Omar Domenech (dostovel)

426 replies · posted

COLLAB2021 - Los Habaneros - House Interior Team

Welcome! Welcome!



This here be Los Habanero House. Put on your sorting hat and be assigned to your seat. 

Our Mission, should you choose to have any choice since you have already accepted it, is to make the interior of the Spice Vendor House.

It's a passion thing, for us who want to keep making cool stuff and get this project to the next level and get your skills to the next next next level or continue perfecting your skills if they already are in the next next level. We are just a bunch of guys and gals wanting to see those doors open and reveal an interior that feels like someone really lives in it. 

So the official story is grounded in reality. The Spice Vendor goes out on adventures and comes back with rare spices which he prepares in his house. It is set in the real world. Yet we in the forums continuously joked around and kept making a ridiculous background story which people grew attached to. Sadly that story is not the focus of the Spice Vendor project.

But that doesn't mean we have to discard them, our crazy talks can appear on the house as easter eggs. For example statues or lamps on a counter can take the form of some of the things we've been creating through conversation. So it all goes as follows....


The Official/Unofficial Story


Melvin lives in this house or at least the house is his responsibility. 


It's not his house, he has no money to own such a big place and money and ownership is for earthly people anyways. The house is the spice vendor's house, things inside are made for regular people, plus you look at Melvin and he looks more like he likes living in a cave.

The name of the busyness is Vadimspice Merchantile Homestead “Delights in Spice” 

He is to the spice vendor what Alfred is to Bruce Wayne, a loyal faithful helper that very much likes to keep things tidy up. He is a master of spices and keeps the property functioning to its fullest potential, makes all sorts of arrangements, knows all and has immense talents in spices and its mixtures, everyone in town knows him and likes him, the owner of the house trusts him very much, he travels a lot so Melvin is the primary caretaker of the property.

Legend has it that the spice vendor ordered a package on Amazon and when it arrived they charged him a fortune in shipping weight, and he was like what is this heavy box? this isn't what I ordered, and  when he opened it Melvin was inside and that's how he came to live in the house. How did he ended up in there? no one knows.

We kinda know where he comes from since somewhere in the house there is secret entrance that goes to his world, you exit the same house but in a different place for sure..

Turns out Melvin is secretly is a Wizard, with his wizard robes and everything, when he feels like wearing them. Kinda of like Batman, when its called for. 

In his world he can grow the most exotics of spices, that is where he gets them and baffles his spice vendor master. 

Melvin has a pet whale is his world...

The whale lives free and swims up river to the house when called for. Its name is Willem Alfred Whalfred DaWhale. Melvin sets up all his bags on the back and off they go, traveling to all towns, trading in spice. The whale may or may not have her own room in the spice vendor's house.

In the woods not far from the house there lives an owl. 



The owl rolls around in an unicycle and carries a cement umbrella. He rides the unicycle because he can't fly and he doesn't realize he can't fly because the cement umbrella is too heavy. The cement umbrella was given to him by someone very dear to him and he doesn't want to let it go not even for a second. Plus he doesn't understand the physics of mass and gravity and you know he gets confuse, it happens to the best of us. He tries to fly but he can't do it anymore, "what in the world is happening?" he thinks to himself. His past is hindering his future.

So Melvin has a life here, he likes it. Though his noble heart sometimes gets him in trouble. 

Melvin has a record for "Illegal Potions and Spells Lab Underground Operation".

But it was not his fault, he was tricked by No Mouth, All Action Red Nelb.


Melvin had no idea Red Nelb wasn't just ordering potions for his dying grandmother, Melvin thought he was saving a life, Mr. Nelb here was re-selling them and making a huge profit, cornering the market and Nelb blamed it all on poor Melvin. And now Melvin is trying to put his life back together, using his potions for the betterment of all creatures. But since people have two grandma's, Nelb tricked using his other grandma as an excuse and Melvin fell for it again. Luckily people don't have more than two grandma's. 

But that is not the only life challenge.

Melvin has a bunch of merry friends, they are all good, each with their own personalities, except for the blue last one, he is totally a bully. Every protagonist has an antagonist, he even has the W, like Mario and Wario, Melvin and Welvin. More there of, blue is even the opposite of orange in the color wheel, destined to turn to the darkside.

