View Full Version : Frames Of A Neckling, Timur Baysal (3D)

11 November 2004, 09:31 AM (

Title: Frames Of A Neckling
Name: Timur Baysal
Country: United States
Software: Messiah:Studio, ZBrush

Experiment with new tool to animate displacement maps with messiah:Studio2.0c. Displacement maps created with ZBrush2.0. The actual geometry underneath the displacement was modeled with Lightwave8.0 and consists of 340 polygons. The above collection shows the different displacement maps, bone deformations and morphs, controlled by expressions. Particularely interesting is the ears, which practically consist only of 3 polygons each and only the displacement brings out this vast amount of detail. Rendertimes for each head on my Pentium IV-2.6Ghz/2Gb RAM where around 11min, using volumetric translucency as well as radiosity. Except a mild bloom and a tiny contrast raise the renders are very much untouched!

pure geometry without displacement:

11 November 2004, 11:14 AM
Wow man, brillant, it's really cool, congratulations ! :thumbsup:
(Damn I have to try Z-Brush....)

11 November 2004, 11:24 AM
Brilliant work - indeed! Stunned & Run out of words.. -)

11 November 2004, 11:38 AM polygons !!! and than that much detail using just a displacement ?

I would be interested to see how this works, any more screendumps ? Do you just export the displacement map from Zbrush and then import it in Messiah ? -is it that 'easy' ?
Thanks for sharing and marvellous work !:thumbsup:

11 November 2004, 12:40 PM
great work!! The superior part of the head is a little too smooth, but great :buttrock:

11 November 2004, 12:50 PM
woooow! 340 polys ... unbelieveable

pleaze more info on that ... this displacementstuff is revolutionary ... I just ask myself if any programm gives a visual feedback in the editor window on it, so you can use it for animtion ... not using zbruch I dont know how it displays these maps.
mays would just show the displacement in the final rendering ... so you could not really make a animation out of it ... or could you?

11 November 2004, 12:57 PM
hey taron, you keep pushing the limits this is brilliant once again :D

can't wait to see an animation of this,
the amount of detail is just amazing considering the basemesh...

didn't know displacement maps could be animated, good news I'd say

11 November 2004, 01:33 PM
Omg, this is awesome.
Only 340 Polygons?
What the heck, how did you do this? ^^

Brilliant Work, 5 Stars. :thumbsup:

11 November 2004, 03:03 PM
Nice work! :thumbsup:

11 November 2004, 05:01 PM
Awesome modeling , and very expressive too. The closed eyes are great . Scary


11 November 2004, 05:15 PM
realy impressive!... the expressions are extremely "live"; it's the first time, using zbrush since the beginning, that I'm wishing to experiment with displacement map!... thank you for your work!... marcel.

11 November 2004, 05:28 PM
great work!! :)

11 November 2004, 08:34 PM
When I finished reading your thread I felt like its going to be the future of CG animation/modelling with animated displacement maps.Excellent!
Especially renderers with new advanced displacement renderer options are just so inviting.

Could you please post some examples of those displacement maps that you created? And perhaps an animation if you had already done one.

Harika bir calisma btw...

11 November 2004, 08:59 PM
WOAW, unbelievable. I am not very fund of these types of characters but this is so very well done. Damn, and that low poly mesh, must be easy to handle with animating (dont know much about that cuz i am a n00b at character modeling/animation).

Just great.

11 November 2004, 09:24 PM
This is quite an overwhelming response, thank you guys, I'm really happy about your reactions. Although this might be funny to say, but this is kind of how I felt after realizing the power of this technique. I will shortly post a new animation on our projectmessiah website, but for now you can visit ( have a look at the first quicktime.

Although there currently is no real openGL feedback to this within messiah:Studio, the design of the TextureDeform tendons is very easy to understand and requires only the imagination that would be needed in order to get amazing results, but in this case I think any artist has that imagination, considering that the artist can almost just rely on his idea about anatomy. This particular example even shows that without paying too much attention to "real" anatomy, results are very fascinating.

I will continue just a little bit with this character, as it has been merely a test run of the final implementation of TextureDeform into messiah:Studio2.0c. It has already changed the way I work and even the way I think about how far it is possible to go now with detailed animation at home. I believe it may just have been impossible to imagine to make such complex deformations with such great ease on a single machine with little to no effort. Ever since I good addicted to ZBrush and coincidently perfectly timed with my involvement in the making of messiah:Studio, I knew it would make way to some stunning possibilities. It is clear what can be done in ZBrush and even more clear how much more there is to discover in this beautiful tool and together with the open character of messiah and the possibilities to build tools that compliment these new powers it is closest to the manifestation of a dream what this combination is spawning. Already now, it shows a unique ability that has not been there before. And I can absolutley guarantee to you, this is only the beginning. Some hard work ahead, but it has been marvelous fun already. I'm deeply greatful that we can share all this with everybody. Makes me so happy.:thumbsup:

Alrighty...I will post some more details about the messiah portion here in the messiah thread somewhen tonight or tomorrow at the latest.

Thanks, once again!!!:bounce:


11 November 2004, 09:57 PM
Like always very spectacular your works,:)
Really made an impression with the results.
I am so customary to model my personages with lightwave whom when I watch yours to me much surprises.
Excellent results.


