Harris Nut House


Howdy folks, welcome to the show!

I realized with all the stuff I’ve posted to this site I’ve only had one WIP thread before, well that just won’t do. I’ll start using this space as my catch all. I tend to work on many things at once so it wouldn’t make much sense to have a separate thread for each.

Hopefully, you will get something out of it, if nothing other than a laugh. :smiley:
Take it easy.


Project #1 - Tali unmasked

If you were a Tali fan like me while playing Mass Effect then you were probably disappointed with what we got. Which wasn’t much. I finished the game not too long ago and this has been tickling the back of my mind for a while.

The plan is to create a hi-rez version of Tali both in and out of her encounter suit. Actually the plan is waaayyyyyyyy bigger than that but let me just start small for now.

So to start I need to plan out exactly what she looks like or this will be a mess. I went the same path as Bioware and found a face model to use for the head but that’s only half the battle. The Quarian’s physique is still a mystery. So I had this great idea to take the ingame models, which are readily available online, and see what it would look like if I crammed a person into the suit.

I started with the following basemesh created by Eugene Fokin, available on BadKing’s website (Excellent resource BTW), and two of the Tali suits from ME3. Sized everything up to match and then started pushing, pulling and smoothing away.

Below is the result after an hour of experimenting. What I am trying to figure out is what would something that fits in the suit look like. Hehe, not exactly the result I was hoping for. I think I see the dilemma the Bioware artists must have also found. In ME1 Tali was not a love interest so they must’ve created the Quarian’s without regard to their attractiveness, unlike the Asari who seem to have been designed to be eye-candy. Once her proportions were locked in place though, what do you do? By ME2 Tali became massively popular with the fans who now wanted to see what she looked like. Better to just let it be I guess.

Problems of note:

  1. The head absolutely won’t fit in that helmet without looking crazy. It’s just too small a space. It probably needs to be about half the size to fit and then it looks ridiculous.
  2. In the infamous “photo” Shepard receives from Tali, she has a very human like appearance. I know, its a photochop, but the point is there is no way you would look human and still fit in the encounter suit.

So there’s the dilemma. As I see it there are a few ways to go about handling it.

  1. Modify the suit to fit proportions that I think look good. (Fans will hate this of course)
  2. Create a character that actually fits in the suit but looks crazy… (Yeah I’m not going to do that)
  3. Fake it! Match the suit when the helmet is on, use custom proportions when its off. (Winner, I think :smiley: )

Well, still a bit of prelim work to do. I need to chop off some fingers and toes. Take a little more time to fit the body with the suit. It might not be as bad once I spend some time tweaking it. Anything’s possible when you haven’t done anything, lol.


Okay this is better. Fingers and toes chopped.
I went with the idea that the suits are about as thick as a Neoprene wetsuit making them skintight but still durable. This gave me more room in the shoulders, chest and back and thickened up the neck, thighs and calves a bit. I also added the hood back and sized the head based on its dimensions. This helps tremendously but the chin and jaw still jut out pretty far past the bottom of the mask. So, now to decide if this is what I want. I’m still not to keen on the results but I may go a few subd levels first before scraping it and starting over.


Maybe this will help. You can use as reference.

Concentrate on the proportion first, then the details. That’s always my suggestion to people.


Thanks PKD. That’s Tali from ME2, close but slightly different.


Locking in the proportions and starting to refine. I’m still considering this experimental but I’m liking the results much more now. Everything is fitting in the suit so far, well except the butt but that’s a must for Tali :D. I haven’t done anything to the head yet.

Let me know what you think.


Further refining, just one more divide. I’m taking this part pretty slow to get the face right. Problem is my reference is not adequate so its taking longer and more experimentation than usual. The face I’m using is a friend of mine and I couldn’t get proper front and side so it’s getting there, just slowly.

Started blocking in the ears but I need more geometry before I continue. The fingers and toes are still sausages, they needs lots of work. Hopefully tonight.

Thanks for stopping by.


Hey Wyatt,

I'm not an expert on characters, but I think she might have trouble standing. Should most of the weight be over the heel? Maybe that RSA runner could serve as reference? His blades seem to touch the ground right where someones foot would, with the heel being below the knee. 



