Snow White and the 7 seas

Hello internet friends!

I’ve decided after mulling it over for a bit to give this a go. I am very new to 3D so this may be an absolute disaster, or a great learning experience :wink: . I’ve been using flipped normals for their library of tutorials as well as other online resources to learn 3D modeling and sculpting for about a month now and I’m at the stage now where I just need lots and lots of projects so that I put the time in. This seems perfect!

I’ve been spinning up a little world for a while now and one of my characters is a sky pirate loosely drawn from my fascination for characters like Captain Shakespeare from the Neil Gaiman’s “Stardust” and Dola with her rag tag group in Miyazaki’s “Castle in the Sky”

My pirates have had their role in most cases as a tool to move my story along and provide some drama to the main story arc. In this case, however, it seems like the fairy tale of Snow White kind of works well to give these pirates a purpose. Replace a few things here and there, add air pirate themes, do some research on notorious pirate women like Cheng I Sao and Anne Bonny, add a bit of whimsy and poof! … I’m still working on the poof part.

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I did some sketching tonight and I’ll continue to push this around until I feel committed to a design. I definitely want to live in the idea for a bit to figure out what makes sense to wear for this person. I’d like to push further into the stylized-ness as well to get some really defined shapes before I go to sculptyland. I think that may end up helping me along down the line.

I will say, I like middle-aged, feels more real. Being a pirate of the skies I imagine she should have a bit more wear and tear from fights and such so I’ll have to explore that a bit. I’m liking mixing in the greens, reds and golds for her pale skin and black hair. I’m going to try and include a bit of encouraged theme by dressing up her accessories in “air themed” patterns.

Not really sold on the boots or the pants. I’ll have to push that around until it feels right. I’m trying to avoid “sexy” because after all, this is a tough woman who knows how to command a big deal sky ship! The boots do feel a bit basic. I’ve avoided the “classic” pirate boot so far but who knows, maybe it’ll look good and could lean in rather than resist the tropes.

I’ll be thinking about being a working pirate and what kind of clothes I would be comfortable in as well as considering that pirates had a taste for flair so she needs to have some super high end fabrics from exotic places. We’ll see where this goes!


Hello internet friends!

I pushed and I pulled a bit and I’m pretty happy with what I’ve come around to. I’ve moved away from the stockiness from earlier and made her much taller. Seems to suit her character’s longer face features better and I like how the clothing will drape along the form. I’ve cut the sleeves off of the jacket and added a bit more sense to the midriff area. She’ll have two belts there, one for gun, one for ammo and nades etc. Useful stuff. I moved around with boots a bit and decided the sort of final fantasy kind of leather shin armor seemed useful and fits in with the world well. Linen slacks.

Anyhow, seems like I could very well get stuck here hashing out things like the sword, gun design, belt/buckle combos and cloud leather work but hey, we gotta get a move on! I’ll use any time I have after modeling the main elements to work on the accessories.

It has begun… I grabbed the basic female model (Julie?) in Zbrush and started pushing the model around into her shapes. The body is sorta there, I think I need to stylize and get more planes into it. Accentuate the shoulder area, refine and define the hip and thigh zone. Thin out the arms and make the musculature nice and slim. Elongate the fingies.

I’m trying to fit this into a “Laika” kind of feel so there needs to be some form commitment. The face is challenging. I’m steadily moving it somewhere in between real and stylized without breaking it. I’ve broken it several ways already and I can sense that there is a place that is believable but still cartoony and I haven’t found it yet. I think as I gradually massage it around it will all start to make sense. Got super lucky with the hair, it was shaped more or less the way I sketched it in the concept so I won’t need to push that around too much.


Welp, got a base mesh to work from so I’m going to move into the modeling zone so I can simplifiy the shapes and make more sense out of them. I need things to be nice and clean so I wanted to move to modeling out the clothing etc before I get too carried away sculpting details that I would ultimately have to model anyways. So, once again I’m putting my fussiness in the corner and moving the project along. I’m excited to do the modeling part as I thought the design was much cleaner in my head and on the concept page than what I was able to get out of zbrush. It’s probably due to still being fairly new to the whole thing but I felt like things were starting to get lumpy looking so I imagine I’ll be able to get some of the pieces looking more natural and cleaner by modeling them.

Time for some topology!

I’m running low on time here but I’m determined to get something out. I’ve gone through and retopologized the body and a few of the clothing pieces. I still need to add smaller details and texture everything but I’m going to do my best to get it done.

Thought I’d have more time to get this through but some big life changes have forced a big move so I’ve been on the road, packing, staying with friends and family on my way out to another state for a while so I’m getting the time in when I can.

Here are a couple shots of the retopo’ed pieces, I’m happy that everything is in a nice low poly phase right now, it should perform well when I go to pose it and add texture. Bye for now!