View Full Version : HMC #9: Darth Vader thinking

06 June 2007, 06:59 PM

Because there is a star wars challenge going on, I just had to register and join.

My idea is to take different view on Darth Vader. George Lucas said that Vader was a pathetic man and that hes not pure evil.
so I came up with a scene where Darth Vader sits in his chair and thinking what the hell hes doing.

I know I started a bit on the late side, but what the hell, its a challenge right?

Here are some renders of the helmet took me a whole day. I use 3D max 9.

I have 2 poses for Vader, cant deside wich one. (dont mind the chair its something very quick)

The first has stressy Vader, where he really thinks he had done something Very Wrong
And the second one has a more calm like Vader where he has his doubts about his motivation. I dont know I like both. what do you guys think?

06 June 2007, 12:06 AM
woah! I love the idea! I'm really looking forward to this. Keep it up, the helmet is looking nice!
EDIT: oops! I forgot! I'm going with pose #2 aswell.

06 June 2007, 12:12 AM
2nd. For sure. The first is too unlike the proud Mr. Skywalker. Looking good. Again. Go with pose #2. :)

06 June 2007, 12:50 AM
that last pose reminds me of macbeth for some reason, maybe hes sitting like that in one of the movies i saw, but it looks very good, very deep.

06 June 2007, 02:47 AM
A contemplating Vader would fit with the whiney Anakin. Just kidding, this sounds like a great idea, go for it!

06 June 2007, 12:06 PM
ok! pose 2 it is then.

heres a wip of the boots:

oh and I found a great link to darth vader pictures, Close-ups everywhere!. maybe handy for the other darth vader models.
Darth vader pics (

06 June 2007, 01:24 PM
and here a really quick cloth test with clothFX. I think is the most easy and realistic way to make cloth. oh and i am rendering with vray.

06 June 2007, 04:11 PM
Revisit the boots and the helmet.
On the boots, the inset is too high and there should be an horizontal inward extrusion inlaid with bolts just below the knee.
The eyes on the helmet need some tweaking and are what are truly throwing off the look of the helmet. The outside corners need to come forward more and move in some. The profile curves should reflect this adjustment. The nose piece slope is too harsh and flat. There should also be one more groove between the eyes on the nose section. Check out this great reference ( on the helmet.

06 June 2007, 04:56 PM
Looking really nice!

I've been looking for pics of his boots as well, so thanks for the link!

06 June 2007, 12:36 PM
well heres an update on those boots. almost finished i think.

and heres the chestbox, sry about the glow.. i like glow. :bounce:

tell me what you think while im gonna work on those gloves...

06 June 2007, 02:41 PM
Yes, yes, and yes!:thumbsup:

06 June 2007, 08:24 PM
here are the gloves, the bump is still a bit stretched. ill fix that tommorrow and ill post some wireframes too.

06 June 2007, 09:35 PM
I like your concept. It reminds me a little bit of when Vader is considering the words, "Then my father is truly dead," that Luke tells him in ROTJ.

06 June 2007, 11:40 PM
This is looking fantastic! The details on the boots, gloves and chest control box look great.
Keep at it.

06 June 2007, 07:27 PM
well no wireframes yet but I do have a composite of everything I have.
phew! thats one tough puppy to light. its really difficult when everything is black. :eek:

06 June 2007, 12:54 AM
I love this thread - one of my favorite concepts so far.

Every time I stop by and see Vader sitting and thinking, the seat that I see him sitting in is the Emperor's Throne. Maybe the one on board the Death Star, contemplating his eventual rise as the ultimate power in the universe.

06 June 2007, 02:34 AM
WOW. I agree! One of my favorite threads for sure!

06 June 2007, 05:08 AM
Amazing work...I absolutely love some of the cartoony hand gestures on your gloves :)

06 June 2007, 09:58 AM
Nice I love it! :applause: For some reason this reminds me of some really old, unused concept for ROTJ.
Have a look, maybe it serves you as inspiration. Alltough it was originally meant to be the Emperor's throne room, you could adapt it to be Vaders... I don't know if you had already something in mind, just thought this was cool.

06 June 2007, 12:25 PM
wow! thanks for the positive posts, people! apreciate it alot.

Michaelshippy: I was thinking of giving him his own chair. but i like your idea to, because Darth Vader is trying to overthrow Palpatine (see episode 3) and there is no better way showing it then letting darth vader sit in palpatines personal chair. thanks mate!

Norman 3D: its a really good idea, but I kinda want to keep it canon.

maybe today another update.

06 June 2007, 08:58 AM
had some problems with my website, so i couldnt update anything, but it works now. here it is:

that cod piece is pretty hard to make it look not funny. :D
i think the leg part is almost finished, maybe some tweaking. what do you guys think.

06 June 2007, 11:56 AM
Wow! this is awesome! There is just one tiny thing which annoys me, and that's the boots. They look to messy (don't know if that's the right word, I can't express myself perfectly in english), I can't really appreciate the modelling. Im not sure what's wrong with it. Could be the enviorement map (the HDR or whatever it is you are using), or maybe the reflection is just too high. Try lowering it, not much tho. Maybe the modelling detail pops out a bit. Otherwise, just perfect. :thumbsup:

06 June 2007, 12:14 PM
yea thats probably the hdr, if i lower it i lose the hightlights and i want keep those.
I think the low sampling setup is also the cause of the "messy" look, but thanks for the headsup.

