View Full Version : Armed and Dangerous - Atlantis Renegade

02 February 2012, 01:55 AM
This is just a placeholder, I made up a quick name but I kinda like it at the end hehe

Letme show you a concept image, there should be a dangerous submarine creature lying dead in the boat's deck with a huge knife stuck in a big bound, like if he was resting before finishing the job smoking with that old fashioned smoking pipe:

Current status is: Working on base mesh to get started in Mudbox. Never used it before!

02 February 2012, 04:23 AM
Almost ready for Mudbox, I need to add some more details in Max to the base mesh. Let me show you the head on this "alpha" status.

02 February 2012, 03:22 AM
I'm ready now, lets see how it goes from now on!


02 February 2012, 08:04 AM
prety good base!

do you planning some clothing for this guy?

02 February 2012, 04:17 PM
Thank you fantasymaster, I'm watching Waterworld right now hehe I'm going for a post apocaliptic look I think.

02 February 2012, 07:36 PM
I'm liking Mudbox a lot, It was a hard time feeling idiot because you keep missculpting while trying to move the camera, but our relationship is starting to work hehe.
Here some progress:

02 February 2012, 11:41 AM
Last night's update ... zZZz

02 February 2012, 02:11 AM
Some updates, it's taking shape and since I haven't managed to draw a good concept (I might try tomorrow) I needed to know how all my ideas look in the model.

This is almost all for his native Atlantis armor.

He is an Atlantis guardian who becomes a renegade who scapes from his home land when he is unfairly betrayed after stopping a kind of "coup d'etat". He's captured and manages to scape. I'll get a bit more into the plot later on, but the fact is that he has been wandering on a post apocalyptic human world he doesn't belong to where the sea took 90% of the earth surface (Waterworld alike) . I might add some steampunk elements like clothing and weapons, and some more deco props.

Although his Atlantis suit may look so clean and perfect, it's gonna be full of dirt, scratches and will look aged. The human elements I'll use on him will be raw, aged and dirt aswell.

I plan to give him an atlantis energy shoting staff he took from a guard the day he scapes. This weapon ran out of Atlantis energy though and he managed to plug in a sort of battery that can be refilled using sun light. (before humans world collapsed they had time to invent a lot of stuff useful for survivance).

That's it! Now the latest update, please C&C's are more than welcomed.

On the technical side, I had a hard time with mudbox since it's consuming more resources than expected. I had a whole model first which seems to be too heavy for my comp specs, I cut the model into pieces but having the torso and arms in separate blocks was a pain in the ass. I decided to sculp a bit slower but have them in 1 piece. Pants, belt and legs are all separate objects.

I also miss some more polished rendering tools. I like to see it quickly and maybe because of my mental ray settings, it takes sooo long to render vector disp maps. i want to see the results faster so I'll try to improve my workflow.

Apart from that, I'm enjoying Mudbox, it's a clean tool. Maybe I need more brushes either by getting them on the net or doing them myself, but you can do almost everything whith what it has out of the box. I've seen many videos and can't wait for texturing!! I'm so excited about that.


02 February 2012, 10:38 AM
nice plot. will be interesting to see the steampunk elements with this guy but think they will look cool.

his shoulder and neck muscles need more tweaking, they look a little bit flat.

regarding the armor, he needs to swim a lot :D, but the armor looks very stiff and goes up to his breast. this could be a problem (for him).

hope to see some new updates soon.

02 February 2012, 10:33 AM
maxloegler - Thanks for the tips, that plate ends now a bit lower so he can move properly in water. Anyways, it's not supposed to be that rigid, it's a high flexibility and durability compossed material. In the final pose that will be more ovbious cause it will behave like clothing adapting to the user body.
The same goes for the pants. It's a high tech suit with some plates in strategical points to provide high performance in water and also some nice protection in close combat situations.
About the shoulders and neck, the only part that is like 70-80% finished is the face. The rest is just proportions and concepting but the shoulders are maybe a bit off.

