View Full Version : Strange Behavior (Illustration) Entry: Xavier Coelho-Kostolny

06 June 2007, 05:12 PM
Xavier Coelho-Kostolny is entered in the "Strange Behavior Challenge" update: View Challenge Page (

Latest Update: Line Art or Model: Rough comp test (

06 June 2007, 05:13 PM
Heh heh. Wasn't familiar with the format of the submissions and stuff, so we now have an extra post.

Let me run down the concept:

The idea is that a big ol' barbarian dude is sitting in the middle of a field looking at a little flower with a really stupid grin on his face, and the other barbarians (which he's completely oblivious to) are standing around ridiculing him.

It's going to be highly stylized, methinks, with a look that's hopefully somewhere between The Incredibles and some old Looney Toons shorts. I plan to do it mostly in 3D and have some painted elements for what I can't get from Modo.

06 June 2007, 06:03 PM (

This is just the first very rough sketch.

06 June 2007, 05:09 AM (

Trying to figure out how light as well as colors will work on this guy. I'm aware things are a little misaligned between the two drawings, but that doesn't matter right now.

Modeling this guy may very well be a nightmare, given the style and pose he'll be in.

06 June 2007, 05:15 AM
Awesomeness! I like the style :)

EDIT: also, the only thing I would change in the design is make him more burly and manly, to excentuate how strange it would be to see a viking in that situation. Maybe add a beard and some war scars or something lol

Or perhaps have him in the middle of battle with arrows and such flying overhead.

06 June 2007, 04:38 PM
Nice concept....maybe you could make the other barbarians kind of hidden behind a tree or something. I think that would push the concept and make it seem like the barbarian with the flower is having a private moment. Just a suggestion, though... :)

06 June 2007, 08:15 PM
Thanks, guys, and good suggestions both! I had kind of thought about a battle scene or something similar, but I want to keep it very family friendly and such. Cute, even. I hadn't thought of putting the other guys behind something and peeking out, but I'll definitely play around with that idea. I certainly plan to make him more manly and grizzled.

06 June 2007, 08:59 PM
Great start, Make them look like angry dumb people with a soft side and you have a great picture ;)

06 June 2007, 10:02 PM
I really like this idea, hope to see more of it soon!!

06 June 2007, 10:04 PM
I love the idea of having this in the midst of a battle. Or having him actually in a warlike position, but suddenly catching sight of the little flower and going 'aww....'

06 June 2007, 04:47 AM
Edouard: That's basically my intent, so here's hoping I can get it done!

captainpopo: Thanks, so do I. ;)

paperclip: Ha ha! Great ideas abound! There's another idea to try out. If I could get the composition to work, I'm pretty sure something like that would work even better than the current idea. I'll sketch both ideas up and try a couple of others.

Thanks very much for the feedback everybody, it's all been extremely helpful even at this early stage.

06 June 2007, 05:04 AM (

I spent my morning ride on the bus working on a flower, and this is the result. Since I didn't actually have any reference on hand, the stem obviously looks a bit too much like an inflated straw. The main thing here was that I wanted to get the petals looking right, though I'm still not sure how large the flower's going to be in the final image.

06 June 2007, 05:23 AM
Looking good... =) will be intresting to see how it turns out...

Keep it odd!

06 June 2007, 01:00 PM
Very nice idea! I'm impressed with that flower you made on a bus trip too. Good luck with this. I'm looking forward to seeing how it goes

06 June 2007, 02:18 AM (

Here's the latest concept. It sort of incorporates all the ideas that people have given me in this thread as well as the original ideas I had to start with. There'll certainly be more guys in the final image; I just didn't feel like sketching them all up.

I think this is a lot closer to what the final may look like. (except for his hand—I hate that hand!)

Stay tuned.

06 June 2007, 12:39 PM
for some reason i can see this as a animation a bit better. :) but hey who knows it rocking none the less.

