Aaron Rudderham (thecabbagedetective)

194 replies · posted

Polybook - Aaron "The Cabbage Detective" Rudderham

So this seems to be a pretty popular thing to do, and with it keeping me accountable to actually produce content and be able to get feedback easily, I thought it'd be a good idea to start one of these myself. Lets see how far we can go.

  • So first thing's first, I've taken my currently played video games and consoles and locked them in the attic and handed someone else the key. I've also put my phone in another room so it's inconvenient to use and only eat when I'm hungry. This is due to the fact that I have 3 "commissions" to complete, one who's been waiting quite a while, and I'm sick and tired of getting engrossed or distracted by something else and getting next to no work done, so I've decided to remove almost all distractions until I've managed to complete all of these projects.


    The first of these is the one who's been waiting the longest, so naturally I place him as a priority to complete first. It's something we mulled over for a bit but turns out he wants a new PSN background image, so I was happy to oblige. This is what I have so far:



    Yeah that's where this poor guy ended up.


    Obviously got a tonne more details to add, but he essentially wants - as you've probably gathered - a cybernetically enhanced bear (a black bear specifically), though I still have the background and the rest of the scene to do. Seeing as the final results would probably look odd in my gallery I'll end up repurposing it for another scene and upload that instead.


    One of the other "commissions" I have wants a profile picture, a profile picture  of - and I quote - a "menacing cereal bowl". Don't really have anything to show for this one but it'll be interesting to see how I take this challenge.


    Well that's everything from me, I'll be seeing you all around. Have a good day and happy blending!

  • Here's a close up of the arm. Apologies for the poor lighting all around but this isn't gonna be the final pose + I'm rather tired.


    • thecabbagedetective Ahh there's the bear from the beginner class and the robo arm teaser from the lighting class!! Cool 😎 Looking forward to seeing this evolve.

      A menancing cereal bowl?? 🤣

      I'll be keeping an eye on your Polybook to see your progress and give feedback. I'm trying to only be on the forum once or twice per week (as you can see I don't always keep myself to that promise) so I don't get to much distracted from my own homework and stuff, so it might sometimes take a couple of days before I respond.

      Looking forward to your updates!! 😄

    • ssmurfmier1985 Glad to hear you're liking it, looking forward to seeing what you think!

  • Welp, not as tired as I thought. Started blocking out the second project, a "menacing cereal bowl" and got the basic composition set up. How will this go? I have no idea.



    Even composition wise there's things to improve, like maybe the spoon could "connect" with the cereal box and make it flow much better, but that'll be it for now as I go to sleep. Happy blending!

    • thecabbagedetective For the cereal bowl, maybe try and extreme angle from below and lighting it from below.  Both of those things are used to suggest menace/villainy.  The angle shot to suggest the viewer is being looked down upon from the subject and the low lighting feels unnatural because we have lights over our heads most of the time, so it's different.  And heck, draw a face on the bowl.

    • silentheart00 Yeah that was what I was debating on, the biggest hindrance being I wanted to show off the cereal in the bowl, however after discussing it with my friend he seemed okay with it so that's what I'm rolling with.  The face is apparently off limits though lol. Thanks!


    • thecabbagedetective too bad you can't do the face for the cereal bowl.. would have given it much character I think. But the client is always right, right? 😉 The dramatic lighting Silent suggested will help 😊

      Yeah I'm kinda a twitter hater.. though give a shoutout once you open a Instagram Account, I would love to follow you there! 😎👍🏻

    • ssmurfmier1985 Don't have an Instagram yet, but it seems to be the rave with artists all around. Time it's something I got into, it seems...

  • Looking forward to your work and progress.

  • More progress made!


    Well, not much admittedly. Adjusted some materials for the most part, alongside practicing more lighting.



    Looking forward to adding skin materials, fur, iron fingers etc to bring it to the next level.


