Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Inkscape vs. Gravit Designer vs. Affinity Designer

John B. Marine | 9:30 PM | | Be the first to comment!
Many vector artists look to Adobe Illustrator or CorelDRAW for their vector art. Others, meanwhile, use free programs like Inkscape. This blog post features three vector art programs I have used to create vector art. Those include the following: Inkscape, Gravit Designer, and Affinity Designer. My thoughts on each will be shared in this blog post. If you are looking to creat your own vector art, this post may be beneficial to you in helping make your decision on each.

Before I Begin...

All of the material and commentary regards these programs in the versions as current as the ones in the original date of this post (June 5, 2019).






Vector Art Roundup


Vector art offers the advantage of being freely scalable to suit any number of resolutions and applications. Accomplishing this is done with any number of different vector graphics programs. What is seen as the popular standard is Adobe Illustrator (AI). Most people, unfortunately, either (1) don't want to pay a subscription to use the Adobe Creative Cloud or (2) do not like Adobe Illustrator at all. Your options may therefore be limited... or ARE they?

In trying to develop vector artwork, you do have a few options at your disposal outside of Adobe Illustrator or even CorelDRAW. I used three programs to try to learn vector art. The program I have used for the longest is the free InkScape. Recent times, though, I have tried to accustom myself to Gravit Designer and Affinity Designer. I felt the need to try to use these other programs to try to develop quality vector art. In no way am I an expert at this matter. Despite this, I want to educate others on these programs.

Usually, vector programs usually format to formats such as AI, EPS, and SVG. These are the most common formats for exporting vector art. There are also transparent PNG and PDF for vector graphics. Prior to export, though, take advantage of these vector formats before using them in any number of programs.




Other Vector Art Programs


This part of the post relates to the three programs I have used (or tried) for vector art. If you want insight on each program I am to feature, this is your part of this post. Click on the headings to visit the official sites of each program.


Inkscape.

Inkscape has been around the longest as a vector art designer. With a lot of patience and skill, you can produce any number of quality vector art. You can also make things like calendars, greeting cards, booklets, web sites, and more.


Gravit Designer.

Gravit Designer is not only a free program, but it is also a program that can be used on mobile devices and also in a desktop browser. So no doubt this is a versatile browser to use at your disposal. It is also fairly simple to build vector art. Other kinds of print media and digital media can be created with Gravit Designer. For versatility's sake, Gravit Designer is a great option for vector art. It is capable of a whole lot. However, its biggest flaw to me is the lack of various export formats. You can even sign up for Gravit Designer Pro and have features like cloud storage for your work.


Affinity Designer.

Affinity Designer is the only program in this blog post that is not free. The program does, however, come with a 10-day trial. It was developed by a British company called Serif. Affinity Designer can be thought of as the anti-Illustrator in the sense that you get a powerful vector art program that you get to keep and not have to pay for a subscription plan to keep the program. Affinity Designer has the unique ability of drawing with vectors or with pixels. So basically, Affinity Designer is for those of you who want quality vector artwork while not wanting to pay for Adobe's services. What convinced me to buy Affinity Designer was the many more popular formats for exporting vector art with. As of the time of this blog post, Affinity Designer sells for about $59.99 USD. You can even purchase packs to enhance the experience of Affinity Designer as well as gain some extra functionality.


Now that I have talked about these three programs, which would I recommend? The next section tells all...




Inkscape vs. Gravit Designer vs. Affinity Designer


Which is the best vector program to use (granted you don't like Adobe Illustrator)? My inclination is to tell you that Inkscape will serve you well because it's free (as is Gravit Designer). However, just because something is free doesn't mean it is the best. I found Gravit Designer to be easier to use despite the fact it doesn't have as many export formats to export to like Inkscape. I also found Gravit Designer to be a bit weird to try to name groups with. I had to keep on clicking just to be able to rename something into a group. Even though Affinity Designer is the only featured vector art program that is not free, I found it a little more useful and powerful than both Gravit Designer and Inkscape.

I am more inclined to go with Gravit Designer over Inkscape. Gravit Designer is also a good choice if you prefer a solid vector art program that can be used across multiple platforms. For a more premium experience and having a quality program, give Affinity Designer some love. There is absolutely nothing wrong with Inkscape; just that Gravit Designer and Affinity Designer offer a lot more in terms of usability and exporting.