11 November 2004, 12:09 AM
nice going man,lots of character in there - nose and ears are ace :thumbsup:

11 November 2004, 12:21 AM
This really gives me hope that polygons become less and less important. Just create and don't care about the stupid technical stuff - thats what the machines are there for to care about ;)

A new era indeed - interesting times!

That is one fantastic project Taron!


11 November 2004, 12:22 AM
Good work but the nostrils can be deeper.

11 November 2004, 08:09 AM
This is amazing. I guess I will quit trying to learn how to model!

I especially like the "pressed face on copy machine" view.

Would like to see the maps too.
You could put any face on this?

11 November 2004, 11:15 AM
Very interesting stuff you've got there. I like where you're heading with that animated displacement mapping. Just like to ask what radiosity is, and how'd you apply it to the model to get that kind of render. I'd also love to see some videos that you said you'd post at Zbrush central, videos of the animation displacement at work. That would be cool.:thumbsup:

11 November 2004, 04:16 PM
Well, you deserve the kudos. That is an amazing model even without the low-poly, but pair the end-result and your technique and it's completely mind boggling. I agree that the crown of the skull is a bit smooth, but I didn't even notice as I was so dumbfounded with the face! To top it off, the animation is as stunning as the stills!

It seems that there's a knee jerk response to ask for a tutorial to just about any piece that impresses, but this one is phenominal - would love to see how you did this step-by-step. I've heard about Zbrush for a long time, but this piece has sealed it - I'm going to have to get Zbrush.

11 November 2004, 05:05 PM
AAAAAAAAAAAA Taron you are so sick! 340 and 3 for each ear????
And let me guess you did this all in one hour right?

Fantastic job man!
Have to do more 3D stuff....I'm fighting with my thesis now....and of course my dailies ;)


11 November 2004, 05:12 PM
impressive work, very expressive,
the skin look great :)

11 November 2004, 05:13 PM
Really interesting work Taron, I checked the animation, its amazing what you got out the displacement. The neck works really well, it looks nice and fleshy.
I'd like to see how you progress with this method... also i was wondering what you thought of the new silo topology brush feauture, if you've tried it that is?

11 November 2004, 05:25 PM
I saw this over at ZBrush Central... lovely work! Reminds me of Nosferatu... really creepy, especially the one where he looks like he's smiling.

Beautiful rendering too... nice and simple yet so effective.

And as for the technical aspect of it... outstanding :thumbsup:

11 November 2004, 05:30 PM
Great stuff well done!

Just another example of how quick everything is evolving, and with imagination there are few limits.

I belive it would be very diffucult for me to reach the level of detail I can without ZB2.
Keep em comin.

11 November 2004, 05:38 PM
Models like this, make me feel i need to start practicing my drawing skills again. Seems like the future doesn't have a place for high polycounts.
Trully inspirational Taron. Congratulations once again for making us go wOw! :)

11 November 2004, 05:38 PM
Awesome Taron, ZBrush really is 3D sculpting, I can't wait to get some free time and "get my hands dirty" having a go too.

This explains your disappearance from the daily sketch forum!

11 November 2004, 05:39 PM
Impressive...very real expressions:thumbsup:

11 November 2004, 05:44 PM
the expressions are great

its the one of the most expressive characters i've seen
but what's with the ears?
the mouth in the 2nd expression looks a little flat

11 November 2004, 05:53 PM
Very impressive stuff man! Love the muscles/tendons in his neck.
I can't believe this is just 340 polys. What's next... a box? :)

11 November 2004, 05:55 PM
Very impressive stuff man! Love the muscles/tendons in his neck.
I can't believe this is just 340 polys. What's next... a box? :)
Don't give him crazy ideas like that!

11 November 2004, 06:18 PM
That's un-freaking-real!

Did you "come across" this by accident or was it a combined effort of different ideas? This whole displacement fiasco is blowing me away. I mean, my gawd... I seen the viddy of it and about sh*t myself here at work! The way the "skin" appears to glide across the tendons as the character moves is, to me, phenomenal! It is THE MOST realistic effect I have ever seen for a humanoid subject, simply because of how the "skin" reacts to the movement. I haven't a clue on what the hell you are talking about most of the time since I do not model professionally (I'm a Poser guy... sorry, and tinker with Zbrush when the mood is right, but haven't had time to go full throttle into 3DSM and Z as I have with video editing software), but I do know about this low 340 polycount, and that's surreal. I'm gonna have to keep an eye out on you, Bubba.

Superb job!

*sorry if your head explodes from overinflation*

11 November 2004, 06:30 PM
Awesome work.:) Are you the guy who taught at Gnomon for the Z-Brush meeting using Light Wave and Messiah? You were funny man if that was you.

11 November 2004, 06:39 PM
Taron, this is amazing! :)
Do you maybe have a little animation to give to the hungry public?

Great job, the massiah rendered it exquisitely as well!

(btw, we're missing you dearly in the daily sketch forum!)

11 November 2004, 06:46 PM

OMG ..just... Just AMAZING work Timur, glad to see some of your work again!!
Inspiring as always ;)

11 November 2004, 06:47 PM
If the group here won't go to the link given by Taron on how he done this at ZBrushCentral, here's the link on just the movie itself. It's unreal.