06 June 2007, 05:31 PM
Darksuit: Thanks. It's already changed a lot, so I'm even more interested in how it turns out!

mdavid: I'm glad you like the flower. It's the only one I've ever made. :)

Slav: I'd actually love to do an animation of this, but I'm no animator. If I was going to do an animation, I'd want to do the style justice. I just don't have the skill to do that at this point.

06 June 2007, 06:35 PM
I really like this most recent sketch.
Make sure the guy on the left doesn't become a scene stealer. My eye is immediately drawn to him, probably because of the dynamic pose. You could probably make the main dude a bit larger and push the other two guys further to the back....maybe push the perspective a bit more so that's it's kind of a worm's eye view.
Again...just throwing ideas out there. This one is going to be fun to watch develop. :D

06 June 2007, 08:42 PM
wildsheepchase: I certainly know what you mean. Since I got the original idea, I've been extremely concerned with keeping the focal point on the main guy (We'll call him Borg for now—no relation to the scary biomechanical beasties.) and the flower. Since Borg and the flower are the center of attention, I'm going to make them more bright and saturated than the rest of the image.
I'll upload a colored version of the previous sketch later today, if possible.

06 June 2007, 09:23 PM
The newest sketch is very interesting. But I have to agree with 'wildsheepchase'; the other guy it's a scene stealer. Borg could be hitting an opponent to save the flower from been squeezed, putting him in a more dynamic act. Just an adea.
All be watching your progress. Good Luck.

06 June 2007, 11:03 PM (

Here's the colored version of the last sketch. The perspective is, admittedly, a little funky if you take the background into account, but it gets the point across. The somewhat hazy background you see is supposed to be a bunch of other guys running out of a forest, and the glowing things are flaming arrows shooting at them.

I think the big guy on the left should be pushed back in space so he doesn't take up so much of the foreground. As many people have said, he draws the eye far too much and takes the focus away from our friend Borg.

06 June 2007, 12:49 AM
hehe cool. Maybe you could put the flower more on the foreground and the guy more fascinated and naive:D but, well, I know, you´re just starting over soooo

good luck!!:thumbsup:

06 June 2007, 04:40 AM
i would work a bit more on lighting, colors are good. :)

06 June 2007, 06:39 AM
gG: That's actually the idea for the final. I know I'm not quite getting it in this, but it's just a sketch to give an idea of the colors and composition.

Slav: As I said above, this is just a sketch. I'm not very concerned with lighting at this point; I want to see how the lighting will work with the models and textures and stuff before I think too much about it. I'm not very skilled with lighting in 3D programs anyway, so I'll be learning a lot about that as I go along.

06 June 2007, 02:33 PM
Thic is coming along nicely. I like this iteration of the viking much better.

06 June 2007, 03:34 PM
hey there Swizzle! :P very cool funny looking concept! :D ... like it very much! :love: the idea .. the colours .. style ..

somehow the middle guy staring at the flower doesnt have a dimented .. cute .. duhhh .. kinda look on his face .. his expression should say a lot .. just like the other two behind him ... let him grab people's attention :P ... this is one cool concept that focuses on someone who is really really in awe of smthing ;) ...

just an idea bro :P .. me really love this concept :love: very well thought of :D

good luck as always! :thumbsup:

cheers mate! :beer:

06 June 2007, 06:31 PM
Hey cute sketch!
I would suggest to create a more dynamic lighting situation.
How about using the flower and the arrows as lightsources. The brightest light comes
from the flower and brightens the friendly face of the sitting Viking.
The other Vikings could get lit from below and they look more evil and frightening. You can
push the left viking into the background using less light.

I made a quick paintover. Hope you don't mind. Otherwise I'll take it down.

06 June 2007, 10:33 PM
Thanks. I'm liking it more as I go along, which is good. Wouldn't want to end up hating the thing I'm voluntarily working on! :D

Thanks for the compliments. I'm hoping to have him look a bit more like that in the final image, though I'm not shooting so much for "duuhhh" as much as some sort of wonder. Now, if I can actually pull it off? That's an entirely different question...

