View Full Version : Character: Anakin - Pod Racer outfit

01 January 2004, 07:40 PM
Hi everyone,

Just found this forum via a post on Highend3D and Iím floored at how great this place is. Iím currently learning Maya and have aspirations to become a character modeler for Games. Iím completely self-taught so far. Iíve been doing the online tutorials and also the Gnomon Polygon Modeling DVDs. Only started using the software less than a month ago and this is my first model (other than the step-by-step tutorial models).

I know itís a bit clichť to be doing a model from Star Wars like everyone and their brother has already done, heheh, but I always liked the look of Anakinís Podracing helmet and had a nice front and side sketch of it from my Art of Star Wars book to use as Image Planes for a guide. It also had a good combo of organic as well is inorganic elements that werenít too extraordinarily difficult but would be good practice for a first model. So Iím basically learning the tools as I go and am eventually going to model the entire body and skin it. Iíll post my progression throughout (albeit slowly since Iím learning as I go, so no speed modeling this time around, heheh).

SO I welcome any input you all might have. Donít be afraid to be blunt. Iím here to learn and donít want to get off on tangents creating bad habits.

The details are, this is a model that would supposedly be used for a game, so it will be relatively low-poly. Preferably around 2250 Triangles in the end. That seems to be a good secondary level of detail for a lot of games being released nowadays for actual gameplay, but not quite the level of detail for cinematics. I also have included shots of the geometry smoothed, even though I wonít be doing that in the end. Mostly just to see how it all rounds out, helps me pick out little flaws in my low-poly geometry that I might not have noticed otherwise.

Ok, enough ranting, onto the artwork.


01 January 2004, 10:35 PM
looking cool so far, man... but it seems a little high res for just a head so far if it's designed for games. How many polys is that head so far? Unfortunatley I've not seen either of the new star wars movies (nor do i really plan on it) so i cant exactly critique your accuracy in nailing the model. As for smoothing it out, i noticed all your edges are hard. do you know how to soften them? Select the edges you want to smooth and got to Edit Polygons -> Normals -> Soften Edges Option Box. Make sure you click "all Smooth" and the entry box says 180. definitley nice for a first maya model, though

01 January 2004, 10:41 PM
Looking good, perhaps too high poly for game art.

I'd say the chin should be wider and more round cheeks to make him more kidlike.

How about a low poly version?

01 January 2004, 12:38 AM
Hi, thanks for the tip about the edge soften tool. I wasnít aware of it and will give it a try tonight. Ií ll probly round out the cheeks a bit too to make him look a bit younger as I agree with that little tidbit. I was thinking the chin should be a little pointier though actually. Youíll have to let me know whatcha think when I post the reference images later.

I donít have the images I used for the image planes here with me at the moment but I will post them later this evening for you to see if you havenít seen the movie. Itís a concept front and side shot from my Art of Star Wars book.

As for being too high-poly, I hope it wasnít confusing that I posted the smoothed versions as well as my low-poly version Iím working with. I probably shouldnít have done that but I thought they looked neat, heheh. I reposted just the low-poly versions that Iím actually working with below, lemme know if you still have the same opinion of these. So far it is about 550 triangles which leaves me about 1700 more to go before I hit my limit. Those will mostly be spent for the rest of the figure and will probably be a lot less details as his garb is the standard cloth robe slave attire that he and his mother wore in the movie. And Iím figuring I can simulate a lot of the details in the clothing, like folds and stuff, by painting them into the UV Map which will save a lot of triangles there.



01 January 2004, 04:42 AM
looks pretty good m8, for being so new to the software your doing a great job!
If the low res model is the last one you posted i'd still say that its a little to high poly for game art. Most high end games today use anywhere from 3 to 5 thousand polys for the entire model.
Your definately on the right track! Keep going :)

01 January 2004, 07:01 AM
The shape overall looks pretty good so far. There are some issues with your choice of poly placement but, that'll come better with practice. Also, once you learn how to soften edges you'll be able to see how you can cut way down on polys in certain areas (such as all that detail in the cheeks).