But, please, visit the link given by him at .

Quicktime test reel:

11 November 2004, 06:55 PM
this is very impressive.

As for animating it though, you would definately have problems. Because the character has such a low ploy count, you would always have to test out your facials at rendering to see if say the lips/eyes connect properly.

It is a great idea. Maybe a median between what your'e doing and the usual way.

Again, impressive.

11 November 2004, 07:01 PM
this is very impressive.

As for animating it though, you would definately have problems.
Again, impressive.naaah Emilio my friend , you talk too fast ehehe
you don't know what the man can do, it's crazy...
check an animation test with the face here :
im sure there is a possibility to see what the face look like pretty fast...

and do some public apologies to master Timur right now :D

11 November 2004, 07:41 PM
[mortal kombat ending voice] Flawless Victory! [/mkev]

11 November 2004, 07:50 PM
mann mann mann du musst uns aber auch immer wieder zeigen wo der Hammer hängt :)

echt geil gemacht:applause:

11 November 2004, 07:52 PM
Ok, here's the bit where the modelling noob comes and lowers the tone with their lack of knowledge! :blush:

I was always under the impression that Displacement maps still required bugger-loads of mesh to be able to describe all that detail. I've only ever looked briefly at Displacements within 3ds Max and have never seen Z-Brush at work (nor Messiah for that matter).

So where the hell does all that detail come from? I've clearly totally mis-understood the logic (and potential) behind this process.

11 November 2004, 08:43 PM
I was always under the impression that Displacement maps still required bugger-loads of mesh to be able to describe all that detail. I've only ever looked briefly at Displacements within 3ds Max and have never seen Z-Brush at work (nor Messiah for that matter). Its called sub-pixel displacement. The tesselation can be determined by resolution, proximity to the camera, etc. and subdivided multiple times per pixel allowing for extreme amounts of detail while having a minimal performance hit, versus the old way of just displacing a tesselated surface. (this is of course a really crappy explanation. I don't actually KNOW what they are, I couldn't implement them or anything like that in a renderer)

This is fantastic! But it seems far too minimal to actually animate with. With such a light mesh, and render-time only feedback, the animator would be unable to see what he's doing, unless a lower poly cage was set up, mirroring the displacement blendshapes. So how did you get around that Taron? Did you just animate, render, tweak the animation, and so on, or do you have a system for feedback so you can tell what you are doing?

11 November 2004, 08:49 PM
Very impressive stuff man! Love the muscles/tendons in his neck.
I can't believe this is just 340 polys. What's next... a box? :)
he might do that just to make us all cry ^_^
man i think i just wet my pants ... twice... 3 poly for a ear and you get that with displacements maps :') :') so beatufully

11 November 2004, 09:03 PM
the low poly count and displacement render itself is just incredible...but then animating it is just mind blowing...i had to keep replaying it out of disbelief...fantastic and innovative work...
looking forward to finding out a bit more about what youre doing to achieve the animation part...:applause:

11 November 2004, 09:10 PM
I originally saw this at the ZBrush forum. The interaction between the skin and tendons in the neck is awesome. Was that acheived using the new feature in Messiah you mentioned..."TextureDeform"?

11 November 2004, 09:35 PM
Hi Pascal! All is well in montreal?
I'm coming home for Xmas, we should hookup! :)

Ok, Back to the topic at hand. I'll be more specific:

let's say this character is saying:
"Very nice work!"

Breakdown would be:
V-eh-o-ee N-ah-ss W-uh-k

We end up with roughly 10 shapes.

On a basic shape like "m" it can pass fairly easily, but I find it very hard to see how one would nail down more complex shapes like F,V, L, N which involve the teeth and tongue be placed in very specific shapes.

Considering the video you sent me, if you compare the HIgh to the low poly, you notice that the closed mouth on the high mesh doesn't coincide with the low poly version.

Animating shapes that consider lower or higher percentages of one shape need to be seen instantly when animating to know if you've got it right. For example, most animators will "flip" back and forth between 3 poses to see if the flow of the mouth corners is working correctly. You couldn't do that with such a low poly character.

Also concidering the nuances between lipsynch poses, even more so on "realistic" characters such as this one, it would be extremely hard to work with a character that cannot give you specific feedback on the fly.

*But again, and I must enforce the fact that I do believe this is great work.*

I hope this is more clear old friend :thumbsup:

11 November 2004, 09:55 PM
What's the workflow?

This is what I understand so far:

1. Create the base mesh in Lightwave.

2. Paint deformation in Z-Brush.

What about texture coordinates? Are they made in Lightwave before importing it into Z-Brush? What did you use for painting textures? Photoshop, or do you paint textures in Z-Brush? What did you use to render the final image?

11 November 2004, 10:00 PM
What's the workflow?

This is what I understand so far:

1. Create the base mesh in Lightwave.

2. Paint deformation in Z-Brush.

What about texture coordinates? Are they made in Lightwave before importing it into Z-Brush? What did you use for painting textures? Photoshop, or do you paint textures in Z-Brush? What did you use to render the final image?
Check the thread at the zbrush forums:

11 November 2004, 10:10 PM
I hope this is more clear old friend :thumbsup:yeah.. now i'm the one who talk too fast ;)
k.. but im sure that having somewhere pretty renders attached to the morphs of the different phonems could help bypassing this probem..
btw mista lipsink,did you have the chance to animate something on Madagascar?