    I also worked somewhat on the cereal bowl, adjusting the composition based on my knowledge and silentheart00's advice, so here we are with that;



    And that's about it for today! One thing I have to announce is I now have a Twitter account in which I'll be uploading my renders, WIPs and other stuff like video games and possibly music, so if you wanna hang out on there then follow this link, 'cause as of right now it kinda feels like I'm talking to myself lol. With that done I consider another day of work finished and I'll wish you a good day. Happy Blending!

  • First time messing with hair physics and it's really damn cool, though I still got more layers to add and to add in the creamy-esque fur for the "beard" that black bears have and to tweak the comb and blegh, just that there's a lot for improvements but I'm looking forward to it! Advice - as always - is very much appreciated, especially here. Happy Blending!


  • Right, first thing's first, trying ti actively pace my work/life balance, 'cause as it's been the past few months or so whenever I'm not doing Blender or programming or exercising or anything productive in general I feel like I'm wasting time, but now I realise how important that balance is so I'm actively trying to not work at points, whilst also getting the work done.


    Now onto what I've done. Messed around with the fur physics a lot and like what I got now, though it looks really patchy near the mouth and the  colours intersect and I'm not sure how to fix that, aside from touching up the weight paint. Guess it'll just take time and patience.



    Also changed the metal from green to white/silver/grey, at the behest of the "client". That's about it for now, happy Blending!


  • Woooo it's been a while since I updated this, a whole week it seems! Well, back on track, and I'll try to pop into y'alls over the course of the day.


    So, what's been done? Well firstly I've overall improved the fur as well as added a few details, now making it look much nicer.



    I also added that patches, making it metal as all hell.



    Don't think I'm completely satisfied with the patches yet though, might add some texture to them.


    I've also done a small amount of work on the third commission, and gold star to whoever can guess what scene this (currently underdetailed) abomination will star in:



    And I think that's pretty much it for me, Blender wise. Thoughts and feedback are always welcome! Been spending the majority of my time trying out Fallout 76 (which you can read my thoughts on it here) and it got my thinking: I'd really like to do a Youtube channel or blog or something to that effect that incorporates both 3D modeling and videogames, like one video could be a game review and then another could be a time lapse of a videogame character sculpt, something like that (maybe even incorporate Unreal tutorials when I get good at that), and I was wondering if that seems appealing to any of you? I've asked this on the Discord already but thought the more opinions I could get the better. Well, thanks for reading and happy Blending!

  • I'm not dead!


    Hello to you all again, and sorry for being away for so long, though with how fast the internet seems to forget if you don't remember me then hello, I'm the guy with the bee avatar who forgets the FoV slider exists, nice to meet you!


    Now, for the 2 of you who are curious as to where I have been, it's rather simple: A couple weeks ago I received a(n admittedly self inflicted) injury in both my lower back and legs. Now whilst it was rather minor in the grand scheme of things it meant I couldn't sit at my currently awfully uncomfortable chair for even medium length periods without being in pain. So not only could I not do a lot of Blender stuff it also hit my motivation pretty hard, especially seeing how far the rest of you were progressing (though I certainly had my fair share of fun during that time). But it now appears that I'm on the mend and a new chair is in the mail so I'm back to work again!


    Fortunately whilst I haven't done *much* during that time I do have a few things to share. First of all is the progression of that little eyeball creature I made, who's come quite a ways, though there's still plenty left to be done! His name is Isaac, the Eye With a Sack:



    Got a bit of a cultural blend here as you can see...


    I originally gave him eyelashes but due to messing them up because I'm rather inexperienced with hair physics I think I scared my friend off from putting them on ever again because he said they look like something I don't dare repeat here. I'll probably end up adding them myself anyways.


    Now the bear hasn't really had any proper visible progress, what I've been doing consists of weight painting the rig and hoping it doesn't break (spoilers: it always does).  However this doesn't mean I've made absolutely no visible progress at all...


