View Full Version : Master and Servant 3D Entry: Eric Maslowski

03 March 2005, 01:09 AM
Eric Maslowski has entered the Master and Servant 3D.

Challenge Page (

Latest Update: Final Image: Fin (

Well, this is it. I want to thank everyone for the great support and critiques. A good crit is a rare thing, and I feel lucky that I received so many. Thanks again all and I hope you like the pic. :)

This piece focuses on a situation that I think many of us have felt at one point or another (I know I have). Whether our work comes from our bosses/clients, or our own drive and passion for the craft; we sometimes find ourselves with too much on our plates and too many "masters." I tried to capture that feeling. A feeling often experienced late at night when franticly trying to handle the many tasks on our list, handle the requests of our clients, and meet that all important deadline. This situation actually leads to another, more complex relationship for those relying on the worker. (In this case, his girlfriend/wife) While the bosses/clients wait for the worker to complete their tasks, his partner waits to simply spend time with him. Basically, making her a servant to his schedule, but also one of his masters since her needs have to be handled as well.

(Edit: changed from description to more of a story/thoughts from the workers perspective to make it a little more "colorful" :) )

It's been a long day. Hundreds have visited waiting for their prize. Two clients remain before I'm free, but wait...looking at tomorrow, the list looks the same. Maybe I'll get ahead by finishing some today. (a common phrase heard yesterday) Still so much to do just to be free, with a lingering thought of an anniversary. Bah, must be a friends or perhaps my, it's mine and I'm late, really late. several hours ago I had a date. She'll understand, this doesn't happen much. I'll buy her a flower and take her to lunch. So much to do with more coming in...wonder when I can take my vacation. If I leave now, it'll all pile up. Sigh, so much to do just to be free. I'm wonder if my master is actually me...

03 March 2005, 02:02 AM (

My concept for this challenge revolves around the idea of multiple masters and one slave. The slave/worker in this concept is working frantically at his desk with an endless line of masters/bosses/clients casually watching and waiting. Almost as if the masters don't have anything better to do than watch their slave.

03 March 2005, 02:14 AM
hahahahah, i love this concept, this is a really cool idea... i especially like the smug look on the boss to the farthest left. great idea!!

you've got a great start, i hope to see some updates:thumbsup:

03 March 2005, 04:37 AM
Hey, thanks tdawg! I'll be posting a bunch of updates over the next couple days as I try and work through the character style. (plenty of characters to design) Hopefully, I can keep you coming back. :)

03 March 2005, 04:48 AM
Hi Eric, great concept, I'll really enjoy watching where you go with this;)

03 March 2005, 05:30 AM (

Playing with a couple character concepts...

03 March 2005, 05:33 AM
Hi man! Nice sketch! I hope to see your progress... keep it up, man! best lucky!:thumbsup:

03 March 2005, 06:55 AM
hey, i really like the guy in the second sketch on the farthest left, he just looks perfect and fits the idea very well.

also i was just thinking about the original idea and i remembered that this reminds me a lot of the movie "office space", if your familiar with it, theres the boss who is always coming by and holding the coffee cup, giving out jobs and orders, with that smirk on his face and the annoying voice that make you just want to punch him out... you should really try to get this same feel or atmosphere into your image, it could be really great. :thumbsup:
thats just my opinion and this is your image so do whatever you want to do with it because its looking great so far

keep it up

and ill be back

03 March 2005, 03:49 PM
Thanks for the comments everyone. It's a little daunting to see such great talent in these challenges, but at least I'll have another cool art book to buy when it's all done. :)

Yeah, "Office Space" perfectly captured the stereotypical office worker. I think many of us have experienced a Lumburg-type guy at some point. :D Great flick!

As for the concept, my main goal is to make the scenario immediately identifiable. I'm pretty confident most of us have had a period in which we had too many clients, bosses, classes, tasks, whatever. Office Space did a great job in capturing the "I'm depressed at what I do and don't want to be here" vibe. I'm going a little more towards, "what I do is alright, but there's just too damn much of it and my clients/bosses don't seem to care." Unfortunately, this is going to be a little harder to do, but if I can just capture that feeling...

03 March 2005, 04:35 PM
i would admit the "what I do is alright, but there's just too damn much of it and my clients/bosses don't seem to care." vibe is much harder to do than the "I'm depressed at what I do and don't want to be here" vibe, but you've got a really good start so far and i think your idea of having many many masters to only one servant is very unique and a good idea. i wouldn't start to worry too much about having that vibe felt because alot of it is going to be in the facial expressions and subtle details you will work on later.

good progress so far, hope to see more

03 March 2005, 01:26 PM
nice sketch and idea

i want to see that in 3D !
When i see that i think to the incredible with the little boss and the big super hero who is the servant of this little boss!

04 April 2005, 03:48 AM (

Playing with the layout a little...the bottom image is sketched on to fill in the missing parts. I'm leaning towards giving the worker/slave multiple arms (ghostly - blurred), each doing a task to show the crazy state the worker is in. (since we can't see a face) Crits welcomed. :)

04 April 2005, 04:37 AM
good stuff .. busted out a smile on me .. i like the multiple arms aspect .. i can see it with some blur too

good luck with this :thumbsup:

04 April 2005, 07:29 AM
He he Yeah I think this is cool :thumbsup: I think there would be alot of people here could relate to this one....good work man and good luck with the rest of the project...l8rzzz

04 April 2005, 03:02 PM
Almost as if the masters don't have anything better to do than watch their slave.

Ahaha! Love it! ... and hate it - it feels sooo familiar :D Going to be fun to see what you make of this - good luck!

