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View Full Version : Secret Agent Entry: Ken Liao


Kaelion
06-12-2009, 04:34 PM
Ken Liao is entered in the "Secret Agent" update: View Challenge Page (http://features.cgsociety.org/challenge/secret_agent/view_entries.php?challenger=17693)

Latest Update: Work In Progress: Wip continued
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/24/17693/17693_1248407047_medium.jpg (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?p=6000788#post6000788)

Kaelion
06-15-2009, 04:54 AM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/24/17693/17693_1245038045_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/24/17693/17693_1245038045_medium.jpg)

Hi,

I'm loving the theme to this challenge. I'm also happy to see other people's WIPs as they are inspiring me to create something different. I more of a background/environment artist so making these characters will be quite a challenge for me.

This is a quick sketch to help me figure out the shapes that I want to use for characters. The obvious choice would be to make him be the nemesis in the story. However, I have an idea to make him the Secret Agent. If so, I'll be dressing him up in full spy garb. It should be a fun take on spies.

Possible background:
He is a spy who has prematurely aged but is still swift in his movements. His condition is a result of a neurogas that was inflicted during his previous battle with an 'SS Doctor'. I was thinking that his next mission will be to infiltrate the base, using stealth and a couple of gadgets.

Environment thumbnails are up next.

ShogunWarrior
06-15-2009, 07:17 AM
hey ken,


i like the theme.. the guy has a big belly can't wait to see more, take care for now.

RageOfAges
06-15-2009, 07:31 AM
Haha. An old, fat spy. This should be an interesting entry. I'll keep an eye out.

-Rage

Kaelion
06-19-2009, 01:12 AM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/24/17693/17693_1245370326_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/24/17693/17693_1245370326_medium.jpg)

Using Zbrush's default male character as a stand-in, I exported to 3ds Max to test lighting.

This is an inclosed room with a cutout hole to the left. Skylight is present and is scanline rendered.

I like the silhouette. Of course it's too dark for a final scene but I'll use the char lighting as reference.

Kaelion
06-20-2009, 10:12 PM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/24/17693/17693_1245532353_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/24/17693/17693_1245532353_medium.jpg)

An antique chair sits in the foreground. To the left, an unattended luggage rack. The gate slides open in the old elevator. The musky smell of the hotel is all around.

The skinny secret agent is disguised as a bellhop/elevator attendant. He is positioned in the elevator facing out. He shoots the large obese target that has stepped out. Slight smoke trails from the gun (silenced with a silencer).

The agent's intel is greatly incorrect. He has only neutralized the Protector who is now on his knees. Harnessed underneath the Protector's white trench coat is the real mark, La Souris.

La Souris' briefcase pops open and explosive liquid filled crystals pour out.

The agent's left eye brow arches up as his focus shifts to the impending disaster that will soon unravel.

------
I might get rid of La Souris all together. Not quite sure at the moment, but I do like the hotel elevator setting. The above img was blocked out using 3ds Max. As with anything, time will be the ultimate factor.

I'll be using colors and shapes to differentiate the agent from his targets. Rounder shapes for the Protector and La Souris and sharper skinnier lines for the agent. Red for the carpet, yellow/beige wallpaper, gold brass and rich wood for the elevator. The luggage will be well traveled, upper class, but still has a lot of character.

Comments and crits are always welcome. Thanks.

Kaelion
06-24-2009, 05:23 AM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/24/17693/17693_1245817433_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/24/17693/17693_1245817433_medium.jpg)

Zbrush sculpting wip.

CGIPadawan
06-24-2009, 05:44 AM
Very nice sculpt so far. :)

I do sense what you were saying earlier, that you usually work on Environments.
But in this kind of challenge, usually only the environment can help tell your story.

Just a few things I am thinking about:

"Explosive Liquid Filled Crystals" - This is like the ZX Poison in "The Rock"?
Maybe the case should be special looking.. with "dangerous symbols" to help tell the viewer that there is real danger.....

"La Souris" is a very small man(???) - I'm wondering how this will work.

The sculpting is great, of course for one of your skills. But I think you can also explore various "framing options"...

An interesting note on elevators. In most movies the Elevator contains the victim (eg: The Untouchables, Quantum of Solace, The Departed). Sometimes the cramped space gives Directors nice avenues to express "trapped" feelings and because the walls inside an Elevator are normally very clean.... smattering it with blood or opening a set of Elevator doors to reveal a grotesque deed inside are good for audience shock/reaction.

So my opinion (only an opinion!) is that maybe the victim is inside the elevator.. the bellhop has killed him, but sees the canisters falling.. rolling.. out of the elevator.. towards him.

Then again, the entire scene can be inside the elevator...