You can make a lot with all three of these programs. If I had to choose one of these three, I am afraid to say it doesn't hurt to pay the full price for Affinity Designer for the best overall experience in vector art. Second favorite is Gravit Designer, which is easier to use and more functional than Inkscape. You don't really need the Gravit Designer Pro unless you are okay with spending extra money with the experience. Inkscape is still the go-to vector art program for those who want a completely free experience. All in all, I just think the best vectoring experience can be had with Affinity Designer... unless you are okay with paying a subscription for Adobe Illustrator as part of the Adobe Creative Cloud.





Those are my thoughts, anyways. Maybe my thoughts helped sway your interest some. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Project Griselda

John B. Marine | 9:47 AM | | Be the first to comment!
"Project Griselda" is the development code name for my recent interest in web development. Having been a long-time blogger, I feel intrigued to develop my own websites. I even thought of general development of UX and UI. For the uninitiated, UX stands for "user experience," and UI stands for "user interface." This blog post simply announces my plans of website-related work under the code name "Project Griselda."


Project Griselda: Basic Thoughts.

I have been blogging for more than 10 years, and I have noticed at times how certain websites are structured. Some of these elements came to fruition as I examined the source of web pages. Never before have I actually thought about how simple making a basic website could be. That is until I recently have had interest in website design. After making some simple HTML files through self-teaching with W3schools, I found out it could be possible I could create my own websites if I really dedicated myself to creating quality material. So in an effort to try to master website design, I needed to put up another development project. And in so... welcome to "Project Griselda!"


Project Griselda: What Does This Mean For You?

I can not guarantee I can come up with websites and designs of impeccable quality, but I can do my best in making enticing material I am sure people will pick up on and lovingly use. I also need to learn to develop sites that can be viewed properly on mobile devices. Various websites these days offer responsive websites. Responsive templates allow for sites to be viewed properly across computers and mobile devices alike. I will need to test out things more on my tablet PC and my smartphone.

I could use a combination of programs for which to develop designs for websites. Most of what I have are free programs. I use GIMP as my basic photo editor. I use Inkscape for not only vector graphics but also certain intricate designs. There is Notepad++ I have used for developing HTML pages, but someone online directed me to a program called Bluefish Editor. I may therefore use a combination of Notepad++ and Bluefish Editor.


Project Griselda: What Does the Future Hold?

Here is where I may make some interesting announcements.

I love my Weebly site, but I am having thoughts about making my own custom website. It is possible I may create my own website to link to my blogs as well as developing a proper site for which to sell my digital offerings. So I may use Project Griselda to develop my own website. I don't want to abandon or retire from Weebly just yet, but it is possible I COULD abandon my Weebly site and just operate from a custom website. After years using Blogger/Blogspot, I have thought a little bit about starting my first site (not blog) under Wordpress. On the hosting front, I have considered the popular option of BlueHost. Another popular option is HostGator (which I didn't know is headquartered here in Houston!).

--- A Special Note... ---
If I do create my own website and launch it, I will need your financial help to keep it active because I don't make much money through my online work. Having monthly hosting fees and such will drain my online funds. So I will have to ask you donate to me if you enjoy my work. Or, I may have some of those costs offset if I make proper sales of any creative works. That would mean I have to produce more digital content for sale to better be able to reap in financial benefits. How long I can make this ride work depends on my determination and your dedication. Let's work together to make magic happen!


Now you know about "Project Griselda" and what it entails! By the way... if you want to learn how to build your own websites (or even learn HTML for your blog), I recommend w3schools. You can learn more about HTML by visiting www.w3schools.com. This may sound like an advertisement, but I am not sponsored by them. I am just speaking on personal experience.





I have shared my mind, and you came along to gauge my thoughts. I am pleased for you to come here and check out my latest post. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Thursday, March 21, 2019

5 Years of John's Creative Space!

John B. Marine | 7:57 AM | | Be the first to comment!
This post marks five years of "John's Creative Space!" My creative works blog has seen a lot in its five years of existence. I created "John's Creative Space" to showcase my creative work amd thoughts on creativity. While I feel I can do a lot more to keep this blog active, I think I have done just enough to keep it at least relevant. What has really held me back is trying to develop more content for the world to enjoy. I am always learning and practicing in regards to creative content. I publish my material here in this blog as well as on my "JohnMarineDesigns" site.

