View Full Version : HMC 10 - Elephant takedown

07 July 2007, 05:50 PM
I'm hoping to have three lions taking down a Bull elephant. I've started poly modeling, and will have updates soonish.

07 July 2007, 05:57 PM
Poor Elephant... i don't like something like this :(

07 July 2007, 06:09 PM
You better finish it this time ;)

07 July 2007, 06:14 PM
Poor Elephant... i don't like something like this :(

Unless you depict the elephant dishing out some punishment of his own!

Sure, he's got 3 lions on him.... but maybe one's being grabbed around the neck with his trunk and about to be hurled off..... I think something like that would be sweet. Don't make it easy for the lions!!!

You've got quite a lineup of modeling to do! :)

07 July 2007, 06:22 PM
You better finish it this time ;)
Yeah, no silly vacations to interrupt this time :thumbsup:

07 July 2007, 06:26 PM
Alright, so not much to start with, but here's something to post anyway. Trying to go for a clean edgeflow and whatnot.. we'll see how long that lasts :D

07 July 2007, 09:39 PM
I saw a documentary (probably Planet Earth) once about a bull that had gotten separated from the rest of the herd at night (elephants have terrible eyesight). During the dry season so there was a pride of very hungry lions. Took a couple dozen of them but they finally brought the elephant down.

07 July 2007, 10:52 PM
** Double post.. eep **

07 July 2007, 10:52 PM
I saw a documentary (probably Planet Earth) once about a bull that had gotten separated from the rest of the herd at night (elephants have terrible eyesight). During the dry season so there was a pride of very hungry lions. Took a couple dozen of them but they finally brought the elephant down.
Yeah, I saw that one also.. there was a huge hoorah about it because it was apparantly 'too graphic' :rolleyes:

But yeah, it turns out elephant takedowns by a pride of lions are actually pretty rare because of the fact that elephants are such dangerous animals. So reference is scarce and I'll be watching that documentary again to try to sketch out a composition. I've already got something in my head that would probably work, but I'm not sure how realistic it will look when it's finished so I'm gonna have to rewatch that and get some solid ideas together.

07 July 2007, 11:10 PM
hell of an ambitious plan you've got there! Hope you get it all done :) Best of luck :thumbsup:

08 August 2007, 03:00 AM
Okay, last update for me today. Not bad for a day's work I guess.. if I can keep this pace I should be on track to finish my composition.

08 August 2007, 07:20 PM
head is finished, tusks will be separate objects

08 August 2007, 07:36 PM
Wow I just realized I forgot to give him a mouth. :blush:

08 August 2007, 05:28 AM
Looks great! Cant wait to see your lions!:thumbsup:

08 August 2007, 01:49 PM
Very cool Elephant head, love the mesh.
Seems like I got a fair elephant model opponent :P
jk, good luck on it, looking great so far.

08 August 2007, 02:30 PM
yes, great work !!

08 August 2007, 04:12 PM
oh the poor thing it'll starve before it's killed - double trouble :scream: Great start! Keep going!

08 August 2007, 11:15 PM
Alright, elephant basemesh is essentially done. Sorry there weren't any in between shots, figured I'd save you guys from updates every time I move a vertex around :wise:

Anyway, there are a few things left to be done (he has no tail at the moment), but I'll be rigging and posing it probably tomorrow if time permits.

08 August 2007, 11:55 PM
Looks thing you might've missed out though. Ear holes :)

Come to think of it, my bull has his genitals missing. Right, I'm off to make him happy. (That sounds wrong on so many levels)

08 August 2007, 11:57 PM
Ah, good catch. That would've been a pain in the ass after I'd already UV'd it

08 August 2007, 03:12 AM
nice model man!
ure going for a all textured and rendered one?

waiting for ups!

08 August 2007, 03:42 AM
Yeah, I'm shooting for a fully textured comp. Although I'll probably provide a shader rendered version too so the models themselves can be seen better. We'll see how she goes.

08 August 2007, 04:39 AM
Hrm, I'm gonna rework the mouth a bit. I did a quick overlay with a reference of an african bull elephant and most everything else is lining up except the jaw area:

08 August 2007, 07:11 AM
Looks thing you might've missed out though. Ear holes :)

Come to think of it, my bull has his genitals missing. Right, I'm off to make him happy. (That sounds wrong on so many levels)

totally wrong. hows the name of amnesty for animals?????

great elephant. love those big calm creatures.

08 August 2007, 07:38 AM
I really like watching the progress you make on these challanges its so fast, can't wait for the details to start being added.

I think you should maybe make a slight adjustment to the rear, lower the mesh almost to the level of the hips so it has that slope to it that you can see in the skeleton of the Bull. It will have two advantages

Lions will be able to leap onto its flanks with front paws and,
When it runs it will have that authenticity of the quick gait that a running elephant has, when you see it from behind.

08 August 2007, 08:30 AM
Yeah, there are a few proportion tweaks I'm going to run through once I get it into zbrush (such as lengthening the legs ever-so-slightly). Adjusting the back to match the spine is definitely on my list

08 August 2007, 09:30 AM
Its coming together, as a fello elephant modeller, its kinds difficult getting the props on these things. Nice work.