Going back though to emphasize the bellhop... it may be interesting to note the Target had checked into the hotel and the Bellhop helping with his baggage killed him... So perhaps it is set right at the Target's would-be hotel room door (imagine the vulnerability! Anyone can walk out of any number of the doors and see it if the Bellhop is unlucky!)....Or in his hotel room....

Lots of possibilities with this.. but the prevailing thought would be to make the viewer grip his seat in suspense... :)

Good luck!

Kaelion
06-24-2009, 03:56 PM
Hi CGIPadawan.

Thanks for your thoughts. I appreciate it very much. I think we both share the love for cinema because I love all those movies you mentioned. Road to Redemption was also a favorite of mine. The elevator scenes had a lot of tension even though nothing really occurred.

The liquid filled crystals would pay homage to the Rock in terms that they are highly volatile. I was thinking that two colors of liquids could be separated but would mix to form new color (yellow+blue=green, etc) depending on how long they have been bouncing around. They'd be bubbling like acid. That was my initial direction of showing a ticking time bomb.

La Souris, was initially supposed to be inside the Protector. I was thinking that he was a creator inside his Frankenstein. Controlling him to get around but at the end is saddened to see him die. The killer secret agent could be walking away with a briefcase unknowing that La Souris is holding the real goods.

I like your idea about the bellboy helping him to his room then killing him at the doorway. The light from the hallway would be a nice backdrop to a room lit by moonlight.

As you can see, I'm still ironing out the final image. I think because there are two or three different routes I can go, is giving me a hard time composing the final scene.

Cheers!
Ken

Very nice sculpt so far. :)

I do sense what you were saying earlier, that you usually work on Environments.
But in this kind of challenge, usually only the environment can help tell your story.

Just a few things I am thinking about:

"Explosive Liquid Filled Crystals" - This is like the ZX Poison in "The Rock"?
Maybe the case should be special looking.. with "dangerous symbols" to help tell the viewer that there is real danger.....

"La Souris" is a very small man(???) - I'm wondering how this will work.

The sculpting is great, of course for one of your skills. But I think you can also explore various "framing options"...

An interesting note on elevators. In most movies the Elevator contains the victim (eg: The Untouchables, Quantum of Solace, The Departed). Sometimes the cramped space gives Directors nice avenues to express "trapped" feelings and because the walls inside an Elevator are normally very clean.... smattering it with blood or opening a set of Elevator doors to reveal a grotesque deed inside are good for audience shock/reaction.

So my opinion (only an opinion!) is that maybe the victim is inside the elevator.. the bellhop has killed him, but sees the canisters falling.. rolling.. out of the elevator.. towards him.

Then again, the entire scene can be inside the elevator...

Going back though to emphasize the bellhop... it may be interesting to note the Target had checked into the hotel and the Bellhop helping with his baggage killed him... So perhaps it is set right at the Target's would-be hotel room door (imagine the vulnerability! Anyone can walk out of any number of the doors and see it if the Bellhop is unlucky!)....Or in his hotel room....

Lots of possibilities with this.. but the prevailing thought would be to make the viewer grip his seat in suspense... :)

Good luck!

CGIPadawan
06-25-2009, 12:57 AM
I see. Glad you appreciate the feedback, it's the longest I've ever written. :P Good luck. :)
The La Souris thing can still work... but.... you'd have to give sort of roll over in it for a few days. Think about him while looking at the sky and things like that.

Good luck. :)

Migly
06-25-2009, 02:09 AM
Hey Ken, I like the idea - it has a lot of potential. I think the key will be finding a way for all of the planned detail you want to show to come through in the image/composition without seeming contrived or forced. Being aggressive with the lighting and going for something very contrasty might help - it'll force the eye where you want it (on the details) and you can let the overall tonal values and shape/silhouette control the flow through one lighting hotspot to the next - Before you get too caught up in doing much more modeling, I would suggest trying to block this scene in with more lighting - it'll help establish the mood and flow and will help you identify areas you need to focus on most with your modelling/texturing.

And I want to see more Zbrush WIPs! Us environment artists have to stick together in this "character" oriented challenge!! I know how hard it is the first few times you work up characters in Zbrush as I'm going through it myself :)

Cheers bud - looking forward to more

Kaelion
06-25-2009, 03:19 PM
Hey Migly,

Thanks for your input!

Contrasting lighting will definitely help. Good point there. Lighting, color tones, and shapes can all be done in a quick mock up.

I think it's important to let the viewer fill in the gaps of the story. It's up to us to provide the proper elements and details for them to do that. I think the more powerful compositions out there are the ones that do more to imply than to show.

I have a couple of ideas to redo the scene so that lighting will play a key part in setting the mood. I'm going to simplify the story too and concentrate more on just two characters, an elevator and maybe part of a hallway or spiral staircase.

Zbrush is definitely a fun and powerful tool to use. Although, it does take a little more practice getting used to compared to other programs.

Can't wait to see more of your work. I took a look at your thread and it has lots of potential.

