View Full Version : Steampunk Myths and Legends Entry: Nico Strobbe

11 November 2008, 01:56 PM
Nico Strobbe is entered in the "Steampunk Myths and Legends" update: View Challenge Page (

Latest Update: Finished Video: Creation Of FrankAndSteam (

11 November 2008, 01:58 PM

lets have another try at a big challenge.
At the moment i'm sill putting the last hand on the hardcore modeling challenge which is a steampunk challenge as well. So i could say i'm a little warmed up already.

good luck to all.

11 November 2008, 07:15 PM
I got a kind of first raw concept and want to post i before it's too late!

it's a cliché, but it's called:

The Creation of FrankenSteam!

So, in a little more broad explanation: Frankensteam made a monster from various parts of steamy and non-steamy things. Creating a monster that can be seen as a custom built low-steamer.
It will have the characteristics of a low-rider (impala like) and mechanical arms, a monster of frankenstein looking head and a huge steam engine sticking out of the hood.
I kind of spoil the fun now, but the trailer will try to hide the complete creation.
It will be cartoony, fun, and short. So let's sharpen the pencil and let's get to designing this beast. Since i'm not a real rigger and skinner, i'll make frankensteam as well as a mechanical character with much more simpleness.

cheers all and keep tuned

11 November 2008, 03:46 PM (

I finally got my first Concept drawings online.

At the moment i'm doing much research towards the mechanics for the main character, to ensure he is a flexible one with lots of possibilities toward it's riggin.

a Few notes:

* Arms are very free and flexible and movements go beyond the shoulders.
* Arms and Legs will be extendible to extreme lengths. (Still maintaining a cartoony feeling.
* Flexible parts that will add interesting secondary motion to animations.
* A few transformable items like the lights to build up a higher flexibility in animation.
* Lots of lighting possibilities to ensure emotive expressiveness.
* Steam exhausts to express style.

And much more.

11 November 2008, 01:51 PM (

This is another more complete concept but still not exactly where it needs to be. Modeling will start very soon.

11 November 2008, 02:12 PM
If you put anywhere near the amount of detail you put in your steampunk starwars walker, you will do very well indeed.

Best of luck to you mate.


11 November 2008, 07:07 PM
Oh Nico, I'm subscribing to your thread

FrankenSteam I'm can't stop laughing :p

This is gonna be a good one, don't forget the "It's alive, it's alive!!!" in your trailer :)

11 November 2008, 07:19 PM
Thanks RageOfAges, i don't think i'm gonna push the limit again with this modeling. Will be more moderate and will focus more on overall feeling. The walker gave me too many problems with software limitations.

Hey Gerard, it will be fun to say at least. Have already many little jokes ready in my mind. Won't really tell them now but i hope i can use them. And this also includes the "it's alive" sentence.
By the way, in the title of the last concept you can see i changed the title of the project to "FrankAndSteam Creations".

This will be the name of the building as if it was a company. This way i move further away from the original story and make it a more interesting piece.


11 November 2008, 08:26 PM (

Here is a progress render for the creation of FrankAndSteam so far.
Mostly this is still a mix between polygons and nurbs to make it easier to change certain shapes. As detail get's added, nurbs surfaces get polygonized and adjusted as we go.

In this render you see the 4 main elements of the creature. The head proxy, the upper body (steam power) the lower body and the leg. The leg will be exciting out of 3 parts that extend the length of this lower part.
Most parts still contain little detail so still much to do.


11 November 2008, 08:53 PM
nice clean and detailish model,
I like the overall form of this machine also
keep up good works, ;)

11 November 2008, 02:27 AM
Good start Nico, you lucky I had no time to work on mine.

11 November 2008, 02:45 AM
Thanks mim,

the overal shape will look a lot heavier with all 4 legs, but posed this will be a freaky beast. At the moment a lot of shapes and stuff look like animal inspired mechanical shapes. Pretty fun. With all four legs it looks like a libel. The back part is like a whale and the knee contains a snail like head.

Hey Gerard, yes, i am so happy you didn't work on it :twisted:
Your last update was already a nice step forward. But even if this modeling seems fast, afterward i still have uv mapping to do and shading and texturing. Damn i'm getting depri even thinking about it. Just like i did with the Walker, i think the detail makes it easyer to just do shading and minimal texturing. Let's hope it works.

cheers and detail is adding and adding and adding and becoming a possible problem later on.

11 November 2008, 01:47 AM (

Some mere update on the detailing and progress is going a little slow i think. But i did do more work than meets the eye.
The lower part of the leg is already build in poly's in 3 parts that fit seamlessly and are containing pistons.
Getting the surface smooth is a lot of work.

Still almost all parts for the upper part of the body are still nurbs so converting everything also will take a lot of time.

11 November 2008, 05:12 AM
Looking awesome, of course, nico!
Nurbs, though? ouch!
I have no doubt you'll pull it off great. Keep it up.


11 November 2008, 07:05 AM
Wow nothingness really good job on the modeling. Your imagination and creativity is something special. Heres some sugestions to help bring out the best.

