View Full Version : Character: Metal Gear Solid style villain

06 June 2005, 12:53 AM
Hello all. This is my first shot at finishing a complete human model (not a cartoony one) but I'm keeping it low poly (maybe a high res one but not anytime soon). My goal is to make a character that has the same quality as found in Metal Gear Solid 3 in both textures and modeling. It's a big challenge for me cause so far my texturing has sucked big time, but it's part of the challenge. Hopefully I'll get feedback from you guys along the way.

Here is the kind of character I'm making: He has gone through many battles, he's in his late 40s or early 50s, he's bald except for some hair growing out of the back of his head, and he has scars over his mouth that make it look like he has reptile teeth. His skin has reptile scales in areas hit by the sun. He wears a suit that enables him to change color to blend in the environment (sort of like a chameleon). His skin can do the same but not as accurately.

Too bad my scanner is still broken, but anyway here are early shots. Please give me crits if you see something wrong with the mesh! Thanks

Oh yeah, the head so far is 664 triangles, but it's really not finished. The body so far has 1666 tris, also far far far from finished.

***Most recent picture

***Old shots below

06 June 2005, 04:41 AM
By the way, can hair planes be modeled straight out of the head? How are the supported in engines, are they double sided? I'd like to get some tips on how to proceed to get his hair done. Thanks

06 June 2005, 01:26 PM
Here is an update. Still wondering if the suit for the upper body should remain skin-tight or not. Oh and the head is too big at the moment, I'll fix it later.

06 June 2005, 02:23 PM
Last update for the day (I think). I'm going for a look between Solid Snake's Metal Gear Solid 2 look and Solidus'. He's wearing army pants over his high tech suit, but I might change that later I don't know.

06 June 2005, 03:34 PM
Legs are too short and head is too big. otherwise it is coming along nicely!

07 July 2005, 05:46 AM
Ok here's an update. i changed the proportions a bit. I haven't had the time to do much so far, I've been having trouble making the design so it now looks a bit too much like Solidus to me. Anyway still working on it. I'll reduce the number of tris later on.

07 July 2005, 08:07 AM
You have created a very nice concept, the sillouete is looking nice on top half too. With regards to crits I personally think his arms are a bit too short. Also, the eyeball appears to be far too high poly but maybe you are just using it as tempory?

Good luck.

07 July 2005, 08:14 AM
Its a great idea you have going - MGS villans are ace!

*He looks a little too beefed up - and as you said - looks like solidus right now
*Those shoulder pads look strange. If youre gonna keep them, then model the arms down 45 degrees, or at the midpoint. I find that the t-pose is a bit extreme on characters with unusual shoulders.
*Shrink his head a tad and definately lengthen his arms
*It would help if you assigned some basic polygon colours just to give us an idea of where his skin is and where his suit starts - it looks a bit 'gimp suity' with it all 1 colour.

Maybe make him skinnier or taller with thinner limbs or longer arms. Im thinking of 'the fear' from MGS3. He had some wierd optical camoflage, and was kinda lizard like.

Keep it up - its a good idea and could turn out great.

07 July 2005, 08:56 PM
,, link : head-torso look not good,.-> not real. fix it,

07 July 2005, 08:57 PM
,, link : head-torso look not good,.-> not real. fix it, download sobe foto of human from , google f\e > this is very helpful.

07 July 2005, 02:12 AM
Thanks for the comments. I'll work on the proportions later on, right now I want to make sure I have a decent design. The way this is supposed to work is that the part that is connected from his arm to shoulder is supposed to be a cloth-like material, so the part under the shoulder pad might look a bit strange (stretched) because the cloth is lifted and attached to the armor itself. I'm thinking of redoing the concept partially, I want to keep the scar-teeth and the head I drew on paper, but right now I don't think it makes much sense that he would have a stealth suit considering how huge he is. I might keep that for the NASA Ninja (a remake of an old Metal gear character, sort of). I'm thinking of making him just a big Big Boss/Volgin-like bad ass with this thick bullet proof vest you see above and some army pants over the part of his suit covering his legs. I want to make the exoskeleton spinal cord like the Ninjas of MGS1 and 2 and Solidus have, but it will be more reptile-like. I'll try to keep this reptile look in the rest of the suit too, so expect some more changes. Next time I have to draw everything first. Making concepts in 3D first sucks:p

07 July 2005, 12:25 AM
Ok here is a version with some color separation (the shoulders are going to be in fact made of a different material than the armor to allow for more flexibility, for example). I removed some useless details and I have to fix the arms and think of something better for them.

