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Victorian Freak

“A look at the Victorian freak” by Merlyn Lear
1. Starting off
This project was inspired by the Frankenstein’s monster in the film Van Helsing. After watching the movie I thought, I could create a better freak than that! So I did.
I have to say I had nothing on paper to start off with. Its not that I’m bad at drawing, its just that the project was so spontaneous, onto the 3d stuff I said to myself! And the design was clear in my head, Man has accident with lantern, Magic Lantern man!
ReferenceWhen I looked for reference I referred to for human reference and clothes. I then looked at Alan Moore’s ‘The league of extraordinary gentlemen’ comics for ideas on Victorian technology which seemed to be a perfect place to start as it was full of pages of insane Victorian machinery and weirdo’s.
2. Getting a Template
First I looked through my archive for a male model to use as a template.
If you do decide to create allot of different human figure characters its worth your time creating ‘naked’ male and female template models. These will provide you with something to build from and save you a lot of time, rather than have to start from scratch.
When you do create the template just work on one side of the body and use a symmetry modifier or a mirrored instance to see the result. Only one side of the mesh will be required for template models.
Character models take allot of work to get to look right. So find as much reference as you can and refer to, and keep hammering away at it till it looks right.
For this model I also added a range of walk and run animations for skin testing, with the first frame being set for the ‘Christ’, skin pose.
For the mesh I used a stack that combined these modifiers – Symmetry – Skin – MeshSmooth This combination gave me the chance to test out the skin while allowing me to modify the mesh. Rather than having to apply and check all the time.
If required you can turn off a modifier giving more processing power. Or set the modifier to work only when rendering. This rule mostly applies to MeshSmooth, which slows down things even when not subdividing.
Good enough I tell myself. He won’t look that pretty soon.
Notice the old school max.3 bones and a set of teeth
For animating, I used the ‘Interactive IK’ button to control when I wanted the inverse kinematics on and off. I found animating allot easier by setting a key to toggle it, then generated an icon for it on my main tool selection to know when it was on
I have to say I do prefer the old school approach for setting up bones and IK’s, with less IK helpers and bone constraints and set-ups, which can fill a scene up with lots of extra information and workload.

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