View Full Version : Character: unnamed space man

06 June 2003, 12:11 AM
Hello, this is my first wip post.

I'm making a character for a short animation.
The hands, legs, feet are not done.
No texture rigth now, expected for the head.

3D Soft : 3ds max 5
Render : VRay
Modeling : LowPoly
Time :
head concept : less than one hour
head modeling : 2 full days
head texturing : 1 day (my first head texture)
shell concept : none
shell modeling : 2 weeks 1 hour by day (the concept came during the modeling, so it took a lot of time)

Looking for:
How can I improve the shell ? I really don't like the articulations of the arms.
What would you change to the head texture ? (The character have a cold, that's why i made the nose so red)
Should I detail the head, and where ?

06 June 2003, 12:20 AM
the head concept :

06 June 2003, 01:21 AM
I think longer and thinner arms would be nice, because his face doens't look very athletic for me. Looks more like the face of a tall and funny char. Or make the connection between shoulder and uper arm thinner so that the arm itself is more stressed.

All over all the torso looks this way to compact in my opinion ...

06 June 2003, 02:45 AM
Only one thing here: Give him a name.

I know it sounds like a small thing, but a name can add a lot of character, especially if you give your character a name and background before you begin the actual modelling/ animation/ production process. If you know who he is, where he comes from, what he eats, the names of his pets, where he went to high school, etc. you will be better able to breath life into him. Without a name, any character will be flat and boring, there's no reason for the audience/viewer/gamer/whatever to care about your character.

06 June 2003, 09:59 AM
Little_Devil :

I think I understand what kind of character you expect (i kind of Goofy character ?). I'm nor sure the actual head would match with a tall and thin body. I would have to make the neck and some other parts thinner too. But I keep this idea because it actualy fits to the animation story.

DeepGreenJungle :

Well that's also a good point. I will try do to it, but it will be very hard...
There is already a very short story around this character. But the story makes it almost impossible to imagine his past. It may seems strange, but he has almost no past. The story board would explain it but it is not finished.

Thanks for the comments.

Stephen Vyas
06 June 2003, 10:42 AM
I'd like to see him with bags under his eyes, as if he didn't get any sleep from having his cold. A little red in there to hit it home. As well as some redness underneath his nose to show that he's been blowing his nose constantly. Maybe a ruff, flaky, red/white texture would be perfect for that. Heh, how bout some earhair? Looks like he's the kinda guy that wouldn't care about his appearance that much. Just wants to get the job done and go home for a good meal.
Maybe a scar on his face to show that he's been in a few battles or so. Or possibly some scratches/dirt/burns on his glass helmet?
Tough to say, since we don't really know anything about him. Definately make that character profile, you'll be surprised at how quickly he'll come to life! If you want to avoid his past, look at what qualities you can give him. Is he humble and respectiful, or is he commanding and dynamic. Keep it simple, and clear.

06 June 2003, 03:16 PM
This maybe a really small crit but I thought it could help. I noticed in your concept sketch that the helmet was curved to the head. I noticed that your model has the helmet with a simple curved non-curved dome. By adding the curved helmet, I think it would enhance the cartoony feel of your character.

06 June 2003, 04:24 PM
Stephen Vyas :

I really agree for the bags and it really match the story.
Do you think bags must be only in the texture (a kind of soft blue/purple) or also in the mesh ? Anyway I'll try to make a better texture as you suggest - less clean. It was allready planned for the shell, but not really for the head.
For earhair, I fear they catch the attention on them more than the rest of the head, but why not.

I'm currently searching for his deep personnality (qualities etc...). But when it will be done, do you think I will have to modify the mesh, so the mesh would reflect his personnality ? I thought I could give his personnality with different facial expression (morph target).

riltis :

At the beginning I tried to make the glass curved like in the concept. In 2D is seems good but in 3D it wasn't. The main problem with the old version was the base of the helmet (what is holding the glass). It was too complicated and too curved. I really prefere this version, because the base is a kind of straigth torus. It give a retro look that i like.

In fact i realize that the rest of the shell is not retro enough :annoyed:

Thanks for the comments guys !

06 June 2003, 08:59 PM
Here is a thinner version (as Little_Devil suggested) next to the original. Which one do you prefere ?

06 June 2003, 09:05 PM
I personaly like the thicker version. I like the idea of a big bulky spacesuit. I'd like to see the finished version. It's hard to give a good crit without seeing the finished version. However it's a really good start!

06 June 2003, 10:04 PM
Nice character!

I think the chest-piece could be made more interesting if the part that runs straight down has more shape. Right now it's completely vertical, in my opinion it would be nicer if it it was wider at the top (making the chest look wider/muscular at the same time). Sort of a V-shape.

Some edges in the space suit are very sharp, I don't know whether this is a design thing or not, but maybe it'll look better with a tiny bevel (connection between upper and lower arm for example)

The mouth looks a bit 'stuck on', as if it is not completely part of the face. Tweaking the corners of the mouth could fix that. I've painted the loop in the attachment

The eyes could use some eyelids, but I'm sure you will get to that.

Once again, great character, I can already imagine him running around with an old-school laserpistol in his hand :)

06 June 2003, 10:08 PM
Chest V-shape example...straight lines are boring :)

06 June 2003, 11:23 PM
ns.d4rk :

Well, this is very far for being finish... I prefere to post soon (still very wip I mean) so the crits are not so hard to consider.
I'm very unsure of the version I prefere thin / thick. But I allready know that the thiner one is a lot easier to animate (moreover I'm not a very exprienced animator at all).

Marcel :

Thanks a lot for those greats crits. I'm going to try all your suggestions.

Stephen Vyas
06 June 2003, 12:04 AM
Originally posted by noon
Stephen Vyas :

Do you think bags must be only in the texture (a kind of soft blue/purple) or also in the mesh ?

I'm currently searching for his deep personnality (qualities etc...). But when it will be done, do you think I will have to modify the mesh, so the mesh would reflect his personnality ? I thought I could give his personnality with different facial expression (morph target).

It seems your on the right track, I'd suggest only doing what you feel is necessary to make it clear that he has a cold. If that requires a bit of tweeking on the mesh and adding the texture later, all the better. Remember though, sometimes simplier is better.
I feel his personality will show up in the way he presents himself, his posture/facial expressions and how he reacts to certain situations - Which will become evident when you've completed your profile for him. I'd suggest only tweeking his face enough to make sure you can establish his emotions on screen.
I hope this helps.
Feel free to email me if you have any further questions.

06 June 2003, 03:13 AM
i like the concept art you made, perhaps you should stick to the design you drew for the glass, make it look more like a light bulb

06 June 2003, 05:03 AM
hi noon

looking good

1. i would make the eyebrow more full i think it curves in to much. i would bring it out .

2. the jaw i think coul d be scaled out a little i think its a little to round make the tip of the jaw more squared out.

06 June 2003, 04:39 PM
Levitateme :
I agree for the eyebrow, I'll try it, but I didn't uderstand what you mean about the jaw. Should it be more squared and bigger for you ? (sorry for my english)

snipa101 :
Well, i allready explained that is was difficult make the concept glass looks good in 3D. See my answer 7 messages before.

Stephen Vyas :
I tweaked the faces under the eyes for the bags. I'm having difficulties to put do a good texture for this, as you can see on the image (only the right one have the bags texture - too soft maybe) :
(This expression test was made in 1 minute so its not very good)
I had no time to do some redness under the nose, but i'll do it.

06 June 2003, 04:40 PM
Marcel :
As you may see on the last message I tweaked a little bit his head (mouth - jaw - nose) and tried to do the edge loop you suggested. But actually, I'm not sure I understand what to do, because the topology seems a little strange for me. Here is a screenshot of the wire :
you can find a bigger wire here : big wire (

I also tried the V-shape :
Actually, I still prefere the straigth one. but i didn't spend enough time on the V-shape to do it well. Tell me what you think...

I'm almost done with his feet, but I not sure which one to choose :

06 June 2003, 04:44 PM
here is a full render :
and two others :
wip1 (
wip2 (

06 June 2003, 09:18 PM
hi noon.

yah, that is exactly what i was talking about maybe thats how you want it to look though, but i would square the jaw a little .

06 June 2003, 11:22 PM
Levitateme :
You've got the eye ! Thanks you very much, I really think this is better like that :

07 July 2003, 02:07 AM
I like the box toed version of the feet much better. The rounded feet look a bit too "normal" to me.

I really like this character. His eyebrows seem a bit too faint. Maybe what I am seeing now is just an underpainting and you plan on adding a fur pass or something similar later?

07 July 2003, 09:47 PM
Floyd Bishop :

Thanks for your advice of his feet.
I know eyebrows need to be reworked, but i'm not sure about using fur.
The goal is to create a small animation, so I think fur will not be necessary.

Thanks again

07 July 2003, 03:46 AM
I am working on a "tooney" character also. Can you give me some quick advice of how you textured (uvw unwrapped) your space mans' face. I really like how subtle the textures are. Any advice will help...Thanks!!

07 July 2003, 10:45 AM
riltis :
I'm not sure this is a good place to talk about technical problems, so moderators can feel free to delete my answer :

I'm not good in texture at all, as i said this is my first head texture, so it's hard for me to give you good advices. Overmore, I used a very common process.

Anyway, I began the mapping only with a half of the head (I use a symmetry modifier). This way it's faster to tweak the UV and to do the texture (you can after mirror the uv and the texture and modify it to have a non symetrical head).
To unwrap his head I first used a classic cylindar mapping on the whole head. Then I used an unwrap modifier to correct the UV to remove overlapping (for exemple the nose - eyes - ears). During this part you have to be carefull of respecting the mesh polygon aspect for the texture not to be stretched.

For the texture, i'm still working on it. I think to do a good texture you have to look at someone head for a long time to see how many colorfull it is. Here it's easier because it is a tonney head. It doesn't need so much details. So I kept the main colorize parts of a human head, and I stressed it (also beause the character has a cold).
I added grain, but not too much (i not sure it had anything here)
And i also tried to use a bump map, but i can't get any good result.

Finaly, I have to say that the renderer is doing a big part of the job.
I'll post a link to the head texutre and UV...

07 July 2003, 12:21 PM
Thanks for taking time to explain your process. I would be very interested in seeing the link to the uvw and map.

Thanks again,


07 July 2003, 07:54 PM
You might have a problem when you put his arms down in the animation.

07 July 2003, 09:05 PM
zarkos :

Actualy I allready planed this problem :) :
(I'll may have to enlarge the hole)

I'm stuck with the hands. I really don't know what to do. I need them to be animable, but they need to be covered by the same orange shell. I can't find any solution or existing concept. If anyone has an idea, it would be welcome.


07 July 2003, 11:07 PM
riltis :
here is the head texture : texture (

The UVs don't match anymore with the mesh because the UV image is a texporter of the UV before the mesh was tweaked.
The 2 sides are different in the texture because I'm only working on the right side.

Hope it will help you.

07 July 2003, 08:03 AM
I think the character looks better bald, loose the spray on hair. Very cool character his suit could use some damage and rust, good work.

07 July 2003, 02:49 PM
skubydew :

I'll try to make a bold version.
For the suit, I agree :
It was inspire from the very good tutorial of Arild Wiro (
Does the rust need to be accentuated ?
I'm looking for some advices on this material.

08 August 2003, 06:20 PM
I have been watching this thread for a long time. Update update update!

08 August 2003, 11:21 PM
riltis :
I know it's a long time I didn't post anything.
Here is an update. There are many bugs in the rig setup (knees, shoulder, ...), and I also need to work the textures.
But of course any critics are allways welcome.
I think I will not be able to post any update of the character for a moment, since I need to work on the story board with a friend.

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