View Full Version : Game Art Comp 5 : modeling man : FFII (IV) Dragoon KAIN

01 January 2004, 08:41 PM

count me in for the dragoon character KAIN:)
no pic yet but I got the game so shouldn't be too hard to find screens.


01 January 2004, 10:37 PM
Kain, rock on! I'm doing Cecil myself, check out my thread some time and let me know what you think. I almost chose to do Kain initially, but I figured some one else would so I took on Cecil instead.

01 January 2004, 11:15 PM
ya I'm pumped.
Dragoon's are just too cool.
once I get my contest entry finished I'll start working on Kain.
I can't wait!

01 January 2004, 10:02 AM
Damn you guys beat me to it...I was gonna do!....

maybe I could do the main character from FF5..( which didnt really have a name, you gave him one)

I look forward to seeing both cecil and cain!

01 January 2004, 09:08 PM
oooh Cain, that should be cool! Cant wait to see it....Dragoons rock!

01 January 2004, 11:27 AM

Sorry for the delay...I just finished up over at the competition 15. I got a bit of catching up to do!

Here's the brief descript of what I got so far:
I used a ton of reference from the game, and other final fantasy games that had Dragoons in them. In the end, I went with a semi-gothic look for his armor, that coupled with the original watercolor paintings of Kain from Final Fantasy II(IV) helped me creating a truly ornate concept of what I think a dragoon would look like.

profile shot should be done hopefully tomorrow

01 January 2004, 02:16 PM
Cool concept! I'd like to see how the texturing turns out.

01 January 2004, 08:26 PM
Gloves are sweet.

01 January 2004, 09:21 PM
very nice concept... the helmet resembles the FFT lancer's a lot... considering all lancers at least FFT and beyond (including fft's Cid) had some kind of 'dragon' ability, is it correct to assume they just changed dragoons over to lancers?

01 January 2004, 10:47 PM
Got a couple comments on your concept art:

The overall design is really cool. I'm glad you used the dragon head motif that Kain has, it works well. I like the dragon wing type thing behind him, I would play that up alittle more; make it into a cape or something.

Since you mirrored one side of the drawing, some of the area's look a tad off (IMHO). First, his chest looks a bit wide, I'd bring it in a tad where it goes up near the armpits.
His torso/hips look too wide as well (the hips moreso). To get a good hero/champion feel with a character, there should be a strong V shape going from shoulders to hips. Currently you have more of an hourglass shape, which is used more with female characters.
The wideness of the helm bugs me too. Kain's special ability is to jump really high, but the largeness of the helm just looks too cumbersome to me. The shape of the helm is cool, I'd just reduce the amount of open space between his head and the helm.

Anyway, those are my thoughts, hope they can be of some help.

01 January 2004, 05:11 AM
thanks Runefall
your comments make good sense. Yes this is a mirror use in drawing the same thing twice:)
Not 100% sure I'll pull in the hips...i think the armor is what's throwing you off there. Typically with suits of armor the hip pieces are flared out for easier movement.
I'll shrink down the helm to fit more snug...I saw that problem right off the bat when I mirrored it..but at way was I gonna start to tinker. Armpit regions as well I'll pull in.
As for the cape idea I thought about that too when concepting this up...however in the older picks of Kain it clearly shows the wing shapes coming from the back/hip since I'm trying to stay true to the FFII style just updated a bit I think for now I'll leave it as is...ofcourse I'm sure I'll try it out in 3D:P

I never played FFT, I have FFT Adv for GBA and in the studyguide (got it for free!) the pic clearly shows a dragoon as a playable job I really have no idea if Lancers are now dragoons.
The helmet is based off how i perceived the tiny little pixels that made up Kain, along with the original FFII art.
To me the dragoon cap looked less like something someone fighting a dragon would wear and more like something a magician would I went for a more knight-like approach. I perceive Dragoons from FFII as truly rare warriors, that wore ornate nearly weightless armor. Something incredibly strong but so light it allowed them to jump incredible heights.

ok enough chitty chat...thanks for the comments
back to work!

01 January 2004, 11:01 AM

aight got the profile shot done...

