Looking insectoid here.

It got a paint job. Texture painting in Blender takes a lot of getting used to. It’s not exactly what one would call intuitive, as in, you can’t just figure it out yourself. All objects need to be UV unwrapped before you can paint on them, and UV unwrapping is its own discipline. There are too many weird variables to texture painting, the underlying logic of which only becomes apparent after the fact of learning how to do the procedure. This is why many professionals use Allegorithmic Substance Painter to paint their meshes instead. Only problem is that Allegorithmic was bought out by the Adobe Family, and you have to pay a heavy $20 a month protection fee to use the software. That causes some serious cognitive dissonance when you are using Blender because it’s free. So, I’ll stick to doing my texture painting the hard way for now.

Adding grunge to the grill really aided the verisimilitude.

You can still get cool results with a bit of effort, trial and error. And I do like learning the more fundamental techniques to help solidify my foundation.

At some point I realized I could create my own texture image file within Blender to use as a base to apply to different pieces of the droid, rather than painting each one individually. I created a sphere, added grunge and scratches to it, and then assigned the material to other objects.

I added textures to every part of the ship, except the glass

For the engines I imported a PBR metal texture that already had scratches and a bit of rust.

Below, I arranged the droid-ship’s legs in a flat, outward position just to present it in a little different capacity.

The legs have a strong insectoid resemblance, and the whole droid-ship looks like a beetle if they are posed out on the sides.

He’s been visiting the Earth.

I haven’t decided how big it is exactly yet. It’s all relative. Here he’s a bit small. I may settle for about the size of a car, which it also sometimes resembles.

You might have thought I was done with him after making the last image and a couple animations. Well, I wanted to take it a little further with the texture painting, and then one more animation.

Here, he’s all a silvery metal.

A curious advantage to doing animations, even if my goal is still images, is that it forces me to consider how the droid moves. Having gone through the process of figuring out how the legs unfold, and collapse back under the droid, I now notice that in many artist’s designs of robots and the like, there are major problems with how they would actually move. I see robots with joints that couldn’t even bend. So, the prospect of animation can help one make more plausible movable features for mechs, droids, and robots…

My first couple animations, if you missed them. Here, it’s flying into a landing bay, and opening up.

Here it’s cascading through a space tunnel.

This one just demonstrates how the legs open and collapse:

Don’t touch that dial, more exciting content is on the way.

Update, January 25: New Animation.

~ Eric Wayne

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5 replies on “Back in Black, with Grunge and Scratches

  1. You’re right, the added grunge definitely contributes to the realistic feeling. Too bad about Adobe. They just don’t get it that every artist in the whole word doesn’t have a bucket of money sitting next to their laptop to pay endlessly for subscriptions. And students get an “educational” rate so they can get sucked into a system which will be difficult to transition out of after school.
    Never mind. I love the insectoid resemblance and I hope the creature figures out how to walk soon.


    1. Yeah. I thought with Photoshop that a subscription of $10 a month wasn’t a bad deal, because the program used to go for around $700, and so rather than paying up front, you are paying over 6 years. All you need is $10 to get started. However, if you ever stop paying, even after 10 years, than you have nothing. But you can still start up again with another $10.

      I bought a subscription, and then I discovered the real problem for me. You have to install Adobe Cloud and some other crap, and it loads at startup, and even if you disable it two different ways, it’s still loaded and sucking resources behind the scenes. Not only does PS need to update continually, so does Cloud.

      $20 a month for Substance Painter is outrageous. People are working on alternatives, including free ones.

      If I hadn’t already spent so much time mastering PhotoShop – which has been my main art tool for a couple decades — and Microsoft Office, I’d gleefully switch out Windows for free Ubuntu, and go with the free, open-source programs. Blender is, for me, the most stunning free program. Not only is it super powerful, and an equal of very expensive 3D packages, it installs like greased lightning. There’s no bloat.

      I may end up going that direction anyways. I detest Windows.

      Liked by 1 person

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