View Full Version : Character - Prototype 01
09-10-2011, 07:30 PM
What's up guys, I've been messing with this project on and off for awhile now, and have finally got it far enough along that I decided to start a WIP thread.
Although I enjoy modeling hard surface stuff at work, I don't consider myself very strong at creating my own sci-fi designs. Because of that, I wanted to start a personal project that involved me designing and modeling a sci-fi character.
I decided to take inspiration from two of my favorite sci-fi designs, the Starcraft 2 marine armor and the District 9 Mech suit. For the color scheme I wanted to make something similar to the District 9 Arc Gun. So the thought process was something like this :
I've pretty much finished the first pass modeling, this is where the character is at now (I've mocked up the color scheme with shader colors) :
I still need to bevel and turbosmooth all the meshes, and figure out a rendering solution for the highpoly. I started modeling a gun for him, but I didn't like how it was turning out... so it's in the middle of a re-design now. I'll try to get that posted up once I'm feeling a little better about it.
In the end, I think I'd like to resurface and bake him down to a game character.
Any comments welcome, thanks
09-10-2011, 07:40 PM
Well goddamn. Really nice work. Hopefully you can show us some of your building process/ scripts used? Can't wait to see more.
For what its worth the blue shoulder seems off, I think it could do just to have the orange white color scheme all around.
09-10-2011, 07:46 PM
WOW thats really awesome! did you do a rough sketch or did you just did it on the spot?
I think I just... yeah... yep, I just had a polygasm
beautiful modeling and design, cant wait to see it smoothed and baked and pretty much everything else you post relating to it
09-10-2011, 07:51 PM
Nice work, love that old robotech feel you've got in there.
It could use some more white in the back to balance it out, maybe on the shell for the dual vent/thrusty bits?
09-10-2011, 07:53 PM
Where have you been!! This makes me all tingly inside. Such great work! :)
09-10-2011, 08:43 PM
That looks awesome! Is this for power armor for a human? i guess not because of the legs. or is it that the human pilots legs end at the suits first knee joint? great job so far
09-10-2011, 10:40 PM
This is looking really cool man. Im digging some of the shapes you have going on there and the color palette you have chosen. I think I agree with throttlekitty about the white. Every part of the body has a really cool white plating on it except for the shins and feet. I think if you add on some more white armor plating to the lower leg and feet, it will feel much more balanced. Great work though. I look forward to seeing the turbosmoothed version!
09-11-2011, 06:23 AM
That's looking awesome, straight into my inspiration folder.. Can't wait to see more.
Only the hands stick out to me, not exactly sure why. Maybe they feel to much like just gloves rather than a mech hand? But then maybe that's just personal taste.
Really awesome looking, I'm interested in the sketches too :D
~ Dude. This sucks.
It's just so terrible I'm going to have to ask you to stop. In fact just send over the model to me via email so I can dispose of it.
09-11-2011, 06:36 AM
09-11-2011, 08:22 AM
Hurry up and finish it so we can have a new banner!
Im interested in how you modeled each metal layer and the surface still stayed smooth, those are some cool shapes but I don't ever know where to start :s
09-11-2011, 08:26 AM
looking Pimp! keep it up!
09-11-2011, 08:28 AM
DOOD this is awesome, I really love his back part, and all the little bits and pieces make for an awesome silhouette. please finish this!
09-11-2011, 10:23 AM
..omg so good
09-11-2011, 11:31 AM
badass! really love your work, man
Sorry for dumb Q's, but could you explain a bit of this process you've got here? are you modeling for turbosmooth - kinda? or is it more of a semi-high block, where you already know sorta how you'll clean it up for smoothing? Or are you gonna just chamfer a lot of that stuff and itll be cool for a bake?
I really like the silhouette all around, but adding to what some other peeps mentioned, I think maybe with the relative beefiness+white of all the upper body down to his thighs, the lower legs and feet seem a little unbalanced - I'm pretty sure you've not finalized those parts yet. But I think it would be total money with bigger calves+feet attaching around the heel-nub with the white armoring down there!
it just looks awesome really cool stuff! :)
but as MeintevdS already mentioned the thing with the hands.
these are the points which are bugging me
1. their silhouette is not working that well with the bulkiness of the forearm.
