View Full Version : Strange Behavior (Animation) Entry: Jesse Sandifer

07 July 2007, 12:11 AM
Jesse Sandifer is entered in the "Strange Behavior Challenge" update: View Challenge Page (

Latest Update: Final Render: new video file (

07 July 2007, 12:14 AM
Here we go!!! Let's see if I can actually finish this one....

my concept image will come soon. I've already thought of it (shew!) so I will develop the quick illustration in the coming week.

This'll be a fun one eh? :)

07 July 2007, 02:53 PM (

This is my first step with my concept process. I thought of the initial idea (which I'll get into in a bit) and then I started sketching rough blocked out silhouettes of what I was seeing in my mind. This is what my final blocked idea looked like.

07 July 2007, 02:55 PM (

This is the second part of the idea process for me. I'll take that really rough block of an idea and refine it a little more.

07 July 2007, 02:58 PM (

This is the final thumbnail of the concept that I will then take to a final concept at a larger size. My main idea was to get the personality of the concept in this thumbnail.

07 July 2007, 03:05 PM (

Here's my final concept in line art mode. I started with a blue pencil and built it up into what I considered to be the completed design. Then I took black pen and went over the whole thing and gave it a cleaner look. It's still rough as I'm no concept artist. :) That's why I'll be doing this in 3D.

The idea behind this concept is that this little creature is trying is hardest to look as handsome as that little sphere in his hand. He's holding it up high as a reference to himself while he makes his best effort to sculpt himself into that sphere with his other arms. I think it'll be a fun concept to sculpt in ZBrush and should have a lot of personality once I'm done! :)

07 July 2007, 01:49 AM
great concept man.
why didn't i think of this? :twisted:

only little comment: maybe put the sphere on a little high chair that is at the right of him (in front of thee small pile of rocks) and let him hold a pencil or something and mesure the sphere like they do when drawing somebody. I think this would make it much more clear he is sculpting himself into that sphere.

just a thought :buttrock:


07 July 2007, 01:54 AM
AWESOME. I'll take you one step further....tell me what you think about this:

Have another arm come out of him and hold up the pencil between his face and the sphere. That way he stays in this mode of being completely self-examining.....

But I do like the idea that he is a sculptor looking at a "model" on a stool and is sculpting himself in that, which way do I go??

great stuff Nothingness

07 July 2007, 09:24 PM
your extra arm is a good sollution, but nobody holds the object they draw of sculpt. So i think it's more natural to put it on a chair. Maybe even with a furry rug or something to make the sphere lie comfortable.

either way should work. With the sphere in the hand, you could have a little more to animate if you were planning this.


07 July 2007, 02:21 AM (

Ok, I've added a little bit to the concept now after getting some excellent creative advice from Nothingness. This definitely helps to tell the story I'm going for here. Off to color land!!

07 July 2007, 05:06 AM (

Ok, this is the quick color version of this "strange" idea of mine. Who knows what color the whole thing will end up being...that'll be something I can play with once I get to 3D land. Kinda unintentionally looks like hunks of chocolate right now....mmmmm chocolate.

07 July 2007, 05:38 AM
Haha, thats very good. What I think would be good is on the animation is it starts off just a view of the clump thing hacking away at himself and then gradully moves out wards so you get the whole picture

07 July 2007, 06:38 AM
hey Jesse, the concept sketch looks realy cool.
Cheers man !

07 July 2007, 08:38 AM
love the idea

07 July 2007, 09:19 AM
Great sketch! I like your concept!


07 July 2007, 12:09 PM
Andrew-101: Yeah, that's kinda right in line with what I was thinking too. Kind of a slow reveal as to what's going on. Perhaps starting on the stool and sphere and seeing clumps piling up on the floor, hearing sounds in the background, some grunts, etc.

I'm thinking that animating this wacky thing is going to take some serious effort in order to make it convincing and true to the concept. That's why I'm glad we have almost four months on this thing!!

AndreiSzasz, RhyderKey, DogMan3d: Thanks a lot! I'm glad the concept is understood. :)

07 July 2007, 05:44 PM
Wow. Very original concept. I love it. What is in his left hand ?

07 July 2007, 05:46 PM
GReat concept :thumbsup:

only little remark: the pensil looks better as thick as it is in the last one. The thin one is too thin. But i would make it stick out at the bottom side of the hand so you can see clearly it's a pencil.

cheers and much fun

07 July 2007, 07:00 PM
authentic: I'm not sure which hand you are referring to, but there's a pickaxe in one, a pencil in another, a polishing rag in another, and the last one is picking off chunks. :)

Nothingness: Yeah, I drew the big pencil in there for the same reason. The previous one looked too tiny. I didn't feel like extending out the business end of the pencil in the last drawing because I got lazy. :shrug:

Mike Nuts
07 July 2007, 07:03 PM
Yes, great concept and very cool to see your progress of the concept sketch. When I saw the first one, the black stain, I thought "hey I'm not the worst sketcher afterall :twisted: " but than I scrolled down and noticed the progress and I was humbled again. ;)

I thought it looked more like 'rock' but when you said 'chocolate'... it somehow did start to look tasty.

