View Full Version : Game Art Comp #9: Bison - 9th Cavalry US Civil War

07 July 2004, 02:09 AM
More often known as the "Buffalo Soldier" (a nickname given to the African-American troops of the 9th and 10th cavalry by the Cheyenne and Comanche as a sign of respect). First off, awesome topic...this one definitely got me thinking and gives all the participants a chance for an original piece as opposed to working off of someone else's concept art. I had a few ideas for this contest and I'm still not 100% on this one, but its the best I got so far. (I always tend to lean either Medieval or Samurai with my concepts so I wanted to break from that). Hopefully this won't be too cliche or obvious, but I dont remember ever seeing a character like this...let me know if you guys think its too obvious or common place because I'm trying to do something original and I have a few other directions I could go. Thanks, concept will be coming soon.

07 July 2004, 10:19 AM
Well, finally sat down today and hammered out a concept sketch. Colors are pretty rudimentary and I'm not too proud of it, but it gets the point across. Should get through the templates in a day or two.

[EDIT] Removed image for bandwidth problems


07 July 2004, 10:38 AM
:eek: massive.. can't wait to see him 3d.. :)

07 July 2004, 10:46 AM
Wow. Thats a nice drawing! I think the consept works exellent.
I look forward to see whats coming off it.

07 July 2004, 01:22 PM
Great Concept man. thats one mean a$$ bision. ya we should def through are civil war vets together. Looking forward to seeing this guy finished. great job.

07 July 2004, 04:55 PM
Thanks for the comments guys, I'm hopefully going to try and keep his poly count low cause I want to give him a few different weapons - rifle, sword, pistol - and a horse if possible, since he is a cavalry member and all. Maybe get a concept up w/ the horse, I don't know yet. Will probably work on the model sheets tonight and maybe start modeling, we'll see

07 July 2004, 05:06 PM
i wonder are you going to make a large horse or small? small would be pretty darn funny...but a large would probably fit better. good luck man

07 July 2004, 05:12 PM
Its going to be small, but thats kind of the challenge. i want it to not look out of place even though its going to be small. Its going to be modelled off a stock horse build, their shorter and stronger - so it shouldn't look too bad or out of place *hopefully*

07 July 2004, 05:26 PM
Lovely sketch!

One thing, Bison are recognisable mostly due to their really large heads. This one is looking a lot more like a bull right now...

Good work though, I think this should translate nicely to 3d!

07 July 2004, 05:36 PM
Yeah, its kind of hard to tell from the sketch, it does look more like a bull. I'm going to make the head bigger in the model and make the hump behind his back more pronounced also. I always have a habit of making my heads too small in my drawings. Thanks for the comment dargon. I'll try to fix the problem in the model sheet, i just wanted to get the concept out there...

07 July 2004, 06:26 PM
No prob! Just tryin to help! ;)

07 July 2004, 10:02 AM
Thanks for the comments everyone - here's the template I'm going to model off from, its not perfect - half because I'm too lazy to make it perfect, half because I just want to start modelling, and half because I just like going with the flow of things anyways....I alway's figured the templates were really more whatcha call guidlines den actual rules...hopefully start modelling tommorow

[EDIT] Removed for bandwidth

07 July 2004, 01:05 PM
As soon as I saw your idea I thought, "Damn, how come I didn't think of that!" I'm of African American decent and I've known and admired the Buffalo Soldiers. Check out the movie Glory if you haven't seen it.....excellent movie and may have some good reference material. Great concept drawing.

07 July 2004, 04:54 PM
Looking great, I like the side sketch moreso than the front sketch... In the front sketch, the arm looks a little too flat... Make it round, he's got muscles! His arm is not only flat, BUt very thin... If you look at the side sketch, you'll see that the shoulder is pretty gigantic, but once you look at the side sketch... It doesn't look very poprotional for him to be having such a huge shoulder, and such a thin arm :)

EDIT: after looking at it a couple of more times, I realized that his arm was not so thin... It's just flat... Though what would make it look less out of place, if his arm was not so close to the body, That way you could see where his shoulder is, right now, without the sidesketch, I wouldn'thave been able to tell where the shoulder is

07 July 2004, 05:02 PM
Proudclod - thanks for the reply, yeah, I realize the arm is flat....thats pretty much just out of lazyness. Essentailly all I want the template for is to rough in the big shapes, then I'll just sculpt it after I have the basic shapes in not basing it off the template, but more off the concept sketch.

07 July 2004, 09:07 AM
Started the modeling - he's weighing in at 1908 tri's right now, so its all right for now, but I'll be doing some housecleaning soon - I want to keep him at 2000 polys so I have 1500 left for a horse and his props (hat, pistol, sword at the moment is what I'm thinking). But this is the rough "sketch" for the moment.

[EDIT] - Removed image for bandwidth purpose


07 July 2004, 09:40 AM
Great work so far. But the legs seem to be a bit too thin.

07 July 2004, 09:56 AM
Nice progress and great concept sketches.
Lookin good so far - good topology and poly usage in the head.
I think the legs are too close together and need to be a bit wider, other than that, keep goin! its gonna look great.

07 July 2004, 05:00 PM
Thanks for the comments guys - 2 for 2 sayin the legs are too thin - it must be so. Its always good to get a fresh look at ur work cause i've just been looking at it too long, good to hear your comments, I'll work on it more tonight and try to make it look less awkward. Thanks for the replies, and anymore comments are always appreciated.

