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Characters and Creatures

Characters and Creatures

Bryan Blandine
by bryanblandine on 1 Jun 2023 for Rookie Awards 2023

This is a bittersweet entry as it will be my last. I graduated from Gnomon School of Visual Effects last year and was fortunate enough to find a job and that first year is upon me. I am so grateful to be where I am, doing what I love. For everyone out there looking for exactly that, you will get there too!! Good luck!

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Final Sun for the Final Son

We follow Joseph through the north eastern United States as he desperately searches for his son. Months go by, slowly following the faint trail East. They've been careful to cover their tracks. There were whispers from a settlement south of Maine that a few kids went missing. They believe they've been using the old ranger cabins for wayward hikers to nest during the day, but no one has been willing to trek into their territory. Telltale signs of drained animal carcasses and hidden gear only confirm their presence, but nothing definitive that he is among them. With the last son put to rest, this can finally end.

This piece was created in Unreal Engine 5 utilizing Lumen and Nanite with an environment sourced from Megascans and UE Marketplace assets. The high-quality scans set the scene for the story. The character in this piece was created with Metahuman Creator and animated in Maya using mocap as well as hand animation. The facial animation was done using the control rig inside of Unreal. Sculpting the vampire was done with a combination of Maya and Zbrush and textured in Substance Painter. The materials were designed to burn away the soft tissue, muscle, fat, and cartilage until only bone remained. The bone charring and drying out as the blood evaporates. The goal was to create a piece that showcased the sculpture as well as the accompanying realtime VFX work in a stunning, realistic environment.

This was my final piece at Gnomon School of Visual Effects. I wanted to take at least one VFX class to round out my education

Bird Watcher

This project was particularly special, as the concept comes from the game that inspired me to become a game artist. For those not familiar with Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy, this adorable woman is a bird watcher you encounter early on in the game. As the game is now over 20 years old, I wanted to challenge myself to bring her into the next gen. It was particularly challenging as I didn't want her to lose her original charm. I began by gathering reference images from the game as well as concept art. Her most notable feature is of course her hat, which is clearly handmade. It's a little wonky but very much made with love. From there I thought about where she sourced her materials, looking for inspiration for how to upres her clothes. I thought about the sand worms and how they could be the best source of blue leather. Used yakow leather for the beak and binocular strap as well as her birding gauntlet. Stuffed the hat with yakow fur. I really wanted to explore this character without pushing her too far from her original. I hope for any fans of the game looking at this, that it brings you as much nostalgia as it's brought me.

This project was created using Maya, Zbrush, Substance Designer, Substance Painter, Marvelous Designer, Unreal Engine 5. I utilized megascans for the background as well as some materials like her sweater fabric or stitching. Her face was a combination of sculpting and hand painting as well as scan data provided by Her eyes utilize the metahuman shader setup. 

All credit to Naughty Dog for the original character, concepts and music

Thank you so much for looking 

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