View Full Version : Secret Agent Entry: Todd Kumpf

06 June 2009, 06:35 AM
Todd Kumpf is entered in the "Secret Agent" update: View Challenge Page (

Latest Update: Work In Progress: Rough Character Model (

06 June 2009, 08:51 PM
Still in the brainstorming phase, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to do something concerning medieval espionage. I'm thinking a spy infiltrating a castle, but at this point I'm not sure what his goal will be. Maybe he could assassinate the king, rescue a princess, or just something as simple as stealing information or opening the main gate.

He'll have to navigate his way around the castle performing some trickery in order to accomplish his final task. There will be a heavy emphasis on the stealth factor.

Here are some other notes and ideas:
-Trojan horse style infiltration
-Picks locks, uses dagger, poisons guard
-Meets with internal traitor to exchange weapons, keys, etc.
-Steals gold/treasure/info

I'm not huge on character animation at this point, so it will be a good exercise for me. I do plan to use a lot of tight shots concentrating on the details though, with fewer wide shots of character interaction. There will be a lot of cloth simulation and hopefully opportunity for other dynamic effects. I'll be aiming to make it as realistic and accurate as possible, and am shooting for about 2 minutes.

Anyway, later this week I'll have more of a structure outlined and hopefully some storyboards.

06 June 2009, 02:35 AM
Glad to see you're trying for this! Very interesting idea too and a cool twist on the "secret agent" theme :)

I've followed the challenges here for a while now and some of the best workflows I've seen people employ is, right from the offset, create a calendar, blocking off days you're setting aside to work on things. Like, say from today until Tuesday, you'll be in the concept phase (and document exactly what each phase entails, it'll help). Then you'll move on to Pre-Viz Pt. 1 for about 3 days, creating concept sketches of characters, environments, poses, objects, every little thing you can think of that will be a part of this animation. Then you move on to Pre-Viz Pt. 2 which would be storyboarding. Then it'd probably move into early modeling, textures, blocking, animatic, etc. you know the drill.

I'll definitely be following your progress.

06 June 2009, 11:38 PM (

A special agent of the 14th century has been appointed the task of infiltrating a castle and recovering enemy offensive battle plans. He will use a variety of gadgets and techniques to evade guards and complete his mission.

06 June 2009, 12:11 AM
Here's an outline of what I'm thinking at this point in time:

14th century Europe, night, heavy rain & lightning, thick fog, main character (spy) wears black hooded cloak.

-Spy rides small covered boat down stream, lands on shore by castle wall.

-Uses crossbow to fire a grappling hook & pulley up to wood hoarding, uses nearby waterwheel as winch to hoist himself up,

-Pauses to listen for guard, hears footsteps pass by. Opens hatch and climbs up through murder hole (or possibly just pushes up a floorboard?)

-Sneaks around a bit and uses his dagger as mirror to watch around corner for guard

-Sneaks through courtyard and assassinates guard outside treasury with poison on a cloth, hides body.

-Uses device to cut circular hole in stained glass window, reaches in and unlocks door

-Picks locked chest, finds battle plans inside. Takes plans and heads for exit but spots a pile of gold coins, turns back and stuffs a handful into his bag.

-Begins sneaking back through the castle, but guard hears something and turns to investigate. Spy hides in rafters of an armory.

-Guard walks in and looks confused. Just as he turns to leave, a single coin falls to the ground landing at the guards feet.

-Guard looks up and sees spy. Spy jumps down and kills guard

-As spy heads for exit, other guards show up and find the body, sounding the alarm.

-Spy runs up stairs and along castle wall, but gets cornered.

-He jumps off the inside wall, crashes through thatch roof and lands in horse stables

-Steals horse, gets chased through courtyard.

-Main gates are open for peasants fetching water, spy escapes just as gate slams shut. Horse jumps from the half closed drawbridge.

-Dawn breaks as he flees the castle on horseback

I'm still shaky on a few details. I'm not happy with how he escapes from the castle, and I think I need to add another gadget or two.

06 June 2009, 09:06 AM
a nice setting!

cant wait to see this one as it develops. good luck!

06 June 2009, 10:09 AM
Some nice ideas. I like the idea of a coin falling giving his position away. Could be a nice shot of him grasping at it as its falling. Cue slow motion!

06 June 2009, 09:58 PM (

A rough render showing the location of the first scene. The spy will float down the river/moat and scale the castle wall under the cover of fog.

The castle is using the Castle Creator pack available at Daz3D. Rendered with basic lighting in 3D Studio Max, color and rough composite done in After Effects.

06 June 2009, 02:05 AM
neat, watching with anticipation

06 June 2009, 01:09 AM (

A scribe documenting various gadgets to be used during the mission. A 3D render will follow.

Paper textures courtesy of

06 June 2009, 01:15 AM (

The crossbow fires a harpoon into the wood hoarding atop a castle wall. The grappling hook on one end of the rope will be attached to a nearby waterwheel, and the handle on the other end will serve as a foot hold. As the wheel turns, it will hoist the spy up like a winch.

The metal contraption is a diamond tipped glass cutter (see above 2D diagram). When it is pressed against a pane of glass and turned clockwise, the diamond tips cut an 8'' diameter hole into glass as the drill bit bores through.

Lock picks, a map, scroll, and dagger are also seen here.

My next step will be to develop the main character and put together a few storyboards.

06 June 2009, 01:33 AM
Really cool idea for the entry; it's very unique, and I think it will stand out from other entries. I like your modeling and texturing so far. Really looking good. One suggestion about the text on the scroll. The scroll looks awesome and "relic-like" and definately old. It would be nice if the text followed suit, and was wrinkled with the paper wrinkles and maybe not so perfectly indented and in line with all other text. Maybe just try to randomize it a little. A nit picky thing though; just my opinion. Can't wait to see more of your work. Cool stuff!

06 June 2009, 04:29 AM
Thanks for the comments, TC! I struggled to find suitable fonts for the scroll images. I originally envisioned them as being hand written, but am more drawn to the elegant typefaces that might have been possible using the movable type method. At the same time I realize the discrepancy in that, considering roman style movable type wasn't used in Europe for another hundred years after my predetermined setting of 1372.

Regardless of typeface, yea after creating the first scroll I realized I should grunge it up a bit more. I warped the illustrations in the second paper image to match the creases of the stock paper.

I don't think the scroll will play much of a role in the final animation. At most, the spy will take a quick glance at it or something. I know I'll do a closeup of the map he has, so I'll be sure to add in a bit of realistic misalignment.

By the way, full res (1280x720) versions of all my images can be found here:

06 June 2009, 10:23 AM
Looking very interesting. Nice models.
Good luck.

06 June 2009, 01:36 PM
Looking really cool! Designing the weapons and gadgets that the agents use is always fun. :)

07 July 2009, 06:58 PM
Looking really great Todd. Can't wait to see some more progress shots!

07 July 2009, 09:54 PM (

This is a rough render of the model I'm developing for the spy. I plan to add more detail to the textures and probably a bit of color variation. My primary inspiration is Altair, the main character in Assassins Creed.

I used a rigged model of Luke Skywalker (by Raphael de Bouchony) as a base and built him up with cloth accessories, some of which are from Daz3D.

07 July 2009, 03:23 AM
And that makes me want to be a spy in the middle ages =P

great work keep it up!

07 July 2009, 02:24 PM
Looking rather nice there. It could be nice to add in some intricate embroidery on the edges of the cloak, specifically around the part around his would make the closeups more interesting. Just a nice darker grey pattern would finish it off nicely. ;)

07 July 2009, 01:25 AM
So. Any progress to report?

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