07 July 2004, 09:49 AM
Update for the night...finished most of the body modeling...its weighing in at 2148 tri's right now, so I'm going to try to cut back down on that to 2000 tommorow so I'll have enough room for the other stuff - I'll give myself 800 for the horse and 700 for sword/pistol/hat...we'll see, I might start modeling those other ones before I optimize and then just optimize everything when I'm done...we'll see...anyways, here's the update...(also, he still looked like a bull so gave him a nice buffafro)

07 July 2004, 09:51 AM
legs look much better now.. and i like the afro you gave him.. :D
nice work!

07 July 2004, 10:42 AM
really nice work here ehulser. good cconcept, great sense of style, fantastic characterisation and really tidy modelling. what are you modelling in?

looking forward to textures... :bounce:

07 July 2004, 12:06 PM
Nice work on that model, looks really good! :thumbsup:

You're saying that you're going to model a horse for him? And that that's the reason why you're already cutting polygons on him? I think you can use those poly's for the horse to make him look even better. As far as I know the horse won't be judged in the end since it's not really part of the character, the weapons, etc. are...

I could be wrong on this. :shrug:

07 July 2004, 02:10 PM
wow! looking great - hes got a real sense of mass and bulk.I think you could use another subdivision in the shoulder to help deformation, but other than that, its perfect - get cracking with the maps!

07 July 2004, 02:29 PM
that afro works wonders! Looks really great man!

07 July 2004, 05:33 PM
Hey guys - thanks for the comments, much appreciated.

Serul - yea, I'm still kind of playing around with both sides of the argument in my head. On one hand, its more a personal test to see how well I can manage my polys for multiple characters/objects, but I don't want to sacrifice too much. I think I'm going to model the props and see how many polis are left and decide if I want to make the horse, or use the remaining to add some more detail to the main character. I just think he's kinda boring in comparison to some of the other great concepts up for this contest, but that might be cause I've been thinking about it too much. I'm also thinking about making a high poly version and trying to normal map him for the extra detail (which would be a complete experiment since I've never used a normal map before). At any rate, I have some time/room to play around.

OZone - Sorry man...I don't know how I missed your post until just apologies. Yeah, I've heard Glory is an amazing movie, though I've never seen it. My roommate told me to watch it also, its one of his favorites.

Roman T. & Adam - glad you guy's like the afro, I think it needed it to push the idea of a Bison more...inspired half by some bison pictures I checked out, and half by Ben Wallace

Andy H - Yea, I'll prolly cut down some where and add in that other sub-d thanks for the advice

Obelisk - Thanks for the compliments, hopefully I don't let you down with the texturing, I'm not the best texture artist...I am using 3ds Max 5 for the modeling.

Thanks for all the comments guys (apologies if I missed anyone)

07 July 2004, 06:18 PM
what happened to your images? i can't see them anymore!

07 July 2004, 06:37 PM
... and half by Ben Wallace
LOL - I thought he looked familiar...

07 July 2004, 07:43 PM
Hey, sorry guys...I think my bandwidth just isnt used to all the take it easy on her, would ya? I got rid of all the WIP's cept for the latest still seems to load kind of slow, I'll try to get it fixed later when I'm not at work. Thanks

07 July 2004, 12:13 AM
So this is what I get from my server:

"Site is currenty down while critical maintence is being done. Site should be back up approximately 9pm MST" more images until then it seems...

07 July 2004, 05:17 AM
Put you rimages up on... (

Then you don't have to worry about bandwidth. It's free...

07 July 2004, 07:59 AM
Thanks for the tip polymarauder...I will sign up if it keeps being a problem, but I am exceedingly lazy and clicking a mouse button just is a lot of work these days. Anyways, here's an update on the model:

I don't know if I like the makes him look kind of weird, like a carnie or something... also he's weighing in at 3064 tri's right now -- I don't think I'm going to end up modelling the horse so I decided to give myself more tri's for the gun and sword, and gave him some more sub-d's for rigging...I'm pretty happy with the overall count and flow/look so after I decide about the hat, I'll start unwrapping him.

07 July 2004, 09:13 AM
I don't know, I kinda like the hat, it seems to give him more character or something. Looks good so far.

07 July 2004, 10:31 AM
I agree the hat does look a bitfunny atm...try pushing the hat into his hair a bit....with tufts sticking out the sides...besides that he lookslikea great character

07 July 2004, 05:13 PM
Hey guys, thanks for the responses. I definitely am going to keep the hat, cause it does add to the character, but I also think it needs to change. I like your idea beerma, and I'll try it out tonight. Thanks.

08 August 2004, 11:57 PM
Hows it going? ive not seen any updates for a while....

Hope you havent given up - this one is a favourite of mine!

08 August 2004, 05:45 PM
Hey Andy - Glad to know he's one of your favs, good motivation to keep going. I haven't had any updates for a while, cause I don't have much good to show. I finished unwrapping him and started to lay some base lines for the texture, but thats about it. In the process of moving apartments, so my free time is kinda shot but I should have an update sometime this week. I don't intend on giving up on him though, so don't worry about that - though it is hard seeing as there are so many quality entries in this contest - I don't envy you judges. Updates to come.

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