View Full Version : Races of Middle Earth - Character - azazel

01 January 2003, 04:04 PM
I'm in...

I'm thinking of a race from north, cold part of Middle Earth. They are half land half water beings, not so remotely related with humans. Their main occupation is underwater (or underice...;) ) mining of some rare metal, so they are strong, hard working fellas. More detailed story to came soon...

I'm not happy with this sketch, and pose is awful, no clothes except pants - it's working suit. They are a bit fat to keep themselves warm, and they like beer anyway :beer: . Big hands and feet to swim faster...

More sketches, better than this one I hope, to come...

01 January 2003, 04:27 PM
That's a nice sketh, Azazel :thumbsup:
And a cool concept too - looking forward to seeing what you do with it! Welcome to the challenge, and best of luck to you too :D

01 January 2003, 05:43 PM
Awesome Sketch!:thumbsup:
The creature is getting out just neat. Can't wait to see more!

01 January 2003, 06:49 PM
Thx, Leigh and Gandalf :beer:

I'm still thinking about story, now I've located them somewhere in the Ice Bay of Forochel.

Wanted him as new avatar, but in 100x100 pix there's not much to see :annoyed:, have to wait for 3d version:

01 January 2003, 07:44 PM
Just a quick sketch of the head - en face. Now as I have front and side and i can start modelling the head :wip:

01 January 2003, 05:02 AM
Absolutely great concept, I also thought about water-beings but decided to put them into the sump ;)
But now they got NO BEER, god dammit! :beer:

Can't wait to see an underwater sceeene :buttrock:

01 January 2003, 03:10 PM
@ ahrens : many people here are making water beeings... maybe too many ;)

Now some more sketches, or rather doodles of the face. I got bored on organic chemistry class... There were more of them, but only these two are presentable:

Some body sketches to come soon.

01 January 2003, 03:28 PM
MMMH Looks cool......mmmmh....hey...this guy may looks "true cool" in 3d! Keep it up!

01 January 2003, 10:55 PM
Thx, Oz... You say if it looks cool enough :wavey: :

It took me one hour and half to model it this evening. It's nowhere near completion, just a start. And I know about edgeloops: they are totally messed up. And there's awful lot of triangles...Will try to fix that.

Little note about subdivision: Now it's standard wings subdivision. He looks much better smoothed in Maya, once with continuity set to 0,8 and next with default continuity. That way he has sharper, more defined features.

01 January 2003, 11:05 PM
good start man, good start . . .

needs some extra edgeloops round his mouth and eyes maybe, but good start nonetheless

01 January 2003, 03:06 PM
Thx, Equinoxx, I added so many edgeloops that it looks almost smooth even unsmoothed... this one below is smoothed once:

01 January 2003, 10:27 AM
Rough body model. Head is not yet attached, no hands...
Crits welcome, especially about edgeloop placement on the body.

01 January 2003, 10:53 AM
Looking good. Tough looking but with some inteeligence behind those eyes. Modeling is turning out nice already. I like the fins idea and the extra large hands for the whole swim theme. Also watch those beers( Ale) in MiddleEarth I believe,they will make him sink.;)

Maybe a soft layer of fat for support against bad weather,but not too fat,they need to be able to swim fluidily. Agility would be important for these type characters.

Well it's certantly looking promising,hope to see you advance with it soon. Nice thus far Azazel.:beer:

01 January 2003, 11:13 AM
Thanks, Virtuoso... You right about agility, I want him to look slow and harmless, but to be fast and agile, especially with some axe in hands;). It would be fun to animate him trying to catch some little bastards;)

Have to stop browsing challenge forum and spend more time modelling...;)

01 January 2003, 11:52 AM
Yes true about needing time to model..............But there is always time to hunt for lil'bastards of Fellah.......:p ;)

I have many plans for those little guys.:thumbsup:

I'll see you after another update and around these threads.:beer:

01 January 2003, 09:04 PM
Uploaded all images to tripod, 'cos my host was slow as hell :annoyed:

Added hands:


01 January 2003, 10:27 PM
I don't know if its intentional but the thumb looks a little too big. I like the concept.

01 January 2003, 12:34 AM
Azazel, that humanoid has an interesting appearance.:)
Those hands look ok if they are meant to be graspy.:thumbsup:

01 January 2003, 01:01 AM

01 January 2003, 01:33 PM
BlueCougar : that's why the thumb is so big:

Grub, [B]-OZ-[/] : THX :beer:

Gave him pants and boots, so he don' t get cold. Still very simple, time for detailing will come later:

01 January 2003, 03:38 PM
Thx, Virtuoso, that's motivating. :blush:

Head is now connected with body... not much more done, but with some exams in 2 weeks I can't spent as much time on it as I would like to :annoyed:

01 January 2003, 04:15 PM
Here's rough & dirty posetest. Rig is only temporary and very simple, no solvers, IK, just bones. There were some problems with skinning and weight painting, I hope to find same way to eliminate weightpainting.

Tell me what do You think.

01 January 2003, 05:17 PM
I like the boots but I think he doesn't need them!
He has those nice (damnit, my Dutch-Englishdictionary is gone) *things between his fingers to swim ;)* so logically he has them too on his feet, most creatures use their feet more than their hands to swim so boots would be very unnecessary and I would like to see some real big feet at your cool creature:D:D

01 January 2003, 07:11 PM
Dreamwave : 'things between his fingers to swim' are easy to get damaged when walking on the stones for example. So for land scenes he will have boots, for water - there will be some nice feet, of course if I manage to do them, as they are quite annoying thing to make.

Some new poses, just for test before detailing starts:

01 January 2003, 12:07 PM
Sketched roughly his outfit. I want it to be light travel armour, with lot of leather parts, straps, etc, with chainmail parts. Everything should be designed in asymetric way, as they like asymetry, decorated with fish-water-weed-plant ornaments.


I'm completing his background story, almost only names left to do

01 January 2003, 01:11 PM
Nice ideas Azazel,it's growing all the time. That's a good idea to keep it's looks to your original plans.The fish-water-weed-plant ornaments will be a nice addition as well.Keep up the :wip: ............See you for now.:beer:

01 January 2003, 04:14 PM
Fantastic hands you got there, with few more wrinkles and a texture it would look perfect.
However his legs could be a bit thinner,
maybe without boots? Otherwise great concept!

Tak trzymaj!!!


01 January 2003, 10:32 PM
At last made the feet:

DziÍki Leszek:)

Virtuoso: Where are Your stompers? I wanna see them... :wip: :wip:

01 January 2003, 10:45 PM

Now you have two versions Azazel.Boots and feet,cool.Nice feet as well,big and they do belong on that beast of your's. Nice modeling,feet can be a biatch at times.:)

The Stompers come to CG Talk sooon,beware the stompers and there companions.;)

Keep up with this character Azazel,it's quite promising,i like quite a bit. By the way I liked your previous entry very much as well. Keep up the fine work.:) :beer:

01 January 2003, 10:56 PM
they look.. they.. look.. really.. dangerous! :eek:

they also look good, try to make the head a little smaller, it will make him look more powerful! but maybe it's just me, I like small heads on big creatures :)

The Stompers come to CG Talk sooon,beware the stompers and there companions.
pff, you are just talking :p

looking forward to all that equipment
take care

01 January 2003, 11:20 PM
Just talking eh,we shall see soooon enough,they come Fellah,they come. Azazel I will catch them and then bring them over so they can give tiny pieces of the ears and feet to your creature.He will enjoy them very much,tasty.;) :beer:

01 January 2003, 08:23 PM
The story, finally finished (but may change slightly over the time):

Yfr are a peaceful race. They spent their lives on the cold shores of the North. They don't care too much for the world around, nor they travel much. To be left alone - is what they want most. To keep others away they maintain some legends, including ones about eating or smoking their enemies in the pipes. That's probably not true, because they are mostly vegetarian and smoke only one species of weed, very rare one. What's important, Yfr are very skilled swordsmen, but don't use this ability too often in real fight - they train simply because they like it very much. Almost never they kill anyone with their swords.