Sorry I know this is slow progress:p

3182 tris for now.

07 July 2005, 04:34 AM
The arms prehaps should have been higher, to where the shoulder pad are now). The sole of the shoes are too flat. Otherwise, the model is looking pretty good so far. Keep it up.

07 July 2005, 09:29 PM
Here is what could be the final mesh. I have been told that hair is usually not welded to the head itself when the hair isn't a texture only. So judging from the hair I have on my character is it ok to keep it unwelded to the mesh? Also, let me know if such hair will cause problems, if I need more planes for it to look good, etc. If anyone sees something wrong with the mesh as far as deformation goes let me know as well!

4470 tris total

07 July 2005, 07:05 AM
Looking good, personally I don't like the design/shape of the legs as its organic soft feel is a bit too contrasting against the upperhalf. IMO.

Mesh looks good, although not so sure if the leg topology is goign to cause problems with animation.

As for the hair, its a subject I often ask about but rarely get a responce on. Apparantly though it is fine to have hair planes that are just attached or linked and not welded. Please someone correct me if wrong.

07 July 2005, 02:27 AM
I have not abandoned this yet! I have been busy with school work. This is my first shot at painting a texture from scratch (I used a Mel Gibson and a freaked out George Cloney ref image to get some good skin and facial muscle structure ideas). It is still very early and flat. The pants are somewhat temporary until I get more used to using a tablet and Photoshop. I am wondering what lighting setup is usually used to bake shadows into the character. I made some setup with a few point lights but it was not very nice so I'm hoping you guys have some hints to get this part right, it will help make the face a bit less flat and it will be easier to paint the textures with shadows as references.

Also, note that I didn't do a great unwraping job. I don't have much distortion but I have seams. Anyway, enough, I always typed too much.

07 July 2005, 02:07 PM
its an improvemnet on the first few models, especially, the hips, was looking a bit femanine back there, detail wise i think its top heavy, if you can add some detail to the feet (boot staps or sommit, maybe tongue sticking up creating folds in tghe trooosers) head is quite big still maybe, not a prob, just think some heavier boots might make it look better.
alot of stuff in this style gives over sized feet looks hard, check out street fighter characters. but those are cartoony, a more subtle exaggeration might look good.

07 July 2005, 07:53 AM
I think this is looking good imo, I would've hoped you'd have tweaked the proportions before texturing?..I agree with other posts about the arms and legs being to short...about the hair alphas...exactly what capone mentioned..."hair planes that are just attached or linked and not welded"...sounds good to me capone...also, have you permanently removed his accessories?..he does need 'em, orr have you just hidden them?...I would be cautious of the abdominal area..if that is body armour, it'll look wrong if it deforms when posed or animated...all the same keep at it Phil..:)

07 July 2005, 05:19 PM
He has no accessories really. As for the abdomen it would be different in material, just like the shoulders. But right now I am encountering too many problems. Even if it was unwrapped properly I could not paint lines on the shoulders without weird distortions (I mean in PS I had to try to follow the mesh instead of just drawing curved lines, and it looks like crap). The hair are a mess because I didn't have enough planes, the way the head has been unwrapped was not great either because I am having trouble getting rid of the seams where the hair meets the head, I made the pants symmetrical but should not have, I should have detached some of the polys on the UV map for the face area to break the symmetry a bit and add a scar or too, etc etc etc. I think I will start something else cause this is too much of a pain and I'd have to redo the whole texturing and some of the modeling to avoid these problems. Maybe I should model something simpler:p

EDIT: I think I will retouch the mesh and re-unwrap some parts of it. Let me know about the wrong proportions now if you can so I can change it by then.

07 July 2005, 01:38 PM
Hey Phil..

GGood to hear your gonna stick with it :thumbsup:...from what I can see I would lengthen the arms a bit unless you have bent the arms at the elbows? they seem a bit too short at present, and also chunky up his hands some more, they just look a little delicate...btw..any chance of posting a wire of the mesh at the latest stage?...

keep up the progress Phil...