So what does the future hold for my work? Earlier this year, I purchased a mixed media drawing tablet. I hope to use it to sketch out designs. Of late, I have been practicing making vector people with Inkscape. I don't have the finances to use programs like Abobe After Effects. So I am looking for other methods to try to enhance my appeal with doing vector graphic characters and such. I want to also make more material available for download and/or sale. I not only want to share content, but I also want to profit from it. And you know my voxel material I have made through MagicaVoxel? Yeah- I still can release that material though I have mostly have been unable to provide those assets years since sharing them. There is a lot I can actually offer that hasn't really had their time in the spotlight. It is something I hope I can change in the future.

Whether this is your first time here or if you are a returning visitor, thank you so much for checking out my content! It means a lot to provide so much to all of you. I will need to try to gain some momentum that eventually will lead to making more content available more often. Be sure to look around on "John's Creative Space" to see all available work. If there is something of mine you like and wish to download or buy, and if it isn't currently available to share; please contact me, and I may make arrangements to offer my material for download and/or share. If you generally enjoy my work and want to offer support, feel free to do so by making donations to me through PayPal. The "Donate" button in my posts and pages actually work! So offer your support that way if you so incline.

Just to say one last time, thank you for even caring about my work. I don't know what I would really do with my life if I didn't choose to offer creative work to the masses. I have blogged for a long time. While I have not truly achieved greatness, I have done just enough to at least be relevant. I can do a lot more, though, to grow and maintain success. At least I know I have a world of individuals who support me and my work regardless. And for that, I am forever grateful. Believe me- I am FAR from done. My creativity and spirit are too strong to call it quits any time soon.





Thank you for reading "John's Creative Space" for now five years! Take care and be well.

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Monday, March 11, 2019

Project Heloise

John B. Marine | 5:16 PM | | | | Be the first to comment!
Project Heloise is my code name for a new interest I have grown in creative work. The emphasis behind Project Heloise is in 2D animation with drawn and vector characters. The intent is to create 2D characters in animation ranging from animations to material that could be used in games and various media projects. I will explain further about this project as this post goes along.






Project Heloise


Allow me to further explain Project Heloise and what I hope to accomplish from it.


Project Heloise: The Concept.

"Project Heloise" was created as I was researching about 2D character sheets. These are usually large images compiled in Adobe's PSD format. The images are on a transparent base and are layered. In addition to these layers, these character sheets may even have proper pivot points for animation purposes. A majority of these character images are mostly designed for games and other media purposes. A lot of these character packs are offered in Adobe formats, EPS, and transparent PNGs. The advantage to these layered character sheets usually allows for smooth animation through modular creation of characters.

These character sheets are put together by game developers and other media artists. Among the game developer types, programs such as Unity3D, Unreal Engine, Godot, Construct 2, and GameMaker Studio are among a few used in the game development of these 2D characters. A number of programs even offer support for gaming outside of proper game engines. Some of these programs in 2D animation include Adobe Illustrator (formerly Adobe Flash), Adobe After Effects, Spine, Spriter Pro, Synfig, and DragonBones Pro among others. Other such programs can utilize these character sheets for non-gaming purposes. If you are adept enough, you can even use the all-purpose media program Blender 3D for your 2D animation needs.

When it comes to vector graphics, this is mostly done using Adobe Photoshop, or a popular free alternative- Inkscape. The advantage of vector graphics is that vector graphics allow you to freely re-size any such images without losing quality. Vector graphics are all based on mathematical coordinates. So you can make vectors as small or as large as need be for any media with no loss in quality when scaling down or scaling up. This makes the creation of material easier for when you rasterize images to be used in various programs.

Media projects outside of gaming usually involve animated short films. Some of these works include basic films, promotional videos for companies, educational or eLearning programs, and more. A lot of people usually look to certain websites that offer or sell already-made assets for 2D animation for those who can't make their own material or want something from established creators. Many different vendors even offer free 2D assets to be used in different media projects, which can cut some costs along with trying to find decent voice talent. These media projects with these 2D assets can be used in media ranging from simple presentations (such as Powerpoint) to any popular video formats (such as MP4 or MOV).


Project Héloise: My Ideas.