-they seem to much plugged into the forearm.
what leads to the 2. point there isnt really any functional wrist joint indicated with the current design also the white armor plate does currently really prevent the wrist to bend up.
just small stuff but there the design could be improved
09-11-2011, 01:06 PM
The blue would work better if it was the same as the helm. Or use the darker shoulder blue on the engine and helm, maybe have a lighter blue particle fx/emissive.
Have to say very very impressed by this. Any sketch's early concepts you worked on for this?
09-11-2011, 01:24 PM
wow! very inspiring. how long did the first pass of modeling take?
09-11-2011, 01:33 PM
Nerf Bat Ninja
09-11-2011, 01:38 PM
Did you ever knoooow that you're my heeeerrroooooooo
You're everything I wish I could beeeeeeeeeeeeeee
I could fly higher than an eeaaaaggggggleeeeee
Cause you are the wind beneath my wiiiiings!!!!!!!!!
... ahem. I like this. Very much. Tears of joy. Pants are also tight.
09-11-2011, 02:03 PM
maaannn.... that's nice-
Theres so much attention to detail on how this was pieced together, looks great!
09-11-2011, 02:52 PM
Awesome work man, I am excited to see further renditions. What program are you modelling this in? 3ds max? XSI?
You have very clean edge flow. The jet pack/engine thing on his back could use some chamfering. But I know it is a W.I.P. so I am sure you plan on doing a lot more. Keep going!
09-11-2011, 05:27 PM
super rad! I like the combo of the 2 suits.I do agree about the bottom of the legs. it feels like some white plates are missing from it, or what is there now maybe could be tapered a bit. still looks fresh! i'm curiousness how you will tackles all them tris.
09-11-2011, 06:42 PM
09-11-2011, 10:25 PM
too cool ... loving his back .. waiting for more..
09-11-2011, 10:31 PM
pow! Super sweet
09-11-2011, 10:40 PM
This is looking very nice. The only thing I'm not diggin is the design of the feet. It looks almost as if they could be flipped back to front and they'd have a better shape. (tall thick heel and small tapered front toes.) Perhaps two toed in the front?
09-11-2011, 11:16 PM
09-11-2011, 11:33 PM
Hey thanks everyone for all the great and helpful feedback. This model has gone through a ton of iterations so it's nice to know I'm on the right track. Getting some fresh eyes on it really helps. I'll try to hit up all your comments individually.
Thanks! For scripts, I have a few custom scripts I use. The ones that I use most frequently are
Convert Selection to Vertex
Convert Selection to Edge
Convert Selection to Face
Center Object Pivot
Snap Object Pivot to Origin
Toggle Front/Back view
Toggle Left/Right view
Toggle Top/Bottom view
Weld Verts at a High Threshold
Weld Verts at a Low Threshold
Remove Isolated Vertices (2 side verts)
Other than those I just use the normal Max modeling tools. For the shoulder, I'll definitely test out making it White as well.
Thanks man! I wish I was good enough to design and model on the spot :D I was kind of all over the place while designing this character, many pieces were done 2-3 times because I ended up not liking what I modeled. Some of the better results I had were from pieces that I blocked out in mudbox and did a loose sketch sculpt for. I found it a little easier to test out different ideas because it wasn't as time consuming. Here's a screenshot of a couple of those sketches (the head design is a little different in these but it gives the general idea)
Thanks for your kind comments!
Thanks for the critique, I'll see what I can do to incorporate more white into the back. I already started playing with applying some of the white shader back there, I just have to find a combination I like. It always takes me a bit of time to figure out colors...
Just been busy workin on Heart of the Swarm :) Thanks!!
Hm... I never decided on if it was a power armor or a robot. But I think in the end I started leaning more toward robot. I was originally designing it for the visor to open and I would sculpt the head inside (alien or otherwise), but I don't think I like it... Thanks for your reply
Thanks for your comments. It seems quite a few people would like to see more white on the lower legs, so I'm going to go back to the drawing board and try to design something better. I'll see what I can do. Thanks
Thanks man, I agree the hands could probably be improved. I'm going to hit them up and try to improve them. Since you asked for sketches here is an early 3d blockin of the mesh:
As you can probably see, I came up with a core idea but a lot of things changed along the way. I blame it mostly on bad planning.
