game creature for Arenanet art test

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Old 11 November 2012   #1
game creature for Arenanet art test

Hey there, I'd like to post progress on a game model I am working on. It is for the Arenanet character modeling internship art test. It is due in less than two weeks. I thought I would post on here just to get some feedback as I go along.

The concept is from Arenanet. Our tri limit is 7500. The model currently has 7494. I am still at pretty early stages of detailing in Zbrush at the moment.

Let me know what you think so far.

Old 11 November 2012   #2
Very cool! Great edge flow and nice job on the normal maps.

It looks like the painting has thick plates on the back. They seem to get smaller and thinner as they near the belly. I think your spikes look to straight and long.

You could maybe save some edge loops by merging the claws into the toes, and paint the detail with your normal maps. Use what you save to possibly add a few of the larger plates. I would guess the flatter ones towards the belly could be painted in your normal map.

Maybe the teeth could do with one less edge loop.


Last edited by AJ1 : 11 November 2012 at 06:51 PM.
Old 11 November 2012   #3
You are definitely right about the plates and the spines. I deleted some unnecessary edge loops from the claws and added more plates. I decided to keep the claws as separate objects, though, so I wouldn't have to mess with my topology. But I am still under the poly limit as of now.

Old 11 November 2012   #4
Nice! Looks more reptilian now.

If you look at some pictures of alligators, it seems the spikes on the back grow from thick plates on top of the skin.

On the dinosaurs, the row of spikes directly above the spine are sometimes part of the vertebrae, and grow through the skin.

Maybe you could emphasise the spikes on the backbone, and shrink the spikes off to the side. Add some edge loops around the base of the side spikes to make them look more on top of the skin, rather than protruding though.

I think they also look too round. From the painting, it looks like they have a sharper edge, more like shark teeth.

Old 11 November 2012   #5
You have some good points, but I will probably work more on the plates and spikes later in the process. They are a separate subtool with many stacked UV shells, so I will probably only import one spike/plate/tooth/claw from each UV stack and work on them and bake them out that way. Right now I need all of them there for reference.

But I would like people's opinion: should I go for less detail? I am wondering if all the little scale details will get lost and washed out in the game. Of course the diffuse map will support the details more when it is finished, but I wonder if I should go with a more simplified and graphic approach to make the character pop more in the game environment.

Old 11 November 2012   #6
I think the detail looks great!

Are you baking out at 2048?

You could download the free version of Unity, import your character, and see how it looks. You'll probably lose some detail if you have to compress to jpeg.

Could you maybe post a layout of your UVs?

Old 11 November 2012   #7
Thanks, AJ.

I have already done a test bake and most of the details have come through. At least in mental ray and in viewport 2.0. So I am not really worried about whether it will actually show up. I am more worried about the textures being strong enough graphically where they will look good at the distances that one tends to be from the characters in the game itself. I feel like even if the textures can be seen from up close, I would still want them to read well when the character is farther away. So I think my approach is to keep small details for close up, but also to include more readable textures with areas of larger scales, contrasting colors, etc so the character doesn't look muddy from far away.

Textures are required to be 1024, by the way. But so far the only thing not coming through are some of the really small wrinkles on the face.
Old 11 November 2012   #8
No problem.

I'm not much of an artist, but sometimes in a game engine you mix in some z-depth to hide the clipping plane or add some atmosphere. This could make your model look more washed out at distance.

Mental ray will render a bit shaper than a DX or OGL render, so VP2.0 is a good reference.

Unity is pretty easy to use, but you can also get a free version of Unreal or CryEngine.

Sorry I cant help more with the art stuff, maybe someone with more game art experience can chime in...

Old 11 November 2012   #9
So I made a few changes and started polypainting. By the way, the spines, plates, claws, teeth and eyes are still just placeholders for now.

Old 11 November 2012   #10
Getting close to the deadline on Friday! I would love to hear some critiques while I work on posing him.

Old 11 November 2012   #11
Awesome work!

Maybe the only thing that stands out to me is the whiteness of the the teeth.

I think the material that makes up teeth is a bit more translucent, and in an environment like you have shown, would pick up some colour from the mouth and background.

I did a quick search for alligator teeth, and it doesn't seem like reptiles pick up much plaque on their teeth. The most recent render looks better than the previous one in that regard.

Maybe make them a bit darker and greyer near the base, and lighter near the tips.

Old 11 November 2012   #12
Old 11 November 2012   #13
proportion tip

The head feels a bit too big compared to the concept art, if you want you can easily fix this with a latice or the move tool in sculpting package. Also needs a tiny bit more spec.
Old 11 November 2012   #14
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