Are you sure this model is 550 triangulated and you're not counting faces in quads (do you know how to triangulate a model)? Because it looks a little higher than that?

Also, pay attention to where you place polys in the body. You want to try and add a little more in areas of the body where joints are, for animation purposes. Just something to consider when modeling.

I wouldn't worry about being too high poly, games are getting higher now-a-days but it's more important how you use the polys you have (that sounds weird, heh). You want those edges and verts to flow with the natural shape/contour of the characters anatomy.

Anyways, I hope that makes a little sense - it's late and I should be in bed but, ahhh, I love this stuff to much, ha!

01 January 2004, 07:48 AM
Just wanted to throw on the Image PLanes real quick here before bed! :)

01 January 2004, 07:17 PM
Ok, my bad, duh, I was looking at a number for ďselectedĒ faces when I came up with the total polycount. SO basically, I am at 925 total faces. Being that these are faces, is that the count of faces in quads, meaning that the actual triangle count is double that? Or does the faces mean the count of Triangles itself? I know how to triangulate it, Iíll do that as well and see if it changes the number of faces and such too and see how itís looking.

Did some research on softening edges and what itís for and yeah, I think that will go a long way in figuring out good ideas as to where I can remove geometry and still keep it looking ok. I will probably keep with it as it is now then go back in and try to cut down the poly count after itís all built out. I understand that games are getting better and supporting more polyís but I want to at least try to stick with the current total which seems to be around 2200 triangles (this is based on games like Return of the King from Electronic Arts whose main characters in game play, like Gimley and Gandalf were around 2200 triangles).

Also, thanks for the tip on more geometry where the joints ill be and such. Thatís a good point I hadnít thought about yet.

Anyway, thanks for all the advice so far, this forum is amazing! Gonna work on finishing up the rest of the model over the weekend and will post an update then!


01 January 2004, 03:09 AM
The best way to check out what the count is, is to select the whole model and triangulate it (you'll see the new/actual triangle count pop up). That is what I always to to check where I'm at, then I just hit undo, simple as that. Maya normally just counts the faces until you tell it to triangulate (but, it's a good guess that it'll be double the faces).

Removing geometry after you finish is fine - everyone models a little differently and lots of people optimize afterwards.

Just be aware that if you are spending a lot of polys in the face area that doens't leave much left for the rest of the body. With practice though, you'll start to have a better understanding of how to make good use of the polys you have and where you should use a texture instead of defining the geometry etc.

Keep working and ask for help when ever you need it - that is the best way to learn (I'm sure you're aware of that though, heh).

01 January 2004, 08:13 AM
Ok, just wanted to post a small update of my progress here. GOt the majority of the body pulled out now except for the hands and feet. Coming along ok I think, save for alot of vertices tweaking I'll have to do to even and smooth things out.

Thanks for the info on polycount too. Im triangulating and getting the total faces now then just undoing after I get the count.

I'm at about 2427 right now so there's definitely gonna have to be some optimizing of geometry afterward but Im already seeing spots Ill be able to clean up and take out.

I took a few off the cheeks and around the lower neck as I compined it with the drape from the helmet and got a good idea how certain subtractions are gonna effect it so more parts are popping out as odd or unneeded as I figure more of that out.


01 January 2004, 08:33 AM
Hi everyone,

Just updating with a little more progress from the weekend. Pretty much finished modeling the whole thing now. Now just touching up.

I'll probably redo the hands actually as I'm not liking them so far and am having trouble working out the geometry so I may start fresh and lay out my quads better.

Aside from that, The Triangle count is at about 2900 or so now which is over the limit I wanted to stay at. I took alot of geometry out of the head in the helmet and the face. Lots of unneeded quads and edges but there's still alot I should take out to free up at least 400-500 more to get it under 2500 at least. Any suggestions on where I might be able to clean up the geometry for that?



01 January 2004, 04:21 AM
Looks like a funny looking droid to me.. lol

Nice modelling cant wait to see with textures :)

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