View Full Version : Tropical Scavenger

01 January 2008, 07:45 AM
Hi guys.

I am an animation student at Sheridan's 4 year classical animation program. Throughout my 4 years at Sheridan I have been heavly influenced by traditional medium and 2d artworks and had experience modeling, texturing and animating in Maya. I thought I give myself a challenge by creating a game character.

Here is a personal project I have been developing:

Tropical Scavenger

Below is a design that I have in mind since 2nd year animation. During 2nd year we studied the human bone skeletons intensively, and as I was studying the Pelvis...I couldn't help notice that it looks like a helmet upset down, which some creature uses.

2 years later....I finally got the image out of my head and onto paper. (


Here is the stage where I need the most help at. I am still a novice at pulling vertex and faces around. Please open Comment and Critiques! (

I am aiming to do a low rez version and a high rez version. The low rez is done in Maya2008. I am going to texture it and animate it.

I want to keep this simple so I am following the similar style of modelling as you see in World of Warcraft. They have simple Geo and good textures. That is what I am going for with the low res model.

The high rez will be imported into Zbrush. (which I am gonna need lots of help from you guys with that when I get to that stage) I am a noob when it comes to normal maps etc.

Here are a couple questions I like to ask:
1. Is the polycount good at this moment or is it too low? Is the topology working?
2. What is the standard poly count for games these days? The average.
3. What kind of Lighting and Shader should I use to simulate what a game engine does? Or is that irrelavent.

Any critiques and comments are most certainly welcome.
Thanks in advance.

01 January 2008, 12:58 AM
Heya guys, a little update.
I am currently in the rigging stage for this creature but I got a question about how the game industry uses rig controls. Do they use extruding joints as handles to move their rig or do they set up nurb shapes for move their rigs?

To clarify what I mean, the img below is my rig using nurb interface to help pick joints.

The picture below is from WoW Modelviewer. I see they got a lot of random joints sticking out. Is that a system of controls? Or am I completely wrong haha.

01 January 2008, 06:38 AM
Heya guys, a little update.
I am currently in the rigging stage for this creature but I got a question about how the game industry uses rig controls. Do they use extruding joints as handles to move their rig or do they set up nurb shapes for move their rigs?

The picture below is from WoW Modelviewer. I see they got a lot of random joints sticking out. Is that a system of controls? Or am I completely wrong haha.

It looks like those odd bones that don't correspond to the character's skeleton are attach points for armor and such. The bones are just points in space - all that's stored is relative rotation and translation of a point (maybe not even translation, actually), and so the model viewer is connecting them in the heirarchy, but those random ones that stick out towards the shoulder or the back are for attaching props.

01 January 2008, 06:43 AM
Ahhh thank you for the explaination now it made more sense. But do you know if games uses nurb shapes for controls? or something more simple?

01 January 2008, 05:38 AM
Hey guys.

The creature is coming along now, I finished the UV layout and I am currently texturing the bugger.

However I ran into a problem with how the texture is being displayed in Maya. I am painting it in Photoshop with a resolution of 2560x2560. But when I input the texture onto the model it looks very grainy. Why is that? :shrug:

Also How do i get rid of those polygon shading? I am trying to simulate how Blizzard texture WoW.

Can anyone help me please? This is my biggest road block atm. :scream:

Thanks in advance!!! :buttrock:

01 January 2008, 12:13 PM

I just wanted to say that I really dig this guy, going from the concept you put up.

I am a 3dsmax user, so maya is a little beyond me. But the polygon shading is something that is probably stated in the display options of your viewport (where you can also set wireframe view) if that doesn't help you don't have your smoothinggroups set up as of yet.
The fact that your texture seems grainy in the viewport has to do with maya probably scaling your texture down for realtime preview in the viewport, just to save memory. You can turn this off but I have no clue where so try searching for it in the help... in max you set it in the driver options, so I guess this is the same with maya.

Cheers, hope I could help!

01 January 2008, 12:29 PM
Thanks guys. I think I found the option. In maya it is under Normals-> Soften Edges.

....I think that is the one, please correct me if I am wrong.

01 January 2008, 09:59 PM
That's exactly what you're looking for. Soften/Harden edges. 3dsMax uses smoothing groups to achieve the same effect, but Maya's Soften/Harden is way cooler :)

01 January 2008, 11:36 PM
That looks pretty good so far. With smooth edges it should look better and just keep in mind that games like WoW use textures of 512x512 or 1024x1024 pixels for characters so don't spend too much time on tiny details that won't be visible when you scale down the image.

01 January 2008, 06:31 AM
Thanks guys for the feedbacks.

Here is a rough Texturemap so far. Just to test out displacement Once again I am faced with another road block, partly due to my inexperience with game model UV mapping.
I UV out using method used in feature when I am painting the texture its a little hard cuz it warps on the model.

Does anyon have anytips on how to UV map for game character? Or any tutorials you can recommand?

01 January 2008, 05:15 PM
just a tip, unless you want the "sketched" sort of look, you should remove any evidence of brush strokes especially in the chest area.

Other than that, it's pretty good so far... with normal maps it'll look much better
and btw, High poly models are usually used to generate the normal maps and aren't used in game :)

01 January 2008, 12:30 PM
Can Zbrush handle Triangle poly models? Or does it only support quads?

01 January 2008, 12:53 PM
It can handle triangles... Badly. It might give you some weird smoothing after being subdivided so try to stick to quads.

01 January 2008, 01:37 PM
Darn I guess there is no way I can do a normal map with this creature, I thought gaming uses triangles or else I would have just stick with quads. there a function in maya that can "Quadangulate"?

01 January 2008, 08:50 PM
well, if you really want normalmaps you could just delete the unwanted edges by hand. Shouldnt take too long on a relatively lowpoly model like this :)

01 January 2008, 11:37 PM
Game models do use triangles but Zbrush models aren't game models :) And yes, there's a Quadrangulate in Maya (8.5 at least) called... Quadrangulate. It's in the Mesh menu I think.

01 January 2008, 12:39 AM
Right, do that and from now on just work in Quads (especially if you want to use ZBrush or any kind of subsdivision after) then triangulate it once you've finished everything.

For the UV mapping, I don't know what you mean by the "method used in feature animation"...did you mean the inefficient, wrong method? ;) You should always test your UV map with a checker texture while you're mapping the object. That way you'll know exactly how the texture will stretch. Never start texturing before you've finished your UV map or you might have to re-map certain parts and redo the texture also. In your case, simply using "relax" tools will do the trick. All major applications use this - some better than others - so you should be fine. You could also use ZBrush or something like BodyPaint 3D and Deep Paint 3D to paint directly on the model if you're having difficulties doing it only in Photoshop.

Once you go in ZBrush, you can even use ZAppLink to save certain angles of your model then export them to Photoshop as layers and pain on them in there too! Then you save the file and Z will apply the textures from all the angles you selected previousely...then you just have to fix the seams.

Good luck!

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