Thanks for going to the trouble of doing a paintover! That actually helps a lot as I wasn't yet quite sure how I wanted the overall lighting to look. The main idea I had was sort of golden light on the viking's face and on the flower, but I wasn't quite sure about the rest. While I don't quite want it as dark as the version you did, I like what you have going there.

Now, as for updates:

I'm having a lot of trouble getting the 3D model that I'm going to use as the base for most of the vikings' heads to work well. I have a clay model that I whipped up last night that's been a lot of help in nailing the look I'm going for, but the structure of the face is giving me nightmares topology-wise. This is really annoying because there were some things I knew I could do in 3D that would be harder for me to do with simple painting.

06 June 2007, 11:40 PM (

Here's the start of the head I'll be using as the base for all the barbarian dudes. I'm going to be changing features as appropriate, but this is sort of the way I want them all to look. I'm not quite happy with it yet (even though it's nowhere near finished), and it needs some adjustment proportionally, but it's sort of coming together.

I think I'm going to be taking it into Mudbox to resculpt just about the whole thing once it's all sealed up and basically ready to go.

07 July 2007, 04:59 AM
I like the style you've got here. It's not easy to translate an original 2D drawing style into three dimensions

07 July 2007, 05:03 AM
Wow its looking great ^_^ I kind of wish it was planned to be an animation though. I can see the concept and character design working really well in motion. But either way, I'm looking forward to your finish piece :)

07 July 2007, 09:15 AM
cool work , the sketch is very good and your modeling so far .
I agree this scene is full of movement .Cant wait to see more:thumbsup:

07 July 2007, 10:00 AM
Lovely idea!

I like the stylized look in the first bit of modeling. This will be a thread to follow!

Good luck to you!

07 July 2007, 03:42 AM
I saw this and it immediately reminded me of the flower that you were going for. Figured it might help as reference imagery:

07 July 2007, 07:50 AM (

So. The model seems to be working. This is just a test, mind you, but I think it turned out decently enough for something I didn't even work an hour on.

I'm going to push the angry expression a bit more, I think, since it doesn't seem bloodthirsty enough right now, but this gives me high hopes for the final image. I may actually be able to achieve what I want with this picture. Yay!

07 July 2007, 07:53 AM
looks good but you might want to soften some areas up in your characters face... other than that, nice progress so far..

have fun,

PS: posted before you uploaded the new image... it looks just great with the deformation and alla...:thumbsup:

07 July 2007, 08:16 AM
Thanks; I've tried my best to steal from as many styles as possible to get what I have up here. ;) You're right about translating this, which is a pretty two-dimensional style, into 3D. I had to make a clay model of the head just so I'd have some idea as to how it could possibly work in three dimensions, and even after doing that I'm having trouble.

I would absolutely love to do this as an animation, but I simply lack the skills and software necessary. I have Modo, but it's no good for animation, and I have the PLE version of Maya, but it watermarks renders. There's also the fact that the most animation I've done was moving primitives around in Lightwave and Max, so doing full-blown character animation would just end in embarassment. (Also, that flower photo album is great! Thanks for the link.)

Thank you!

Thanks, and good luck to you as well.

I agree with you about softening up areas. I actually felt that way even when I was posting that image, and that's why areas like the brow ridge have been softened a bit kind of like in this latest image. I'll post another update with the neutral expression soon for comparison.

I'll post the latest on the head and some shots of the body soon, though I'm not sure exactly how soon. I'm driving to my sister's house (which is a few hundred miles off) on Tuesday, so I may not have many updates for the rest of the week. We'll see what I can do.

07 July 2007, 04:06 PM
wooooweeeeeeeee! lookin good so far buddy! :eek: :P :bounce: as for the size of the flower .. i suggest u compare its size with the funny viking once he's complete .. right now .. u wont have an idea as to how small or how big it has to be ... ;)

good luck mate! waiting to c more! :P

cheers! :beer:

07 July 2007, 07:05 PM
Hi Xavier, i'm new in the place in spite i work with 3d about na 10 years ago.I wanna wish you good luck! Very nice idea and tecnique(3d,hehe). I'm gonna post mine in a few days cause i'm goona get some holydays, so i'll find some time to work on this.My ilustration has ten characters . i'm ****ed !See you !