Welvin liked to put some magical extra something something on the spices and got in trouble. Melvin was like "We are not that kind of store Welvin! No Mouth, All Action Red Nelb tricked me with his grandma, twice!" A fight like in the tower with Gandalf and Saruman broke between them on the third floor of the house. It was not pretty. 

What to do?

Just what we already have been doing on the collab. It's the chance to make your own stuff with the skills we already learned. For now we don't have a direction of how the interior is going to be. Kent is working with Vadim to give is a north to follow. We'll wait for that but in the mean time we can start working on generic things that will be in a house no matter what. Pick an asset and say you want to do it and have a go at it. 

  • I pledge myself to this jars. To model them to the best of my abilities.


  • Just some rough concept based off of ullreym's amazing Team Leaders artwork.
    Possible ancestral paintings belonging to Vadimspice (the Spice Vendor).

    Please pardon the second great grandfather Duerer, I forgot to change that last name before compressing the image file.

  • My story approach to The Spice Vendor.


    A traveler by heart.


    There are some people in this world that are perfectly fine with living the same life, day in and day out, happy to wake up in the same bed under the same roof. This is not our spice vendor. Unease the next day he comes home from a trip, feels trapped by the squared geometry of four walls. The world is too big, he thinks to himself, nature too diverse, mountains too breathtaking, that to have a conscious mind miss out on the experience is a tragedy. In defense of people who like to stay at home, chilling, and are perfectly fine doing so, explorers may be the ones that map the terrain, but homestayers are the bedrocks from where civilizations arise. So stay at home, go out, do whatever you want.

    Our vendor probably comes from a long lineage of explorers and travelers, people from thousands of years ago that for some reason kept pushing the horizon, eager to see what was beyond that hill or beyond the oceans. Whatever drive they had hasn't diminished even thousands of generations later, it lives well in the genetics of our spice master. It’s not that he likes to travel, it's that he doesn’t even have a choice, he stops and his mind wanders, the strain creeps in, he gets distracted and off he goes. But even so, he likes the calmness before his inner storm, he does stay a while in every place he visits, and always keeps a souvenir from all his whereabouts.   

    Always moving around means danger, so being ready to defend yourself is crucial if you are going to follow the road. Danger from people, animals, the weather, the world is a dangerous place. All the walking leaves him needing shoes more often than normal. Same for clothing, he has to change them quite often, but for some reason never seems to need to buy them, people everywhere he goes are happy to hand out garments native to their region. His belongings are very few, everything he owns needs to fit on his back, otherwise he doesn’t keep it, since he much rather fills his bags with trinkets and whatnot. 

    The vendor started collecting spices one time he was moving through India. He was on a quest to see if he could walk the shores of every continent on the planet, start at one point, hug the shoreline, keep going forward and see if he could end up in the same place. Some Indian dude called him crazy, that there was no need for such a silly thing but... he said "well since you are already committed to doing it, in every place you stop, please ask for spices, collect them and when you come around this same spot, look for me and I will pay you handsomely for your troubles." He traveled far but walking the shore challenge was not feasible at that time in his life, yet it was not in vain since he discovered the amazing delight in spices.

    He returned to the Indian man after some time on the road, only to find him even healthier than when he met him the first time. Our spice vendor said to him "hey remember me? I have your spices." And the Indian dude was like "Who are you? the guy who what? Ah yes yes yes, that guy... no I have no need for that anymore, I have too much money now, you can keep those, go away I won't pay you." But at least he had his delights in spice now. His travels had more meaning than just walking. 


    He bought Vadimspice Mercantile Homestead with the money he made from collecting rare spices. He enjoys coffee in the mornings, but only in the mornings, after it’s not a.m. if he drinks it wont let him sleep during the night. Even Though he travels a lot and works all day, he likes to keep the house clean, at least he tries. He likes his garden, he tends to his trees, he likes art, likes the cool breeze of the mornings, speaks lots of languages, reads a lot, collects books from all over, history is his favorite subject, is a man of science but has a weak spot for the occult and the possibility of things beyond our comprehension. To the point where he suspects in his property lives a strange creature, but being a man of science he tries to look for a more logical explanation. There's also this girl that lives a mile away from his homestead, but for all his intellectual readings, words always escape him when talking to her.