04 April 2005, 08:23 PM (

Here's another take on the same theme...

04 April 2005, 08:29 PM
Thanks all for the feedback. I am still debating which layout to use (A or B), but since they share many of the same objects/characters I'm going to shart modeling now. Hopefully, by the time I get to the "unique" elements, I'll have an idea of which one to go for. In the meantime, I would love to hear any feedback crits you may have on the concepts. Thanks.

04 April 2005, 10:07 PM
I'm definitely leaning towards the first concept layout (A), it has more of a "real workspace" feel as opposed to the "rat in a cage" setup you've got in layout B. Layout B separates the masters from the servant too much, makes them into observers rather than masters.

The matrix agent style blurred arms would be great since we don't see his face. Having one of he nearby masters doing things out of boredom (like checking his watch) would help reinforce the inneffectiveness of the servant's frenzied pace.

great concept! I really feel like that servant sometimes at work :surprised at least the result is job security :D

Looking forward to more!


04 April 2005, 10:27 PM
Thanks for the feedback, Wintermute. You make some good points. One of my motivations for concept (B) was to make the environment a little more surreal and exaggerate some of the workers feelings, but I completely agree that the masters are more removed. As you said, this makes their master/slave relationship is a little harder to make out...hmm.

As for the bosses in the background, checking a watch is good. I like that. I also was planning on having two of them playing "rock-paper-scissors". That's one thing I really like about (A) is that it lends itself more to subtly. :) Thanks again for the feedback.

04 April 2005, 12:42 AM (

Quick cubicle model. Top image is model all by itself, while lower image is the same model using the lighting and environment for concept A. (just to see how it looks in an evironment)

If you're wondering why under the desk is very plain, I avoided adding details there since it won't be seen (I think). Will add them later if needed. Crits welcomed. :)

04 April 2005, 12:48 AM
Hello, the lighting seems to be going to be great in your hands!!!
Good luck!!!

04 April 2005, 05:12 AM (

Spent most of today building several objects for the environment. (monitor, stool, computer, cups, folders, etc.) If you'd like to see wires or more details, just let me know. C&C always welcomed. :)

04 April 2005, 05:14 AM
Thanks J++! Global Illumination does most of the work, I just have to wait for it... ;)

04 April 2005, 02:08 PM
Looking good Eric :thumbsup: Nice to see your progress shots....Awsome attention to detail there good stuff...This is going very well keep it up dude! And rock on :buttrock:

04 April 2005, 03:58 AM (

Added a few more objects to the environment today and realized that modeling a keyboard is really, really boring... :) Anyway, there's a few more things I want to add to the cube, but I think I'm going to move on to the characters now. (have 10+ to model...) Click on the image for higher res. Any thoughts on the environment and general comp so far? Thanks all. :)

04 April 2005, 04:16 AM
Thanks Blackdragoncg! Now, it's time to break out the wacom and start building all of those characters...good thing there's 40+ days left. :arteest:

04 April 2005, 04:17 AM
[deleted dupe]

04 April 2005, 04:35 AM
Hey man!!! very funny example to the contest theme.:thumbsup:
About the environment?....What can I say? it's amazing:thumbsup: .
I'm surely here to see your progress.

Good luck!!!
My Master And Servant

04 April 2005, 03:10 AM (

Started modeling the servant character in ZBrush. Just learning the app and still getting used to its navigation, but overall a great way to model. (especially with a wacom)

04 April 2005, 03:14 AM (

Started playing with the characters materials. Used an SSS material for the base material and used vertex colors for more color control. Left image is full render, right top is basic model with no materials assigned, and the bottom right one is the model only with vertex colors. C&C welcomed. :)

04 April 2005, 06:09 AM
You really captured is reaction, good work!!!

04 April 2005, 01:02 AM (

Worked on this guy a bit more. Still have placeholders for the shoes, belt, and pants, but will get to those soon. :) Not sure what I'm going to do (if anything) for hair...Well, hope you enjoy it. :)

04 April 2005, 01:08 AM
[deleted dupe...again]

04 April 2005, 04:44 AM
Miyagi: Thanks for the compliments! I found myself obsessing over the little things in that environment a little too much. (tape on wires under desk, different text and sketches on scattered papers, etc.) Maybe it'll payoff when we have to submit our final image at 4kx3k. :)

Arlutik: Thanks, guy! I was worried about that. Probably everyone here has experienced this emotion in some form, and I wasn't sure if I could make something folks could recognize/identify with. Good to know I convinced at least one other person. ;)

Thanks again all and good luck with your entires. There is definitely some AMAZING work in the competition. Keep it up!

04 April 2005, 04:35 PM
hi safe, eh eh much beatiful your idea, and superb caricature design in 3d. the servant is similar to a my colleague :)

good luck

04 April 2005, 05:48 PM
hahaha, nice character! very well done!
Keep it up!:thumbsup:

04 April 2005, 06:54 PM
This guy is looking really good. I like the drab colors on him and his exprssion. :thumbsup:

04 April 2005, 06:55 PM
Hi there safe05!
Cool character! Reminds me fanatic cg-artist spent too much time with his comp!
Good textured head also! Need to try vertex colors as well - newer did that before!
That's an idea!
Ah, like his eyes, man - awesome detalisation (seems to be not just a spghere, right?)
Good luck with it!

04 April 2005, 07:10 PM
Thanks for all the feedback!

Deryk: I love using vertex colors for these "cartoony" type characters. No need for unwrapping and UV madness (unless you want more details...). I highly recommend it for general coloring, however, you need a fairly dense mesh to color specific areas.

