View Full Version : Character: Pilot, Yoji Shinkawa-style

09 September 2005, 12:09 AM
Now that I finished my Metal Gear Solid villain dude I'm starting a new character, taking rigging into account moreso than last time, but once again I'm modeling as I go along. I also attached some of the reference images I'm using.

Everything is very wip at this point concept-wise, but the character itself is a futuristic pilot (even if chances are that in the future aircrafts will be pilotless, maybe these types of aircrafts/vehicles need to be in contact with human brainwaves to function?).

Edit: Yoji Shinkawa is the concept artist of Metal gear, Zone of Enders and the new Godzilla movie.

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09 September 2005, 03:55 AM
Well I noticed you referenced the cyborg ninja and raiden at the same time. Their really different styles though. Raiden is body suited and smooth and slender and elegant and ninja is thick and bulky and rugged. So I'm not sure which way you're going. Clarify?

09 September 2005, 08:15 AM
Yay another Shinkawa style model !:thumbsup:

I really digged your villain, I'm anxious to see some more from you :bounce:

Are you gonna make him a helmet, as he's a pilot ?

09 September 2005, 03:18 PM
Neil: You're right, in fact I was modeling the Ninja when I realized I should make something new instead. Basically I'm more going for Dingo's style (Z.O.E. 2). What I have in mind is a thight suit with captors along the spine to read body movements (even if he doesn't actually move, anyway that's technical), think of Matrix and how they plug stuff into their heads except it doesn't go INTO the spine, just the captor. So there will be a lot of bits sticking out along the suit. The upper armor and arms are very wip, remains to be seen what I'll do with that (there has to be a reason for only having an armor covering the top of the body, can't think of any yet).

Blakjak: I'll make an helmet after I finished the head, it will be a separate object, and I'm not sure exactly if it would cover the whole head or just be an addon of some sort.

Thanks for the replies, another update later today as I optimize the body (I had way too many useless tris).

09 September 2005, 06:50 PM
Update. I'm remaking the arms to keep them more simple, less armored. The reccuring pattern for this character (always an important part of character design IMO) will be the connectors (currently seen on the back but not yet welded to the mesh) and creases such as those found on the shoulders.

09 September 2005, 07:47 PM
Shinkawa didn't design Dingo, he was only the mechanical designer for ZOE2. Good luck with this one, though!

09 September 2005, 08:13 PM
are you strip modeling most of the character (i don't see many people using this technique on the arms/shoulder area like you are doing...
very cool design so far, keep us updated!

09 September 2005, 09:56 PM
teknotek83: Are you certain he didn't design the suit? One thing I noticed about Shinkawa is that he usually has a style that lasts a few months. From MGS2 to ZOE2 very simillar designs appeared in both games, especially the plugs-like bits on Dingo's suit which are also found on Metal Gear Ray. Also, the back of the suits of the ZOE2 characters are simillar to those of the MGS2 Tengu soldiers. Anyway you might be right, it's too bad there isn't much Shinkawa artworks out there other than MGS stuff:/

dpizzle: Actually it's a technique I sometime use and should use more often, sometimes I forget to model this way and start cutting edges here and there and mess up my topology:p

Another update later today but not much progress has been done since the last update.

09 September 2005, 01:59 AM
Update: I might normal map this dude later on, but I'm not confident enough in anatomy to model a high res character with great topology and correct anatomy. Bah, I probably won't normal map this character, maybe my third one:)

09 September 2005, 03:00 AM
Those plug caps are using up a bunch of polys right now. I think you can give it less edges and less roundness.

09 September 2005, 05:05 AM
Yeah they are definitly temporary, I should have mentionned that.

Here is an update. Aagain, I might be using a lot of tris, but I'll leave optimization for later anyway.

09 September 2005, 05:09 AM
Looking good there, Phil. I would work on the "base mesh" before getting into all those armor peices. Knocking out the general proportions and rest posture of the character will really help you get his personallity through, imho.

This is challenging work. Well, for me at least. I'm working on a male base mesh right now and it's kicking my butt.


09 September 2005, 05:16 AM
Yeah I just ordered some DVD from Freedom Of Teach cause I was going crazy over modeling an anatomically-correct human. I hope it will arrive soon so I can work on it and then really make a high res version. For now i'm messing around with the suit I guess.

09 September 2005, 09:53 AM
cool model coming along there keep it up.

the concept on the first image, at the lower left where is that from? link?


09 September 2005, 01:12 PM
That concept is from Metal Gear Solid 2. I found it on a site called Naimoka ( but sadly it is close for now. I don't know when they will reopen, they had a lot of artwork.

09 September 2005, 08:56 PM
Just wanted to say that I am working on a highres version of this model because I want to do some normal mapping, so until I get something more solid done consider this thread submerged for some time!:)

09 September 2005, 09:21 PM
Some real nice looking topology on his body - particularily the shoulders and arms.

Ill be keeping my eye on this one - the design looks good so far. I think his arse is looking a bit feminine at the moment.

09 September 2005, 12:16 AM
the concept on the first image, at the lower left where is that from? link?

It's from "The Art of Metal Gear Solid 2"

09 September 2005, 04:59 AM
this is looking good so far... can't wait to see it finished. ZOE2 is probably the most underrated PS2 game out there short of ICO and REZ. nice!

09 September 2005, 06:20 AM
Here is a preview at an early shot of the high res model. Currently the back has too much definition and the front too little, I'll try to fix this soon. The legs are also very weak in shape, but I don't want him too muscular, so I'll try to find some balance (I'm having trouble modeling decent calves).

The final look should be quite more deatailed than this, with crease/stripes, plugs for devices, and some more plating.

I have a good design in my head for the helmet but this will come much later. Sorry for the long wait.

09 September 2005, 08:51 AM
Real good job so far Phil!...this is looking sweet...nice modelling, good topology in general...but imo just a little dense around the back/spine area... but all the same looks good and clean so it should be easy to optimise if ya need to...the shader that an indication to the colour tones your going for?...all the same sweet progress:thumbsup:

09 September 2005, 03:03 AM
while i an not a personal fan of MGS, i am a fan of the hard work and dedication towards some great art and audio. i met hideo and some other MGS cats and they were really passionate about the games they make and pushing the artform of interactive entertainment...make sure that same passion goes through into this model.
i like what you have so far and will keep an eye on this thread. keep us updated man!

09 September 2005, 04:47 AM
Thanks for the replies!

JohnWoo: I lowered the density a bit. I'm having a lot of poles tho (vertices that share 5 edges) and it's a pain trying to get rid of them.

Bentllama: Thanks, I'll give it my best shot!:)

This image is just a test I was doing. I didn't save it with the creases, it was just to add some detail:p

I am having major difficultie with one particular aspect. If you look at the reference artwork, Dingo (the guy with white hair) has these hard-definied shoulder pads, among other sharp features that are part of the suit. So I'm thinking about modeling various parts separately (the spine mechanism, the shoulder pads, the knee pads, etc) and then somehow merge them into the mesh. But I can't figure out how to do this without destroying the suit's topology itself. For example I modeled the arm separate from the body and it was hell trying to weld it to the body without messing up the shoulders.

So how should I proceed? Some parts of the suit have to be very rigid and precise in shapes, but I must somehow find a way to weld those to the suit without destroying the suit's topology or the parts that I add to it.


EDIT: Oh and I just noticed I forgot to delete the left side and mirror the right one again, so it is not symmetrical at the moment.

09 September 2005, 06:43 PM
Here is an example of the problematic I am facing (but I guess it will just require a lot of mesh fixing). It takes a lot of time to weld the modeled parts to the suit and fixing the geometry is no easy task. I have to compromise the original body topology because of the added parts, but at least I might be able to get the results I had in mind.

I think if I worked from a strongly established design with model sheets and such I would haev modeled the various parts from the start and modeled the body's geometry based on the resulting mesh. Anyway more updates later!

09 September 2005, 07:54 PM
Nice update, Phil. I think the reason why you are having the welding problems is because you are working with such a dense mesh. Maybe you can "rebuild" the topology where the armor peices are welding to simplier planes, then add back the polys later. When the mesh gets really dense, you've got to resort to "lattices" and sculpt brushes to shape the model which can be a pain when you need to make really drastic changes. Watch out for the arms in the "T" position. With a heavy mesh like this, skinning in that pose will cause many polys to collapse into each other. Also, in that pose, the shoulders are in the contracting "upward" position. You'll want to relax that posture for a nice skinning job. I can see that your shoulders on your mesh have almost dissapeared into the back. The triceps are not going into any kind of deltoid muscle but are going right into the back. You might want to fix that.

You're on Maya, ya? My technique is to use temp bones in the neck>clavicle>shoulder>elbow>wrist areas, skin it, then move the joints to a more relaxed pose. Once in that pose, you'll start to see "errors" in the verts where the shoulders are. I shape that area(while skinned) so it's correct looking, delete history on the mesh, unlock the channel box attributes(rotate, translate, etc. will auto "lock" when smooth binding) and delete the temp bones. Then I put my final skeleton on an upside down "V" pose.

But since you're still modeling the arms, it's easier to work with in that pose.


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