So where I tie into this? Lately, I have been thinking about trying to create 2D characters for some media projects as well as offer certain characters for sale. This began with wanting to try creating 2D characters that are animated and have animations to them. There was an attempt I made with Blender a few years ago where I quickly pieced together a simple 2D image that had layered body parts. While it was nothing special, it did give me some practice in trying to develop a 2D character that could be animated.

One time for the PC fighting game engine M.U.G.E.N., I developed a character out of vectors in Inkscape. I then converted the vector creation through Fighter Factory and imported my creation into the game. Again- nothing special. Most of the character was just a funky array of quadrilaterals that barely resembled an average human.

In my continued evolution and learning, it has now come to a point where I want to try vector graphics again and also try to make characters again. I want to develop 2D characters that I hope can be utilized in many different applications. I want to base some of my creations on past characters I have created. Besides that, I even wanted to try to give some life to some of my own created series. As an example, think of Sonic the Hedgehog as the simple car accessory in the SEGA racing game, "Rad Mobile," before Sonic eventually got his own game and eventually become one of the most successful gaming franchises of all time. I may just create some 2D characters based on my own creations for the simple use in media projects and games before possibly making something more serious.

Some of the early project ideas may involve game development or even use for media projects. Some media projects of mine may involve creating characters to jazz up websites and be used as individual avatars. You may even see those characters in my "John's Creative Space" blog or even on JohnMarineDesigns!


Project Heloise: Character Making and Animation Techniques.

I have to learn a lot to improve basic techniques on creating characters. For one thing, I have to learn to create lip syncing animations. Creating real characters that can talk takes some skill to act out some of the individual sounds. Originally, I just thought of simple mouth movement with nothing real serious. On the other hand, I have always been one to at least consider details even if I do not intend on being overly detailed. So it goes both ways to make basic animations for speaking.

Equally as important to animation as mouth movements are facial expressions. I want to get down blinking eyes, eye movements, and things like that. These are also as detailed and important in the basic creation of characters. The only way this doesn't matter is if I create characters that don't have any animations for the eyes or if I give them opaque glasses or something.

Most of all in character creation is in making the bodies and limbs themselves. A lot of people generate their modular creation of characters through sketches. They then go into programs like Inkscape to develop basic vector shapes. These vectors can consist of many different individual vector shapes all grouped together to make one layer that can be used in 2D animation. The possibilities are endless if one knows how to create quality 2D vector creations. In getting back into Inkscape, I have a lot to learn or re-learn to develop quality 2D characters through vectors.

I don't have the finances for an Adobe subscription, so it is unlikely I will develop anything that can be used for Adobe Illustrator or Adobe After Effects. As of March 11, 2019; I am looking at either Spine or Spriter Pro for 2D characters for game development. I also have programs like OpenToonz and DragonBones Pro for 2D game development and some basic 2D animation in general. I have Godot Game Engine for implementing 2D characters into game development. And of course, I have Blender. This sounds like a lot, but I have a lot on my mind and a lot to my disposal in trying to make these dreams reality.


Project Heloise: What You Can Expect.

You can expect that I will try to offer various creations for your liking if you are into 2D media work. I will simply offer my name to the many other developers of such content by providing my own uniquely styled work to the masses. For a lot of my own original characters, I want to make things special. I can offer a creation of mine, but I may also add an eBook of some kind for each character just for authenticity's sake. I want to make it seem like you are downloading something of quality and want to provide as complete of an experience as I can. The eBook may probably be in PDF format or something.

Even as I offer such assets to the masses, I will try to improve my techniques in creating characters. I really want this to take off like a lot of my other work. Your encouragement and interest both mean a lot to me during this time.





Now you know about some of my future plans. If you have any suggestions in me trying to come up with these 2D characters and such, be sure to contact me with hints and tips so I can improve my techniques. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Embracing Writing

John B. Marine | 6:10 PM | | | Be the first to comment!
Reading and writing were never one of my strongest talents. Despite this, I have made everything digitally from replies on websites to blogging for more than 15 years. I am more into art and music creatively. You don't have to enjoy something to be good at it. Like, I am not going to share with you my favorite writers or my all-time favorite books because I have never considered myself a good book reader or any fanatic of literature. Having said all of this, though, I do still have a remote interest in writing. I normally don't like using the term "writing" when my work is nearly 100% digital. Like, you only "write" when you use a pencil or pen and paper. You're typing when you are doing digital writing like I am with this blog post.