As for the eyes, the iris and lens are modelled. Here's a tutorial that follows the same idea: The only problem I run into with this technique deals with profile shots. When looking at the eye from various angles the iris is a little hard to see compared with a simple sphere, but this method is closer to how human eyes are setup and lights better. :)

04 April 2005, 05:41 AM
Thanks a lot for link! Really usefull site - will add it to my favorites!
Ok, today will try also vertex coloring. Seems to be fun!

04 April 2005, 01:36 PM
Really nice idea. The models is perfect for the idea. Keep goiing. good luck mate.

04 April 2005, 03:42 PM
Really good design... Like your character.

04 April 2005, 08:14 PM (

Started work on the ugly, grumpy, mean boss a little. Wanted to add a little bulldog and a very "weathered" look. This guy was straight ZBrushed. Getting a little bit better at the program, but some things still throw me... C&C always welcomed. :)

04 April 2005, 08:19 PM (

Worked on grumpy's shading using the same process I did for the servant. (i.e. vertex colors + SSS) I'd love to hear any feedback you might have, especially related to consistency of the two characters so far. (i.e. do you think they could exist in the same world) Thanks all and good luck! :)

04 April 2005, 08:38 PM
Hahaah!! What a great face safe05, I hope you can carry the style on through the other characters:thumbsup:

04 April 2005, 08:57 PM (

One more image showing where I plan on taking this guy (rougly). All the changes were just brushed in via Photoshop. Thought a brown suit would compliment his yellow eyes. :) Well, now on to modeling all of this... :)

04 April 2005, 09:02 PM
Thanks DaddyMack!

Before I started working on this "bulldog" boss, I was playing with the "smug" boss and man was that tough. Still haven't got something I'm happy with...It's either too cartoony or too realistic...It's going to be tough carrying this over to 10+ characters, but it'll be a good exercise for me. ;)
Thanks for the feedback!

04 April 2005, 02:16 AM (

Worked on the body a bit. C&C welcomed. :)

04 April 2005, 10:32 PM
what a great concept!
that is funny! and readable!

You´ve gone a little wild with this model, but it looks so... bossy



04 April 2005, 01:27 AM (

Made some subtle changes to grumpy...Shortened the "flaps" a bit. :) Also filled out the lower body and made his hands a little stubbier and thicker. Let me know what you think and thanks for all the feedback and encouragement! :)

04 April 2005, 04:14 AM (

Worked on the head of this character today. The idea behind her is that she'll be in the background, off to the side, waiting for the worker. While the bosses/masters are waiting for him to finish work for them, she's waiting for him to finish so they can spend time together. In a way she's a servant of his schedule and work habits.

Same technique as before. (ZBrush->Max->Vertex Colors + SSS) Did some *real* quick touchups in photoshop, as well as some crappy hair. :) C&C always welcomed. :)

04 April 2005, 05:06 AM
Very cool style, great work :thumbsup:

04 April 2005, 11:05 AM
Keep up the great pace Eric!

04 April 2005, 08:15 PM
Wow,wow,wow !!!
safe05, that "bulldog" boss looks really cool! Don't know what to say... I learn a lot from yopur thread, man! Good reference for me indeed:thumbsup:
Yeah, boss rocks!!
Look forward to see following updates!

04 April 2005, 03:10 AM
hey safe .. really like the boss guy .. a very good boss face ... the girl turned out very nice too .. a great background character for sure

enjoying yopur progress :thumbsup:

04 April 2005, 06:54 AM
a great concept, I'll keep my eyes on you i like this idea

04 April 2005, 06:57 AM
woo zbrush is such a good tool welldone

04 April 2005, 12:49 PM (

Worked on the head a little more. I thought she looked a little "sick" in the previous one so I gave her some healthier skin. I also threw together several spheres and cylinders to test out poses. Let me know what you think. :)

04 April 2005, 04:00 PM
LOL. what a hilarious concept. although a little too close to real life for comfort. your characters look great. I look forward to seeing your progress.

04 April 2005, 03:46 AM (

Minor update, modeled most of the body. Will work on her shoes, belt and hair tomorrow. Then on to the next character... :)

04 April 2005, 06:32 AM
looks fascinating! She alreardy has a personality and it is even no need in whole composition to understand her character. I like proportions of hands and feet - espetially those little tiny feet:)
Keep it up :scream:

04 April 2005, 02:42 PM
pigwater, DaddyMack, arlutik, bealobo, et. al: Thanks for the comps & encouragement! :)

Deryk: I'm relieved to hear that her role "registers" even when she's not in the environment. I was a little worried about that. Glad you dig the character. :)

teapotr: Thanks! I agree ZBrush is very cool. I still can't get really precise models out of it without using an insane # of polygons (e.g. shirt seams), but the package looks VERY powerful. Really looking forward to playing with it's features. (texturing, displacement, etc.)

Thanks for all the feedback and good luck with all of your entries! :thumbsup:

04 April 2005, 03:08 PM
What a wonderfull character!
Love the small hands and feet. :thumbsup:

04 April 2005, 08:40 PM
Ok.....concept is quite nice....the characters have a freash appeal to them.....and done well Eric.....keep moving along as you are,it's quite nice.....See you as you progress.....:thumbsup:

04 April 2005, 04:18 AM (

Started modeling this guy today. Guy needs to visit a dentist and use some conditioner in his hair, but he generally captures the feel I was going for...some spots seem "off" to me though. Any thoughts?

