View Full Version : Soldier - Normal Mapped Character

08 August 2005, 10:31 PM

- I haven't posted anything for a while

- Been trying to polish normal mapping / hipoly skills - I also tried to do a bit more gritty/dirty looking texture compared what i have done earlier...

- He is a quake/doom style soldier, from dystopia future we hopefully won't see ever... but anyway that is enough for concept...
- I borrowed ideas for design of armor and weapons from Doom/quake and other new/future game releases, so nothing hugely original on that sector.

- Most of the time went into modeling hipoly mesh (half a million polys without detail pass), and second biggest task was UV mapping...

- Color, spec and normal maps for all details. Roughly 6500 polys (animatable face)

- I haven't taken any screen caps or done other renders in last weeks. I will post more info/polycount soon!

- Constructive CnC welcome!

08 August 2005, 11:10 PM
Beautiful model, Post close up please :drool:

Just one little critics, biceps are a little strange maybe

08 August 2005, 11:16 PM
Like i said, still WIP, have do some clean up and some fixes, will post bigger images and close-ups soon!
- Yep, biceps has low res geo, and in high-res mesh it has good amount of curvature in form - seems like it doesn't transfer that well in low-res tube like mesh...

08 August 2005, 11:38 PM
Very nice! looks totaly like Bruce Willis, love it.

08 August 2005, 11:56 PM
S-S strikes again! Great textures and render mate. His hands look too small to me though. I'd like to see a tad more detail on the legs, the right thigh is pretty plain, and the kneepads seem a bit plain to me too. 99% perfect!

08 August 2005, 12:08 AM
Cool model man, like it. Like the red lighting you've got going on there too. Just one thing, the arms seem... small. A little bit bigger maybe? :thumbsup:

08 August 2005, 12:25 AM
- Hehe thanks, I kinda was thinking about that too. :) Didn't use him as ref though! I guess it's just the shape of chin/nose and bulgy eyelids...

Adam Atomic:
- I tried to stay in realistic proportions. I measured hands quite carefully... I guess they cover face from chin to hairline bend in skull. Legs material is cloth like, less specular which makes dents and bumps vanish. Maybe i should add something there, have to think about material and lighting first...

- Same goes for biceps/arms... i'm not going to do some roid-rage bodybuilder arms this time ;)

08 August 2005, 05:43 AM
Looks awesome, only suggestion would be stronger quads (just a slight definition through the pants). Otherwise, wow! :D

08 August 2005, 07:17 AM
He has a lot of character and could be a main-character in a fps-game. Would fit perfectly in Q4!
On the technical side very clean and nice textures. Looking forward to see some wires and texture/normal pics :buttrock:

08 August 2005, 07:48 AM
Neat, are you planning to make some monsters that he can defeat

08 August 2005, 02:55 PM
looks awesome, he does look like bruce willis. :). If you could make his face with some scars, maybe a cut on his cheek he'd look more like he's been into battle and ready for more!

08 August 2005, 03:07 PM
Thanks Guys. Will post more later....

08 August 2005, 03:51 PM
I think you could have spent more time on the face. I think It lacks detail, when compared to the treatment of the armour. Put more time into the head and you should be alright.

more specific, it looks rather monotone right now. though some different values in there. Also I noticed alittle hint of beard stubble there your on the right track with that but might want to punch that up a bit. The scar on his eye is very subtle too. his wrists are looking alittle thick maybe.

could you post the high poly vs the low poly, to compare the two. to me It looks like all this could have been pulled of without normal mapping. I think you could pull alot more detail out of that normal map. areas to look at are the clothes and the armour, gashes, dents and stuff like that.

good start though man.

08 August 2005, 04:02 PM

- Could have? - you see, it is WIP area you are posting into.... Besides, i'm not going to add "more value" to skin, more like more color. Brightness doesn't help a lot with normal maps + specular maps...

- Maybe you should give some more thought about your detail comment - Obviously i didn't model cracks, seam, bolts (any) or sticker type metal panels... which you should "see" based on the fact that it's 6500 polys. you can see it if you analyze images more carefully. Will post more images later.

08 August 2005, 04:32 PM
wow! How about you learn to take a critique. Don't ask for critique if you can't take it in a postive way man, if you can't I suggest you don't post. If you were offended, thats to bad. I ment color by the way not value.

If all you want is ass pats than ask for that instead.

oh yeah,the femurs look too long and his arms look to short as well. the anatomy of the forerms look alittle off was well.

08 August 2005, 05:33 PM
Whoah whoah. S-S, am I right in assuming English is not your first language? I think that last post came off a bit insulting.
Lord Machuka, don't get offended if someone doesn't like your crit, just catalogue them as someone not to invest time on the next time. Also see if maybe the communication barrier makes something come across differently than it was intended.