Thank you very much for the reply AJ.
I think you are right but unfortunately the design is locked in. If you look at the character sheet PKD posted earlier, Tali’s body is way out over her feet. I’m trying to stay close to the source material so that’s how she looks.


Are you sure that’s not just a piece of fan art? It looks like it came from Deviantart. Just from looking at google images though, it looks like the shin should still curve back in more, placing the foot closer to where it should be.



There seems to be a lot of fan art on google images, and I’m not sure whats the official art. It looks like the plastic models had to have the feet lined up, probably to keep them from falling over. Maybe if you own the game, you can get a screen grab? Maybe you can also try an OpenGL capture, and get the real model. :wink:


Pretty sure, but I’ll double-check. The first picture I posted shows the in game models themselves ripped from the source files. I’ve been using these as subtools in ZBrush to line everything up.

Good thing though is this is just the T-pose. So when I rig and animate her I promise I won’t have her standing like that. :thumbsup:


No worries. :stuck_out_tongue:

Ill wait and see how this one pans out. But if the character still looks off balance, Ill have to write another slightly passive aggressive paragraph that compares your model to an incarcerated runner. :wink:


So I’m going to make an assumption here that Quarian’s are mammals. :smiley:
They are supposedly the most humanlike. Face is much closer to what I want but I’m still working on it. I had this idea that their feet were padded like a paw. I probably won’t go as far as giving her pads like a dog or cat but just harder patches on her foot.

For the hands I was going to flatten the tips of her fingers to make them more of a sucker like a gecko or tree frog but it ended up looking pretty silly so I got rid of it. This is as much detail I could add to the hands and feet at this level. I’ll continue refining as I go up.

Take it easy.


Created the appropriate polygroups for the scenes I have planned.
Started detailing the hands but I still don’t have enough geometry. I have one more serviceable division level before I have to consider other options. I have another plan in place in case that is necessary but hopefully not.

Let me know what you think so far, thanks.


The hand looks good. I’m not an anatomy expert, but I think it may look better if you have the tendons/ligaments from the fingers come together to a point near the wrist like they do in our hands. I think they all travel though a gap in the forearm bone together.


Yep, you are right. Ack, that’s going to be a pain to straighten out.

Quarian fingers are slightly elongated but these are basically the pointer and ring finger. I cut the middle and pinky off of the base hand.


Hey Wyatt,

I have some Quarian ideas of my own that I want to put to 3D at some point so I am going to enjoy following you on this.

2 things about your feet. The 2 main toes look a lot like fingers. I imagine them being a little bit fleshier almost like our big toes since all of her weight would be pushing off of 2 oppose to 5. Also, I think you should bring the outside pad on her foot all the way up to her toe so it lines up with the inside pad.


Thanks Brendan. Good call on the pad, I think that will work. As for the toes, I’m keeping it close to the reference so the shape is right. I’m thinking of them like orangutan toes so at one time they could’ve used them like extra hands. Before the encounter suits… or something like that. :smiley:

Tonight’s sculpt. Same division level.


So it was finally time to figure out what the ear was going to look like. There is very little officially about what they look like. There’s a short paragraph describing the Quarian with “ear analogues” and then there’s the little bit poking out under her hair in the official image from the game.

Looking for inspiration I found this image from Annergy.

The main thing I was trying to avoid was elf ears while trying to be somewhat unique.  So here is what I came up with.  I tried to have the forms flow into each another.  Also shown is the sculpting on the lips.  Had to change to a high gloss material for it to really show up so that is working as intended.

This is as dense as I plan to go with the full body and still didn't really have enough geometry to get all of the details I wanted in the hands and feet.  But that's why I setup the polygroups this way so I can sculpt them separately if I really need to.

Now it's time for some asymmetrical sculpting on her face and figuring out what her implants look like. Let me know what you think.


Hey Wyatt, good stuff so far. I like those feet a lot, and the toes themselves give a good sense of weight with the skin kinda bulging around the nails there. My only comment would be about the fingers. There seems to be these bands going around each joint that may need to be smoothed out. I don’t think the crease under each joint shouldn’t quite reach those knuckle wrinkles. Also, Knuckle Wrinkles is going to be my future band name.