Cheers,
Ken

Hey Ken, I like the idea - it has a lot of potential. I think the key will be finding a way for all of the planned detail you want to show to come through in the image/composition without seeming contrived or forced. Being aggressive with the lighting and going for something very contrasty might help - it'll force the eye where you want it (on the details) and you can let the overall tonal values and shape/silhouette control the flow through one lighting hotspot to the next - Before you get too caught up in doing much more modeling, I would suggest trying to block this scene in with more lighting - it'll help establish the mood and flow and will help you identify areas you need to focus on most with your modelling/texturing.

And I want to see more Zbrush WIPs! Us environment artists have to stick together in this "character" oriented challenge!! I know how hard it is the first few times you work up characters in Zbrush as I'm going through it myself :)

Cheers bud - looking forward to more

Kaelion
06-26-2009, 06:17 AM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/24/17693/17693_1245993463_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/24/17693/17693_1245993463_medium.jpg)

Idea...

Picture an old European building. A gated elevator is in the middle.

Character exits elevator. He is paralized from an injection to his neck.

The briefcase that he once held is replaced by a ticking bomb (timer to face the viewer). A note is seen hanging from the bomb. The poison sets in and he can't move.

The secret agent is seen walking away with the goods (gun in the other hand).

I might move the agent (in the mirror) to the right side to make the composition more pleasing.

It's too late in the night to do that now. Comments welcome. Thanks.

Kaelion
06-28-2009, 05:25 AM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/24/17693/17693_1246163121_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/24/17693/17693_1246163121_medium.jpg)

The agent's mark is in the elevator. He is paralyzed from the poison injection.

This is the basic camera position and lighting that I'm going to go with. I probably will try to frame more of the right side of the image so that I can hold the viewer's eye.

The elevator will be fenced (not solid) so that the lighting will be able to bleed downwards from the roof window.

I'm also not entirely happy with the left agent's pose. I'll have to iron that out.

Kaelion
06-30-2009, 03:57 AM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/24/17693/17693_1246330663_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/24/17693/17693_1246330663_medium.jpg)

Going back and forth from 3ds Max to Zbrush I am slowly building the character the 'Diplomat'. I'm learning subtools as I go. I still have to model the shoes, bow tie, belt and shirt. I use 3ds Max to clean up the geometry. I will unwrap before I sculpt the high detail.

My story is always changing but I think I finally have one. This character will be facing off against his doppelganger. Who is real and who is the spy in disguise? Fingers will be pointing at each other.

Hopefully I will have time to complete the 3rd character, the one who is pointing the gun and trying to figure out who is legitimate.

And yes... the elevator is still in the picture. Somewhere... Oh yea...ignore the pants too, I'm still working on the shape.

Thanks!

Kaelion
07-08-2009, 01:55 AM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/24/17693/17693_1247014499_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/24/17693/17693_1247014499_medium.jpg)

Typical evil nemesis on the left. With finger inches away from pressing a button. Death is around the corner for the captured agent.

Foreground: Weapon of death. Some sort of drill or laser.

Bottom right, agent bound, black/blue right eye, trying desperately to cut his ropes with his secret laser ring.

Lots to do...

I hope everyone is enjoying this challenge so far. This is probably one of the most difficult challenges. I could definitely use another month. =P

Cheers,
Ken

Kaelion
07-10-2009, 05:47 AM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/24/17693/17693_1247201237_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/24/17693/17693_1247201237_medium.jpg)

Ceiling light is intersecting the sentry's scanning light... will fix. Agent will be holding a gun behind his back. Sentry will be fully stocked with huge Gatling guns.

Kaelion
07-13-2009, 06:20 AM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/24/17693/17693_1247462434_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/24/17693/17693_1247462434_medium.jpg)

Color scheme...and possible camera angle.

Kaelion
07-16-2009, 03:14 AM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/24/17693/17693_1247710446_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/24/17693/17693_1247710446_medium.jpg)

Scupting in Zbrush... geo is unwrapped. I have about 5-6 more days sched for this guy.

Kaelion
07-24-2009, 04:41 AM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/24/17693/17693_1248406859_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/24/17693/17693_1248406859_medium.jpg)

I might go for a dorky Andy Dick type of agent. The detonator will have a television screen that will display the evil dictator's face. C-4 with coils of cables to the right.

Kaelion
07-24-2009, 04:44 AM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/24/17693/17693_1248407047_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/24/17693/17693_1248407047_medium.jpg)

Modeling done on detonator.

CGIPadawan
07-24-2009, 09:03 AM
Looking nice. :)

I can see your images get better as your ideas mature.

Good luck. :)

Kaelion
07-24-2009, 11:54 PM
Looking nice. :)

I can see your images get better as your ideas mature.

Good luck. :)

Thanks Padawan. Good job in finishing your art. This has definitely been a learning experience.

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