View Full Version : The Journey Begins Challenge (3D) Entry: Selina Moore

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02 February 2006, 01:06 PM
Selina Moore is entered in the "The Journey Begins Challenge" update: View Challenge Page (

Latest Update: Post Effects and Compositing: fish detail (

02 February 2006, 01:46 PM (

Have a story ive been imagining for a while now about a wolf who journeys to the edge of the world in order to meet the Moon who he loves. So doing some concept sketches for that, although i'm not sure I'll end up using this idea...

02 February 2006, 01:51 PM
Hey Selina !

Interesting concept , could be really original and cool to see the journey of something else that a classical character !

Looking forward to see how your idea is turning on !

Have a lots of fun and best of luck !

cheers ,


02 February 2006, 02:12 PM (

If anyone has any preferences/thoughts about an image you prefer - please let me know your opinions. Ta!

02 February 2006, 07:15 PM (

Quick colour test for Wolf journey idea.
Dunno if this is the one i'll go with as ive had some other ideas that might be a bit more visually interesting- so off to sketch them now!

02 February 2006, 08:34 PM
Hi again ! :)

Great painting style , love the color work !! ... moody as well !
Ok here's my thought about the comp :
The way as I see it in the second one , is the wolf is getting out the forest , to the light , but the prob is the first thing we see about him is his butt , which in my opinion isn't that great.
The first one is way more readable , but I find it a little too "flat" ...
My idea would be to add some perspective to keep the first plan wolf , and the second one the forest entry ... to add some depth...

Just some thoughts , what do you think ?...

cheers ,


03 March 2006, 02:44 AM
Cheers for all the help Zapan!

Lol i couldnt agree more! - the whole wolf butt thing was bothering me as well! I think the problem is that i see the story as an animation rather than just one image- but if i do use this idea, i'll be doing exactly what you suggested - it makes much better sense that way!
However i've got another idea im really into - and i'd be interested to hear your opinion...

Thanks so much for the crits!

03 March 2006, 02:51 AM (

Ok this is my latest idea. Its not completely finished -obviously could do with some bg detail to frame it, but you get the main idea! Just wanted to get up what i'd done before i crashed out tonight!
I really liked the idea of taking something that could in concept be percieved as slightly twee, (mouse going sailing) and then giving the picture a much darker slant with the implied potential danger.
All crits gratefully received!

03 March 2006, 03:29 AM
I really like your latest concept with the mice, but I am not sure if the composition really works too well.

03 March 2006, 03:45 AM
Cheers Leigh!

I totally agree - its just off at the moment. Have actually just been sitting infront of screen blocking off bits of the image with my hands! I dont know if you'd agree with this -but i dont think the angle of the shot is the issue, its the placing of the elements that seems wrong. Would you agree? I think perhaps the fish needs to be lower and slightly nearer the boat, and the image should be cropped on the right and the bottom. Will try it out tomorrow when my eyes arent squiffy!

Thanks for the crit! -Every bit helps! :thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 04:59 AM
Nice concept, the lurking threat creates a nice tension.

03 March 2006, 05:36 AM
Good ideas ! I would go with the second concept (great boat) and trying out different compositions. Good luck to you.


03 March 2006, 09:23 AM
Hi there !!

Ouh you've been really busy ( way more than me)
That second concept works really well, at least as much as the first one
Don't know if decided yet which one you'll go for , but as Leigh said you could improve the composition (IMHO of course) by maybe trying to get whole frame closer to the subject , adding some accessories in the boat ... placing maybe the fish's head closer too , even if we don't see him entirely , only the head , we know he's here , ready to jump .... you know ? could be a really dramatic mood...

Some suggestions ... what do you think ? :)

cheers ,


03 March 2006, 02:04 PM
I like the boat concept as well. That fish looks really menacing.

Maybe you don't feel the composition works because there isn't anything outside the characters? Maybe with a sky, moon, water reflection and brighter land, it could get a completely different feel? A slightly lower camera angle might also work.

But it's looking good, the character interaction from the gift by the rat works well. (and your textures on everything are really awesome)

Keep up the good work.;)

03 March 2006, 02:09 PM
Now this is a great fairy tale like concept (the last one). I'd like to see the final image having this mood. Good luck, i'll be keeping an eye on your thread.:wavey:

03 March 2006, 10:36 PM
Last concept is great- it conveys the feeling very well.

03 March 2006, 12:27 AM
I really like the mouse concept. You might consider putting the fish in the background, so that the viewer has the pleasure of seeing the mice first, and only then notices the looming danger behind them.

03 March 2006, 12:33 AM
Thanks so much for the feedback guys!

riki and Isurg - thank you for your comments! - Its good to know that the mood im going for is coming across!

grin3d - thanks! - I definately think I'm going to go with the last idea - its calling out to me as being much stronger and more immediate in its message than the previous concepts.

Zapan - lol Ive just spent the last two days trying to sort out the composition and think ive narrowed it down to two options which seem to work better - but ive been pretty useless at getting anywhere - after i first submitted the idea i had a sleepless night cos i was so excited at the challenge and was useless the next day! - lol im so sad! -but today was definately more productive - I spent a lot of time trying out different sizes and positions for the fish -and im definately making him slightly larger. After some testing I'm going to dim his body slightly, but still keep it in view, because when placed correctly the inclusion of the line of his body helps form a figure of eight pattern within the image which (hopefully) leads the eye back to the boat. Im also definately going to go with accessories for the boat! -He will be carrying various berries and nuts -it gives a little extra detail to the story, you know?! Ive also cropped the image so that the scene is more centred upon.

burpy- thanks for the suggestions! -Again ive been trying them all out - initially shoved in lots of riverside foliage, reeds etc -but somehow it wasnt working out. Finally realised that the image was working to some degree because of the negative space -all the surrounding blackness is really important as it helps to stress the immediacy of the action - so now instead i'm just going for the hint of surrounding plant-life, and instead i'm trying to get the feel of a far-off landscape peeking out from the blackness, with the moon glowing, which is seeming to work much better!

Cgkoko - thanks for the comment -and yes i'm going to try to aim for exactly the same style in the final 3d piece- which i realised yesterday is way beyond my current 3d knowledge and skills (i'm only just beginning to come to terms with the XSI render tree!) - but - hey - its good to set yourself the occasional epic task!

OberonX - good point - and i totally agree that the viewer needs to see the boat first, then the fish. I did try placing the fish further in the background, but then the feeling of immediate danger was somewhat lost, as the fish looked less menacing. So instead i'm trying to resolve the issue through the compositional problems. Hopefully once everything is placed correctly, and with the correct tonal highlights, the eye will travel first to the boat, then to the fish, and then return to the boat. It would be good to hear if you think i've managed to achieve this when i post the next images!

Hopefully i'll have something more completed to show tomorrow - dont want to submit what ive got just yet as it isnt quite there yet! But thanks so much for all the really constructive critisism guys! - Its been really helpful and given me a lot to think about and a lot of different directions to try out!

03 March 2006, 12:51 AM
after i first submitted the idea i had a sleepless night cos i was so excited at the challenge and was useless the next day!

Aaaahhhhahahaha :scream: ... the exact same thing is happening here , I should be spleeping right now ... but somehow , I'm not tired at all ... and no doubts I will act like a zombie tomorrow :argh: :D ...

I spent a lot of time trying out different sizes and positions for the fish -and im definately making him slightly larger. After some testing I'm going to dim his body slightly, but still keep it in view, because when placed correctly the inclusion of the line of his body helps form a figure of eight pattern within the image which (hopefully) leads the eye back to the boat. Im also definately going to go with accessories for the boat! -He will be carrying various berries and nuts -it gives a little extra detail to the story, you know?!

sounds great ! , can't wait to see that :thumbsup:

cheers ,

-Steph ... zzz ... zzz... :wise:

Yay ,

03 March 2006, 02:59 AM
the last concept could turns out really awesome. can't wait to see what it looks like in 3D. good luck miss.

03 March 2006, 03:35 AM
I like it Selina, the mouse concept. But the scary fish sucks my life, I mean i become disconected from the emotion of the mice because the fish is so power!

03 March 2006, 06:29 PM
Bikod - thanks for the comment -I'll be eagerly awaiting your contribution too! Good luck back at ya!

Rasamaya - Well i do hope the viewer will be able to empathise with the mice - but i kind of like to hear comments like: the scary fish sucks my life... Lol!

03 March 2006, 06:42 PM (

Ok so i think this is how its going to finally be - i also tried a portrait format version of this, which probably is a bit stronger in terms of composition, but it essentially ends up zooming out on the characers and distancing the viewer from the action. As you can see, ive made the background foliage pretty much indstinguishable from everyting else, but i think the negative space of the image makes more of an impact that way. Havent aded crazy detail like berries in the boat yet - but think i'll leave that level of detail to the the 3d image! Also tried to add the sense of an (epic) background space far off in the distance -so you get the feeling that the mouse will have a long way to go - if he ever makes it that far! -Would really appreciate hearing peoples thoughts on the image now - and whether you think ive resolved the problems or just added a whole list of new ones! Cheers all!

03 March 2006, 10:53 PM
i would sugest bringing the mice closer to the foreground and the fish a bit more in the background, and also kinda lowering the angle of the camera. That would look more cinematic and right, perspective wise. I have to admit thow that the curent composition brings out an child ilo book feeling that i also like very much. I would say try both.

03 March 2006, 12:29 AM
Hi there...Beautifull seems like a page from a tale.

I would agree a bit in CGkoko's comment to low the camera a bit and bring closer the mice...that way u could show more that beautifull path to the moon behind too.

Good luck to your journey with XSI too. :bounce:

03 March 2006, 01:09 AM
Thanks for the comments Zapan, Cgkoko and DimitrisLiatsos! I do see what youre saying about the angle -the reason ive kept the camera up so high was because you get a better view into the boat and a deeper view into the water- if i bring the camera down that will flatten the perspective view out, and i always think that objects seen straight on appear a little less visually stimulating. I'm shoving up a virtually identical picture from my previous post (just made a few tiny tonal and composition changes, and then I'll put up the other two options ive got so you can compare and contrast! -The angle is essentially the same in each, but one is further cropped, one is portrait format, so you can see how each effects the image. I will bear in mind trying out a lower camera angle though - but think now ive taken the image far enough that its best for me to start the 3d bit- and then i can try out any further subtly composition changes on the fly instead of any more messing about (essentially now i'm procrastinating on taking the 3d plunge!).