    And every now and then, the strain creeps in, he gets distracted and he knows what's going to happen next, before his first step, he is off again. 

    • dostovel You're an excellent storyteller 😀! I'm curious what the spice vendor will discover next 🕵️‍♂️🌶.

    • dostovel A budding romance novelist, I see. Who is this girl that gets our spice vendor all "tongue-tied?" What was the Indian's secret to health and prosperity that allowed him to back out of his business arrangement? Who or what is living on his property? So many questions.

    • Once we complete the interior and Melvin is walking around inside the house, he will find the Spice Vendor diary. We will learn much more about him. 

    • Rereading this again, in full this time, it sounds an awful lot like one of those gothic horror-romances that never end well.

    • crew

      I'm so impressed with your writing skills dostovel! I couldn't agree more with ullreym. Such skills will at least benefit your CG work tremendously if you let it.

      Overall I get a very clear picture of the spice vendor. You've done a great job fleshing out this version's personality and motivations. If I'm honest though, there was a disconnect for me between this version of the vendor and the charming home he lives in and operates his business from. There's a lot of emphasis on exploration and travel - in other words being away from home fulfills him the most. I wouldn't expect a person like that to prioritize his home life or his home to such a charming degree.

      <my-opinion> The voice-over narrator idea we discussed in discord pushes against this a little imo. If a narrator is going to reminisce so fondly over his home, I see more of a Hobbit-like posture in life: Home is where he's happiest. He has "no use for adventures. Nasty, disturbing, and uncomfortable things. Make you late for dinner!" Of course he travels when he must, collecting spices for his inventory, but deep down such travel takes him from what (and who?) he loves most. His business makes him a well-traveled person but this fact has primarily served to grow his love of home. When on the road he's motivated to get back home and passes the time reminiscing about Vadimspice Mercantile Homestead. </my-opinion>

      Does that makes sense where I'm coming from?


  • Today, I retopologized various body parts and connected them to the torso or the head. I also added an armature:

  • I've further detailed the beak:


  • And the fashion-conscious owl of today needs of course a haircut 😉✂:

  • A rig for Michael:

  • Some eyebrows that I'm not satisfied with:

    Maybe, there's a better solution?

  • First animation test with Michael pedaling:

    • I know that this is an early draft, but here's a rough side view of Michael Owlson(?) showing where I think that the knees could be better placed. Along with adding some movement to his hips/pelvis so that his feet can reach the pedals better without stretching the bones. By no means should you take any of side view as gospel, I'm just a slight over perfectionist when I see that things could be/look a bit better. I've also included a slight brow/eyelid in the side view if you want incorporate that or not.

      Other than those very minor nitpicks, amazing work duerer. It's going to look very interesting when it's done.

      P.S. are you thinking about sculpting some bits of raised fur clumps to the geometry or just leave it as is?
      Something a bit like the feathers in Chicken Run here:

    • vincav81 Thank you very much for your side view sketches of Michael Owlson  🦉😀! This will certainly help a lot 👍! I already thought at moving Michael from side to side during pedaling in order to make it look more natural, maybe using "Drivers" so that it saves me some time during animation. The optimal angle between the pedals is another point. Are there real world pedals with a different angle than 180 degrees? Another point are the movement and face expressions ("Shapekeys") in order to evoke the impression that Michael is doing heavy work 💪🦵when pedaling due to the concrete umbrella☔. I'm also planning to sculpt some bigger feathers  that I incorporate in the retopologized mesh. Smaller details should be baken into various textures as done in the April 2021 Collab.

    • duerer I'm no expert on bike pedal angles, sorry.

      Other than aiming to get it done, I think I based the pedal arrangement in the first owl sketch on the crankshaft principle(?); how if to piston are set 180 degrees from one another they can't turn over at a certain point in the stroke. Which is roughly why crankshafts aren't 180 degrees apart. If that was clear, I don't know, sorry.