Next steps: my plan-of-attack is to roughly flesh out this guy, much like the other characters, and then do some placement/composition tests. (still not %100 sure about the comp) If that goes well, then start detailing them and model the filler bosses. If you guys have any suggestions on the characters so far, I'd love to hear them. :)

Thanks to everyone whose been following along and offering crits. Rock on!

04 April 2005, 07:03 PM
another great, there's-one-in-every-office character. i'm not sure where you're at with texturing, but i think his skin tone could use a little more variation--around the eyes and lips, etc.

04 April 2005, 08:25 PM
I love the characters! they are just perfect, I can´t wait for the next one. The concept is soooo funny! I think that every working boy/girl here have felt like that at some moment.


I agree with artemesia66, if you´re not taking them in close it´s ok not to add a lot of detail, but a little color variation will be just fine!

:scream: Keep UP!

04 April 2005, 09:41 PM
I agree, the guy could use a little more variation & texture. Will do that next. I recently got sucked into cleaning up the whole ZBrush->Max workflow thing, but will be updating this guy soon. :)

Thanks for the feedback! :)

04 April 2005, 03:16 AM (

Ok, revisited this guys head. Add some underlying color to his cheeks, chin, and eyes. (Thanks for the suggestions!) I also elongated the entire face to match the slender body I'm building for this guy. Let me know what you think. :)

04 April 2005, 02:35 PM
the textures looks much better now, still missing the hair, but hey! one thing at a time :thumbsup:

The character looks good too, although this one looks kinder than the previous version, that actually looked like a complete as**ole. Maybe is the smile, that was longer?
I don´t know what you´re up too either.

Keep up!

04 April 2005, 04:30 PM
Yeah, I'm not sure what I'm going to do for hair...I would like to use a plugin like HairFX, but I think I"ll end up using textured quad strips in the end due to cost. For now, the helmet hair is a place holder until I can make up my mind. I sometimes forget to photoshop it before posting. :)

You're right about this guy looking nicer...hmm...I personally like the overall proportions a little better, but your right that he lost that a$$hole quality. I agree that the smile is part of it. It's a little cutesy...I'll play with that. I think eyes are also a little rounder which may be adding to it as well. I'll see if I can get back the feeling of the original guy tonight by changing the eyes and mouth.

Thanks for the feedback, I really appreciate it! :beer:

04 April 2005, 08:19 PM
Hi safe05, great personality in all your characters so far:thumbsup:

Re this guys hair, you could seperate the geometry of his hair from his face and pull the verts around a bit to get a sharper transition into his hair...I think that will improve his look..

Keep it coming

04 April 2005, 04:26 AM (

Ok, worked on the smug boss a bit. (far right) Tried to reintroduce various elements to make him a little more sinister than the previous attempt while still keeping a slender face. So, I gave his eyes a little more "squint", bigger/deeper brow, tighter smile, etc. Whatcha think?

Thanks for the feedback and support! :)

04 April 2005, 04:36 AM
Thanks for the advice, DaddyMack. Just gave him a shave and will try the separate hair soon. I haven't done much with hair in the past, so this should be interesting...I guess that's one thing these challenges offer, an excuse to leave our comfort zones. ;) Will post hair shots when I'm done modeling the body. (running a little behind) Thanks for crit!

04 April 2005, 05:10 AM
these characters are so cleanly modeled ... and have such a great and consistant style... fantastic...

04 April 2005, 09:49 PM
Good idea. I like the style of the characters

I agree you could seperate the hair for your smug boss. Although your look is so stylised I'm not sure that the realism is important

There is quite an interesting hair tutorial here ( . I was going to use the technique for my characters (unless max7.5 arrives first).

Keep going.

04 April 2005, 04:38 AM (

Worked on the hair a bit. I'm now moving onto his body...I promise. :) C&C always welcomed.

04 April 2005, 04:50 AM
Neeno: thanks! That means a lot. :)

Ken T: Thanks for the link! I ended up using a similar method to cleanup the intersection between the hair and head in the latest shot. The only difference is that my guy isn't bald under the "hair strips." (couldn't get it to fill in right) I opted to just shrink his current hairdo a little and put a bunch of hair strips on top of it to add some depth. Since his hair is dark, I can get away with this, for a blonde I think I would need layers upon layers to get proper shading. :P Thanks for the feedback!

04 April 2005, 09:13 AM
looks good

04 April 2005, 01:56 PM
:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

04 April 2005, 02:42 PM
Thanks! :)

04 April 2005, 03:04 PM
Hey safe05,
superb head! Very clear personality he has! Seems to be someone unfair but smart!
Especially good lips expression. What do you think about some bumps on lips?
A bit work on hair shading and you've made a great job!
I'm inspired here :)

04 April 2005, 03:23 PM
Hey thanks Deryk! Yep, I'm definitely planning on giving his face some more details. (a little stubble, wrinkles, cracks on the lips, etc.) Just want to get the basic model and coloration in place for the key characters so I can work on the composition a little. Then, once everyone is in place, everything gets some detailing. :)

04 April 2005, 05:55 PM
Great work, your style would be great for a tv show, I love great work.


04 April 2005, 05:03 AM (

Ok, couldn't finish the smug boss in time for an update today, so I spent some time working on the composition. I just grabbed a bunch of my existing renders and stiched them together, so the lighting and poses aren't %100.

While the previous compo was in the right direction and captured the general mood, it kept nagging me that it could be a little more "dynamic" and interesting. This is my first attempt at doing that.