11 November 2004, 10:18 PM
This is stunning!

If I had four thumbs, they would be all up right now. Are two enough?


11 November 2004, 10:42 PM
btw mista lipsink,did you have the chance to animate something on Madagascar?
I'm animating my brains out as we speak... :scream:

11 November 2004, 12:54 AM
Dude... i realy dont know that to say... the modeling looks terribly crap but the result is super outstanding.

Is this thing animable ?
Is it possible to make a human face with just a box ?
Will modeling skilled peoples fall into an end ?
How did you do the eyes ?
How did you do the noze ?
How did you do the ears with only 4 polygons ?

11 November 2004, 01:36 AM
Impressive :thumbsup:
Could we have a look at the bump map?

11 November 2004, 02:16 AM
Wow! Awesome work man! Excellent stuff! :thumbsup:

11 November 2004, 02:38 AM
WOWOWO,,,What a nice surprise!pretty good! Awesome work!

11 November 2004, 03:34 AM
Yo Taron, model a demon from that same base mesh then morph that old guy into it;).

Oh and maybe you would be kind enough to upload a screenshot of the neck area sans tendon map. Just wondering what it looks like without those texture deforms in it.


11 November 2004, 03:52 AM
To make more precise visime, he would only have tp t o detail the mouth shape more,s o instead of 340 polys, he would have 356 polyus. Still a efficient rig.

11 November 2004, 04:25 AM
If you really want to impress us, please show a video of the animated displacements at work. That way, you can really advertise and promote this new software Messiah, and at the same time prove the animated displacements do work and it was not just something you tweaked in the aftermath. We want to see some 'in betweens' to see the deformations are reasonable.

11 November 2004, 05:00 AM
rebo...HEY, don't spoil the surprises!!! ;)

Jinian go there: ZbrushCentral (

Julez: Actually the mouth DOES have enough detail, only towards the cheeks it's a little thin, yet, it would only require a bit of clever management to fulfill practically any desire for the animation....if I find time, I'll show you what I mean....

BTW, I prepared the messiah post: Technique behind the Neckling (

11 November 2004, 05:11 AM
really nice work. i love when someone does something different with available tools, makes us all think "why didn't i think to do it that way".

i would love to see this method brought into the game industry by using Normal Mapping. sure, he uses 4000x4000 textures, but using game friendly map size i'm sure we can get the same end result [on a smaller scale].

if a game engine was made to process more textures then polys, we might have something.

11 November 2004, 05:35 AM
Man! That's crazy bro. I gotta add ZBrush to my toolset.
Tech like that is ground breaking. So real how the skin moves.

11 November 2004, 05:46 AM
any chance of a tutorial for this?

11 November 2004, 06:06 AM
Yes, in fact, more so I am going to share this entire scene/project with the release of messiah:Studio2.0c and the TextureDeform plugin! An entire tutorial will follow up...I might just make a DVD with an even more evolved workflow that goes a bit further than that.

11 November 2004, 06:22 AM
great work, i love it. :beer:

11 November 2004, 06:51 AM
That's just Great! Wonderful work :applause:

11 November 2004, 08:06 AM

I have never heard of animated displacment maps working like this. Nice job. Here is a question for you. Can you do animated normal maps and have this high detail in video games??

11 November 2004, 10:13 AM
Hey dansgarbage, well, in theory of course it is possible, whereby this depends on the kind of access the hardware allows. I'm not sure about the amount of control from the software side when it comes to the normal mapping so I rather don't make too many assumptions at this point.

However, in theory it is no problem whatsoever and if I had any way to support what's happening inside gfx cards, I am certain it would be rather easy for me to implement that sort of function. It is practically a mapping type that can be interacted with. The routine to remap space as I do it in the textureDeform is just a tiny bit more tricky, because it can not only rotate or stretch space but also twist it from origin to the target of the bone. But still extremely quick to process. :)

As for subdivisions and also texture resolution...well....those are the two things that obviously limit the possibilites for the brutal amount of detail our eyes begin to demand eversince ZBrush...hehehe....but it could nontheless become highly impressive with the given limitations if we see the type of motion underneath skin in an interactive environment....that'll be fun!

Thanx for asking, however...I'd like to think about it and see if there's anything I could even do myself to find out...not sure. We'll see....

11 November 2004, 10:32 AM
GREAT work taron !!

and the texturedeform on messiah is very Impressive but (how many bones just for neck !)

keep up the good work

11 November 2004, 12:19 PM
Thanx! On this one I goofed around a little bit to test out performance and handling and, well, just to have some fun of curiosity with it so I ended up with...let me see...9 on each side and one in the middle, but since they were just for the Shading and the actual routines behind the TextureDeform are fast as can be, it was no real extra effort for the rendering times. I also paid great attention to avoid any extra computation for anything out of reach to any bone, although I havn't done any particular sorting to clip even the check for possible proximity of the current rendered spot to each bone. In a future release I may do that, too, but the rendertimes are really extremely satisfying right now. To put it like this...if you add about 10 bones and use them within reason (not everyone covering the entire screen so to say...highly unlikely), it's the equivalent of a single UVtexture readout. Also depending on the kind of use you're looking for, it can be even more efficient. The TextureDeform feels very much like animatable brushstrokes in ZBrush and feel practically like an extension or continuation of the work from there.

