Sunday, April 29, 2012

Character Modeling 2: Seignik Bahamut Skin 2

Part 1 of this character can be found here.

For those who haven't seen the concept to this character on my blog before, here it is again:

And here's the final shot and contact sheet of the 3D model:

I have turntables for both versions of Seignik and I will post the video on this blog when Premiere decides not to be a butt.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Random Sketchstuff 2

Here's some traditional and Photoshop pieces, some of them unfinished because I was just brainstorming:

"Fire vs Water"
(pencil, Sharpie marker, Faber Castell markers)

I drew this in my sketchbook last year. These two characters were from a very old story idea I came up with during middle to high school. They are dragons in human form: the blue guy's a water serpent whereas the other one is a fire dragon. The Chinese writing encompassing the two characters is actually lyrics to a Jay Chou song.

"The Marionettes"
(pencil, Faber Castell markers)

A more recent drawing, this is a revamp of a piece I painted in freshman year of college:

(acrylic paint, glue, glitter)

The concept behind these two characters came from Thomas Woodruff's gallery showing at school called "The Freak Parade", which was a collection of paintings of strange and bizarre characters portrayed in a circus-like fashion. I had an assignment that asked for our own interpretation of a Freak Parade member, and the "Marionettes" was what I came up with. 
The Marionettes are a cooperative pair of tricksters who steal people's souls to become whole. One of the pair controls the other and then vice versa, so it's difficult to figure out which Marionette is the "real one" pulling the strings. It's hard to tell in the picture, but there are lines of glue and glitter connecting the six-armed jester and girl's hands that represent the invisible strings they use to control each other. The girl primarily acts as an innocent lure whereas the jester attacks people. Oh yeah, and the jester's face in the painting glows in the dark.
In the revamp drawing, I went for a more graphic approach. The girl also aged a bit. I love drawing lanky arms with pointy fingers. :P

"Water Goddesses"

This is what I meant by unfinished because of brainstorming. For some reason, on two separate occasions, I wanted to draw a water goddess. The one on the left is a personal concept I've drawn before - I was going to finish it but then I didn't like where it was going. The goddess on the right was something that just happened in the spur of the moment - I really wanted to draw a girl with a lot of flowy hair. :'D


This was a character concept that I had originally sketched during GDC 2012 and then used in a Japanese Art and Culture assignment. :'D I chose a topic that talked about the origins of kitsune so I felt this character was relevant. She's swirling around two flaming mirrors, a concept that was inspired off of Okami's Amaterasu. I want to draw more Japanese folklore related characters, so I hope to post more like this one.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Character Modeling 2: Seignik Bahamut Skin

Here's a little bit of WIP of my character for Second Project:

Putting some joints in the wings, for shits and giggles.

Model fully rigged and posed.

Opened wings.

Now all that's left is texturing. I don't think I'll have time to make his Megaflare gun, but maybe that can be done after Second Project's due.

Part 2 of this character can be found here.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

EA Art Test

I completed this art test about a month ago, and after making sure I could post it here it is. :D

This was a character concept test. Three different types of human silhouettes were given, and I chose the tank of a man and the woman. Genre/theme, wise, I went for fantasy and sci-fi. The characters also had to be drawn in varying styles, and one of them had to have a turnaround sheet.

The bulky man silhouette was the toughest concept for me; for some reason, I was hating all the concepts I was coming up with for him. Among his silhouettes above, the rock, dragon, and last four of the tank man were my top choices. The rock felt too typical of a choice and the dragon's flowy hair and cloth may not be a feasible choice for a game character, so the last four silhouettes of this knight looking thing were my best bet.
The idea behind the knight came from my sudden, ridiculous urge to put fireflies in a suit of armor. The big, bulbous right shoulder reminded me of a lamp, so I thought it would be cute to put fireflies in there.  I also looked up a bunch of reference of old lamp posts and ornate lanterns, to fit with the whole "lamp" theme. Here's the final concept, dubbed "Knight Light":

The fireflies kinda turned into magical, purple fire. It could still be magical purple fireflies. :'D

The last character concept, the woman, was the easiest one for me to do (as there aren't as many silhouette explorations for her compared to the man). Since I wanted this one to be sci-fi, I felt more at ease coming up with a silhouette/gesture that I liked. This is what she turned out to be:

This art test was a straight 24 hour marathon that left me, health-wise, beaten and destroyed. It was the most glorious achievement of my life... :'D

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Character Modeling: Seignik (Part 2)

Part 1 of this character's process can be found here.

Now that thesis was finally over, I was able to complete this character. Last time, I ended Seignik's progress with a turnaround of his model with baked in ambient occlusion. The next step was figuring out what kind of color scheme to give him, because I thought the initial sketch looked a little too much like Megaman.

Here are the different color schemes I came up with. I tried playing around with contrast and mixing up the placements of the lights and darks. This was the final scheme I ended up using:

(Rendered in UDK)

Because of Seignik's exaggerated proportions and stylish look, I thought that a toon shader would look good on him. At first I was just going leave Seignik's textures plain and let the shader do all the work, but after some critique I was told to add textural detail. 

Now that I was adding all this grunge onto the armor, the metal areas needed some spec to really feel like metal. I was having a hard time trying to adjust the spec: either the edges of the spec were too soft or the spec covered too much of the armor's surface. I wanted to get a tight, hard-edged shine on the metal that wouldn't interfere with the rest of the toon shader.

Upon discovering that all I needed to do was change one constant node, this was the result I was most satisfied with.

And finally, here is the final model and its contact sheet:

In conclusion:
I really enjoyed modeling this character, though I know I still need to improve poly optimization and conserving texture space. The original model was over 12,000 polys and the textures maps were all 2048x2048 (except the emissive map, which remained 512x512). Messing with the toon shader was also a bit of a hassle, but it was definitely a learning experience. I do want to get better at making Materials in UDK. 

For anyone who cares, Streamline was an idea of mine that was inspired from a mixture of the anime show IGPX, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Wipeout. Characters raced each other on rails using technology called "Stream Boots": boots that had various classes of high speed rockets attached to them. The racers, or "Runners" as they're called, also wore armored suits not only for protection, but also for powering their Stream Boots and any other equipment they wanted to attach to their armor. By default, the armor suits provided an energy shield for extra defense, but additional equipment included shield upgrades, beam weapons (knives, guns, etc.), and others. Runners had to manage energy consumption wisely, however, because extra equipment drained their suits' energy, thus slowing their speed during a race. 

Seignik here has a Class C, Medium Weight type armor suit with a Class C speed rank. If anyone remembers his Bahamut skin, that would be a Class A, Medium Weight type suit with a Class A speed rank. The Bahamut skin also includes a Megaflare Railgun.