I have one 'small' comment, I guess it's just me, but I think the size of the first ball made the situation more obvious/clear. Now it's a bit like he's trying to make himself like that 'small' orb rather than perfectly round.

Anyway, I look forward to see the 3D version!

07 July 2007, 07:06 PM
Yeah, I see your point there. Once I get to 3D land, I think the scale and proportion will play itself out better. I'm really looking forward to sculpting this out in ZBrush. Genius tool for I want to do with this. More to come in 3D soon.....once I start. :)

07 July 2007, 09:51 PM
Absolutely brilliant concept. Love it and agree with will be a killer animation! Good luck!

07 July 2007, 01:19 PM
3D !
when Jesse ? We are waiting !:)

07 July 2007, 01:20 PM
gonna start today at lunch! I'm pretty pumped, although I'll be more in the mode of setting up proper proportions and composition and all that first....

07 July 2007, 01:28 PM
Wow, very original idea, and indeed strange behavior - trying to be something that you are not. How many people and how many time did-and-do it again and again!

Love it very much! Can't wait for 3D implementation!

Good luck!

07 July 2007, 05:23 PM
Nice idea, I'll be watching for sure!

Good luck!

07 July 2007, 05:35 PM
You know Im keeping an eye on this one. :)

07 July 2007, 05:42 PM
Hey man, cool concept! Just came across it, didnt know you were in this... Makes me wanna enter. Cool work:thumbsup:

07 July 2007, 06:46 PM
The more the merrier Jason. :) It's good exercise!!

07 July 2007, 12:11 PM (

I've blocked out the body and have started to sculpt the face in. Trying to get a feel for the personality right now. Plus, I kept the eye and tongue separate just in case I decide to animate that stuff....I haven't really got an idea for what my animation detail will be....

Click here for higher res (

07 July 2007, 01:48 PM
Looks cool Jesse !
You already put him with expression. Are you going to give him any facial animation ?

07 July 2007, 02:25 PM
Maybe. I'm not sure yet. Depends if I have time to go all out. I figure I can always make morph targets off this current face. Good question though! I really hope I can do some nice animation with this instead of just a camera move.

07 July 2007, 02:31 PM
hello Sandpiper, very intersting idea, i'm very curious to view the next stage:thumbsup:

07 July 2007, 11:03 PM (

Just starting to block in the overall blob of the thing. The main body form you see there will be the guideline for my mesh inserts of different rock shapes that kinda match the concept art. Then I'll take those and sculpt out to work with the flow of the character so he isn't just a bunch of chunks. Should look cool - if I do it right. ;)

07 July 2007, 03:42 AM
Ahhh... someone has been busy! Great progress, keep it up! :thumbsup:

07 July 2007, 08:33 AM
The main form seems good but you'll keep the hard edge like of your initial setch ? I know that's not the simpliest thing on Zbrush (maybe easier avec version 3, I don't now it yet).

Good luck.

07 July 2007, 11:03 AM
Awsome concept, and your model is holding up to your sketch so well. Really cool idea!!

07 July 2007, 01:29 PM
Thanks guys. :)

To answer the question about the hard edges, yes, I will be modeling him just like the concept. This blobby form you see now will be more or less the area I "trace" over to put in the chunks. I"ll be using the meshinsert feature in zb3. It lets me bring in any model and add it to my current model. I can move, rotate, and scale each and every piece to my liking and once I get them all situated, I can custom sculpt them even more by adding sculptural details and blending it all together. It's going to be a lengthy process but the fastest way to do it as far as I can see....:thumbsup:

07 July 2007, 11:57 PM
Great start on the modeling !

not sure your intention, but maybe you should considder a retopology of the face. Not that it is bad, but it would be a good thing in my opinion. Will also make it easyer when wanting to animate this.


07 July 2007, 02:24 AM
yeah, I'm anticipating a bit of retopo for the face because it's a bit organic at this point. The lowres mesh of the lips does this weird twist thing halfway through so I'll have to correct that as well. So you're definitely right, I'll have to hit that later on.

07 July 2007, 05:11 PM
Yo, Jesse cool start on the modeling, so looks right on with the concepet to me. Curious to see how you model the parts where the gold and rock meet each other. I'll keep checkin it out man... Think I'll get started with mine Tuesday.

07 July 2007, 04:37 AM (

progress so far...