Make sure to take a breather before posting when you're heated. It's advice I have to follow myself sometimes as well.

08 August 2005, 05:42 PM
"If all you want is ass pats than ask for that instead. "
- Does it seem really like that to you?

" I ment color by the way not value."

- yep.

"oh yeah...."
- Yep. Thanks for critique, yet it seems to be in bitter tone...
- I just wonder why some people have to start this kind of talk. First you make assumption, that it's failed finished work in your opinion or something like that. Then i just correct it
-But anyway, let's just forget previous comments on both sides...? :)

Yep. I know... But anyway, sometimes i think if i should open my mouth at all.
- Usually i just check link/images of the guy who made the comment, and give weight to comment based on that.
- But anyway, I know i sounded like ass, but it would be nice if people would take time, and actually first read what the post says, what forum section they are browsing, and then think about what they say. Comments on rude comments seem to be no-no nowadays.
- This is wip area after all. Besides that i guess most of the people are aware of polycount forums and might check that forum too for more images i guess ;)

08 August 2005, 09:59 PM
Arguments aside, I really like this model. It's a fantastic job on the normal mapping. You've managed to do it well enough that it add's that extra level of detail, without going overboard on details simply because you're have the ability to. It's also good that you've avoided that weird specular effect that alot of normal mapped models have that makes them look plasticy.

I think i'd have to agree that something looks a little off with the arms. Maybe they need to be made longer or something, I can't tell exactly because the model is posed, but there seems to be something going on with them that doesn't seem quite right. It may be to do with the forearm detailing, i'm not sure.

Overall though, i'm very impressed. :)

08 August 2005, 10:56 PM
- Yep. I used quite a lot time to tweak arm. I guess it is *quite* realistic in length, maybe it's just something... hmm
- Somehow i feel that i should have added more profile/loops to biceps area. I can show the hires mesh later, it looks fairly ok in shape, (don't have any Silo screencaps yet) but when the details are projected to lowres mesh, it has lost some definition. Arm doesn't have any bulge in lowres, and it seems it is not enough... Same goes for forearm. It looks like it has some sort of seam, yet it doesn't have at that place... anyway i'm quite new to normal maps :)

* "weird" specular effect can be avoided easily. Less specular, more color in specular and only some hilight areas here and there... I only have one map doubling as spec color/level and no gloss map, as i think most engines wouldn't have support for that i guess?

08 August 2005, 12:21 AM
I think you have got something really good going here. When I read what your hi-poly count was (half mill?) I was surprised though. The organic areas look to me to be very much lower than that. I think you should take the time to get the anatomy more filled out. The muscles and joints. Right now it seems very blockish. No definition in the muscles. That might be the character you are going for, but if your high poly was what you said it was, you wasted A LOT of geometry. I've not done any normal mapping so this work is interesting to me, but from what I can see, this model probably could have been done in maybe 5K. The textures, though a bit too clean for my taste, look really good. If you want to dirty them up, I say push it as far as you can. I am reluctant to dirty textures myself, so I gotta force myself to really push it. Good luck with this. I think its going in the right direction. Could you post the high poly?

08 August 2005, 12:36 AM
- Sorry, talking about zbrushed, frozen mesh for *baking* maps.... not subd cage! - sorry for confusion... Definitely not half a million for *modeled* detail :)

- Yep. Dirtying textures is something i too have to learn more :)

- Polycount; I want to have deforming mouth and turning eyes and working eye lids. If you do those yourself, you will notice that it takes quite a good amount polys. There isn't that many polys in body at all, just enough to make deformation work. Remember that normal maps won't help deformation, profile or curvature inside profile.

- Working on animation. Will post hipoly tomorrow ...

08 August 2005, 01:00 AM
Ahh. That makes more sense. I checked out your website. Great models. Love the girls.

08 August 2005, 01:06 AM
Turn table test with animated lights. Real quick one.

Turn Table Big (
Turn Table Small (

08 August 2005, 03:07 AM
Very nice piece you ahve going on here. You're probally gonna hate me, but I gotta say that all of lordmachucha's comment were very vaild, and things that I was thinking as well last time I looked at this thread. Also one thing that bugged me a little bit was the mouth. In the face closeups it kinda feels like he has a retainer or braces or somthing like that. I dunno, somthing just feels a tiny bit off around the mouth area. Keep up the good work.

08 August 2005, 01:00 PM

- Yes i know the reason for that mouth problem, will do something about it.(no space for proper projection currently)
- It doesn't matter if you agree with "lordmachucha" - After all most of what he said were minor problems and personal opininions. And most of things were just "little off" which is OK for me.
- I guess this model is anyway at least average in quality, and should give some kind of idea what i can do. I haven't seen that many normal mapped characters here, which also have mechanical details anyway.