    If you look at the last image I shared of it you'd realize that one of the patches was blank. This is because my friend came to me and said he wanted me to draw him something to put on it. I was initially going to dismiss this due having pretty much zero experience in 2D art but due to desperately wanting to learn I decided this was a good motivator. Now whilst this is going to be a patch, making it pretty much entirely white on a black background, I decided to do some basic colouring and shading nonetheless, as I wanted to learn. So I must stress this is both my first drawing ever and is still a WIP, but here's what I have so far:



    I might add individual hair strokes on the face yet, hence the WIP, but so far for my first attempt at drawing ever I'd say this isn't so bad. Guess this makes this a sketchbook as well now lol.

    Critique away! I'm looking forward to reading all your comments, and I'm very grateful towards this community in general. I apologise again for being absent for so long but now that I'm back I'm looking forward to sharing my progress with you and observing yours in exchange! Have a good day and happy Blending!

  • Hey there!


    Haven't done *too* much, but I did finish my first 2D piece! Not great by any means but I think for my first attempt it's not that bad at all.



    I also decided to work on the cowboy boots a tad, getting some basic lines set up for the details in which I'll add to later, as well as using procedural textures.



    Never really made a texture map in something like Krita before, so this'll be an experience. Well, that's it for now, happy Blending!

  • Hey there!


    Nothing really much to show today. Put the patch onto the jacket but it crashed during rendering so that's something I'll have to reserve for another time. Also got incredibly frustrated with weight painting the bear's rig as the patches aren't connected to the jacket and would never look right. Ended up scrapping the weight paint entirely and will probably end up manually placing the patches into a pose as this model was made before I learnt about good topology and preparing models for rigging, so it'll probably be quicker to pose the patches as opposed to redoing them entirely for a very similar result.


    Hoping to get these projects done before the new year. Bums me out a tad because I had a Christmas themed project planed but there's no way in hell I'll have time to do it now, but I can easily re purpose it to have a non-Christmas theme. Outside of that I want to be prepared for the next class, and finish some unfinished course. Those being:


    Fundamentals of Texturing (got scared of the final exercise 'cause I couldn't (and admittedly still really can't) draw)

    Acting for Animators (got absorbed by classes and forgot about it)

    Mesh Modeling Bootcamp (see previous)


    I also remember that today is technically my one year anniversary of Blender, as today was when I finished creating the infamous donut from BlenderGuru. Both happy and disappointed with my progress, paradoxically. Happy because I have a tendency to give up things easily so doing this for a year is a pretty big step, and disappointed because I haven't gotten as far as I'd like yet, but I'm probably being overly expectant of myself as usual, skill takes time after all!


    Well that's it from me, goodnight and happy Blending!

  • Hey everyone!


    Been quite busy today due to last minute Christmas stuff but I have enough time to update you all on what's happening.


    First of all I did a little retrospective of my Blender "career" thus far, you can read it here if you'd like. Thanks again to all of you for making it that much more enjoyable!


    I've also finished* the two characters for the projects. All they need is a bit of polishing and then some rigging and I think we're good to go in putting them in their respective scenes. First up is the bear:



    Still not happy with that fur...


    And then we have Isaac:



    Still not sure if I should include the eyelashes or not...


    Here's a close up of the boots. Not the most detailed but considering they'll be viewed at a distance I thought it'd suffice:



    Little bright with the colours, but the reference I was given (my friend's own cowboy boots) they're honestly not that far off.


    As I said, hoping to get these done by the new year, but that means I gotta start making my own rigs... oh God... uggghhhh... well, no one ever got gud by whining, so time to suck it up!


    Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to please my ears whilst I do some last minute wrapping, have a good one and happy Blending!


    * - Friend is satisfied with the quality but I'll probably end up tweaking it for a month because I feel I can do better with the hair physics and the materials and blegh

    • thecabbagedetective You made great progress with all projects! 

      The fur of the bear: yeah you could tweak it for another month if you want, but why not create a new character with fur? And try to make that one a bit better than the previous one? You might enjoy that more then endlessly working on this one, and developing more then just you're fur-skills 😊

      As for the eyelashes, I'm torn. I like that they add some realism to this stylized character, but they're also quite 'busy', lots of little details while the rest has bigger simpler shapes. In this case I would probably go with what the client likes best, but that's just what I would do. Sorry I can't be more of help with this... loving the boots though 😬

      I like your story on twitter by the way, nice overview of your first year with Blender!! Mine isn't up till June 😉

      By the way, what happened to the Menacing Cereal Bowl I wonder..?