Yfr have some fish genes, they can spend long times underwater, and swim wery fast. Their main occupation is underwater mining and hunting - they eat, drink, wear, mostly products of the sea. Their mines contain some mithril along with some other precious metals, but they mine it mainly for their own use. There are rumours about secret contacts with dwarves and elves, but nothing is sure in this matter.

Little is known about Yfr history. They say their orgins lay in the north and don't say more to strangers. Being long-lived they remember great deal of the history, but know very little about their real origins. Not that they mind that too much.

Now is the right moment to introduce our hero - Zurwig D. Febbsengurm, Zur for the friends. Unlike the others, he was very curious of the world around and Yfr past history. After studying everything known about the very distant past ( really hard to tell it was real or not, Yfr don't care about so distant history, but love legends and tales, the stranger the better, so it all gets mixed up) he found out that the North is not really place of their origin... it was rather South, so far that nobody could even think of it. No one wanted to believe him or even cared if it was true.

So, driven by curiosity and lust of adventure, Zur decided to find out how it really was... It was quite dangerous quest, all traces led through the Mordor and farther south - today we would say antipodes. Armed only with his brain, fighting skills and trusty sword he started his journey many years ago. He fought against Sauron in the final battle, fought with remaining orcs and trolls, even killed a Nazgul once (by accident, but anyway). Later in his journey he had met beings not even known in the Middle Earth. As he found great liking to the travelling and adventures, it's not likely he will ever stop searching...

In that spirit, I decided to go for bit different direction than before and give him traveller's outfit kinda Indy-like, almost no armour and only a sword as weapon. I'm thinking also about a hat... not yet sure.

Virtuoso: thanks, but it's only a gossip that my character eats or smokes anybody... just to keep everyone afraid of him ;) but It won't be bad to use them as a necklace or something, just to support scary image. And for the boots: I'll give him sandals, to use best of both.

Fellah: thanks, but bigger head makes him more ... intelligent (You know, bigger brain...)

01 January 2003, 09:34 PM
weekends are great!.. nice progress btw..:D

:bounce: :bounce: :bounce:

01 January 2003, 02:34 AM
Nice story azazel,in depth and detailed,it's important for all character creation to have this kind of history,very good job.Your charcter already matches the story,he looks like the part you have created for him. Well it's time to put the pen back down,and start pushing your mouse again.:thumbsup: :beer:

01 January 2003, 04:28 AM
Since youve given me great Crits on my entry azazel, I thought I'd take the opportunity to check in and say that yours is comming along nicely. Cool story, waiting for more. :thumbsup:

01 January 2003, 07:40 AM
wonderful model azazel....very good portrayel of your character also, the personality is very readable...loved the story as well

i think it will really come to life when accesories are added..:) til then

01 January 2003, 06:56 PM
Thanks, guys :beer:

You'll have to wait a bit for accesories, I think. ;)

I want to play with his muscles more... it's fun;) For now changed his belly mesh flow, and modified arms muscles quite much, also addded some details to his calves. Still not happy with the look of him after smoothing.

01 January 2003, 08:51 PM
Looks nice.. though you maybe need to shorten an broaden the hand some.. with your strong upperbody, hands looks little long and weak..:beer:

01 January 2003, 03:32 PM
Zued: tried to beef up the hands more, but they looked too powerful and less precise - and I want them able to perform precise actions. But thanks :beer:

Started playing with equipment: vest and pants...

01 January 2003, 03:59 PM
NICE update...!!!:applause:

01 January 2003, 06:56 PM
hey Az nice work man, I liked the story aswell. Seems you have very good control over the mesh, MAX 5? or? W kazdym razie calkiem fajowo, szkoda tylko ze adek padl i ciezko teraz updateowac ogien wojny :) , Anywayz very nice indeed, sorry for useing polish guys :p Cheers :beer:

01 January 2003, 08:47 PM
Crash: no max, just wings ;)

Dawno na Adka strone nie zgladalem, ale na poczatku widzialem pare fajnych rzeczy na ogniu wojny. Masz to moze gdzies na necie?