1. Color Scheme (this will make it stand out)

2. Dirty Textures (this will make or break the design)

3. Use reference (see what color & textures make for a strong piece)

Good luck, (ill keep my eye on this one)

Richard Falcon CGiMATE Animator :thumbsup:

11 November 2008, 01:34 PM
Sweet sweet modeling mate...unusual kind of steampunk stuff, like your quadripod of the hcr, you have a interesting style :thumbsup:

And, well, there are few other Belgians in the challenge, just that some of them don't work actually in Belgium... you are the third Belgian "nico" here :D
We're not so rare over here :bounce:

11 November 2008, 03:26 PM
RageOfAges, thanks and yeah, nurbs, auwtch! :twisted: But once knowing it, it is an unmissable tool in maya. This is the main reason i hate learning other modeling apps.

HungryRich101, thank you too! I learned a lot for compositing so adjusting shading and textures in post-production will be very flexible. So be sure this one will have texturing and dirt maps.

Goul, wow, didn't know there was another belgian in the challenge.
I hope this creature turns out as interesting as the walker. I'm glad steampunk has a broad variety of possible styles so i'll just try to create my own and go as far as possible.

cheers all

11 November 2008, 04:53 PM
Awesome amout of details :) I'm not quit sure how it moves, but i guess im gonna see that later on ;)

Keep it up.

11 November 2008, 05:43 PM
Hey deje3D,

the leg had a way of moving like the arm. The first piston-part attached to the locomotive body part is like the shoulder, then you have the upper arm-part that also extends in length because it's a piston after all.
The last part is something else. It mainly is like a huge under-arm, but the difference is that it is build in 3 parts that extend by the huge pistons built into it. When i finish it i will show it so you can see how it exactly is build.
Intention is to be able to do any kind of movement with the arms.


11 November 2008, 11:33 PM
indeed very good job with the steampunk elements!:)

11 November 2008, 12:44 AM
Nico, another amazing piece. I'm excited to see how it develops.

The skinny parts of the legs look severely unstructurally sound, however. The steam tanks or whatever it is on the bottom part of the legs look like they weigh a lot, as does the "torso." Can you thicken the skinny parts up without hurting the design?

11 November 2008, 01:31 AM
Nico, another amazing piece. I'm excited to see how it develops.

The skinny parts of the legs look severely unstructurally sound, however. The steam tanks or whatever it is on the bottom part of the legs look like they weigh a lot, as does the "torso." Can you thicken the skinny parts up without hurting the design?

It's cause of the contrast i try to achieve. Steampunk and my variation on it, is all about the impossible. I think it will be like my walker with the small feet. Some don't like it but i think it's what it makes it what it is.
When it's starting to get posed you'll see this is not the only thing that will be way too impossible :buttrock:
But thanks for the comments

11 November 2008, 07:22 PM
Hey Nico!

Looking nice your speampunk :) and like others say before, allot of details you got there!
Can't wait to see for next update! ;)

11 November 2008, 02:24 AM (

Another update on the modeling for the main character. It is getting rather extremely detailed so i hope i can stop it anytime soon. I just keep adding and adding. Only parts that need adding right now it the lower leg. The other parts need some refinements to the current detail and i should do the foot. Then it's up to a hard part: the head.

Hope you like it.

And please, no comments on the impossibleness of certain parts.

11 November 2008, 02:37 AM
nice entry. Greate start,

Cool designs and modeling

good luck

11 November 2008, 03:14 AM
good job man, those models looks great!:)

11 November 2008, 06:49 AM
great looking models. Can't wait to see this continue to evolve.

11 November 2008, 02:20 AM
it looks very good, congratulations!!!

11 November 2008, 03:23 PM (

Hey all,

I got a little tired of the creature so i started on modeling something else for a change.
This is the house and steam power plant where the story will unfold. It will be used to create an outdoor scene where these buildings are located on a very thin rock surrounded by a huge pit.

The mood will be comic like and dramatic in lighting. This dark test is just for fun to try and see how well the surfaces keep their shapes. In the final scene the moon - that gives a light as wel - will be located at the back and therefore will give a nice backlighting. The lanterns will be very suitable to fill up the detail at the front.


11 November 2008, 03:27 PM
An additional note:

The steam powered plant still needs some work to make it look more steam powered and less nuclear.
All buildings are still WIP. So i'm adding detail where i see fit cause it will loose a lot otherwise. These buildings won't end up in a close up. But i think it will be suitable for a medium close up at best. I believe the current size i used for the render is the max and with shaders and textures it should look just perfect.

I will try and do some work for the storyboard as well. I still have most things in my mind and change them as we go. But i think there should be some on paper.


11 November 2008, 03:32 PM
Staszek, alvin-cgi, Vidar3d, LoboRecio,

Thanks alot peeps. I can't wait to see this evolve myself. :twisted:

I so hope i can finish this one.