07 July 2007, 06:29 AM
Nice man! Coming along reallly nicely. I have to say though I like the hard edges on some of the features like the eye brows and chin and what not, gives it a manlier feel. Also I was thinking that you can add spikeyness to the teeth (if you are going to keep em that way that is) You know like you see in anime when the characters get extremely insane or made they add vampiristic teeth.. (really hope you know what I mean haha)

Great job man, love the style.

07 July 2007, 08:29 AM
Hey your model is looking sweet buddy!
Love the design!

07 July 2007, 12:12 PM

Great idea for the challenge!

Modelling of the head is looking awesome! Reminds me a little of Superman in the "Justice League" cartoons.

Looking forward to seeing more! :thumbsup:

07 July 2007, 02:33 AM
Looking great. Really nice stuff :thumbsup:

07 July 2007, 07:43 PM
After a week of hardly thinking about this project at all, I'm back on track. Sorry for the lack of updates, but I traveled about a thousand miles last week and I was a bit too tired and stressed to get much done.

Thanks. Any input helps.

Thanks very much.

I've been doing a bit more work on the model, but not too much to make terribly noticeable difference. Some edges have been hardened, some softened, he has a cleft in his chin, etc. I'll upload some screenies later today with updates. As for the teeth, I intend to make them a bit chiclet-like. The chef from Ratatouille has the kind of teeth I'm going for.

Thnk you. Glad to know people like it.

Thanks. I hadn't realized it as I was building it, but you're right about the animated Superman look. Interesting!

Thank you, I like yours too!

07 July 2007, 07:50 PM (

I didn't much work on this project for the past week, so it was nice to get back with some more refinement of the two barbarians that will be on either side of our friend Borg.

We'll call the jumping guy Sven. And the running guy? Hmm. How about Bob?

07 July 2007, 09:51 PM (

Here's the latest on the model of the angry head. Still not much, but I've only been working on it for a little while. I'll have the work on the base body up in a little bit.

I'm starting to think it'd be easier to do this stuff realistically. I have to make all my own reference for these guys, and man is it a lot of work.

07 July 2007, 10:09 PM
You've made an excellent work on this head. really stylish. Congrats. :thumbsup:

07 July 2007, 11:02 PM (

I don't much want to show this because I'm definitely not proud of it, but I need feedback on proportions and stuff. I don't know how I'm going to do the arms and basically everything is giving me trouble because of having to translate something that's very two-dimensional into something I can look at from all angles.



07 July 2007, 04:34 AM (


07 July 2007, 04:38 AM (


07 July 2007, 05:51 AM
Haha... it's looking FANTASTIC! :applause:

The model has nice, clean topology!

Keep it up! :thumbsup:

07 July 2007, 06:12 AM
Excellent stuff - the cartoony style is superb. I'm sure you'll get your body-proportions right. One thing I sometimes do is print out my early render and then with a pen I draw corrections/guidelines over it - then I follow my own instructions back inside the 3D program

07 July 2007, 06:33 AM (

I've made him asymmetrical and given him a terrifyingly cliché scar on his eye. Once I get the body close to something workable, I'll stick this on it and start pulling stuff around to put him in pose. Before that, though, I'm going to work on the other two main guys' heads. Once they're finished (or at least close to it), I'll start putting the final composition together.

07 July 2007, 06:39 AM

Thanks. I've been trying really hard to get the topology as clean as possible. Probably comes from doing mostly game art and trying to get things as simple and easy to work with as I can in the allotted poly budget.

That's a pretty good idea, printing it out. It's certainly easier to work with pen/pencil and paper than a tablet and Photoshop, so I'll give it a try. Thank you!

07 July 2007, 06:50 AM
That's a pretty good idea, printing it out. It's certainly easier to work with pen/pencil and paper than a tablet and Photoshop, so I'll give it a try. Thank you!I sure hope it helps, but to be honest I have no doubt that you'll get it all working just fine because so far it's looking absolutely brilliant :thumbsup:

I really like the asymmetry - scar and beard and everything. Really, really nice work!!!