    • duerer After having recently been on an exercise bike, I'd like to correct my previous hypothesis and say that the owl's hips should tilt on the Y-axis and not on the Z-axis.

      Although I don't know if we aren't over thinking what is supposedly a desk lamp automaton (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automaton) and making it into a realistic animated character instead?

    • Thank you, vincav81 for sharing your thoughts on the pedals. I'm thinking at two versions of the owl:


      1) As a desk lamp automation similar to the Pinocchio from your linked Wikipedia article:



      By Pasimi on Wikipedia here, CC BY-SA 4.0 .

      The up and down movement in the animated Gif above is probably necessary in order to ease tensions since the wood puppet can't tilt its hips as a real cyclist. 

      Of course, the owl would then need some kind of support or magic (indicated by some visual effect) to keep it upright.

      Since we don't have electricity, our owl lamp would get it's light from burning oil or candles.


      2) As a guardian on Omar's stone bridge. In the night, the eyes would turn into searchlights for intruders 😉.  This owl would tilt its hips and the wheel would tilt accordingly. The animation would need to indicate that the owl with its monocycle is pressed onto the ground by the heavy concrete umbrella.

    • duerer 

      Here is my rough attempt to include a seat or pole that just goes straight through the owl, ie. make it as though the owls fur is covering the seat (which wouldn't be modelled). If that's clear.

      And what may turn out to be an optional second wheel, so that there can be at least 1 hard connection between the owl and the base plate to allow the main wheel to move in the first place.

      As well as a rough guess at how a Pinocchio-style, wood sculpted owl might work. 

      Kind of like this, but this example has the hinges on the inside of the body rather than on the outside.

      I apologies if all of this is making what should be your "just for fun" project more complicated than it already could have been.

      Mea culpa.

    • Well at least I love how deep you guys are going with it, no matter if it's just for a small detail. Plus there's all the experience point you gain when working, that never goes to waste.

    • Thank you for your further research and sketches, Vincent vincav81! I agree with Omar dostovel, that it's the experience you gain which is beside the fun one of the major reasons for accepting such a challenge. 

  • I've added some worthy bells to Michael's umbrella in order to further commemorate the Collab 2020:

  • Hogwarts has its talking "Sorting Hat", we now have our talking "Crazy Owl Concrete Umbrella" 😉😁:



    For the talking please watch Vincent's vincav81 excellent animation here.

    Imaging Michael Owlson patroling on Omar's stone bridge when somebody wants to enter the spice vendor's property. The talking umbrella could then allow or deny the access.

  • So something like this for this ever evolving Ghost Owl?
    duerer dostovel frikkr hharbinger_ua splat21 


    (extreme rough sketch)

    • You are good conveying emotion and feeling in your sketches dude. I can feel the owl being sad because he can't fly anymore. 

      Could we see how he looks with normal eyes? I'm thinking maybe having him crossed eyed will take away from the heavy umbrella being the reason of him nor flying and it will seem he can't because he can't see straight. 

    • dostovel Here Michael with a set of unskewed eyes.

    • duerer Yes, I also added a little poncho over the shoulders. Honestly it was just to make the image feel a bit more Japanese/Ghibli(?) Feel free to ignore it. 

    • vincav81 I very much like your drawings of Michael patroling on the bridge with his searchlight eyes 😀👍! The poncho is a good idea, maybe it's a magic poncho that can turn Michael invisible if he wants this 😉. And the bells could play a melody expressing bishop Stumbers' mood 🎵 or could give the alarm if there's a danger🚨.

  • Here's my start at making an Owl-themed candlestick. 

    The base is approximately 3 inches in diameter, which is based off of a real life candlestick that I've taken some photos of for further reference.

    Basically this is just a "keep me sane" project until there's further word on organisation of working teams(?) for the interior.

    I've just got to keep reminding myself not to get too detail because this ahs still got to be baked down to a low poly version. 🤪


  • After real life, general procrastination, and loss of interest I've gotten back to doing something about the candlestick. Admittedly it not much — feet, eyes, object colour — but I think it's in a better place to start sculpting than where it was before. 

    Goodnight all.