I thought this Kain looked pretty torn, I wanted to portray his two sided 'personality' he had in the game by doing a split of light/dark and then putting him remotely in the middle of it.

I had some fun with this rendering. 2nd shot was made to show how the helmet will look from a profile.
I'll most likely do a full color of the image where he is holding the helmet. I really like that one.


01 January 2004, 03:50 PM
Great concepts.. I really like the armor.. start modelling already! Only one small suggestion.. make the weapon a bit longer, Might be the perspective of the drawing though. Good luck!

01 January 2004, 04:33 PM
Nice work on the sketches, now on with modelling!

01 January 2004, 12:01 AM

thats the FFT lancer. the job class' skill is.. get this.. jump! :D cant wait to see the model.

01 January 2004, 12:46 AM
sir i am inlove with your helmet!

01 January 2004, 11:18 AM

ok finally made some progress on this.
the head/face is stylized a bit to match the profile image.
about 1200 polys right now with the beginning of the armor.
I should, if time permits, have the modeling portion done tomorrow night seeing as my weekend is entirely packed with non-modeling events:(


01 January 2004, 02:52 PM
sooo sleepy
model is basically done
just need to model in the weapon and teeth/mouth cavity.

He clocks in at 4413 so a tiny bit of optimaztion...but for now its bed time.


01 January 2004, 04:20 PM
now that's one nice looking model ;-)
really can't wait to see it textured

01 January 2004, 09:21 PM
as suggested in your prepro, i second now... you should make the V shape from the torso to the shoulders more drastic... right nowe the blockyness of that area is really the only thing i can see thats taking away from a great model.

01 January 2004, 09:24 PM
^^^^ i agree

It really looks blocky without the (badass) helmet.

01 January 2004, 12:14 AM
the concept is great and all, but those shoulders just don't fit :/
looks like an action figure... you might want to bring the arms closer to the chest (or make the head bigger.. anyway, tweaking the whole proportions)... keep up the good work.

01 January 2004, 04:55 AM
I really like it. the best i have seen so far.

01 January 2004, 10:51 AM
ok some updates:
did some optimizations to get in the pollies i need for cool hair, and most importantly the weapon.
fixed the issues with the shoulder.
pulled all the extra pollies out that I had for detail since I found out bump maps ARE allowed:):):)

I only had 2 hours to work on it this weekend:(

01 January 2004, 05:02 PM
Looking good! One small thing you should probably change is the thickness of his torso. Right now his armor and body would weigh about 700 pounds. Otherwise nice progress!

01 January 2004, 12:36 AM
I dig your take on Kain, I think that the only reservation I have about him is that he seems a bit too bulky/squared-off in the upper torso. I'd like to see him with smoothing groups soon, even if the textures aren't done yet. Regardless, lookin' good.

The JP name for Kain's job-class was "Dragon Knight" which was called "Dragoon" in the US. The Lancer in the US version of FFT is Dragon Knight in JP, but for some reason was changed to Lancer in the US. Kain, Cid, Freya and the Lancer job-class are all Dragoons.

01 January 2004, 12:45 AM
That helmet is gonna look so cool when its textured. I know you havn't averaged normals yet etc but the overall feel of the character is a bit boxy and rigid, but I'm sure you will fix this tho.

01 January 2004, 02:03 AM
hey thanks for the crits guys
I've been slammed with work atm.
As for the squarish-ness I'm sure its in relation to the 'v' idea everyone has been bringing up...I think a slender take on his middle torso is in order. The V shape is a good idea but needs to be toned down.
Also, the faceted shot doesn't help either so once I jump back to this model I should be able to get some stuff up for viewing.

01 January 2004, 10:40 AM
that helmet does indeed rock!

02 February 2004, 10:21 AM

Here's where I'm at so far...a lot of cleaning up to do. Bumps are shown a bit higher than what they'll be in the final render just so you can see em. Plus the current bump map is being rendered out as the diffuse to better see it.
Been busy with an art test. Its finished now and so I found some time to put back into this.

bump maps about 80%
polycount came in like 4497 I believe...I'll have to get an exact count but I know it comes right under 4500.