This one still focuses on the main worker/servant but brings the other elements in a little closer. The bosses are closer, as is his girlfriend. Also, the cubicle is closed on almost all sides leading to a tighter environment. I made the girl a little more apparent than originally planned since I'm really starting to like the complex relationship she creates.

Would love to hear your input on this direction since there are still a few parts that some may view as really cliche. Thanks for the support thus far, I really appreciate it! :)

04 April 2005, 05:07 AM
Hmmm...a tv show...not a bad idea... ;) Thanks for the compliments, arlutik. Glad you like it. I'm digging your stuff too.

04 April 2005, 05:27 AM
Hey! You made some good progress since I last visited - this is coming on so good. The concept is very clear and man, I hate that smirky master! Meant in a good sense of course - his character is very spot on :thumbsup:

04 April 2005, 05:55 AM
Heya Eric, this is looking really great mate, the extra arms really communicate the servant well...Your last post really has direction, Keep a running mate, good luck with all those bosses...and the comp:thumbsup:

04 April 2005, 06:21 AM
Hehe :scream: , I didt notice this before, good stuff! A real threat to all those gore monsters. Dilbert would love it.

04 April 2005, 02:12 PM
Newt: hehe. Definitely been there before. :P thanks for the comic and compliments. :)

DaddyMack: Thanks for the encouragement. Glad to hear the arms register well. Wasn't sure if it would just overcrowd the scene. Thanks!

Gunilla: Welcome back, mate. ;) I glad that the smug boss struck a nerve. That guy was a pain to get right. Thanks for the feedback and compliments. :)

04 April 2005, 10:06 PM
this composition is more dynamic, the thing of the arms is definately a hit.
But I miss the first composition, like an auditorium, was hilarious.
This composition is very good too and as you said brings more of the character than before, the relation ships and so, therefore it IS very good too.

each time I watch at the "colleague" pffffff makes me laugh, that character is perfect.

04 April 2005, 12:56 AM
Thanks for the crit, bealobo! :)

After I finish the smug boss (at a basic level), there's a few compo tests I want to play with. One is bringing back a little of that auditorium feel you mentioned. (thanks for mentioning it) It did a great job in showing just how many people were waiting for him...I really liked that about it. Unfortunately, when I started dropping characters in my older comp, I found that I was kind of "forcing" their relationships/roles. (I also completely lost the worker's expression with him facing the computer...:sad: )

Right now, I'm not 100% for either. There are parts of both that I really like and don't want to give up. :) I'm really hoping that in my next round of compo tests & tweaks I can merge the strong aspects of both. But if you (or anyone else) has any other input, keep it coming. I love getting crits. :thumbsup:

04 April 2005, 10:14 PM

I think you´ll come out with something good because you´ve very clear what exactly you like about the two compositions.

I had this same problem at first, like I couldn´t show both (in my case) characters' faces so I decided no to do it and to keep the original composition wich I preferred.

I don´t know but maybe you could put him in a sort of side view, and the other people behind, him... like he´s looking for some papers (or post-it notes) instead of be facing the computer...
just an idea


04 April 2005, 04:38 AM
Thanks for the advice, Bealobo. I'll play with the idea of him facing to the side. One problem I ran into, though, was with the character design itself. Because he has many "sunken" features, his expression is really only visible from a few angles...oops. I really hope this doesn't limit me too much when playing with comps...

I think I'm going to just rig up the main characters completely and play with a bunch of comps. I'm hoping to finish the smug boss tonight (been fighting with ZBrush->Max->ZBrush->Max :rolleyes: ). So, the main characters should be done at this basic level of detail. This week I'll just post every comp I come up with the hope of getting some feedback to help refine what's important.

Whew...starting to feel like the worker in the comp. :P

Thanks for the feedback. Always appreciated. :thumbsup:

04 April 2005, 04:55 AM (

Ok, here's a quick update on this guy. This guy has probably been as much trouble for me as for the worker in this piece. :)

Did some modeling of the body but hope to tweek the proportions and geometry a little. (shoulders bother me) Found it difficult to jump between ZBrush and Max freely which ate up plenty of time. Ended up writing a script that simplifies the import/export a little. (just buttons on the toolbar)

I also attempted at a script that would preserve multi-materials and groupings when going between the two packages...that is until I found out the two exporter outputs are VERY different. So much so that I would have to write custom exporters/importers for one of the packages. (no time for that now...)

On the upside, I did find out how to bring reference objects into ZBrush from Max. So I can now drop a couple eyeballs in with a mesh (for later removal) and tweak the eyelid areas without having to constantly jump between Max and ZBrush after each tweek. I knew there had to be a better way...

I also played with the shaders for this guy trying to come up with a good cloth material. (still needs some tweeking) But the falloff trick posted on the CGTalk forums works pretty well as a starting point. I've always been using a fallof map in the self-illum channel, but their trick with the Mask map makes it much more "tweekable". :)

C&C welcomed.

04 April 2005, 06:52 AM (

Minor update. Gave each part a quick once over in ZBrush. (wrinkles, bulges, etc.) While not complicate the two scripts seem to help with the process a bit. Also fixed the body size. (head was too big before... :) )

04 April 2005, 02:00 AM (

Another minor update. Revisited the girl and gave her better hair, some eyelashes, color in the cheeks, and new materials for her clothing. C&C welcomed. :)

04 April 2005, 02:32 AM
Hey safe05
now I see you're making impressively character-rich compo! Should be awesome! You really got fast progress with char design. Just to me seems hard to get the story without your explanation but maybe on final image it will be a bit different (I mean more clear).
But it is good piece of work well done!

