Dominance War II: bonzepeet


hey all!

this’ll be my first ever low-poly model so it’s probably suicide trying to pull off my first game res work for a competition like this but i’ve always preferred jumping in at the deep end :smiley:

i’m working on concepts for an ‘ancient’s shadow scout’ - it’ll be a nomadic sniper of sorts i suppose : ) i have a backstory and design notes i can type up if anyone’s interested…

anyway, i’ll be flooding this thread with a ton of dumb or noobular questions i’m sure… so bear with me!

here’s where i’m at with the rough concept…

this is the second pass on the concept, the first had a more eel-like head that hung low over his just but people seemed to be having problems recognising it as his head ; )

crits and comments would be great, as ever!

fly the flags of the ancients!


backstory and design notes are ALWAYS interesting … post them up.

concept is looking good. got that ancient feeling going without relying to much on egyption styles so that’s a plus.

CgSociety FTW!


Best of luck, bonzepeet… and don’t worry about the “newbie” aspect. I’ve created low-poly models before, but I’m diving, trial-by-fire style, into the whole normal mapping/UV mapping thing.

One of the main reasons I joined this (apart from the cool prizes…;)) is to learn as much as possible from the other participants, and to (hopefully) get something good for my game portfolio.

Ganbatte! (Do your best!) :thumbsup:


i really like the concept pic,the head kinda reminds me of the enemies in twilight princess,as in it takes a double look to realise that it is the head but thats a good thing,nice style.


nice concept and cool character armor. My suggestions would be to make him look less fragile and his weapon more futuristic. Looking forward to those doodles to come :slight_smile:


Cool concept. I agree about the character looking fragile. I think if you add some interesting forms into the arms and legs will help to make the limbs look less stick like as well.


Equinoxx - thanks a lot! i’ll report back with my notes tomorrow, been hacking away at concepts at the expense of sensible sleep the past two days o_0

cheers again!

Imagus - hehe, thanks for the supportive words! i don’t have a hope in hell of of getting a prize out of this but like you i figured it’s a great arena to begin learning this strange new world! pretty excited to see what we’ll all come up with too, never entered a contest before… anywho, ganbatte to you too ; )

free-willy - cheers! always been a fan of the zelda character designs, maybe it’s rubbed off on me more than i realised :smiley:

coCoKNIght - thanks for the crits! i’m going to have a go at designing the gun properly tomorrow, not quite fitting in with the rest of him yet : /

Cyborgguineapig - hokey dokey, i have a habit of going super stubby or super slender on my designs these days think you and coCoKNIght hit the nail on the head. i’ll try and come up with something sinewy and sleek whilst trying to avoid too much bulk on him ; ) thanks to both of you!

just found a nice freeware font for the runic inscriptions on the armour, going to try a few quick tests of normal mapping it (my first attempt) tomorrow mornin’, then onto refining the gun and armour designs! thanks so much for all the speedy comments so far!


Looks great so far to me. The armor definately gives it the ancient feel. I kinda agree with coco about maybe doing something to make it look a bit more futuristic…but at the same time ancient technology is just as cool as ‘future’ technology.

I kinda disagree about the fragileness thing. He looks alien to me but not neccessarily fragile. And who’s to say that everyone has to be tough, he’s a sniper right? He might never have to fight or use his muscles for anything!

Keep up the coolness!

Oh and…don’t count yourself out, your 2d skills seem pretty great already which if you havn’t already figured out is going to make your low poly skills stand out alot quicker than normal. Textures make a low poly model.


I’ve got to say, you’ve done an excellent job with capturing the look of being ancient in powerful without having to resort to a stereotypical ‘evil’ look. Some good stuff.


i like this concept a lot, however the character looks little too old or may be frail is a better word. i do like the armor designs and the head design.


eMysfit - duly noted ; ) i’ve started reworking the armour to try and make it a bit more futuristic… finding it hard to strike a balance yet though : /

and i’m glad you like the slenderness, it’s definitely an aspect of the character i wanted in the design although i’m inclined to agree with the others that a touch more muscle def might be a good plan. thanks for the support so far, you’ve given me a little more hope that i can pull this off!

maje3d - thanks a lot! glad you like :wink:

mashru - cheers mashru! i agree, old is acually part of the backstory behind him. going to try and work on ‘de-frailing’ him a touch :slight_smile:

so, here’s a little backstory to the design if it helps see where i’m trying to go with him…

[i]"it was a time before the birth of the great civilisations of the ancients, before even the birth of the planets the younger races now cling feebly onto, aeons before their petty squabbles disrupted the natural order of the galaxy. the creatures that grew together to become known as the ‘ancients’ were as humble and primitive as those younger races now spreading devastation across the ancestral worlds.

tribes of nomads, hunter-gatherers deeply in tune with the natural harmonics of life and the cosmos wandered the known galaxy, honing the arts of the great hunt. when the great coalescence of the tribes occurred and spawned the beginning of the great civilisation of the ancients the greatest of the hunting tribes were elected to carry on their ancestral life, sent far and wide across known space as passive observers of the young life that had been discovered throughout the great hunt.

the survivors of the last tribe of the great hunt are now almost impossibly old. living a solitary existence far from any of their own kind, their bodies have wizened and aged beyond recognition. deeply mystic and with barely any need for physical sustenance their life is one of prayer, mysticism and harmony with the rhythms of life. yet they have also honed the art of tracking and hunting well above the capabilities of their forefathers.

their ancient armour plates carry the glowing runes that describe the holy travels of their lost forefathers, their hunting rifles inscribed with meditative symbols that focuses the will of the wielder. devoid of emotion, their heart barely registers a beat…

it was the last tribe of the great hunt who were charged with the honour of guarding the ancestral planets. it was they who witnessed the destruction wrought upon those holy worlds. it is now they who lead the ancients out of slumber, tracking down the strongholds of the arrogant and weak younger races. it is they who will fire the first shot through the hearts of the enemies.