However, it's really easy to get carried away with such setups, because it's really fun to think of interesting constructions and curious deformations....but again, the great thing is, it really doesn't hurt! ;)

11 November 2004, 01:07 PM
Damn it,Taron; you're at it again :rolleyes:
Beautiful ,beautiful work! Really love this head's unusual expressions...did you store different MT's for this one? Looks great - how are you sir BTW?


11 November 2004, 01:59 PM
I just made one test morph with the lips. I'm thinking about actually making a little system for it to get some lipsync done, but not sure yet...I may just move on to the next step altogether. I already have a next step for this one that really a cool surprise...just did something a few hours ago....I'm rendering a nice radiosity clip of it now, but it takes 3minutes20sec per frame...60'll be a moment...

THANX!!! :)

11 November 2004, 03:45 PM
Can you do animated normal maps and have this high detail in video games??The biggest limitation I think is the relatively small texture cache, where all textures go while they're being used. It seems this isn't going to get much larger in the next-gen hardware either. Normal maps can be compressed, but I'm not sure if they stay compressed in the cache.

Hardware-accelerated ( displacement and tesselation methods are becoming more common, so I think we'll see more of this in real-time apps like games. In that link, click on the grey alien picture for a similar methodology to the Neckling. Memory is still an issue though. But displacement maps can be palettized or use cache-friendly compression like DXT, so that's an advantage, and they also change silhouette and self-shadow properly, things that normal maps can't do.

We're working on some real-time technology ( that blends displacement mapping, and allows you to deform meshes per-pixel, like if you shoot a character in the arm, you see the flesh pucker inwards exposing flesh. Eventually with more hits you see bone. The surface is tesselated on the fly around the wound, so you get all the gory details. Cool stuff, can't wait to show it. If you go to our video page, you'll see a snake monster... he's blending his whole body in the video, but will be per-vertex based on collisions soon, then per-pixel after that. One step at a time.

Neato stuff Taron, thanks for sharing the how and the why. Looks very promising.

11 November 2004, 04:07 PM
Great stuff Taron. Give us more!!

11 November 2004, 04:32 PM
I just saw the character animated

it's simply amazing these are the best morphs i saw

but i really like critisizing so i still think you can make the area between the uper lip and the nose and the nostrils move a little more.

11 November 2004, 05:26 PM

1) This is something I never thought possible

2) I have 3ds max,now modeling tools is a time waster

3) A good reason to check messiah studio

4) I just shit my pants:eek:

11 November 2004, 05:40 PM
How long did you work on this? Is there any way you can post the actual displacement map?
Good job...:thumbsup:

11 November 2004, 08:01 PM
Hey mister Taron!
Always obscede by the time of rendering!

This is really an amazing face!
I really love the real sensation of muscle behind the flesh.
Is he love to frighten the littles dogs?

11 November 2004, 08:46 PM
Incredible stuff..

I really wonder how the animation would look, how the deformation textures fade into eachother.. (Do they fade, or do they warp+fade etc)

This technique is excellent for lots of reasons probably, but here is one: Now matter how much you care about the topology, with different expressions, some wrinkles that form on the face can't be realized, as their directions are quite arbitrary, esp. in the forehead and between the brows, not to mention the wrinkles the nose when you lift your nose wings up (like when you smell something bad and show your disgust..)

Sorry if these are mentioned, couldn't read 5 pages..

11 November 2004, 09:34 PM
Long time no speak...I see you've jumped on the Zbrush bandwagon. I've had a copy for a month but have been too busy to play with it. Will be looking into it this weekend hopefully!



11 November 2004, 10:57 PM
Now that is rare.... Tareq the famous guy who did the first ever head modeling tutorial in lightwave and was lost from the face of the earth the last 4-5 years, is back again!
Where have you been hiding Tareq? :D :D :D

Edit: Oh, btw since this is my first post on that thread. Taron i'm speechless man, the magic tricks you pull out of Messiah are beyond description. I wish so much we were using it at work. Too bad i don't have time to play with it anymore. ( is 34 hours a day so much to ask for???)

11 November 2004, 11:11 PM
He was never gone I guess, he had these models to show off messiah's capabilities and got plugged a couple of times just recently.

11 November 2004, 11:34 PM
He was never gone I guess, he had these models to show off messiah's capabilities and got plugged a couple of times just recently.
Hehe, and with Tareq, returns the old (and usual) confusion of names. Taron, (Timur Baysal) is a different person than Tareq (Tareq Mirza) who is also a very old Lightwaver from the early mailing list days.... :)

11 November 2004, 11:43 PM
Taron, you have inspired me for years and years.
What you have done here is groundbreaking !
This is truly the future of 3D.

