was a bit more interesting, since I was trying to decompose Glenn's high contrast style into something 3D. I basically started with classic toon shading, which fills in the solid areas by starting with a more classic computer graphics shading model, and then rounding to the nearest color in a palette - in this case either black or white - and then tries to draw outlines around everything, in this case by looking for abrupt differences in distance from the camera. That ended up looking just like standard toon shading and not much like Glenn's art, so I played with the materials until they matched a bit better.

For both the light and dark clothing, I landed on adding an effect comparing surface direction to view direction, on top of the standard toon shading to help add definition: the light parts of the Kamiko's outfit turn black for surfaces that don't face directly enough to the camera, and the dark parts turn white. Also, I ended up making the dark materials in the outfit really "shiny" to get highlights. I expect this would fall apart quickly in an animated scene, but hey, that's not what I was going for.

Lastly, I spent a bunch of time messing with the lighting to try to get soft shadows that would play nice with the toon shading. I wasn't able to get this to work for a hemispherical ambient lighting effect just due to being off the beaten track trying to combine it with toon shading, and running out of patience. But a very soft area light worked well enough, since the toon shader would consume that lighting result early and feed it into the high contrast effect.

Take a look at these 3D work-in-progress images:

Wireframe mesh:

Kamiko CG by Dan Christensen Wireframe Mesh

Kamiko CG by Dan Christensen Wireframe Mesh

Ambient, untextured model:

Kamiko CG by Dan Christensen Ambient Untextured Model

Kamiko CG by Dan Christensen Ambient Untextured Model

Do You Want Your Fan Art Featured here?

I have a lot of fan art stowed away for This Mortal Coil now, so you'll see more of these art pieces go up in the coming weeks. I'll post on Mondays and Thursdays just to give each piece some breathing room.

To see some more fan art of Kamiko, follow this link: Fan Art Gallery.

If you do some fan art for This Mortal Coil, I'd love to show it off here and give you a chance to share your own work. You can ping me on my twitter account @AlbinoGrimby or contact me via the "Contact" page here.