04 April 2005, 01:58 PM
the girlfriend is more girly now. looks great!

05 May 2005, 03:29 AM (

Sorry for the lack of updates, all. Here's one to show I'm still alive, kicking, and working on this. Haven't had much time lately. Seems like everything is due mid-May... :)

As you probably noticed, I decided to stick with my original compo with some minor modifications. (mostly in terms of character accessories) While far from a final shot, this update shows the general layout I'm going for with the current characters.

The smug guy bothers me...almost like he doesn't fit. What do you guys think? I'm also trying to find a solution for the arms. tried semi-transparent, glowing, "x-ray", and blended (shown). I'm leaning towards the arms in this image, but would like to hear your views on this. (does it make the image too confusing, not enough contrast, etc.) Oh, and the box he's sitting on will be replaced with a wooden crate instead of a chair.

well, have a lot of work to do in the next week+, we'll see how this goes... ;) Cheers all.

05 May 2005, 03:43 AM
Deryk: Thanks for the feedback! Is there anything in particular that's confusing or you think could be clearer? While I like all the "little" relationships in the comp (e.g. girl->worker), they are just "extra." :) The main point of the comp is just a worker with too much work and too many bosses. If I can capture that then :buttrock:. All the other parts are just extra layers to add a little depth to the piece...maybe too much? :shrug:

Bealobo: Happy to hear it! Thanks for the feedback. :)

05 May 2005, 03:46 AM
Very nice lighting you have there, and the concept is simple but you did a good job on the servant, I would of made the master more present maybe by making scream, but it's your choice.

Overall very good work :thumbsup:

05 May 2005, 04:37 AM
Hi Eric..... Good to see you are still giving this a final push....I like the idea of a crate.....and the overall concept......I think the guy to the right is a real nice character for the for the one to the left.....I would probably have him looking at his watch,adding tension,and giving off the impression of common hurry up,go,go,go (Just like us here in this challenge ;) ).....instead of comfortably holding his coffee cup......This could lend even more pressure to the hard working poor ol' servant.....Ok then work well,and see this through......good to see you going for a final.....Best of luck to you.....:arteest:

05 May 2005, 01:59 PM
You're scene is coming on fine I think... but as you say, there is something wrong with Mr Smart. Perhaps he is a bit more realistic in proportions than the other two? How does he look with his head blown up (not literally :))

I agree with Michael that the crater chair is a great idea - looking forward to see it!

05 May 2005, 09:25 PM
The man on the left seems different in style (general). Else seems good.

05 May 2005, 07:57 AM (

Ok, tried moving the group around a bit. Shifted the comp to the left to make more room for the line of bosses on the right and the girlfriend. Also moved the smug boss to the back of the bus since his style didn't really fit with the worker, grumps, and the girlfriend. I tried a quick alter of his proportions, but nothing gave good results. I also dropped the girl in there to test her materials and the lighting. (will need to adjust the lights a bit...) And, to the rejoice of game developers everywhere, I added a crate. :) Keep the C&C coming, I really appreciate it. g'night all.

05 May 2005, 08:01 AM (

Created a quick filler boss. Real rough, but still trying to get comfortable with ZBrush's Projection Master and displacement maps. I'll probably add detail as needed since I have several others to make and much of that detail won't carry through due to the lighting and such. Let the marathon modeling begin. ;) C&C always welcomed.

05 May 2005, 08:03 AM
Hahahah Cooool idea, good luck friend

05 May 2005, 08:14 AM
Micheal: Thanks for the encouragement and crit! I'm not sure what's going to happen with the boss on the left since he seems to clash with the other character styles, but if he stays up front I think I'll adjust the pose so he adds a little more to the worker's "nervous tension." Thanks again!

Gunilla: Thanks for dropping in! I tried increasing his head, no go. :( I also tried bringing him into ZBrush and give his proportions a major make-over but couldn't come up with something in the allotted time. Something will probably come to me, just have to keep moving at this point...:shrug:

kuzgunoglu: Thanks for the feedback. yeah, that boss on the left is becoming a real pain. I'm just kinda bummed that I didn't spot the style difference earlier...oh well. Will find a way to make it work...

Thanks again all. :)

05 May 2005, 06:58 PM
Oh, now I like it more-more! Good lightning - reflects evening time when it is time to go home and that poor one still surrounded with bosses! Good work :thumbsup:
Yes, now it much clearer! Previous one was really too "heavy"
Good luck for finish, mate!

05 May 2005, 08:00 PM
Glad you like it Deryk. :) I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "heavy." could you give an example? Thanks, mate. :thumbsup:

05 May 2005, 07:35 AM (

Did some lighting and material adjustments. Continued with modeling the filler bosses, and here's one of them. Ignore the lack of feet, she'll only be see from the waist up. I'm taking a "refine" approach to these bosses due to time. (i.e. start simple and refine as needed after lit & posed) Will post a comp shot in the next day or two with the filler bosses thus far. Thanks for the continued support. :)

05 May 2005, 05:52 PM
hahha LOL that filler A is GOOD. He´s soooooo smart and clever! and he knows! what a freak! really well done!
It´s like you´re doing a perfect hell for the poor working man there.

About the assh***, I guess it´s the head size, that doesn´t fit with the other's, thought you can´t change it since it won´t fit in the body... maybe he can be seen behind the wall, and no body showing :sad: it would be a pity thought after the work you´ve spent.

Maybe someone come up with a better idea.


