HMC #9: Grievous v. Maul


I’ve decided to throw my hat into the ring. I was unable to finish the last challenge because I had other projects that needed my full attention. Hopefully this will not be the case, as I am a HUGE Star Wars geek.

I have chosen to do a cool yet never-seen-because-of-its-unrealistic-nature duel between General Grievous and Darth Maul… that makes, what, 6 lightsaber blades? Only time will tell if I am biting off more than I can chew. I will most likely make the diorama a simplistic one, and leave the detail to the models.

I will include a concept sketch of the scene soon, but for now, here is were General Grievous is thusfar. I’m waiting to do too much more until I can have the movie in front of me for reference. Let me know what you think.


Hey this is a realy interesting subject…keep it up ,i am wondering how it looks when is finished


your model looks pretty cool, the continuation the continuation!!


This ought to be a good laugh! Good luck, mate and welcome to the challenge.:thumbsup:


Here is the picture I will be drawing my inspiration from… I will most likely make the final version look exactly like this… except for the Wolverine part :stuck_out_tongue:


Yeah this will look great, i am waiting for your finished piece :smiley:


Looks like you’ve got a good start on Grievous. Going to start my own soon, but it looks as though I’ve got catching up to do already! I like that pose, it will be interesting to see how you adjust it to account for all the extra sabers.


Thank you for your replies. I’m a little worried about the inner workings of Grievous. Even with the DVD in front of me, all of his innards are in shadow… which makes a pure modeling challenge difficult. Anyway, here is a brief update.

Believe it or not, all four arms are there, they are just in their combined mode. For any others that attempt General G (and weren’t geeky enough to notice already :P) his hands in this mode are six-fingered, and they split into two three-fingered when he uses all four arms. I say all that because I had started modeling those arms and hands under a very confused misconception of his skeleton. Lemme know what you think.


Here’s my progress for today. As I stated before, Grievous is a tough one, as he has MANY intricate parts and MOST are hidden in shadow or motion blur. Overall, I like the way he is looking, though his feet and “calf” area are not proportioanlly correct, I think. Let me know what you think.


as you said the legs are proportioned badly…but the most glaring thing for me is that he is waaaay too wide across the front…if you scaled that back a bit it might start to look on track more…


Thanks for your reply robo… I’ve always had an issue stretching proportions, and Grievous is a tricky one for me to grasp, especially with his always-hunched stance. I made a few minor tweaks the proportions of the torso (which is what I assume you were talking about) and his feet.


Here is a quick update. Not many visible changes have been to Grievous, mostly because I added a lot of inner-skeleton work. The knees especially look disconnected, as the inner-working are all in black. He is, however, nearly finished… He only needs a better “inner-shoulder” region, which I cannot get a clear shot of from the DVD.

Also, here are the lightsabers that I will be using for the scene. I may change up the hilts of Grievous’ sabers, as they are all the same at the moment.

I’ve started on Darth Maul’s head, but am curious how easy it will be to capture a likeness without using a texture. I’ve already created a base head, and even at this rough stage with a pic of Maul’s face just planar mapped onto the mesh… it already looks pretty dang decent. In any case, here is the pic I am working from:


Here is my first post on Darth Maul, and I am unsure how much more detail is needed, nor how close to the likeness I have gotten. As I mentioned before, the strength of the texture completely masks most of the finer wrinkles and grimace lines…



Looking good so far, quasiagent1. I like grievous, and look forward to seeing him posed.

As for Maul, the detail in the face looks good so far, and you’re right, much more detail, and it’ll all just get covered up. I would suggest a better seam between the horns and the skullcap. Some bulge at the base will make them look more like they’re growing out of his head, not just tacked on. For the likeness, it may just be that the left-hand image is a little squeezed, but his face seems a little long, and his mouth curls up too much, rather than out. I’m not so sure, though, would need to check out more refs.


Thanks for the good feedback Gregorio. The horns are one of the few details I still want to add in, as well as enlarging the pupils. For the moment though, I’ve been working on his body… and I’ve been taking a (for me at least) unusual approuch to it.

I have no plans on rigging Maul in any way, and I already knew exactly what pose he was going to end up in… so I’m modeling him IN the pose. And, I’m modeling using nurbs curves and lofting… which I have much les experience doing. I am, however, pleased with the results.

However, like Yav, I’m having diffiiculty staying away from lighting and rendering, and I am kinda glad I did a test render… For some reason, no matter what kind of shader I use, Darth Maul’s head stays flat black. Can anyone think of a reason that might be? I am using mental ray with ray tracing, global illumination and final gather on… I am VERY new to mental ray rendering, but I’ve noticed a huge step up in render quality with it, so I decided to go that route.

I should also note that NO, most of his body is not complete yet, especially his left arm. Without any folds added in, it looks a little like he lost a sleeve… but anyway…

If anyone has advice on fixing the black head issue, please let me know, and thanks.


Looks like you might have the normals reversed


I think you are making a big mistake by modelling Maul in pose. When looking at the picture you’re trying to recreate, you should be imagining his pose in three dimensions. The easiest way to do that is to rig him with a standart skeletal structure and by moving the individual joints, you’ll be getting insant feedback of the anatomical deformations that occur within the body. The impact of your decision is already showing on your model. His right shoulder looks broken and some parts of the body already look out of proportion to one another.

As for Mental Ray, If I were you, I’d use V-ray (Bulgarian made software…makes me proud:)) Mental Ray really is quite hard to use and it’s also pretty slow.


Hmmm… Yav, I have to agree with you, I’m not as pleased as I would be with the instant success that modeling then posing can achieve… but at the same time I really love the control I can get from NURBS modeling (my main concern was getting his skirts/kilt/robe flaps to deform properly like cloth, which I knew I could model in pose easily)… however, I think I agree with your overall point, and I’ll be starting the body over… I just hope that my switch-over isn’t too late in the game.

As to v-ray, that looks like an awesome renderer, but I work in Maya exclusively (though I know 3DS Max somewhat), and they don’t have a plugin for Maya as of yet.

And eldee, reversing the normals didn’t change anything… altough I have noticed as mental ray renders that Darth Maul’s facial texture IS visible in one of the first “passes.” Again, with my limitted experience with mental ray, I have no idea what that means.


I despise automagical fixes, but, low and behold, Darth Maul’s face is no longer black… and I have no idea why. Best not to look a gift horse in the mouth I suppose, but I sure wish I knew what I had changed.

Darth Maul is 90% done, with a lot a of the finer details waiting until the very end. I did a very basic mesh, rigged it, and sculpted in the details once he was posed. I’m now working on posing General Grievous in the same scene. It’s far too late at the moment to upload any pictures, but I should have some tomorrow evening.

Right now I am wrestling with a) a good composition with all of those lightsaber blades and b) the overlapping glare of all of the blades plus my lighted background… a lot of details of the blades themselves get washed out.


Well, after a lot of tweaking with the poses, lighting and shaders, I think I’m finally satisfied (more or less) with the pose and “theme” of the scene, though I have a dozen+ further tweaks I still want to make.

I changed from the stripes of light in the background because all of those lines, plus the six lightsaber blades really competed with each other. I also changed to a ruddy background because the grey tones of the original didn’t provide enough of a contrast with the models.

C&C welcome, and really wanted actually…