Since Key is my main character... one of the main characters, I started up with trying to create her. I had the clearest vision for her so it made sense I'd learn on her.
With my lack of skills, I decided I'd go for low poly animation for the whole movie - characters and environment. Watching a few more tutorial I had a very blocky version of a human. It was something, but not enough, oh so not enough. It was also taking too much time.
I needed an easier way.
- MakeHuman - Taken from Wiki --> MakeHuman is a free and open source3D computer graphics middleware designed for the prototyping of photorealistic humanoids. It is developed by a community of programmers, artists, and academics interested in 3D character modelling.
I thought that I have found what I'm looking for. It's a brilliant external piece of software which allows one to create customised humans fast and export them straight to blender for further editing.
The problem? I don't have nearly enough skills to make edits on such high poly characters. And creating clothes and hair is way beyond what I can do.
I tried Daz 3D and Character Creator 3D without much luck.
My next step was to look for something native to Blender and I found it in Manuel Bastioni Lab. It's an amazing addon (from the creators of MakeHuman, I believe) which allows one to create characters right in Blender, apply skins, adjust eye colour, and general customization. The characters turn out beautiful.
Bellow are my first attempts to create a character with MB Lab and the very thing that captivated me - the eyes! And her eyes are so important for the story!
It creates armature (what one would need to actually animate the character), face rig (what one would need to make the character have expressions). It's also glitchy at times and it's a whole new level of learning on it's own.
Time spent with MakeHuman - 2 weeks
Time spent with alternative softwares - 4 days
Time spent between discovering MB Lab and first successes - 2 weeks. Yes I spend two weeks figuring it out and rendering 15 different versions of the above girl. Still learning what it can and cannot do and how to overcome the glitches.