06 June 2007, 03:59 PM
Oh, this is looking really cool, you got some sweet looking materials/textures going on.

06 June 2007, 04:32 PM
Really cool work so far can't wait to see the final.

Your whole concept made me think of something and i found it.
I dont know how many of you have seen conan the barbarian? But the scene at the end
tells of how he becomes king and now is troubled because he was a killer now he is in control of his people. Kind of a fish out of water, this reminded me of what your story your telling with vader. He has always been a confused killer out of rage and power and now that he has captured the power of the sith he contemplates what his future will bring him seems how his goals have no finished and he has lost everyone and everything he has loved. Sorry about this
really cool idea and when i came across the pic of conan sitting in his thrown a light bulb turned on.

06 June 2007, 11:49 PM
Ah finally another update! and a big one to.

still working on the the cape and the left arm. but i call this model almost finished, unless you guys spot something.

ill be working on the chair on monday, so see you then.

06 June 2007, 11:53 PM
Excellent update...the pose makes it feel like there's actually someone underneath that costume.

07 July 2007, 04:49 AM
Do you think we could get a non-textured model so we can see some more of the detail (since the material is so dark that its hard to make out what certain things look like). Otherwise, looks really nice :)

07 July 2007, 05:12 AM
Have you considered a steel grey background? It'd fit the Imperial style, and make him more visible instead of all that black.

... Or, you could just go with it, and have him seem to emerge from the background. But I don't think this is the pose to do that with.

Great work! I find it hard to believe I'm not looking at an actual still.

- Le Messor
Brent: "It's too late for me, my son. Joss Whedon is my master now."
Cole: "Then my father truly is dead."

07 July 2007, 03:52 PM
here is the grey version:

Messor: im planning to make a greyish chair, but i want the background to be black. because i think you wouldnt see anything at all if you surround darth vader whos very dark in color with brighter color/light. so ill have to find a good balance.
and this isnt the final lighting, you can barely see his helmet so ill have to fix that

thanks for the comments guys!

07 July 2007, 09:42 PM
alright i just had to finish this sucker.

am actually pretty proud of it. Now on to the chair, and the cape needs tweaking.

07 July 2007, 10:53 PM
Awesome model! And the idea of a thinking Vader is superb! Like it a lot!

07 July 2007, 02:57 AM
This is way beyond the scope of this challenge with the deadline looming, but in addition to him sitting in the Emperor's chair, having a hologram of Padme' floating in front of him seems very fitting now that you've added that left arm in. Since he's covering his face with his hand, the nonverbal to me is saying "pain," and her memory probably causes nothing but that.

Simply an amazing model. Keep up the great work.

07 July 2007, 09:34 PM
Nice work there! You should add some white planes out of sight in the final render for the reflections and highlights! Like he is on some imperial ship, the Executer or even the death star!

07 July 2007, 11:50 PM
Wow. Superb. I agree about the padme hologram...That would truly fill this image with emotion and with the pose you have now, you can really sense the pain.

07 July 2007, 11:53 PM
ARTIST NAME : Robin Alexander Niekerk

ENTRY NAME : Darth vader thinking


Link to full size image:

Software used: 3D max 9.0, Vray 1.5, Adobe Photoshop cs

Comments: Instead of giving THE bad guy in movie history a scary action-packed pose, I gave him a more emotional and human pose. I thought thats way more intresting, I really wanted to show what the movies are all about in one picture.

I learned alot, escpecially with vray and character modeling.

So I hope you will apreciate the character in a different way.

07 July 2007, 12:35 AM
Black against a black background = can't see.

Sir Thomas
07 July 2007, 01:33 AM
thisis a very good image. Very sad, shows how tortured his soul is and why he does what he does.

07 July 2007, 01:42 AM
very nice =) i agree with the reflection maps... since some parts of him are so shiny it'll really add to it

07 July 2007, 02:43 AM
I feel the final rendering didn't do enough justice to the amount of time you spend on your modelling and materials tweaking.
i can see you added a slight glow rim around your image but vader himself is abit lost within the image.

07 July 2007, 07:01 AM
Amazing Job! Just wish I could see it...

Can you give us a NON-Black Background : )

07 July 2007, 07:18 AM
change background please it deserve it !

07 July 2007, 10:27 AM
alright alright. one background coming up.

07 July 2007, 11:57 AM
alright i changed the background (see above)

the background is from the room where vader was talking to the emperor in "the empire strikes back"

a really simpel room. its like he sits in a corner.

so there it is. now im gonna sleep :P

07 July 2007, 03:04 PM
It's better, but there are still parts his head and arm, showing against a black part of your background...just shift it stilightly to the left and you'll be fine.

07 July 2007, 09:33 AM
great shaders for vader.
Any chance we can see some shader setting?

07 July 2007, 10:22 AM
This question might feel odd now but would you mind reposting the black background version too if you still have it? :)

Surely the actual background is better for bringing out the detail (so it was the right choice using this one as your entry) but IMHO the other one was much more intense and striking from an artistic point of view and i would like to see it again.

Thanks in advance and good luck with the contest!

Regards Roman

07 July 2007, 03:22 PM
excellent work man ! i love it :)
great work on the texture

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