Please Critique My 3D Art (DAZ Studio, GIMP, BeFunky)

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anonymouse
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Please Critique My 3D Art (DAZ Studio, GIMP, BeFunky)

#1 Post by anonymouse » Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:09 pm

Hi! I am a self-taught (very amateur) 3D artist. I can't draw for crap, but I can math, and I can program. About 1.5 years ago I started trying to make 3D art for an interactive fiction I was working on at the time. I have since discovered renpy, and my game has become more of a visual novel. I don't know if my game will ever see the light of day, but I enjoy working on it. The pictures below were rendered in DAZ Studio, touched up in GIMP, and then I applied some filter effects using BeFunky. Any comment you'd like to leave is appreciated, but I'd especially like to know:
  • Do you like my art?
  • Do you detect 'uncanny valley' in my figures? (I have made an effort to avoid it.)
  • Would you play a VN with art like this?
  • Do you have any tips for improvement?
Thanks in advance. This forum has been an excellent resource for me.
1.jpg
2.jpg
3.jpg
4.jpg
5.jpg

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Re: Please Critique My 3D Art (DAZ Studio, GIMP, BeFunky)

#2 Post by fleet » Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:51 pm

I'd say your 3D art is very good (for 3D art). I use 3D art in my visual novels.
Sadly, many visual novel players/readers here at lemmasoft won't bother to play/read a visual novel that uses 3D art.
The exception is work by donmai. He filters his 3D artwork so it looks like it's hand drawn. See link -> viewtopic.php?f=45&t=24703
All of my VNs are at http://wolflore.net
Some are at http://www.the-new-lagoon.com. NSFW
Poorly done hand-drawn art is still poorly done art. Be a Poser (or better yet, use DAZ Studio 3D) - dare to be different.

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Re: Please Critique My 3D Art (DAZ Studio, GIMP, BeFunky)

#3 Post by anonymouse » Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:13 pm

Thank you for that link, fleet. I have tinkered with trying to achieve a drawn look by using various filters in GIMP and BeFunky, and I even bought a program called Dynamic Auto Painter which can give some interesting results. On reflection, I think my favorite look is with a light touch of post-processing, which is why I posted the above pictures. Mostly all I've done is to 'flatten' them (reduce the dynamic range of brightness) and apply some Gaussian blur for a softer look and to remove some of the hard edges. Maybe later I will post some examples of the drawn look style for comparison.

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Re: Please Critique My 3D Art (DAZ Studio, GIMP, BeFunky)

#4 Post by nerupuff » Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:41 pm

I'm not someone who does 3D art, but I can say that I like your 3D models and I like how it generally looks (quite exceptional!). It doesn't look unnatural (in fact, it looks very soft and appealing to the eyes). I haven't actually played VNs with 3D art but I suppose I wouldn't be opposed to the idea. Good luck!
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Re: Please Critique My 3D Art (DAZ Studio, GIMP, BeFunky)

#5 Post by morinoir » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:08 am

I'm also not a 3D artist, so I'm gonna give some advice on composition and visual on general. First thing I notice is the lighting. It might require more advance skill, but good lighting can really evocate feel and mood that usually lack in 3D model. Like the first picture of a girl in a bedroom. If it's a CG, what kind of mood do you want to show? Tranquility? Sadness? Although the 3D models are beautifully rendered, somehow it still feels lifeless because I can't feel the mood from that picture. And one way to strengthen the mood is by playing with lighting and color palette. Raindropmemory from deviantart (https://www.deviantart.com/raindropmemory) is one 3D artist that spice up everyday scene on their work through lighting. Check their work, I'm sure you'll find it very inspiring!

Quick search on '3-dimensional art' category on deviantart or artstation also will give you plenty on inspiration/example that you can use. Here are some of my favorite so far:
https://www.deviantart.com/laticis/art/ ... -464016468
https://www.deviantart.com/raindropmemo ... -306517471
https://www.deviantart.com/dofresh/art/ ... -695785927

Post-processing step is also as important as the modeling itself, like putting blur filter on some part of the background so viewer will focus on the character or even re-paint some part if you have to so it will look more natural or stand out. And don't be afraid to experiment on shooting a scene from different angle. Find the focus of your scene, and try to find the best angle with the best composition where the story can be told in the best way. Hope that helps!
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Re: Please Critique My 3D Art (DAZ Studio, GIMP, BeFunky)

#6 Post by anonymouse » Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:14 pm

Thanks for the feedback! I spent a fair amount of time today reading about how to convey mood/emotion through color, and I made a new version of the 'girl sitting on bed' picture to try it out. I don't feel enthusiastic about the results, but I feel like I learned something. Here's what I got.
6.jpg
There are two changes in this picture. First, I added a warm color fill light coming from the left of scene, and I added a rim light behind her with that same warm color. There is a particular mood I am going for with this picture. Does it come across? I really like this technique, btw. I don't know if I'd use it in every scene, but certainly scenes that are meant to be emotionally powerful can get pushed up a notch with some colored lights.

