Feed Gabby a Biscuit VIDEO!!

We have a BIG announcement…

…Gabby LOVES biscuits!!!

Well… that is something to shout about but it’s not what we are here for…

We are excited to announce that we are finally making video content!!!

How about a giving her a treat and see what she does?

Buy Gabby a virtual biscuit and watch her eat it!

…Seen it? She’s cute ‘ey!

And there is no way we are stopping there! We have big plans!

Stay tuned by subscribing for updates on Little Dog’s production in Blender, and for more of Gabby’s Shorts!!!

Your small contribution means so much to us, it means that we can afford to pay for our videos to go to a rendering farm and save our computer from blowing up. Literally.

We also wanted to give you back something for making a donation to us.

So… here’s a video of Gabby eating your digital contribution!

The contribution is a one-off payment to unlock this video. Just click the “feed me a biscuit!” button. Once you have completed payment (and set up a WordPress account for newbies), every time you are logged in you will be able to watch it!

We work on these videos for months and months so that we can entertain you with new content, therefore all digital works here are the intellectual property of Brawni 3D and any copying and/or distributing would be viewed as stealing our work and you may be prosecuted. Just please don’t do it!


Thoughts behind Gabby’s Colour Theory

“I’m blue today”


So you’ve sculpted a kick-ass character for your movie, but you are having second thoughts about your colour palette…

You clearly haven’t spent enough R&D time concept-arting your characters so now you’re stuck with a million questions… But! You do have something to test your colours on… so it ain’t all bad… right?

This is definitely me right now. But its okay because I have the time to NOW think more deeply into it.

So… who ARE my characters?

Gabby Meanwell

She is Emily’s beloved puppy, the family’s first Papillon dog and is pampered thoroughly. Gabby is very much a house pet and is surrounded by fluffy toys. However she believes that she is meant for something bigger. She is also overly ambitious, and learns the lesson that you may have to fight for the opportunity to do something you love, especially when you are a little different from the industry’s “status quo”.

So what colours do you think of when you see a young, naive, tiny dog? What colour collar would she wear? Or would you go full blown and put her in sparkly doggy clothing?

I’ve been through a few paint jobs on Gabby now and I certainly prefer the silvery greys and bright whites in her coat. I UV-unwrapped my retopologised sculpt and painted her coat colours using Blender’s Texture Painting feature.

Gabby’s Final Colours
Silver and White Papillon courtesy of Google Photos

It’s not your standard Papillon coat colour either, which would suggest she is an underdog, and maybe seen as a bit special towards her owners. Not quite a fully white Papillon, as they are automatically disqualified from Kennel Club competitions as white dogs can hold certain health complications. I originally liked the half brown half white patch coat, but it strayed quite far from a traditional Papillon’s symmetrical markings on the ears, and I didn’t want to make Gabby completely detached from the breed. I used a real references too for inspiration on rare Papillon coats.

First look at a model of Gabby’s bed

Coat colour isn’t the only consideration either – toys, clothing, bedding, food can all portray her character. I am still brainstorming ideas currently but in the next few months you’ll see her character develop through her belongings so stay tuned!

All works of Gabby shown here were designed, and sculpted in ZBrush, and textures, retopology, grooming were made in Blender by Sarah Brawn. The design and sculpt of Gabby was inspired by real life images of Papillons.

Images of work owned and copyrighted by Brawni3D and you must request permission prior to use.

You can now contribute to the production of Little Dog by donating a biscuit to Gabby!

How about a giving her a treat and see what she does?

Buy Gabby a virtual biscuit and watch her eat it!

Smile for the Cameras! It’s Gabby 3.0!

Woo hoo! I’ve got shiny new teeth! Cheeeeeeeese!!

Two months later…

After Gabby 2.0 had been rigged and tested with fur and basically I had learned how to retopologise, rig and animate a quadruped, I realised that there were some major elements missing from Gabby’s sculpt that she will need if she is to express her emotions to her audience.

The first was a working mouth! I was so so tempted to buy a wolf mouth from various internet vendors… but I resisted and made my own specific to her face, which I am much happier with.


There was a lot of back and forth discussion over whether to sculpt a human mouth to aid with talking and human expressions, or to go full realism and sculpt a very realistic dog mouth, as she is a dog. Did you know that all the Secret Life of Pets characters have a set of human teeth?

Image courtesy of https://disney.fandom.com/wiki/Buster_(Toy_Story)

I decided to go halfway and sculpt a more stylised dog mouth, a bit like Buster the dachshund from Pixar’s Toy Story. Buster also has eyebrow bumps and near-human like eyes for the extra character.

Alongside sculpting her inner mouth and tongue, I re-did her muzzle to make it look more dog-like, and re-sculpted those huge butterfly-like ears.

She is an expressive character and I still wanted some human-like features so that she has a full range of expressions. After storyboarding her first scene, we realised that there would be a lot of close up shots of her feet, and the previous sculpt I believe didn’t have adequate animatable paws, so I did a complete re-sculpt of her toe beans.

I then, of course, had a bit of a play around to see if her teeth closed together, and her lips would move nicely over her teeth.

Now for the fun taking her back into Blender to colour her up and rig her for animation!!

Thanks for reading!

All works of Gabby shown here were designed, and sculpted in ZBrush by Sarah Brawn. The design and sculpt of Gabby was inspired by real life images of Papillons.

