Settlers 7 Characters

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  04 April 2010
Settlers 7 Characters

As i don't know if my image cam through to the gallery i'm opening a thread here. Why is the gallery system like it is right now? I have no feedback if my images went through, got declined, or are waiting to get into the system. After i posted they went straight into my cgs portfolio and i had a new thread in my scubscriptions, this one is gone, so maybe it didn't make it, whatever o_O

So here we go

In 2008 and 2009 i worked on "Settlers7" by Ubisoft and Bluebyte, after my work on Settlers 6 and the addon it was again quite a huge workload i've got offered.
This time it was way too much for me to work on it alone.
Stephan Stölting joined me and later Adina Krause helped out here and there when we still didn't get it finished fast enough.
In the end we worked on approx. 130 assets, bodies, heads, sequence characters, portraits and props.
It's the first time ever, that it's hard for me to tell who worked on which Asset, as often we switched back and forth during the revision process. I modelled every Asset, but normally I modelled one asset, Stephan then started texturing it while i worked on the next one.
So we made a deal, he tells everyone that he did the coolest assets of the bunch, and i'm going to do the same.

To speed up the workflow bluebyte already delivered us faceless nude bodytypes, which we didn't touch at all, textures and topology had been set in the very early stages of the production.

Thanks to Michael Filipowsky as lead character artist for all his guidance and sometimes very honest critique, again i learned a lot. Also i'd like to thank Ben Mathis (yeah you poop!), who joined the team during the production for helping me with his advices during the revision process.

the stonegolem, the only char that has a normalmap, as he is so huge, i also built a shader for detailnormals so it doesn't get too pixelated when zooming in

portraits for the game

the sequence characters

and a few more, just links, so i dont spam the forums too heavily

aaaaaand some representative, at least i hope so, wireframes and textureflats

Countrybumpkin Rupert, my favorite character Portrait

~1300 triangles - 512˛ texturesheet

King Konradin, my favorite sequence Character

~3500 triangles - 1024˛ texturesheet

The Stone Golem, a huge special character

~12k triangles - 2048˛ texturesheet

and the baker, an ordinary, thin character

~900 triangles - 1024˛ texturesheet (though that got scaled down to 512 in the final game i guess)
the texture might seem like a lot of wasted space, but the premise was to have every character use the same texture density, therefore, the biggest dude, with the most surface area used the texturesheet the best. Also Bluebyte wanted to add props and things that relate to the characters onto these sheets, so the texturepage might have changed after we delivered the asset.
bonus vir semper tiro

some timelapsed videos
  04 April 2010
good work

Strange, nobody has replied to this thread yet...
Looks very cool. It's nice to see some different styles once in a while. I don't see quality cartoony work too often here.
Did you use an external sculpting program like zbrush or mudbox for the clothes and hair or were all of the diffuse textures hand painted?
  04 April 2010
beautiful work
I really like the style of the characters and their implementation.
These images are certainly an inspiration for me, thanks for sharing
  04 April 2010
Fantastic work Neox. It's always great to see what you're doing.
  04 April 2010
Wonderful job on the character designs and texturing!

  04 April 2010
sehr gute arbeit!
I really like the texturing and overall feel, good stylization throughout.
very nice work. i think the settlers improved quite a bit since i looked at it the last time (like 5 years back or so )
thank you for sharing
  04 April 2010
thank you very much guys

@goraaz: everything is handpainted, no sculpts used at all, besides the Golem as he is so huge that Steffen thought it would be good to have him use normalmaps like all the environments do, also he did a shader for detailnormals which have been done with crazybump and photoshop so zooming in wouldn't end up in a too blurry mess

@polybuilder: designs are by he did indeed do a great job on the concept side, was a pleasure to work from his concepts
Demoreel 2009
  04 April 2010
Excelent Work Neox

Very clean work, I really like the graphic style and I think it was very fun to work on It

Keep up
ZBThread , 2D Sketches

Last edited by ocarian : 04 April 2010 at 07:25 PM.
  04 April 2010
Impressive work and very consistent in style.
  04 April 2010
Very nice work. I love the style.

Hopefully I can get the game soon, and see what they are like ingame.
  04 April 2010
... Simply Gorgeous Work.. !!!

the single crit i would have is for the "StoneGolem" chracter.

You have a 12k character here, with what looks like a massive texture (2048x2048?)

Well... regardless of how big the texture is, I'm sure it's fully appropriate and warranted!
However, it looks like a **tiny** amount of that texture sheet is being used for the trees and alpha'd branches sticking out of the StoneGolem's shoulder joints.

It seems a little wasteful to me, that you're asking the pixel shader to check every single Pixel for opacity, and loading the extra instructions onto each vertex, when there seem to be less than 30 that actually use it.. ?

(is it 'alpha test' or is it 'alpha blend' ?)

There might be a gain (and if not a huge gain, it's a good practice to have, I believe), to separate this into 2 shaders. one complex shader for the main body of the StoneGolem, that doesn't check for alpha, and a way smaller shader with tiny textures that just caters for the alpha'd bits?

as I say - Excellent work, it just seems that you can make a GPU saving here!

Last edited by Zenderquai : 04 April 2010 at 11:09 AM.
  04 April 2010
good point, but before i worked on it i asked the tech dudes at bluebyte wether to use one texturesheet with a pretty much wasted alpha channel or if i should use another texture which would be another drawcall, they said one single drawcall for the whole character is better, so i did that
I'm pretty sure they used alpha masking in the game and not alpha blending, but i'm not sure as i'm just the deliverer of the assets, i don't have anything to do with the technical side of getting these things into the engine, but i asked because of the same concerns you had and then did what the client wanted me to do.

In my Rendering its alpha blend, as i cannot use alpha mask with the max scanline renderer.
bonus vir semper tiro

some timelapsed videos
  04 April 2010
nevermind... neox already answered
Demoreel 2009

Last edited by Adina : 04 April 2010 at 08:35 AM.
  04 April 2010
Truely loverly work allways been a huge fan of the style. Allways amazise me how little you need for a great character, its like a lowry painting.
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