BTW, I have always had an interest in volumetric translucency, and was wondering how it is done.
Is it a SSS shader that you have created ? Where can I buy it ? The results are fantastic.

I find myself creating more and more detail in my meshes. It seems now I will have to learn a new technique entirely. What a waste of time it has been learning to model ! :sad:

Thanks for the inspiration.

11 November 2004, 12:55 AM
Tareq, hey! Just shoot me an email some time, it's been a long time now!

Hey Vegan, thank you for asking, but the best way of buying it is actually to buy messiah:Studio...hehe...I'm serious, because the implementation of it is virtually flawless due to our combined design of it through the core and its architecture. However, I prepared a post on the messiah thread to give a quick explanation for the inner workings.... just GO HERE! (

I will prepare a more elaborate documation in a few days that will go on our website:
(I hope the server migration is done now or at least soon....)

11 November 2004, 01:22 AM
Hehe, and with Tareq, returns the old (and usual) confusion of names. Taron, (Timur Baysal) is a different person than Tareq (Tareq Mirza) who is also a very old Lightwaver from the early mailing list days.... :)

Oops.. I was reading at ultra speed and read Tareq as Taron, I know they are different people :=) . Like Woody Allen after an intense fast reading course, comments on 'War and Peace' after claiming to have read it in 20 minutes: "-It's about Russia."

Taron is actually my country-man (makes us proud eheh :) )

11 November 2004, 03:17 AM
Just saw the video. Awesome deformations Taron! I agree, this could very well be another step in advance for gaming. Looking into Messiah now........ I still want to know what radiosity is, and how you used it to get that kind of render? Sorry, i'm a newbie....

11 November 2004, 05:06 AM
all i can say is ... very impressive work

11 November 2004, 06:23 AM
Hey Dennik,

Not really hiding...but I can sum up why I've been outta the loop for awhile...
Star Wars 2 + Matrix 2 & 3= wrist problems:)

After Teaching at the Academy of Art for the last wrists are finally feeling a bit better.

But...I'm also releasing my new Anatomy Modeling DVD. Check the Maya Organic Modeling thread.

I took the box technique and did a whole systematic body with it.

Taron...I will email you, it has been awhile...guess what...I just got married 3 months ago!



11 November 2004, 09:41 AM
I can see a true oldmen in him,
I can think effect of the animation !!

11 November 2004, 10:30 AM
It is ugly but i like it

11 November 2004, 03:56 PM
just awesome, the capabilities of zbrush and pm are really amazing.

Taron: i was wondering if pm is being used at the moment in cinema production cause what i have seen of this app is just amazing, the shading capabilities seems to be very powerfull and deep, i think a lot of people have the spot on this software and mostly lw users, i expect we could see messiah as a standard in 3d production in a near future, good luck.

11 November 2004, 05:36 PM
lol awsome i still dont get how zbrush works but thats awsome :)

11 November 2004, 10:08 PM
Hey combat mantra, yes, it already has been used for 2k feature films, but to migrate companies over to a new software is always a slow process. They are mostly too afraid and you really have to make them understand the advantages and proof them twice as much as it should be necessary. Also, messiah:Studio is currently probably the most powerful subdivision/displacement rendering product because of its speed and the beautifully easy and intensely flexible texturing/shading solution, but we do have a whole bunch of things left to develope more. Our Volume section is about to grow dramatically as well as the particle section, which in my expectation has a good potential to become a leading product there as well. The network rendering solutions are then in support of all of these features, especially the fluid dynamics. We've already created high pressure production solutions for the network rendering of fluids and therefore can guarantee to have a beautiful coverage of that section as well. All these things will make a major change in the production world and will allow for a much larger scale of work to be done by much more efficiently sized groups of people.

As I create more and more examples, I sincerely wish for people to join in and contribute with their explorations as well and it will become more and more transparent what powers are approaching to bring the production world into a new generation as well.

Lot's of work, but fortunately it is all immense fun! The best thing you can do, if you don't mind me being a bit blunt now, just buy it and join in! :)
It would help us in many many ways, too! :wavey:

11 November 2004, 02:18 AM
Hey man, it seems like ages since I visited Santa Monica and ate Italian. :] Amazing work as always, hope everything's going great for you.

11 November 2004, 04:53 PM
Brilliant work! Can't wait to see a textured final.

11 November 2004, 05:13 PM
where is the lipsync movie you promised us? :)

11 November 2004, 05:15 PM
Brilliant work! Can't wait to see a textured final.
??? I thought the skin shader is superb as it is.

11 November 2004, 10:18 PM
BTW Messiah is a really interesting app!
seems that displacemet works great and rendering too.i always read good things about it and having a good artists like you, Taron helps alot into its development, i think..I also know it has been used coupled with Lw the great from studios like DNA and others. actually hope to see it grow more and more on serious steroids!
BTW there will be a demo for Messiah studio 2.0c? so far i can see only a Messiah animate demo. interesting as well i'm planning to download it to try and animate some Lw char. :)

11 November 2004, 07:46 PM
Hey Timur, good work bud.

A friend of mine sent me this link (sorry I'm a little late in here) but I've actually been working on this same technique in XSI since may.