07 July 2007, 04:38 AM (

Obviously I decided not to go with the mesh insert route. I messed with it for a while and didn't feel like I was going to get the results I wanted. So I resorted back to manual good ol' fashioned hand sculpting for this one. I gotta say that it is a bit more rewarding this way and I have a lot more control than just bringing in chunks of simple shapes and pushing pulling. It feels like more of an organic process even though it's a bit tedious. :)

Right now I'm just laying in detail as I go along. I wanted everyone to kind of getting an idea of what the rock surface would look like in it's simplest form and get away from the blobby look that seems to be confusing people. My process right now is to work on certain selected areas at a time rather than do the whole thing pass by pass (which is actually the way I usually work). So far, working on large areas at a time seems to keep me from getting overwhelmed and it let's me feel like I'm getting somewhere.

His face will have some rock detail in it also so it blends better than what you see here. Also, I'll give more attention to the edge that circles the face so that it blends better and it doesn't look so obvious as a model seam.

More to come... :D

07 July 2007, 01:38 PM
Nice progress Jesse! :thumbsup:

But I was wondering... He's looks like hes made of a lose pile of rocks. If hes sculpting a sphere out of himself- shouldn't he be alittle more solid form? Like one bigger rock.
Also, the face and arms being different than the rock body, makes him seem like a blob guy with rocks sticking to him.... maybe something more along the lines of the 'RockBiter' from the 'Neverending Story'

Anyway...keep it up! great job! you can do it! all the way! etc!

07 July 2007, 01:56 PM
great question/crit slangie....

I wanted this guy to look a little more chunky than a solid piece of rock, so I'm going to be blending the solid look with more rocky chunks. Areas where he's already carved out will gradiate and blend into the sphere itself. I'm really wanting to give him varying levels of detail and coarseness so he looks really elemental.

At this phase in the project, you're gonna be seeing more layered efforts so everything will eventually blend itself out and work together as one nice happy family.

As far as the arms and face go, they will also have a rock/stone look to them as opposed to looking like bits being swallowed up by rock. They'll blend in with the surrounding rock and hopefully it will look as if it all came from one rock. Make sense?

07 July 2007, 02:15 PM
Oh I figured you had it all planned out :D... but I thought I should say something now incase you didnt. Ya know... just incase. Cant wait to see how it comes out...


07 July 2007, 02:24 PM
No problem at all! I'm sure that you may have helped to answer some other people's question about my concept in the process, so it's a good thing eh? :)

07 July 2007, 07:03 PM (

More face progress...this is still in progress so more detail will come as I go.

07 July 2007, 09:24 PM
lookin good jesse!
Were you plannin on texturing him in zbush? Or you gonna try and unwrap it?

07 July 2007, 09:28 PM
most likely zbrush texturing, but I think I'll bring him over to max and unwrap him and reimport into zbrush.....or I could let zbrush do the unwrapping for me. :)

07 July 2007, 05:04 PM
good progress Jesse... it should start to really come together when you add grainy details, and cracks and stuff.

07 July 2007, 09:43 PM
Looking great so far man,

but i would think that the difference in the rocks is too little. Now you are looking at the head alone, and in the whole it will be less interesting. Maybe you fear the poly's will be messed up too much (places with few polys and places with too many polys) but that's why i think you need a retopology asap ;-)

i would seggest doing the modeling on a rough basis, do a retopology with the rocks and all modeled in (very low is good enough) and then go on to detail.

cheers and good luck

ps. i'm very direct since i have spend 3 to 4 days making a setup and starting over and over again. Damn it is so hard. But i think i'm comming there. Then i'll do some zbrushing myself.

07 July 2007, 09:55 PM
yeah i forgot:

when you retopologies (or whatever) you will also have a better number of polys around the sides of the bick rocks. Cause i think it is there where you need a lot of detail.


07 July 2007, 01:33 PM
Ok Jesse..... where's the updates?? :bounce:

07 July 2007, 01:47 PM
I'm starting over! :banghead:

I got a little ahead of myself and was approaching this project in a purely illustrative mode when I needed to get going with more of an animation friendly start. So I'm doing some backstepping and getting this rolling in a better way. Plus, haven't had any personal time in a while to work on it. :shrug:

07 July 2007, 04:47 PM
Starting over? As in whole new concept... or just starting over with the modeling?:eek:

07 July 2007, 05:50 PM
Oh just starting over the modeling process and scene setup. :)

07 July 2007, 04:34 AM (

Here's my progress on the retopology of the face. I'll expand it out further, but I got the hard part done!! :)

07 July 2007, 06:58 AM
it will be interesting to see this mountain in action :)
good luck)

07 July 2007, 01:09 PM
This is going to be fantastic, I look forward to seeing all that detail you modeled lit and with a rocking texture map!


07 July 2007, 04:30 AM
Hey Jesse, cool concept, the new topologization looks good. Very comical character, look forward to seeing this progress!

07 July 2007, 06:16 PM (

Working on the body retopology now. Pretty fancy little tool ZBrush3 has created here. It's allowed me to do a start of a sculpt at a hi-res so I can get my overall shape down and now I can make it have a decent polycount and edgeflow for animation later on. Love it.

