View Full Version : Polycount - Generals - Zcubed
02-25-2006, 08:32 PM
Ack, time is running out! I would have liked to enter sooner but I've been really busy with schoolwork among other things. I'm not here to win, but this should be a great learning experience. Anyways, I sketched out a few quick base meshes tonight, and this is the one that I liked most...
I plan to do some sketching before moving forward with the character; I've lost interest in too many projects because I jumped in without a clear concept. I'm not much of an artist, but I'd like to get some ideas down on paper now that I've worked out the basic silhoutte. The basic idea is that he's a slender humanoid in light combat gear. I might draw upon some special-forces type references.
Sorry if the thread seems a little premature, I'm hoping that it'll serve as motivation for me to finish on time /images/graemlins/crazy.gif!
02-25-2006, 08:40 PM
Despite being so "plain" there is something pretty cool about this guy. I hope you finish.
02-25-2006, 08:58 PM
Heh, thanks Poop. I see what you mean by plain, hopefully I'll be able to add a little more character as I cut in the detail. At this point, I'm just trying to block in the proportions and volumes with basic shapes. I tend to mess up if I skip this step.
Agreed, definitely got some nice proportions going on there.
02-25-2006, 10:04 PM
Hey, thanks for the response Daz. If you and Poop are watching, I'll have to finish it! /images/graemlins/grin.gif
I'm scribbling down some ideas while I study, here's a possible head...
I've been meaning to work on my 2D work, but you'll have to put up with ugly sketches for now. Just trying to save myself some guesswork in the modeling stage.
02-26-2006, 09:34 AM
I did a little more work on the head last night...
The model weighs in at 1600 triangles right now, so I think I'll move on and come back to the head if I'm still under budget. It's still feeling a little plain and boring, so I'd love to hear any ideas on how to improve the design. /images/graemlins/grin.gif
02-26-2006, 09:46 AM
Thats looking nice - what are you working in? Wings?
02-26-2006, 09:53 AM
Thanks a lot Rick. Yeah, I'm back in Wings now that my Silo trial period has expired /images/graemlins/blush.gif. The box modeling tools are top notch, but I miss being able to use planes (Wings requires a closed mesh). I'll unwrap in Wings too, though I'm not sure how I'm going to rig this guy.
EDIT - Here's one more update...
Alright! I might actually hit the deadline.
02-26-2006, 04:08 PM
I swear, nearly every face you model looks about the same to me. With that said, this looks good. Keep at it. And there is a way to create open planes in wings. Any face that you apply a "hole" material to isn't really there, and won't be when you export. Switch to shaded mode, with the "hole" materials opactiy set to 0, and you'll see.
I'll rig and pose him for you if you want.
02-26-2006, 07:01 PM
Point taken, I'll try to make the face a little more interesting. Now that I've got the basic loops in place, I should be able to magnet-transform pretty easily and push some of the forms more. I knew about the hole material workaround, but sometimes you just get hungry for 2D geometry /images/graemlins/wink.gif. I find that some tasks are more suited to the edge-extrude approach. Still, I suppose it's better this way. The closed mesh requirement enables a bunch of sweet tools such as virtual mirror.
You'll pose him for me?! Thanks a lot, that's much appreciated! It doesn't have to be anything complex, just enough to get him out of the T-stance. I'll shoot you an OBJ once I finish unwrapping, that way I can get cracking on the texture while you rig. How much time do you think you'll need?
02-26-2006, 07:33 PM
About 2 hours. So take your time, and just send it to me when it's all finished. I've got my own entry to focus on. So gimmie an idea of the stance you want when you send it. And I'd work on those joints so they'll deform properly...especially the shoulders, or posing him will ruin the shapes.
02-27-2006, 05:01 PM
Sure, I'll send you the finished piece. Thanks again for offering to help me out.
A little more work fixing shapes and meshflow...
I'm still only halfway to the target polycount, I'm not sure where to add detail! I think I'll get started on some of the accesories and then spend my remaining triangles on character refinement.
