Linda Panda: a making of
Digital artist, William Vaughan, walks us through the creation of his adorable character Linda Panda in MODO...
While the majority of the characters I create come from my imagination, I'm always inspired by the thousands of amazing artists whose work can be seen online. Last year I was introduced to an artist by the name of Linda Hong aka Linda Panda and I wanted to create a character based on her work. Below is a short making of that will walk you through my workflow for creating this piece.
Modeling the head
In most cases I jump right into modeling without creating any backdrop images for reference. I prefer to "find the shape” while I model and have found that I can finish the model by the time I would have generated character turn-a-rounds.
To create the character's head, I used the box modeling method, starting with a primitive Cube in MODO. I subdivided the cube and then used my go-to modeling tools which include: Bevel, Element Move and Spin Edge.
Modeling and posing the character
To complete the character I continued box modeling each part playing with the proportions of each component until I was happy with the overall appearance. I used primitive Spheres for the eyes, beveling in the detail of the iris and pupils. I skipped the rigging stage and simply posed the character using the standard Move and Rotate tools. I choose to make the character pigeon toed which I believe added to the cute, child-like feel of the character.
I wanted to keep the look of the character clean so each surface received a basic Diffuse Color, Specular Amount, and Roughness. A hand painted image map was used for the character's irises to add tertiary details and bring the character to life.
To add color to the face I created a custom Weight Map and used it to mask a Constant. I use this technique on 90% of my character work as it is an extremely quick way to control details on the surface of a mesh and doesn't require external maps.
To light the scene, I started with one of the presets included in the Flipped Normals' lighting kit and adjusted each light's placement and attributes until I was happy with the final result. MODO's render engine took care of the rest and I was able to produce an image that required zero post work.
I was happy with the final results and decided to create a 3D printed version of the character using a 3D Systems Project 660pro, which supports color. Although I have been using 3D printers for over ten years, it never gets old holding something you created on a computer in your hands! If you haven't tried 3D printing yet, I'd highly recommend it. But be forewarned… It's easy to get addicted.
I hope you found this making of informative and I look forward to being inspired by one of your creations in the near future!