View Full Version : Secret Agent Entry: Jack Oakman

06 June 2009, 11:44 PM
Jack Oakman is entered in the "Secret Agent" update: View Challenge Page (

Latest Update: Work In Progress: "Mr Shine" -- Spec Ops no.2 (

06 June 2009, 11:53 PM

06 June 2009, 11:23 AM
Oooh. What a cool concept. Makes me think of Clue. Am anxious to see you develop this more.


06 June 2009, 12:43 AM
Best of luck sir :D

06 June 2009, 09:36 PM
haha what an idea, makes me think "Why didnt I came up with is idea" lol.
Well looks like your off for a great start.

Cant wait too se what the characters woud look like :)

06 June 2009, 09:58 PM
Added a sheet of some of the inspirations and flavours that I'm looking to add to this image if I can. Have been off work with a virus (:hmm: not swineflu thankfully) so haven't been able to get stuck into this yet.

RageofAges - Thanks. Yeah, I'm definitely into there being a visual whodunnit going on here, only it's more a "whodunnitfirst?" :D

Intervain - Thanks m'lady. Looking forward to competing with/against you. :)

dboydesign - Yeah, it kinda came quick and I was fairly certain what I wanted to do with this. I think the risks here are A) may be biting off more than I will have time to chew, and B) the fact that the composition likely can't be more dynamic. Let's hope the storytelling in the image will be enough and that the whole thing will "pop".

Cheers all. Appreciate you looking in.

PS. haven't been able to use the attachment function yet (New user); as soon as it becomes available I'll re-up.

06 June 2009, 09:56 AM (

So here's a bunch of flavours I'm gonna try and get into my image -- basically a conflict scene involving a whole bunch of folk from the varying Secret Agent disciplines...

06 June 2009, 10:00 AM
So, this is the first image, and yeah, it's all bipeds filling in right now. I basically wanted to know whether my idea was going to be doable, and it's looking hopeful I think. Going to nail most of this in ZBrush as that's my obsession these days.

Basic premise here is that everyone is about to be killed by someone else, there's lots of back stabbing going on. The plan is to add a narrative to this image so that you can formulate an idea of who is likely to survive at the end. Dude on the roof is going to aim a rocket propelled grenade at the wall behind the midget assassin on the shelf. LOL. The ball under the floor is placeholder for a bomb, probably with a visible timer on it. (

I want this image to be one that you could wake up to, as it hangs on the wall at the end of your bed and you can just stare at it, looking at the varying interplay between the characters, trying to figure out which of them would be the winner...

06 June 2009, 10:29 AM
huuhuhu - great idea - I really hope you will be able to nail it!


06 June 2009, 12:07 AM (

So this is the first of 9 characters I need to make for this image. I'll be using him as the basis for two of the other characters at least.

06 June 2009, 12:09 AM (

I'm trying to develop a style in my work. I want my characters to have a painterly feeling to them, whilst at the same time feeling solid. I am also interested in making my characters have warmth in their features -- a soul, I guess.

06 June 2009, 12:19 AM (

Just noticed how much it shrank those last two images. Posting another of the front that you can actually see... :)

06 June 2009, 12:40 AM
Cool idea man, kinda like smokin' aces condensed into one single poster shot lol. Nice spec ops model too. Cant wait to see more. :thumbsup:

06 June 2009, 02:37 AM
Ooh, I would love to see the environment/lighting for this!

06 June 2009, 10:39 AM
c780162 -- LOL. Nicely put mate. Yup that's pretty much it on the nose.

smallone3d -- Thanks mate. Yeah, I'd love to see that too! Let's hope I can get to it eh? :D

06 June 2009, 11:09 AM
nice to see your entry here . . . looking forward to more updates!

06 June 2009, 02:50 PM
Really nice of you to say so. Will try to have some updates up as soon as possible. Thanks for dropping by!

06 June 2009, 10:46 PM (

I spent today trying to figure out some methods for compiling the complete image:

1) First, I tried plain old displacement mapping. The results were quite decent, but the render times were through the roof.

2) Normal Mapping on a mid density mesh. I don't like this method much. Didn't really rock my boat. and the renders looked pretty ugly.

3) So the third took me back to ZBrush, using a variety of extra passes. Here, I simply applied a variety of basic shaders and applied different lighting passes, which I then composited.

Oh yeah, and I have 9 characters to make so I need something I can work with quickly. SO, I'm gonna go with this last strategy. Anyway, I like the slightly painterly quality it gives.

06 June 2009, 11:33 PM
woah you're a speedy gonzales... Man I have to get my butt in gear now :D Keep rocking!

06 June 2009, 11:41 PM
:wip: <(It's all doze speed scwulpting challenges...)


06 June 2009, 04:00 AM
woah you're a speedy gonzales... Man I have to get my butt in gear now :D Keep rocking!

:D hahahah he is right youre doing a very cool job here and sooo fast, :cool:

06 June 2009, 04:03 AM
Nice one! Very good...looking foward:)

06 June 2009, 09:16 AM
:D hahahah he is right youre doing a very cool job here and sooo fast, :cool:

:wise: She. :love:

He he. :bounce:

I love emoticons. :arteest: Thanks for the motivation everyone. Should have the Femme Fatale character up for you next. Hopefully in the next day or two. Stay tooned...


06 June 2009, 09:26 AM
COol and HUGE guy! great texturing work.

06 June 2009, 01:35 AM (

Hey all,

It's late so I'll be brief. :) As promised, here's the Femme Fatale Character so far. She's got something I think. Happy about that.

06 June 2009, 01:38 AM
That rescale's a bit diddy. Here's a re-up... (

06 June 2009, 01:38 AM
nice progress, if I can crit - the upper body of the woman feels too much like a guy with a female head and breasts atm - her arms and shoulders are very masculine and the hands are huge :) keep'em coming!

06 June 2009, 01:40 AM
Yeah, I think you are right there Magdalena. I never seem to get the girls right first time. I guess they are trickier to pull off though -- less margin for error. It will probably be gobsmackingly obvious tomorrow morning too. Ho-hum. :) Thanks for the crit. I do appreciate it.

06 June 2009, 01:42 AM
Holy f**k. Now you mention it. those hands are MASSIVE! I need some sleep I think.

-- EDIT -- Good crit Mag, I see what I need to do. TBH, this character was built from the male. I just blanked him but kept the arms in tact, because I absolutely hate modeling hands and arms. It's so boring. So although she's had a pass here, I haven't concentrated on it nearly enough yet, and the hand size particularly escaped my notice so far.

Thanks again!

06 June 2009, 12:50 AM (

I have to say, these girls are a real pain to get right. I'm pretty sure that I've improved her now (Magda?) but it's just so finicky. Shoulder needs work. Need to get this one finished tomorrow.

06 June 2009, 12:53 AM
Again a bigger one here (CLICK): (

06 June 2009, 04:01 AM
Hello Jack, i'm loving your work! Congrats!
just one thing, the lady would be better to me if her hands were smaller, and her back lass male... but it's personal opinion
looking foward this piece!

06 June 2009, 04:49 AM
9 characters, wow

i am at middle of my first of two, and crying for second one, becalm i should start that from a cube!

will follow your Jack

good luck

06 June 2009, 08:23 AM
Love the outfit on the last one there, nicely done :D

As you said, the shoulders need some work. But dang, you are sending out models like bakery on some sort of medicals ;)

Good work man :)

06 June 2009, 09:17 AM
you have done a lot of 3d, i hopoe the final image is composed aswell as the chracters are at the moment, hopeful;ly you will not create an image that is overly generic.

06 June 2009, 05:28 PM
Hey guys,

Thanks for the great comments. I appreciate them a lot.

brunothurner -- Hey dude. Thank you. I'm very pleased you like it. I'll take another pass at the hands tonite and do a proper oldskool scale check -- I'll also get some fingernails on there. I'm hoping the back will sort itself out once I've sorted the shoulders out.

alshakno & dboydesign -- Thank you very much for your kind words! ZBrush is one of those pieces of kit that the more you perseve with it, the easier it becomes to yield results. I'm actually quicker with it these days than I am doing 2D stuff in PhotoShop. I do so love ZBrush and I'm having soooo much fun with this project too. :buttrock: Feels like I'm starting to settle upon a style that I'm comfortable with.

Comments like yours keep me really motivated!

kull222 -- I certainly hope that too! I've included a Pre-Vis shot on the first page, so you can see what I'm aiming at achieving. It's a mammoth amount of work, not helped by the fact I have to move house in two weeks (Why do these things always come up during the middle of a comp?) Anyway, I hope you'll approve. :)

Thanks loads folks.

Femme Fatale should be finished tonite. And then I'll move on to the Midget* assassin.

* By the way, is this phrase considered offensive? What is the PC (but not absurdly wordy) phrase to use here?

06 June 2009, 10:07 PM
ZBrush is one of those pieces of kit that the more you perseve with it, the easier it becomes to yield results

Yeah I know, I recently got my Wacom Intuos 4 for a month ago, and haven't done much in Zbrush before that, just experimenting and learning the software. But when I got my hands on the tablet and starting doodling a hole new era started for me. Its so fun, and you don`t have too think about any technical problems or pushing vertexes. Just use my imagination and flow with it.

Sry for offtopic, but just had too agree on that one ;)

06 June 2009, 02:49 AM (

So here's the final Femme Fatale.
2 down. 7 to go. I think she was probably the trickiest. Hopefully the other will be quicker.

06 June 2009, 02:50 AM (

And here she is again. This time in Action Mode -- Imagine she's just torn the skirt away so she can focus on kicking some ass instead of drinking cocktails.

06 June 2009, 02:52 AM
As usual, here are links to bigger shots. :) ( (

06 June 2009, 09:38 PM
Great models, textures and attention to details mate! your work is looking a class.:D

looking forward

06 June 2009, 05:14 AM
:wavey:hello man, i think the texture u created for that dress is very cool :cool: , i bet this girl will be smoking once she gets a sexy posing, very good work

06 June 2009, 12:48 AM (

#3 - The little assassin. The bottom room I've always pictured as being a nursery in the apartment beneath the one everyone is heading for. The little man on the shelf is in disguise, sitting amongst a shelf of toys. Here, he leaps up to attack his target, the Spec Ops guy peering through the window. Should finish this character tomorrow.

06 June 2009, 12:50 AM
Here's the usual bigger link:


Rattlesnake and Rawgon -- When quality artists such as yourselves drop by it's always a great boost. Thanks very much.

06 June 2009, 08:55 AM
Tough crowd...

06 June 2009, 10:00 AM
Quite a fast progress. I like 'femme fatale' the most... so far. :)

06 June 2009, 10:53 AM

youre really fast. And with this quality youre actually one of my favorites!

Keep it up

bye e

06 June 2009, 02:35 PM
Hey thanks guys. Once again, two excellent artists offering this feedback makes this direction feel most promising. Thanks for stopping by.

Totally agree about the Femme Fatale. She's easily my fave at the moment. Although I am happy with the clown mask. :)

06 June 2009, 06:58 PM
#3 - The little assassin. The bottom room I've always pictured as being a nursery in the apartment beneath the one everyone is heading for. The little man on the shelf is in disguise, sitting amongst a shelf of toys. Here, he leaps up to attack his target, the Spec Ops guy peering through the window. Should finish this character tomorrow.

very cool idea mate, cant wait to see this little friend in action , very well done on the modeling and texturing , youre putting together some fine art pieces here :cool: , and yeah your mask looks great i also love the way u can see the evil eyes of the assasin inside of it

06 June 2009, 01:36 PM
i also love the way u can see the evil eyes of the assasin inside of it

Glad you noticed that. I was hoping you 'd be able to. :) Thanks again!

Ps. Sorry for the lack of update. Long day yesterday. :scream:

07 July 2009, 01:07 AM (

Still got a bit of tidy up to do as well as few unfinished bits, but this guy is really close now. Should be able to start Character No 4 tomorrow.

07 July 2009, 03:16 AM
great work. got some beautiful models. :applause:

07 July 2009, 12:47 PM
stunning , really stunning

07 July 2009, 05:32 AM
Thats some great work,specially the clown.

07 July 2009, 11:59 AM
Great thread around here !
The characters are amazing !
They looks like realtime characters, are they ?

07 July 2009, 05:40 AM
Hey Jack,

this is such an interesting concept, I'm already smiling if I try to imagine the final scene.
Great to see the evolution of your female character, she's really something now...but I've to admit that I love the little assassin:thumbsup: ! This will be hard to top, I'm curious to see the next characters come to life.


07 July 2009, 09:29 AM
he wonderful

full of humour


07 July 2009, 10:13 AM
really nice characters,i like the last one the most,can't wait to see the final image,very promising :cool:

07 July 2009, 03:28 PM
Hey all,

I finally got time to check the thread. I'm off work this week, as I moved house over the weekend, but still found time to make a second Spec Ops Guy. I'll make sure to update as soon as I can. In the meantime, this is short and sweet a big thank you to all of you for the words of encouragement.

To answer gpepper's question. No, these are all just Zbrush sculpts. Each one usually takes around 4-10 hours. I actually used the first Spec-Ops guy as a base for all the other ones, which explains why the female started off so mannish. It's also why I like to update the thread at the mid-stage because I usually don't spot those kinds of glaring errors until about a week after the model is made. There is something about the way I work that makes me get very close to it all. Can't see the forest for all the trees sometimes. So thanks to everyone for the crits.

Shout out to Mr Harford. And to Sathe, if he's watching. ;) Freak boy. LOL.

Updates soon.

Stay Tooned.

07 July 2009, 07:45 PM
My personal fav is the clown.. Creepy and cute all at the same time.. I dont think the Femme looks right, My first though it she is overbalencetop, maybe smaller sholders or bigger butt, Ill look again. However you concept witht the bipeds is really cool, I can t wait to see the individual characters with all the lighting in place :)

07 July 2009, 08:33 PM
Monte, I had no idea you where this much of a machine. Keep cranking 'em out.

07 July 2009, 06:36 PM (

So, sorry for the slow update. As I mentioned earlier we've just moved house, which seems to be more and more of an undertaking as life goes on. Anyway, I've managed to get this fellow done. He'll be the middle of the three Spec Ops squad -- about to be stabbed in the back, whilst at the same time discovering/shooting the guy under the floor who, ironically, is about to shoot the back-stabber.

07 July 2009, 06:43 PM (

Another angle, here with close ups of 2 (and a half ;)) of the badges he's wearing. Again, I wanted there to be a slightly colourful aspect to this character, keeping it fun, and giving him a sense of uniquness. It'd be easy to create 3 standard grunts for the Spec Ops Gang, so I wanted to avoid that, and make sure that each character in this scene has a story to them. By coincidence, I think there's a real 50 Cent look to this dude -- though I wasn't trying for one. Just kinda came together that way.

07 July 2009, 06:51 PM
As usual, here's a link to some slightly larger versions of the latest images... ( (

Hey Crispy, Good to see you mate. Will certainly try my best. :wip:

eevilmouse -- Thanks for that. When I pose her, I'll have another look. The Da Vinci pose can be tricky to see past, so will see how she goes once there is a bit more animation to her. Thanks for dropping by. :)

07 July 2009, 06:55 PM
The clown guy is great, and I don;t even like clowns ;), so you got him right. Close second is Mr. Shine. It's great to see that they have lots of personality.

I have a question. Those are all Zbrush sculpts. Will you pose them in Z, then export low res+ displace, or some other way? Or you will render it all in zbrush?

07 July 2009, 07:03 PM
I think if I was doing this in a studio setting, I'd certainly be looking at displacement as the way to go. But I just think that all the extra work in setting that stuff up is going to push this beyond my reach. With two babies to look after, and a full-time job as an artist, I'll be lucky if I complete this as it is (in fact I'm not that bothered if I don't, I'll still have lots of nice stuff for the portfolio, and this has been great practice so far already). So... With all that in mind I aim to comp this in ZBrush. I'm going to run several passes. First with the texturing pass then with some AO passes and, then a few lighting passes which I will use Layer masks to isolate to key areas. Comp in Photoshop or Gimp, or something.

As to the characters, I plan on posing in ZBrush, then firing them all through decimation master to keep the thing manageable. This is also why most of these characters are single mesh, with a few little sub-tools. Just to keep everything manageable.

Wish me luck. Gonna need it. :argh: :scream: :wavey:

07 July 2009, 03:57 AM
Well done sir, these are great sculpts, and the texturing looks brilliant. You're dead on about having some great pieces even if you don't finish, but I'm hoping you do, as it'd be super to see all of them come together. Could you tell me how you textured them? I'm guessing you used Zapplink and photo compositing, but I wanted to be certain. Amazing work so far, and you're certainly blazing through.

07 July 2009, 04:21 AM
Hi,nice update,your characters looks really good,can't wait to see the final image,very promising.
good luck!!:cool:

07 July 2009, 09:13 AM
Thanks for the encouragement Diissar. :wavey:

joecyriac -- With the exception of the badges, everything was painted in ZBrush. Much easier that way. The badges where just built and uv'd in Max and then I made textures and used Tex > Col in Zbrush to apply them.


07 July 2009, 11:04 AM
very nice concept , waiting for output

07 July 2009, 04:17 PM
Cheers mate. Will try to get to that as soon as possible.

09 September 2009, 01:17 AM
Great characters and models. The small assassin clown/jester is fantastic!

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