Have you ever submitted your art to those online contest? You probably didn’t win, even though you worked hard on it. Did you know that they chose one winner out of all those participants? I mostly don’t support those online contests, but I believe it’s a great way to practice your skills. In the forum you can compare your work with other people since they work on the same subject. You can ask for critique or even give critique. Most contests have deadlines which really simulate the real world situations. I sometimes participate in those contests as an alternative practice routine.

I like challenges and sometimes I give myself a challenge. So for this I decided to join the August Sketchfab contest. I really needed ideas for my next 3D render so this was a great opportunity  The challenge was to come up with models showing at least three generations and uploading it online.  I thought it would be a great idea to create a family consisting of a mother, daughter and son on bicycle, strolling in a park. I used Blender to create this scene and Adobe Fuse to generate the human models.

A screenshot of Blender UI, showing the complete model of the bicycle

First I started modeling the bike

I began by modeling the bicycle. I started to form the main body of bike and work my way to details. I used many reference photos to build this and it was challenging because I wanted to create a two seated bike. I also made a child-seat for the son. The child seat is usually at back so it creates an organized line, from younger age (the son) to elder (the mother), hence the generations. I had to submit my project online, on Sketchfab interactive player so I considered on building a low-poly models. I generated the human models with Adobe Fuse, because it’s faster and my profession is not around character design and rigging. In Adobe Fuse you can generate models and customize your characters by adding clothes and even tweak body proportion and face emotions. For the rigging section there is an option to export it to Mixamo website and rig it automatically there. I used Fuse program in my previous project “Reveries” and it has improved since then. The armatures and bone rigs are responsive and there are no hidden key frame. After I setup the characters and positioned them into their spots I started organizing layer names and some material settings. Some props like sunglasses and straw hat that came with Fuse were high poly and damaged so I had to remodel them. When I was done with them, the file was almost ready for upload. I uploaded it knowing I will not be the winner, because I used other softwares to help me and there were honestly better models like “Catbus Roller Coaster” (who is the winner of contest). I started this project with motive of practicing and knowing Blender better. Through these process I recorded my work so I would be able to share my progress and along that get better at editing. I edited out 12 hours of captured footage to 10 minutes video which is available on Youtube to watch.

When I finished this project I realized I’m not done with this, because as a tradition I didn’t render it in Cycles engine. So as I was editing the captured footage I was also working on the Blender file. For this finale I added trees and a small lake, similar to my original idea. If I had enough time I would have created this in Sketchfab project. I ended up spending my whole morning working on this. The texturing was done later in Photoshop, because I didn’t want to spend too much time on this.

Full render shot of "A family on a stroll", riding bike on a bike path, through the woods and lake at top right side

Fully rendered scene

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