Zued: thanx, man:beer:

01 January 2003, 06:53 AM
If you ment my entry then it's right here under my post :)
try TANK WIP. Greetz and good luck.. :beer:

01 January 2003, 09:23 PM
Crash: Saw Your tank before, but didn't knew it's purpose ;)

Little update: made him the sword and the hat:

Still not happy with vest and pants: they look too thick, like leather, and I want them light, like canvas for example... probably will use some cloth simulator :buttrock:

01 January 2003, 06:46 PM
Yet another little update: sword holder and details... can't wait to texture it all, but have very little time :annoyed:

01 January 2003, 10:43 PM
Thanks, Virtuoso... found a moment to make better render, not screengrabbed wire... and added one more belt...

BTW, where are Your stompers? ;) Sorry I ask again, but after what I've heard about them I'm very iimpatient too meet them...

01 January 2003, 11:04 PM
great - nice style and modeling :thumbsup:

01 January 2003, 10:29 PM
Thx, Swag

Just saw The Two Towers... now I wan't to make my own orc army... Little update in the meanwhile: some details, changed the sword...

01 January 2003, 11:42 PM
Very nice updates on this character azazel...the evolution of this guy is really good!! :applause: Waiting to see what else you have in store for us!!


02 February 2003, 10:59 PM
Thanks Fetus and Virtuoso :beer:

Started to play with textures, even if modelling is not finished:

Maya screengrad:


eye ;) :

fragment of the face map...

texture is nowhere near finishing, and colors are not right... but I would like to keep all these brushstrokes, wan't everything look 'painterly'...

02 February 2003, 12:56 PM
No more greenskins ! Don't want him to look like blizzard orc :

02 February 2003, 01:03 PM
wow really looking damn cool !!! I like it !!! keep going ! :buttrock:

02 February 2003, 10:23 PM
It's going, it's going... belt is very temporary, vest need fixing, more details on the ches texture to come.....

02 February 2003, 04:08 PM
Just realized that travelling without any luggage is not a good idea... so gave him some backpack, I plan much more details there, like some straps, water flasks, 'kitchen hardware', ropes, etc...

<<-----new avatar ;)

02 February 2003, 08:23 PM
Excellent idea ! It looks really clean and it's really well done ! I hope to see update soon ! (He maybee looks too much like Indiana Jones or Crocodile Dunde ... uh uh uh) :wavey: :thumbsup:

02 February 2003, 09:05 PM
Very nicely done! :D

02 February 2003, 08:59 PM
Thanks Joe and Michael :beer: He resembles Indy for three reasons: I love these movies (anyone knows where I can get DVD's? can't get them here in Poland), he is also an adventurer, and he wears a hat. But he won't resemble Indy much longer, when I give him the axe... Colors will change, won't stay so saturated and bright.

Little update (one little update a day and maybe I'll finish him on time...):

02 February 2003, 04:46 AM
I think it would be cool if you made his skin kinda scaly, not too much though. It's just that from what he looks like now, you would never think he had any fish genes in him at all.

02 February 2003, 08:16 AM
Wow, cool model, maybe for the textureing you can make more contrast between cloths and skin

02 February 2003, 06:17 PM
Omniscient: some scales already done, more to come (don't want to overdo that)

3ddy: Thanks, more contrast beetwen clothes and skin is what I want

Update: arms textured

stright out of renderer:

and this one is postprocessed in PS, I'm planning something like that for color scheme:

02 February 2003, 01:36 AM
Coming along beautifully Azazel. I like the last render the most. The only thing I can say I would change a bit, a minor crit,but really just a taste thing would be the toes area.........I would like to see them more close together, they seem a bit too far apart.Again just a taste thing.

All in all, I like your guy very much.:beer:

02 February 2003, 04:25 AM
Looking really good man, maybe you can win that Xbox. :) Or something better, heh.

02 February 2003, 11:30 PM
Omniscient: It's not for prices, but for fun....but thanks :beer:
Virtuoso, hope You can now see why toes are so wide apart (don't know how to name these things...):

Unwrapped and preliminary painted feet and hands

02 February 2003, 11:19 AM
Everything is textured now (color only, bumps, specs, and fancy fx like SSS to come), more detail to be added, maps are to be more detailed, and rig...