08 August 2005, 01:12 PM

- Here is the hires mesh!

- Obviously it doesn't show detail pass on head, skin and leather parts as it's Silo screencap

08 August 2005, 11:53 PM
cool work

reminds me on the early "leaked" quake4 screenshots in terms of quality.

I'm especially impressed by those few loose pixel on the chest (right side view)
Is it geometrie placed over the "low" res cage? Would be a smart idea. Cause the normal map wont care anyway.
Very impressive work on your site. But please dont be so nitpicky about wires :bowdown:

08 August 2005, 01:19 AM
Thanks! Yep, you guessed right - i call them sticker objects but don't know if there is already some name for them :) !
- Gimme work and i give you all the wires and meshes ;)

- Additional tests which i rendered today.
- Added some movement for test purposes.
- Some changes in face and face texture. Also seams and details added.

Turn Table Anim 1 (

Turn Table Anim 2 (

Image from Animation 1:

Image from Animation 1:

08 August 2005, 01:24 AM
- Gimme work and i give you all the wires and meshes ;)

ehem...yeah. I forgot to mention that.
Good luck

08 August 2005, 02:40 AM
looks MUCH better now ! the only thing i would add was more and more details to the armour , im gonna post an image of a model of quake 4 to see where detail go crazy . other than that i see no crits !

( image remioved because aparently it was leaked- sorry all )

08 August 2005, 03:32 AM
Hey S-S the face looks MUCH better now, a very big improvement. I love the "sticker objects" approach, that is friggin brilliant!

08 August 2005, 06:50 AM
hey man this character is wicked, it looks just like one of those Q4 characters. Truly top quality man. I'm fairly new with this normal mapping bit but I've been working very hard to figure it through, thanks for posting this..

PS: you modeled this with Silo!? excellent. looks like a really capable software :)

08 August 2005, 11:34 AM
the only thing i would add was more and more details to the armour , im gonna post an image of a model of quake 4 to see where detail go crazy
I disagree. I think too many of these new normal mapped characters go over the top with detail simply because they have the ability to. I think this model has an good balance of detail, without making the model overcrowded.

08 August 2005, 12:40 PM

"I think too many of these new normal mapped characters go over the top with detail"

- Yep. That is something which is decided by company/markets, i guess :). Anyway, when bump maps came, they too were used in everyplace. Now it's time for normal map nurnies. Same is true for many other new effects/technologies which come available, i guess. Later it wil be just another thing, which makes gfx look better :)

"you modeled this with Silo!?"

- Yep. It's fast even on slower computers and very easy to use. That's why i like it.


- Yes. Will try it in next character i hope. It's my first time using normal maps in full scale.

08 August 2005, 01:00 PM
I disagree. I think too many of these new normal mapped characters go over the top with detail simply because they have the ability to.

I was completly disturbed by those silo screenshots of the quake 4 enemies. It looked like they want to kill the player with visual overflow. But with a nice color concept, it all made sense.
But its true. Many normal mapped mechanical stuff has so many detail that its hard to believe that it has any function. I think S-S version is a good inbetween.
At least its no model you look at and immediatly see a "detailed" normal map.

@S-S Yep. Sticker objects. Thats also the name if you put wounds or holes in front of geometrie I think. I've heard it in a demonstration of prince of persia.

08 August 2005, 01:52 PM
I think your character looks good! Maybe the upper part of the legs are a little bit too thin.

08 August 2005, 02:56 PM

Like florian said... Copyrighted material. Could you remove that image, or at least make it link.... I wouldn't like to see my thread removed or anything like that :) i guess it isn't that big issue, but anyway...

- Yep. I know. I did actually have sort of "no room" situation caused by the pose in which i built the high res mesh :) I could do some editing in low res mesh... have to think about it


- Thanks! And I guess i can call those small detail objects stickers later too! - Thanks for info! :)

08 August 2005, 03:21 AM
i removed the leaked images as requested and i hope i didnt cause any trouble. keep at the character i would fix his teeth they seem too right for a soldier ;)

08 August 2005, 09:13 AM
Looks great, and you've enhance the game models' high res look with the lighting quite well. My only critiques is that the arm is too short.

Dreamlord (Blender)
08 August 2005, 01:17 PM
My opinion is that the arms might be a bit too long. But I'm not gonna check it with a tape measure. But overall, the charachter looks very good.

Could you post a wireframe picture of hands?

09 September 2005, 09:29 PM
Hey S-S,

You have done a really good job on this character. I like the fact that you didn't go over board on the design. :thumbsup:

P.S. Can you please post some wireframe images from both the high poly and low poly models?

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