      Happy Holidays Aaron! Looking forward to the things you'll amaze us with next year 😃

    • thecabbagedetective Oh as for rigging, why not use the riggify addon? It's  pretty easy to use, there is a tutorial on it on CG Cookie. Will save you loads of time!!

    • thecabbagedetective Nice work!  For the eyelashes, take a look at your own.  Multiple eyelashes don't sprout from one point, they sprout from multiple points and clump at the end with some singular hairs to break up the clumps.  They also curve outward a touch, and are pretty stiff.  Go get a mirror and take a look yourself.  Nice texture on the boots.

    • ssmurfmier1985 Hey there, and thanks! Whilst I can hum and harr about it for ages my friend seems pleased with it and ultimately that's what's important, so I think I'll simply move on with it. You got a point with the eyelashes too, though it's definitely not helped by the fact that they don't look that great to begin with, so maybe more tweaking will ensue? We shall see!


      As much as I'd love to use Rigify these models are rather... odd, and none of the rigify rigs work with it, or more specifically I can't apply IKs to them with one easy button press, and need to actually work. The horror! But hey, gotta git gud eventually right?


      As for the cereal bowl it's still certainly being worked on, just that it's my last priority due to it being the easiest, plus these other ones have taken a while so they're my priority, but rest assured you'll be seeing it soon!

    • silentheart00 Cheers for the advice! It's definitely not an area I'm well versed in so this trial and error approach has taught me a lot, so I'll certainly be attempting them again!

  • Happy New Year! On the third...


    Welp, better late than never I suppose? Naturally due to spending the Christmas period eating and being lazy I don't really have much to show you, but that's over with now, so lets get to it. Still have some errands to run for the next couple days so progress will be slow but I'm looking forward to getting into the swing of things. As much as I love Blender I'm looking forward to finishing these projects, want to make something for myself again.


    So how are all your New Years Resolutions? Don't really have any myself, other than continuing with my art and fitness. Though I would like to have finished a simple game by the end of the year, I suppose that could count? Stupidly ambitious and unfeasible? Probably, but I wouldn't be me if I didn't shoot for the sun only to land head first into the sand.


    Whilst I don't have anything to really show any of you yet here's Isaac in better lighting. Was taken before Xmas so the eyelashes are still ehh but that's hopefully gonna get fixed in the coming days:



    With that being said I hope all the ladies and gentlemen here had an excellent and Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays/Mediocre Final Few Days of the Year, whichever applies to you most, and that this year will be better than the last. Happy Blending! 

  • Finally, after approximately 17 years, it is DONE.


    One of them anyways. My friend wanted a background for his PS4 so that's what I've been working on this entire time, and whilst he's been happy with it  for a while I'm finally at a point where I'm happy too, so here it is:



    Definitely a lot to improve on, such as more details on the building, better fur (grr), more effects etc but I think it's gotten to a point where we're all happy.


    In case any of you recognise the buildings in the background I paid attention to CG Geek's tutorial on how to make a destroyed building, which you can find here. Definitely could've gone more into detail but they serve their purpose very well. Excellent tutorial!


    I'm honestly rather glad I managed to get this one done because the bear model I made a long time ago, before I understood things such as retopology, rigging and animation-friendly models, so the rig only kind of worked, which meant I had to manually pose a lot of it. The fact it turned out halfway decent is nothing short of a miracle.


    If anyone wants me to make them a background for a very competitive fee, just hit me up! Yeah, can't really advertise my services on a site where most people are better at it than me...


    Welp, one down, two to go, then after that I have a special personal project I want to pursue, so until the next update I wish you all a happy Blending and I'll see you then!

  • You know, with the bear completed it feels almost kind of odd. Now I no longer have any kind of direct plans, told exactly what to do and getting the approval of someone else. I'm finally... FREE!


