Game Character for Portfolio. C&C Needed.

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  04 April 2014
Game Character for Portfolio. C&C Needed (Somewhat Image Heavy)

Hello everybody.
I'm a modeller/generalist wannabe, I'm just starting out and I'm trying to build a portfolio worth showing to potential customers. Right now I can show nothing.
For a number of reasons I don't see breaking in the Big Industry as something possible: my aim is getting in touch with indie firms. I haven't decided yet if my best bet lies in game characters/props or visualization/vehicles, so my blog/portfolio are going to contain a couple of pieces per category.
Now, the info about the work I need advice on:
Software: Blender and Gimp (Sorry, shoestring budget). The rendering engine is Cycles.
Lighting: fairly standard three points lighting.
Character specifics: Polygonal, 9,500 triangles all included, four 2048 maps: diffuse, normal, glossiness, specular.
Feedback and advice I need the most:
Is this model something that can be worked into something that can be used to sell?
Shading and rendering. Apart the fact that I'm new to Cycles rendering is my weakest spot.

Issues I'm aware of: The normal map needs more work. It's too faint and the glossiness kills it.
Hands are too thin. Thumbs position is off.
The shield looks too flat, at least from this angle.
The head is just a filler.
Leather should be more worn. The armour does not appear that clean.
I still have to set the shader to give a more pale blue steel reflection.

In short, any piece of advice is needed and welcome but my main aim is to get feedback about the render. Thank you for your time, and my apologies for the text wall.

Last edited by Stenofo : 04 April 2014 at 10:41 AM. Reason: Thread title update.
  04 April 2014
Hello there. Some more work done:
I remade the normal maps, twicked the diffuse and specular ones.
I flattened a bit the breastplate: I couldn't pose the arms. I added an edge loop to wrists.
No luck with the shader for now.
Now, a wire shot and a raw rig test which I'm going to make again from scratch.

In the next posts I'm going to upload smaller images, 800 or 600 should be fine I guess.
A note for the moderators: I recently started sculpting and a real head instead of a filler is mandatory for modern games characters. Provided that nobody posts in this thread I'm not going to post for a couple of days, this thread isn't orphan yet.
  04 April 2014
I reckon the second version is much improved!
The wrists and ankles still look a bit thin though. Also the shield still looks like cloth. The face and neck wouldnt be connected like that I think as it allows no movement. In general might be good to look at the edges on parts where you can see the inside like the elbow guards. The armor itself is very flat all over and there are very few impressions or forms that give flat metal strength which is why the elbow guards look a bit out of place.

You might want to incorporate some designs into the plates to make them more interesting to look at. Pretty neat model in general though but you are right the character needs more love in the texture area.
The terminal velocity of individual particles is directly related to pink rabbits on a bank holiday.
Characters, Games, Toys
  04 April 2014
Hello Kanga.
First of all apologies for not answering straight away, I had somewhat lost hope about getting feedback, so: Thanks for your feedback!
I have huge troubles in setting a decent shader, I think that's what kills the model.
This is a scaled version of the armour texture:
I tried to give the metal some variation but the lighting kills it. Also, another old render. Here I managed to get a less flat diffuse (same texture), but lights kill the geometry detail more than that:

I admit that wrists and ankles are weak parts. I didn't notice about ankles, the more I look at real armour pictures the more I realize hands are HUGE..
Anyway. This model is a huge improvement compared to my previous ones (honest), and I thought to use it for a portfolio because I badly need to have something to show. This is my question: would you spend more time in fixing a model which was born flawed from the start, or is it better to make a new one keeping in mind the feedback I get? (working on it I discovered several flaws, also rigging/animation related) I ask it because I see you're a character artist and you know more than me. Anyway, thanks for you frankness.
  04 April 2014
No worries
Yeah your model has some really good stuff. If I were you I would kit bash it. I think the hands may even be on the small side, like I said the wrists and the forearms are too slender and you should make the head turn. Depending on what you want the model for it looks like you are missing opportunities to put some really interesting details in the armor.
The terminal velocity of individual particles is directly related to pink rabbits on a bank holiday.
Characters, Games, Toys
  04 April 2014
Hello Kanga.
When I said huge hands I meant the real ones. Yes, those in the model are actually too thin. I enlarged them several times but I'm not there yet. The neck guard is made after a real style, the german visierhelm. I made a mistake though: usually you get a half shell, i.e. the front half only. The back of the neck and head were covered by the helmet. I don't get the logic behind rotating the whole trunk to look around in a real fight.
The whole armour is late example of middle ages kind, plain shiny steel. I just wanted the character to give the feel of well, a knight in shiny armour: probably not a best choice for a showpiece.
Also, I asked if it was the case to start from scratch because fixing everything requires substantial editing of the geometry and probably UV layout. And textures. Anyway, please feel free to state what you think, this is really appreciated!
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