Images of work owned and copyrighted by Brawni3D and you must request permission prior to use.

Buy Gabby a biscuit!

Help us out with rendering costs for Gabby’s future film.


Gabby’s English Home – 3D Modelled in Blender

“A house is not a home without a dog”

Gerald Durrell

I wanted to make this film close to home for me, and I grew up surrounded by English countryside. I took reference from typical Georgian architecture, from country living magazines and mashed a few house concepts together.

Gabby’s house mocked up in Photoshop from bits of reference photos

I wanted Gabby to live in this typical British country house surrounded by gardens, and land that her family could run a dog agility and training business on. I didn’t want it to be a whole farm, but farm or country house-like enough to get the gist across that they were an upper to middle-class family with a fair amount of land.

I have never modelled a building before… apart from a horrible gingerbread house which was the first thing I ever modelled with primitives in Blender.

It took about a month of work, and I realised that the Archimesh Add-on in Blender is extremely quick at adding simple windows and doors. The textures were free ones from Textures.com and to be honest I am considering texturing the house later on myself in Substance Painter but for now I feel that I have a good enough model to start with.

Blockout of Gabby’s house and garden

I blocked out the initial concept in Blender with primitives first. It was a starting point.

I really liked the shutters on the original house reference I picked, with the Georgian porch. There was still something wrong with the model. It also looked weirdly familiar and I realised that my family home and the others on the street I grew up on looked a lot like it.

And it was! Pretty scary how my subconscious told me that that is what a typical English house looks like… They are all different, from so many different periods of time but this is what I jumped to. So I decided to go in full swing and use the houses I found on my street in Google Streetview as reference to Gabby’s house.

3D Clay model of Gabbys house

I liked the bay windows, the chimneys, the porch. The overall size needed to change to match the human reference. I even changed the texture colours. I enjoyed making my own back of the house and added a big garage. The house interior had to fit with the shots from the rooms I had already storyboarded in the first scene.

Graswald 3D made my Blender a bit crashy at first on 2.9.2 but after I updated to Blender 3.0 a number of issues went away. Graswald 3D is an incredible tool to build grass and organic models into your scene. I used the new Ivy generator in Blender to create ivy with geometry nodes and Blender’s Sapling Addon to add and a couple of trees.

And this is my final result for now!

Final model of Gabby’s house!
Back of house
Garage view
Kitchen view

It is a completely empty house… but now that I know what the outside of the house looks like, I can work on building the interior rooms.

I am really proud of how far this project has come as it takes a lot of time to research and learn the programs in order to get it right. I know I’m still not there yet but every model I research, design and make brings me closer.

Stay tuned for more progress towards Gabby’s film!

This is not an affiliate post for Blender, Blender is a free and an open source software and it’s brilliant.

This is not an affiliate post for Graswald 3D, it is an amazing add-on and I highly recommend it.

All works shown here were designed, modelled, textured and rendered in Blender and Adobe Photoshop by Sarah Brawn. The design and sculpt of Gabby’s house was inspired by real life photographs of English houses.

Images of work owned and copyrighted by Brawni3D and you must request permission prior to use.

Buy Gabby a biscuit!

Help us out with rendering costs for Gabby’s future film.


Gabby’s First Pass at Rigging in Blender

She’s Aliiiiive!!!!

Brawni 3D

Here she is, covered in gorgeous shiny fluffy papillon hair:

Fluffed Gabby

But she still looks very, very… dead.

Kind of like if she had been alive once and someone had stuffed her.

So nows the time to get familiar with Blender’s rigging tools and create a backbone for my courageous puppy.

I decided to try out Rigify, which has looked promising in the past only to me ending up having to create the rig from scratch because I couldn’t work out how to create a Frankenstein rig for my winged dragon on my MSI project.

But this time I wanted to persevere!

Enjoy my rigging journey:

I used the wolf rig. Its a cool rig, you line all the bones up carefully with your model and click “generate rig” and voila! All the IK joints and fancy controllers and deformation bones are made for you… a beautiful thing for someone who doesn’t understand rigging that much.

The wolf face bones looked so complicated and on the first try I got it all wrong and it made her face look a bit funny… They are supposed to simulate the muscles of the face is the information got from an awesome human face rig tutorial on Blender.

I tried again and really tried to be more accurate this time and thought that recalculating the bone rolls on the whole rig would be a good idea… It wasn’t. So I had to start again.

The third time I got this weird twisting in her torso when I moved her hips… and I ended up just recalculating the bone roll of a couple of spine and the hip bone and it seemed to fix it… I’m sure professional riggers would cringe (and if you do, please help me!) because it made the Rigify hip controller sit at an angle… but it didn’t deform the mesh weirdly and it still moves fine… so… I guess we will see in due course!

She has emotions!

I did realise during this rigging journey that I had left out a very important part of Gabby’s sculpt – her inner mouth. She will talk and lick and stuff so this is definitely a consideration for future development of her character so for now I will use this Gabby model for fast movement shots like running and shots where she won’t be seen talking.

Stay tuned to see more of her progress!

All works shown here were designed, sculpted, modelled, textured and rendered in ZBrush and Blender by Sarah Brawn. The design and sculpt of Gabby was inspired by real life photographs of Papillons.

Images owned and copyrighted by Brawni3D and you must request permission prior to use.

Contribute to Gabby’s acting career by buying her a biscuit!