11 November 2008, 04:24 PM
This is some exellent building design, reminds me a bit the one from the Fallout universe :)
Doesn't see any reference of nuclear energy style, and, even if, finally, theses are using steam the same way than the coal one (just the base energy source is different) thats ok for me ;)

Maybe make some coal or wood stock near to it to clarify the energy source

11 November 2008, 04:31 PM
Thanks a lot Goul,

But now you mention this,

my plan was: the building was located inside a rocky environment - to contrast the metal for the characters and buildings - on a thin rock that like rises from a pit. So i also had the idea to connect tubes from the steam plant into the mountain it lays upon.
The piece of rock the building are standing on starts extremely thin and expands it's surface to the top part to actually fit the buildings :twisted:

But now you mention coal as a source for heat this could be perfectly integrated. I don't think i'll spend much time on modeling stuff that could mine the coal, but i'll do some research on how it looks and keep this in check.

thanks a lot man
appreciate the cool input

11 November 2008, 10:23 AM
Nice job here Nico, I love your frankeinstein !

11 November 2008, 08:45 PM
Hey Nico!

I really love that style you made there :)!!!
Its really fits with the main character, and gife the same mood as the character.
hard to gife you feedback, just take it or leave it, if I was you I should make more details on the right building, big screw or other things. The left building does have it more then the right.

Anyway its hard to gife feedback :( you gife me so much feedback that when I see your work I want to do something back :)

Whats your plans about the texture, style/color? And how will the environment look like?

Keep it going Nico :)!

11 November 2008, 09:37 PM
Hey Gilles, really great to see ya. Oh, and the title is actually called FrankAndSteam :twisted: A little word-play :buttrock:

Hey Arnaud, thanks a lot. And don't worry, the feedback i give you is done with pleasure. I don't need you to be obligated to comment me here. But it's always welcome. You can ask me things as you like if they might even help you learn some. So feel free.

And about the detail, at the moment i'm looking into what i'm gonna do with this. Cause you need to know that the building is not going to show up really big. I was busy on the environment around the building and this give even more mood to the buildings themselves.

Not sure for the textures. I'm first gonna try to do a little old rusty metal-paint combination. So this will already give lot's of detail to the model so that i might not need to add it in polys. But i can always do that later when it's needed or there is enough time.

But now i'm busy with getting the character finished. But it's a lot of work.


12 December 2008, 10:51 AM
really good progress you did sofar, I like the form of assets all around, and now waiting to see what u'll came with next!
wish you all the bests luck by the way,
keep going, ;)

12 December 2008, 01:49 PM
nice idea .. and the usual amount of detail i see ...;)

12 December 2008, 11:31 PM
Thanks Mim, good luck to you too. Hope to post something new soon.

Simjoy, thanks man. I hope not too much detail this time. I'm busy learning the proper workflow for texturing and think i got it. Am doing the second redo for the uv-mapping so it's just perfect for painting in bodypaint. Learned it in a few hours and it's great.
The upper part of the body is fully polygon and weighs in at about 260k polys. But i think in overall it will be still manageable.

Cheers and hope to post a texturing progress screenshot soon.

12 December 2008, 07:58 AM
I love where you are taking this in terms of style. Its Jules Verne, but still steampunk.

12 December 2008, 01:22 AM (

So i finally got around to finalizing the shading and texturing for only one part of the main character.
Texturing has been done in bodyPaint and shading and rendering back into maya.


12 December 2008, 01:45 AM
Hey Pyke, thanks a lot.
I believe it's starting to become a very nice mix of many styles and writers that it will be a very cool project even if i don't manage to finish it in time. But i sure as hell am gonna try.

A few extra notes on the texturing: Most textures are 2k and some 3k. 48 textures in total to be exact for just this piece. It's around 368Mb for the maya iff files and 876,4 Mb for the psd's. But lucky me it's not all that bad to render them out. I do hope in the end i don't end up with too much cause i can't use my 8 Gig ram at the moment.

Most of the time i spend on this shading/texturing is to get the stuff uv-mapped. Then learn bodypaint from scratch without any manuals. Then i redid all the uv's to get them just perfect and started painting. Took a lot of days cause it's rather stressy when you just are doing this for the first time.

So let's hope the other parts will be easyer and finished quickly.

cheers and till soon

12 December 2008, 03:09 AM
Oh wow. I already love the modelling, lighting and texturing on this! If I didnt see the model shots from before, I'd swear that you'd built an actual miniature model instead!

12 December 2008, 06:09 AM
This is Really GREAT WORK! Nice concept and modeling!Good luck with your entry!:applause:

12 December 2008, 10:37 AM

what a beaty!!! exellent texturing! No doubt it will be a hardcore steampunk stuff!

12 December 2008, 01:31 PM
SynthOrange, thanks alot! I hope to still be able to give it a less realistic look, but in compositing there is so much we can do. Let's hope i can keep up the style.

adib, thanks man, welcome aboard :beer:

kacorkiraly, many thanks too. I'm really satisfied with the texturing due to the fact i'm doing this for the first time in this detail. Doing this with just photoshop is just way too hard.
Anyways, the link in your signature to your steampunk entry is to your portfolio. I tried to look for your work cause i loved the concepts you did. Really great.

cheers all and keep tuned

12 December 2008, 04:46 PM
Nice texturing job, really like it....You use mental ray for that? (i think so)

I also have the problem with texturing, huge maps, huge memory usage, especially on these kinds of bot...Btw, everything depends of how you will manage your rendering and of your hardware.