Thanks for all the help guys!

03 March 2006, 01:14 AM (

slightly tightened up landscape version

03 March 2006, 01:15 AM (

cropped version.

03 March 2006, 01:17 AM (

portrait version.

03 March 2006, 01:30 AM
Cool, you added the moon in the back:). Looking good, personally I prefer the portrait version over the others. To me, I instantly saw the mice first, since they're so much brighter and saw the fish later since its dim. So I thought the composition worked, I don't think you need to move it to the back.

This is gonna look really good! Despite what I said earlier, I do like images with large amounts of emptiness to enhance the focus, but I think you can make all those little things really make it look awesome just by shining a tiny bit of light on them.

This ( is a nice example of it, although it has a brighter sky than yours I assume will have.

03 March 2006, 01:50 AM
The moon is opens up a lot of depth and the mice/fish relationship is great. The little bundle really nails 'journey' to me. I wonder about the line of the mast and the moon, something is slowing me down around the moon instead of pushing back down to the fish -- feels like a bit of a seperate element. In 3d there might be a bit of a reflection grounding the moon? Heh getting very speculative there -- it is a very nice concept, and should be a great piece :)

03 March 2006, 04:42 AM
This is one of my favorite concepts so far. I like the portrait version. This one's gonna be fun to watch.

03 March 2006, 04:50 AM
It's looks goooood so far. But there is a to much free space at bottom of picture - imho you can cut it.

03 March 2006, 12:55 PM
Maybe a tad spartan. Hopefully will see some more progress soon. Conceptually sound idea. Keep going.

Zia_mercenary XIX

03 March 2006, 01:26 PM
Really great start. This one's going to really give you the chance to use light. The boat is this little island of backlit light in a sea of darkness and danger. Maybe there should be a lantern on the boat (a firefly?) that casts a bit of warm glow around the mice?
Good luck.

03 March 2006, 04:06 PM
Hi Selina !

Ouh I see your point here , and right the portrait version works really well ... Minor suggestion ,
maybe put higher the center of interest of the camera ... to put the fish on the very bottom and maybe closing up a little the camera to the boat ... this way I could keep all the ideas about light effects ... well just a thought ... I agree will Glenn , you have a lot of potential to play with lights to make a very nice mood ...

Almost there , keep up the great work ...

cheers ,


03 March 2006, 05:11 PM
that last concept is so beautiful! i prefer it long that way.. and since i had to scroll the screen a little to see the whole thing, the fish was even more scary :) very subtle, great!

03 March 2006, 07:56 PM
Great start. I think the mice and the fish idea is by far the better of the two and I'm glad you are leaning toward this one. The only comment I have is the topology of the landscape. The piece of land that the mouse on the left is standing on in relation to the fish seems awkward. By that I mean, the land (unless it goes straight down for some reason) would taper to the right of the image. In either case, if you are able to see the fish, you should be able to see part of that land mass sinking into the water a bit.

Otherwise, I think you're off to a fantastic start and I've subscribed to your thread :bounce:

03 March 2006, 08:32 PM
Cheers Leigh!

I totally agree - its just off at the moment. Have actually just been sitting infront of screen blocking off bits of the image with my hands! I dont know if you'd agree with this -but i dont think the angle of the shot is the issue, its the placing of the elements that seems wrong. Would you agree? I think perhaps the fish needs to be lower and slightly nearer the boat, and the image should be cropped on the right and the bottom. Will try it out tomorrow when my eyes arent squiffy!

Yep, I do agree it's the placement of elements :) And I think it looks much better now!

03 March 2006, 09:06 PM
I really like this piece so far, but then you already know that! I think this scene could use a few more light sources just to give a greater feeling of depth. I like the idea of a firefly lantern and maybe a bit of bounced light from the surface of the water. I like your use of negative space as well but I think that feeling might be harder to achieve in 3d. This is definatly one of the strongest pieces that I have seen so far and look forward to seeing where you go with it. I know you can make this great! :thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 12:10 AM
Thanks so much guys for all the feedback! I just left college this last academic year and the main thing i miss is the opportunity to take part in group crits - they inform yourself and your work and stop things from stagnating - you know?! So its really great to have the opportunity to get fresh perspectives on everything! I'm definately going to go with the portrait version - i'd got to the point where i just wasnt sure about which version was best but this has really helped me gain proper perspective on it!

burpy - glad you like the inclusion of the moon- I definately think that the moon and ravine silhouette help direct the eye down to the boat and its solved the major compositional unbalance there was before.
Also, I totally agree with you about the use of light - and thank you very much for the link! I totally know what you mean - and while i will keep the background foliage very dim, i certainly will use the light to pick up little highlights -it'll make the image look richer and more natural. The reason i havent added that level of detail to this sketch yet is because now i feel ive got the major problems resolved, i want to leave the option for the minutiae of the image to evolve during the making of the 3d process, so i dont have every detail set in stone immediately. That way it should hopefully stay exciting to me!

kary - Thanks for your comment! - I'm glad you like the little bundle! -Actually it was inspired by Yuri Norstein's animation "Hedgehog in the fog" (the hedgehog carries a similar bundle filled with juniper twigs to his friend the bear's house and gets lost in the fog on the way). Originally the mice were going to be holding a little wrapped leaf parcel -but (im so sad!) i thought it would be fun to place a little homage to Norstein's film in there. Which i think has worked out better as it does fit the typical "going on a journey" traditional bundle type and makes the intention much clearer.
As regards the moon -with the earlier landscape version of this image i had deliberately muted the reflection of the moon right down, as it sat right in the middle of the image, and i felt it would have been too glaring and misdirecting in where it lead the eye. Now i'm going with the portrait version, i very much agree with you and i think following your suggestion will definately help anchor the eye from the moon, down to the boat. -So i will definately incorporate this into the 3d final piece!

MOSS - Thanks so much for the comment and your interest! -I will definately go with the portrait version!

Hynol - Awww cheers!!! Definately going to adjust that for the final image, either cut a tiny bit off the bottom or move the boat and fish down a tad.

vincent1 - Thank you very much for the input! I dont think i'll add much in terms of tonal changes to the final image- because when i tried that in my initial concept sketches the image started looking too busy and i felt it lost some of its power. I think the intensity of the chiaroscuro is very important. Probably i feel this way because for this idea im quite influenced by various flemish masters, and also artists like Yuri Norstein, who often employ quite a darkened tonal palette. However I do want to add to the image layers of detail, which even if they are barely visable, im hoping will register to the eye and make the image a more interesting experience. I'm certainly going to experiment with this in the making of the 3d piece!

glen23 - Thank you ever so much for the comments and the great concept! I was wondering whether something lke that would be a good idea - I was wondering about a glow-worm (lol- so a firefly larvae) because although the moon is behind them, the image is lit from the other direction, and ive been wondering whether i could get away with that one or not under the heading of artistic license! Havent decided whether to go for the glow-worm or firefly though -but ive done loads of research for images of them now and am definately going to try this concept out! Thanks so much!

Zapan - Hi again! I'll definately be trying that out as the fish does still need to be lower down on the canvas. Thanks for your support! -I hope your idea is going well too - I'll be heading over to it to see how your doing after this!

DiegoFloor - Awww thanks ever so much! Its lovely to know the idea is getting the desired effect!

se7enthcin - Thanks very much! lol youre so right about the landscape! - with the sketch i just shoved a reflection there - but blatantly if you can see the fish, you should be able to see at least a hint of the underwater topology. I'll definately be correcting this in the 3d image! I think it will add interest through subtle detail to the image too.

Leigh - Thank you very much for the reply! Hopefully i'll resolve the remaining smaller issues - and i very much appreciate your feedback on this one!

A-Catcher - I think achieving the negative space will definately be harder to pull off in 3d and will definately take a fair bit of work to the get the right look and effect. Hopeully i'll learn quite a bit from working on this image. Thanks for all the support darlin! I always value your opinion!

Again - thanks for all the feedback - i'm off now to start modelling!

03 March 2006, 12:47 AM
I like your first concept of the mices,but the last one is really great! The poor little mices are between two "dark" background; the moon and the cloudy sky above and theyr danger destiny under them.Congrats and good luck!

03 March 2006, 03:48 AM
hi selina, portrait version works very well for me, but I would try a lower camera position/angle (similiar to zapan's post), but you can do this later in 3d scene.

03 March 2006, 05:00 AM
Hi there Selina...

Great sketch, I must say your image is starting to take shape, that is a very interesting background.. your idea is funny and interesting... what soft are you going to use to create this piece?

hope to see more soon.. good luck..

03 March 2006, 07:27 AM
This is getting better Selina . Background is giving much more ,moon also :) .
This is going to be wonderfull.

03 March 2006, 06:44 PM
Hey guys!

Thanks for the comments!

medunecer - thanks very much for the coments -and i'll definately go with the last image for my idea now!

Grind3d - definaely going to try that in 3d -its a common concensus of opinion - so id be daft not to listen!

Nakary - Thank you! I'm using XSI for this - but given the amazing results everyone gets with Z-brush - i'm definately going to gve that a try for some of the finer detail. I havent actually learnt Z-Brush - but i reckon this is as good a time as any to give it a go!

DimitrisLiatsos - Thank you ever so much for the kind comment - I hope i get at least some of the way towards making it match the painting! Fingers crossed!

03 March 2006, 06:51 PM (

Initial stage of my mouse head. its obviously not finished round the back (in case anyone was wondering!) and some areas could still do with some tweaking -but i feel happy with the shape and overall anatomy now. Went a bit overboard with the size of the eyes, but tried smaller eyes and even though it was more accurate, i prefer this version. When its more finished i'll post an either/or image to ask everyones opinion about that one though! In the mean time - any comments on the mesh are welcome!

03 March 2006, 09:16 PM
Very nice modeling, good luck to you

03 March 2006, 09:22 PM
Nice concept.
Very cool mouse head.

03 March 2006, 09:25 PM
Yay Selina !!

Great to see you starting the modeling !!
And looking awesome already !
Really clean and neat !

