[Artist In Residence] Summertime GIFs


(Benvoldman) #1

Hey everyone,
My name is Ben! Sketchfab invited me to join the Artist-in-Residence program and I'm stoked to be here.

A little bit about me:
I'm an illustrator and animator living in NYC . You can find me on the internet here - Sketchfab, website, dribbble, behance, twitter, instagram. I work out of a shared studio with some of my friends in Bushwick, Brooklyn where I create artwork for various brands and publications. Some of my recent clients include Funny Or Die, MTV, and the Boston Globe.

GIFs: Summertime!
Lately I've been into making fun and colorful animated GIFs as morning warm ups. You can see some of them here and here. I'll usually work on these in the morning before diving into client work as I find it helps shake the cobwebs loose. For my time here at SketchFab I'll be working on a series under the theme of "Summertime!".

And here's the first one on the plate- "Iced Coffee & Popsicle on the beach!"

I made this lil' doodle in my sketchbook this morning of an iced coffee on the beach applying sun tan lotion to his popsicle honey. That's how these usually start out. I'm drinking iced coffee...how about I draw an iced coffee... genius!! Let's put googley eyes on it.... marvelous!... and so forth.

After that I take the thumbnail and refine it a bit and then bring it into photoshop to do a quick color study and that's where I'm at now. I'm a big fan of Adobe Kuler for finding color palettes. This is the first one i liked. I'm not totally sold on it yet but I'm gonna stick with it for now.

Next steps will be doing some initial blocking of the scene. I'm planning on posting all the models here as well as some GIFs of the process behind these.

More soon!

(Palexeev) #2

Awesome! Can't wait to see this in 3D :slight_smile:

(Paulchambers3d) #4

Welcome aboard Ben!!


Haha, this looks so cute! Will there be environmental elements to it too or mainly character based?


Welcome! Really looking forward to seeing this evolve :smile:

(Benvoldman) #7

Thanks y'all! Excited to get started. @c0re, this one's probably gonna stay mostly character based although there will be just enough elements to suggest an environment.

(Mrrik) #8

Really looking forward to your process! :slight_smile:

(Nomadking) #9

Interesting project @benvoldman, looking forward to following your progress :slight_smile:

With regards to the environment: If you want to keep it character focused, you can get a great effect using the flat colour background options (like Elbriga did here). Works well for all kinds of stylised models!

(Bart) #12

I love your style Ben, and I had some good laughs when looking at your work :slight_smile: Are you planning to post the animated models to Sketchfab?

Oh, and on a side note: your visual style reminds me of the work by Poked Studio from the UK. His work is more detailed, but it has the same bright, vibrant and slightly wonky feel to it :wink:

Enjoy your project!

(Lord00120) #13

Wow those are some pretty umm weird gifs :open_mouth: But I like the simple style, and that popsicle looks fabulous :wink:

(Benvoldman) #14

Day 2: Blocking and scene set up

So today was spent getting the scene setup. The main objectives for me at this stage are:

  1. Getting my scene setup: cameras, image planes, initial render settings, etc.

  2. Beginning my color palette setup

  3. Blocking out the major shapes and getting size relationships right

  4. Bringing my final blocked shapes into Zbrush to prep for sculpting

So nothing super exciting but I always feel like a couple extra minutes at this stage can save you hours later on. I thought I'd share a couple screenshots of what that process looks like for me.

1. Getting my scene setup: cameras, image planes, initial render settings, etc.

One thing I like to do when setting up my scene is think about little "controls" I can create to make my life eaiser. For example I like to parent a nurbsCircle to my camera that's connected to the my sketch's alpha gain so that I can quickly toggle it's opacity. Super helpful!

2. Beginning my color palette setup

Next I'll drop in my palette that I used on my sketch and create a ramp and sample those colors. I'll take it's color entry list and feed that into some color constants that I can then add to my shaders for the rest of the project. What's nice about this approach is if I want to change the color scheme all I need to do is change the colors on the ramp and those changes will propagate across all my shaders.

3. Blocking out the major shapes and getting size relationships right

Here's the final block. This stage is helpful as it lets me know the exact size relationships I need in 3D and lets me test that against my sketch. I'm always trying as much as possible to make sure my 3D work "bends" towards my sketch and not the other way around.

4. Bringing my final blocked shapes into Zbrush to prep for sculpting

Now that my block is good I can bring it into Zbrush where the real fun begins...sculpting!:slight_smile:

Next up sculpting and creating all my assets for animation!!

(Benvoldman) #15

Thanks for the tip!

(Benvoldman) #16

Thanks dude!

(Benvoldman) #17

thanks @mrrik . looking forward to sharing!
@bartv Yeah, Jonathan's work is awesome! Not sure if i'll be uploading the animated versions as I tend to use a lot of non-joint based animation stuff: point caches, MASH, blends shapes etc. But we'll see!

(Bart) #18

We do support blend shapes, but not point caches (yet :wink:). We even have an experimental 'stop motion' support:

Anyway, up to you. I just can't get over how funny those gifs were though :wink:

(Benvoldman) #19

Oh wow cool, great to know! Blend shapes are big for me.

And if y'all got point caches working...that would be huge!!!


Aww yiss... excited to see how this goes! Love how even in the early stages, your style is so prominent and shows through.

(Bart) #21

Pro-tip for all the readers here: to receive updates when this thread is updated, click on the 'Tracking' widget at the bottom of the page and select 'Watching'. That way you won't miss anything!

(Gav Grant) #22

Fantastic work, looking forward to this !

(Paulchambers3d) #23

Very cool to see how you're using the node editor to pump your colors into materials dynamically. Color is such a huge part of the appeal of your work. I can see how changing it dynamically can be a huge help!