More to come....I can only really work on this in spurts because of real life priorities! :)

07 July 2007, 12:54 AM
Ok, so I finally get to move on with the creative part of this project. Learned a lot about retopology in ZB3 though. Very cool and quite a timesaver. :)

More updates will come to the model as I finally get to progress. Stay tuned!!

07 July 2007, 12:58 AM
Looking forward to it man!! GO GO GO! See ya tomorrow.

I am thinking of just spending the night here LOL.


07 July 2007, 04:48 AM (

Blocking in medium detail.

07 July 2007, 04:50 AM (

Blocking in medium detail.

07 July 2007, 04:52 AM (

Blocking in medium detail.

07 July 2007, 04:54 AM (

Blocking in medium detail.

07 July 2007, 05:09 AM (

Blocking in medium detail.

07 July 2007, 01:01 PM
Really nice modeling Jesse man... Looking Dope. cant wait to see more. :thumbsup: :buttrock:

08 August 2007, 07:36 PM (

more lower body progress....churning

08 August 2007, 07:41 PM (

more medium detailing

08 August 2007, 07:45 PM
really funny idea, and such a great use of Zbrush. The modeling is really accurate.
looking forward for more.

08 August 2007, 12:52 AM
Thats got to be the prettiest pile of rocks Ive ever seen! The grey shader really helped. Did you try the rough chisel look yet around the edge of the smooth part yet?


08 August 2007, 02:01 AM
Glad you like my pile o' rocks! :) It's more like a big solid rock with chunks all over... Right now I'm focusing on getting all the major "blocking" in first, then I'll go back through the whole thing (eek) and add the fine details, complete with chipping, chiseling, cracks, divets, etc.

Should be....uh, fun?

08 August 2007, 06:39 PM (

Time to sculpt in the arm-body transitions....I'm thinking about giving the arms more of a treeroot treatment as opposed to rocky. I wonder if that would not make sense though since there is no tree in the model? Perhaps I could add one....hmmmm......

08 August 2007, 03:21 AM
Looking Fresh! Great detail and great design, I love the rock modeling so much that I say you carry that into the arms too, the tree idea is cool too, but I just really am diggin the job on the modelling of the rocks!


08 August 2007, 06:48 AM
Looks cool !
Next things please Jesse !

08 August 2007, 12:47 PM
Rock Solid! yo man excellent progress. I think I agree with Don about carrying some of the rock texture into the arms maybe just very subtly at the top or something. Rock on! :buttrock:

08 August 2007, 02:05 PM
Excellent! But considering his face is all rocks... I agree that he should have at least some rocks along his arms. Maybe mishape and deform them some considering he trying to make himself pretty, he should be really nasty to begin with. At any rate, great jog so far!


08 August 2007, 09:18 PM
amazing detail in the model, have to stitch up my jaw...its on the floor :) good luck...waiting to see more!

08 August 2007, 03:53 AM (


08 August 2007, 03:55 AM (


08 August 2007, 03:57 AM (


08 August 2007, 04:01 AM (

FINALLY got the entire body's medium detail blocking in. Now I'm gonna blend the arms in with some rockage and try to stay to the flavor I had in the original sketch. THEN, I'll go in and put in finer detail on the body and face, which includes more stone relief texture, cracks, etc. Fun, fun....

08 August 2007, 04:58 AM
...been lurking here from the start... just wanted to say he's looking awesome:thumbsup: and that I really look forward to seeing where you take the animation

08 August 2007, 03:33 PM
You better be careful, at the rate your going... you might finish this guy on time! :D
Looks great, but the only thing thats bothering me is his silhouette. It seems very neat and organized for rocks. I know you've got a certain style your going for... but I think adding more random-ness to the size and shape of the rocks will make them read better.

Kinda like this.....

Great work though! Keep it up! :thumbsup:


08 August 2007, 10:49 PM
Looking cool Jesse. I think it's gonna be challenging in handling the texture, to make sure that the face doesnt blend in too much with the rest of the body.

08 August 2007, 11:25 PM
slangford: Most of that stuff you see in the back of him will never see the light of day, but I get your point though. Thanks!

Jason: Oh I've got some tricks up my sleeve! :) (at least I hope)

I'm working on the arms next....I'm messing with some ideas to get it to blend with the style. I'm going the stone route, but in a different way.

08 August 2007, 08:22 PM (

got some detail going in the body now....arms are coming along next. I'm using ZB3's HD geometry feature to make sure that the cracks and all that look decent. So some of the artifacting you see in the detail is because i don't have the HD displaying. :)

08 August 2007, 08:23 PM (

close up of some detail....the spherical shape is actually showing some of the HD res detail.

08 August 2007, 08:25 PM (

Close up of the rockdude's face....Looking forward to starting texturing on this badboy!!