Dreamer and EIGHT;
Thanks for your kind words :) I usually go through a very systematic approach to modeling hard surface objects in Max. It usually involves me starting with simple primitive shapes and merging them together to create the more complex core shapes. It gets a little more complicated when I also have to come up with the design as well, it's a little hard to explain so I created an image that I hope helps:
1. Where it normally begins. I don't like concepting in 2d because I'm not a very strong 2d artist. But, I like sculpting loose shapes to come up with ideas. So a lot of times I'll start with something like this.
2. Quick block-in inside Max (objects start out very simply, a lot of primitives). I also like to play with colors at this stage.
3. Just refining the design. At this point I had turned off shader colors, I think I didn't want them distracting my choices to break up forms.
4. Was having trouble taking the modeling to the next level so I did a paintover. Tried to work out a bunch of color stuff as well (as you can see I've since changed the colors around a bit)
5. Back to modeling Max. It's all about taking those primitive shapes like the cylinder for the thruster and extruding / insetting polys to get something similar to the concept. For anything round like this I've always found it better to start with a lot of edges in the cylinder. So however many segments I think are required based on the concept, I'll start with that many. It could be a 32, 48, 64 sided cylinder.... I think it's better to start with something high than to realize there aren't enough edge loops to support the details I'll want to model.
6. Continuing to refine the mesh. One of the things I like to do is duplicate faces of one object to create a new object. It keeps things properly aligned when doing layered pieces of geometry.
Thanks for your feedback over the course of the project, man :)
I'll try to stick out and complete the project, even though I am low on free time. Thanks for the kind words
Thanks! Still a long way to go
It's not a dumb question at all - I would say you've pretty much hit the nail on the head. At this stage I just want to get things figured out and to a semi-completed level so I know what I'm going with. I pretty much know what it's going to take to get a nice turbo-smoothed result so once I get everything to a place where I'm happy with it, I'll start a second pass on the modeling. A lot of it involves just adding the right reinforcing edges (bevels, chamfers, etc) and depending on how it looks I might have to do some clean-up as well.
I'll see what I can do for the lower legs since it sounds like that's a weak pt. Thanks for your critique.
You're right. It could definitely be improved. I actually have been showing some of the progress of this model to tacit_math (total baller artist) and he gave me an awesome paintover for the wrist/hand area. I think I'm going to try to do something similar to what he sketched out for me as a suggestion. tacit if you're reading this you're the man!!
Thanks for your reply Next.
Thanks, I'll try removing the blue from the shoulder. It was an idea that I got attached too early on but I might need to scrap it. I attached some early process images above.
Thanks! The modeling took too long. I'm ashamed to say how long :(
I'm glad you like it!
Nerf Bat Ninja;
I have never been serenaded before, thanks! lol
I'm glad to hear you are liking the direction it is going
Thanks SCB :) One thing that I do enjoy about creating hard surface models in SubD rather than pure sculpting is that although it is a little slower, I feel like I have an unlimited opportunity for detail and layering.
I'm modeling in 3dsmax. I feel pretty good about getting a solid end result, my main challenge is creating a good design. Thanks for your comments!
Another vote for some white in the legs! I'll get on that :D
For triangles, sometimes I think it's okay. It all depends on how things smooth. If it smooths poorly, I'll have to clean the mesh up. But sometimes it smooths out just fine.
<3<3<3 back at ya!
Thanks man! Funnily enough I found the back to be one of the more successful parts. Would have rather the front be the coolest aspect but oh well, haha
Thanks! I appreciate it
I'll see what I can do to improve the feet! Thanks for your crit
Thanks everyone for your feedback! I've had a lot of periods of apathy regarding this project, and there were times I really thought about trashing it (like the 20 other unfinished models on my HDD). I literally hated it for the first 2/3's of the process. Your comments are really helping me think that I should keep trying to finish this, so I'll do my best to come back with an update that will be an improvement.
I'm not sure when I will have an update because I don't always have much time, I probably work about 5-6 hours a week on it. But I'll take all of your suggestions into account and see what I can come up with to improve the piece.
09-11-2011, 11:59 PM
09-12-2011, 01:46 AM
thanks so much for sharing the process,
badass design and model.
09-12-2011, 02:07 AM
Wow you are running a hard surface clinic.
