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Turkologist raises awareness of Turkic culture with Character Creator, iClone and Blender

Turkologist raises awareness of Turkic culture with Character Creator, iClone, and Blender.
Tanir-Vefa Avci is a Turkologist and 3D Character Artist.
Tanir-Vefa Avci – 3D Character Artist

Tanir-Vefa Avci

Tanir-Vefa Avci was originally a political science and accounting major. He decided to pursue his passion in Turkology after graduating from college. Below he shares why he chose to use Character Creator and iClone:

Most people are acquainted with the Turks from Turkey but tend to scratch their heads when they hear about the groups further East. 

My goal is ultimately to raise awareness of Turkic culture. I want to inspire other Turks, wherever they may be from, to learn about their own cultures and the cultures of other Turks, and to use their knowledge in fun and creative ways. One of my favorite ways to encourage engagement is through 3D art. I love recreating Turkic material culture, whether it be as simple as a bead or as complex as a headdress. I also plan on animating a series of Turkic myths and legends, which I will return to later on.

I love using Character Creator for my models and I love using Blender to create their accessories. The two work together very well.

Tanir-Vefa Avci – 3D Character Artist

1. How long have you been learning 3D software and when did you start using Character Creator and iClone?

I’ve been using both Character Creator and iClone since the end of 2020. It was only a few months earlier that I had begun learning how to use Blender.

I’ve probably been learning to use 3D software in general for the last two years. That being said, I used to be quite proficient in Catia v5 and v6, back when they offered the courses at my high school. So, it is not like I had no experience with 3D software. However, I could only really practice at school and only focus on approved projects. So, it was a sort of limiting education in that aspect. But I did learn the basics of 3D back then, even if it was not all applicable to what I do now.

Tanir-Vefa Avci's Turkmen women in Character Creator.

2. Could you share your workflow for Pride of the Oghuz – The Turkmen Woman when using Character Creator, iClone and Blender?

The first step for me was gathering references. I went through dozens of pictures, mostly of Turkmen people, before I began any 3D work. Once I conceptualized the physical attributes I wanted in the character, I began the modeling process in Character Creator. While Asian presets are not exclusive to the character maker, I found that the software included a variety of tools that allowed for a more diverse appearance. This was especially useful when modeling Turkic ethnic groups that are usually mixed to one degree or another.

After the modeling was completed, I transferred the model to iClone since that is where I do most of my animating. After that, I exported the completed model to Blender where I designed the environment, clothing, and accessories. During the Blender character creation process, I performed the last step, which was rendering.

Making of Tanir-Vefa Avci's Turkmen woman in Character Creator.

3.  As a 3D Artist, what would you say are the most interesting and challenging parts in your workflow?

The most interesting part of the workflow is without a doubt the character itself. I love using Character Creator for my models and I love using the Blender character creation process to create their accessories. The two work together very well.

Animating is definitely the most challenging part of the workflow. Especially animals. If I have to make a specific action, it takes me anywhere from a few hours to a day. Thankfully, iClone has a variety of tools that help refine the animations. Lip-sync, for instance, has proven very useful for animating dialogue.

Making of Tanir-Vefa Avci's Turkmen woman in iClone.

4. Do you utilize Character Creator in your work, personal projects or both?

I suppose in a way, my personal projects are my work. That being said, I use Character Creator for both and whenever character modeling is involved.

Making of Tanir-Vefa Avci's Turkmen women in Character Creator.

5. How did you find out about Character Creator and what were your experiences in using it?

I actually searched online for the ‘best character maker’, and reviews led me to Character Creator. I took a chance and purchased the Ultimate Digital Bundle. I haven’t regretted it since. 

As I like to learn from experience, I had a difficult time figuring out how things work at first. But the UI was very intuitive. So, I was able to get acquainted with the software fairly quickly afterward.

“My favorite aspects of the Character Creator software are the various tools meant to help the user’s animations. They save me so much time. A close second would be how good the models look in 8K after exporting to Blender. The interoperability of the software is very convenient.”

Tanir-Vefa Avci – 3D Character Artist
Making of Tanir-Vefa Avci's Turkmen woman in Blender.

6. What can we expect to see from you in the future?

I recently concluded my academic projects, so I am now completely focused on my animation project. I plan to animate the Legend of Oghuz Khan, the story of the legendary ancestor of the Oghuz Turks. This is a project I am very excited about because I get to combine my historical knowledge with my love of 3D modeling and folklore.

While the story itself is based on the “Book of Oghuz,” of which there are various differing versions, it is also unique in that it draws on the actual history of the figure behind the legend: Modu Chanyu, or Baghatur, the legendary founder of the Xiongnu empire. I chose this story because it is an important time in history, where we’ll get to see a variety of cultures interact. In fact, the story itself begins in the Qin dynasty, and introduces the viewer not only to Turkic culture, but also to Chinese, Persian, Greek, and Roman culture.

Tanir-Vefa Avci's Turkmen render.

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1 comment

  1. Good for you.
    I have been 3D modeling for about 10 years now. I model Ships, Airplanes and Tanks like in War Thunder and World of Warships.
    I have been playing with CC3 for a couple of years. I have made some swords and axes in blender and put them into CC3. I have had some difficulty with texturing. especially the swords, but I am happy to see other artists make things like this, especially with culture involved.
    It extends history and exposes it to people who would never see it.
    I have been toying with game development for a few years now also and I like games like Total War but I find them limited in some ways. These characters you have made could be so cool in a game like that.
    Anyway I just wanted to give you a big thumbs up and tell you to keep on creating. I would love to see more in how you texture your metallic objects. and transfer them into CC3 or iClone.
    There is the Ottoman Empire in Total War Napoleon but they dont let players play that nation. Your characters could make that kind of game so much more emersive.

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