Jungle Cat (2D)

This is a short tutorial on how I created the cat in my 3D version of "Jungle Cat".  The texture I used for the cat was obtained from my watercolor and pencil picture shown to the left.

Masked off image of cat.

A photo/paint program was used to mask the cat off and to remove the whiskers.   The whiskers would be added later as separate objects so that they would properly cast shadows.

Cartoon cat mesh.

In trueSpace I created a simple mesh of a cat's face.  I called it a "cartoon" cat because it didn't have to look like a real cat.  A pure white texture was applied to the mesh, with Ambient =1,  Shininess=0 and Roughness=0. The camera was set to look straight down on the face.

Cartoon cat height map created using Fog.

trueSpace's Fog feature was used to generate a height map.  All of the lights were removed (the ambient value would allow the face to be seen).  The Fog color was set to black, % to 100 and the Near/Far values to just encompass the face.  The rendered result was a height map of the cartoon cat mesh.

Morphed cat mesh.

I loaded the cartoon cat height map and a picture of the cat's face into a morph program (Gryphon Morph).  The warp feature was used to stretch the height map to match the contours of the cat's face.

Height map after adding legs and cleaning up.

I loaded the morphed height map into a photo/paint program and cleaned it up a bit. The feet and a part of the body were added using the brightening tool. 

Cat mesh after converting height map.

A height map to mesh utility was used to take the modified height map and convert it into a 3D mesh of the cat.  A transparent texture was applied to the object.

Cat mesh with texture applied.

The masked cat image was mapped as a material rectangle onto the cat mesh.   Whisker objects were added by gluing them onto the cat object.

Jungle Cat (3D)

The completed cat object was placed in a jungle scene created using leaf textured objects and vines created by sweeping polygons. Click on the picture to the left to see the a larger version.

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