Personnaly i don't have a really big computer,so i will use two set, on low and one high for closeup shots (not only for texture, but also shaders, poly subdivisions etc..). When comes time to build the scenes, i will use the low or the hd model
I think if you encounter troubles with your model (for now it's ok, but maybe later, with environnement and lighting, etc..process shaders with huge textures can be really render-time consumming ), you can do something similar to speed-up some shots, so don't worry too much about it for now...It's always easier to make smaller from bigger ;)

12 December 2008, 06:40 PM
Thanks Nico!

Yes, i use mental ray and yes, i hate it !!
At the moment i don't have too many good choices of renderers cause i run this on a mac platform. I have a mac pro 8x 2,8 Ghz with 8 gig ram, an 8800Gt and a stripped boot plus some extra data disks.
And i encountered a rather large problem with memory when rendering a large image of my star wars walker. But the problem was more of the size of the frame then the amount of detail. So let's hope i don't get into any of these probs with this project.
And i think getting into a lower res model for me isn't really an opportunity. I did do this kind of stuff with the walker just to make the files manageable during editing and stuff.

If i get into too much probs i'll be trying to run a 64bit linux with a 64 bit maya. Just for rendering this should fix a lot of problems. I did try a 64bit for windows, but i found that the maya itself was rather slow.
It wouldn't be the first time i had to cancel the project due to software limitations. I so much hate that stuff.

12 December 2008, 12:40 AM
Hey Nico!

Finally some textures! Looking great, like the color combination.
Keep it up ;)

12 December 2008, 09:44 PM
Awesome texture :D

I can't wait to see more.

U will go after realistic texture?

12 December 2008, 11:45 PM
Hi Nico,

Great model and texture so far... Can't wait to see how this develops!

Keep going man

12 December 2008, 08:10 AM
Wow, thats truely amazing work, my worry was about rendering. But you got 16 cores. The problem is ram. Whatever happens you gotta enter the modelling category, I think youd win that.

12 December 2008, 07:22 PM
last shadering test is greate!! cant wait to see all of it :)
Only wish to see even very simple storyboard - just to see how the triler or anim. wiill looks like ;)

12 December 2008, 08:23 PM
Hey great textures buddy, I like to see the story board also, it looks so promising man! ;)
keep up great work, :D


12 December 2008, 09:27 PM
Hey Arnaud, thanks a lot. Color choosing isn't my strongest field.

Deje3D, thanks man! Still not sure, i'll just keep all textures like this piece but will see how it stands with the lighting and rendering. I render in passes so i can change a lot anyway.

Duncs, thanks. I have less time now so i hope to be able to post next render within 30 hours.

Hey Airflow, thanks a lot. I must say that for the moment rendering is not very slow. This part with all the huge amount of textures and 250k polys is not really heavy it seems. For the first test render at 1024x768 it was 20 sec. And ram yes, it's a major issue. Bu i will make sure i try a 64bit solution in time in case of. When everything is ready to go, i just have to press render. So i'll look into linux. If i can get it to run properly on my mac.
And you mean going for the modeling subprize right ? I have to see how one get's nominated for the subcatagory but i sure would like to try this. Even would love to try for the character sub :applause:

Staszek and mim, thanks peepz. I have the storyboard safely in my mind. And it's subject to constant changes. But i think it's time to start putting it on paper. So i think i know what to do this night.
Hope to post it soon then.

cheers peeps

12 December 2008, 12:33 AM
Wow love your textures Nico, making me want to rework mine a bit.

12 December 2008, 08:31 AM

Nice work, amazing textures. Keep going :wip:

12 December 2008, 03:49 PM
Thanks Nico!

Yes, i use mental ray and yes, i hate it !!
At the moment i don't have too many good choices of renderers cause i run this on a mac platform. I have a mac pro 8x 2,8 Ghz with 8 gig ram, an 8800Gt and a stripped boot plus some extra data disks.

I really like 3delight. Even with the free version, using just two cores, it's usually faster than mental ray. It takes a bit of time to get used to doing things differently, but the speed and control is worth it.

12 December 2008, 06:08 PM
Great job. cool textures and excellent presentation. Keep it up... looking forward to more posts :thumbsup:

12 December 2008, 07:33 PM
nice texture and shader, it looks really life like :)

12 December 2008, 10:14 PM
Hi there! long time :)

I see you've pushed your skills a few levels higher, great! Really good design as well as quality of execution.

good luck!

12 December 2008, 11:33 PM
Excellent modeling and texturing of the character and props.
Keep it up.:thumbsup:

12 December 2008, 04:25 AM (

Hey everybody,

I think i almost made my deadline of 30 hours i posted, but i still think there is some work on this piece. But the problem is that it all changes by the environment it is placed in. So i'm gonna change it when it's there.