02 February 2003, 11:38 AM
maybe it could be cool to exaggerate the "bumps" on his skin a little, for variations. I think it can give him more of a 'vanderer look'. here's a quick paintover I did to explain:
just an idea.
and maybe you could give him some rimlighting for the final. and the feet more weight towards the ground, it looks like they/he are floating now, press down the toes a little for the final.

nonetheless, cool work so far! keep going :wip:

02 February 2003, 11:44 AM
thanks, fellah, I see Your point... You right.
These are scales actually, and there's no bump map yet.
Final rendering will come after rigging, so toes problem will be fixed, as for lightning I want something spectacular, won't do without rim lights ;)

02 February 2003, 12:09 PM
Really nice job azazel. I especially like the way you handled the backpack and gear. I can almost hear him telling his story.

Good Luck to you

02 February 2003, 02:20 PM
Wow, azazel, this character is really turning out great. Impressive texturing. If you have time, could you talk a little about how you are mapping/unwrapping the model for texturing? I'm a total newbie to texturing and am dreading that stage for my own character.

Anyways, no crits here. Keep it up. :thumbsup:


02 February 2003, 05:18 PM
@Somlor: It's quite simple, but time-eating process. In short, I take a body part, hand for example, then select face groups which are approximately planar, and assign planar mapping. Then I go to UVeditor and sew as much edges as possible, to get rid of as many seams as possible. Sometimes it's faster to use cylindrical mapping (heads) instead of planar only. Usually You'll have every type of mapping present, but end up editing them point by point... For some objects I use auto mapping (where object is not very important), and sometimes DeepUV, which makes mapping faster in some cases. I ended up assigning different materials for hands, body, feet, head.... And for example, unwrapped mesh of the hand:

It's quite good exercise to map some low poly models, beeing low poly they don't take forever to map, and use basically the same methods...BTW, there is quite nice tut on mtmckinley's site I think.

Lil update, messed a bit with textures, exaggerated scales, added little opacity and translucency to this "swim-faster" things between his fingers. Tried also some bump maps, but it rendered awfully ugly, so abandoned it...

02 February 2003, 10:23 PM
Why are the toes spread out soooo far? Answer: Because they will have "WEBS" inbetween them. Now all is right.My only problem with him has been answered.Thank-you Azazel.:beer:

Looking real nice too. I have followed him from the beginning,and he just gets better and better.And he even started out real good.He is in good hands with you,I look forward to more up-dates.:thumbsup:

Will you give him a full on Rigging to give him as a present?

Keep up the great work.One of the best.:applause:

02 February 2003, 12:55 PM
Thanks for taking the time to explain, azazel. I'll give that a try on some simple objects for practice. And nice update. He looks more amphibian now ...



02 February 2003, 07:31 PM
azazel!!........I love the webbing on his hands and feet...before you put it there i was going to make a comment about the toes but now its perfect!!!...i love it!!! I think you should experiment more with some bump maps and show us some closeups...nice work on the details man. waiting to see him posed...:thumbsup:


02 February 2003, 10:17 PM
Thanks guys :beer:

So it's called "webbing"... these challenges are good not only for learning something about CG but languages also;)

Tried again some bumpmap on his arm, don't know, keep it or remove? Keeping means I have to add bump pretty much everywhere.

Tried some displace, also, but he looked like hairy crocodile instead of scaly fishy somene... so bump is the only way I think.

Poses are on the way, but as I hate rigging, so it'll take some time :annoyed:

02 February 2003, 10:36 PM
the scaly looks nice - try a better light setup the colors looks all orange or another skin color ... hmmm more green/grey?

02 February 2003, 09:09 AM
Ok, bumps toned down and added in some more place. Started to play with speculars, but it tends to look plastic, so I guess I'll render specs on separate pass (probably using reflections instead of real specs) and composite in PS. Same thing goes for color: I prefer to change colors in post, much faster that way. Rig is coming, definitely...

warning, this time file is bigger:

02 February 2003, 02:16 PM
First of many posetests... skinning these webbs seems to be a nightmare...

02 February 2003, 10:09 AM
:bounce: Good pose on the last one more of them:bounce:

02 February 2003, 10:56 PM
Thax, Dimitri, next one: "U talkin' to me???"

Together with my brother Selim we redesigned skeleton and skinning... Ok, he did most of the weighting...