Crits and comments are more than welcome, as always. /images/graemlins/grin.gif
02-28-2006, 12:03 AM
Right now, his surface is rather bland. Perhaps some straps, a belt buckle, holster with pistol, and some kind of hat might help. Or any other such thing. Forearm, wrist, knee, and ankle armor? Go nuts, you have a little over a week left! /images/graemlins/laugh.gif
02-28-2006, 07:01 PM
Sure, here you go. /images/graemlins/grin.gif
And the eyepiece!
It's my first time modeling something inorganic, so some of the gear looks a little odd. Hopefully the Polycount-green paint that I slapped on will help /images/graemlins/crazy.gif. Any more ideas on how to spend my last thousand or so triangles? I'm thinking some sort of armor that will break the symmetry in the arms.
PLEASE post if you see something that I don't. I'm rushing like crazy to get an entry in because I thought this challenge would be a great way to learn from some of the best in the biz. I'd be grateful for any feedback at all. Thanks again!
02-28-2006, 07:08 PM
Perhaps something on his forearms or wrists - they're a large area of relatively blank surface.
02-28-2006, 07:45 PM
I like the model, but I'm afraid such a [relatively] plain-jane model will get lost in the army of the outlandish. He also looks more like an intergalactic smuggler than a general, he needs something to show he's got rank.
Perhaps take the last 1000 tris and give him a huge-ass cannon strapped to his back, make the poor bugger lug it around.
Or maybe some sort of hovering observation platform from which to call the shots.
02-28-2006, 08:33 PM
Hmm, the smuggler theme is sorta what I was going for (At least it's recognizable /images/graemlins/blush.gif). An exteraterrestrial badass who sees profit in beating back the imperial forces of CGChat. The brief made it sound like we were supposed to be a sort of loosely knit army of chaos; I thought a smuggler archtype might fit in well enough. I suppose you're right though, the design really lacks that necessary "Oomph!" I'll see what I can do...
Thanks Valendar, I think I'll give him a bracer or something on one arm.
03-01-2006, 08:26 PM
Alright, I think it's done. There are some places that could be more efficient, but I'm still under budget so I think I'll leave them as is. Time is really starting to become a factor now, I don't think I'll finish unless I get him mapped tomorrow (Wish I had joined three weeks ago /images/graemlins/tongue.gif). This will be my first real attempt at texturing a character, so stick around for the messy flats. Triangle count is 4,800.
Please tell me if you have any ideas, as this will be my last chance to implement your fixes.
Special thanks to Jay Lavoie, Scoob, and Justin Meisse for helping me think up some of the cool accessories.
03-04-2006, 12:49 PM
I've never quite understood why people hate UV mapping so much, until now. All of those accessories and straps made things tricky, and not much of the model was symmetrical anymore. Anyways, it's done now. Time to start texturing; I hope it's not as hard as people say it is /images/graemlins/laugh.gif.
03-04-2006, 03:40 PM
Looks like you could scale up each piece a bit... when you look at that at 1024 resolution those are going to be large spaces of unused pixels.
03-04-2006, 08:25 PM
Ugh, I think you're right Sectaurs. The spaces seemed small enough when I was zoomed out, but I'm wasting more pixels than I'd like to. I'd change it now, but I just spent an hour setting up masks and labeling layers. I don't think I could do it again without losing my sanity. Thanks for the advice though, I'll make sure to fill up a little more of the flat next time.
03-05-2006, 12:46 PM
hm..youll have troubles with seams /images/graemlins/frown.gif good luck !
Looking great Zcubed. Nice looking model. I think that you could have been able to keep the UV pieces in fewer segments perhaps, but its nothing that warrants a sad face.
03-05-2006, 01:31 PM
It's not as bad as it looks, actually. Most of those tiny, hard to paint pieces are parts that you'll never see (Under the shoulderpad, the underside of the holster, etc.). I will need all the luck I can get, though, so thanks /images/graemlins/grin.gif.
EDIT - Thanks for the encouragement, Daz. I'll do my best to finish on time. For Polycount!
Texturing is proving to be very difficult. I don't have much (any) experience in painting or anything like that, so I'm pretty much learning as I go. I know there's no substitute for practice and experience, but I'd appreciate any tutorials or tips if you've got 'em.
Oh, and b1ll wouldn't tell me his secrets /images/graemlins/crazy.gif.
