soma - Mada's finished textures

finished the textures ! baked some AO's in Topogun as xnormal didn't want to comply this time around. AO's were put on a multiply layer to give a little extra sparkle n' depth to make the neutral lighting pop better. (as i painted minimal specular highlights) I'd say it's about 80% hand painted and a real good practice. the textures are 2k but they could be resized to 1k with no problem. In this case it's not a big deal for them to stay 2k.

soma - Mada's Texturing - Explanation

I wanted to give a little explanation into how I am going about texturing Mada with help of some old but gold handy dandy software named 3D-Coat. I used to use this a few years ago and whilst it can stand alone as its own program I like to use it for its 3D space texturing. It has a slightly wonky bridge with Photoshop but its ability to make seamless textures is more than convenient.

All of Mada's clothing has a seam right down the centre at the back. But if I paint the details and major overlapping elements in 3D-coat it deals with them as if the seam isn't even there. So I can go from 3D-coat as a basis to lay down the basics and then go into Photoshop for details! My only note is that because 3D-Coat's bridge with PS is a little wonky, I am working quite destructively and mass-merging my layers every so often to keep things light.

: b)

the current texture map !

soma - mada finished model + UV's

Model + UV's. Texture in progress working at 2k and managed to put everything on to one map rather than several. The past 2 days I learnt how to use Substance Painter to add to the ol' repertoire. I also decided against using Marvellous Designer during creation as I'd wanted to use for the clothes originally. However because I had no full body underneath the mesh it would have been tricky. Mid-creation I felt the pants I’d been drawing Mada in weren’t material-appropriate and thinner shorts made more sense. So I drew that up to see if my thought made sense. I think it did !

Currently the texture has baked in lighting, and so I need to go forward and bake a proper AO map as well. Then I can paint over it and add details. I’m not using normal maps across the board for this project except in the hair and I have made a high poly in zbrush to bake down for that purpose. Snapshots are flat-lit without lights. i fixed the hand topology from last time too !

soma - model updates

Updates of Mada's model. I decided to not use zbrush and just go with box modelling to focus on topology from the beginning. It took a lot longer than usual with how I'm used to doing things. In the top shot I wasn't happy with the face so I did however bring it into zbrush to quickly move the eyes around without messing up the verts. 

I currently need to sort the hands out as I want to put edge loops around the tops of the fingers (where I drew over them) without the loops leading into the arms and the rest of the body. 

I only need to make the torso and arms because the pants and shoes will cover it up ! On the other hand I wanted to use cloth simulation for the shirt so most of the torso needs to be made.

soma - expressions n' such

some expressions and other things to bide the time whilst I get to a certain point with the 3D models of Mada and Bastet !

soma - style decisions

I was incredibly unhappy with the style I was giving the characters and after a lot of tries I finally got somewhere between smooth and textured that I believe I can also bring over to the whole world !

soma - more poachers

some more ideas for poachers, i think i'm gunna keep the colours subdued and make sure they don't overstep the world's atmosphere

soma - poachers

initial sketches of these stylishly angry fellows. ive actually been having a hard time designing clothing that doesn't automatically pin them into the superhero aesthetic so goodbye skintight boots and giant gloves.

soma - mada + bastet's colour comps

playing around with different saturations / colour combos, as well as the levels of practicality and available materials each character would have to have their outfits made out of.

soma - final animatic (no sound)

soma - mada concepts

i'm trying to get a balance of utility and purpose over looking like a overly-strapped up superhero. Baring in mind the environment being in a desert (though the climate can be wavered) the apparel needs to be simple and giving a silent nod back at old-kingdom Egyptian clothing.

The silhouette of Mada, and in fact even Bastet have been tricky as I tried to push a very clean silhouette originally.  However given the tone of the story it suits the characters more to have a slightly more detailed appearance in the hair and clothing details perhaps that i will experiment on further.

soma - bastet concepts

Almost the Carmen of this story. Beetles have the ability to divide their eyes into 4 so her finite point leaves her with these odd split eyes. Trying to get across a sense of her loss of humanity one way or another far further than Mada who is a much more grounded character. Bastet is more matured than Mada.

soma - Animatic Changes @phil

A few changes here and there to the animatic with a far greater edit speed toward the end. Borrowed the edit-style from the beginning of the previous animatic. It's gettin' there.

soma (minor project) - Animatic (s)

Current progress on an animatic for the trailer.

The idea of the tempo being alike an arrow being fired and dead-stop hitting it's mark is what I'd like to achieve from this trailer. Having said that, there are some (if not a lot of) problems with the tempo jumping all over the place I think from shots wrongly in juxtaposition & crosscutting oddly. I need to go back over it.