08 August 2007, 11:01 AM
Sweet progress! Cant wait to see you scene.:thumbsup:

08 August 2007, 01:00 PM
Good modeling... but something fails somewhere (I do not know what). Perhaps it serves this image like reference…
Perhaps after posing it and with the eyeteeth, will be more realist. :thumbsup:

08 August 2007, 10:48 PM
animastur: I see what you're saying, but keep in mind that's finished and mine isn't ;)

In update land, I got him rigged and posed today. I'm not the best rigger/animator in the world, so I really did a half assed job and then cleaned up the mess with soft selection and careful tweaking. There's quite a bit of stretching in places, but since this is going to be a still composition, I'm not too worried about it. I'm giving him a broken tusk on the right side, simply so it doesn't interrupt the facial features and whatnot. Also maybe he's missing a tusk so that's why he's the target of the attack (probably a stretch, but in the end who cares :)) This is also roughly the camera angle I've decided on.. the comp will be a traditional triangle, with the lions rounding out the pattern. Or I may just scrap the whole thing and make a whole bunch of them stand in a line and do the MC Hammer Dance

08 August 2007, 12:32 AM
Good progress. As for the pose, try and expose his ears more, rather than flatten them and I also don't like the position of the trunk at the moment. Check out LOTR 3...obviously the elephants there are three times bigger, but some of the poses are brilliant.

BadG3r: "totally wrong. hows the name of amnesty for animals?????"

That would be PETA. Send them over, I'll make a full confesion, whilst lobbing sharp knifes in their faces. God, I hate hypocrates. Anyway, this is off-topic. Sorry.

08 August 2007, 02:18 AM
agreed on the ear. I came back and looked at that WIP shot and the ear jumped out at me instantly. So I flared it out a bit to make it look like it's in mid-rustle.. in doing so, however, I broke my topological symmetry on accident and now I can't sculpt in symmetry :cry:

No big deal I guess since you can only really see the one side.

08 August 2007, 08:08 PM
The sculpting begins.. still pretty rough at this point, a lot of subtlty to add here and there. I flipped the ear out a bit and altered his balance ever so slightly to really drive home the 'takedown' part of this comp. When it's finished he should look like he's on the brink of hitting the ground, where he'll have no chance of survival (mwahahaha!)

08 August 2007, 09:04 PM
You're gonna hate me for saying this, but I still think you need to work on your pose. The ear is obviously much better now, but what worries me is the right leg, which seems like it is glued to the body. I would also change the position of the left leg, as shown bellow:

Obviously, the drawing is horrible, but I hope it is enough to illustrate my point. By changing the position of both legs, the elephant would appear more viscious and decisive. The green line represents the line of action and also the spine. By curving it futher, you're instantly making the body more dynamic. If you could just slightly deform the body as to follow the curved line, perhaps the pose might look more stable and definitive. Hope this helps :)

08 August 2007, 09:33 PM
Ah, I guess what we're differing on is what the final composition actually is then. The elephant isn't viscious and/or decisive, he's basically at the point of defeat. The back-right leg (his left) is stressed under the weight of his frame, and the back-left leg (his right) has been knocked off balance by the force of impact caused by the lion (which is still missing). The front legs are both still carried behind the momentum of the shock, so in a natural pose they'd be closer to what I've got already. I like the idea of more curve in the spine, because it would in effect give it more motion, but I have to be careful of crossing the reality line at some point, because if he flexes too much under the strain of the impact it'll make the lion look unbelievably heavy. So yeah, he's not rearing up as if he's seen a mouse or something, he's literally been hit broadside by something with sharp teeth :)

08 August 2007, 09:49 PM
Yeah, I totally forgot that the elephant is being attacked by a lion. I still would however recommend a stronger silhouette for the elephant, but that could always be obtained by slightly rotating the camera or extending the trunk, so that it creates a negative area between itself and the mouth.

In the image above, notice how your attention is instantly drawn towards the elephant on the right, due to the fact that his silhouette is far more defined and clear than the elephant on the left.

08 August 2007, 07:50 AM
I agree that the silhouette could be stronger, and I've toyed around a bit with various poses but for some reason I keep coming back to variants of this one. So as a compromise I'm going to rotate him a bit just to give a bit more definition to the outline without sacrificing the placement of the other models that I'm planning on. With the sketching and posing I haven't had much time for other things, so all I've got for this update is the detail/color pass (tusks/eyes unfinished, obviously). Still tweaking it here and there.. haven't decided if I'm going to have him standing in mud or kicking up dust. The only time a lion attacks an elephant is during the dry season when they're extremely hungry, so dust is the more likely scenario..

08 August 2007, 12:51 PM

08 August 2007, 08:05 PM
Is interesting the texture (although a little silver-plated) … how it is done?

08 August 2007, 10:36 PM
beautiful work! looking forward to seeing the lions!:thumbsup:

08 August 2007, 09:32 PM
Well, the powers that be do not want me to finish this thing.. Computer died this morning, and it won't be fixed for at least a week. If it gets fixed sooner, I'll try to make the deadline, but who knows..

SO ANGRY! :banghead:

08 August 2007, 05:37 AM
Sad news eLDee, sorry to hear about your system. What a big dissappointment after all your work. We all know it was going to be a great piece, and so do (after you have got angry) take the time to retrench and take a look at some things you have'nt had time for and come back at it refreshed.....we will all wait patiently to see what you do when its all fixed, and you are rocking along in top gear again.

09 September 2007, 10:51 PM
HCR MINI-Challenge #10: Animals in Motion:Post the Final (

PS If you dont finish on time, at least I can spotlight the piece later.

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