Cheers ,


03 March 2006, 09:28 PM
that mousehead is really really good :) and the concept is good too.. make me wanna cheer on those mice... :applause:

03 March 2006, 10:23 PM
hi! very nice concept and so is the modeling, very clean, good luck!

03 March 2006, 10:32 PM
Really great modeling on the head!

I'll have to work on my mouse some more :arteest:

I am going to keep an eye on this, for sure.

03 March 2006, 11:17 PM
Hi Selina, how you doing? Very nice sketch, specially the color theme, I like the story, I think it can come pretty good..

You are in the modeling milestone already, great, it is looking very well modeled, congratulations,, hope to see more..

have fun and good luck.! :)

03 March 2006, 12:38 AM
Very good start with the model! I like this mouse-head!

03 March 2006, 05:06 PM
The mouse head looks great, am looking forward to seeing how you are going to go about finding a good fur solution for the mice.

03 March 2006, 01:20 PM
Thanks very much for the coments, Zom -B, Zapan, makaron, sipone, Nakarya and medunecer! Glad you like the model so far - I was worried it might look more like a gerbil or chinchilla! - but everyone ive shown it to seems to assume its a mouse so thats something!

Ar Lutik - thanks - and i hope to see an entry from you soon - i loved your master and servant entry!

lilcara -your mouse looks so innocent! -would like to see your wireframe. I think its really interesting to compare and contrast a similar concept with two very different approaches!

A-Catcher -lol -yeah -i'm interested to see what my fur solution is gonna be too!

Hopefully i'l have more to post tonight -couldnt settle on the correct shape for the body earlier but i think im begining to resolve that now...

03 March 2006, 01:28 PM
ohhh it's freakin ! she exactly look like the mouse who watch me one week ago near my TV screen ! brrrr :scream:

Modeling is clean of clean, and your last concept will be impressive I guess.
See you here later :wavey:

03 March 2006, 01:33 PM
good! beautiful mouse. :thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 07:10 PM (

Just a quick update to show what I'm up to... Mostly happy wih the topology now -going to reshape main body somewhat as ive barely touched it so far. I'm happy with the back legs -thinking of changing front paws as im not so pleased with them yet. Still have to attach arms and legs to body. Oh yeah - and obviously I need to completely rework the wireframe in places! lol...

03 March 2006, 07:52 PM
he has a perfect body now... like a real mouse... :bounce:

03 March 2006, 09:48 PM
Very nice! I'm proud of you. Keep moving forward in this direction! :thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 10:32 PM
The hands and feet turned out great, shame we don't get a closer shot ;) . Lookin good.

03 March 2006, 10:37 PM
Hi Selina, the mouse is starting to look really nice, I am glad to see you can model really nice, specially as you said the bakc legs, it would be nice to see a wire version of everything next to the shaded model, but whenever you have it ready :) . Thanks for visiting my thread too, and thanks for your nice commets, I sure will be watching your progress too, good luck! :)

03 March 2006, 03:41 AM
Seems like you're going to be able to capture the feel of the sketch :) Great stuff.

03 March 2006, 11:11 AM
Good to see you're at the modelling stage after spending a long time perfecting your concept. That's a good thing though!:)

I think the mouse's proportions look great and the head is looking brilliant. No criticisms at this point. Waiting for more updates...:)

03 March 2006, 11:27 AM
Nice going! Really clean modeling. You'll have a great pic in the end, i'm sure of that!:thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 12:25 PM
Excellent mouse model, Selina :applause: And it looks really cute. That's a considerable contrast to my project.

03 March 2006, 04:18 PM
Hiya Selina !

Lovely mouse , really ! makes me aww :)
Nothing wrong with the topology from here , just makes me think it's gonna be huge with the fur !
About that , do you already know how you're gonna solve this ?
Looking for more !

cheers ,


03 March 2006, 01:09 AM
Woa, Hi Selina how are you? Your concept is rock I loved can't wait to see your 3d entry.:thumbsup:



03 March 2006, 01:11 AM
Nice modelling, looking good :thumbsup: .

03 March 2006, 05:21 PM
Wow thanks for all the comments guys! Fraid i havent had a chance to get any work done since friday night -damn my social life! There i was this weekend having lots of fun - but deep down i could hear my inner boffin screaming to get out and go work on this! So back to work now - and hopefully i'll have a revised version of my mouse for you to view asap.

SweD, ziriguidum, makaron, se7enthcin, kary, burpy, Cgkoko, martin nielsen, alancamera and sergage -thank you so much for your lovely positive comments!

Zom-b and Nakary -i will definately be posting wireframe and close-ups of the model as soon as ive got it to the point where I'm happy with it -theres a lot i have to change first though!

Zapan - well its going to be interesting! I havent had a lot of experience using hair before, but did a few very quick tests last night with different hair lengths. Thanks for the tip! -I think i will need to slim him down -although i do want them to be little round balls of fur -very much in the style of Beatrix Potter's mice. Will post up some images so you can see my references and results. my thinking is that their roundness should make them look even more vulnerable -but i will definately slim them down a touch as i want them to look like they can also move! As regards the hair solution -the hair tests obviously are just that -i'll want greater colour contrast and control over length, so i'll drive those parameters with texture maps. I somehow doubt this computer will be able to render out everything in one go, so i guess i'll apply the hair in segments to the body, and render out the different sections in different passes, and composite in photoshop. Its loads of stuff i just havent had a chance to try out before -so its a good opportunity to finally learn this stuff!

Thanks again everyone and hopefully i'll have more soon!

03 March 2006, 05:37 PM (

Just showing some of the reference images im looking at for the mice body shape. The bottom left hand corner image is a Beatrix Potter sketch. I particularly like their vulnerable round fluffiness -which you can also see from the real-life mouse pics on the right. So i'm going to incorporate that body type in my image, but dont want to overdo it too much! -Hence the different length fur tests (same size sphere -long hair on left through to extremely short on right) -so i can work out how much i need to slim down my model to achieve the look i want...

03 March 2006, 10:44 PM

Wow!! How are you doing the fur? Are you using Maya (Unlimited) or another program? My project requires fur as well and I have been kind of doing a Maya paintFX work around.

-Eric (emajedi)

03 March 2006, 02:08 AM
I'm really looking forward to see that mouse with fur. I think one of the key elements here are the directions in the fur. The fur tend to bend along the body shape.

03 March 2006, 10:42 AM

Ok that's rockin' hair ! ... Jeez you're doing so great with this !
And those babies are so cute ! Really glad you're going for this kind of look !

Keep up the aceness Selina !

cheers ,

-Zapan .... I wanna play with these furballs :scream:

03 March 2006, 11:37 AM
Fur test is looking awesome - should look great on the mice. You're doing good research...nice work ethic!:applause: Anyway, looking forward to updates!

03 March 2006, 12:58 PM
o.O.. great fur!!! Do you paint other colors?

03 March 2006, 05:30 PM
Love the fur! I am thinking the middle one is a good length for your image. You're making me anxious to test the fur out on my rats! :thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 06:41 PM
Distribution and colouring looks good just missing some specularity on fur, maybe when it will be on mouse u will get these sharp specular reflections...


03 March 2006, 08:05 PM

Looking good so far. Nice progress around here. And your fur test is very nice. I havenīt got any experience with such a tool, so I canīt give you any suggestion. The middle one looks like the best for mouse. Just one point: What about wet fur? Keep it up :thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 08:18 PM
hey Selina42,

love the concept!

Some nice looking fur-tests too. I defenitly think i would go for the middel test.
Are you a maya user too? Defenitly looks maya :bounce:

can't wait to see the moise complete!


03 March 2006, 08:46 PM
Just one more thing: I know this is very early. But when you reach the lighting process, you should really try some back lighting with the fur. I think it could create some nice effects on your mouse. One of your reference pictures shows this effect.

03 March 2006, 09:10 PM
nice fur. I was wondering if you were going to have one of them with wet fur?

03 March 2006, 10:44 PM
Hey everyone! Thanks for the replies Zapan and burpy!

emajedi and Nothingness - I'm using Softimage XSI for the fur actually!

Martin - hey thanks for both the comments and youre absolutely right on both counts -the fur definately needs to follow the contours of the body to look right. I also totally agree about the backlighting -i was looking at the same picture and thinking how i should give that a go!

ziriguidum - i will do the fur with greater colour variaton for sure -and the best way for me to do that will be to create some texture maps. I'll also texture the mouse model as well as there will be some areas where the fur will be very thin and i'll need textures showing through.

se7enthcin, Oweron, Nothingness - glad to hear you think the middle length is going to be best - thats the length i'll be going for!

Dodgeas3d - youre absolutely right, i'd switched off the speculariy for those renders but will definately have it back on for the mice -it looks too dry like fake cushion fur otherwise! The mice should have lovely shiny coats which i think will suit them best.

Oweron and Zom-b - i wouldnt have the first clue about how to create good looking wet fur! Luckily though i dont think either of the mice should be wet (i think if theyd gone in the water the fish would already have got them!) -but i do think the fur needs to look shinier - so i wll be adding specularity from now on with my fur tests.

Have updated version of my mouse to put up now so i'll be interested to see what you all make of it. Cheers again!

03 March 2006, 10:49 PM (

Updated mouse -I've thinned him down so hopefully he wont be too large when i put the fur on. Could do more work to the arms, but i think for a still pose theyre probably fine the way they are, and it'd be silly to spend any more time on detail for them. All crits gratefully received!

03 March 2006, 10:54 PM
I love this mouse... he have a charm like few :)

the only thing I could critic on is that his shoulders a tiny bit to high placed... looks like he are pulling his shoulders up in tension... but with fur that maybe perfect later on, hard to say now...

03 March 2006, 11:01 PM
I think you've done a beautiful job. Very clean mesh and I think the size does it justice. Cannot wait to see it with hair!

03 March 2006, 12:12 AM
Once again: Sweet modelling :thumbsup: But don't let that little fellow get near my creatures...

03 March 2006, 01:48 AM
No crits so far, the looks great and congrats by your modelling skills mate, is so good. :scream: I can imagine how he will be with a sss on the ear, :bounce: Great work friend, I'm waiting for more.