07 July 2005, 02:03 PM
Thanks for the replies!

I re-unwrapped the head completely yesterday, tweaked the mesh a bit (I'll lenghten the arms like you said and try to make the hands more muscular). I managed to still be able to use the face's texture I had started. I don't know if I will unwrap the body again but I might because having symmetrical pants sucks since it causes a mirror effect. As you can see the new head unwrap enables me to remove some symmetry in the face area while still saving UV space by mirroring the neck, ears, top of the head etc. I know others do that:) Oh and I removed the eyes completely. This being my first character I am trying to make it a bit easier on myself, I should have even welded his mouth but oh well. Now the eyes will just eb textured. Anyway here is the wireframe:

07 July 2005, 02:40 PM
That's good to hear that you sorted out unwrapping the face..I totally agree with ya about mirroring textures...personally I avoid it like the plague and use a different workpath...but no disrespect to those who prefer or use's just a personal preference...

any how that aside...I hear ya about the different material in regards to the body armour in the abdominal and shoulder area...but I thought it'd best to point out to you you are gonna come up against some difficulties in the shoulders when you begin weighting the character, at this stage your geometry in this area unfortunately may not support good deformation ( if the shoulder armour is gonna stay rigid to the torso?) either by vertex weighting or the other route is severe texture stretching...I would do a rethink of the geometry in that area to insure a good result...

I really hopes this helps you out somewhat...

07 July 2005, 06:29 PM
i'll be sure to verify this again before moving to re-unwrapping the body. Last I checked it was fine but I think I forgot to check with arms pointing downward. Anyway here is an update for the head's texture, it's missing highlights and the teeth-like scars are not great. Nose is blurry too.

07 July 2005, 06:41 PM
Keep at it - its looking better with every update.

What are you gonna call him? You need to give him a daft name because some MGS villains have very silly names indeed - liquid snake, psycho mantis, big boss, revolver ocelot to name a few.

Maybe call him

"reptillicus gibbon"


"Furious skink"

07 July 2005, 06:58 PM
Haha I don't know what to call him. But if I recall, the reason MGS villains are named as such is because in the Boyscouts (at least it's like this here in Quebec) you have to choose a nickname, the first being an animal and the second part being a quality. In MGS1 they were named after an animal and their weapon. I thought it was cool, it kept a comic-book sort of feel:) In MGS2, while this is not official, Fatman was the Jack, Fortune was the Queen and Solidus the King (Fortune and Solidus are called each by those nicknames specifically at some point in the game). In MGS3 they were named after emotions. So what could I name him (and any others if I make more later on)? I'll think about it:)

EDIT: Removed the eyebrows.

08 August 2005, 12:43 AM
Enough head texturing! *pant*

BTW I will break up the geometry later on and finalize the highlights (still need some more, especially on the scales around the head). And he needs scars.

08 August 2005, 08:38 AM
This is coming on nicely, keep it up. I like the grey texture, is that scheme going to remain?

Possible name... Dr Opacity,

08 August 2005, 11:35 PM
Yes I plan on keeping this, I'll continue to tweak it to bring out the scales a bit more and maybe saturate the pink highlights or some such, but for now I'll move on to the body.

08 August 2005, 05:52 AM
Sweet work Phil. This has really progressed well! Love the facial texture work.

08 August 2005, 08:32 PM
just please dont make it look too star trek like.

08 August 2005, 09:49 PM
Argh it's the second person that says it's Star Trek-ish. Hmm, maybe I'll add some sort of accessory at the end or something, or maybe it will look less Star Trek-ish with the textured body.

08 August 2005, 10:03 PM
Well what boss were you most trying to appeal to?
Right now I think it has to do with the purple skin and glowing yellow eyes, very futuristic. All bosses in MGS were still grounded in reality. Even the FEAR with his crazy spider legs still looked very alive and human.

08 August 2005, 01:14 AM
True, I realized that and planned on possibly removing some of the blue and keeping it only on certain parts like the cheeks and mouth. It remains to be seen how I'll deal with it, but I definitly noticed he looked less realistic than the usual MGS villains. The idea here is more of getting the equivalent of a freak show character, in the sense that people would refer to him as the chameleon man (or whatever his name will be) yet he is really human. Right now he does look alien indeed. I'll fix it.