    Oh wait I still got two more, nevermind.


    I jest of course, I love doing this, and making my friend's ideas come to life is always neat. So whilst I have worked a bit on Isaac I don't think it's enough to bother showing, so I'll show what I've been doing with the evil cereal bowl instead. Here's the basic scene, lighting and HDRI are bound to change:



    Here's a better view of the bowl:



    Huge thanks to nekronavt for sharing his bone shader with me, it was really fun picking it apart and putting my own spin on it. Admittedly his was made in 2.8 and he has a better understand of shading than I so I had to compensate with 2.79 nodes and make more simple node setups for my tiny brain but I still like what I came up with. Might have to change it though, 'cause they look a bit like teeth...


    And here's the (currently oversized) evil cereal to go with it. Not sure how many different designs there should be, thinking maybe one more but not sure what:



    Should probably make the cross upside-down, think I'm sending the wrong message here...


    My biggest query is what are your thoughts on the shaders? Mostly the cereal one? I guess it's not gotta be photoreal considering they're gonna be pretty small but I'm thinking they're looking rather cereal-y, lumpy and sticky, though if you have any thoughts on how I could improve them then by all means let me know! I feel the goat's sides are too smooth so I can fix that at least. Also they all have the same shader, just different colours.


    And that's it for me, definitely getting all of these wrapped up this month. Looking forward to what we all create and until next time, happy Blending!

    • thecabbagedetective Getting there!  For more symbols, what else represents the devil/satanic things?  Might be able to find a list somewhere.  I think ravens are symbolic for similar ideas, so you could throw that in, too.  As for the cereal shader, you'll have to be the judge on how detailed they need to be.  Heck, go find some cereal and take a look for reference.  I'm not sure what varieties you have in England, but I'd reference something like Fruit Loops or similar.

    • thecabbagedetective I think that noise on this cereal pieces is too small. They looks like they are pretty big.

    • silentheart00 Cheers for the advice man, was definitely helpful! Also I swear I thought you were from England, now I'm confused lol.

    • nekronavt Yeah that seems to help, look much better now. Thanks!


    • thecabbagedetective Lol, no problem, dude.  I really enjoy British culture, so maybe that's leaking through.  Cats Does Countdown is my favorite thing to throw on, but I can't find it on YouTube anymore as a result of that one bill, I'm sure.  Oh well.  I guess it's Scenes We'd Like to See from Mock the Week compilations for me now lol.

      Good progress on the cereal bowl.  I agree the details are getting a bit lost, maybe making those details bigger would help and a little bit of front lighting, too.  Of course, this is dependent on your client.

      Skulls are difficult.  One of these days I'd like to get skeletons to draw from or anatomical models with the different layers of muscle.  There's something different about having that 3D reference in front of you than a 2D reference that just feels like you're learning more.  Well, for me anyway.  It's a good start.  And yes, maybe a touch too much on the specularity.  Keep pushing!

    • silentheart00 Well dang dude, you fooled me pretty well lol. But if you're curious, yes we all love tea and crumpets.


      I'm not sure if size is the issue here as I'm trying to abide by the rule of thirds, but you're definitely correct about the lighting and I'll be improving it shortly.


      You're telling me lol. Naturally I'm not too concerned about 1:1 realism, just enough so that it looks like a human skull at a distance. Hell, might stick a couple horns on it so I can get away with it. A 3D reference sounds sick though, I'd love one personally, but I guess the closest I have for now is my little poseable wooden mannequin. Thanks for the feedback! 


    • @thecabbagedetective I mean, I assumed you were American by your mannerisms, so we're even lol.

      Sorry, I meant the size of the cereal bits, not the bowl itself.  Sometimes I forget not everyone can read my mind.  Like the size of the displacement map could be a little bigger on the cereal, but that's just me.

      Yeah, no prob.  That's something I'd like to get in the future when I'm more established after grad school, so it's a ways off.  But make do with what you can, right?

  • Evening!