The reason why I haven't really gotten into doing literature more is because I don't enjoy literature as much as I do art or music. I also want to produce more art leading towards providing any literary content eventually to compliment it. Or maybe I have been more of a blogger than an author. Either way, I feel I should probably better utilize something I don't truly consider a talent of mine. I do think I have had a bit more fun utilizing certain literature techniques. For one, I admit I've taken on more in regards to poetic techniques and even alliteration. I have produced eBooks before, and a lot of times, I want to make more. I just never had the energy to make more. Maybe that will change in the future should I adopt and embrace doing more writing.


eBook Announcement...

I have come to the decision to suspend sale of my "Proof Posi+ve" eBook on Amazon. I instead have included more platforms for which to get my "Proof Posi+ive" books through Draft2Digital. The reason why I have suspended my Amazon sales of my eBook is because I haven't found a proper medium for which to receive payments on Amazon.

I now have been able to offer my eBooks on some new services- namely 24 Symbols for now. I am also trying to get my eBooks to be sold on Tolino and Playster. Find my eBooks either by looking at the eBook section of my sidebars, or you can visit my eBook Store on JMDesigns.


Thank all of you for supporting my work and interacting with my work!





Should I make more content available for purchase/download in regards to literature, I will fill you in proper. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Tuesday, February 5, 2019

RaceDepartment Lately

John B. Marine | 10:18 AM | | Be the first to comment!
I have developed skins for #AssettoCorsa and #Automobilista . However, never have I released my work shown on my Weebly site to the public until lately on @RaceDepartment . So this blog post is about the work I have posted on that site. I plan on releasing as many of my skins as possible. I am also hopeful you get to enjoy my work as best as you can.






RaceDepartment Lately


To the uninitiated, RaceDepartment is one of the most popular websites for downloading custom content for popular PC racing games. It features a handful of mods and skins for various racing games as well as various other resources. RD even has its own Twitch channel and YouTube channel for which it showcases a number of their online racing events. This is truly a real community style site for racing game fans worldwide.

I have mostly started my own set of downloadable material for RaceDepartment since this past weekend. There were times in the past where people liked my work to where they wanted to know how they could download my work. I unfortunately didn't have any real place to consider uploading my work to. One individual visited my JMDesigns site, and this person wondered where my Sephora Mercedes-Benz AMG GT3 could be downloaded. After giving it some thought, I decided it would be now that I decided to post my work online. I made my uploading debut on RaceDepartment by featuring my Sephora Mercedes-Benz AMG GT3 for download. This then made me want to think about what other cars I should feature on RD. Even during Super Bowl LIII, I was working on one of my skin designs. I figure more people will want to see some quality skin work. So while many of the skins are basically just lying on my PC, I felt I need to update my skins to reflect newer art techniques and make them a bit more presentable. Or for those that I think are pretty fine as is, I basically will just release them cold turkey to RaceDepartment.

To anyone who has visited my JMDesigns site, there are portfolios of mine showcasing my work. Even the JMDesigns Store features links to my material online. I will work to provide more material in the future.


My Work So Far...

Let me share with you pictures of my work so far listed on RaceDepartment. Click on the images below the pictures to see my material in better detail and to download. Only items I have posted recently on RaceDepartment will be featured here. For more of my work, click on the link at the end of this section to see my most recent work published to RaceDepartment.

I am also posting these pictures in their original size. I have not tested out how these pictures all look, but I will do this as an experimental basis.

NOTE: You must set up an account on RaceDepartment to be able to download and review material posted there.


Assetto Corsa Sephora Mercedes-Benz AMG GT3

Assetto Corsa Sodexo Porsche Team

Assetto Corsa Roshfrans BMW M3 GT2 Team


All of the links provided are as accurate as the initial date of this blog post (February 5, 2019). To see all of my work on RaceDepartment, please visit this link:

JMDesigns


Special Request! Donations...

If you enjoy my work, please consider donating. I don't make my own money outside of my online work, and I would like to financially profit from my work in any way possible. So I suggest you offer a legitimate donation to me in any amount. I recommend a minimum donation of at least $2 USD donations through PayPal. Please support me any way you can. At least give me peace of mind knowing my work means something to others.

If you want to donate to me right now, then please use this item below:






Thank you for your cooperation. While donations are voluntary, I at least will appreciate any kind of monetary support I can receive.