The other change from the original is I added some depth of field in an attempt to de-emphasize minor details and focus on the subject. I think I was too cavalier with this change. I kind of like how foreground objects are blurred, but I don't like how the bed and her background are blurred. Maybe I should have set the depth of field to defocus the foreground and leave the rest in focus? I don't know. Honestly, I like the original where the whole scene is in focus. It looks clean and aesthetically pleasing to me, but I want to know what you think!

I also put together one of my attempts to produce a drawn look, shown below.
7.jpg
I used Dynamic Auto Painter to produce a drawn look or filtered version of the render. I like the way the environment looks overall, but I feel like she sticks out too much in the final product. I used a transparency layer in GIMP to blend the render with the filtered version. In the filtered version, the girl loses too much detail, so I blend it with the original to get back some detail, but I find that it's hard to strike a good balance between the two. I have actually spent a LOT of time trying to make this work well, but the above is a pretty good example of as good as I can get it. It would be a very time intensive process to do this for every picture in my game. Not that I'm in any rush. I'm just sayin'!

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Re: Please Critique My 3D Art (DAZ Studio, GIMP, BeFunky)

#7 Post by morinoir » Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:23 pm

The first image looks better, even though you can push it even further, but you're going in the right direction nonetheless! The second image honestly feels overdone with all those unnecessary texture, so definitely go with the first image.

Although, as I said, you can push it further to better show the mood. I tried to digitally enhanced the first image using photoshop's adjustment layers and some airbrush (I can share you the psd if you want, while I keep it) and here's the result :
3.jpg
I still felt that something is off when it finally hits me that other than the girl and the wall of photos behind her, everything else is not important, so I cropped the image and here's the result :
1.jpg
Before, there are 2 strong light sources in the image, one from the window and one from the fairy lights, and both are in entirely different direction which results in divided attention to the main focus. Eliminate one, in this case the window, and the whole picture will come together. Just by cleverly cropping the image, you can see that the wall of photos behind the girl is some kind of precious memories and it brings nostalgia and warm feelings to her.

There's something called 'the rule of third' that can help you create a good composition. In photoshop, by using 'crop tool', you can see some kind of ruler that divide the screen into 3x3 parts and you just have to drag the screen to find out the best composition you can get from your image. Not sure if gimp has similar tool, but try googling the rule of third to learn more about composition.

Also, I'm not sure how old the girl is, but I feel that her room is very empty for a girl on her age. The head of her bed can be filled with plushies, or alarm clock, or framed picture, and you can definitely choose a more suitable poster for her age =D. Remember to take a look at a lot of reference. Hope that helps!
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Re: Please Critique My 3D Art (DAZ Studio, GIMP, BeFunky)

#8 Post by anonymouse » Fri Oct 12, 2018 12:47 pm

Wow, that is a very nice touch-up! I really like how you got some glow to her hair from the fairy lights. I would be very appreciative if you shared your .psd with me. The emptiness of the room is by design because in the story this is a scene in the middle of moving in to a new place, but I see your point that it appears oddly empty when the picture isn't in context. Also, good point on the age appropriateness of the poster. She's meant to be a college freshman, so 18 or 19. Does she look too young? She is kind of tall, but she does have a baby face.

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Re: Please Critique My 3D Art (DAZ Studio, GIMP, BeFunky)

#9 Post by anonymouse » Fri Oct 12, 2018 3:59 pm

Apologizes for the double post, but I made an attempt to follow your lead on this, morinoir.

I added some more items to the scene to make it less empty, and I picked a new poster. Well, that's minor stuff. The main thing I'm showing with this new picture is my attempt to get some of that warm fuzzy glow. DAZ Studio has a bloom filter, which I have tinkered with in the past, but I don't use it much. I turned it on for this render. That helped get more glow around the fairy lights, but I had to do post work in GIMP to get the golden highlights in her hair, shoulder, and arms. This is the first time I've tried to do this, but I think it came out okay! I sampled the color of the fairy lights and then used the spray paint tool with a sponge brush.
8.jpg

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Re: Please Critique My 3D Art (DAZ Studio, GIMP, BeFunky)

#10 Post by morinoir » Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:59 pm

Oh if the scene happened in the middle of moving in, then the emptiness it's understandable. Probably add stack of boxes and some messiness here and there so viewer can see that she's in the middle of moving in/out? And she's a college girl?? I though she's like, mid schooler at least? Mainly because she has such baby face (including her friends) and even though the ratio between head and body is correct, I think the head is a bit big for the body, thus results in she and her friends look like kid. But that probably just me xD. Again, take a look at lots of reference!

And feel free to download the psd here: https://sta.sh/0290n7ll4jon. Fair warning that the psd has several adjustment layers that can only be tinkered in photoshop, so if you open it gimp, the adjustment layers may not working properly. Feel free to use the layers I put there if you want.

Also, I suggest you change the black cat poster into something else that has different color and contrast with her hair. As background, it blends too much with her hair. Don't give up and keep practicing!
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Re: Please Critique My 3D Art (DAZ Studio, GIMP, BeFunky)

#11 Post by anonymouse » Sat Oct 13, 2018 12:13 am

Oh, the head is definitely too big. All of my figures are somewhat stylized with heads and eyes that are just a little bit too big. That's something I did to try to move away from that uncanny valley effect that is a common criticism of 3D art.

And I got your psd. I will take a look later. Thank you! :D

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