07 July 2007, 07:04 AM
he's looking very... hmmm... barbaric...great work.. the asymetry touches really help...

07 July 2007, 08:31 AM
Very nice expresion, It's going to be a great illustration, goodluck buddy, keep it up, ;)

mim, :thumbsup:

07 July 2007, 09:49 PM (

This one still needs a lot of work, but I guess it's close enough to the final version to show it. This is going to be the guy on the right side of the picture.

Things to do:
- Make his teeth different from the other guy's.
- Make his teeth more visible.
- Adjust the shape of his jaw.
- Make his mustache bushier.
- Change his helmet up a bit.
- Minor shape tweaks everywhere.

07 July 2007, 10:09 PM (

Just another render. These seem to read better since you don't see the backs of their throats and stuff.

07 July 2007, 12:17 AM
Another superb piece of cartoony modeling. He sure looks angry. Beautiful work

07 July 2007, 12:22 PM
looks great... one question... is the area of the mouth that looks lighter a render artifact? keep it up

07 July 2007, 05:00 PM
Haven't checked here in awhile but that is freakin brilliant! definitely my favorite so far. Incredible work with all the emotion and expression!

07 July 2007, 01:15 AM (

He still needs some work, especially on his beard, but he's coming together.

07 July 2007, 01:18 AM (

Curly, Larry, Moe.

07 July 2007, 01:23 AM
Thanks! You entry's looking mighty fine as well.

If you're referring to the lighter stripe on his lip, then no. It's actually a ligher area between two shadows. I have a single directional light in all these renders to give 'em some pop, so you're seeing the results of that.

Thanks very much, that means a lot to me. :D

07 July 2007, 04:24 AM
Wow, it's great to see them together like that. Your cartoony style and the amount of expression you're putting into these faces are superb. I really can't offer any suggestions. If you keep powering on like this your entry will be brilliant

07 July 2007, 04:41 AM
just one word buddy :p

P R I C E L E S S !


awesome expressions mixed with a good amount of humour and emotion :p way to go mate!:scream::buttrock:

waiting to c more n more! :bounce:

good luck as always!:thumbsup:

07 July 2007, 05:55 AM (

I've updated our friend in the middle with a new beard, a scar and a bone piercing. Grr.

Credit goes to Paul A. Geraskin for the braid I made the beard out of.

07 July 2007, 02:31 AM (

I've been working on the pose for our friend Sven. It's still in the very early stages, but it's sorta coming together. The final should have a smooth curve going up the entire right (our left) side of his body kind of like in the concept drawing. This will most likely require some cheating, but that shouldn't matter since nobody's going to be seeing it from other angles.

Thanks for the compliments, guys.

07 July 2007, 02:33 AM (

And yet another render because they read a little better than the screencaps.

07 July 2007, 08:11 AM
the middle one of the bunch has the greatest expression EVER... the pose is looking very good too... maybe you could give him a little more of a C shape for the whole body pose to accent the force... either way looks great...

07 July 2007, 11:20 AM
It's looking fantastic. I like the proportions of the body. I agree with George - the pose looks a little bit rigid at the moment and I too would be keen to see his upper body arched back a bit to suggest he's ready to swing that thing hard

07 July 2007, 01:13 PM
yup yup .. i agree with ma pals mdavid and icedeyes :p that C shape pose will put it on top of the tops! already ur modeling skills plus the expressions are simply jaw dropping! love it all the way man! :bounce: :buttrock::applause:

good luck to u bro! :thumbsup: awesome work! :eek:

07 July 2007, 03:37 PM
Nice work so far! I really like your character designs, and the really clean models you're building for them. Very cool starting to see them coming to life, all posed and all. I agree with the above posts about pushing the curve of his pose a bit more. You could also consider pushing his face a bit further too: Maybe pushing the eyes especially, perhaps make one more open and arched than the other, so that the face is less symmetrical. Classic Disney animators often talk about avoiding symmetrical poses - "twinning" - and while they're speaking more of body poses, it could give your face more extreme / fun look, too.