Following the plot, the major part of his Atlantis suit/armor was taken from him when he got captured.
On his way out, he could only manage to take a weapon from one of the prison guards which I will detail in the following posts.

The weapon is a kind of trident that shots energy blasts from it's end, and is powered by Atlantis energy sources which he has no access anymore. That's why it will have some addons to provide it with human made energy batts. The look of this weapon would be like the seen in the first stargate movie i'd say. But I'll give a sea touch and use the same color pattern that the one from the rest of the Atlantis suit.

I'll create a human-like weapon capable of shooting bullets and maybe 40mm grenades aswell, something "modern warfare" alike, also aged and repaired several times.

I'm talking a lot, I wish I could do better concept drawings to support the plot.

About the steampunk parts, a lot of ppl are using that topic recently and I wan't to be as original as possible, so I'm rethinking that part. The two possibilities I'm thinking on right now are:
- Steampunk look as the seen in the movie Waterworld.
- Aged high tech props. Removing bucklets, leather and iron and using some high tech locks and materials instead.

The sea, the renegade part, some pirates era looking items, lonely sea wolf... seems to fit better with the plot to me tho. Watching again Waterworld was awesome and inspiring.
We will see ;)

03 March 2012, 02:08 AM
I'm back with some updates. I'm close to retake the sculpting part now. Some belts and strips need more detail and the weapons... that will be hard hehe

I hope you like it! C&C is a must :D

03 March 2012, 11:42 AM
nice update!
the only thing that bothers my on first glance are the breast muscles. the are extremely sharp and flat in terms of shape. right now they feel more like an crablike armor. if thats what you are shooting for, id suggest you continue this on more areas (shoulder stomach..) so it is easier to identify.
keep it up

03 March 2012, 11:09 AM
lukasvogl -Thanks for your feedback. That chest part was a kind of test because my main reference for the skin is the Scorpion Fish, and it doesn't have those pinchy shapes:

But it adds some more texture to the mix and I'll consider using it for the rest of the body, because the fact that being half human doesn't exactly match a fish reference gives me some freedom to put there whatever makes the sculp better :P

At the end, the body and skin will be consistent.

I'm interested in what you guys think on this, sharp or smooth shapes on his body?

Thank you very much!

03 March 2012, 12:11 PM
i quite like the sharp element. i think it adds to your sculpt. and i instantly had a maritime creature in mind when i saw it. so it might be a good thing to try and play with.
i googled a bit and found some things i liked. hope its ok for you im posting those links here.
pic1 (
maybe these armor parts work well in some places. where the character is most likely to be injured. etc.
pic2 (
i think the mouth area of the crab in the image could work well for your stomach. it allready looks a bit like a sixpack^^.

looking foreward to your next update

03 March 2012, 12:30 PM
I don't mind at all, funny thing is I didn't look for crabs when collecting references at all... Having a soft delicate skin isn't that "dangerous" I'll try adding more of a crab to it. I refuse setting up different plates on the body, the transition between soft and hard skin areas will be a challenge here. Only texture and maybe color range will change on his skin at the end. Otherwise, it would look similar to the Turtle Barbarian from Jesse Sandifer... and this is a fish-humanoid :)

Some fishes have soft and hard skin mixed all together and that's my goal. Thank you very much for your images and comments! I hope I can make a good use of it all.

By the way, I'm doing a base mesh for a laser gun and will also make the staff and then I'll finally start detailing and texturing the model.

Expect an update soon with my wireframes and uv's. Any tip on what would be a nice approach on UV'ing the face? I'm getting some artifacts on the 4 spines behind the "ears", but having them in only one uv island with the whole face stretches the polygons a lot :S Gotta sort that out soon!

03 March 2012, 01:20 AM
Last update

I need to hurry up!

03 March 2012, 10:17 AM
Hey, cool update !
I'm not really convinced by what's happening with the lower part of the pectorals ... The fact that's a really flat surface, maybe you could give a bit more roudness to the ribcage in the middle.
For the uv island, if you use Mudbox, there's no risks to get uv seams, so cut as many peaces as you need to get clean unstretched uvs :)
Normaly back/front should be enough.
Keep it up !