Here's a tip then. Staring at any kind of blank canvas can be scary and daunting. So try doing some kind of light bake as a base and painting into that perhaps. Or at least use it as an overlay guide.
03-05-2006, 01:45 PM
Yes - paint ANYTHING there to break up the blankness. Ass photos, overlay textures etc. Scrawl random ideas all over it. These will begin to come together.
Hell, that technique has kept me employed for 5 years an no-one has noticed yet.
03-05-2006, 04:51 PM
Brilliant! That really helped a lot, thanks guys. I followed Bobo's vertex bake tutorial, which gave me a nice, shaded base to paint on. It's certainly not a miracle solution, but it makes it much easier to establish your light source and follow the contours of the mesh. Hopefully you can do this in some free application; this time I just used the 3DS Max trial.
I managed to sneak in a bit more time for painting. Here's the beginning of my second attempt.
Thanks for all the great advice, guys. Keep giving me pointers and I'll keep implementing them /images/graemlins/crazy.gif.
EDIT - Someone mentioned to me that this looked similar to Skrubbles' Gunslinger (http://www.skrubbles.net/gallery/displayimage.php?album=2&pos=6). Flattering, of course, but I'd like to avoid recycling someone else's ideas. If I have done so, it certainly wasn't conciously. I think they're different enough (I dream of the day when I can reproduce Skrubbles' stuff /images/graemlins/tongue.gif), but I'll make an extra effort to steer clear of the gunslinger look.
03-06-2006, 01:51 PM
Great start on the texture, I suggest making the lips more "froggy".
03-06-2006, 02:47 PM
Zcubed: Good to see you making fast progress on this!
I'd say if you wanna differentiate your piece from Skubbles, change the skin color from the green you've got. Try a blue, purple, red or a sickly flesh-tone. Maybe give him ivory skin? LIGHT skin with black eyes & red-iris's would be very evil.
03-06-2006, 02:53 PM
Cool. Untextured face reminds me of Louis Gossett Jr's alien from "Enemy Mine".
03-06-2006, 07:33 PM
Thanks for all the comments, everyone!
ebagg - Froggy, eh? I'm not quite sure what you mean, but I'll look at some pictures and try a few variations. Thanks for the idea.
Scooby - Thanks, I'm trying hard to get him out the door on time. I've been modeling for over a year now and I've never actually FINISHED a character, but that's about to change /images/graemlins/crazy.gif! I'm quite happy with the green that I have going (Polycount color scheme /images/graemlins/smile.gif), but I'll try a few different colors if you think it might make him more interesting. The ivory skins sounds nice and sinister.
Noisybast - Googled the movie, I see the resemblance. Sounds like a cool plot too, I may have to rent that some time /images/graemlins/grin.gif.
Not much time for texturing tonight, but I won't finish by the 13th unless I keep moving. Here's a little update on the armor. Oh, and that kill count is in billions. Not enough room on the chestpiece for all the fallen CG Chatters /images/graemlins/wink.gif.
03-07-2006, 03:54 PM
Sorry for the minor updates, guys. This is turning out to be a very busy week, so I'm trying to pace myself and work on the texture a little bit every day. Here's what I've done today...
More work on the body armor. I'm playing around with a few ideas on the head too. That's supposed to be some sort of carapace running along the top of his head. Let me know if it looks stupid, I'm just trying to break up the big, empty spaces on the texture and get some new colors in there.
I'm not ignoring your advice, I just didn't have enough time to implement it properly today. Trying out a few different color schemes (And lips /images/graemlins/tongue.gif) that I'll show when they're done.
I know it's not much of an update, but crits and comments are always nice /images/graemlins/blush.gif.
03-07-2006, 07:46 PM
looking good. add some more color variations to the skin. reds, yellows, blues.
03-09-2006, 09:18 PM
Argh, things are slowing to a crawl. I had hoped that I would be able to plow through the texturing a little more quickly /images/graemlins/frown.gif.
I feel like the character is really starting to fall apart. I guess I need sit down and learn how to texture properly once the contest ends.
Elysium - Thanks, I'll try to get a little more color variation in there.
03-10-2006, 12:04 PM
I feel your pain, i find texturing very challenging, but what you have going now is a good start. Dont be a lazeyh bum like me and keep working at it!
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