While I'm commenting on eyes, have you considerred making the center Norseman's eyes more open, too? They're open the same amount as the left guy at the moment, and pushing them further could have a nice effect as well. Hope you don't mind the comments - as you can see, I'm a proponent of pushing facial expression pretty far (as is probably pretty obvious from my own thread) - but of course, everyone has different styles and you may want to keep your piece more subdued and understated. Anyhow, hope you don't mind the note. :)

Good luck, and have fun!

07 July 2007, 08:38 PM
Thanks for the comments, everybody. I know I've been kind of lax these past few days in getting updates done, but I've had a lot of personal crap going on that I needed to deal with.

I definitely agree with pushing the expressions and pose a bit more, and I've actually been meaning to do that. I'm sort of unhappy with how the expressions turned out, even though they do get the point across. I agree that I need to push the eyes a little more and pull some more stuff around so that things are less symmetrical, and the only reason I haven't is because I've sort of been fighting with Modo trying to get things working the way I want instead of the way the program wants to do things.

I hate high-poly modeling. :D

07 July 2007, 07:46 AM (

I've been doing a little more work on this guy over the past few days. Nothing much major except for his boots. The weird-looking tube around his leg is actually going to be the final shape of it after a little more modeling; what's underneath was basically placeholder geometry so I could get the pose looking decent enough to go in and finish up with shells around the outside. Any unseen original body geometry will be deleted.

I still have tons of work to do:
- He needs a shirt and belt.
- There need to be wrinkles and other details on the boots.
- He needs more battle scarring.
- He needs to be holding the hammer; right now it's just hovering there with his hands floating around it.
- I have to figure out some way of making his hands read well.
- Many little tweaks and adjustments have to be made because of how much I've cheated with joints and proportions and stuff to get this pose.

Modo needs some rigging tools, stat!

07 July 2007, 07:49 AM (


07 July 2007, 08:12 AM
will wait for the changes bro :p ... but in the meantime ...

he is ...




07 July 2007, 01:30 PM
The body is looking nice! His left leg and foot - screen-right, that is - is really hard to read. I know it's how you had it in your initial rough sketch, but perhaps a different leg position will help the pose to read more clearly. In this case, a strong, instantly readible silhouette might be what's needed to really make this work better. Sorry to sound like a broken record by refering you back to basic animation principles again, but they apply to illustration as well as animation. If you could find a copy of 'The Illusion of Life' by Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas (2 classic Disney animators), you might find it incredibly helpful for your work. Nonetheless, it's looking really good so far. Good luck...!

07 July 2007, 01:50 PM
Great character modeling :) I love it!

more more :)

07 July 2007, 06:59 PM
Great model mate!

Good luck

07 July 2007, 07:39 PM
I am really enjoying see this thing come to life. Love the pose so far!

07 July 2007, 07:44 PM
Heh heh, yeah. Sorry if I blasted anybody's face off with a huge image, I'm running at fairly high res and it looked okay when I had it in Photoshop... ;)

Naw, man, you don't sound like a broken record at all; you're saying things I've already been thinking. I've really been worrying about the silhouette on this guy because it's such an extreme pose, and it's always nice to get helpful comments and critiques.

PaLantir and TM-Oliveira:
Thanks, guys!

07 July 2007, 07:49 PM
Heh heh, yeah. Sorry if I blasted anybody's face off with a huge image, I'm running at fairly high res and it looked okay when I had it in Photoshop... ;)

Sorry? :eek: no ways bro! that was a big big complimento! bigger the image .. the better ... very clear and awesome indeed! :buttrock:

cheers mate! :beer:

07 July 2007, 09:49 AM
I can see how this character is involving some effort but it really is worth it. This is shaping up as a superb illustration and I really, really love your style. Perhaps with the left leg it might work better if it wasn't pointing straight at the camera - if he pointed his knee a bit more forward then the leg would show off some definition and possibly make a bit more sense. But to be honest that leg doesn't really worry me. With the right leg, I can see what you mean about it being in place-holder mode. If you moved that whole leg back a bit until the front of his upper thigh lined up with the existing mesh on the front of his lower torso then it would look a little bit like he's off-balance - in a nice way. It would emphasis (and continue) the c-shape of the pose and look like he's leaning forward ready to swing that hammer. These are just my 2c of course - you're doing some fantastic work :thumbsup:

07 July 2007, 12:28 PM
Evrything is looking very nice but i just noticed (and of course i might be wrong and it might just be the camera angle) that the left arm kind of arcs out after the elbow area even though it should be arcing in... this makes it feel like the bone at the elbow is a bit dislocated (this might, again, be just me or it might be used to read the form better)...

Keep it up

07 July 2007, 08:40 PM
you have some very expressive characters here...I'm enjoying your entry so far

07 July 2007, 10:17 PM
hhEYYY I like your characters , and the progression from the sketch!!! Will be waiting to see the next steps !!! good luck !!

07 July 2007, 06:41 PM
Simple yet wonderful designs. I just love your big angry guy, his face is so expressive.

I can't wait to see more! :)

07 July 2007, 12:51 AM
Hey Swizzles

You've got as many pages to look through as the Walrus! - who was kind enough to point out to me - very swiftly for a walrus - that I had had a similar idea to you :)
I have decided to go with something different for now - but I wonder what you will think of my take on 'valhalla' :D


07 July 2007, 02:22 AM
Barbarians? Nice
I really love the style of the model and can’t wait to see more

07 July 2007, 02:46 AM (

I've tweaked the model a bit more, but the closer leg is still a problem. He's also a little unreadable silhouette-wise, but I'm working on it.

Anyway, I'm also testing out lighting since I've never really played around much with it. Still a lot to learn!

07 July 2007, 03:08 AM
Sorry I've been so slow with the updates lately. I'm going to try to pick up the pace and get things done faster in the next few days. Look for more updates soon.

nwiz25, o-l-d, JuanDB, Frotze, MoKhatib:
Thank you all for your kind words and compliments!

I know what you mean about putting him off balance in a good way. The whole point with these guys is that I want their poses to really suggest movement even if there isn't any animation or motion blur. I'm still worried about his left leg, though, because it's absolutely failing to read well. :sad:

I noticed the issue with his elbow as well, and I'm trying to fix it. The area you were seeing was a weird lump on his arm that I didn't smooth out. I still have to do that, to some extent.

I saw that sketch of yours. I think it'd work pretty well, but I like your current one even better. Ninjas rock!

07 July 2007, 08:59 AM
Since you are still worried about his legs, i would suggest swapping them, left for right... the one on the far end could use the extra space provided to make it easier to read, though it might ruin the effect the pose has right now... just something you could try out...

07 July 2007, 10:38 AM
hot lighting mate! :eek: :scream: waiting to c the changes come about ;) ..
still very strong man! good work! :thumbsup:

07 July 2007, 08:46 PM
Thanks! :D

My God. I'm speechless. That's the most fantastically awesome suggestion that somebody's given me yet. It's so simple. I don't know why I didn't think of doing it. And it works! It looks like he's going to smash people! YAAAAAY!!!

Updates soon!

07 July 2007, 09:21 AM
Gad i could be of some help... cant wait for the update:thumbsup:

07 July 2007, 09:16 AM
Wow! That is beautiful! Wonderful dramatic lighting. I'm another one who's impressed by George's suggestions. He's been a big help over at my thread too. Excellent suggestion to swap the legs George!

07 July 2007, 02:24 PM
Hi Swizzle,

Looks good! You may want to suggest some of the subcutaneous boney landmarks in the joints of your figure. I think this will improve the leg that is closest to the viewer. An angular suggestion of the knee to contrast the curved muscle mass of the quadriceps and calf muscles.

