HMC #16 Alien Queen


This is so awesome! I’m glad to see she’s making progress. Super work! :thumbsup:


Jay-Mo, many, many thanks. Of course you should finish your queen too. You will see, once you get back to her, you will not stop until the end :wink:

Itsgallus, many thanks to you. Yeah, our Baby is growing and growing. She is amazing. And sometimes she gives daddy a bit spare time to work a bit on hers majesty here. LOL.

About my render setup: It´s acutally pretty basic. Infinite light for overall flowing light. One spotlight in front (but very dimm, because of the dark mood, Aliens need :wink: , 2 or 3 pointlights (switched on and off on demand).
But the main effects I achieve with the render passes and an environment pass for a HDR map (which is only used for reflection in this case. Not for lightning). Most important, but on the downside render time increasing, is a separate AO pass. That one gives the most deepness in the overall color and in the shadows.
Btw, because of the slimy and shiny appearance of an Alien, I don´t use a specularity map here. Reflection is more effective for wetness.

The rendered passes are than composed in the great XSI composing tool. Here I can tweak reflection, refraction, specularity and adjust the colors and do my depth of field.

That´s it.

Paulius, I´m deeply honored and I thank you very much. Thanks for the stars, I highly appreciate. Paulius, you are so right about the teeth. I was sick of them too and so I spend my time off today, for correcting that. I tweaked the tooth material and applied a transperancy map for the teeth and the jaw-muscles. I´m more satisfied with the result now. Please tell me your feeling about it.

Roberto…many, many thanks for providing me this opportunity. That´s just great! Big thanks! :bowdown:

Azozel and Jedi-Juice, thank´s alot guys!

Ok, as I allready said, I tweaked the teeth and the jaw flesh to get more the transparent material look on them.




The blue color works much better. :beer: And now all we need is a kick-ass pose. (Not literately)


Now these new tooth are way better to me,good work.
Anyway I have few questions about scene if you dont mind.First of all what’s render time of all passes together?
Secondly how you (will) rigg it?Im asking,becouse Im very newbie in rigging organics…So will you add bones to it,and will you model some kind of muscles like some people are doing?
Hm,how long are you working whit 3d programs?

Anyway your model inspired me to watch “aliens 2” again :slight_smile:
good luck in rigging it.



Yes, it´s possible. Finally she is rigged! So a few sleepless nights here and there payed off.

Now, she can unfold her true sinisterness and unleash her terror. Ok, so much for the drama.

But first things first (even even though I have to appologize for the late respond):

Martin, thanks alot! So I guess we let her kick now some a**es!! Yeah!

Paulius, many thanks to you. I highly appreciate. About the passes. XSI renders with the main rendering at the same time the specularity pass, diffuse pass, reflectivity pass and the refraction (transparency) in the .pic format, which automaticly includes the alpha. There is no effect on rendertime here. As custom passes I render an ambient occlusion pass, cause he get´s alot of real deepness and a realistic light behaviour. Than comes the depth pass for depth of field and other effects like smoke etc. And in this case at last the shadow pass, to have the possibility to tweak the shadows where needed (especially in the case of an Alien, because of the very dark nature).

So about your question, what time they take to render. That´s of course hardware related. In my case, everything was done on a Dell Inspiron 1720 Notebook with 3 Gig RAM and running a (unfortunately) 32 bit system. LOL. Ok, but I got it done. It is obvious, that an 64 bit system with at least 8 gig would have spared my alot of time and trouble (especially with stupid mental ray crashes). But the next private investment comes for sure.

To come to the point: I render in raytracing mode in a resulotion of 1900 to 1080 p. The main passes come nicly in about 4 to 5 min. Depth and shadow just take under one min each. But of course, the AO pass eats time. Up to 12 min it can take. Yeah, I know. That´s not smooth.

About the rigg. Paulius, I mainly rigged small characters by now and mainly low poly game characters. The Queen is maybe the most complex rig I´ve done by now. Another reason, it took a bit longer. But I learned alot about rigging again. I can´t say, how much difference there is between the programs. I work in XSI and I work, or worked in Max (but not much rigging in Max). The rigging process in XSI is imo very handy and logic. It gives you alot of freedom too, to experiment in the behaving of the bones towards each other, via different constraints. I can only recommend XSI for many reasons. I just hope that the recent events (Autodesk takeover) make no huge impact on that wonderfull program.