03 March 2006, 07:48 AM
Hey there !!

So great modeling for your mouse ! Really clean mesh and neat ! :applause:
Although I'm not a mice expert I found as Mak said that shoulders seems a bit thin ... well in fact the whole body is bit small IMHO ...
But you oviously know better than me where you want to go ... besides without hair , that's pretty hard to picture the final look of it ... so just keep it up and forget my silliness :) ...

cheers ,


03 March 2006, 02:24 PM
i'll have to agree with zapan!

Now the body looks a bit to big for the body, but depending on the length of the fur that could become in order.

But great model none the less!

03 March 2006, 02:34 PM
Amazing concept! it really creates a mood, its the only piece ive seen which i think could win hands down, although one thing i will point out, is that the fish gives the sence that it wont be much of an epic journey, because as soon as that boat gets in the water.... BANG the mouse will be eaten lol, maybe have fish jumping about in the background. Or a cat purched somwhere in the distance, but still big enough so that you can see him well, with hunter clothes on, or an eagle circling, either way any danger that is looming, i think you need to let the viewer think that the mouse will have a chance of making his journey, have some time to see the danger and avoid it, leave it to the viewers imagination to create a senario.

Great work, hope to see more, keep it up x


03 March 2006, 02:35 PM
Amazing concept! it really creates a mood, its the only piece ive seen which i think could win hands down, although one thing i will point out, is that the fish gives the sence that it wont be much of an epic journey, because as soon as that bout gets in the water.... BANG the mouse will be eaten lol, maybe have fish jumping about in the background. and a cat purched somwhere in the distance, but still big enough so that you can see him well, with hunter clothes on, or an eagle circling, either way any danger that is looming, i think you need to let the viewer think that the mouse will have a chance of making his journey, have some time to see the danger and avoid it, leave it to the viewers imagination to create a senario

Great work, hope to see more, keep it up x


03 March 2006, 02:41 PM
I'm sure that once it has hair it will look even better ;) Great modeling Selina, I love the feet and fingers. Looks like a mouse supermodel :D

And thanks for checking out my entry some time ago. I'm behind a bit but I will catch up when I have the time ;)

03 March 2006, 02:55 PM
nice clean modeling. Thank you for the close up on the feet. They look great. Someone had mentioned using sss on the ears, are you thinking of using that? I think it would look pretty sweet. Nice work.

03 March 2006, 05:51 PM
Hi Selina! Very nice body!

03 March 2006, 12:29 AM
Wow! Cheers for so many lovely and really helpful comments guys. Se7enthcin, Martin, Alan, lilCara and medunecer -thanks for all your continued comments and help!

I had a feeling i'd overdone it with the thinning out and the head was too big for the body myself -so all your thoughts have really helped me resolve the things that were bugging me! I'm posting up a 'before and after' new picture of (really quite minor yet i hope effective) changes -so tell me if you think its an improvement!

makaron -thank you for the lovely comment! I was trying to work out if i'd placed the shoulders too high, or if it was the angle i'd taken the screen grab from. With the new image ive taken screen grabs from a lower camera angle so you can see more of the shoulders (and more of the tail) but with the new slightly modified model i have also lowered the shoulders as well so theres definately more neck -will be interested to see if you can tell as ive also bulked out the body. Let me know what you think!

Zapan and Nothingness -yep lol from one extreme to the other! - and i agree id made his body too thin and made his head too big. In the new version ive scaled his body up -both in width and length -now i hope it looks better and more in proportion with his head. Zapan- ive also broadened out the shoulders with both the smaller and larger versions of the new image -but hopefully if you compare it to the old image you'll see a difference! Hopefully you'll prefer the overall proportions now!

Chris Bolton - Wow thank you so much for the lovely comment! This is quite a learning process for me actually -at college i was always rushing to meet deadlines and never felt i really had a proper chance to explore and learn the program in as much depth as i wanted to - so even though i was getting the work done i felt i was partially blagging my way through! So this is great as i have time to really concentrate on the nuances of the image and the working process, rather than knock out another rush job -and i feel like i can properly learn.
As regards your thoughts on the story -LoL! I did want to give the impression that the mouse probably wont make it -and the epic journey could be the journey to the afterlife! But ideally i do want the viewer to wonder if just maybe they'll make it -at least a little way further. I think ideally i dont want the outcome to seem definate... I'll definately have a think about that one... And thanks again Chris!

Zom-B - Yes I definately think the ears could do wih SSS to give the image that extra level of detail. Again ive done some tests with SSS on previous work - but nothing that ive really nailed - so that should be fun to work on!

Cheers again guys - and let me know what you think!

03 March 2006, 12:38 AM
:bounce: ...excellent work...u must have a lot of fun with little mouse :thumbsup:

I 'll be back for more..but first ..i got to get some sleep.



03 March 2006, 12:39 AM (

Ok so the first thing i did was make the shoulders slightly more broad and less sloping - which ive changed on both versions of the model that you can see here.
The new version of the model is on the left in each case (smaller older version on right of each pose). As you can see with the updated version ive bulked out the body and lengthened it as well, so hopefully the new version is more in proportion with the head. Ive also lowered the shoulders slightly so theres more neck space.
Tell me what you think!

03 March 2006, 12:48 AM
Looks like a dancing tutorial :scream::D

03 March 2006, 01:12 AM
Hmm...might be just me, but the before and afters look too similar.

03 March 2006, 05:53 AM
Hmm...might be just me, but the before and afters look too similar.

It is subtle, but the side and back 3/4 view show the increased bulk in the upper body to me. Actually both the 3/4 views show it off better imo, the head just looks more comfortable on the body in the new versions. Again very subtle for someone like me -- so I'll leave it to the rest of the forum to make a call on it ;)

03 March 2006, 09:28 AM
I agree, the slight increase in bulk helps the form. I don't know if it will help all that much with the fur but it would be interesting to see both models with fur to compare.

03 March 2006, 10:20 AM
Hi Selina !

Looking better , but I think you can make his body even bigger ... well , or scale down the head a bit ...
In the past challenge , a friend of mine gave me a "Timid tweaker award" ahah , I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one in this case...
Nah , you're almost there , in fact that's pretty much only in the front view that the head appears a bit big compared to the body ....

cheers ,


03 March 2006, 12:33 PM
Hey guys! Lol! Too funny! - I spose i brought it on myself!

Climax - I like to think theres some sort of pumping bass involved...

Jedi-Juice, Kary, se7enthcin and Zapan -lol yes im afraid ill definately have to admit to being a timid tweaker! -Probably because i made such a huge change the last time round i wanted to compensate by being more subtle this time! I definately think it doesnt need much more work though - and will probably be another subtle tweak! -i dont want to increase the thigh size, because i do think it looks correct in all the views now except the front view, but i'll give the shoulders and torso another shot and see what happens. Cheers guys!

And Dimi -Hope you had a nice sleep!

03 March 2006, 05:11 PM (

Ok -hope you can tell the difference this time! -Thanks for pushing me guys, cos i'd been working on it for too long and was beginning to stop really seeing it properly. Although i still think its quite a subtle change, Ive tried not to be precious with it- and now i do think its a big improvement and his bodyshape is more cute mouse-like. Hope you agree! (The new version is on the left!)
After this im going to go and try and get my head around Z-Brush so I probably wont be posting new work for a few days...

03 March 2006, 05:29 PM
very nice. The body feels more proportionate with the head.

03 March 2006, 05:50 PM
Great start. I love your concept sketch and agree, the moon balanced your composition. Best of luck!

The mice are adorable, and I too think the bulkier model is more in proportion right now, but once fur is added, you might have to go with the thinner model. I haven't shaved many mice to be of help there. ;)

03 March 2006, 05:59 PM
Aahh yes , Me think it's perfect like this ... I won't call you timid tweaker anymore , I promise . :)

Now I can just shut my mouth and watching !
Hope to see more soon !

cheers ,


03 March 2006, 06:51 PM
Can easily see it now :). Looks far better in the front view with the last round of changes, which works directly into the front 3/4. The back one's silhouette is also improved a bit, and getting the glint on then close shoulder gets both into play which helps. Of course someone raised the point that fur will be hiding a lot of this as well... so there is that too ;)

Seems to me that you're a good sculptor, you should find ZB very natural after the initial shock of the interface passes.

03 March 2006, 07:41 PM
there you go... much better shoulders now... :thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 09:06 PM
This is so nice. The concept sketch in combination with how the modeling is going, puts me right into a fairy tale mood.

03 March 2006, 10:47 PM
The new changes with wide mouse body is looking much better. With fur applied it'll look very cute indeed.

03 March 2006, 01:39 AM
why do I get the feeling it's a girl mouse ? Maybe cause it is ? Anyway the modeling is very good...... luck with the challenge !

03 March 2006, 03:17 AM
The new shoulders look better now, I think. And yes, you should move on now, Selina...

03 March 2006, 07:56 AM
Beautiful concept work and as se7enthcin said, a very clean and nice mesh.
I love the composition... poor little fellah has no idea what awaits him :(

03 March 2006, 08:42 AM
Haha, that mouse is sooo cute. Good modeling Selina! Will be back for more. :thumbsup: :)

03 March 2006, 11:31 AM
Good mouse, Selina.. I like the model :applause:

03 March 2006, 11:01 PM
Hey! must be on same wave length I was considering making some sort of cliff with a long and winding trail........By the way I really like your concept (very whimsical) the sails on the skiff are cool.......

luck to us all ! .....

03 March 2006, 06:15 AM
After looking at it for awhile, I think I like the size of the older one better. I think if the current mesh were skinner then I would feel better about it. I may be the only one but there is always one of us. :D

03 March 2006, 03:16 PM
Wow feels like ive been away for far too long! So ive kinda learnt Z-brush - though i still cant quite understand how people create the amazing work they do with it - hopefully ill get there with practice!

Zom-B, Zapan, makaron, ecura, blueferret, martin, Womgoose, thiery2005, and ziriguidum -thanks for your comments and im glad you like the revised model!