Check the previous page for additional updates to the overall body.

08 August 2007, 10:01 PM
Rocks are looking great Jesse.... but I wanna see some of that progress you're makin on the arms. The little bit I can see looks really interesting.

08 August 2007, 02:40 PM
God.. This thing is starting to look good.. Love the new update, adds randomness to it.. Love it.. Keep the amazing work up!!! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Wayne jermaine
08 August 2007, 03:28 PM
awesome man.. keep em coming

08 August 2007, 07:47 PM
Insane!... is that HD geo?

08 August 2007, 12:07 AM
slangford: Arms are coming soon! Next, actually....

eljono90: That's the key with something like I'm modeling, randomness! Of course, I still want him to look like one cohesive unit at the same time.....

Wayne jermaine: :thumbsup:

DaddyMack: Why yes, it is! My first time to mess with it. Pretty cool stuff, except my 1 GB laptop is having a little bit of a hard time keeping up with some of the calculating and my formerly 50 mb file has shot up to almost 500 mb. :)

08 August 2007, 04:43 AM
When will you start blocking in some detail? LOL! This is lookin fresh man!


08 August 2007, 06:02 PM (

here's what I got for the arms so far...

08 August 2007, 06:03 PM (

another view

08 August 2007, 06:05 PM (

another view

08 August 2007, 06:06 PM (

closer in

08 August 2007, 08:09 PM
Arm is looking like it's a part of him now... there are some deep sulpts in there man. I'm wondering... can you render that HD geo detail to a displacement map etc as you would a standard sculpt? I'm yet to use it myself...

08 August 2007, 09:12 PM
Great work man!

i love the arm and it's detail.
just a little while and i'll be back and posting more regular :-P

cheers and keep up the good work

08 August 2007, 10:23 PM
Awesome! Those arms look great Jesse! Great style and sculpting... I especially like the forearm detail, where there are some really deep gaps and grooves. They really make him look more like he's made of rocks rather than rock shaped skin... you might try incorporating that elsewhere.

:thumbsup: Great progress!!! :thumbsup:

08 August 2007, 06:29 AM
Excellent details !
You managed to find the good deformation to bring the illusion of rock !
Can you explain us, please, how you did it Jesse ?

08 August 2007, 11:05 PM
DaddyMack: that's the plan man! All this detail will be displaced in max when I render it up. That'll be a whole lotta fun. :)

Nothingness: Thanks! Now get back to work so you can give us some new posts!!

slangford: It's funny, because I think that last shot with the deep cracks really just shows up better depending on the angle of light and all that. You'll notice that it's a weird angle I'm shooting that one from. So I'm gonna go over the rest of the model and check to see if I can give is some more groovy lovin. I may have to adjust my alpha map to make it work a bit better for that. If I used it too deep, it would make really bumpy areas in the raised yeah, it'll get another round of attention so I can call the modeling done! :) Gotta move onto the wonderful phase of texturing and getting this thing ready to "rumble".....

gpepper: Sure! I'd be glad to. Give me some time and I'll try to put something together. Perhaps a little zbrush movie or an old school how-to session would suffice. :D

08 August 2007, 06:17 AM
Very nice modelling work. I look forward to seeing where this goes. Bonne chance!

08 August 2007, 03:45 PM (

added more deep cracks and some rakes

08 August 2007, 03:50 PM (

more cracks and rake details....

08 August 2007, 03:52 PM (

more details

08 August 2007, 03:59 PM (

HighDef modeling preview is turned off on these shots simply because I'm too impatient to calculate it at this point. Currently, this model as 101 million polygons. ;) The arm will just be copied over and mirrored because apparantly you can't mirror an object with subdivision levels and it won't keep the HD content. Blech!

I am however using the newly updated ZB3.1 and it's pretty sweet! Gotta new brush just in time for adding deeper cracks and crevices. I think it's called Slash or something like that. Plus, i used the rake tool to add some little grooves here and there. All in all, I think I'm done with the main model, I still need to work on the rubble pile and random rocks on the floor around him. Oh and the sphere on the pedestal too! Anyway, I just went over the whole model and gave it more depth in certain areas and tried to push the depth more. I think it'll come alive once it's textured and lit and all that. I know it just looks like a pile of "something" right now!! :)

08 August 2007, 04:25 PM
double post

08 August 2007, 06:08 PM
wow, lookin tight. can't wait to see it lit and textured.

08 August 2007, 07:00 PM
sweet work on the model mate...solid like stone (duh) btw, r u gonna stonify the other hands?... will b waiting for the next update

08 August 2007, 11:35 PM
bklark: thanks dude. I can't wait to see it lit and textured too! :scream:

overcontrast: yeah, the other arms will just be duplicated in max. I would do it in zbrush, but the program won't keep the detail and all that stuff unless I just delete all my lower sub-d's....

