View Full Version : HMC#10: squirrel!

07 July 2007, 04:55 PM
Right, you guys are all going DOWN! I am going to model a Squirrel! I took it easy on you lot in the last contest, but man - PLAY TIME IS OVER!

But anyway, I will be gathering reference from photos I take of the Squirrels in the Abby of Bury St Edmunds. I go there twice a week and always end up feeding the cute lil'devils.

I declare that I will be using 3DS MAX for poly modelling, fur, UVing, rigging and nuts. I will also be using PaintShopPro for any textures. I will also be capturing some video of the critters in action. BEAT THAT!:bounce:

Right, must dash now and gather some reference!:love:

07 July 2007, 06:43 PM
That's it..... I give up! Ain't no way to compete with a squirrel! :D

07 July 2007, 07:16 PM
MWHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAH! My plan of intimidation is working!:twisted:

07 July 2007, 09:25 PM
Boone misread- He thought this was a "Hardcore Intimidation Challenge" with a voting category for "modeling", one for "harmless animals" and the other for "talking trash".

Thats it. You show them all boone :wip:

Ps. You would be a great man to have on my "fantasy football" league. (not the soccer football but american)

07 July 2007, 11:30 PM
That's it Boone I will just have to give up as I can see already that I don't have a chance:sad:

Anyway mate good luck with your squirrel and look forward to seeing your progress.

07 July 2007, 10:34 AM
Im out .. cant compete with the power and grace of a squirrel in attack mode ...:scream:

07 July 2007, 10:35 AM
Heheh, you can tell I'm getting all hyper over this one. I know everyone is going to be banging out natural born killers, so insted of comparing my Lion to yours I'm going to do something different.

Watching the Squirrels in Bury's Abby is just hilarious because they run to me hoping for some grub. It was natures way of saying "Heres your subject for the contest! Now bring your camera next time you dang ol'nit'wit!":D

I havent done any reference gathering yet, but looking at hair'n'fur solutions in 3DS MAX. I believe RedRepublic had trouble with it in the last contest for his Han Solo entry and I offered to look into it. Hmmm...I think this will be the most difficult part.:scream:

07 July 2007, 12:27 PM
Okay, heres a page I found that had three awesome pictures of the Eastern Grey Squirrel - which incidently has been classed as a pest in the UK and I am feeding the damn things! - and so a big hello and kudos to Tim Knight who appears to be the one who took them.

07 July 2007, 03:09 PM
:scream: oh, savage buggers they look ...

the teeth, those claws .. the way its savaging the "picinic" table ....:eek:

good luck with this mate ..

07 July 2007, 03:50 PM
Yeah there are a bunch of squirrels over here too... and they are quick as well... you ever see one dodge a car? it's like a furry little bullet. anyway nice choice of topic, I think that when I thought of this challenge, I didn't think about a squirrel. Good luck.

PS you do sound like you're acting a bit "squirrelly" :D (sorry about the pun just had to say it) good luck again.

07 July 2007, 12:15 AM
OMG the horror of it all! Thanks Boone now I won't sleep for a week as i'll be too scared of those furry little monsters:eek: They make my tarantula look like a cute little kitten!

07 July 2007, 01:28 AM
Initially, modelling a squirrel might seem easy to most people, but I personally think, you're gonna have some serious issues with the fur as it is quite well pronounced in length and direction all throughout the body. Also, it seems the fur consists of at least three different colours, which makes it all the more complicated. Anyway, I don't want to discourage you, so good luck, mate.

07 July 2007, 06:40 AM
a squirrel is a tough one... Personally I would avoid fur. But hey, even if the fur doesn't get finished the squirrel would be a good model :cool:

07 July 2007, 08:20 AM
Yeah, fur has always been a pain in the ass. But no worries because I'll just sneak into one of ILM's renderfarms and threaten the staff with my gang of Squirrels - I'll order them to do the rendering for me.:twisted:

But, yeah, I'm going to push ahead regardless and see what I come up with. I would prefer the Eastern Grey but might be able to reduce the fur by using one of the other Squirrel species insted.

Of course, I could introduce one of the darlings to my electric shaver and use'em for my reference...:D

07 July 2007, 09:08 AM
Of course, I could introduce one of the darlings to my electric shaver and use'em for my reference...:D

07 July 2007, 12:16 PM
Well as 3D artists we need to be good at problem solving. If the fur is a problem then just get rid of it!:twisted:

Hmmm...I'll need to figure out a dynamic pose for the little critter too...

07 July 2007, 07:08 PM
:scream: oh, savage buggers they look ...

the teeth, those claws .. the way its savaging the "picinic" table ....:eek:

Look at the bones! Oh wait, thats a rabbit.

07 July 2007, 08:44 PM
Monty Python rules.:D

07 July 2007, 10:02 PM
OOOH I love 'em! They put a smile on my face when I walk to work every day - funny little critters with their 'Did I leave a gas on?!' look :scream:

07 July 2007, 06:57 AM
More like "I didn't just eat a walnut...did I?"

07 July 2007, 02:14 PM
Bit late on starting the actual work but I'm still in the process of collecting reference. As a matter of fact I just got back from the Abby and managed to "bribe" one of the Squirrels to pose for me. He was a bit nippy but fortunately I was armed with a shitload of nuts.

