In this article, I will explain the process of making my Scarecrow image. I will cover all aspects of creation, such as the illustration, modelling and also the texturing which i have used the below textures from 3DTotal's Total Texture Collection:
Fantasy textures v14:R2
- Sky: 13
- Tiles: 15
Base and layers v3:R2
- Sky: 15,(2/14)
General textures: v1:R2
- Fabric: 05leather used in example
Because the illustration was for a "Strange Behaviour" contest on CGTalk, I had to be very careful with the initial idea, the planning and the basic concept stage for what I wanted to do. The idea was simple: I wanted to tell the story about today's problems and the huge impact of what is happening to the environment. I thought this could be a wonderful opportunity for an illustration.
So, the first thing that came to my mind was to select a character. I decided to make a scarecrow in a field. Once the character had been decided, I began working on the initial sketch. I always try to find as much reference material as possible as this helps me to define things quicker and also serves as some nice information as to how the textures should look.
The scarecrow had to look believable and I wanted to incorporate a classic look: huge hat, old trousers, ripped clothes, exposed parts filled with straw, old wooden sticks, huge boots and big eyes. The proportions needed to be human, although slightly exaggerated (Fig. 01)
The second stage was imagining the crows. The crows had to look like flying evil creatures who were trying to wreak their anger upon the scarecrow. In the end, I wanted to retain the same bird look with bigger heads, claws and evil red eyes. With 2 characters, the story was simple.
Because of the polluted water in the nearby area the crows had mutated. The environment has been filled with radiation which has caused the birds to become aggressive, and so they wreak their anger upon the nearby scarecrow that has frightened them in the past. The scarecrow tries to escape, but it is stuck in the mud...
The environment had to be depressive, dirty, polluted; it had to be filled with radiation, dust and smoke; it had to reflect that "moment".
I drew a few quick sketches for the composition elements, to see how it would all work in the final image. Of course, at this stage, nothing was carved in stone!
Once the concept stage had been established, I began modelling the actual scene. At this stage, I was open for all the new ideas and changes to the actual concept of the main characters.
I established the base body geometry from a box, and used the polygon modelling technique. Once the basic proportions had been established, I began working on the main silhouette. Once the silhouette has been defined, I began modelling details, like clothing wrinkles, pockets, small patches, buttons, rope and straw. For the buttons I used a cylinder, and the rope was a lofted surface with basic shape as a circle. For the belt, I used a subdivided plane and formed it into the correct shape, and then I made holes and extruded the faces. The belt buckle was made from a modified torus (Fig. 02 & 03)
The straw was made with paint effects in Maya, using the brush inside visor (grasses-straw). I created a few small strands of straw and put them on the scarecrow (Fig. 04).