I can't thank you enough for sharing your process. Hearing things click in my head I think learning these tips from you will really propel my work! Awesome!! Thank you!
09-12-2011, 03:37 AM
Love your work man! Your gremlin was my background for the longest time. Looking forward to the final game version!
Wait, how did I miss this one? Absolutely superb work foreverendering!
Silhouette is amazing and that back, my god, I want to have it's babies...
I do find the round thing sticking out of his left shoulder a bit out of place to be honest, but that might as well be just me. Does he look too symmetrical otherwise?
Kickass work man, this has gone in to my ref folder for sure!
09-12-2011, 05:25 AM
I don't think a Senior Cinematic Artist at Blizzard has anything to be ashamed of as to how long the modeling process has taken so far! The result is amazing so far, and the fact you think it has taken too long actually gives me some hope that no matter how good or fast at modeling you are, if you work at Blizzard or are a Student these things just take time. Thanks for sharing your process and keep up the awesome work
09-12-2011, 05:57 AM
Absolutely wonderful work! I find this to be incredibly inspiring.
09-12-2011, 07:10 AM
thanks for sharing man, i think i've learned a few tricks :D
09-12-2011, 07:21 AM
Awesome stuff!! Loved the overall proportion.;)
09-12-2011, 02:43 PM
thanks for sharing! and like i said thats freakin awesome and i want to see the finished shots xD btw you should totally make a tutorial after you finish this pieve on your process and if possible on this piece! i know i would love to read or see that :poly136: Keep the good work
09-12-2011, 07:51 PM
Holy hell excellent reply post thank you so much! Is there any tricks to modeling smooth contours or is it just tedious?
09-13-2011, 12:30 AM
what's that big blue thing on his back? :)
09-13-2011, 02:39 AM
Great model, and thank for info about your workflow.
12-18-2011, 03:35 PM
Thanks for your feedback. I've been pretty busy with stuff at work and home recently, but the last few weekends I was able to return to this project and make a little more progress.
Here's the first pass on the gun. My main source of inspiration was the amazing gun designs from District 9.
Here's some images of earlier concepts in case anyone's interested.
I'm still working on the body. Based on the comments from my first post I'm re-working the lower legs with more white armor. Currently I just have some roughly blocked out ideas but I'll try to make something more polished over the holiday break.
This image was just a rough pose test I did for fun the other night. There's a lot of broken geo in this one, but figured I'd go ahead and post it up anyway. I've been thinking it would be fun to do a 3d print if/when I complete this. If I can come up with something cool in the end I might do it.
Thanks man :) Sometimes the process is sloppy but if it helps then I'm happy to post that kind of stuff up
Glad to hear it! No problem, I'm happy some of that stuff was helpful to you
Awesome, that's cool to hear you liked that piece, that was definitely one of my favorite things I've worked on. Having such a tight deadline for DW really helped me crank that one out too. Unlike this guy.... ;p
Thanks for your comments. I liked the idea of adding a little bit of asymmetry to him, also because I considered it to be an earlier and less refined version of the suit. It was symmetrical before, but from the back I found it a bit boring.
Thanks man, I appreciate the kind words. The main thing for me is that as I get older, I have less and less free time for my hobbies or hobby projects. I think after this one I wouldn't do anymore heavily detailed models, probably just more sketches and stuff. I'm definitely more interested now in focusing on improving my design skills, and sketching really seems to be the way to go about doing that.
Thanks for your compliment!
Np, glad to hear it
A tutorial would be pretty fun to write up, although it would be filled with a lot of my meandering errors. Probably more of a reverse "how-to" guide :D Thanks
Hm, its hard to say. Sometimes poly modeling some of these hard surfaces can be a bit of a head-scratcher. The main thing I try to do is use certain primitive objects (spheres or cylinders) so that I am starting with a fundamentally sound curvature. It's important to know before hand what you want to do with the mesh, because when it comes to curved meshes, the smoothing will suffer if there aren't enough edge-loops to support the detail. A few tricks I like to use when I have to make edits after the fact...
-adjusting edgeloops in screen space mode
-using the object's parent mode for adjustments
-if screen is too imprecise and parent mode doesn't align to want I want to work on, I will create a dummy with auto-grid checked on and then pick the dummy's pivot to model from.