02 February 2004, 10:37 AM
nicely done

02 February 2004, 04:54 PM
those bumps add a lot.....good job.

How'd the art test go?

02 February 2004, 08:08 PM
Looks great. I think you did Kain's reputation justice =). PLease texture and rig it! lol

02 February 2004, 07:49 AM
This is great.

I allways wanted to try character, but they seems very difficult to me.

But If I see some great work like yours, It allways says me, that I should try more.

Really great work.
One small question, ... the render is done with meshsmooth? becouse it seems very smooth to me, to be low poly

02 February 2004, 08:14 AM
Really great work.
One small question, ... the render is done with meshsmooth? becouse it seems very smooth to me, to be low poly

I wish! Nope no meshsmooth in the renders. The models appears smoother because I applied smoothing groups (sparingly!). Smoothing groups don't increase polycount, however they do increase vert count. For this comp, and since this model will most likely not appear in a game engine the vert count was not a big deal. I did, however, try my best to use smoothing only went I absolutely felt it necessary.

Hope that answers your question...there's a huge post around here somewhere on this forum that better explains vert counts, and smoothing groups. As for getting into character modeling no better time to start than now. I've been modeling for a little more than a year and I remember first coming to this site and thinking it was hopeless...but I kept at it and although the first couple models were a bit rough the last couple models I've done are, in my mind, really showing promise. So don't lost hope!

Thanks again

02 February 2004, 08:38 AM
thanx for the answers :)

I`m not a newB so It`s not that hard with me. I`m newB only in character modeling.

But thanks for your explanations. I knew, you have used smoothing groups, but it seems, that It looks "rounder" ... but very good work.

looking fwd to the finished character

02 February 2004, 10:36 AM

bumps are on hold while I catch up with the diffuse
not much here just the beginning of the face.
some tweaks and details will be added.


02 February 2004, 11:48 AM
ooooooo,... very nice.

I just wanted to write down, that I`d like to see him without helm :)))

it seems that except modelling skill you`ve got some telepathical ones :

02 February 2004, 10:19 PM
Still think his torso is too thick as i mentioned way back. Imagine an actual body in there, hed have too-wide shoulders with thin arms poking out the end. You need to thin his chest and waist alittle. If you want him to have wide shoulders, you should atleast make his arms thicker, just doesnt look right.

02 February 2004, 02:17 AM
well actually all along I've thought he was too wide...but I if you read back a bunch of people wanted him to be "v" shaped. Thus the wider shoulders and chest region.
I've actually gone back and tweaked it already should be noticeable in the next update.

02 February 2004, 10:32 AM

ok added some preliminary spec maps.
I typically work: bump,diffuse, then spec. However, for this model I wanted to add a translucent abstract scale effect to the armor. I rendered out a short 40 second animation showing how light reacts to it. Its pretty big though and its late and I'm tired so I might rerender out and post another light test once I get more done to the diffuse...I also wanted to test out initial colors for the armor so for right now all the diffuse armor is is a single colored layer set over the initial bump map:P


02 February 2004, 01:18 PM
WOW man.. Very impressive. You've done a great job :)

02 February 2004, 04:02 PM
nice modeling! :)

02 February 2004, 12:54 AM
was there any perticular technique that you used to paint the wispy embelishments? They seem very realistic. I for one don't care too much for bump maping as they are commonly misused, but it looks good here.

02 February 2004, 10:42 AM
totally reworked the face...changed the structure around more to my liking
nothing new to the diffuse cept for tweaks on the face and hair.
I'm removing the flaps of hair as I like te slicked back look better.
not to mention it works better under the helmet.
Ofcourse ingame there'd most likely be a helmet version and a helmetless version, but I digress.

Michael Voeller:
I just used my wacom tablet. I made circular motions over a grey backdrop used midtones to pull up the bump. Nothing special. I suppose for those without a tablet you could create a marque circle and use stroke. Then under options change the opacity to like 80% then blur it. Or you could hammer away with the mouse making semi-circles at like 10%. If I don't make any sense its cause its 2:30am and I'm tired.