08 August 2005, 06:41 AM
Alright this being the weekend I can work on it again. I know it's slow but I unwrapped the body a second time. Started texturing, I'm not very comfortable with drawing precise detail because it's either always too blurry or too pixelated. The head has changed to a less Star-Trek-ish color, but I kept the original one as the front page of my site cause it was nice:) On this note I am off to bed!

08 August 2005, 06:55 PM

08 August 2005, 04:42 PM
What about milky white eyes, almost zombie like?

08 August 2005, 11:06 PM
Simple: I removed the eyeballs and hence couldn't animate them:) So they will stay like that, but I might tweak them a bit if necessary, especially the dark area surrounding them. Other than that I'm focussing on the body for now. I'm gonna make a few changes. Next time, I'll have a complete concept from the start.

08 August 2005, 03:38 AM
Here is an update! Not much, I'm too busy.

Until next time!

08 August 2005, 05:25 AM
Ok it's not great, and the UV space was not used properly. It's such a pain to paint the details!:/ Maybe I'll move on to something else, I'm getting sick of this dude:p

08 August 2005, 05:46 AM
Remember the chatacter on metal gear solid have bland and flat fleshtones. In all this looks good and like what Andy said Give him a good name.

08 August 2005, 08:32 AM
wow i love the concept and the model :) good job

08 August 2005, 04:22 PM
Karma Chameleon!;)

I'll fix the undetailed parts of the textures, hopefully I can finish him tonight.

08 August 2005, 06:41 AM
I'm slow!!! (Been learning with UnrealEd)

EDIT (so I don't forget): Must add kneepad, stripes on both sides of pants, make gloves.

08 August 2005, 10:17 AM
looks even better:)

08 August 2005, 06:52 PM
I'd add more buckles, straps, text, pads, seams...etc to the legs. They look pretty plain right now.

I loved these characters although they were always moving so fast, you can never really admire their coolness.

08 August 2005, 07:52 PM
Ah, the Tengu soldiers:) I have conceptual sketches of them (there used to be a site full of concept art from MGS). Thanks for the picture, it's good ref. It's crazy how simple yet effective the textures are in MGS.

Even tho this is taking longer than it should, at least I'm learning something. Like I said before I need to add some knee pads or some such, and more detail for the pants and arms. Maybe some sort of buckles for the shoulder area where it meets the breastplate, etc.

08 August 2005, 10:59 PM
Get MGS2: Substance - the bonus disc lets you spin around all of the characters in 3d - very very handy for reference. I agree with neil about the lack of detail of his trousers. His boots look a little like trainers too, but that might be because they arent dark enough.
Its coming on well, but i think you need to make him look more militaristic. Think colour coordination, camoflage, functionality, pockets, straps, seams and khaki colours. His colour scheme looks a little too sci-fi at the moment, and doesnt bode well for his stealthy chameleon powers if hes wearing a bright blue costume!

Keep it up matey - i know it will turn out well.

08 August 2005, 04:48 AM
I guess the next update will be next weekend, unless I have a slow week (unlikely) :)

Some color tests.


08 August 2005, 03:55 AM
If you have any crits let me know now so I can get to work right away at the end of the week. Otherwise I'm gonna finish the hands and the head and it's over (maybe)!:)

08 August 2005, 06:33 AM
I did a few wee tweaks in photoshop (hope you dont mind)

I think the blue makes him look kinda too sci-fi at the moment. His armour is a little high tech and space-y, and the blue colour doesnt help it. I tried changing it to a desaturated yellowy brown and it looks more militaristic. I tightened up the levels on his suit (more contrast). I also darkened his boots up and added a tiny bit of dirt to his suit.

What do you think?

Are you gonna get him rigged up soon? Its kinda hard to give good crits when he is so damn stiff! Relax him a bit if you can.

Have you thought of a name for him yet?

08 August 2005, 07:10 AM
i like the dark green version the best, but on the modeling side it looks fantastic.

08 August 2005, 02:18 PM
Thanks for the crits!

I made him look hightechish because I was aiming for what a boss would be like in Metal Gear Solid 4 (which is set in around 2015 or 2020). Considering the cyber ninjas from MGS1 and MGS2, and the exo-skeletons, I made this character with his own exo-skeleton (you can see the spine like the ninjas had). It's actually about as high-tech as Raiden's own exo-skeleton in MGS2 I think. I got rid of the color-changing idea (I'll keep that for a sniper character).