03 March 2012, 10:38 AM
Hey VinceTech, thank you for your feedback! I'm using Max, uvlayout and ... Mudbox, of course :P

When I click on the "send to Max" option from Mudbox and export both the model and the maps generated I see artifacts on the uv seams, but that's probably because I've got some weird displacement in the middle of them and I'll try to find a better area to put the seams on.

About the abs, I felt the need to try Mudbox out to since it's the first time I work with it, so as soon as I had a clean topology for the upper body I started playing with it. For the same purpose I did a quick uv map and started sending the mesh back and forth between mudbox and max.
After that, I saw a nice start to do well in the challenge, although I might be a bit slower with it rather than with zbrush. I'm just starting with 3D and I've got a full time job for Banks and Insurance companies so can't spend hours and hours of my free time to show here something that lacks the quality level expected. I took part in the dominance war with my 3rd model ever and it was kinda dissapointing for the time invested.

So, I hope you guys skiped all my personal background and didn't fall asleep, coming back to the point, I shall use the flat base mesh for this renders but since I got some nice texture on the already sculpted surface I like to see the model that way hehe.

Thank you very much for the feedback, I really appreciate it.

Regards, Guille.

03 March 2012, 10:52 AM
One advice for DSP baking, first, don't tick on the smooth uv's. There's a bug in the algorythm and create some nastyness. 2nd, the problem with mudbox, is the bake is from lvl0 mesh, so the uv's are not smoothed, but in max, you probably apply a meshsmooth to the model, and therefore smooth the uvs. There's one easy solution for that, in Max, use the meshsmooth at lvl2 on your basemesh, export it as a baking model and bring it in Mudbox. Now you need to bake from the sculpted mesh to the div2x model, and you should have no uv seams. It's a bit tedious, but is still the cleanest way. Or you can ask the mesh smooth to not smooth uvs using the old style mapping tick box.

Hope it helps :)

03 March 2012, 11:46 AM
After reading the issue description and your workaround a lot of things are making sense to me :D

Thanks for lighting the path mate, this would have probably make me waste a few hours of investigations, you saved the day!

03 March 2012, 12:05 AM
Final base mesh, time is running up and... sculp, paint, render, lights.... woa... let's go :D

I'd love to see some C&C as always!! Thanks in advance.

03 March 2012, 01:32 AM
WIP of the Atlantis' assets:

I tried out doing the pattern with curves but it was quite hard to control the stroke without 1 or 2 subdiv levels more....

So I made it using steady stroke and I'm evaluating redoing that part.

03 March 2012, 08:22 AM
great progress... i like that...

03 March 2012, 05:06 PM
Hey! Thanks Oglu, glad you like it!

I wish I can do a paint job half as good as yours ;)

I'm gonna redo this part using a higher subd level, generate the maps and use second subd level to show it with the main figure so it doesn't consume all my resources. It will look way better.

03 March 2012, 11:17 AM
Ahh I gave up with some of the patterns used on my model since I can't get it to render properly.... I'm running out of time so let's finish (something I doubt that is likely to happen) and then refinement.

Here my last update. Hopefully, the hard surface stuff won't carry a lot of sculpting time and I'll start texturing in 2-3 days.

I found stencils to be a really usefull tool for many different things:

That's all for now, thanks in advance for any C&C!

03 March 2012, 11:49 AM
Its shaping up really nicely :)
Keep it up !

03 March 2012, 12:07 AM
I think I finally found a rendering workflow. I'll try to remove some artifacts and I feel more confident now. I think I can do it ^^

03 March 2012, 09:06 AM
Nice! I like the belt very much. The cloth parts looks a bit torbulent, but cool. Waiting for more.

03 March 2012, 09:40 AM
Thanks fantasymaster, I wasn't sure of being able to deal with too much detail at the begining, now I regret because I've learned a lot, and I could have done more. But that's part of the fun, learning ^^

detailed view of the big belt:

I'll refine the cloths part, mainly on the borders. There's also an scratches and fine detail pass pending there. I had no luck at all rendering normal maps for this before, now that I fixed the rendering part, the game changed and I have more liberty on sculpting.