02 February 2004, 02:28 PM
Face Looks Much much better.. nice improvement =)..

as for the Scaly Armor.. im not Sure but somehow i think it would look better if the Scales didnt Go over the swirly things and the other "light" parts of the Armor.. might just be me Though.. looks Sexxellent non the less.. keep it UP!!..

02 February 2004, 02:40 PM
This texturing is slick, with those bumps.And the new face is better.

Why destroying an amazing concept with ridiculous proportions?
I say that because I think your model has an enormous potential, and that a few tweaks can solve the problems.

So, that's what he looks like under his armor :S

Keep it up !

02 February 2004, 03:18 PM
I totally agree. The spec is still really early and yes I was planning to remove the scales from the raised armor and from the circular pendant in at his waist.

Well you are right his proportions are ridiculous. That was an older post you pulled as your reference.:P

Since then the shoulders have been pulled in, waist has been pulled down (it was too high previously and too skinny (due to the "v" shape proposed earlier). Also, his thighs were shortened a bit since they were a tad bit too long.
I completely agree with you, though, and I think I'll pull in the entire sides a bit more...that will ofcourse lose the previous mentioned "v" shape that was asked twice to create. I'll make changes and post later tonight.

02 February 2004, 04:31 PM
Right now it's pretty obvious you slapped on 'stained glass' filter for the scales. For the distance renders it looked OK, but up close it got annoying. PLEASE remove it from the armor decorations too (as you already agreed to) :)

Just vary up the sclaing a little and make it less prominent . I really like the rest!

02 February 2004, 06:05 PM
That's looking nice. I think if you widen the opening for the arm in the armor and move the arm in it'll work.

Agree about the mosaic pattern as well. How about a hammer pattern you can paint on with the stamp tool at least in the recessed areas? (ie: hammered metal)

Cool stuff!

02 February 2004, 10:25 AM

Ok quite a bit of stuff done tonight.
Namely the weapon is about 90% done and I really liked how its turning out.
I started work on the diffuse portion of Kain. Which will incorporate less saturated hues from the weapon (his boots show a possible direction). I really wanted to keep Kain pretty mono-chromatic in terms of his pallete. Basically darker hues or grey , black, blue but the brown, brass/gold, and green really got me pumped so who knows.

Neil: *sigh* dude it was "clouds" THEN stained glass...geez! Some photoshop pro you are;)
Ya I shrunk em, and removed em from the shoulders, cloth...basically I confined them to the legs, chest, and helmet...realize too that its a spec map so it gives off a translucent effect as light passes over...I'll get a render out soon of it...its pretty tight in real time. I've as well tweaked up the spec map so its about 30% done...but I'll probably only drop in more time if everything else is done.

muckywetnoodle: thanks for the crits, I posted the newer proportions as I mentioned earlier. I went back and tweaked more also.

Ok sleep

02 February 2004, 10:46 AM
Damn you!!.. thats so Sweet i nearly poOped me panties.. i need this Char ingame!! any game.. mad talent, ohwell Keep it up bet ill see him in the next FF right? riiight? ;)

02 February 2004, 01:10 PM's totally up to you if you listen to me or not
but IMO....the eyes for your dragon helmet...well you can't see them, so maybe you wanna try giving them a gold colour...maybe
even a red gem colour..cause like I said I can't see them...
maybe it's just me....
it's up to you..ofcourse.....

02 February 2004, 01:31 PM
Did you add a glass eye protection layer now?
Looks different, although it could just be the angle of the render.

If so, i'm not sure... i could live with it, but i liked being able to see his flesh before. Gives the impression that he's human under there.

02 February 2004, 12:32 AM
Looking great now! His armor could now accomodate realistic human proportions. Nice work!

02 February 2004, 11:06 AM

about 90% complete now.
tweaks and some more painting lie ahead as well as the rig.

I uploaded a tiny avi showing the bump/spec in action. Its just 40 frames sorry but its late.


02 February 2004, 07:40 PM
Great job! I like how this came together. Lovely detail! I would go for some colorfull highlight somewhere on the diffuse map, just to break up the overall greyish look. But great nevertheless!