It is hard to believe, but "John's Creative Space" is nearing its fifth anniversary! I want to thank all of you for helping support me and my work all this time so far. I also hope to continue this fine voyage for as long as I can. Until next time, thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Monday, January 21, 2019

Hope After Pain

John B. Marine | 3:38 PM | | Be the first to comment!
I realized I did not post ANYTHING on YouTube in 2018. This is sad, considering 2018 was my 10th Anniversary on YouTube. I didn't post anything on YouTube since March 17, 2017 prior to my latest video. So I had to plan something for my return. What I ended up doing was posting a song I made in 2016. I hate that it took so long to return to YouTube, but I returned in some sort of way. What I did was post a song I first created in 2016 or so and then have it play while showing an Assetto Corsa skin I developed. The end result? This:


^ Hope After Pain

This song is called "Hope After Pain." Originally, it was called "Sunshine Despite Rain." The reason for its former name is because it was inspired by when a miserable rainy day finally has the rain stop and the sun come back out (or moonlight at night). The song is meant to be a positive song in case anyone may have fallen on hard times or is battling depression. The song is hope that things will get better for you after experiencing such rough times. So that is why the tone of the song is so mellow and a bit depressing.

"Hope After Pain" was developed in Linux MultiMedia Studio (LMMS) back in 2016. For the longest, I wanted to post my music online. I never had the energy to post it until recently. I hate that it took me until 2019- a year after my 10-year anniversary on YouTube- to finally post this song. But as they say, "better late than never."

I hope you enjoy this musical effort of mine! :)


Special Request!

Did you know I am on Bandcamp? You can hear a lot of the other music I've produced by visiting my Bandcamp profile at: johnbmarine.bandcamp.com/.





I hope your 2019 is going well. So please be sure to Subscribe/Follow my work if you enjoy it! Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Thursday, January 3, 2019

Character Development

John B. Marine | 5:19 PM | | | Be the first to comment!
Upon learning new 3D modeling techniques, I tried to design a better human model in Wings3D. I mostly admit I tried to design with the intent of sculpting a rough model. So I took on the task of trying to set up a model to refine later. I would like to share with you my latest attempt at modeling a human character. Here is a look at my latest creation:


^ from: (my 3D modeling portfolio on JMDesigns) - I consider this work to be my best effort at 3D human modeling.

This is a human character I practiced making. It was meant to be a female model. It basically ended up being a basic model of a human model rather than something exclusively feminine or masculine. I actually had to re-do this model because when I tried to edit it in the future, I had some messy geometry that was tough to remove. So I started over.

What I found to be important in the design is in trying to get a proper center line to be able to cut the model in half and mirror for easier and faster development. One of the first things I struggled with early on was trying to properly model the lower back and the abdomen. I wanted a proper transition from the groin and buttocks to the abdomen and lower back. Speaking of the groin, I noticed how there was a lot more curvature and extra edge loops in modeling the groin area and the buttocks. I will employ a different technique to model out the groin and buttocks in future practice attempts.


Limbs and Body.

One thing I realized in modeling out the legs and feet is how the size shrinks between the legs and the feet. Prior to any plans to further sculpt a rough model, I applied a Scale Uniform operation to shrink the edge loops around the legs and the ankles. I need to have some kind of edge loops and extra geometry to define the knees. I haven't yet found a method I was comfortable with, so the knees don't look properly defined from the base image I've provided in this blog post.

As for the arm itself, it was outside of my comfort zone because I modeled it as an extrusion of the shoulders as opposed to making it its own object and then attaching the geometry to my model's body. The object still came out well, but I was slightly not satisfied with how the fingers (or would-be fingers) ended up after I started modifying them. More on the fingers in the next section.


Hands and Feet.

My first attempt trying out hands and feet were mostly basic. I don't feel as content with my hand effort because I tried to move edges on the hand to a real low-polygon effort. If I were to try a more detailed effort, I feel I know a way to properly model out fingers. Rather than design a hand as a separate object, I took the arm and at the wrist, extrude an extra piece. I then added some extra vertices so that I could attempt to extrude some extra pieces to set up the thumb and a basic profile of the other fingers. Since low polygon is my aim, I avoided trying to make the model overly detailed with fingers. What I DID do, however, was try to model out a certain profile of the fingers. So I ended up moving up some of the edges to the length of some of the fingers.