You asked about muscles. In that case, I mean an Alien or other insect kind of beings, it is in many cases easier to lay the bones and to make a decent envelope of the mesh. So there is not much outer streching or bulking of the mesh, as in other organic movements. But in that case, XSI has the great possibility of shape deforming and key driven cluster deformation. That means, if a movement of a mesh reaches a decent key or position in the animation, the mesh deformes via a reorganizing of the vertexes, which was done manually before. Like a smile on a face, or like a bulking of a muscle when contracted.

Than finally to your question about my work experience. As I am a professional industrial designer, I started my 3d work mainly in consturction. That means CAD. Starting with Auto CAD, Pro engenier and in my case long time Solid Works as well as Alias. I started about 8 years ago the same time to use 3D MAX. We did it in university to render our surface stuff, which was pure geometry. Not so likely to watch or present. Many people automaticly went from Alias (former Wavefront) to Maya (former Wavefront too, now Autodesk…) but I was allready a bit familiar with MAX because of games. A few years later, and mainly because of the fact that Half Life 2 was using Softimage XSI as basis for the Engine models, I started to use XSI and I never let it go again!

And If anybody has now read all this and is not sleeping or bored to death…here we go again:

And what the rigg looks like:

So, I would be happy for some C & C and maybe some hints for the ultimate Killer pose :wink:




Amazing, I love everything about her, the only thing that catches my eye as being odd is that it looks like she’s giving everyone the finger with her left hand.


Glad to see her done Locusta and what a great job you did on it. Be proud of that portfolio piece.

That’s quite a rig I must say.


YEA! She finally up and running. Superb :slight_smile:


I think she looks great pose rig and all.
Wonderful stuff. Only thing I notice is how you rigged her tail.
The way you’ve done it (bones?) you probably end up breaking it when you move it?

So maybe it would be better to simply use a spine bone there?
Just guessing I know I couldn’t rig a tail last I tried but
I’d definitely try a spine there next time round :slight_smile:


excellent work Markus!

a few crits, the ligaments around the mouth seem a bit over-simplified in shape, kinda look like bandages right now and not very organic, here’s a hard-to-see reference from Aliens:

The overall shader seems a bit too green, but this is really open to interpretation since shes only seen in the dark…

My biggest complaint though is there’s no slime!!!
Can’t have an alien with out the gooey-ness!!!


Cool Rig dude, as Wyattharris said, it will be a great piece on a portfolio,

it would be nice to do a video breakdown, showing all the Rig functions , and a walk/Running video.

the only thing missing now…is a killer background to do a masterpiece

keep working dude…


Guys, many, many thanks to all of you.

I know, this thread is going to be stone-old (LOL) so I´m not sure how I should continue or if I should. I don´t wanna bore anybody to death here. Anyway I got a lot other things in work by now so this will be layed on ice a bit (great, in wintertime).

To come to a more or less final output here, I show a bunch of late renderings and a couple of photoshoped pix (only smoke and minor touch up added).

So enjoy and watch out for other things to come :wink:




I think you got it right on man! I was going to say that you just need to adjust your lighting for a darker mood but you did that in the last shot. Just add a slight film grain and you’re done :slight_smile:


these are just amazing. I love every effect on every render. This material is really good for showcasing the model as well. Great!! Will be looking on to your next projects!!


Great Job! One of my favorite movies, you captured the Queen perfectly!


Just wow.

If you ever animate it, let us see it :thumbsup:


This ended up pretty amazing. You made an alien fan very happy :slight_smile:


Wow I didn’t even know you were still working on this, glad I peeked in! Looks spectacular man, I’m glad you took this model so far, it turned out hella good. Great work!


Many, many thanks again to all of You :thumbsup:

I decided once more to push the render button (yes, yes. Neverending story…) and bring you this last piece of pixelhorror :wink:

At the same time, I want to invite you to witness the growing up process of the young fellow of that lady here

At this point I want to send my best wishes to you and your families! Have nice and peaceful holidays and I wish you a good start in a hopefully lucky and successful year 2009!

And here we go:

and here a HighRes Wallpaper of the same. Please be advised, it could take longer to open!





I’ll take that as an early Christmas present. :smiley:
Great job Markus, she really came out amazing.