Just completed a schmick new character to practice more cartoon-style rigging and deformation with! The piece is based of a concept by the very talented José Manuel Fernández Oli, who you can see more of at nibbledpencil.com/index.php Took me about three weeks to do working on and off between other projects. Went for a diffuse only texture, following the workflow presented by Valve for texturing DOTA assets (http://media.steampowered.com/apps/dota2/workshop/Dota2CharacterTextureGuide.pdf). Only major detour I took from the workflow was using primarily ZBrush to paint on textures, before baking the vertex colours out of xNormal and integrating into my main psd. Was a fantastic workflow to get into - I'm thinking for my next character I'll follow a similar style, but tackle a more simple model that can be built faster so I can put more focus back onto my technical skills...
More work with head sculpts. Started experimenting with fibermesh inside ZBrush, pretty fun stuff. For shorter hair, it feels pretty easy to get something decent in a few minutes, but still haven't got the hang of longer stuff. Sculpted a few female heads using fibermesh for the hair, but all of them looked like they'd just climbed out of bed with the mess that was happening up top.
Working on a stylized character to put all this facial sculpting into practice, and to build my toon rigging skills! Aiming to have the character model finished before new years, see how it goes...
More sculpts! Been having fun with these, pushing out into some more diverse territory and creating some busts from concept art instead of photo reference. Also started using Marmoset Toolbag to render the sculpts again. I had tried this with the first few busts I did, but it was kind of like trying to polish a turd... why bother wasting time in Marmoset trying to spruce it up when it looked terrible to begin with. Now that I feel I'm at a somewhat decent level, I'll probably continue to use Marmoset to render instead of plain old zBrush screen grabs since it does look a whole lot more presentable.
Also had a crack at hard-surface work in zBrush and found it to be extremely time consuming, but I'm glad I have an idea of the workflow required now. The robot bust took 5 days to do, working for about 3-4 hours each day. Rendered using BPR in zBrush and composited in Photoshop. Followed Ben Douglas's fantastic YouTube series to arrive at the final result You can check out Ben's tutorials at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZB1ZZHlDT7o Highly recommended for an introduction to hard-surface with zBrush!