View Full Version : Game Art Comp #9: Bear - Viking Berserker

07 July 2004, 11:51 PM
Ok I'm in. I was going to do a WWII German Machinegunner Bulldog... but then I read the comment in the rules thread on how he wanted to avoid having too many world war entries... so I decided to change my entry.

I recently worked on a NWN mod that had a Viking Berserker character in it who polymorphed into a bear. We never were able to do a cool model for him (when he polymorphed we just swapped the human model to an actual bear) So that has been a character that's been floating around in my head. Also, I am part Norwegian, so doing anything with Vikings is cool with me.

In old-Norse sagas, Berserkers were warriors who dressed themselves in bear skins, to make use of the fear common people had for wild animals. They whipped themselves up to a sort of battle frenzy, biting their shields and howling like animals. They were ferocious fighters and seemingly insensitive to pain while this madness lasted; berserks made formidable enemies. In their rage they even attacked the boulders and trees of the forest; it was not uncommon that they killed their own people. The belief in berserks can be compared with the belief in werewolves; both are magical transformations of humans who assume the shape of an kindred animal.

I plan on actually having a berserker who has magically polymorphed into a bear but is still wearing the authentic viking apparrel and weapons. This way it will be a blend between the actual history of berserkers and the lore surrounding them. The anthropomorphic theme for this challenge is perfect for it!

I spent time sketching the WWII dog, so now I have to go back to the drawing board (literally) and work on some concepts for the Berserker. I'll post them soon.

07 July 2004, 12:06 AM
If anyone cares, here is the concept sketch I did for the WWII Bulldog.... (which is not what I am doing for this challenge ... see above) If anyone wants to use it let me know.

07 July 2004, 12:23 AM
I am doing a WW2 bulldog, got a different idea though a little more cartoony, but thanks. Bear Viking sounds cool.

07 July 2004, 01:44 AM
Came across this looking for viking stuff. It's not an english site, but the gallery has a lot of painted miniatures of soldiers from all different historical eras ... Roman, Civil War, etc etc (unfortunately the gallery is sorted by artist, not by era of soldier) Some of the artists are better than others and some do high detail models, other do more simple ones... just click through a few and you should be able to find some good ones.

Hope this helps.

Concept sketch coming soon. (just need to finish up and scan)

07 July 2004, 03:51 AM
Here is my sketch. This started out as just a head study of a bear and just kept going and going and ended up being a whole concept drawing. And then I couldn't help throwing it into PS and giving it some color. :)

I will work on a model sheet for him to model from. I will work out more of the clothing and accessory details on there.

C&C appreciated.

07 July 2004, 04:10 AM
Early 19th century. From Old Norse berserk "wild warrior," probably from the stem of bjorn "bear" + serkr "shirt," because either they wore bearskins or were fierce like bears.
This is too clever. I wasn't familiar with these warriors until now. Thanks for sharing the history. Your concept looks great so far.

07 July 2004, 05:00 AM
this is going to be freakin awesome - i actually did an entire interactive fiction game about vikings and never once came across these badasses - sorry i missed them now! Should be sweet...

07 July 2004, 05:32 AM
Berserkers were crazy fighters =). Im definately keeping an eye on this one.

07 July 2004, 08:50 PM
I think you may have convinced me to join, Shane. Keep up the great work like you do at work.

07 July 2004, 12:11 PM
My name, Björn, in english means.. Bear. I'm a mighty viking *evil laugh*

Hehe.. Cool concept, this'll be an interesting entry! :)

07 July 2004, 04:10 PM
Thanks for the comments. I went out of town for the weekend so I wasn't able to work on it at all, but I was thinking about it a lot. The fur is going to be tricky but I think I know how I am going to tackle it.

Hey TheO- hurry up and post your entry and get in on the fun! I can't wait to see what you come up with. :D

I should be able to draw the model sheets soon.

07 July 2004, 11:26 AM
I love your consept. Im just sad you beet me to it! I wasthinking of modelling a viking. (Im a swede, vikings are one of the coolest things in our history) In the end a decided not to go for my first idea and settled for something less warriorlike..

But im glas someone doing a viking. And doing him as a bear-berserk is perfect. And you seems to do it grately. The sketsh is nice!

07 July 2004, 01:54 PM
Glad to see some fellow Vikings supporting me on the forum! Lykke til to all of you with your entries!

Here is a morsel of modeling WIP. I drew up the front and side sketches last night and went straight into some rough modeling. Didn't get to spend much time on it though.

I will post updates as I get more done. :wip:

07 July 2004, 01:09 PM
I like your concept art :)
nice start with the model.. keep it coming!

07 July 2004, 10:46 PM
Here's another hour of modeling work. Just blocking out shapes so far- will go in and refine edgeloops etc once I have a first pass at the whole thing. I widened the head a bit, I had started modeling in the side view and didn't spend enough time pulling out the width to the correct size. Now he looks a little more like a grizzly.
* Update * Couldn't resist working on it some more... LOL. :wip: Here's another hour of modeling. Now to go and clean up the mesh and then start adding details. Currently at 1300 polys.