The feet are very basic. Overnight as I was thinking about how to define a more realistic foot. A realistic foot has curvatures from the sides and at the bottom. From the base image I have provided, one thing Iv'e surely tried to do is define the ankles properly by adding extra edge loops and setting them up as close as possible. I also made sure to produce edge loops close to the bottom of the feet so that the feet don't appear curved at the bottom. One thing I hope to do is make a low polygon-type foot to make some toes. I will use some of the same techniques I did for the fingers to use for the toes in preparing for refinement.


The Head.

Of all elements of a human body or maybe a character, the head is the most complex to create. You will need many edge loops to properly define every possible element of the head including the eyes, nose, and mouth. This is important if the intent is to make it available for rigging and animation. I even tried to learn how to design the head. Thing is, I still have a lot to learn in head modeling. Rather than make a realistic head, I basically modeled a basic head.


Any Plans for This Model?

I had plans to basically make these available either for animation or for games. I could design a less intense model meant for gaming. Also, the low-spec models could be the early entry for me to create my own original characters.


Want to See More of My 3D Work?

To see more of the 3D material I have created, please visit my 3D portfolio on JMDesigns.





I'm glad you found my blog and read its content. I hope you enjoyed this post and got a feel for some of my talent in 3D modeling. It isn't the best, but it's better than nothing, and I am always learning and dreaming. Maybe I get better and really come around with something better than before. Never know... Anyhow, thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Thursday, December 27, 2018

My 3D Plans

John B. Marine | 2:05 PM | | | Be the first to comment!
I have recently gotten back into 3D modeling. Part of the plan is to get back into trying to make characters and vehicles. For the most part, I am trying to make stuff to hopefully offer online for sale. The recent motivation to return to 3D modeling is to practice newer modeling techniques. I look at a bunch of models on different sites offering 3D models. I try to study the geometry of models as well as learn certain techniques on how to make such models. While I still use Wings3D for modeling, I have tried to incorporate Blender into my modeling so I can better implement them into projects.

Since you are reading this blog post, I figured I'd make a few announcements.


My Voxel Characters.

While I have not officially thought of what to do next, I am considering offering my voxel characters either as static models or make some "evolved" voxel models in case people want to try making rigged "evolved" models in case people want to make some animated characters.


3D Plans.

I have some plans to make some 3D characters. What I kind of want to do is offer a lot of my original characters for you to download. Some of my original creations may even be complimented with blog posts to introduce you to each one. Of course, I also will try to add material to my Weebly site (JohnMarineDesigns).


3D Locations.

I want to make locations that could be implemented into games. I am looking at a lot of older 3D racing games because of my skill. The original plan was to use material into Sports Car GT, then go to rFactor, and maybe even find Assetto Corsa. I also thought of trying to make locations for Rigs of Rods and BeamNG.Drive as well. Blender and Godot Game Engine are also test beds for any would-be location creations.


If all goes well, I will be sure to offer more material to you all to enjoy. I want to be able to flex my creativity even further. Perhaps even flex it more if I start getting on a roll creating content.




Special Request!


If you want to see what past 3D models I've created, you can look up my work on Turbosquid here: JohnMarineDesigns on Turbosquid. Alternatively, you can visit my JMDesigns store at JMDesigns store: 3D Models See more of my 3D work on my Weebly page by going to my 3D modeling portfolio on JMDesigns.

In addition to Turbosquid, I am considering joining CGTrader as well to market my 3D work.





I have not really anything to share at this point, so I will end my post here. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Saturday, November 24, 2018

Project Rhiannon Update 2

John B. Marine | 7:31 PM | | | | Be the first to comment!
My Godot racing project, Project Rhiannon, lives on! I recently went from trying to make modular voxel land to making polygon land. This was inspired by Gran Turismo 5's Course Maker feature. Seven environments make up GT5's collection of environments. To practice designing levels, I did some box modeling in Wings3D. I tried to closely follow some of the design nature of custom tracks in Gran Turismo 5 in trying to design modular assets for a race track. What I practiced mostly was simple modeling of such a course, rather than build a proper course. Here is a look at what I've come up with:

Project Rhiannon game development
^ Instead of voxel land, I tried polygon tracks. I haven't yet found out how not to make things extremely shiny in Godot.