MT cup - Lol! I did atually find a couple of shaved rats when i was browsing for refernces -but no mice -as yet! I think i quite like the idea of him being quite puffy though!

kary - you werent wrong about the shock of the interfaces! -My biggest gripe though is that (from what i can tell) you cant make the model rotate around a specific area youve framed -thats been making me growl most at the screen! - but i guess im too set in my XSI ways!

a-papanoniou - im glad you get the fairy tale vibe! Now i have to make sure that comes across in the 3d version. Tricky!...

blueferret - actally i reckon, looking at the bodyshape that the new version is a guy -but the old version has hips - definately a girl! And good luck to you too!

Womgoose - He might live! Even i dont know!

se7enthcin - I reckon I'll probably use both models now -i think the mouse going off sailing is male and thats his lady mouse there (with the bundle of sandwiches!) -so i think 'll use the slimmer version for her -will change the head shape a little for her -and it'll give a bit of variety to them!

Havent got much else to show but will post my texturing progress so far for you... Thanks again guys!

03 March 2006, 03:25 PM (

Not much to show as ive been off trying to get my head around Z-Brush - as you can see ive laid out the UVs and am begining to work on the texture -though i wont spend too much time on the vast majority of it (except for ears, nose, hands and feet) as it'll be under the fur. Still i think having some colour laid on the body underneath adds a little more variation to the overall effect so its worth doing. Obviously this is a long way from finished and still needs quite a lot of tweeking though!

03 March 2006, 03:42 PM
Hey Selina, nice uvs very clean, good start with the textures too. Try to do the finish on ZBrush, will be cool. Keep it up


03 March 2006, 03:51 PM
hey selina!

looking greeat so far.
Once the uv's and textures are done, the fun can start right?
Curious to see some real fur results.


03 March 2006, 10:12 AM
Hey! Wonderful work on the mouse model, and your fur textures are realy grat too. Wait to see it dresed ! :)

03 March 2006, 11:15 AM
excellent unrap :applause: .. nice start with texture too

03 March 2006, 01:06 PM
I like the start of your texturing. You've already got that liquid look to the eyes. Very nice.

03 March 2006, 01:08 PM
Yeah, good unwrap job there. :thumbsup: But do you really need Zbrush for this model? Won't the fur just cover up the extra details?

03 March 2006, 05:02 PM
Thanks for the comments guys!

Alan, ziriguidum and MT Cup - glad you like the unwrap and my start on the texuring! Ive not had a great deal of experience at this before -and havent been totally satisfied with my past results so i'm finding it challenging but really good fun!

Nothingness and Apocryph -thanks! - and yes putting on the fur should be the fun part! I hope i can get that feeling of softness to his overall look!

MT cup - glad you like the eyes though i havent really worked on them yet! - i'd like to give them a bit more depth and work on the watery look too...

Martin - Nope youre absolutely right! - but i only intend to work on the areas that wont be covered with fur -so i can get a nice displacement map for some subtle wrinkles on the ears and its feet. Mostly i think ZBrush will be better for details on the other objects in the scene though!

Thanks again and im off to knuckle down and get some more to show!

03 March 2006, 05:09 PM
Not a bad unwrap! Some of the islands might be able to be fused together. As for texturing check the moderator's Leigh's profile for texturing tips. He's the moderator of this forum section too. The biggest thing I have learned is to avoid painting shadows, and make sure your texture contains no flat colors. Low opacity brushes are great for this.

03 March 2006, 05:46 PM
Thanks sooo much for the tips Womball! I will definately check Leigh's texturing tips right now! -I'm well aware of the coolness of Leigh's work so its totally worth learning from! Yeah - i do agree - i was thinking about how i could have fused way more together today - discovered "Headus UVlayout" this weekend when i saw some of their training videos -totally blown away! -and saw their pelt mapping process. I dont remember ever having seen UVs laid out like a pelt before but its so obvious now ive seen it! Kind of thought "doh!" after watching it. Now i definately think pelt-mapping is the way to go! Think theyve got a free beta i can try out too. Woohoo!

03 March 2006, 06:04 PM
You might want to avoid pelt mapping. I find it useful to try to maintain integrity of form. I think its really cool when you see an island, and you know exactly what your looking at! Some useful seam placement tips, place them on the parts of the body facing (toward the middle). With a mouse these parts are generally hidden, and with careful texturing you won't have visible seams! Did you do a UV test map? Don't get into texturing to heavily until your sure you know where all of the stretching occurs. You can try to minimize this, but I dunno if you can complelty remove it. I'm new ot this as well, but I have been doing a lot of research lately. Keep it up.

03 March 2006, 06:29 PM
also, from what it looks like and the proportion of your model, the body doesn't have a whole lot of space on your map. you might want to consider scaling the arms and legs down some. and upping the size of the main body. Of course, I may be wrong. Nice start on the uvmapping! :bounce:

03 March 2006, 08:54 PM
Womgoose - He might live! Even i dont know!

I feel he might need more than a wooden boat to survive this one :(
(Perhaps he has a Rocket Launcher in his pocket hehe)

03 March 2006, 09:33 PM
great to see a texture sheet posted up, rarely see 'em!! And a good one too, nice and neat so why not :buttrock:

03 March 2006, 05:37 AM
admire your thoroughness in texturing beneath fur -- what bothers me, a bit, about your concept, though, is that it seems so helpless, that the little cute mouse will float about on the water without a means of defending itself from being uprighted and swallowed by the fish. Could you arm him? Please???? It makes me nervous. Give him or her a chance! I feel like rescuing the mouse. He or she needs a needle, small sword -- or fish hook! I am going to download and draw over your concept sketch -- to save the little one and calm me down after viewing your future submissions : ) Where are they sailing to that I couldn't take them to anyhow?

(good luck...very moving...)

03 March 2006, 07:41 AM
Hope you're having fun with ZBrush! Your texture work looks good. Unfolding is well done too. I wish you the best for your next steps and will be back of course!! See ya:thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 06:44 PM
Nice unfold, neat textures, what more could you ask for. Looking really strong! Now lets see that boat!

03 March 2006, 10:01 PM
kary - you werent wrong about the shock of the interfaces! -My biggest gripe though is that (from what i can tell) you cant make the model rotate around a specific area youve framed -thats been making me growl most at the screen! - but i guess im too set in my XSI ways!

I'm very much at "baby steps" in my experience with XSI, but that sounds similar to the 'local transforms' button that is on the right of the default interface. At least that mimics the 'sub object rotate' function of max -- which would allow you you to select a polygon then do all your viewport spins around that poly rather then the pivot of the object.

Then again the XSI feature you're talking about is likely far more expansive then what I've seen (I've only played with basic modelling in XSI -- app specific concepts are still a bit of a wash ;)).


UVs and the start of the textures look great to me :)

03 March 2006, 05:26 AM (

Ok so this is the texture to go under the fur. I've darkened it right down, because i'll need a dark base colour. There are still some visible seams i havent fixed but i'm hoping i'll get away with that once i put the fur on... My work on the fur is pretty rough and dirty, but again i just wanted some basic texture to liven things up a bit, and it shouldnt come up to any obvious real scrutiny once the furs on. At the moment its just a lambert shader -havent atached any, bump, displacement, SSS (etc) -yet! Must go to bed now as have been up working on it all night and just realised the time -really should get some sleep!

03 March 2006, 07:58 AM
Your sleepless work looks grat so far. As I mentioned that before, I donīt have fur im my 3D package, so kinda this stage will be my final, ha ha ha. And it looks very nice, especially on back side. Keep up good work :thumbsup: night night

03 March 2006, 12:58 PM
Looks great :thumbsup: Especially the paws are good. And I know about sleepless nights too.

03 March 2006, 02:13 PM
Nice start with the underpelt. The hands/feet look lovely. The mice are coming along very well, and now I'm anxious to see the fur go on. Rest, you deserve it! ;)

03 March 2006, 02:14 PM
Hurrah! Up now and feeling sort off rested! Thanks for continuing to leave so many really helpful comments guys! -Its really appreciated! I would have posted a response this morning first if i hadnt needed to sleep so badly!

Womball -Dont worry - I wouldnt attempt pelt maping without this program -im not advertising it honestly- but check it out here ( -its so cool! Thanks again soooo much for all the helpful tips -theyre brilliant!

Se7enthcin - lol yeah i was suprised too about the size of the body when i was initially scaling everything. So I did rescale a tiny bit for good measure like you said which i think was a wise move!

Womgoose and Oceanbluesky - LOL!!! Look -I do appreciate your concern and potential need to arm him! I was thinking of maybe giving him a long oar which he could use for bopping creatures on the nose with, but am undecided as yet... I just wanted to point out that you dont know for certain that he'll get eaten -Maybe he'll get away over the rapids in time in a wildly exciting mouse-fish chase sequence! Maybe he'll make it to the ravine where he'll get picked off by a sharp eyed bird! Maybe he'll even make it all the way to wherever hes going completely safely! -And i know nobody has considered it, but maybe that carp is a grass carp and therefore a herbivore and is just there to see him off in a neigbourly fashion. I'm not saying it is -but maybe.....

M477 - thank you very much and im glad you liked it!

thierry -lol! - I'm having more fun wth it the more i use it thats for sure! thanks for the coments and for comng back! -See you again!

A-Catcher -ok youre right of course! -I'm off to do the boat now... Or maybe the fish... something non mouse like anyway!

kary - Youre a Zbrush superstar!!! Thanks so much - thats exactly what i wanted! Now i do feel rather silly though, given that it was plonked right there infront of me! My excuse is that I was looking for the shortcut for it and didnt think to look at the rather blatant button! (i know - its a lame excuse!)

Oweron - Yes im very glad im able to use fur or it would all be looking a litle bit dodgy for me! I could have gone for the shaven mice approach i guess...

Martin -thanks Martin! Glad you liked the paws -spent more time on them as theyll be visible - though im not sure if you'll be able to see the detail in the final version. still i'll know its there! -And Lol yes i think we'll have a few more sleepless nights ahead of us before the end of this!