05 May 2005, 11:48 PM
It looking real good. The lighting in the office is great. :thumbsup:

IMO the smug guy doesn’t work in the background either. He kind of leads the eye away from the centre of attention. I think that a good place for him would be leaning over the partition wall just above the monkey calendar. Double the size of his head to fit with the other characters.

A bit of rim lighting/glow around the workers head would be nice (to match his shirt).

Maybe some motion blur on his hands, would help portray his frantic action.

I hope this helps
Good work

05 May 2005, 09:03 AM (

This shot is a collection of different tests. I relit the worker, grumpy, and the cube. (noticed a problem with the worker's left arm, though)

Tested out a quick motion blur option and like the effect. Will probably have each arm going in a different direction for the final comp, though.

I also played with the coloring for the grumpy boss. This one is real rough, but I kind of like the greenish tint of his skin.

Render times while tweaking were starting to kill me, so I decided to take a more "compositing" approach by rendering out each character individually and then compositing them into the final. Much easier to work with. C&C always welcomed. :)

05 May 2005, 09:15 AM
Bealobo: Thanks! :) yep, you're right. I tried scaling his head to match the others but it no longer fits the body...Well, I'm going to try dropping him behind the cube and see how that looks after I get the girl in place.

Ken T: Thanks for the feedback and suggestions. I agree the smug boss didn't really fit in the back either. (was kind of forced) I'll try bringing him forward and looking over the cube wall to see how it looks. I tried a quick motion blur, and like the effect. Will keep it for the final, but will probably make each arm go in it's own direction. Thanks for dropping in. :)

05 May 2005, 10:15 PM (

Working on assembling various elements at final resolution. Still a bunch of little details and the filler bosses to drop in, but it's progressing. :)

(click pic for larger)

05 May 2005, 10:29 PM
its great idea, i like it!!!. but i think about somthing different angle of camera. Maybe try to show monitor?? i dont know.

05 May 2005, 07:44 AM (

Well, "my" deadline officially got cut to this coming Monday...kind of a bummer. Even though I will have to cut my design short of the nifty filler bosses, I'm pretty happy with how things turned out and learned a great deal from this challenge (my first). It's really great seeing everyone else's beautiful work and getting support from those same people. This place rocks! ;)

So, down to business. Due to the much shorter deadline, I needed to shift focus since I won't have time to do the filler bosses justice. In this pic I added a bunch of details to the workers desk and also adjusted the girlfriends colors. (she seemed to drab in the old one) Will spend my last day tweaking various parts. Crits and suggestions on adjustments are highly appreciated. Thanks again all. :)

05 May 2005, 07:51 AM
Hey Gabriel, thanks for dropping in. The camera angle was one of my biggest challenges with this thing. The characters added a particular challenge to the placement since they all seemed to have a "good" side. :shrug: Unfortunately, due to time, I can't play with the comp any more. I may be revisiting this idea in the near future to see if my current compo is the one that works out the best. Thanks again, and really digging your stuff. :thumbsup:

05 May 2005, 08:07 AM
Wow, your image is :bowdown and :thumbsup: Everybody on the right place! Amazing progress and a fine realisation of your idea! You have my vote for sure. I make a note to don't forget! Have nice day my friend!

05 May 2005, 09:47 AM
Turned out right......I can feel the pressure for this guy.....Nice positioning,and the layout/perspective works.....I still like the idea of the guy to the left glancing at his watch....(Giving us the viewer even more insight to the time and pressure).......The girl on the right looks concerned for him......some office romance.....;) ........Weel done Eric.....go at it hard.....Almost of luck to you.....:arteest:

05 May 2005, 06:56 AM (

Ok, this is basically it since my time is up. May have a few minutes here and there to touch up the final a little more over the next week, but it will be very limited...yup. :)

Ok, so I added a "take-a-number" sign and gave a couple characters tickets. So, instead of capturing the lineup of bosses, this image is more like the aftermath or the end of the line. I think it's a decent compromise while still holding true to the original concept. What do you think?

Also tweaked the coloration on the front hands. Thanks all for the great support! :)

05 May 2005, 07:13 AM
Tremoside: That's right, we need votes don't we...maybe I'll just rig the ballots...or have my dog submit a last minute entry so he can vote...hmm...Thanks for the compliments and support! It means a lot to me. :beer:

Virtuoso: Thanks for the great support! As for the watch, I agree. I was originally saving that pose for the grim reaper hiding in the background. Like even death has to wait in line. Kind of cliche, but I liked it. :shrug: Unfortunately, couldn't get to that so I started playing with your idea of making the left boss glance at his watch. After some playing around, I figured I would have to repose the boss a bit and change his expression for it to really register. (i.e. little more of an annoyed expression) Unfortunately, didn't have the time to do it convincingly since it would require some heavy remodeling. (lesson learned) I even tried dangling a pocket watch from his hand, but ran into some problems with the layout of everything else on that wall. Sorry man, I just couldn't get it to work in the time I had left. Maybe for the "worker's web limited edition." Thanks for your feedback and support. Really appreciate it! :beer:

05 May 2005, 05:24 PM
Hi again safe05!
Looks cool! Have even nothing to say here - very good! Just poor guy's hands seem to be growing really (all four!) I'd blur more and make more transparent second pair of hands to make see they are just illusion - not a real ones.

But lightning is good indeed! Great!

05 May 2005, 09:02 PM
Hey Deryk! I think you're right, I'll try a little more blur on the arms. Really glad I maintained all my layers. :)

BTW: which arms do you view as secondary and which ones are the main ones? Thanks!