08 August 2007, 05:51 PM
Man! I am still waiting to see some details on this,...LOL I kid I kid! I can't wait to see this fellow lit but it already pops right now, It has so many little attentions to cracks and details in it that I am playin the game I use to play when I was a kid finding faces in the stucco ceilings! It was fun then as a kid and its fun now doing the same thing with your awesome model!



08 August 2007, 02:44 AM
heh! Thanks Don :)

I've been researching how to export my HD detail I've been creating into max and after looking on zbrush's forums I've learned that I won't be able to use it in my displacement maps. Talk about a slap in the face. I'm going to try a couple of ideas that some other zbrush users had regarding this issue and see what I can get. Crossing my fingers.....

08 August 2007, 11:08 AM
Still having some issues getting the displacement to look right in the export process. It's just not carrying across all the detail I put into the model, so I'm trying to a few more things to get it to work. Plus, I think I'll use a cavity map to accent some of the detail even more and see what we can get from that. Hopefully, I'll have something to show in the coming days (or weeks...)

08 August 2007, 07:56 PM (

Finally got this thing into Max. It's a pretty heavy file now but it's working ok so far. Displacement was not working for me from ZB3 and I wasn't happy about the quality of map I was getting. Plus, I redid the uv's so I can have a chance to work in photoshop on the textures and the uv'd morph target I imported into ZB3 kept inverting and doing weird things to the upper sub-d levels. So basically useless.

So my option was to give up, do a still in ZB3, or export a decent hi-res version of each of the pieces into max and work from there. So I chose the last option and have now figured out how to successfully utilize a skinwrap modifier on the hi-res version of an object that follows a skin modifier on the lowres animated version. Plus, I figured out how to get the uv's to transfer to the hi-res from the low-res. All in all, I feel a lot better about being able to animate my character now and will have more updates as I continue on. I had a serious brick wall to climb over....

other arms will come next in addition to more textures, lighting, etc.

08 August 2007, 08:06 PM
??? Uvs to transfer from lo to Hi res??? Any pointers for us out here?

The reason your char was flipping when you tryed to overwrite uvs could be a max prob, it can rewrite the vertex numbering on export of obj, that's why things sometimes get messy in higher subd levels.

Zb3 flips models and normals on import so you may wanna try a combo of rotating your model and flipping the norms before you export from max.

What I've often exported an obj to ZB2 (hi res) and reconstruct subdiv to base level so that I can run the pipeline back to Max from there...

Hope that gives you some more options... Wrap deformer can be pretty unstable

08 August 2007, 08:12 PM
for the uv's transfer I just subdivided the low-res max mesh however many times I did in zb3 and then save it out as a uvw file, then delete the meshsmooth/turbosmooth and unwrap uvw modifiers off that low-res mesh, thus leaving it intact with it's own (just in case). And then put an unwrap uvw on the hi-res object and load that uvw file you saved out and it should be golden!

I'm gonna try your flipping normals and rotation idea. Right now I already have zb3 importing and exporting with an automatic y and z flip so it comes in at the same spot. But I haven't tried that normals thing. Sounds like it may work! I'll update if it does. That would help for the stability of my max files because they are rather large at this point. I do have 6 GB of memory, but that doesn't mean a thing sometimes!! :)

thanks for the ideas Daddymack!!

08 August 2007, 08:21 PM
6gb :cry:

Thanks for the UV transfer for hi res... clever;)

08 August 2007, 09:53 PM (

I'm rigging!! Woo hoo!!!!

Starting to skin everything and get all the controls I need for this guy. I'll probably need to do some sort of animatic to get an idea of what kind of animation I can pull off for this.

08 August 2007, 10:24 PM
Woohoo! A always enjoy rigging, he looks like a fun character to animate too...

08 August 2007, 06:28 PM (

I had my major components originally separated for uv's but figured I needed to keep em all on one map so I can get the blend of rock and color correct without too much back and forth and trial and error.

I'm a little worried about the parts where the body lines up with the ball in the middle as well as the face and the textures will look since the uv's are smaller for the body than the face/ball. But if my map is begin enough, it shouldn't matter (I hope).

All uv's are also transferred to my crazy hi-res meshes I have in my scene. Next is to finish up with the skinning and skinwrapping process. Then once I know that I can actually move this guy around, I'll get back to textures.

09 September 2007, 12:46 PM (

This is my animation storyboard. I've got the character rigged and ready to go for animating, even have a couple cameras working. HOWEVER, it looks like regular work life is gonna get crazy really quick and my "off-hours" will now be "on-hours" for work instead of this challenge. I probably and most likely won't have time to finish this competition. I may consider just finishing out a still illustration, but I may not even have time for that! DARNIT.

Oh well, we'll see. There's still a month and a half left or so on the challenge, so you never know right? Congrats to all my fellow competitors and all the best in finishing!!