Thanks again guys and now i'm off to make something non mouse related! Hurrah!:bounce:

03 March 2006, 03:14 PM
great textures!!!

03 March 2006, 05:37 PM
Hiya Selina :)

Great textures on the mouse :bounce:
can't wait for more ... ouh btw : fur , displace , sss ... I know a machine which is going to be busy :surprised ... yay ! :scream:

cheers ,


03 March 2006, 05:41 PM
like this mouse... the fur is great now... maybe the ears ar a tiny bit to white, usally the ears are pink and very thin on top, almost seenthru... otherwise he is :applause:

03 March 2006, 08:20 PM
Womgoose and Oceanbluesky - LOL!!! Look -I do appreciate your concern and potential need to arm him! I was thinking of maybe giving him a long oar which he could use for bopping creatures on the nose with, but am undecided as yet... I just wanted to point out that you dont know for certain that he'll get eaten -Maybe he'll get away over the rapids in time in a wildly exciting mouse-fish chase sequence! Maybe he'll make it to the ravine where he'll get picked off by a sharp eyed bird! Maybe he'll even make it all the way to wherever hes going completely safely! -And i know nobody has considered it, but maybe that carp is a grass carp and therefore a herbivore and is just there to see him off in a neigbourly fashion. I'm not saying it is -but maybe.....

Go mousey go! you can do it!

03 March 2006, 01:12 PM
looking great!
nice modeling and texturing!
canīt wait to se him with hair...

03 March 2006, 02:45 PM
Looks great, you've made a good work with the texture and I think will be great when you put the fur, can't wait to see it, keep it up. Ahhh...good night my friend.:)


03 March 2006, 05:44 PM
The texturing is looking very nice so far. Keep it up!

03 March 2006, 06:47 PM
hey selina, how's the fur comming along? Haven't tried it yet?

i did a quick haircut on my lates character by using the standard mouse fur in maya and changed direction and lenght :twisted:
I even tried sidebeards but i should do them seperatly to get 'm nice.


curious to see tha mouse dressed in it's fur


04 April 2006, 01:51 AM
nice texturing...this is really coming along well...might want to pick up more highlights on the eyes of your characters...(their is a very instructive tutorial on building a great, reflective, eye in the thread by person who is modeling a purple fish with a fantastic tail and little kids...hope you know the one...just came to mind as potentially helpful...)

04 April 2006, 12:12 AM
Hey guys!

Thanks so much for all the comments and sorry for the incredible length of time till my reply - been pretty busy with work!

Had some issues with ZBrush unfortunately -worked on the displacement of my mouse till i was pretty happy with it - but have been having wierd issues getting it to work when taken into XSI. Followed the comments exactly and repeatedly in the PDF file you get from ZBrushCentral but to no avail - i just cant seem to get it to work. A fellow XSI user friend of mine has had the same problems so i assume theres some unmentioned fact im unaware of rather than just my general silliness! But if anyone has any clues as to whether this is a known issue and how i'd get it to work -that would be very cool!

So instead ive decided to forego the displacement and have gone for a bump map instead (which at least will speed my rendering time a tad Zapan!) and added SSS.

Meduncer, Zapan, BrianC, alancamera and se7enthcin -Glad you like the textures! Hope you think the new version is an improvement though!

Makaron -i think the ears are a bit pinker now with the added SSS -but ive tried to keep it close to the photo i posted earlier of the mouse sitting on a cork so they are still quite pale. What do you reckon?!

Oceanbluesky -Thanks for the tip! -ive finally updated the eyes -theyre quite subtle but i think it adds more depth -i created them in a very similar (though not quite entirely identical) way to the tute you mentioned. Cheers! Hope you think its an improvement!

BrianC, alancamera and nothingness -I'm working on the various texture maps for the fur now so hopefully will have that final update v soon! Think thatll be the only other addition to him. Hopefully i might get it up my Monday at the latest! Also should have the finished boat model to show soon...

Womgoose - LOL! Thanks for your continued concern over the little fella!

Again - thanks again for the continued crits guys -i really appreciate all your help!

04 April 2006, 12:16 AM
Womgoose - LOL! Thanks for your continued concern over the little fella!

No problem at all Selina.
However... I am running a book on him.

Mouse survival 60/1
Mouse supper 11/2

04 April 2006, 12:20 AM (

After issues getting ZBrush created displacement map to work in XSI ive gone for a bump map instead. Hope you think its an ok solution! Also added SSS to all the fleshy areas. Updated the eyes properly -hope theres more depth to them now. Would really appreciate all your comments and crits! Cheers!

04 April 2006, 12:24 AM
The eyes look 100% perfect. They look so slimy and squishy it's untrue.
Erm, I don't have my mouse books on me but maybe the tail needs more texture detail?

I forget... you will be adding fur on top of the fur texture right?

04 April 2006, 12:42 AM
Hi Sel! Sure, I like these textures! You're doing a good job. The models are great! They have really a cool shape!

04 April 2006, 03:06 AM
Hi Selina, mice have furred tails and rats have nakes tails. Just to be precise. The eyes are awesome. I'm really impressed.

04 April 2006, 07:13 AM
Haha nice work Selina, cute looking rat ^^ Great job on the modeling and texturing, your entry looks superb so far. Good luck in the competition :D

04 April 2006, 11:15 AM
nice textures .When u put the fur it will looks cool !

04 April 2006, 03:30 AM
are you using a program with fur capability? It may be frustrating and require a lot of persistance to master, but I think in the long run a model with fur rather than bumped colors will look best -- though, this is extremely good work Really like what you've done with the eyes and SSS good luck!

04 April 2006, 07:55 PM
I think she was going to go with fur from what I can recall, the skin texture is absolutly gourgeous, you can tell that the colour has been layered up proper LOTR style, nice!

04 April 2006, 12:33 AM
Very cute mouse and splendid texturing; and it comes in T-pose too!
Keep up!

04 April 2006, 07:10 PM
Thanks ever so much for the replies guys! I'm just about to shove up the latest update - with fur finally! -But wanted to reply to you all first!

Womgoose -thanks for the comment! -I didnt put any more texture on the tail because I knew i was going to put a thin layer of downy fur over it -but now ive done that im wondering if i should darken the top of the tail a little more- in the same way i did with the tips of the ears. What do you reckon?

medunecer - thank you very much! I'm glad you like the shape! Ive put fur on this latest version so id be interested to know if you think the shape is still ok or whether he now looks too podgy!...

MT Cup- thanks for the heads-up! I didnt know how hairy to make his tail -as ive picked up loads of different reference picks -and it varies loads from mouse to mouse. So i went with what Wikipedia says and gave it a light down! Hope you think it works!

Necksmasher - thank you very much for the compliment and good luck to you too!

toongo -thank you and hope you like the fur!

Oceanbluesky - dont worry! -I'm definately using fur -but wanted to have a decent texture underneath as i think it makes a difference to the way the fur looks. Hope you like what ive come up with so far. Will be posting it up right after this post...

A-Catcher - thanks for your lovely support! Lol -loving your LOTR comparison!- I wish!

varma -Lol and cheers! Hope you like the update...

Cheers again guys!

04 April 2006, 07:25 PM (

Ok so finally got the fur on! Will probably have a little play around with the fur colours and see how it looks to add some more gradiation of colour -but I'm happy with the basic colour and look. Ive got two versions. The first is neater and probably prettier of the two. The second is a bit mussed up -but maybe makes the fur look better. Please let me know which one you prefer andany other thoughts you have on it! Cheers!

04 April 2006, 08:15 PM
Hey Sel! So good! I think the fur is giving the general shape of the mouse a plus! I really like it! I prefer the fur on the second mice because it seems more confused. Great work Sel! Go on!!!

04 April 2006, 08:16 PM
...well, I never think to say it amout a mouse, wonderful eyes!..

04 April 2006, 08:30 PM
Hehe I haven't seen this thread in a while :)
It looks so cool with fur! I'd maybe cut down from the blueish tint, or is it because of the lighting?
And yeah, I prefer the messy version, too. Keep it up ;)

04 April 2006, 08:35 PM
Hi! It's really nise mouse fur.goodluck.watching for updates.
my dog: :thumbsup:

04 April 2006, 09:10 PM
Hi friend ur work is too good and i like the fur and modelling

very eager to see ur final mouse fur with lighting

04 April 2006, 09:58 PM
Finally some fur! And it looks great, Selina :applause: I agree that the second one looks best.

04 April 2006, 10:08 PM
Hello Selina,

Yeeaa, weīve got some fur here :applause: Looks very good to me. Fancy the mussy one more. I was thinking about that you overfured tail, but that was just mussy idea. Looks great.

04 April 2006, 10:49 PM
The downy tail looks wonderful and I love the messy fur too. Looks so much like the wild field mice I collect around here! :argh: Well done! I can't wait to see the rest of this come together.

04 April 2006, 11:42 PM
excellent! Glad to see you are using fur, looking forward to seeing more! Good luck

04 April 2006, 11:49 PM
Hi Selina,
I take back my comment about the tail texture now because he looks so perfect now.
I love the second fur image as well - looks so natural.
Oh and I've said it before but... WOW the eyes, the eyes, the eyes! :eek:


EDIT: Oops had to fix some bad spelling hehe

04 April 2006, 12:41 AM
Beautiful! I love the messy version. I'm sorry I haven't been by for awhile. I've been bogged down with a lot of freelance work. I love the updates. Keep going! :thumbsup:

04 April 2006, 04:24 AM
I like the more full / long feel of #2 as well -- and also have to nod to the great eyes. Really coming along well :)

04 April 2006, 03:26 PM
hey selina, great job on the fur job. The second is what i like the most. the fur of the mouse shouldn't be too clean and neat. Unless you're doing a stewart little movie!

Colors are already looking sweet. Maby some tweeks here and there. But you'll get there.


04 April 2006, 03:56 PM
Texturing and fur shader work is just great! I personally like the blueish tinge on the fur in the last render - it's a good colour. The eye is really good too. The last shot you posted looks completely finished, which is always a good thing:thumbsup:

Waiting for some more!