Hope that helps
It's rough right now but it's going to be a large thruster similar to what you see on the back of the StarCraft 2 Marine armor.
No problem, thanks for your reply.
I have some time off coming up after next week, so I'm going to try to use the opportunity to make some progress on this guy. So, hopefully another update fairly soon. I haven't gotten to them yet, but I'm planning to make some edits to the hand / wrist area as well.
12-18-2011, 07:41 PM
hey the gun looks awesome as well i really cant wait to see the finished the thing and if you go foward with your process on this that would be also pretty cool. actually i wanted to say thanks i have been doing my own version of a fel orc and i have looked at yours as inspiration quite a lot i will be posting it after cristhmas
12-18-2011, 10:02 PM
those wires warm my heart bro. this dude is all gold
12-19-2011, 12:03 AM
very nice shape and color theme ,can't wait for see the texture
12-20-2011, 05:10 PM
This is looking fantastic, I've been thinking about tackling a larger hard surface character like this, it's good to know that when I finally get around to it I have a place where I can get some solid tips and tricks on how to do it.
12-21-2011, 02:28 PM
Daaaaaaaaaaaamn dude. That is amazing. Looking forward to seeing where this goes!
The look of the gun is working well with the overall character design, it looks like it belongs to him. At the same time that dark grey you've used is creating a clear definition between weapon and character.
What seems a little unclear atm is how he is interacting with the gun, like is he holding it or is it somehow augmented into his arm?
12-21-2011, 02:40 PM
This is delicious! Take it all the way!
12-21-2011, 02:49 PM
THis looks awesome no doubt. THe problem is that i'm not sure what i'm seeing. Is it a poly model only? Or subd model?
I don't grasp it:( i'm dumb.
12-21-2011, 03:32 PM
Great stuff you have here and your portfolio it's really amazing. Can't wait to see final.
12-21-2011, 03:42 PM
it looks great , i really like how you separated the forms with those colors so far
01-08-2012, 10:00 PM
Hey everyone, thanks for your replies. Here's an update.
Refined neck area a little bit
Updated the forearm / wrist design
New leg design with more white plating
Designed / modeled interior of the Visor with an alien head inside
Some color tweaks
Hope you guys like the changes
Thanks man! I only just noticed your Fel Orc post, I will send you a PM
Thanks, I incorporated some of your wrist ideas!
Thanks, it'll get there eventually
Feel free to hit me up
Thanks for your reply! Glad you like it
He's holding it. Well, not exactly because I just placed it roughly where his hand would wrap around the handle. When I post it properly I'll make sure he is holding it correctly. Thanks for your feedback
Glad you like it. For now it is just a poly model. Next step is subdividing it but it shouldn't be too hard. My next update will be smoothing the mesh and taking renders.
Thanks! Appreciate it
Thanks I'm glad you like the colors.
I'll start smoothing stuff out next weekend, so hopefully more frequent updates from here. Although it's not perfect, I'm happy with the design overall so I think I'll just move forward with it. Thanks everyone for your feedback, I considered all the suggestions I got and went with the ones I found to be most successful.
01-08-2012, 10:07 PM
you're a fucken animal gritton !! so much in love with this work bro
01-09-2012, 12:56 AM
Amazing. You're wireframes are so damn clean. Very inspiring to look at. Keep up the good work.
01-09-2012, 01:56 AM
loving it so far i wonder how it looks beneath the armor the head looks pretty cool i like the eye positioning and detailing, i think the back is really dynamic the asymmetry is really working there. im really stuck on the image everything seems so intricate and awesome how often do you use floating geometry while modeling? keep the great work coming!
01-10-2012, 02:46 AM
damn u people that can do hardsurface and organic haha
01-16-2012, 10:31 PM
Small weekend update, I managed to finalize all the meshes for the head. Not quite as much as I wanted to do, but I'll keep chipping away at it. I'll try to have some more meshes for next weekend.
<3 thx man, always appreciate your feedback
Thanks! I've included some wires of completed meshes, hope you like them
Thanks :) I don't use much floating geometry at all because I'd like to print this guy out when all is said and done. The only pieces that float right now are little decals like triangles and such. Those are pretty much only there in case I want to resurface and convert to a game character as well, I can bake them along with the other base colors I've been applying to get a head start on the textures.
haha, it's always good to practice both, I think. Never know what you might get assigned on the job.