02 February 2003, 10:59 PM
WOW! How come I haven't seen this thread till now?! Your character is awesome azazel! Very original! Keep it up! :thumbsup:

02 February 2003, 02:59 PM
:beer:, coCo
Added teeth (forgot to do it before ;))

Except teeth, just playing with PS...

02 February 2003, 03:45 PM
Incredible !!
This character rocks, the textures are excellent.

Very beautiful work :buttrock:

02 February 2003, 05:33 PM
Cool Azazel ;) the texturing is really beautiful, as the modeling i must say :beer:

02 February 2003, 09:02 AM
The big guy's developed great. Love the clammy hands and feet.:cool:

02 February 2003, 07:28 PM
Thanks guys a lot :)

Just a very quick sketch of what I want for final pic. Hope I manage to finish before deadline........ Anyway, almost everything here is to be changed: colors will be less saturated, there'll be more dark creatures in the mist (ony one now), much more details everywhere, and I'll give him some weapon, preferably scavanged orc sword...

02 February 2003, 07:34 PM
That's cool! Can't wait to see it finished...

02 February 2003, 08:30 PM
azazel you model is really great... keep working

02 February 2003, 06:17 PM
Can't wait to see it finished...

Me too;)

Started painting the background: Trees and everything on separate layers, not much more done yet. Character is just a placeholder now....

02 February 2003, 08:28 PM
Some more work on the background, character still untouched:

02 February 2003, 08:32 PM
oooooooooh, nice shrubberies ;)

02 February 2003, 10:46 AM

Here's final head closeup, there will be also this forest scene and model showoff for final.....

02 February 2003, 06:25 PM
well done mate. that is very nice!
great expression!:beer: :applause: :applause:

02 February 2003, 08:32 PM
Thanks, Cakey, Your Entwife is great:thumbsup:

Almost finished the forest scene:

02 February 2003, 09:21 PM
wau the forest scene is nice:thumbsup:

02 February 2003, 10:30 PM
Forest scene is realy nice. I like colors and mood.:thumbsup:

02 February 2003, 12:41 PM
swag & .overflowed, thanks guys:beer: :beer:

Definitely finished the forest scene:(pics are tad big, but I don't want compression to ruin them):

Just saw Zurwig on the frontpage... thanks Cgtalk crew:beer:

And that would be final pic:

Larger 1024x768 is here (

Thanks everybody for your support, comments and crits :thumbsup: and good luck :). It was a great Challenge... see You next time:)

02 February 2003, 12:44 PM
Congratulations to this great challenge entry, your work is one of the best! :thumbsup:

02 February 2003, 08:48 PM
very nice work....:applause:

02 February 2003, 09:26 PM
very cool, nice model, nice textures, nice scene...
and congrats with the frontpage hit:buttrock:

02 February 2003, 09:51 PM
great finish azazel!! very 2d looking, great skills on the background there to. hope to see you enter more times,

take care

02 February 2003, 10:15 PM
This last pic lost any signs of rendering and turned into some old-skol ilustration from book. And that's great. Now it looks great. Can't wait voting

:buttrock: :buttrock: :buttrock:

02 February 2003, 11:06 PM
Just wanted to drop by once again Azazel to say congrats on getting him to the finish line.A very fine detailed creation from head to "Web-toed feet" ;)

It's been fun watching your progress. Yours is one of the best in this challenge from capturing the required look and feel for this praticular character to the overall design and modeling/texturing. Very fine work. :beer:

03 March 2003, 08:15 AM
yes a wonderful finished piece azazel!!...very painterly, I love it!!..the colors and mood are great!!..the model also has a great feel to it... :) Really good job this challenge....your work is getting better at a very fast rate. I'm definatly watching for your future works man...keep it up!!!


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