I'm going to comment you all when i got some sleep. Really need some.


ps. tomorrow i'll post the storyboard. Just need to do some frames and scan.

12 December 2008, 12:26 PM
Hey Gerard, thanks but hey, who knows you might not even see all this detail in the final work. So i think you should wait and see. I hope i still have enough time.

Slimmy, thanks a lot.

DizzyJ, thanks man. I once tried 3delight. But i had to learn too much and try too much and discover too much. Maybe a lot has changed with a new version, but i think i will cost me too much time to get used to it. I'm not really a renderer or a shader expert. And still not sure if 3delight could beat mental ray 2cores versus 16cores. But who knows. You ever tried Rendition? Maybe this is an option to speed up. But it depends on what setup you have.

ShaderMonkey, Thanks man! Really learning a lot from shading, but it's an annoying piece of work to me :thumbsup:

m4rxti4n, thanks. I think it rather looks like a toy, but i guess toys are also life like :bounce:

Hey Arturro, thanks too man. Yeah, i guess i have learned a lot since Eon. Been so long. I really smiled seeing that lazy polar pear back :-D. I hope i can push my quality in time over the whole line. It's really hard and much work.

Micro26, thanks. I hope i can finish the character very soon so you can see what it's all about.

Cheers and i'll get my storyboard up in a little while.

12 December 2008, 06:02 PM (

A little test i did to see both parts together

I still need to adjust the shading for the goldy parts at the back, but will do so when i get everything ready and place it in it's environment.

12 December 2008, 06:09 PM (

And here is the Story Board for the story i have in my mind. But i think due to time i will see if there will be parts added or removed.

Zooming in out of a bush, we close in on an environment within a rocky place. All of a sudden, a person comes out of the dark holding something in it's arms. Checking back to see if someone is watching, he runs towards his castle in the distant. Once inside, he checks the object he is holding and holds it in front of him. Going forward, he puts the object onto his creation and with some work it's finished. Steps back and beholds his creation coming to life. He pushes his voice button and screams out loud: "it's alive, it's alice!".
The creatures gets confused and sees that he is a freak and gets mad. He blows angry steam out of every pipe and stand up in an impressive stance. Frank gets scared and steps back to get into safety. The creature closes in on Frank and really gets angry. He suddenly tries to Roaar to an extreme but seem to only let out a miserable high toned steam-whistle sound and gets embarrassed. Frank pushes his voice botton again and laughs out loud.

End of story.

12 December 2008, 01:07 AM
Cool Designs Nico, another great piece, can't wait ti see more. Congratulations on the Star Wars challange.

12 December 2008, 03:33 AM
Hey Nico,

Wonderful texturing thus far and I like what you've done with the story. Excellent distribution of materials which lead to a very well-balanced color scheme. Great job... can't wait to see more!

- JD

12 December 2008, 12:51 PM
Thanks DogBreath, the star wars stuff was really a learning experience and hope i get way beyond that now. I'll be really needing animation and stuff and is not my thing, ... yet :banghead:

Hey Shadermonkey, thanks and as you may know, so much can change when you put some shading in another environment. Really hope i won't get into too much trouble. So many shaders and so many textures it's a hard work to change all that.


12 December 2008, 03:02 PM
Hey Nico !

I like the look af your story, it sounds like fun :)

Some shots looks the same, are they the same shots? I think you should avoid having shots that are to smililar. Every shot should have a big change. Maybe a other angle?

12 December 2008, 03:57 PM
Hey Nico !

I like the look af your story, it sounds like fun :)

Some shots looks the same, are they the same shots? I think you should avoid having shots that are to smililar. Every shot should have a big change. Maybe a other angle?

Thanks, and yeah, every shot will be different. I used 1 drawing 2 times to same me some drawing :bounce:
Once i start animating, i'll be looking into the shots. It will be like: animating the right moves, and then doing the camera moves. Then adjusting the animation and when it's final, do some detailing. Cause it all depends on what is possible with both characters.

So don't worry ;-)

12 December 2008, 04:36 PM
Great Ideea and modeling!Very nice one,and model is looking good! Best to you!:beer:

12 December 2008, 05:12 PM
Heeey Nico!!!

Nice progresse! Its long time I din't checked your progresse ( din't had internet for some time and its still not fixed!)
really like those textures you used ;) can't wait for the rest of it!

Keep the work comming!

ps, happy new year already if I won't speak you before that.

12 December 2008, 07:23 PM
wow ! This is really beautiful !
Great texturing and rendering job Nico !
A thread to follow, for sure !

01 January 2009, 02:47 PM
Hey Adib, thanks and let's hope i can still keep up the pace. Hard to keep up with you :-D

Hey Arnaud, thanks man, and a heppy new year to you too! Been a huge while since i updated anything. Been a slow progress. So i seriously need to speed up. This is the time i'll update what i have.

Hey Gpepper, thank you too. Hope i can follow up with the work. Time really is running out fast. Will be curious to see if there will be an extention to the time. Still there is so much work with animation.

01 January 2009, 02:49 PM (

Well, it's a leg!

01 January 2009, 02:52 PM (

Nothing changed to the buildings, but added it to the environment. The elements below should explain why the environment is like it is. So no extra words needed here.

01 January 2009, 02:54 PM (

Have a look at the polycount to see the size of this monster. All thanks to some software that was released when it wasn't even ready. Couldn't even go back so this was the only option.

01 January 2009, 02:57 PM (

So this is Frank, from FrankAndSteam industries. He still doens't look too much steampunk but due to fear of time shortage, i won't do this one too detailed. Will add some detail here and there before it's finished so don't worry. Will still add some accesoires to the head cause the head is the same one then the one for the monster. But that head is bigger and will have some other details. Also other different textures.

Time is running out. Less than 30 days. Damn i'm so screwed here.

01 January 2009, 09:22 PM
Great progress Nico, I think the small building needs to be level, otherwise it does'nt look convincingly real. Sorry I know its more work, the enviroment looks great, and the bot is coming along nicely.

01 January 2009, 11:30 PM
Thanks DogBreath,

I understand the thing with the small building, but i'll be going for a little bit of a cartoonisch style of rendering and compositing so will keep extra work to a minimum.
I get depressed when i think i still need to rig these creatures and animate them. Think it is about 2 or 3 years ago when i did my first and only piece or animation. Damn this will be a close call.


01 January 2009, 03:03 AM
Like the character design. Looks steampunk to me!

01 January 2009, 01:51 PM
Very nice models, keep posting!!

01 January 2009, 12:57 PM
looks good, keep it up

01 January 2009, 02:20 PM
Ahh, those are fine peaces of machinery...
Nice modeling!

01 January 2009, 12:25 PM
Hey Nico :)

Frank looking great, I like the way you made the head/eyes!
I hope the animation goes well, even if you told us that it will be not easy!

Looking forward!

ps:couldn't you make a female steampunk version :P

01 January 2009, 03:16 PM
Adam TSC: Thanks man, since i got too little time i'l not gonna add anymore detail. So glad you find it steampunk enough.

Thiago-Pirez: Thank and if all goes well i'll be posting a lot in the comming 7 days or so. I'f not this is the end.

SimJoy : Thanks man, still feel sorry for your thread. Kind of the reason i never get into group work. But hey, if you don't try you don't know right.

Musi: Thanks man, i kind of see them as pieces of impossibleness but when i get the texturing finished it could be a piece of junk. Curious :-D

Hey Arnaud, I think the things are more difficult than you think. You see, i've been sick for already about 6 days and still feeling like crap. i now have 7 days to do the most work and it seems like a goddess impossibleness.
I need to work so fast so that when sunday comes, and i can't work any more, i should use the time for rendering. So i'm pushing the limits here. Last week i missed 3 days on some other job (while being very sick) and so i'm getting more and more behind. And since i'm not too good in animating, or ever rigging, i have to spend more time on that. But even then it's way too little.

And yes, i could make a female version of this last bot. I'll paint a bra on it and scale the ass :scream:

cheers and wish me luck. I'll need it.

01 January 2009, 08:46 PM (

So, i'm still way behind but i have finished the Fran model for shading besides some details. Next step is to start rigging. This will be the fun part cause i'm not rigger. But neither am i a shader or texture artist. This will be fun.

Cheers all

01 January 2009, 09:03 PM
Looking good man...but hurry! Only 2 weeks left :D

01 January 2009, 11:13 PM
Nice, you keep a high quality in all your updates :) He looks awesome.

I don't know it you meant it likes this, but the colours on him are pretty much the same all over. And on your "monster" you have more variation, blue, yellow and brown metal colours.

01 January 2009, 11:24 PM
Thanks Tyson, and i know about the deadline. I am so trying to do the impossible here cause it's just way too little time. I'm even still busy on the rigging right now. Damn this is slow progress.

Hey Dennis, I know about the textures, and i did this cause i was in a hurry. Didn't had the time to do the textures with the same finesse like the other one. BUT, i have to say, that in line of the story, the textures do match. You see, this last character is Frank from FrankAndSteam industries and he makes a creation. The creation of FrankAndSteam, which, in essence, is compiled from many parts and vehicles. So, it's logical that he has many different colors and styles. So in this way it should be perfect.
But we'll just have to see how well it works in animation and lighting.

cheers and much fun.

Gonna be a tight ride here

01 January 2009, 11:25 PM
Great update Nico, have fun rigging him!!

Keep posting and good luck finishing your entry...

01 January 2009, 06:34 PM
Thanks Duncs, I got the rigging done and fun is not what i could have calles it :beer:
But i'm surprised i got it finished. So one down, one to go.

Here is a render in the next post!

01 January 2009, 06:36 PM (

So, i got it rigged finally and it sure taught me a lot.
To show the rigging, i posed it so i could see if the model could scratch his own ass.

And by looks of him, he can :-D

I still got one more to do and time is really getting tight.

01 January 2009, 06:38 PM
// deleted //

Ok, due to a little problem with the uploader, i got a strange error and thought the image didn't got uploaded. But seems like it did, so therefor mu 4 attempts got posted.

Sorry for this mess

01 January 2009, 06:38 PM
// deleted //

01 January 2009, 06:40 PM
// deleted //

01 January 2009, 05:42 PM
Nico, hi really good concept here. I feel your stress to get this done but it's good you are making progress. Just curious what software you used to rig the bot?

01 January 2009, 03:23 PM
Thanks Lorne,

the stress is mainly that i try to get a rig as good as possible while i'm not a rigger. And i get so many problems along the way that i have had the idea to stop it all around 15 times a day. So the rig keeps on getting delayed so this means i just keep on getting less and less time to do animation. And animation is not what i'm good at either.

So everything is done in maya. I don't use any kind of plugin or rigging soft. Everything is done from scratch to fit every possible thing. Not really easy. But it's the hard work that teaches you something.

The next rig i'm doing is a little more complex because the 4 legs can actually stretch in 3 parts. And by stretch i don't mean just scale in one axis cause it's a bot and made from solid parts. At the moment, the only parts that are smooth skin binded, are the flexable rubbers in between the toes and fingers. All the rest are attached with parent contraints, aim contraints, point constraints and so on and so on.
Pretty stressy to get it right. But once you get the hang of it it's not that bad.


01 January 2009, 04:29 PM
To show the rigging, i posed it so i could see if the model could scratch his own ass.

And by looks of him, he can :-D

Nice dude ! You think of all the small things, which are very Important. I dont think my character can scrath his own ass :)

I can't wait to next update ;)

01 January 2009, 03:42 PM (

So, i finally got my creature's rig done, and did a pose.
But this got me into another problem. Rendering!

For the same pose at a res of 1024 x 500 pixels with NO final gather, maya on OSX (32bit) took about 55 minutes and 22 seconds.
I did the same scene in windows on a 64bit maya and a render of 2048 x 1000 pixels WITH final gather turned on took about 1 minute and 15 seconds.

Go fingure.
Seems for complex scenes that 64 does matter.
So, i'm gonna do all work for animation now on osx and switch back to win for rendering. Let's hope i'll make it intime.


01 January 2009, 03:47 PM
Hey Dennis, thanks a lot and i don't think there will be a scene where he's scratching his own ass :scream:

i tried to make the other character scratch his nek with his back foot, but it's rather hard. So i didn't do that.


01 January 2009, 10:47 PM
That's one mean-looking robot. Great texturing! Can't wait to see it in motion!

01 January 2009, 06:24 PM
Hey Adam, thanks a lot!

At the moment i have most of my animation. And the creature looks very sweet in motion. Since i'm very short on time i don't know if i'll take the time to cut my previews together to show the result.
The animation could be much better, but it's my second animation i'm doing and the first was many years ago just to try it. And not to mention i don't have the professional rig cause i rigged it myself.
But overall i'm not too disappointed.

Let's hope i make the finish line in time!


01 January 2009, 04:39 PM
Good luck! Your works look very good.

01 January 2009, 08:53 PM
Looking good Nico can't wait to see this move.

01 January 2009, 09:09 PM
Thanks Guning and DogBreath!

i'm really hard at work right now to get ready for setting up the rendering. I had a little playblast but already changed some animations details, and added another scene. But i'm not gonna put any time into trying to upload it. It's just not worth it.

Let's hope i make the deadline.

01 January 2009, 09:50 PM
:) very nice modeling and textures :)

01 January 2009, 03:43 AM
Thanks monart, wait till you see it all together!

At the moment i am ready to start getting into setting up my renders and hoping i can start some. I have lost a lot of time due that maya 2009 has what seems a bug with the parti_volume that is needed for some good volume fog and ray effects. But luckily i found a work around.

The quality just wouldn't have been the same without that.

01 January 2009, 03:48 AM (

And here is the first piece i show you about the indoor. It's way much simpler than i first had in my mind, but hey, time is closing in.

And so i show you i'm not dead ... yet!
Soon i'll set up the fog and test the rendering with the characters. Then i'll set up the rendering passes so i'll have much freedom in getting the style i really want. Cause this render is waaaaayyyy too softy.

cheers all

01 January 2009, 11:58 AM
I'm glad you still alive nico :P
Looking nice, I hope the render won't take much time! How long will be the animation?

01 January 2009, 06:39 PM
Hey Arnaud!

I'm not sure how long the animation is. I think i have around 50 seconds of animation, while i still have no animation yet for the exterior. And for the full video there should be a little slo-mo clip inbetween so not really sure.

At the moment the computer is rendering so heavy that i can't really do much else. I have completed the rendering of my first 4 seconds and now i'm almost up to another 4 seconds for the next shot. So it's really slow. But rendering was first around 2 minutes or lower, and for some reason this sequence is around 3 minutes.
Now i should still make it to the deadline, but the problem is that i can't really do anything else. In osX i am able to work in other apps at a very comfortable speed, but this windows vista sucks so much, that it takes up to a few seconds to open a lousy 640x480 image.
Otherwise i could have been busy doing compositing and stuff.