I'm quite impressed, the render looks quite better than the sculpt itself!!

04 April 2012, 12:19 PM
I experienced painting on the bump map, it was quite amazing. That technique brings you the possibility to have a bit more of detail than expected ^^ Nice.

Here, my progress on the body. I continue now with the hard surface stuff.


04 April 2012, 01:14 PM
Really solid update ! Keep it up !

04 April 2012, 12:40 AM
Working on the texture:

I used Scott Spencer's method described on his books to create a first layer to represent color temperature and to add a really nice variation to the next layer.

Here my first layer (higher res (

The result when applying my draft second layer:

It really adds some live to your model. Now I need to put more love on that second layer.

Thanks for watching!

04 April 2012, 05:41 AM
nice update mate.
overall good texturing.
i think the texture could have some more color variations like you have on your first screen at the hips area. maybe you could try to do something like that on other parts of the model as well.

04 April 2012, 11:19 AM
Thanks mate! hips area will be covered that's why it lacks some care hehe Over this secnod layer, there's a third one with detailing and variations to the skin tone. It must be done by today EOD so.... hopefully I can have some feedback from you in case I've got time for an overall review before dead line ^^ We are so tight on schedule!

04 April 2012, 01:29 PM
nice update. Keep going.

04 April 2012, 03:06 PM
Agreed. Keep the same!

04 April 2012, 01:00 AM
Got some new screens from mudbox... this is all my comp can do with it hehehe

The rest shall be done in max for better quality renders.

04 April 2012, 09:56 PM
id like to see the final render...
the char is well done... good work...

04 April 2012, 12:49 PM
model and textures look great!
where's your final man? can't wait to see it.

04 April 2012, 01:11 PM
I did it before the deadline but I was too tired to post anything, here is my beauty:

There are so many things to improve on, had a hard time with shaders, and posing is not perfect. But learned a lot. By the way, this is the very first image I render outside of zbrush. And to sum up, it was done in Mudbox ^^

I'm quite happy.

Thank you all very much, specially there are three or four guys who supported my entry during the last two months. It was a great experience and I wish you the best for the challenge.

Congratulations to those who finished!

04 April 2012, 03:35 PM
i also like the char alot.
for the rendering, i think the sss is to strong and the light scatters to deeply inside the model. and i miss specs in the skin.

04 April 2012, 04:18 PM
hey man,
congrats to your final. i really like your image. it reminds me of deep sea photos. creatures that appear in the strong spotlights often have a similar skin quality.
so again. congrats :beer:

04 April 2012, 04:09 PM
Thanks to you two guys! I'm glad you like it, but the truth is that the posing distorted the pants, I couldn't apply the displacement to some parts on the belt, didn't have time to put a compound shader for fabrics and metal, and there seems to be some configuration missing in vra y because in other tests, the low poly edges were smoothed when subdividing and I didn't figure it out how to do it in the final image.

I think that the rendering quality doesn't reflect the amount of hours invested. But the things I've learned have no value.

Next time will be better, and better... and so on.

Was awesome to have you as inspiration following your entries and sharing thoughts.

Thanks again!

04 April 2012, 02:49 PM
Not tired enough, I've been learning a lot about shaders and trying to achieve my desired result.

I've been redoing my skin sss shader and also tried something on the shoulder pad, improved the pose a lot too.

Purpose: Get the best of what I did for the competition and use the model for learning purposes... and feel better with myself having a great beauty shot out of this.

04 April 2012, 07:36 AM
i like the new one... much more power in the pose... also the rendering is much better...

04 April 2012, 09:20 AM
agree with oglu, much stronger, thanks to the keylight.
the shape is way better defined.

04 April 2012, 10:35 AM
Thank you very much Oglu and Kzin, I completely underestimated the rendering phase. I'm glad you like it!

CGTalk Moderation
04 April 2012, 10:35 AM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.