07 July 2004, 07:19 AM
am liking.. nice work so far.. :thumbsup:

07 July 2004, 04:45 PM
This concept rocks :) especially the colored one! :)

07 July 2004, 09:33 PM
Nice, he looks good, he also looks cuddly...awww. I guess the textures would change that.


07 July 2004, 08:25 AM
Nice, use of polygons! Or "Mycket bra" As we vikings would put it!

07 July 2004, 11:32 AM
Nice, use of polygons! Or "Mycket bra" As we vikings would put it!
Svensk ;) trevligt att stöta på nån mer sån här på CG :)

07 July 2004, 08:08 AM
Im liking it so far. But he does look like he wants a hug:D.

07 July 2004, 02:02 PM
Bah! See if you all still want to hug him when he's finished! He will tear your head off and gnaw your flesh!

But I see your point... when I was drawing the model sheet, I realized the front view looked like a Berenstain Bear cartoon! Oh well.. Like Raoul said, the textures will change how cuddly he looks. Some refinement and detail of the mesh will help too.

Work got crazy busy this week... turns out I have to work the weekend too. I will try to sneak in a little time on this model though.

Thanks for your comments.

07 July 2004, 12:47 AM
Ok... now this huggable bear is new and improved with claws, muscles and a big ol tongue and sharp teeth... (the better to eat you with my dear!) 1878 triangles now... the only prop to speak of will be his axe... so I will probably go in and add some more detail and a few more edges in his joints for when I animate him. Oh yeah, and I still want one of his hands to be human (the paw is just mirrored right now) so I should figure out how many polys that is going to take as well.

Any crits?

07 July 2004, 01:30 AM
That's looking fantastic. With the new tweaks, I certainly wouldn't want to be the one hugging that sucker. ;) I love the proportions, and very nice job with the hands/paws. Can't wait to see this one textured up. :)

07 July 2004, 08:25 AM
It looks great! I like the nose, his hands, and the overall feeling! Any changes I can suggest is just a matter of opinion, and not necessary.

Most bears (at least the swedish brownbear) has realy broad face over the chins and a much thinner nose area. Almost like a sphere whith a thinner cyliner coming out from it...
(Probably because the fur on the chins is much longer and thicker than that on the nose)
On your images the nose and the face looks almost as broad. But I cant see very clearly, so I may be wrong.
: )

07 July 2004, 03:02 PM
Thank you for your replies.

Isabelle- I agree about the nose. Mostly I have been looking at grizzly bears for reference, mainly because it is easy to find pics of them looking mean and roaring :D Like this one for example:

I can clearly see what you are talking about in that picture- his head is a huge ball, with a narrow snout coming out, and a furry chin. When I first started the model, everything was too narrow, and I think I just ended up just broadening everything. I will go back and and make the adjustments to the nose and broaden the head.

Another area which is bothering me is the neck area... it still needs some tweaking. I am not sure whether I should make it more like rolls of fur or more like a really bulky (bodybuilder type) human neck. Any thoughts?

I want to find a good blend between human and still get the massive bear look too.

07 July 2004, 04:20 PM
i think some kind of ruff or mane around the neck would definitely help out. although my bear model is a tad on the ah cute side, it didn't look especially bear-like until I added the mane/ruff thing where the neck meets the back of the head.

really great volumes on the nose and lips - they have a lot of definition, very fun to look at!

07 July 2004, 01:17 PM
Work has kept me too busy the past few days... but while I was waiting for a high-res poster to render to finish I managed to sketch this out for the Berserker's weapon. The blade will have an engraved bear paw; the other side of the axe has a blunt metal blade for bashing; and the handle is hewn from a rough branch of wood.

07 July 2004, 09:58 PM
Here is a quick model of the axe. I plan on trying out normal mapping on it to see what kind of cool detail I can get, so I will probably make a highpoly version soon.

Poly (Tri) count is at 344 right now.

ninja noodle
07 July 2004, 04:40 AM
i'm loving this !!! the proportions is really nice and the mesh is really clean! really dig the axes too!! can't wait to see this textured up!!!

07 July 2004, 07:04 AM
I like the axes!It will be realynice with the engravet bearpaw and all!

07 July 2004, 07:57 AM
I'll be watching this submission... :)

Really nice work so far, just try to capture the expression and anatomy of your concept and this will be great.