02 February 2004, 07:59 PM
great looking kain... but i always thought he was older than that...

don't know i guess its just my inpression

i really like the look of that animation. it really shows the texture far better than any of the stills do

02 February 2004, 08:24 PM
Wou have improved so much over the past year. I gotta say, it really inspires me to get back to doing this stuff and posting. Moving to SF and working full time as an artist, I haven't had a lot of free time but, man, I really need to get back in the game.

Kudos to you, my friend. Rock on.

02 February 2004, 11:03 PM
DAMN!!! This is awesome!

02 February 2004, 02:48 AM
This is nuts man, i love it.

would it be possible for you to post the maps that you used?

02 February 2004, 10:40 AM

ok so he's rigged. Hopefully with what little time I have left I'll finish up the last of the texturing I want to do.

As for posting the texture maps, I will post em in the contest thread when they are completed.


02 February 2004, 12:19 PM
*blinks* Holy Crap dude....if only videogames looked that good damn....

02 February 2004, 08:00 AM
thanks all for the comments.
I am busy as hell this weekend.
Got a test animation up too in the submission
I'm not an animator...just thought I'd make the model move around and look cool.

here's the direct link
test_sequence (wmv format) (
**chances are you'll need to download this to your harddrive as its not setup for streaming really.


02 February 2004, 10:54 AM
ok no picture updates...but I figure I'd let you all know my plan for Kain. After finishing up this comp I decided I really wanted to animate him in some kind of a short battle scene, nothing more than 1-2 min tops.
So I already began concepting a dragon tonight (what else would he battle?!). Basically, I see the event taking place sometime during Final Fantasy (IV, II) when he is not in your party:P. Kind of a side-story. Anyways, its a ways off for sure but I figured I'd let everyone know. I also started to write out Kain's theme music...I like to write music when I model characters and what not it usually helps me really get into the character and mood. I'll most likely use this in the short animation as I really want to just use music and animation to drive the short.

Right now its just the intro right now and the instrumentation is just parted out to set the mood, no real part writing yet. Plus, I mixed this just using my headphones as its late as hell so best to listen to it at lower levels just in case there are some nuttey frequencies.
I looked over some of the older Final Fantasy music, and hopefully captured that quality, as I really want to make this as authentic and cool as possible.

Kain_Theme Work in Progress:

Ok its late

02 February 2005, 10:22 PM
THAT LOOKS SO GOOD! Man, you are a genius, I worship you! Haha. Awesome work, keep at it.

02 February 2005, 08:00 PM
As a rabid FF fan, I always wanted to go about modelling Kain (by far my favorite character of them all), but never really got the time to do so. I like where you're going with it, but I agree that the proportions still seem a little... weird. It seems like it's very clunky armor for someone who's supposed to be able to jump through the air. Personally, I always felt his battle sprite was far better looking than his "overworld" sprite, and that's probably why it jumps out at me like it does.

Aside from simple personal taste, I'd say you're doing a pretty great job. I have one nitpick though, when he takes his helmet off at the end, I'm pretty sure his hair is blond. I realize it's black in the concept art. Keep it up, I'd love to see some animation tests.

04 April 2005, 06:02 PM
Hey those drawings and stuff are really cool. I hope you dont mind but i took your drawing of kain and put it in cad and traced it. it looks really kool.
I post it if you want

04 April 2005, 07:02 PM
Been watching your progression on the character. Looks awesome and the height mapping really adds to it. Looks Awesome :D

04 April 2005, 08:24 PM
WoW :eek: All this details.
Fabulous textures and really nice model.

Your model rocks.

04 April 2005, 10:24 PM
Hey thanks for the replies guys.
I hope you haven't gotten too fond of this model, as I was never 100% happy with it. I have since finished my chocobo and will be doing some serious reworking on Kain. Basically, I want to remodel the face, and change the shoulder region a little I will be reoptimizing the mesh so that it works better with the chocobo. As well as reworking the metal texture, and optimizing the UV layouts.

The link to the big bird is here.

thanks again guys...once i finish my Baroness model I'll most likely bounce back on Kain.

Baroness model can be seen here at Cgchat.

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