For anyone else who's interested, there is a GREAT free plugin from Reinhard Claus for XSI called "tension map" that lets you easily do all kinds of cool things. Having a stressed state for say the wrinkles on your wrist when it's all the way bent is super simple.

Tension Map...

11 November 2004, 10:42 PM
Hey visualboo, the xsi thing is something else we had in the messiah globals for a long time, it offers the stretch information for polygons so you can use it to blend in and out alternative maps that are either hardmapped to the surface or controllable in all the ordinary ways. That has little to nothing to do with what TextureDeform does for you! Just examine the footage and the little explanation. Technique behind the Neckling (

Thanx for showing that stuff, I've seen that at some point before...

11 November 2004, 05:42 AM
Right, I'm sorry. The way I worded that was a little confusing.

Actually I got a little side tracked with the tension map comment for people who didn't know about it. Basically because it's an easy way to automatically blend the maps, but what I was talking about working on was more about animated displacement maps.

The thing that your doing that I am not is the bone stuff... which seems pretty cool. Is all the distance based bone stuff calculated at render time with the displacements? If that's the case, what kind of options do you have for the bones?

Oh, and what was your setup time for this head btw?

11 November 2004, 06:30 AM
No need to apologize, all is well! ;)

Setting up that head was a playfull half an hour, but only because of a few rendertests. Once you know what you're going for, it's a matter of seconds of putting the pieces in. You can also simply work out one half it and mirror your setup to the other side. Whenever you add something like a "muscle"-bone and its target, you can just mirror it over. That speeds it up tremendously. Not to mention that the setup mode allows you to do your animationtest and adjust things at any time afterwards, keeping your animation, you can even change the geometry if that's what it takes, but in this case it was extremely simple.
I guess the "option" for the bones could be called either a straight forward ordinary bone, or a muscle-bone, which requires to put in a target for the bone to stretch and orient to. These are build in features of the bone system and therefore are very simple. The mirror action includes the mirroring of the target automatically as well, so you don't have to worry about that at all. Besides, due to it's flexible nature you can use anything as a target, including other bones. This way you can create chains of deforms as well!:D

As for the rendering, there are a few things that it only needs to compute ones, which it does in a millisecond preprocessing but it saves a lot of operations for each point. After that, the mapping is done at rendertime of course. This technique allows to not only map images flat along a bone, but to even twist it based on the "muscle"-bones original orientation and the targets rotation. This is very powerful due to the fact that none of the mapping is flat, but instead it is volumetric and can remap procedurals as well as images.

The only drawback at the moment is, that there's no openGL displacement YET! So in order to see what your displacement looks like you have to render it. The big advantage in messiah:Studio is, that it renders incredibly fast, even with GI turned on at decent qualties. For such tests, although this might be considered silly, I actually have mostly everything turned me the final look right away. Depending on the level of complexity of course...if a render takes more than 30sec I switch the GI off for the tests...haha... :P

I will prepare a simple tutorial that will show exactly how to set all of this up, and the only reason why I havn't really done such a tutorial yet is because I've started to take the simplicity of it for granted a long time ago and it's difficult for me to realize that people simply don't know about it or can't imagine how comfortable it is. That's sort of a general problem I have....I apologize for that myself.

11 November 2004, 01:17 PM
Yess.. u diserve this kinda responce!!:applause:



12 December 2004, 01:20 PM
looks gr8 and perfect with just 340 polys man :)

12 December 2004, 01:38 PM
Thank You!:)

12 December 2004, 08:09 PM
I've missed a beat here.

Displacement maps work by subdividing polygons, and then moving the new vertices out along that poly's normal according to the map, yes? That way, they aren't limitied to within the silhouette.

If that's the case, then where's the benefit? I mean, all those subdivided polys still have to be rendered, right? Why is using displacement maps different from just having a really high-res model to start with?

12 December 2004, 12:25 AM
By now it may even be difficult for me to explain the entire depth of why subdivision based rendering and the animation of low polygon cages is the current state of the art in 3D by choice, because it has quite some amount of reasons for it's justified success.
But let's start at the easiest of all points:

- moving around large numbers of points may seem effortless during rendering, but in realtime performance as it is necessary during the animation process it is next to impossible to deal with. If the renderer grants itself several seconds to generate this new dense geometry for each new frame it renders, in realtime you don't have a second between each frame, otherwise you wouldn't be able to see the animation while you are working on it.

And some more points:
- a low polygon cage can be designed to deform correctly, by controlling just a few easily and visually separatable vertecies. When you build a setup with deformers like bones for instance, you can place them based on the visual feedback your model provides. During the smooth subdivision process for generating the dense geometry that gets eventually rendered, it interpolates between the edges of the low resolution mesh to compute a smooth surface. It still requires a little bit of experience to make use of that trade most efficiently, but this experience is easily and quickly aquired!

- The displacement possibility then allows you to fill in the vast amount of detail that such a subdivided geomtery will offers to you without interferring with your low polygon animation procedures. Some tools even allow you to animated those displacement independently from your low polygon cage and therefore allow access to this otherwise inaccessable phase to the animation during rendering.