Plan of action is to find some pictures of the actual skeleton of the Grey Squirrel and start there insted of the base mesh. Having the skeleton will help me make a more acurate model. So yes, I'm hoping that taking more time on preperation is the key to success.

The photographs that I took about half and hour ago will go up tonight, hopefully with some skeleton pictures as well.

07 July 2007, 04:21 PM
for hair and fur refrence look at the lighting challenge for the rabbit?

How about leaping from tree to tree? like the flying squirrel?

07 July 2007, 04:55 PM
That was quite interesting as some of the entries didnt use any compositing effect tools and still produced some decent results. Cool.:)

Heres a collection of the useable reference I made this afternoon. Still digging around for the skeleton refs but so far the only thing I can find a single entry for a Red Squirrel. And that wasnt much cop either...

07 July 2007, 05:19 PM
Plan of action is to find some pictures of the actual skeleton of the Grey Squirrel and start there insted of the base mesh. Having the skeleton will help me make a more acurate model.
So poisoned nuts and a sharp knife then ?? :scream:

07 July 2007, 05:28 PM
Re: Simjoy.

B-b-b-b-b-but - AWWWW how did you guess?:D

07 July 2007, 06:34 PM

no boone's the The Squirrel Whisperer.

07 July 2007, 09:46 PM
And that wasnt much cop either...

Hate to sound ignorant, but what does that mean, not in English english? By the context, "wasn't much help".

07 July 2007, 09:57 PM
Cool, I cant wait to see it!

07 July 2007, 11:02 PM
Hate to sound ignorant, but what does that mean, not in English english? By the context, "wasn't much help".

Just means 'of little or no value' Don't know the origins (police arresting?) but just about everyone uses it here.

Can't wait to see some modelling.

08 August 2007, 04:38 PM
Okay people, I am going to have to bail out of this contest. Primary reason would be the difficulty with the fur simulation. My system is crashing during tests for the body fur - let alone the tail which will demand an even greater effort. I might have pulled off some tricks if composition was an option but even then it would have been a painful process. So to be honest it would be more a matter of having the latest machine and software technology rather than a modelling challenge. I really wanted to see this through, but maybe one day I will return to this project with a far more powerful machine.

The secondary reason is I want to pursue an old project that I never got round to. We leave so many things undone etc etc.

Still, I'm sure you can all let out a sigh of relief now that the intimidating Squirrel has gathered his nuts and dashed back inside the tree. Atleast you all have a chance of winning now!:D

08 August 2007, 05:09 PM
Say it ain't so, Boone! :(

You can still do it without the fur. Just sculpt the hair instead of using a fur generator and/or use bump maps to get hair texture. And just render it like a nice sculpture. No color texturing, just a nice sculpture material to bring out the form. I was thinking about doing mine that way myself.

08 August 2007, 06:43 PM
I did actually consider the sculpting option at one point but lo and behold I dont have a copy of ZBrush! And even if I did I wouldnt know how to use it. :sad:

But it is a good idea: Years ago I bought my parents a polar bear statue and the fur sculpting was brilliant.

Perhaps I might kidnap some ILM TDs to do it? Intimidate them with my gang of Squirrels!:twisted:

08 August 2007, 07:04 PM
ILM wouldn't stand a chance! :)

Actually Silo 2 has a 30 day trial with all the tools available and save enabled. You can export normal maps from it (and soon displacement maps from what I understand, but there's other workarounds you can do now for creating displacement maps from Silo models) which would be good enough for fur details.

I'm learning more about Silo ATM cuz I really like the modeling tools. And it's displacement painting is pretty nice as well. Not the detail levels as ZB but you can still get 1-2 million polys depending on memory which is probably good enough for squirrel fur. :)

Another option (and probably easiest) is to just bump map the hair, Kinda like I did with this model ( in areas like the muzzle and top of the head. Well, this was actually all sculpted in ZB but most of those areas could have been bump mapped and look very similar.

Combining the two methods would probably generate the best results. Using Silo displacement painting to get a general feel of the fur clumps and bump mapping the fine fur details.

08 August 2007, 09:33 PM
I would prefer if you sculpt the fur,

but if you wish you might try the fur technique used for the game

Shadow Of The Colossus...

Check it out:


08 August 2007, 03:19 AM
Before you drop out, consider something a little less machine intensive like...

Star Fox (

I'm gonna start with this and then simulate it if I can manage to figure it out.

08 August 2007, 01:12 PM
Re: Roberto Ortiz.

That is such a clever way of producing fur and would even work for the bushy tail as well. Hell, its definitely worth a try!:bounce:

08 August 2007, 07:50 PM
If its a problem, Id say start modeling the body and worry about the fur later.

Nice referances btw.

08 August 2007, 05:57 PM
So yeah, I got bored this afternoon and decided to throw caution to the wind and...well...hell, its a start...

08 August 2007, 01:01 AM
I'm glad you have decided to stick with it mate, good start!

08 August 2007, 01:03 AM
Glad you decided not to drop out - squirrels are such sute little guys and it would be a pity if their hairdo meant they weren't included.

08 August 2007, 03:18 PM
No idea how to go about the head so I thought it would be worth studying the skull. Give clues etc...

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