I do agree that he is very saturated, and I will definitly make color variations tho. The color-corrected one is pretty good as far as saturation, I'll give it a shot:)

As for the name, I'm still not sure, but I'll mix a bit of all the name-styles the MGS characters have had so far.

08 August 2005, 02:33 PM
The character looks good, but i'm not sure how suitable he'd be for a metal gear game.

It's just your character looks more generic sci-fi rather than metal gear, which has more of a manga sci-fi style. The metal gear style is also a little more like if Ferrari made military equipment.

08 August 2005, 09:16 PM
Maybe then the problem are the pants:) If they were as hightech as the armor, it might fit moreso. Argh, I don't feel like remaking that!

08 August 2005, 09:37 PM
Dont worry about it - press on!

All you really need to do right now is change the colours a little, rig him up, and put him in a super cool badguy pose!

I think just posing it alone will make a helluva improvement - were so used to seeing him completely stiff by now, that any change to that T-pose will be a relief!

Any idea when we can see it completely finished?

08 August 2005, 10:14 PM
Man i REALLY like Andy's color tweak. sorry :) Yeah i just cant' really think of any shiney blue badeez in MGS. I mean solidus (who this reminds me of most) was blue, but it was a dark NAVY blue which makes sense since the NAVY was the government branch most associated with him/them.

Right now in the chest you have a many shades of blue and some purple too. Either darken it all and bring out the distinctions with wear and tear and texture differences or make it more military camoed.

But it's a hard topic. Since looking at the bosses from MGS2 before I got to play the game I was like "huh, this doesn't remind me of MGS at all" then once i see them in action I was buying it all. Even the silly bosses of MGS3 really don't make much sense, but once they're animated and stuff, you buy into it. Which will be hard since you're just making a static model. Keep at it though! Like Andy said, the only way you're ognna show "character" is with props and a cool pose.

08 August 2005, 12:55 AM
Thanks for keeping up with this! With school and other stuff I have to learn (mainly UnrealEd) I know it has been taking a lot of time, very slow progress, especially since I improvised all along. I'll give a shot at rigging him before I post another update, now that the textures are this far there is no way I am re-UVing him, nor modifying the mesh, so I should be able to do this quickly this weekend.

I'll definitly tweak the whole color pattern, hopefully the next update will be worth it:) Thanks again!

EDIT: Maybe with the colors he has now he would fit in Metal Gear Acid 2, even Snake is bluer than my dude in that game!

09 September 2005, 04:08 AM
Here is the update! The hands are not yet rigged. There is some stretching issues behind the arms and close to the back side of the shoulders, I'll try to fix this as much as I can. Otherwise I hope you like what I did with the textures. I still think he looks very low-tech, but most villains other than Solidus and the Ninjas were very low-tech as well as far as their appearance goes, so hopefully he doesn't feel too alien to the MGS universe. Let me know what you think and thanks for the crits and support!

Btw I have a name in mind but for that I must finish the face texture first:)

09 September 2005, 04:19 AM
OMG good job i give it 5/5 perfect work and work flow

09 September 2005, 05:53 AM
Good to see him posed! He looks much more relaxed now, though those elbow pads look like they could get in the way. The colours are much much better now. I take it you havent rigged his fingers yet? I think the back of his head looks a bit flat as well, but it could be your lighting. Great work on his boot texture!

Good job on finishing the chappie :thumbsup:

09 September 2005, 11:18 AM
hi i know im a little late but i think the lips are a little hard edged. they almost look like the jokers. it would be a small texture tweak to blend them a little and soften their tone. just looks like hes wereing makeup,

its a cool model, its just I feel those lips are a little too Eddie Izzard for MGS.

09 September 2005, 06:14 PM
yeah what's the deal with the back of the head... looks forgotten about. I thought maybe it was just a WIP before, so i didn't comment on it. But now that it loooks like you're wrapping it up, it's time to address it.

09 September 2005, 02:38 AM
Not really any changes other than the hands having been rigged. They don't deform well but at this point I don't mind, I've spent too much time on this dude, I want to start something new from scratch and try to do better next time. And no in the end I did not think of any name for him:p

Hopefully the next shot will be worth it. Thanks for all the comments and crits, it helped a lot!

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