    So whilst I took today off from work I decided it'd be a good time to start rendering my progress. The "Evil Cereal Bowl" is coming along nicely I believe.



    Here's a lighter version:


    Here's also a more close up of the "skull":



    Anatomy definitely isn't my strong point, but in my defense I did this in like 20 minutes and for a first attempt I wouldn't call it awful. Fortunately I managed to get some critique so I'll be improving it in the coming day or two. Also might be a good idea to tone down the wet look of the bone shader, poor thing looks drenched.


    Really liking this project so far, but I know once I've finished the spoon I'm gonna need to delve into 2D again for the cereal box design, which is... daunting, to say the least. If you have any general 2D advice I'm always willing to hear it.


    Right, if you'll excuse me I'm very tired so I'm gonna call it a night and then I'll have a gander at all of yous threads in the morning. Until then though, happy Blending!

    • thecabbagedetective Awesome stuff! You might want to consider adding a bit more light to the front of your cereal bowl, so we can actually see all the nice details and shaders your creating. It's now pitch dark didn't even notice the cereal until I saw the lighter version... Maybe an eerie reddish glow or something? Not too bright, just enough so you can see 😊

    • ssmurfmier1985 Thanks! Yeah that's definitely what I intend to do with the lighting, I should've pointed out that the lighting was temporary and only used so I could get the rim light looking good. Didn't think about  a red tint though so I'll certainly look into adding that, thanks for the idea!

  • Here we are again!


    So after messing with the grab tool for a bit I managed to make the skull look a bit more human. Not 1:1 by a long shot but I think it looks good enough for this scene:



    Here you can also see the newly tweaked shader. Looks much better in my opinion, more brittle looking.


    So I decided to put all of what I've done so far together! And the results are... well...



    Don't get me wrong, I still like what I've done so far, but it just feels off. It was then I realized I'd need to experiment with lighting and compositing, so after a while of back and forths I think I've made a much superior version:



    The cereal is now much brighter and more vibrant and colourful. They stand out more and (at least for me) draw the attention of the viewer, but I'll leave that part for you to decide.


    Going into 2D now! This is going to be interesting, but I hope to have something great by the end. Hope the rest of you are doing well and Happy Blending!

  • Just a quick little update!

    So I've blocked out the basics for the cover of the cereal box. It's simple stuff but I'm not particularly great at 2D - which I believe I've said many times - so this stuff takes a while. but practice makes perfect, eh?



    Not really much to critique here yet, but hey if you can find something go for it! Hopefully this'll turn out real nice by the time it's finished.

  • Hey there!


    Haven't got many visuals to show you, been quite busy with life, up to and including multiple trips to the nearby city, my internet provider being inconsistent and just generally being busy.


    I get the feeling that I say that a lot, and I'm getting sick of it. To make sure I stick to some sort of schedule I've finally renewed my CG Cookie membership (so I'll also be joining you guys in the next stream) and I'm gonna get all my projects done by the end of the month, and if not, well, you'll just have to think of a punishment for me!


    Let it be known that this project is going very well and I PROMISE I'll have it done in the next couple days. With that said I'll see you guys next time, Happy Blending!

  • Hey there!


    Well the punishment has been decided. If I don't complete these two projects before the first of February I must sing "Bicycle Race" by Queen on an exercise bike whilst eat a popsicle and with someone pelting fake snow at me. Quite a tall order so it's rather good I won't have to do it... right?


    So delving into 2D more now, did quite a few of the details and blocked out the main colours. I'm still at the "I don't know wtf I'm doing" stage of 2D art but hey I was at that stage with 3D for like 6 months and I'm still there every so often.



    So once I add hands, add more details such as wrinkles and shininess, add more nuance to the colours, add the text, make the background more interesting, replace the cropped cereal which is just a placeholder and about 30 other things and then I'll have a below average product, neat! Gotta start somewhere though, right? Haha


    Also if you're curious this is what it looks like in the render so far:



    Well if you'll excuse me I'ma head back to work, but until next time (or until I start perusing the other polybooks again) I wish you a good day, Happy Blending!