04 April 2006, 05:51 PM
Yeah! the rat is looking great, fur is wonderfull, what did u use?, some sss shader for the ears will do a nice touch :cool:

04 April 2006, 08:54 AM
I just realised something, does this fella need whiskers? Do mice have whiskers? I can't remember! ;)

04 April 2006, 02:00 AM
Make the fur on chest and belly brighter. Also, I think the fur looks little rough, I dunno I don't have much experience with fur, but I'd try to make it look softer if I were you. Why do some people call it rat :shrug:? It's a mouse, right?

04 April 2006, 09:40 AM
Gee, what a nice mice Selina! You've done superbe work there. That fur is working very well, it looks very realistic, continue like this!:bounce: :thumbsup:

04 April 2006, 05:53 PM
I quite like the slightly rugged looking fur actually but that is just my personal opinion. I feel it will accentuate the lighting a little more.

04 April 2006, 09:48 PM
Hey everyone! - Thanks again for all your great crits! I'm so sorry for the long time since updates -but ive just got a bit of freelance work at one of my all time favourite companies, and am very busy and full of excitement and awe about it! - so i just havent had the opportunity to continue with this project this last week, and unfortunately its having to go on hold for the moment! I really appreciate all your support and definately intend to see this project through to the end though!

I'm glad you all prefer the messier version of the fur - its the one i prefer too! I am changing the colour a little bit for a bit more variation, but think i like the blue-grey tinge to it. I was wondering if i should make the hair finer or not - am still undecided but will probably stick with what ive already got. And yes he definately needs whiskers!

Sorry i havent replied to all your lovely posts individually- and havent joined in with the crits for a while - i really apologise for my rudeness! -im afraid i have to scoot off again for now though -but hope i'll be back with an update very soon and the proper amount of involvement!

05 May 2006, 05:38 AM
Glad to hear you are happily distracted...and...that you plan on finishing sometime. Looking forward to it!

05 May 2006, 03:30 PM (

Hi guys! Sorry for the long time between posts! Shoved these two together cos theyre both relatively minor updates.

The boat is modelled -think im happy wih it -going to texture it up now...

Also sorting out colouring for the other mouse. Not sure whether i prefer the browner or redder versions, but reckon it'll be one of these two that i go with. Still needs whiskers i know!

Just hope i can get this finished by the deadline!....

05 May 2006, 03:58 PM
Very cool sails Selina! REALLY love the lower that the red one? My monitor is a bit off (hence a prediliction for saturation?)...but I definitely like the lively warm redhead.

Glad you have had time to post again....good luck!

05 May 2006, 04:18 PM
Nice to see you back and an update! The boat is off to a great start, and I have to agree with Eric, I like the red (bottom) fur very much. :thumbsup:

05 May 2006, 06:56 PM
Glad you're back, Selina :)

I'll vote for the red one also. Nice warm colors. The boat looks promising too.

I really hope you can finish this. I've come a long way myself, but still have a lot of work to do.

05 May 2006, 08:34 AM
I think that I prefer the slightly redder mouse personally. Though I must say that the one with the slightly more subdued colours will probably fit the overall colour scheme of the image better.

05 May 2006, 09:08 PM
Hi Selina! Thanks for your kind words and encouraging comments! Also like your cool accent (in your last post to this thread) "lovely....apologise...proper"...very nice! But while your spelling of "apologise" is lovely wouldn't "apologize" be more proper? ; ) (just kidding around) Looking forward to seeing the next renders of your fun lively mouse!

05 May 2006, 10:36 PM
Go Selina! Great updates! Fur is very good! If you have time, could post a quick tut about it (maybe when you'll finish this challenge)?

Thanks and please, go on with your entry! I need to see it finished! It will be so great!

05 May 2006, 11:01 PM
Nice updates, The mouse looks fantastic, I like the boat too :applause:, Hurry up, this will be a very cool image :thumbsup:

05 May 2006, 12:43 AM
You have done a great job on getting the fur to look real. Its going to be a very dramatic piece with the lighting finalised. Good luck :)

05 May 2006, 08:37 PM
So mice, ups sorry soooo nice =))))

Impressive fur

05 May 2006, 11:25 PM (

Hmmmm not completely happy with this -ive put SSS on the leaves -but can you tell?! I probably need some good sleep to resolve whats undoubtedly a minor detail im overlooking! But for now im going to leave the boat the way it is so i can crack on with all the rest of it! -Maybe i'l sort out the bits i dont like in post.... But im already a day behind my schedule to finish by the deadline so ive gotta get on!

05 May 2006, 12:17 AM
Absolutely wonderful Selina! This looks as if it has been taken directly out of pages of a children's book. Very, very well done. Nice painterly like stylized feel to the textures. I'm not sure what you don't like about it? It will look different once textured, and, you will be able to burn a few 2D shadows into it in post. No worries at all, this is great. Looking forward to see more! Good luck!

05 May 2006, 09:35 AM
Hey guys thanks so much for all the great comments! Theyre very helpful as always!

Thanks for the feedback MTCup, Oceanblesky, Marin and A-Catcher! Think i'll probably go for the redhead mouse then in the final image in that case! -Unless it doesnt work with the colour scheme -but its not too in your face so i reckon it should suit...

Medunecer -Hey id be delighted to tell you what i know (-which isnt all that much!). Will post a tute up soon as the comp finishes - or even before then if i have time -LOL -sorry -hilarious joke! But i definately will - i think most of the secret is making a good texture to go underneath the fur -but will put up screenshots of all my settings etc for you v soon!

Thanks for the very kind comments Climax, Sathe and ilusiondigital!

Oceanbluesky -Awww thank you very much! Glad you like the style -ive been going for a kind of painterly realism if you know what i mean -so i hope thats translating into the work... Yeah was overtired last night when i wrote that -have sorted out thing that was annoying me -that the leaves looked a little dead and the SSS wasnt working the way i wanted and lighting up the edges. Ive sorted that out this morning- it was as simple as raising a parameter!- when i get this way with my work its a definate sign that its time to get some sleep!
Regarding your earllier post -LOL! Im now deeply worried that i come across sounding like Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins! (though the guy is a lightwave user apperently -go Dick!) Honestly i will never come out with phrases like 'luvverly' and 'cor blimey guvverner' -cept of course just now -or if im doing Dick Van dyke impressions... But i would like to doff my hat to you Sir for your many kind and considerate and very helpful posts! :)

Off to start work on my fish now. Before i go i have one general question to ask you all- Do we need a title for the image at the end? If so does anyone have any suggestions for me?
I've got a few ideas -two pretentious ones my friend and i came up with, and one comedy one which is definately my fave -but could be considered too rude perhaps!
The pretentious ones are "Dark waters" and "Beneath". -And the comedy title idea is: "Up S**t Creek". What do you reckon?!

05 May 2006, 09:52 AM
Thanks! Ship texturing is very good! The final image will be great!

05 May 2006, 12:17 PM
Excellent boat. Nice texture work. :thumbsup:

I just have one little thing: Shouldn't the boards follow the shape of the boat? Like this:

05 May 2006, 03:56 PM
Hi Selina! Oh, I love this little boat... I love those little wood sticks :love: Have to agree with boards comment, but it is all about your final pose for it, though. Good luck with deadline hunting.

05 May 2006, 10:32 PM
Thanks meduncer I'm glad you like it!

Oweron and Martin -thanks for the comments guys! - and Lol yeah i do agree -to be honest i was wondering if i could get away with being lazy! Its on my list of things to do then -though pretty much everything else is taking precedence for the moment! But if you both noticed it i think is going to have to be changed!

Thanks guys! Anyone got any thoughts on a title for me?! (see my previous post!)

05 May 2006, 10:50 PM (

Fish modelling. Think i'm happy with it though i dont really have time to mess about! -any comments you have would be good! Hopefully i'll have it textured this time tomorrow...

05 May 2006, 11:39 PM
No C & C. That mouth looks big enough to be a menace to any mouse. :eek:

05 May 2006, 07:10 AM
Looking really good, can't wait to see it textured. :thumbsup:

05 May 2006, 07:11 AM
Great fish! If fish can eat mice, I might have to keep a few as pets! Don't forget scales.

05 May 2006, 08:55 AM
I like the modeling of your fish and with texturing you can do much more....Good luck...About the title I don't know if we need to have one, but I think so....Bye Selina

05 May 2006, 01:43 PM
Kick-ass modeling again from Selina. Great job :thumbsup:

05 May 2006, 06:57 PM
Thanks for the comments guys!

Mt cup and Martin -glad you like the modelling!

A-Catcher, Womball and centurionit -I agree -its all about the displacement and bump maps with this one. So posting up pic of fish for you to see how ive done with that. Let me know what you think!

Cheers again guys!

05 May 2006, 07:02 PM (

K so this is my fish with displacement, bump and transparency maps applied.

I wanted to combine transparency with SSS, but it seems i cant combine the nodes on the render tree so i have to choose either/or. -Unless anyone knows a way around this issue in XSI?!

If not i'll try to fake the look with the incidence shader...

I havent finished working on the transparency or started work on the reflectiveness or colour yet -thats up next!

Any comments appreciated!

05 May 2006, 07:40 PM
Wow Selina! Extraordinary! Really serious work on the displacement and bump shaders...looks's going to be wonderful floating in your scene. I really will have to rescue those mice -- especially the fun redhead. Looking forward to seeing textures -- good luck!

05 May 2006, 09:22 PM
It doesn't quite look like scales yet, more like the texture on a mattress. I think the backs of the scales need to be sharper. Also if your using zbrush for the displacements, you might want to check out the Zmapper plugin. There is a feature to make a diffusion map called a Cavity map which accents the displacements. It basically adds black to the cavities and indentations of the object. I find it looks quite nice if its on a low setting.

05 May 2006, 11:19 PM
It looks ok, I think. But I agree with Womball about the scales.

05 May 2006, 08:05 AM
See how it looks with the colour on before you start panicking about the scales, personally I think it will look fine.

05 May 2006, 10:07 AM
I have to agree with A-catcher. Remember, the fish will be under water and water softens details, not sharpens them, based on depth. I'd wait and see before I'd go too far with the scales. Right now I really like the bump and displacement. I think color will do a lot to trick the eye into seeing more than what's physically there.

Nice work!

05 May 2006, 02:22 PM
I have to agree with A-catcher. Remember, the fish will be under water and water softens details, not sharpens them, based on depth. I'd wait and see before I'd go too far with the scales. Right now I really like the bump and displacement. I think color will do a lot to trick the eye into seeing more than what's physically there.