    — 31 May 2021, 11:58pm AEST

    • It'll get you pumped up when we're finished with the main structure of the house and PDF presentation to start populating the scene. When it starts to gets crowed with stuff in there, my hope is that we get an energy jolt and we start producing some cool stuff. I'll link your owl candle, sync it to goggle drive in the WIP models interior folder.

    • Progress after about an hour or more (give or take) of sculpting.

      Nothing too detailed because A) I think I'd go crazy trying to get details just right; and B) given how small this may actually end up looking in the final interior fly-through.

      Also he's appeared to have grown a little moustache. And bushy eyebrows.

      Next will probably be joining the geometry and making a lowpoly mesh to bake down the details.

      — 1 June 2021, 11:11pm AEST

    • Well, maybe the final video won't necessarily be a fly-through, we might end up using static shots. It's too son to tell but maybe we could all do shots and see if they make it in the final edit. It's an Eevee render after all, we can all do renders. 

      The candle is taking good shape. Love it.

    • And here it is with some rough sculpting on the candle added.

      I think might re-mesh the owl and base together to make one object, and keep the candle separate. Unless anyone else has better ideas?

      — 2 Jun 2021, 10:55pm AEST

    • Keep the candle separated. It looks great, really melted.

    • vincav81 The melted candle pleases me 👍! I would keep it as its own object. 

      PS: Did you see Kent's livestream on candle modeling here?

    • duerer No I haven't seen Kent livestream, but I will check out thank you.

  • crew

    The interior is coming along great, you guys are really coming up with some good ideas.

    Awesome PDF by the way dostovel 

  • 7 June 2021, 11:36pm AEST

    After much frustration here is my low poly mesh for baking down the owl sculpt.

    It's hardly perfect, but it is better than any of my previous attempts.

    Edit: The low poly contains 584 Triangles, for those who are interested.

    • Cool. Funny story about that owl candle, the spice vendor wacked a would be spice thief in the head with it, saving a whole year worth production. The owl used to appear happy and mustache-less, but the impact reconfigured the head, of both the owl and the thief. 

    • 🤣 Well that's certainly one way to explain it.


      As frustrating as it can often be, I find laying out UVs rather enjoyable.
      Like a Sudoku puzzle, but without the numbers.

      8 June 2021, 2:44pm AEST

    • Okay, so yes I have re-laid the UVs and I am almost certainly going to have to do it a 3rd time.

      My question is: do I UV the candle separate to the candlestick, or to I place them both on the same UV layout (and corresponding texture map)? dostovel duerer blanchsb splat21 

      The candle and stick are separate meshes, I'm just wondering what is the more preferable path/method.

      Also, is 1048 the right texture/normal/colour map size I should be looking at?

      Thanks. 

    • Place them both on the same UV space and use just one texture for both items, that way you save up on resources. 

      It is better if you do a 2K even 4K texture for it, so you have enough resolution for if you want to show your asset separately in close ups and stuff. Then for the actual interior house scene you can down-res and create a 1080x1080 out of one of those high res, so we save up on memory.

    • Thank you Omar.


      Also, is there any specific Interior naming convention to differentiate the Interior texture files from the Exterior files?

      Currently my file is just named WIP_acc_owl-candlestick_(etc...), but I would like to know what to name my texture files before I actually start making them.


    • UV map with Candle Retopo added.

      9 June 2021, 12:44pm AEST

  • Hooray! We have lift off! 🚀

    Now all that's left is to create a Color Map and possible tweak the material/s a bit and then it should be done.

    9 June 2021, 2:20pm AEST

  • Colour Map complete! (Bar some green rust marks in certain crevices and such)

    But I definitely need to make 2 versions of the current Shader Material so I can dial in the look of the candle better, without affecting the candlestick.

    — 9 June 2021, 10:24pm AEST.

  • Well I think I'm finished. (Rendered in EEVEE, with Filmic Color Space)

    I'll optimise the file for upload to the Google Drive tomorrow.

    — 9 June 2021, 11:35pm AEST

  • I think that if I try to adjust this any more I might just go crazy. If I'm not already.

    — 10 June 2021, 12:55pm AEST