the great hunt begins again…"

so, the design idea was that of a literally ancient alien being, millennia old and still carrying the ancient war gear of their ancestors. i was thinking of incredibly wizened yet supremely agile mystical creatures, a close approximation would be the most ancient of shaolin monks… just with rifles : )

the runes and little tied on feathers and prayer beads are symbols harking back to their time as tribesmen and hunter-gatherers and hopefully reinforces the idea that they have a mystical harmony with life and the art of the hunt. i also wanted the designs of the armour to look stylised and old, pulling parts of greek/babylonian/persian/egyptian stylistic ideas whilst updating it with technological elements that look both futuristic and mystical…

so, that’s my preamble for the design. i’ve probably omitted a few things without realising but i’ll presume it’s a bit of a mission to read through already ; )

so, onto the updates…

i’m trying to tighten up where i’m going with the torso armour design and there’s a quick doodle to see if muscle def will work for such spindly arms :smiley:

the font is a test for the glowy inscriptions on the armour, might hand draw them still if i’m feeling masochistic enough at the time… next update should be the weapon design ; )


armour looks more futuristic now and arm’s working fine now too, we’ve been asleep for very long, so huge muscles are not to be expectet, right? :scream:
Anyway, I thaught that maybe it’d be cool to have some light shining out of the armore here and there to accompany the runes?


the brief should not be taken so literally. the race was dormant in the sense that they we severly conservative. they were still very active in their own affairs.


The above is true, bonzepeet, but I like the fact that you took that interpretation and ran with it, coming up with a great, unique concept.

One thing I thought when I looked at the initial design was that the character was skeletal, not flesh-and-bone. I actually thought that the contrast of an ancient skeletal warrior sporting semi-futuristic, runic armor was quite cool and creepy.

Not that I’m suggesting you change your vision… just commenting on what I saw.

What is the name of the font, and where did you find it? :slight_smile:

Keep up the good work. :thumbsup:


nice start :thumbsup:

waiting for more designs



coCoKNIght - cheers coco! yeah, light will be shining out of the runes and the litle blue areas. it’s not next gen without the glowies! :stuck_out_tongue:

mashru - hehe, fair point ; ) don’t think anything i wrote suggested that i meant that the rest of the race was literally asleep though. still, i figure the interpretations of the brief to be pretty pliable - they could have been in stasis on vast ark ships or as you say just keeping to themselves, hidden deep out of sight…

Imagus -
yeah, that was the iniial plan… i’m now thinking more that they’re ‘almost’ skeletal, lke a reanimated mummy in some ways so that tendons and thin muscles would still be visible. think having some of those definitions in will make for a more interesting look to the different modelled areas. hopefully anyway : )

oh, and the font is a freeware one from blambot called lovecrafts diary : ) although i actualy got the font from here… clicky

Squibbit - cheers! loving your work so far ; )

so here’s an attempt at re-designing the hunters rifle…

i really have no idea how to design weapons! :shrug:

going to try some normal mapping tutorials next and do some tests - itching to push some polys around :bounce:


Hello man, great concept and backstory too! I’m sure you’ll backup greatly your modelling with that kind of story.
Rifle looks good, I would suggest a scope on top since he is a sniper!
Keep it up!


hehe nice concept mate :slight_smile: nice color palet and the gun is wicked


terraarc - cheers! i’m in two minds about the scope. i first thought he shouldn’t need one due to the helmet being ‘linked’ to the gun but maybe a scope will make things read better ; )

tastatura -
thanks a lot! look forward to seing where your going with your concepts!

okay, pointless update and it's nothing exciting but...

behold my first normal mapped thingummy! (only 6 quads, obv.)


i just hope doing a full model will be as painless as a box : P
serious modelling to follow! 

and on that note what’s the best procedure for all this? i was thinking that the workflow should be like so…

1. make low poly
2. unwrap low poly
3. start high poly detailing by dropping an edit poly above the unwrap with a turbosmooth above. this way i can get the sharp armour edges in.
4. adjust the new edges made in a new unwrap to match leaving the original low poly seams intact
5. drop this mesh into sculpting program and do my thang
6. drop hi-poly back into max and match up low poly
7. do cage, shazzam we have nice normals?
8. clean and add extras in ps with nvidia filter

or am i deluding myself...? i've seen about 6 or so different workflows on various forums being used and can't work out whether this way will work. it's mainly trying to work out how to do the sharp edges on things and then the more organic sculpts....

any help much appreciated, as ever : )


First, just to give a frame of reference for the following, I have not tinkered extensively with normal maps.

I did, however, do a bit of research on normal mapping during the lead-up to this competition, and the general practice for the low-poly model seems to be to avoid sharp edges, as they can cause artifacts in the normal mapping. Also, in the hi-res model, avoid completely 90-degree extrusions, as normal maps don’t have a depth component.

However, in general, the workflow appears to be…

  • Create low-poly model, paying attention to general form and contour
  • Create high-poly model in the same position as the low-poly one
  • Create and apply normal map

I’m not sure if UV map/unwrap/texture comes before or after these three and, as I do not own 3ds Max, I can’t speak to specifics… but I hope this helps. :slight_smile:

On the scope, I was thinking it would be cool if the rifle plugged into or fit directly over his eye, connected by a cord or wire to the gun… the eye (to me) just screams “input jack”… just a thought.

Keep at it! :slight_smile:

EDIT: Thingummy = no image…

EDIT Take 2: PIMM’s 3ds Max Normal Mapping workflow (if you haven’t seen it yet)