Nice work!

Could not agree more....especially the part about me being right :D

05 May 2006, 06:56 PM
Thanks for the replies guys!

I do see your point Womball and Martin - i was thinking id overdone it too -but mostly because of the scales at the top-back of the tail were so pronounced. I was kind of happy with the rest of it though -though its not totally realistic im not going for absolute realism -so i kind of wanted to overexaggerate the look to get that really slimy look across. But i have redone the displacement map ever so slightly so the scales on the top end of the tail are less pronounced. So ive gone (mostly) with A-Catcher and MT Cup's perspective -but let me know what you think of the latest properly textured version im putting up next...

Cheers again!

05 May 2006, 07:04 PM (

Not sure if im completely happy with this. Think im ok with the displacement with the scales, but not entirely happy with the colouring. Ideally id like another couple of days to mess about with it but time is ticking on -so i think i'm going to get on with the landscape next and if the fish needs any corrective touches hopefully i can sort that out through appropriate lighting when i place it in the scene. -And of course theres always post!

05 May 2006, 08:09 PM
Well, it looks slimy for sure now. I'm not sure about the color either, but I don't think it's that important, since it's gonna be under dark water. The scales are fine now, I think.

05 May 2006, 09:05 PM
Looking good. I agree with your going forward plan. I think you have wiggle room (no pun inteneded).

05 May 2006, 01:15 AM (

Ok should have gone to bed or started on the landscape -which i shall be doing tomorrow! But thought id try a less slimy, more metalic version. So here it is! And i think it has come out possibly closer to the original sketch idea. Which do you prefer?!

05 May 2006, 02:47 AM
"Which do you prefer?!" Selina are you kidding?!!!?? THIS IS GORGEOUS!!! never go to sleep again if you create work like this!!! Holy CARP that is good! Wow! It leaps off the page! Sheezz...a gradient in Photoshop may be necessary to place it correctly in the water but I'm sure you've already considered that and well, if you can create something like this it will not only have wonderful undwater shading but you will be working at Studio AKA ASAP. Goodness. That is a beautiful render. Congratulations!

Will there be super-soft, extremely subtle ripples and refractions of the fish under water?? I can't wait to see the final image! Good luck! --Stay up please.

05 May 2006, 07:47 AM
Aw thanks so much Oceanbluesky for your lovely kind words!

I thought this version was better -but it was late and i was confused! Looks like im going with this one then!

Er.. yes... there will be nice, super soft, extremely subtle ripples and refractions of the fish under water -at least there are in my head! -Havent worked out exactly how to do that yet though! Know any good tutes?!

Thanks again man!

05 May 2006, 11:02 AM
You nailed it Selina! Eric's right, this is perfect. I hope you slept well. ;)

05 May 2006, 11:06 AM
Good work as usual, Selina.

I think the second one will fit the scene best, so I'll vote for that one. :)

05 May 2006, 01:04 PM
I prefer the first fish Sel! It's really a great model. Please, go on with the landscape! I have to see this piece finished because I'm sure it will be a great image!

05 May 2006, 02:09 PM
Thanks for the replies MT cup, Martin and Medunecer!

But LOL and oh no medunecer! Now im so confused! I'm not entirely unknown for my lack of decisiveness and this has just muddled my mind even more than it was previously!
So..... I think i'll stick to the second image, but if i have time i'll do a render of both and try out a very subtle overlay in post. Which is brilliant cos that way i dont really have to make any decisions at all!

05 May 2006, 04:23 PM
...and that will probably be the best decision :)

05 May 2006, 06:39 PM
Kind of funny...I'm sure either model will look really cool when shot underwater. Might want to try caustics if you have (a lot of) time (for testing and so on). There is also quite a bit more gloss on either model than would show underwater, so, your final image is likely to be very different from anything we have seen yet...good luck!

05 May 2006, 09:57 PM
Aha! Now you see i felt certain that i wasnt approaching the whole fish texturing concept in quite the right way and that although fish are naurally glossy i'd put too much gloss on them! Do you have any tips on the correct approach? I am very keen to know more!

05 May 2006, 02:06 AM
The sheen comes from the layer of slime on top, and that'll refract light weirdly / differently in the air then under water. The 'feel' of slime on the head of the first one seems what I would expect, and then it's over the top for the body -- I haven't actually gone fishing in a decade though... so very little 'hands on experience' there.

You're very close with the fish, it might make sense to hold work on it till you see it posed under the final lighting. You might well be shying away from reality when you're looking to guide the eye, to the fish, at the right rhythm for drama. It doesn't seem like 'fish underwater on a bright moonlit night' reference is the easiest thing to find -- so it'll probably be feel and guess work ;)

"your final image is likely to be very different from anything we have seen yet...good luck!"

Very accurate -- love the feel over the overall image from the sketch and you're doing a great job of pulling it together in a sculpture. Probably most important to get everything into play now and then let yourself futz the details when you're looking at all the elements :)

Looking forward to seeing the rest :).

05 May 2006, 02:23 PM
Thank you so much for the very kind and helpful words Kary!

I didnt realise what a challenge the fish would be untill texturing it -so thank you for all the incredibly helpful salient points youve made! Theyve definately got me thinking!

Youre also completely right! -I'm definately going to crack on with all the myriad other things i need to get done first! I agree that it would be rather futile for me to attempt any more changes untill i get it posed in the final environment. I really have to learn when its time to move on and try to avoid being precious -its a big pitfall!

Oceanbluesky -forgot to mention before -for some reason caustics hadnt even occurred to me before -duh! But now you mention it that is definately something id like to try out with this image. Just hope i have time!

I'm so glad you both feel the image has the capacity to be different - now i just hope i can follow through!

Thanks so much guys!

05 May 2006, 08:01 PM (

Looking quite hideous indeed at the moment -ignore the not very nice colour of the grass -or anything else for that matter!

At the moment this is just to show my very basic modelling and lighting of the landscape to get everything in their correct places. The basic shapes like cylinders represent mice and fish. The little glowing orb is going to be the glow-worm which i think i definately need in place to make sense of the lighting. I'm pretty happy with the basic placement i think, so now i'd better get a move on and tidy it up!

05 May 2006, 10:19 PM
Hey Selina it's a bit difficult to see the landscapes, especially the grass and such, but, this looks like it is coming along if it is a page out of a quality children's book. Absolutely exciting and beautiful. --Is the glow worm on the boat as a lantern? Very neat!

Looking forward to seeing more!

05 May 2006, 02:55 PM (

While i get on with my landscape i wanted to ask everyone's opinion on what kind of bug type i should go for? -"firefly" version (top pictures -with wings) or "glow-worm" version (bottom group of pictures -without wings). I do realise its all the same bug btw! If i use the version with wings, i could have it tied to a piece of string - i read somewhere that it was once a common practice in china to tie them to your ankles while taking a nightime stroll. So its plausible. But i think i prefer the non-wing version, partially because the wings could potentially block the light emanating from the bug. And partially because modelling the bug would be less work! But my laziness aside -obviously i'll put the work in if wings will look better! So what do you all reckon?

05 May 2006, 03:37 PM
Hey Selina -- ok I prefer the bug rather than the worm, especially given the bug's red thorax and beautiful wing covering...could be extra-cool in the future were you to animate it. Either way will look fantastic with the style you are pursuing, good luck.

05 May 2006, 10:42 PM
I like the idea of the glowworm for this picture, Ithink it's the better fit. Eric's thought has merit. Depends on if you're going to use the character for this challenge only and discard it, of if you're doing to possibly do more with it later.

05 May 2006, 11:04 PM
Oh that MT Cup he's such a trouble maker!

What if you were to start with a worm then in the future animate it metamorphosizing into a bug?

Just kidding around. Any version will look great! Good luck........

05 May 2006, 11:25 PM
Shhh, don't tell him Selina; I'm a she, not a he. ;)

05 May 2006, 11:34 PM
What the????!

"such a trouble maker!"

Time to go running. I've spent way too much time in front of this computer.


05 May 2006, 12:33 AM
Lol! Look what happens! I'm away for a couple of hours and it all kicks off! Guess its my own fault for asking such thought provoking questions! ;)

Thanks for all the feedback guys! I havent a clue which one to go for now of course! -But seriously its giving me stuff to think about...

05 May 2006, 12:38 AM
At this hour of the night, I'd sleep on it! ;)

05 May 2006, 05:31 PM
Get on with it! Worm it is!

05 May 2006, 03:29 AM (

Updated boat with glow-worm. All comments appreciated!

05 May 2006, 03:37 AM
Beautiful! Really wonderful work -- this is coming along so nicely! Sheez, I wish so much I had pursued a cool stylized texture look like yours (rather than guady supersaturated plain untextured materials)...this is just charming. What a learning experience.

Might want in post to paint a bit of light on the stern and forward mast/sail near the glow worm. --Opps! No doubt you will take care of that because now that I notice there aren't any shadows or lighting effects on the boat at all...guess you are working on it...can't wait to see that and more! Good luck!

Hurry, hurry, hurry -- we're running out of time! (I'd fake the caustics entirely -- paint them in post -- then if you have time give them a try...they can take absolutely forever to get right...Maya's docs are fairly decent...may also have time to find Gnomon and Alias DVD tutorials....).

05 May 2006, 10:26 AM
Thank you so much Oceanbluesky!

Tsk to you however! - cos I really love the look of yours and think its very special -so no being down about it! (And theres always next time!)
-Youre right -the boat hasnt been lit -ive been sorting that out in the final scene -though once i encorporate the main elements im sure it will all need more tweaking!
This really has been the most marvellous learning experience though -i think its given me a much better idea with terxturing than i had before -and certainly has given me a better idea of what i need to do in specific areas to work to schedule.
I've actually kind of managed to claw my way back on schedule -almost have bg finished now -cept for placement of a few leaves. Though my stomach is doing someraults every time i think about the pathetic amount of time left to me! Could really do with those 3 weeks back right now!
I'm going to run away and get on with it!

05 May 2006, 10:43 AM
No crits right now. So far so good. :thumbsup: