XM Magdalena 3D print, GGeorgy (3D)
LC #42 Pipers Alley

View Full Version : Steampunk Myths and Legends Entry: Paul Mikulecky

11-11-2008, 07:22 PM
Paul Mikulecky is entered in the "Steampunk Myths and Legends" update: View Challenge Page (http://features.cgsociety.org/challenge/steampunk/view_entries.php?challenger=15787)

Latest Update: Finished Video: Xibalba, The Legend
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1233621616_medium.jpg (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?p=5657188#post5657188)

11-11-2008, 07:32 PM
All the best to everyone! Here is some background (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maya_Hero_Twins)to the myth I'll be artistically deviating from and developing.

11-11-2008, 09:04 PM
Woohoo Paul! Glad to see you joining the challenge. All the best :)


11-13-2008, 07:24 AM
good luck Paul, really nice to see you here! :D
and nice theme looks like Mayan hero myth,
as a side note: btw it's really strange you didn't know what is the sleep! :D kidding, ;)

keep here full of awesomeness! and don't mind about that word (what was that?!)


11-13-2008, 04:55 PM
Thanks guys! I'm currently working through the myth (and different accounts and details of the myth) so that I can determine what aspects of the story I want to incorporate into my trailer. Here is my thinking so far:

There are a number of different motifs/events that involve the twins, but I want to focus on only one. This will make the trailer more focused and also limit the amount of work I would need to do...

After analyzing the myth I find that one element stands out in my mind as a good candidate that represents the myth accurately and which could make for an 'exicting' trailer.

That motif/element is the Mayan ball game (similar, if not identical, to the game played in the animated film Road to Eldorado). Both the twins and, originally, their father and uncle, annoy the lords of the Underworld by playing the game. The twins' father and uncle are destroyed as a result. The twins are then invited to compete as well, with the hope that they too will be destroyed.

So the focus of my entry/trailer will be the idea of the ball game. Essentially the fate of both worlds (middleworld and underworld) rests on a single match between the lords of the underworld and the twins. At least that's the direction I think I'm going to take...

Since this is a steampunk challenge the direction that I will take is that the game will be played by the characters as they maneouver their steam powered mechs/robots in order to score in the game. Of course the designs of the mechs needs to be 'mayan' and 'steampunk', and as a result that should provide a lot of options for some neat visuals.

11-15-2008, 06:13 AM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1226729610_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1226729610_large.jpg)

These sketches represent some of the highlights of my research on the Mayan culture. This process helps me to better observe and absorb their style.

11-15-2008, 06:24 AM
Ohhh nice :D...youre the first one to take-on Mayan myths if I'm not mistaken.

I think your topic is going to be cool, especially since many people believe the Mayans had advanced technology...so giving the Mayans a steampunk twist fits right into the mythos!

11-15-2008, 06:25 AM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1226730323_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1226730323_large.jpg)

These sketches represent some of the highlights of my research on the Mayan culture. This process helps me to better observe and absorb their style.

11-15-2008, 06:29 AM
Thanks Tyson! Oops... double posted it... I forgot to add the copyright. I figured it would replace it. Live and learn.

11-15-2008, 09:56 PM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1226786206_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1226786206_large.jpg)

Here is my concept for the crawler that the twins will be riding.

11-15-2008, 10:33 PM
what a great concept Paul, interesting

11-16-2008, 03:30 AM
That is just great! Can't wait to see the walking animation....can imagine it being all rickety as the pistons fire in the legs.

11-18-2008, 03:07 PM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1227020860_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1227020860_large.jpg)

Here are some quick thumbnails of possible bad guy steam mechs. I might even pick a different one for the good guys. Not sure yet.

11-18-2008, 07:43 PM
Awesome concepts!!! This will be very cool when it's all done. The idea of a ball game similar to that in the el dorado movie will make for some very intersting animation, especially with your mechs.
Looking foward to this one.
Good luck

11-21-2008, 01:54 AM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1227232446_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1227232446_large.jpg)

Here is the crawler, modeled and rigged. Some of the gears turn, the pistons work, legs are IK... I think he's going to be fun to animate.

11-21-2008, 05:34 AM
That is one AWESOME piece of machinery!

11-21-2008, 07:17 AM
Yea I really like your modeling style!

11-21-2008, 08:07 AM
”Nice model man! ”Pumpkin with legs, way to go!

11-21-2008, 12:00 PM
Hey Folks! Thanks for the kind words! I looked at it yesterday and went, yep... looks like a version of the fairy god mother's coach from Cinderalla. I didn't intend it to look pumpkin-ish and I think I know a solution, but I'm going to wait and see how it looks with texturing. I suspect it's the ribbing on the 'abdomen' of the spider mech. On the other hand, the fact that it looks a bit pumpkin-ish and the Mayan's being an agricultural society (http://www.crystalinks.com/mayanagriculture.html), this might actually be a good thing! Decisions, decisions...

11-21-2008, 02:04 PM
love it so far! really nice idea and the modeling is really good. cant wait to see more from you.

11-22-2008, 07:27 AM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1227338859_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1227338859_large.jpg)

I textured the model and tried a little something to make his abdomen look a little less like a pumpkin.

11-22-2008, 10:06 AM
Which software do you use for animation? If you use Maya there is a spring solver that is perfect for configure the legs of you spider

11-22-2008, 03:26 PM
Hi Shinji,

Thanks for the tip. I'm using Maya 7 to animate him. Yes, the ikSpringSolver is just what the doctor ordered.

11-22-2008, 05:53 PM
Loving your entry, when do you think you'll get around to animation?

11-23-2008, 12:27 AM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1227400062_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1227400062_large.jpg)

All rigged and ready to animate. Just a posed shot, I haven't animated him yet. I don't think I'll be getting around to the animation for awhile yet... lots more to do before that: finalize storyboard, create more props/characters, create scenes... ack, only 72 days to go!

11-24-2008, 02:43 AM
Very nice modeling and what a great choice of Renderer (use the same)

Subscribing and will keep an eye on you always cool to see a fellow finalRender user here :), might even bother you with questions :)

11-24-2008, 02:52 AM
Very nice work so far.
I've just sceemed through the thread and didn't read anything about what i'm going to ask, so please don't send the little critter after me if it was already explained:

don't know it this is the intention, but it looks like a macro spider. I know a spider is small, but this one actually looks very small and you showing it next to a human scale form makes me confused.
Or is it just the render that looks too blurry?

anyways, great work.


11-24-2008, 11:56 AM
Hi Gerard, thanks! FinalRender for Maya rocks... I love both the quality and speed. If you do have any questions I'd be happy to help in any way I can.

Hey Nico, thanks for the kind words. I appreciate your comment and I had to think a bit about why you might consider the spider as a miniature. It's not intended as a miniature, it will be ridden by a human size rider. I think the reason the current render comes across that way is two fold: 1) expectations... we expect a spider to be small, and 2) something I blogged about (http://www.lostpencil.com/wordpress/?p=237)recently. I think the higher camera angle and light grey background shader on the background and human figure are causing the same effect as a 'low depth of field' which in turn makes it look like a miniature. That should be fixed when the spider is set in the proper scene context. Thanks again for stopping by!

11-24-2008, 05:19 PM
Liking the spider shape dude.

looking forward to seeing it fully textured :0

keep it going :)


11-24-2008, 05:23 PM
Hey man...really diggin the burgandy/gold colors :D Reminds me of the colors in Blur's "Gentlemen's Duel".

I think what might be causing it to look "tiny" is the scale of the mechanical parts. The cogs are pretty big (at the base of each leg), the pipes are big etc. If you want to give it a bigger scale, I'd say add some more tiny details....the types of things that would only be clearly visible in a really close close-up.

Also, it'll help to see it in the scene. I imagine it'll look much bigger when compared to the scale of other characters/buidlings in the scene :D

11-25-2008, 10:06 AM
Extremely skillful work, will be following your wip :thumbsup:

11-29-2008, 02:53 AM
It looks very good, congratulations!!

12-03-2008, 10:55 PM
Thanks folks! Progress has slowed a bit, work is getting in the way, but I think I have some good ideas for the twin boys. Though they won't be visible for long (or in any major detail - at least that's the current plan), I'm still putting a bit of extra time toward the design (maybe they could be part of the poster for the film). Anyway, I'm going to stay away from hyper realistic, that way I can avoid the uncanny valley. Onward!

12-09-2008, 06:19 AM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1228803576_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1228803576_large.jpg)

Here are two example sketches of character designs for my main characters. I decided to go with the one on the right, since the one on the left looked a bit meaner. I used some of the actors from Mel Gibson's Apocalypto as reference.

12-10-2008, 04:13 AM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1228882389_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1228882389_large.jpg)

Here is the character modeled, textured, and rigged... next to his cool steam spider bot.

12-10-2008, 08:34 PM
Cool modeling and and shadering.. Only wish to see storyboard - to see how the story goes ;)

12-11-2008, 10:56 PM
yap, story is the one element missing in this great quality and idea puzzles. Really good stuff!

good luck

12-11-2008, 11:06 PM
Hey Guys! Yep, I totally agree. I have the storyboard done in text, now I'm furiously working on it to get it into visuals. More to come soon!

01-04-2009, 05:12 AM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1231045965_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1231045965_large.jpg)

(please read left to right, top to bottom) Link to animatic to follow.

01-04-2009, 05:13 AM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1231046030_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1231046030_large.jpg)

(please read left to right, top to bottom) Link to animatic to follow.

01-04-2009, 05:14 AM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1231046071_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1231046071_large.jpg)

(please read left to right, top to bottom) Link to animatic to follow.

01-04-2009, 05:15 AM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1231046134_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1231046134_large.jpg)

(please read left to right, top to bottom) Link to animatic to follow.

01-04-2009, 05:18 AM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1231046319_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1231046319_large.jpg)

(please read left to right, top to bottom)

Animatic can be played here:


(I'm not sure how to embed the video in a work in progress submission, so I posted the link to the animatic on my site.)

01-04-2009, 05:22 AM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1231046567_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1231046567_large.jpg)

(please read left to right, top to bottom)

Sorry this is out of sync... seems like I submitted some pages too quickly...

01-04-2009, 05:24 AM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1231046645_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1231046645_large.jpg)

(please read left to right, top to bottom)

(same issue with this one)

01-04-2009, 05:29 AM
Ahh the plans of mice and men. Please note that the storyboards are out of order (p1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 4, 6).... they, umm... should be read in order. I did upload them in order, honest!

Also, in case you missed the link to the animatic on page 7:

http://www.lostpencil.com/temp/animatic_v1.flv (~10mb)

You will notice that I changed the storyboard when I created the animatic. I found that some things just didn't work right with the music. Only 30 days to go!!! Eeek! What if we all whine and ask for an extension? Works in the real world (sometimes). Anyway, hope you all had a nice holiday and your New Year is rockin'!

01-09-2009, 01:35 AM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1231464917_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1231464917_large.jpg)

Here is a quick concept/model sheet in one for the bat shot. Trying for a mechanical/organic look. I think it's headed in the right direction.

01-10-2009, 10:08 AM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1231582120_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1231582120_large.jpg)

Here is the model for the bat creature. Trying to keep the mechanical look.

01-10-2009, 03:30 PM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1231601405_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1231601405_large.jpg)

Here is the bat textured and rendered with some particle effects.

01-11-2009, 07:26 PM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1231701979_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1231701979_large.jpg)

Here is one of the main characters along with his steam spider mech in a corn field. This was tricky since Maya 7 seems to have some issues with render layers. I finally got it working though... 6 different layers (two finalRender layers and some Maya Software render layers). I think the corn turned out okay (it's paint effects corn - not the built-in version as that didn't quite look right).

01-12-2009, 02:36 AM
Oops... just noticed that I didn't render the mech with shadows on! I'll post an update when I get around to fixing that. :)

01-12-2009, 11:58 AM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1231761520_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1231761520_large.jpg)

Add shadowing on spider mech...

01-12-2009, 04:18 PM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1231777089_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1231777089_large.jpg)

Double oops. Ok, now I think the shadows are really fixed (I missed another light that should have had shadows on for that render layer).

01-16-2009, 09:51 PM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1232142705_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1232142705_medium.jpg)

Software: After Effects

Testing out the CGChallenge Uploader. Here is the animatic again. Nothing has changed in the animatic.

Play Video >> (http://features.cgsociety.org/challenge/steampunk/player.php?entry_id=99757)

01-16-2009, 09:54 PM
Well the upload of the animatic worked out well... after I figured out that I had to use the CGChallengeUploader instead of the general CGUploader. Phew. Ok, back at it! I sure wish we had another couple weeks (months?)... I think I'd settle for anther day!

01-22-2009, 02:25 AM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1232591099_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1232591099_medium.jpg)

It seems like the animatic cuts off for some people, so I've uploaded it again to see if it solves the problem.

Play Video >> (http://features.cgsociety.org/challenge/steampunk/player.php?entry_id=100445)

01-22-2009, 03:31 AM
It seems like the animatic cuts off for some people, so I've uploaded it again to see if it solves the problem.

The animatic looks fine to me now. Are the problems you were experiencing gone ?

01-22-2009, 03:43 AM
Hey Tim! Thanks for checking in. Yes, they seem to be gone. It seems on some machines loading the previous animatic it would stop playing audio and video at about the 3/4 mark. I tried the new upload on those machines and they seem to work fine. Thanks again!

01-22-2009, 03:48 AM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1232596105_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1232596105_medium.jpg)

Software: finalRender,Maya

Here is the global illumination pass for the city in the establishing shot.

01-26-2009, 12:25 AM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1232929541_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1232929541_medium.jpg)

Software: After Effects,Maya

Here is the city, rendered and composited.

01-29-2009, 05:53 PM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1233251611_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1233251611_medium.jpg)

Software: 3ds max,After Effects,finalRender,Maya,mental ray,Photoshop

Here is my Mayan city for the establishing shot. I wish I had more time to add more 'bustle'... but alas the deadline fairy is a hard task master.

Play Video >> (http://features.cgsociety.org/challenge/steampunk/player.php?entry_id=100560)

01-29-2009, 06:35 PM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1233254113_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1233254113_medium.jpg)

Software: 3ds max,finalRender,Maya

This is the bad guy mech.

01-29-2009, 07:53 PM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1233258808_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1233258808_medium.jpg)

Software: BodyPaint

Here is a quick textured version of the bad boy mech... He's rusty and not well maintained, but mean as heck.... (can we say that word here?)

01-30-2009, 09:29 PM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1233350948_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1233350948_medium.jpg)

Software: BodyPaint,Maya,mental ray,Photoshop

Here is the underworld. Finally got the look I wanted.... I think.

02-02-2009, 07:13 AM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1233558828_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1233558828_medium.jpg)

So here is the trailer pretty much completed. I have to still tweak a few things here and there (if I find the time!).

Play Video >> (http://features.cgsociety.org/challenge/steampunk/player.php?entry_id=100642)

02-02-2009, 01:53 PM
i like how you have really brought out that steampunk feel in it :)

02-02-2009, 02:10 PM
Hey man,

Congrats on finishing! A pretty epic story you covered in your short! Good luck!

02-02-2009, 03:12 PM
Hi Helen, thank you for the kind words. If I had more time I would certainly add more elements.

Thanks Tyson! All the best in your entry as well!

02-02-2009, 06:01 PM
Congruats on finishing! Best to you!

02-02-2009, 09:10 PM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1233608999_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1233608999_medium.jpg)

Here is the 30 second version of the trailer. That would be a trailer of the trailer... hmm... on to the 'making of' clip!

Play Video >> (http://features.cgsociety.org/challenge/steampunk/player.php?entry_id=100651)

02-03-2009, 12:40 AM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1233621616_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/23/15787/15787_1233621616_medium.jpg)

Software: 3ds max,After Effects,BodyPaint,finalRender,Maya,mental ray,Photoshop,Silo,Sketchbook Pro

My story is based on a Mayan myth regarding twin brothers. The myth centers around the Mayan ball game (similar, if not identical, to the game played in the animated film Road to Eldorado). The Mayan twin brothers, and originally, their father and uncle, annoy the lords of the Underworld by playing the game. The twins' father and uncle are destroyed as a result. The twins are then invited to compete as well, with the Underworld Lord's hope that they too will be destroyed.

So the focus of my entry/trailer is the idea of the ball game. Essentially the fate of both worlds (middleworld and underworld) rests on a single match between the lords of the underworld and the twins.

Play Video >> (http://features.cgsociety.org/challenge/steampunk/player.php?entry_id=100655)

CGTalk Moderation
02-03-2009, 12:40 AM
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.