Really annoying.
But anyway, the result looks way better then i expected at first. But i still don't even have ambient occlusion or my fog layer. So let's hope there is time to still do that. Not really in need fot the AO but would love the fog.

cheers all and thumbs up.

02 February 2009, 04:01 PM (

to make the movie make a little more pro, i did a logo while the rendering took away all resources to be able to make any more.
At the moment the rendered stuff i have look very great and i so want to finish this one.
I will drop the fog layer (don't even think it would make it look any better, but would make it look scaryer) and not sure if i will get around of doing a AO pass.
The rendering for the biggest shot just got higher and higher which means i could be still rendering by the end of monday. Bu i so hope not.
I still have to set up the scene for the outdoor rendering, that also needs a very subtle camera move, and also the setup for the render passes. Cause i know that this scene will look like crap when it's rendered out. I also hope that it will render really fast cause otherwise i will be forced to drop this frame.

So, this is one of the last updates and ifo to let ya'll know this is a huge hit or miss. Can't show you any more cause it's not composited yet and the computer is way too slow to do something else. I so much hate windows for this. Thanks a lot microcrap! Apple should show you how it's done.

02 February 2009, 04:43 PM
Hey Nico, I feel your pain!

I too have only one 32bit machine on which to get everything done and at the moment it's not playing nicely!

Best of luck finishing, your entry is one I'm really looking forward to seeing:thumbsup:

02 February 2009, 02:46 AM (

Software: Maya

Frank of the FrankAndSteam company is a robot spending late night time building creations from various parts and trying to get them to life.
One foggy night he wakes his creation after adding the last important piece and not knowing what the creature will be like.

Play Video >> (

02 February 2009, 02:55 AM
Well, i sure do wanna know if anyone got closer to the deadline then me ?! I got a 3 hours and 15 minutes left.

But now i'm gonna say something about the video, cause i don't think anyone has seen these things yet. The main reason is because they were done in a short period of time.
So i think the video sucks but i do like the separate shots.
There does seem to be some issues with the animation, but hey, i'm not an animator and this is the very first real animation i did. Not to mention i had to animate my own rig and i'm not a rigger.

The time for rendering was way too short so i had to cut back on quality en therefore there are some final gathering issues and a low aliasing that bothers me so much.
These last 18 hours, i've done all the compositing (and rendering of zdepth passes), i've edited all the shots together, then i added the sound (and i think it's horrible), put the video's together and i even forgot to say i also did the graphics. So this is just way too little time to do any of these any good. I spend most time on compositing and have to say, i like compositing.

So i also hope you forgive me for the poor quality, the lack of necessary attention to parts of the video, and sorry for the louse making off.

Cheers all and i really need some rest now.

02 February 2009, 05:15 AM
Hey, glead you make it! Very nice entry,nice designs and the mood is so good!Best to you!

02 February 2009, 11:08 AM
Really good entry! I like your models, they have a very unique style!:applause:
Btw. We managed to get even closer to the deadline... actually only 5 min.
I wonder if anyone can beat that... :curious:
To be honest we really thought we could submit much earlier...
but i guess you know how these things mostly turn out to be... :D

02 February 2009, 11:13 AM
Nice final !

I like it. And I'm glad you finished :) Good luck...

02 February 2009, 07:45 PM
Great movie!!

Very nice style! We had the same problems with our movie. We wish we could have more time to fix a lot of problems but the deadline was our priority!! Actually we had a problem with the uploader and we almost miss it!!

Good luckl!!

02 February 2009, 09:55 PM

02 February 2009, 10:46 PM
Hey Nico,

Really beautiful work! Love the idea and the designs. Great details in the animation!. Congratulations for this splendid work! All the best and cheers!! :beer:

02 February 2009, 12:22 AM
Hey Duncs, hope you've seen the video. It also lacks a lot of attention to the finishing of it but at least i can rest now.

Hey Adib, thanks a lot. best of luck to you too.

cmdrpi, i doubt anybody got closer. I didn't want to spend another hour or 2 to do sound better just out of fear of being late having problems. I haven't uploaded a video before. And thanks about the models. I hope i can at least get a chance of getting the character prize :rolleyes:

deje3D, i'm glad i made it too man. I guess you'll know what a tension it is to get it done in time. And you always wish you got more time.

Thiago-Pires, thanks a lot. Your entry was a killer too. Really loved the 3d part and the nice scenes. A good thing you made it in time then.

Hey DogBreath, nice to see you back and looks like you didn't need to express yourself with lot's of words :applause: Soometimes it's more then we need ;)

Hey Fernando, thanks for the heads up. I really wished i could have done more to the story but we'll just have to try harder next time. But the most important thing is that we learned a lot this time.

cheers all

02 February 2009, 07:27 PM
You did a great job here Nico !
I am not a huge fan of the final movie but the "creature" is amazing !

CGTalk Moderation
02 February 2009, 07:27 PM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.