I'm sure there are quite a whole lot more beautiful ways to mention as for why all of this, but hopeful for now that gave you an idea. I just give you one more aspect of it and that is the number of detailed objects you can deal with in one scene. Due to the subdivision principle and the ability to completely rely on the details such models can get through displacement, you can populate a scene with large amounts of them...let's say a large group of protestors during a peace demonstration. With the right software and a proper machine it then may even be possible to animate such groups and observe them together close enough to realtime to still make judgements. Saving such a scene or better loading such a scene would only take a ridicolously small fraction of the time it were taking if you had all these models with highly detailed geometries.

Ah...if somebody else is in the mood to think about all of this again, it's kind of fun, but I had enough of it for now... ;)

12 December 2004, 02:14 AM
i love those expressions! good job!

12 December 2004, 05:48 PM
love the way you showed motion in the neck.

12 December 2004, 06:43 AM
excellent 3d i've seen so far.

12 December 2004, 04:58 AM

12 December 2004, 12:36 PM
its fantastic to see how the subpixel displacement technique is making such progresses, and can make your life easier.
i'd actually like Lightwave had this as well, but fortunately there are apps like messiah XSI etc. that make a good use of it. animated displacement advances the progress even more ! :) really great thing.

I like it because allow you not to waiste time working on scenes given the fact it all happens on rendering and that it allows to make a top notch work.

12 December 2004, 08:52 AM
Hi how are you...I got your dvd and its great so far i only went through it fast to some parts i wanted to see, are u going to have any dvds with other polygon modeling methods like...edge extrusion. I usually do the head with edge extrusion, and do the body from primitives, cylinders for hand, body, legs...and model hands separately. Ears i do what u do, off the head.

That is all my question for you, i just wanted to ask if you have any other method than using a box to model. I love the way the outcome came out, but personally i have not seen anyone starting with a cube and finishing everything on that cube to model the whole body.

Another question would be, that if i want to add shorts or pants and shoes, i wouldnt have to model a whole body would i? Just asking if modeling everything from a box if its better than separating the head for animation purposes. thats all...i would definately order more of your dvds if u come up with new methods of modeling in poly. I am not a fan of nurbs anymore because poly these days are much better with texturing and saves lots of time on me especially with the help of zbrush now.

Thanks a lot for the great work that you do...hope to have more from u.

Cheers and have a happy merry xmas and a great holiday.

12 December 2004, 09:26 AM
I think you mix me up with Tareq again. I havn't released my DVD yet. It'll be ready to release in probably in February 2005. I will also really try to make it so that very little questions remain other than: When's the next one coming out....:applause:

Haha...ehh...I'm just kidding, but yeah, I'm planning to make a whole series that includes far more than just modeling!

I havn't seen Tareq's DVD, yet, but I bet it's should email him your questions...I think you find him somewhere in the thread! :shrug:

Merry Christmas to everyone!:)

12 December 2004, 11:57 AM
Real interesting info and art.Thanks for both.:buttrock:

12 December 2004, 05:56 PM
Man...That is totally Mind Blowing...Need to start saving my money it seems...340 Poly's with a displacement Map...Awesome work

12 December 2004, 11:17 AM
Bloody awesome!! Don't know diddly squat about polygons or Zbrush.... but I gotta say your work's fantastic!! :thumbsup:

12 December 2004, 05:03 AM
WOW great idea.

01 January 2005, 02:56 AM
ok, this is my first post on cg talk. I usually just poke around and see what folks are up to. I'm a blender fan but love to look around to see what kinds of results other folks are getting with other apps. When I first came across this I was blown away. I still am really. It's the first time in a long time that I have seen something that makes me reconsider how I am currently approaching things.

Anyway, here are my crits...

1) in the middle head there is a wierd highlight on the right side of the nose. It makes it look like something is hanging from the nose or that the nose is somehow deformed. Comparing it to the other two heads it doesn't look like that ragged edge is really there and because it catches my eye I thought I would mention it.

2) on the head on the right there is a very dark shadow with a hard outline under his right jaw (his right not the viewers). It gets a little jagged and unnatural looking right up to the chin. Also his nose looks to be full of something that is taking away from the illusion of depth for me. Again looking at the other two versions it doesn't appear to be intentional and again caught my eye.

3) The skin on the top of the head appears to need more detail. It only stands out because the rest of the skin has such amazing amounts of detail.

4) holy cow man. that is some amazing work. Far better than anything I have been able to produce so please take these crits with a grain of salt. It just appears like you are pushing the edge of realizm here...and I wanted to mention these things because they were the few things that pull it back to CG for me.

Best of luck and thanks for being so generous as to share all these great details.

01 January 2005, 12:23 PM
This is unbelievable. Can I ever reach this level of rendering?:sad:

01 January 2005, 12:36 AM
I like human anatomy , so I love it .
this is a nice job
good luck:thumbsup:

01 January 2005, 09:48 AM
i ve watch q.time

01 January 2005, 12:55 AM
i like the detail on the face, but im curious how much is modeling and how much is texturing, both of which i can tell you are great at.

01 January 2005, 12:57 AM
ignore my last post...i just read what you wrote, and feel a bit foolish now...

02 February 2005, 03:22 AM
This charater is cool ... the skin looks real .

05 May 2005, 01:04 PM
it's simply amazing, nice work Taron !

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