Also, think about which muscles are being flexed the most to create the movement. Showing opposing muscle groups at rest and in action will create the sense of anticipated motion that your looking for here. I'd also like to see a bit of forced perspective with the foot, since this will be a single image rendered from one vantage point.

Keep up the good work!

07 July 2007, 12:22 AM (

This is still extremely rough, as you can see from all the weirdness, but I'm trying to figure out sort of how the final composition will look. Already I'm seeing problems; the leg that's been such an issue is at it again!

Anyway, the guy in the middle's going to be holding a sword in one hand and the flower in the other.

So... um... yeah.

07 July 2007, 01:02 AM
Totaly amazing characters man!Love them!!!.
Indeed I agree a bit with you about your new pose as maybe the knee could be more bolded with his right foot almost under his upperleg.
Maybe curving his back even more and putting his face a bit more down towards the ground facing the humans in face of him(except if he's attacking a dragon or so) could dynamise even more your pose.(now that's some strange and long english phrase!:grin:)
Impatient for what will follow!:beer:

07 July 2007, 04:52 AM
totally terrific! The expressions are wonderful, posing/body language is great - keep up the good work.


07 July 2007, 01:10 PM
really enjoying the progress through the WIPs - keep it up Xavier - it looks great

08 August 2007, 07:57 PM
After a few weeks of trying to figure out how to make this project work, I've come to the conclusion that I simply can't do it justice right now. I lack the skill, motivation and software. Mostly just the skill. As such, I'm going to change my entry to something I know I can manage and have had in mind for a while.

I actually have some of the modeling done on this different project, but I'd prefer to show it in a little while once I have some more finished. Updates and images soon.

08 August 2007, 08:46 PM
I can't see you lacking the skill... In fact I liked your progress a lot (and I dont think I'm the only one)... maybe if its lack of motivation, that's something more difficult to solve, but if you like your other idea better, well, go for it, and good luck, mate!!!

08 August 2007, 10:11 PM
There's a reason this is called the CGSociety CHALLENGE: You're supposed to Challenge yourself doing it! If you only stick to things you know that you can safely do, where's the growth? 'Cause in the end, there are very few prizes all in all for the Illustration category. Your main reason for being in the contest shouldn't be to get a prize, it should be to gain the experience that you'll get whether you win or lose. Stick with this: It'll be more experience.

I also don't believe for a second that you can't get this done. Your character designs are wonderful, your modeling has been fantastic so far, and even though I've called you on some of the layout stuff, those are small obstacles to overcome that you have to deal with in any piece you work on. In short, I really encourage you to reconsider and forge ahead with this one. I think it'll be rewarding, and I also really want to see how it all comes out. Good luck! :thumbsup:

08 August 2007, 10:49 PM
Totaly in with Michael for a 200%!!!
The thing here about participating is pushing your limits, and the satisfaction&experience that comes out of there is worth all the prices of the world!
I totaly believe you can do it!

08 August 2007, 03:59 AM
Thanks for the supportive comments, guys.

I know I'm supposed to challenge myself, push my skills and whatnot to the limt, but this isn't just about that. I still want to do the barbarian guys, and I would love to make them work, but there are currently so many problems with them that I don't think I can fix them short of rebuilding them and doing a complete overhaul of the composition because there are so many things that simply can't work at this point.

Now, as far as the, um, new thing is concerned, what I have planned isn't exactly a cop-out. ;) There are several things I know I need to do that Modo simply isn't capable of (volumetric light, sparks, flares), so I'll simply have different challenges.

Now, those things said, I will continue to work on the barbarians. Who knows—perhaps I'll finish them in time. I'm going to have access to a couple of computer labs that have 3ds Max installed on all the machines, so that could certainly help with things I've been having trouble with in Modo, like posing them.

08 August 2007, 08:10 AM
I am here to give you another pat in the back... but in contrast to everyone else, i think you should do as you please as far as changing the theme etc. is concearned.... its something that should be fun and enjoying for you (especially since you have to use your free time to make it), so if this theme doesn't quite do it for you anymore, change it... other than that i have to say i like your progress... keep us posted...

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