05 May 2005, 07:11 PM
I think you can "illusionate" :) them not in "parallel" but in "crossed" way - for example bottom left (under table) and upper right (taking some kind of a note book). But it's up to you - how you like it!
BTW making upper right hand more transp. will make that one on keyboard more visible!
More hands - more movement!

05 May 2005, 07:17 PM
I really like the effect on his arms. Maybe 8 blurred arms instead of 4 would give more of the impresion of speed, but it works nicely as it is. Nice lighting, but maybe the take a number sign could be brighter. Good job!

05 May 2005, 04:00 PM
Thanks for the great support! I'm hoping to spend another hour or two on this tonight finishing it up. Will try making the sign a little brighter...Need to replace the poster (no copyright images allowed :( )...give the calendar some more deadlines...and I'll try adding a few more arms to see how that goes. I did a quick update (I'll post when I get home) which has the arms blurred much more and semi-transparent. Will look forward to the crit. :)

Thanks again all! :bounce:

05 May 2005, 12:00 AM
Yup I get you....i know where you are coming from Eric,that was a good idea too of the pocket watch....too bad about time constraints always getting in our ways.............But you know something...I see this anyways...the guy looks to be looking at the watch and the poor servant.....You still are getting this element.......So it turned out well.....:thumbsup:

......Ok all the best in you're final battle with touch-ups and father time......I'll be looking in for your final.all the best to you........:arteest: :beer:

05 May 2005, 02:40 AM (

Ok, here's the quick update I promised. Arms have a much larger motion blur to them and added some more bump to short boss (hard to see at this res). Waiting for part of the cube to render, then I'll composite that back into the image and do final touchup. Having some trouble coming up with a different poster image. (should read the rules for the challenge again...) Anyway, thanks again for all the support!

05 May 2005, 02:41 AM
Hey Eric,
Cool image , you did a great job with this.:thumbsup: I like the motion of the servant guy's arms. Good luck .

05 May 2005, 04:29 AM (

Well, this is it. I want to thank everyone for the great support and critiques. A good crit is a rare thing, and I feel lucky that I received so many. Thanks again all and I hope you like the pic. :)

concept summary:
This piece focuses on a situation that I think many of us have felt at one point or another (I know I have). Whether our work comes from our bosses/clients, or our own drive and passion for the craft; we sometimes find ourselves with too much on our plates and too many "masters." I tried to capture that feeling. A feeling often experienced late at night when franticly trying to handle the many tasks on our list, handle the requests of our clients, and meet that all important deadline. This situation actually leads to another, more complex relationship for those relying on the worker. (In this case, his girlfriend/wife) While the bosses/clients wait for the worker to complete their tasks, his partner waits to simply spend time with him. Basically, making her a servant to his schedule, but also one of his masters since her needs have to be handled as well.

It's the end of the line, a long day at work. Finishing up jobs for a jerk and a squirt.

Hundreds have been served and left satisfied, but those who care are pushed to the side.

The day is the same as thousands before, with bosses and clients lined out the door.

After the line is gone, nothing will change. Onto personal projects that have become estranged.

Nothing is left open, nothing left undone. Once it's begun, he won't be outdone.

05 May 2005, 04:39 AM
mmoir: Thanks! :)

Virtuoso: Thanks for dropping in! I'm glad to hear it still registers. I was a little worried that my lastest changes may have taken away from the piece. Thanks for all of your support, Michael! :) (btw: happy belated b-day) :beer:

05 May 2005, 09:17 PM
Eric, congragulation on finishing your challenge, nice work

05 May 2005, 11:44 AM
Eric: well done!
congratulations and good luck!

I think the final has come very good with this late hour environment, the pressure, the characters... really well done!

05 May 2005, 05:34 PM
Ohh, I knew it will be coool!
Love your lightning and character emotions!
Your history is clear enough to get it without description and this is I guess one of most important things here!!
Congratulations safe05!
What a pleasure arrive to finish, eh!
See ya in future challenges, friend!

05 May 2005, 05:37 PM
I really like the idea, nice work man !

Good luck !:thumbsup:

05 May 2005, 02:26 AM
Thanks, friends! Glad you dig it. It means a lot to me. :) Thanks for popping in to see the final and your amazing support. :beer:

05 May 2005, 01:51 PM
Not until now did I spot your final. I hope your pleased with it - I think it turned out just great! The chracters really work well together and the style fits the concept very good.
Congrats and good luck:thumbsup:

05 May 2005, 02:13 PM
This was always going to be a great piece Eric... Congratulations on a fine realisation of your concept, and thanks for a really entertaining journey along the way:beer:

05 May 2005, 04:42 PM
Great image! I've liked this one all along, and your final is hilarious. Good luck! :thumbsup:

05 May 2005, 08:30 PM
congratulations!! very nice image and style. the lady is so sweet:bounce:
good luck :thumbsup:

05 May 2005, 10:22 AM
safe .. you have one of the most enjoyable pieces in this challenge .. loved the concept from the start and love the final ... it captures the essence of the challenge and conveys your vision very well

luck and beers :beer: ( :beer:

05 May 2005, 01:40 PM
Wow! Thanks all! The amount of support here never ceases to amaze. I'm happy to hear that the concept carried through to the final image. (even if it was slightly changed) Thanks all for taking the time to stop in and check on my progress and give support.

Cheers to you! :beer:

05 May 2005, 09:40 PM
I liked the idea.

05 May 2005, 10:02 PM
Your picture is really interresting, it relate much things about the story.
Very nice. good luck.


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