For some reason, I wanted to make some kind of non-tarmac course initially. I then decided to build an entire tarmac course in Wings3D and then scale it greatly in Godot to be used. I did not include a pit road, so this track isn't COMPLETELY practical. I wanted to make the road have subdivisions and loop cuts to allow for the possibility of making individual elevation changes to pieces of the track geometry. I am also learning that you do not have to model objects into the main model themselves. You build the track first followed by adding whatever objects you like. This can even help in the case where not rendering objects can help in the frame rate department as well as in reducing draw calls.

I still have a lot to learn, but I feel I can possibly make a proper track that I can eventually implement into racing games. It is a slow process that will eventually pay off into something amazing.


Driving Model.

While I am still using my voxel model cars for my test car, I am slowly wanting to develop my own proper 3D vehicles to use as my testing vehicles. I still have somewhat of a "to do" list to enhance my driving model. The driving model in Godot does not really allow for meticulous driving models. That is, unless you are incredibly adept at coding/logic for a proper model. The basics of the Godot Game Engine for vehicles are the commands of engine force (acceleration), brake (braking), and steering. I was looking to try to find some alternative methods to utilize these features. Everyone who has designed their own driving model through Godot GDScript has made his/her/their own spin on the vehicle model. These methods have been expressed in various games, and no one model is perfect. A driving model is only as perfect as the one(s) who deem it as perfect.

Engine Force
I allowed for more interesting acceleration by dividing the vehicle's Engine Force by a number less than 1. What would happen in this instance is that the car gets off from its starting position and go fast- almost like a drag racer. What I want to do is set a base speed that increases incrementally. So I want to properly simulate going from a standing start to properly accelerating away. I also want to develop a speedometer to know just how fast I am going as well as a tachometer to simulate the RPM range.

Braking
However, I have been struggling a bit to properly slow down the vehicle. The brakes work fine with my models. What I want to do is make the braking power more efficient. If I wanted to be more advanced, I would want to simulate brake balance. So a car with strong front brake balance could have some understeer dialed in. A car with strong rear brake balance can induce some oversteer. Too much either way can upset a vehicle's handling behavior.

Steering
Steering can be a bit slow. When I decided to meddle with the steering values, the vehicle may not even turn or only turn so slowly. Once I reached a numerical value that gives me some semblance of control, I basically left it alone and not chance ruining the steering angles.


I still need to get around these issues in trying to develop a driving model I can be proud of.


Extra Insight.

I mentioned Gran Turismo 5 and its Course Maker. Gran Turismo 5 allows you to construct race tracks purely on a set number of parameters and features. The environments differ. While you do not have meticulous control of each environment, your track is given a set number of variables you can control. There are seven locations you can choose from in Gran Turismo 5:

• Toscana (Tarmac)
• Eifel (Circuit)
• Mt. Aso (Tarmac)
• Liège (Gravel)
• Alaska (Snow)
• Eifel (Kart)
• Tokyo Bay (Kart)

The tarmac environments are primarily designed to be run by almost any kind of car. The dirt environment of Liège is meant for gravel rally racing. The snow of Alaska is meant for racing on snow and ice. The kart environments are short courses suited mostly for go-karts. Each environment includes a number of different features unique to that environment. For example, the Toscana environment features mostly a stroll along the Italian countryside in beautiful Toscana, complete with Italian Cypress trees. It also has fireworks going off at night.

If you have actually played with Gran Turismo 5, though, you know many of the environments appear very sparse. Almost like incomplete terrains. That is kind of like what my environment deal is like at present. Implementing some of my work will require some extra geometry edits as well as triangle tesselation. I do feel good about designing a practical course that could be implemented into games or certain other projects.

What I did was study how the roads for the environments were set up. I looked at differences in elevation, the placement of the road, grass, barriers, and things like that. Go back to the Toscana tarmac example for instance. You have a mostly wide road that has little edges on the side close to the rail fances. Down the way are usually either bushes or trees. These object placements do not have to be uniform all the way around the track, but you can put certain features in to make the environment a bit more entertaining and lively. I hope to learn from these in building my courses from scratch. Maybe if I learn certain algorithms to design procedural locations, I could create locations without having to do everything by hand.


Now you know a little more about my development of racing/driving games of late. I have yet to find a winning balance.





Now you have an update about my racing/driving game development. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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