My previous attempts at animatics (music is placeholder)

October 1st

Yay it's October!! Pointy hat time. And just like in cooking shows here's something I prepared earlier because I never manage to get anything Halloween themed out in the month of October.


Tentative Name: MADA
From Arabic to mean the utmost degree / end of the line

Some of the highlights of extremely early character concepts for the protagonist Mada. I need to put some time into clothing + push painting style further. She should be around 14 years old. In film, her process of becoming a beetle will be considerably sped up in comparison to the fabricated story if it were not compressed. Thus I will need to design both normal and the maximum extent of the transformation.

My inspiration for character design is pulling from much of what I surround myself in however I think this is also limiting me by having too many roads to go down. Though somehow, I imagine her a more idiosyncratic version (and dramatic) Anne Francis when she starred in Forbidden Planet. She is supposed to have a pet who is a cat that acts as a conscience, (and plot device) with the catch being that it does not in fact have a mouth. - But this character could be swapped out with an actual person.

ѕσмα // Project Proposal


Note: Everything is tentative / subject to change.

Basic Premise:
A girl wakes up with no recollection of her memory.  So forth, a curse laid on her by a mysterious entity begins to slowly transform her into a beetle. 

Context ref:
The world is inhabited by giant beetles that are believed to be insentient. Flat land (set akin to Old Kingdom Egypt) can be seen past the horizon and small tight-nit towns are sprawled across the plains. Culturally, grains and bread are idolised by all and farmers are plenty. Eating bread with each meal is considered a sacred tradition and holds a different meaning for each person & family in the world. Fashion is light but jewellery is a key part to any outfit; alike the aforementioned. To suit their needs, beetle-poachers hunt for beetles to use their horns for jewellery and attempt to breed these giant insects. At the same time as human-kind exploits them, a slow-acting plague sweeps the world as people start to become more insect-like - farmers and those who work in fields being affected more prominently. However; it is widely ignored.

Our main character learns that unlike stories of people turning into other animals; in reality the human skeleton and that of a beetle’s is far too different. Past a certain breaking point, it would be impossible to turn any further into a beetle; and her body would simply break - leaving her dead.

  • Create an intense 3-4 minute teaser that encapsulates the main themes of the story strongly.

  • Imply a grandiose world through choice planning.
  • Form visuals in accordance to & alongside music.
  • Stylistic animation akin to visuals.
  • High emotional response !


  • Highly zany character design with a focus on small details and perfectionist 3D Modelling.
  • Surreal environmental design with a focus on being economic and being able to cut corners without it effecting the final result.
  • Large range of programs (Over 50% being learnt over the course of this project) 
  • Art book displaying confident world building 
  • Short and snappy videos showcasing techniques or sped up processes.

(Across film, 2D Animation and Music)


LES BAXTER (Album spef: Space Escapades + Possession) 
KINGDOM HEARTS OST (This one's a given)




(elaboration soon)


On the 28th this month it was Brigitte Bardot's birthday. I wrote her a letter and sent a print of this painting as a little thank you gift. Today I received a reply from her and so I thought it'd be nice now to upload what I painted !

Adapting Les Parapluies de Cherbourg - Base Poly Models (Both Scenes / No Normals)

I've made all the objects; rigged + skinned Genevieve's model, normal maps are not visible here however Genevieve has full normal maps baked, and the umbrellas also have normal maps. 
Next is to finish placing the objects around Genevieve's hands and then I can move on to texturing. Everything is UV'd and shared across a handful of 2k maps. I've got the cameras set up around a focal point of 60.

Adapting Les Parapluies de Cherbourg - Umbrellas + Detailing

Finished detailing Genevieve, I can move on! Oh yea, rendered eyebrows happened too though the curves don't display in zbrush. SHE DOES HAVE THEM.. I made the umbrella bouquet objects and detailed them. I feel a lot better about going from low-poly to high poly rather than vise versa : ) Gunna make all the objects then UV the low-polys for texturin'.

Adapting Les Parapluies de Cherbourg - Finished Topology

I'd forgotten to upload! So to give an update of what I've been doing; I finished the topology for all items, most of which I made the decision to  remake from scratch so the topology was as clean as it could be. I'm then going to do detailing knowing the lower-res versions are fine and bake displacement + normal maps ontop. In truth I feel as if I need to keep shooting myself in the foot to be able to improve currently and not let my frustrations towards less than adequate work get the better of me. : ^)

Adapting Les Parapluies de Cherbourg - Head Retopology

Retopology for the head from the high-res mesh. I do still need to work on surface details with the higher poly but at the moment this is more important!

Adapting Les Parapluies de Cherbourg - Small Additions

Made the first shot less bare (above) and added some proxy polypaints for vis purposes to Genevieve's model. Still need to step up subdivisions of the body/head, hair and eyebrows but I won't do that right now.