09 September 2007, 03:34 PM
hey nice work on the storyboard... the idea is definitly strange... show us more!

gd luck!

Wayne jermaine
09 September 2007, 04:37 PM
nice storyboard man. Keep em coming Sandpiper.

09 September 2007, 05:22 AM
Fantastic boards! Well thought out and great storytelling shots, I can't wait!


09 September 2007, 09:44 PM
Brilliant! I think the second last shot is kinda crucial to communicate clearly because up until then he seemed to be going well in his mission and I think there really needs to be clear reason for the audience as to why he's stopped;) Love the concept btw:thumbsup:

09 September 2007, 05:01 AM (

Well, I had a little time tonight to mess with this project again. Didn't think I would, but thought I might as well. Who knows if i'll take it past this step. My goal is to at least try to get out an illustration!


1. The rock guy's geometry is all low-res stuff. The hi-res I'll pop in soon.
2. That far right hand will have a polishing rag in it soon. He's not really giving the ball the "finger".
3. I added a beret and a little artsy fu man chu (or at least I think that's what it's called) - I thought it would be more fun and show that he's sculpting himself.......

Thanks everyone for checking it out!

09 September 2007, 06:23 AM
I like the concept and modelling details! Love modeling stones with Zbrush, but haven't done anything nearly as detailed as that...
Keep it up and good luck! :)

09 September 2007, 01:52 PM
great looking mesh you've made. the first thing i was wondering was if you were going to use any particles or dynamics for tiny little chunks of rock to crumble away. would be a great effect if you could work it in. just a thought, though.

looking good on your progress....keep it up!


11 November 2007, 01:02 PM
ok, I just finished a huge work project with my team here and I'm wondering if I have time to finish this challenge after all? I haven't been on the forum for a while because of my work deadlines, but it looks like we got an extension to Nov 15? Is that right!?

I can at LEAST try to do a still image, eh?.......

11 November 2007, 02:35 PM
Would be cool to see a final from this ! Still or animation, whatever, WE WANT TO SEE HIM FINISHED !

11 November 2007, 07:44 PM (

A little start to build on. Got tons of texturing work to do and of course tons more work to do on lighting. :)

I'm thinking of putting him into an art studio environment or something which will probably make this lighting obsolete.

11 November 2007, 08:40 PM
Haha yes an extension. Been going forever this challenge. I love the texture. Zbrush? Looks great

11 November 2007, 12:34 PM (

polypainting in Zbrush 3. Just trying to get the color hues and values down....then I'll export it back to max.

11 November 2007, 04:00 PM (

This is my raw render i got for my illustration version of this project. I won't be attempting the animation portion simply because of time. I'll be working on cleaning up the image and adding a background in photoshop from here on out. More to come later....

11 November 2007, 06:17 PM
Niice! I like the hand poses on your shaded post, thats funny. Can't wait to see what kind of environment you are going to put this dude in.

11 November 2007, 11:38 PM
looks pretty good. i think this does well for an illustration entry. it can tell the whole story without any movement. although, would be really cool to see this guy working on himself. be neat to see a bunch of particle dust, pebbles, etc.

11 November 2007, 11:50 PM
hey thanks BKLARK and r1-381! What you see there is just what came off for the raw render. So it'll look slightly different (hopefully more complete) once I get into PS and finish it off. I'm considering doing a camera truck to complete the animation requirements for this challenge and perhaps a zbrush turntable of the character once it's done. All in a matter of a few days now....hope I can pull it off in time!

11 November 2007, 02:01 AM (

Ok, here's my new raw render. Dropped in a background with some stantions and a couple lights. I gotta fix a few things in photoshop, but I think it'll finish off well. The animation is rendering right now. It's just a camera truck starting off from his upper body area that goes back to reveal the sphere. Nothing too crazy, but enough to satisfy the animation requirements!

Cranking on!!

11 November 2007, 05:13 AM (

Ok, completed the postwork on the hi-res still. This was my main goal. Finishing a high quality image of a new character.

Hopefully everyone can see the concept I was going for in this image. The rock character is sculpting away at himself a chunk at a time in an effort to not look so rough and crumbly. He just wants to be seen as polished and new and to have that certain sparkle that the sphere seems to have. The ironic part of this is that there's no possible way to completely sculpt himself into that sphere because his whole foundation would have to go as well as his arms and face, etc. The moral of the story is that sometimes it can be self-destructive to try and be something we're not. Kinda cheesy, but I thought it might be a "strange" way to illustrate that concept.

I'm working on the animation next, just need to change up some materials in the background, resend it, and do some minor postwork to finish it up. Then I'll also put together a turnaround of this character in ZBrush3, if time permits.

Any comments/crits/thoughts/high fives are always welcome.

11 November 2007, 05:16 AM (

Here's a closer look at the face.