That's it for now! More next time
01-16-2012, 10:37 PM
cool thanks for clarifying that. keep the awesome work coming i want to see the final thing xD
06-22-2012, 11:00 PM
Well, I had to take a long break from this model but I finally got around to fnishing the highpoly. Hope you guys like it
Not sure when I will return to this project, I've already started tinkering on other pieces that I'm more excited about working on. I'll probably put this guy on hold, for now.
06-22-2012, 11:12 PM
just. damn bro !!!!!
06-22-2012, 11:20 PM
God thats hot :D
06-23-2012, 03:40 AM
oof always love your work, man
this is great :D
06-23-2012, 08:00 AM
I love everything about this... but the hands. They stand out by the lack of detail that is into all the other parts. It could be something that is fixed just with some material break up but either way they need some more love.
06-23-2012, 09:09 AM
Holy moly, that is bad ass!
06-23-2012, 10:08 AM
Haha, guess you can't wait for the next character challenge.
06-23-2012, 11:08 AM
um, yes please! looks awesome!
been waiting for the update to this thread, looks awesome, nice work!
06-23-2012, 01:43 PM
this turned out beautiful, really clean work man
consider me a fan :)
06-23-2012, 01:55 PM
just wow!!! really great model
06-23-2012, 02:19 PM
That is some nice and clean hard surface modeling there. May have missed it but what is this rendered in currently? The render came out great!
06-23-2012, 04:12 PM
Madness!! Love those shapes and those bevelled edges man!!
06-25-2012, 12:00 AM
I absolutely love your style!
Hard part in alot of cases is not the creation of the methods, its coming up with all those details, the shapes and the visual distinction. Thats where i most often get stuck and You nailed all of it in my book!
06-25-2012, 10:47 PM
Thanks guys for your comments!
Here's a couple close-up wireframe images for anyone that's like me and enjoys looking at that kind of stuff.
Haha, thanks man! And thanks for all the encouraging words along the way
Thanks I'm glad you like it :)
Thanks! Fantastic work on your Dizzy character - and some impressive write-ups to go along with it!
Thanks for your comments. You're right - the hands could definitely be improved. That was a part I wasn't overall happy with, but I guess I just got tired toward the end. If I revisit this model later on to resurface it, I'll make sure to add a little more to the hands to improve them.
Thanks I appreciate it :)
lol no more challenges for me. They're too draining, and also my wife told me DWIV was the last one :P
Thanks! You're at Blizzard now? How did I miss that? Congrats :D Didn't we meet a few years back at an art gallery? (yes? no?)
Thanks, I know it took me awhile to update but a lot of things came up and I had to put the project on hold. Glad you like the latest :)
Thanks for your kind words :)
Thanks. I did a lot of render passes in 3dsmax, either scanline, vray, or mental ray. I comped them together after the fact in photoshop. Although my online handle is 'foreverendering' I'm actually a rendering n00b because I work almost exclusively with real-time assets. So there was a lot of experimentation going on. Maybe I should change my nick to 'foreverbaking' Hmmmmmmmm... nah.
Thanks man! Your work is prolific on these boards. Your Miku thread is looking awesome. Big props for running a course for polycount members. Wish I'd had time to enroll, I've always wanted to do a female character as a personal piece, and who better to learn from than the master!
Thanks :) I agree with what you mentioned - The process of modeling is easy, but determining the design to model is what's difficult. I tripped up the most on the design aspects of this character and almost every piece on there was modeled twice if not three times over. I think in the future I want to focus more on designs with quicker and looser sketches. It's an area I really want to improve at.
Thanks all <3
06-26-2012, 12:47 AM
Glad to see you finished it i was starting to think you were not going to xD i think the back looks dope!
06-27-2012, 02:35 PM
Uber Epic dude. Learning a lot by watching.
Love your colours!
06-27-2012, 02:54 PM
This beyond amazing!
07-01-2012, 07:26 AM
you're just freakin' awsome :D
07-01-2012, 09:09 AM
wow ...this is madness !!
So great dude, thanks for your step images -
really like to look "behind" the scenes..
07-02-2012, 11:03 PM
Stellar work. You should post isoline wireframes.
07-13-2012, 02:22 AM
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