07 July 2004, 11:08 AM
Nice work! :thumbsup: The bear looks fine and the axes too.

07 July 2004, 06:56 PM
Thank you all for your support and comments!

I think I am about 90% done with the modeling now... the only thing I have left to build is his bracer/bangle bracelet which will go on one of his arms. The human hand (which will be his right hand for holding the axe) is modeled now and is around 230 tris. I am waiting to stitch it on until I am sure I am done modeling with the symmetry. I added some edges in his joints and made his face look a little more like the concept (beady eyes, furled brow, etc.) I also changed his neck to be more like folds of fur, and broadened his head a little and made his snout slightly narrower.

He is right at 2300 polygons right now. I will probably do a quick deformation test to see if i need to change the topology or add more loops in his joints... otherwise I will use those extra polys on the axe and for some more details in his face/body.

I threw in a wire of the axe as well.

08 August 2004, 10:28 AM
Very nice job, m8.

Try to show us some teeth bro, all berserkers do that.

Keep up the good work.

08 August 2004, 07:44 AM
Very nice!

I like the idea of one hand looking more human and the other more like a paw.

08 August 2004, 01:46 PM
Isabelle: Thanks- I sketched it that way in the concept, but I wasnt sure I wanted to go through with it in the model... but I think it will be cool. Plus, how would he hold an axe if he just had paws! :hmm:

Here is a quick update... I finished UV mapping him ... which was a BEAR of a task... hehe.
I managed to get all of him packed in the 1024 map, and I am saving the 512 map for some fur alphas and the axe and accessory textures. I just started to lay down some color and a few strokes to see how the mapping was working and it seems to be just fine.

I spent some time Friday night playing Doom3 and digging through the source files and got really hyped on all the cool normal mapping they did... so I might have to give it a try on this guy if I have time.

08 August 2004, 02:15 PM
Real nice - ive always thought his head looked a bit cute and cuddly, but i presume the textures will change all that...

What software are you using? how did you get that funky coloured UV snapshot? It looks more useful than the usual wire you get from a print screen.

08 August 2004, 03:36 PM

the modelling looks pretty cool.

good idea!

$0.01 Ingurum

08 August 2004, 03:41 PM
Andy H, I'm pretty sure that's Texporter, a plugin for 3ds max. It has a little checkbox to assign different colors based on normals.

08 August 2004, 05:31 PM
Daemon is right- it is a plugin called Texporter. (available from ) I am using 3D Studio Max 6 and Photoshop 8. I like Texporter because you can save with alpha and copy the alpha channel to a multiply layer in PS to see your wires while you paint your texture. The normal color option is great too because it makes it easy to see the volumes after they have been flattened. Texporter also supports vertex baking which I sometimes use.

Thanks for the comments. I will post an update after I make sufficient progress on painting the skin. I will try to make him look extra mean!

08 August 2004, 07:48 AM
Hey! Its just getting better and better. Its nice to see the uvs and your texturetest gives a good picture of things to come. It also made me notice his stomache. As i girl, I must say, thet part looks very nicly muscled indeed..yummie!
: )

08 August 2004, 04:16 PM
Well, I haven't made any progress since hurricane Charley passed directly over us on Friday. Three days later and much of Orlando is still without power... Cleaning up and helping those who need help is more of a priority than this challenge right now. My mom is going to have to move in with me, as she lived in what *was* the Port Charlotte area where Charley first hit. We were lucky though, and my thoughts and prayers go out to those who got hit harder than us.

Still have plenty of time in the challenge, so maybe I will get it finished once everything starts to get back to normal in a week or so.

08 August 2004, 07:49 PM
Glad to hear you made it through ok. Charley caused some minor damage to my home, which was fixed this morning. The power was off for a day, and a few homes down the street had their roofs blown across the street into other homes.

It wasn't so bad compared to what Florida had to suffer. Hope everything gets back to normal for you. This entry is too good to be left behind.

08 August 2004, 08:19 PM
I hope everything works out well for you and your mother, and I´m glad you made it trough unharmed.

Charley seems to have been a very unpleasant acquaintance. He even made the news back her in Sweden where I live. He made our coplaints about the bad (rainy and cold) swedish summer seem rather exxaggerated.

Best of luck with everything!
: )

09 September 2004, 02:29 AM
It seems mother nature hasn't been good to you. Hope you made it out alright. You've made and excellent character that would be a great portfolio addition. Good luck in future challenges...possibly during a winter climate.

09 September 2004, 06:08 PM
Yeah, I was planning on spending some time this past weekend to try and wrap up this challenge... afterall, all I have left to do is the texture painting. But alas, YET ANOTHER HURRICANE crossed over Central Florida ... two in three weeks. And there is another, Ivan, which is aiming to be in our area again by this weekend. And to think we are just now starting the peak month of the hurricane season.

I won't be able to finish this model for the challenge, because work is really backed up due to the hurricanes. But, I do plan on finishing him up and I will post it in the regular Game Art forum when I do.

Thank you all for your support and thoughts.

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