Archives for "Art"

Posted by Martin on 29th December 2010

My Minotaur Lives, almost

…..and no sooner do I say I’ll post an update to this character when I next get a chance, but I find I actually had some free time to work on him some more

Anyway, here he is, the completed (albeit unrigged as such) Minotaur character. This was an interesting project because it’s the first time I’ve taken a model out of 3ds max into mudbox and then back in again. There was a LOT of trial and error with that workflow as I’ve created high poly models in 3ds max and then created a normal map of the high poly model onto a lower poly model, but this was the first time I’d actually tried it from Mudbox and to be honest, it really wasn’t working out as well as I’d hoped. My problem being that I was trying to render the normal map from Mudbox, rather than export/import the model back into 3ds max and use the process I was familiar with. Once I realised that I could do that it was somewhat plain sailing after that. A few areas didn’t quite work out the way they should so I ended up having to do a bit clean up work in PhotoShop to resolve issues with the normal and diffuse maps but all in all I’m quite happy with the end results and look forward to working on more, higher detailed models in the future.

I was also pleased with how the specular map turned out, as I was mostly after a dull finish to the main character but a slightly glossier finish to the eyes, nails, horns and hooves, but all in all he worked out well.

Posted by Martin on 24th December 2010

Out of the box Minotaur

For some time now I’ve wanted to get back into box modelling and one of the things I haven’t pasted up on my recent list of portfolio work has been a character.

Train2Game have recently had a thread running for Greek Mythological Creatures but while many of the posts that were made centred around starting and finishing a model in either Z-Brush or Mudbox, to me that was totally wrong.

Considering that the artist and animator course is mainly aimed at working on game ready models, not one piece of “work in progress” that I saw on there were usable as a game character, so I decided to post up my WIP, my starting block as it were….

Yup. This is him, this is my Minotaur as he began life.

In all honesty he came together quite nicely, but there are a lot of relatively nasty polygons in there that I need to go around and clean up, especially around the facial features, but a quick edit of that, taking out some offending loops and straightening up some vertices should see that come back to something cleaner that I’m happy with in terms of topology and ready to be unwrapped, textured, rigged, skinned and animated.

It’s an interesting one as I’ve done many walk cycles in the past, as well as general characters running around, but I can’t say I’ve done something¬† of such magnitude as it were.

The character itself is based on a high polygon art piece created by Glen Southern, although he went from start to finish in extremely high sub divided detail for a static image rather than a game character, so my aim was to draw inspiration from his character, but turn it into something that could be animated, and as such, as I mentioned, I’ve never animated something of such magnitude in terms of the physical size and characteristics of the model.

The first thing that struck me even before I’ve finished modelling this character is that for all he’s only currently 2096 polygons (of which I’m aiming for roughly 3000 for the finished character, before seeing how low I can get him back down once I’ve done a high poly normal map) he is of physically huge proportions. He has a large bulky, somewhat overweight body mass and having previously rigged characters with slight hair movement or a bouncing chest on a female character, due to the size of his belly that would be a perfect section of body to add extra animation to, so as a girl’s chest would bounce up and down as she walked or ran, so would this character’s belly, so all in all I’m quite looking forward to getting this character finished off and animated.

I’ll post an update on this one once I get back to working on it.

Posted by Martin on 23rd December 2010

Roll out the Barrel

One of the first objects I tried unwrapping and applying a map to in 3ds Max was a traditional wooden barrel. I was tempted to go with the same again, but I thought, why do the same again. So I decided to opt for an industrial barrel, and having previously used a rusted metal texture on the filing cabinet, I contemplated what else I could do.

So out came the grunge brushes and on went the paint. The aim was the look of waste industrial paint barrels, which probably would have been that little better if I’d put labels on them. I might do that at a later date.

I had considered creating a high poly mesh to create the rings on the barrel, but I decided to play with normal maps in Photoshop and although not perfect, I at least managed to bump a couple of ridges out of a flat surface.

I definitely think this is one to be continued, modified, worked on and improved upon, but all in all it was a fun little exercise.

Posted by Martin on 23rd December 2010

Pallets to Spare

Continuing with my modelling and unwrapping things I’ve previously done before, having looked at my previous post on the bus stop, reaching the bottom I looked at the footer of this site and thought “why don’t I re-model some of these items?”

Thus started an enjoyable little jaunt to create the pallets found at the bottom of this page.

After creating the basic shape of the feet and legs by creating a long strip, connecting it and extruding the 3 columns from the base then deleting the top “hidden” polys (hence the odd number of polygons) I added the top main board and went about unwrapping it.

One of the great things about objects like this is that for all there is a lot of separate polys initially to stitch, because they all share the same properties, once you’ve stitched them you can overlay them one on top of the other and use the same texture.

To be honest, having completed this I looked at the construction and figured a better way in which I could have wrapped the supports especially so as to give them each their own properties, but for the purpose of the basic exercise I think it works well and close up has a fairly detailed normal bump map to give it that texture.

It also occurred to me that the there should have been an extra set of planks on top of the legs to add support to the boards themselves.

I think I’ll work on one next with separate spaced planks on the top rather than just the appearance of a number of planks nailed together.

No sooner said then done….

This one was a lot easier than the first one for two reasons. First of all, I realised the mistake from the previous one in terms of the UVW stitching, secondly, not only was it merely a series of box primatives spaced out and grouped together with the original leg pieces, but I didn’t specifically need to create a new texture for it, instead just using the same texture from the previous pallet. Obviously it’s doubled the size of the poly count but all in all I think it works well.

Posted by Martin on 22nd December 2010

Waiting for a bus

Some time ago I created a bus stop scenery element for a project I was working on and although functional at the time, it was without doubt, NOT my best work and for some strange reason, considering it had less detail than the one pictured above, also had a higher poly count. Not quite sure where I went wrong there.

Still, I adapted it somewhat and although I’ve indicated that it took 45 minutes to knock up the low poly model, I was somewhat sidetracked by MSN and Skype at the time so there’s a high probability that it only took about 30 minutes to model.

The filing cabinet I created previously was simply normal mapped using PhotoShop and one of the channels from the diffuse map with a few alterations, this model I intend to add extra detail using a high poly model and mapping that to the low poly model, then adding some texture to it.