11 November 2007, 10:31 AM
Excellent work Jesse ! The render of all these things is great !

You did a great picture ! I'm a bit sad that you didn't do any animation with this.

Did you enter the illustration challenge because I didn't see your entry ?
Don't you thing you have to ?

11 November 2007, 01:20 PM
Yeah I've got an animation coming probably today or tomorrow. Need to rerender it "real quick" and package it all together with a turntable in zbrush. I almost decided to just do the illustration challenge, but thought there were some great prizes in the animation category that I really wanted to try and qualify for. But there's so many great entries, it's hard to fathom any sort of victory. Hey, I'm just glad I got another piece done for my own portfolio! :)

11 November 2007, 01:28 PM
very nice work u did here! :thumbsup: hope you finish everything in time!

11 November 2007, 01:40 PM (

here's a wireframe of the still

I'm working on the animation/video now

11 November 2007, 06:11 PM (

Ok, so I added some dust effects to this image. I felt like it was missing some dirtiness......animation/video still coming....hang tight

11 November 2007, 07:55 PM
this is turning out really nice. would be cool for your turntable animation to actually have the dust slowly moving......just an idea that could be neat.

11 November 2007, 02:37 AM
trying to get this flv thing down....sorry

11 November 2007, 03:45 AM
bad video upload - trying again! ;)

11 November 2007, 04:27 AM (

Software: 3ds max,combustion,Photoshop,VRay,ZBrush

Well, it's finished now. Some of the transitions didn't export correctly, but all in all, I'm please with the final product. It's something I can hang on my wall and smile at when I come into work everyday.

I don't expect to win or even get close because of all the other great entries who went the extra mile and blew away the rest of us. It's been a few years since I finished a challenge (machineflesh!) so this was an accomplishment for me.

Thanks to all of you guys for your comments and critique and just dropping in to check out my progress. My wife and kids were a great support and tolerated my need to finish this "strange" idea......

....all right, back to regular worklife....and perhaps some rest??


Play Video >> (

11 November 2007, 10:49 AM
this turned out to be a great scene. i really wish you would have had time to animate it and brought that thing to life. nice entry....have you submitted it into the illustration category as well?

11 November 2007, 07:28 PM
Great shader job. It is look real mud. Very good render. And I like the perspective of the camera. Nice composition.

11 November 2007, 09:02 AM
Nice ! Great to see a little animation of this and a making of ! I gives more depth to your picture and all the work you did on the character !

11 November 2007, 10:13 PM
Yepp! Great done!

11 November 2007, 07:00 AM
awesome modeling man! i wish you had made some more animations on your piece coz it's really cool!:thumbsup:

11 November 2007, 04:49 PM
r1-381: It is actually in the illustration category as well. I also wish I had more time to animate him. He was actually all set up for it, just needed to be animated. But for the story I wanted to tell, it was going to require more than just hitting render. But now that I look back, perhaps I could have pulled it off in time! No big deal though....

fruela: Thanks! It was a tricky thing to get into the perspective I wanted, but it turned out ok I think. ;)

gpepper: Thanks man! I wanted to do a ZBrush movie thing where I showed a little bit of my process for modeling the rocky stuff, but ran out of time.

coolkonrad: Thanks! Glad you took a peek!

chocoski: Yeah, I wish I had more time to do something, but real work really took over a month of my life and kept me from doing what I really intended with this one. It was a great exercise though and something more to add to my wall! :)

11 November 2007, 09:36 PM
Awesome concept. I hope he gets animated some day. (:

12 December 2007, 09:46 AM
Congratulations Jesse !:bounce:

12 December 2007, 02:44 PM
Holy crap! Thanks gpepper!

Stunned really.....thanks to all of you who gave me crit and checked out my work. I really wanted this to be something special. Even if I had won nothing, I'm just glad that I got a piece of art to put on my wall at the office ;)

12 December 2007, 02:46 PM
Congratulations Jesse! Im really glad you got him finished in time. It looks great and the work seems to have paid off huh? Way to go man :thumbsup:

12 December 2007, 06:50 PM
Hey congrats buddy! U did an amazing job on thois!! well desurved!

12 December 2007, 06:10 AM
Wow I have to agree that you fully deserve the award for best Textures! When you want to reach out and keep expecting the screen to be lumpy when you touch it, that's when you know you've got great textures. Awesome awesome work dude! :thumbsup:

12 December 2007, 07:59 AM
Mrehehe great work has been awarded! Congratulitions!

12 December 2007, 08:00 PM
Congrats, very well done

12 December 2007, 10:51 PM
Congratulations on the Best Texturing. :)

12 December 2007, 03:12 AM
Well done Jesse!! I hope I can see this guy animated one day, and u don't shelve this character. Awesome work!

12 December 2007, 05:24 PM
Hey thanks guys! It was quite an adventure and I learned a lot about some workflow issues I was having. Who knows if I'll every animate this guy for real, but we'll see. :)

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