Machineflesh 3D Challenge Entry: Bob Estrin


Bob Estrin has entered the Machineflesh 3D Challenge.


Hi my name is Bob Estrin and I am a 3d digital stills artist. I use Cinema 4d r8.5. This is the concept sketch for my charcater. I have typed a full page description of him and a 5 paragraph lifestory. Both got blow away. Since im entering this contest allitle late im not gonna type it again. This was just a quick sketh (not very detaild) to give me an idea of the character before i started modeling.

Basically he has had a hard life and sustained many injuries to his right side. He has voulantered to be the test subject for a new age medicine of biomechanical replacements integrated directly into the body. Since the surgery used to add these artificial organs is very risky he is paid hansomley for it. Though nothing to serious has gone wrong the character is very suspicious of all people and choses to live a rather secretive life.


this is a concept sketch i did after modeling the base character to give a litle more detail to the mechanical parts which i would model next.


the mesh was subdivision modeled and the resulting mesh ended up with 382972 polygons. Because i have limited computer power i posed the model and split it into groups. In this image the face group is selected and the polys that make up the metal plate surounding the eye are selected for texturing.


yeah, I know what limited computer power means. I don´t know cinema4D but you may want to find a way to keep the low res at viewport and high at render (for example, Max has the render value for smooth, at viewport it´s low poly, at render is subdivided, and maya has wrap deformer etc), instead of using high resolution mesh like that while working on your mesh;)



yeah. Cinema 4d has hypernurbs smooth so you can leave it off and then render a smoothed mesh with virtual 300,000 polys but for hi frequensey detail i have to have a super subdivided mesh. I wish there were multiple resolution levels like in zbrush. But for now this works it just slows me down a bit. Cinema 4d manages memory very well. I am able to type this well it renders that mesh with complex shaders and Global ilumination.


after i selected poly groups for texturing (uv map not effective because i had to split up the mesh.) i aplied a metal shader to those areas. I then began modeling some of the mechanical additions with nurbs, primatives, and bolean operations. This is a wip image of the arm.


these may be allitle out of order as i am uploading a few at a time. This is the basic mesh before texturing.


this is the back view of the model before texturing.


as i said earlier i textured by selecting polygon groups and aplying a metal shader i made to those groups. This was perhaps the most painstaking part of the process so far and was definitely the bigest pain int the a**. I modified a danel shader for the metal shader. and eventualy selectively aplied it to all the areas that i had previously modeled in like the metal plates and the metal viens. Becuase i textured this part this way the metal parts have rough areas. I like this so i did not go out of my way to get rid of it though i tried to minimize it so the edges would be rough and not jagged. Look for the recipe for the shader in my next update.


this is the character after texturing all the metal parts but before modeling all the mechanical parts that are not part of the base mesh. Here is the recipe for the brushed metal shader that i made for use on this project.
I use cinema 4d so for the few c4d users out there here it is.

create a danel shader and change the difuse color to the color you want for the metal for the most part i used r-79 g-85 b-86. specular 1 stays the same. specular two should have the color changed to and orange white. and specular 3 to a cool blue white. In the reflection tab bump up intensity to 42 edge intensity to 83 and falloff to 75. Check the box for utilize anisotropic scratches. and set the blur up to 25 and set samples at the basic tab enable roughness and anisotrophy. In the roughness chanel change the function to naki and amplitude to .2%. change the scale to 2000. Put the grit color to a dark gray and set intensit to -9 lower the high clip value to around 65. In the anisotrophy section i set the mode to shrink wrap and mess around with the values sum. going down i use 700 90 67 58 100 33 and uncheck the box for specular 3. And there you have it hope this helps. A tutorial is not realy what this wip upload was for but u got one. Please Comment.
help, concerns, positive negative, requests, ideas, questions, whatever.


Ok since i have been running out of time i forgot to update. I have modeled the parts and set up lighting. I also put in a background and set up a camera. The skin is going to be procedural for the most part. I personally am a fan of uv mapping but it is not practical for this project and to much skin detail takes away from the concept. Anyway you may have noticed that the head is rather large this was for a reason. I wanted this guy to be kind of cartoonisticly porportioned but still have a serious feel to the image. Not to heavy but not funny or anything drastic. I just feel i can express what im going for better when im not constrained by having 100% acurate proportions. I will upload some more wip images soon to show the lighting and compostion and the i will upload some of my close to final products. Please feel free to comment. Actually im begging you to comment. I know as of yet theres not to much to comment on and that i joined late but i realy apreciate your input both negative and positive. Thanks cg networks and cg talk for this great contest.


i modeled the eye and all the other parts (accept for some wires and tubes) seperately and then placed them into the scene. Here is the eye. Nothin fancy 3 point light setup allitle bright but thats the eye.


here is a quick test for the materials and shaders.


this is my basic light setup. I used hdri for the gi and then added an omni light for warmth. The Hdri i used was the beach probe. which i like alot though i would not say it works in alot of scenes. In the final composition im thinking of adding a bluish baclight alltle to the characters right. Coments welcome.


here it is the first of the last. the beggining of the end. I have lighted the scene and composed it. I placed the camer to accentuate the focal point of His eye and his oversize head as well as his pose. as if he has just seen you and is eyeing you with fear contempt curiousity anoyance and suprize. Thats about it please do coment.


I love the way you have kept the proportionas from your concept sktch. Very charicatureish.

I would definaly work on the texture of his head tho…right now it seems…well…untextured.

I also think that his face could do with some expression…and open mouth in a snarl…widened eye at a surprise…etc etc etc.



thanks for the sugestions. I like the gray skin but the lips should have some color. thanks for posting.


i have done some more modeling of the parts worked on the skin and rendered this realy hi res 3000x2500 image which took so long i eventualy cut it short. Some problem areas are circled. Like wires that dont conect mistake in modeling. Texturing problems. things that need work. Pyke, i am working on those sugestions but spliting up the mesh to conserve memory has come around and bit me in the but making it a real problem to uv map the texture or anything. Im trying to find a way to join the parts back together but for now i dont think it looks to bad. The skin now has a slight kind of sss effect which makes it look softer. Comments are apreciated.


okay i fixed some of the circled problem areas. I figured out how to reconect the parts of the mesh. Im looking into some other texturing options linke u mapping for alltle more detail (not much) but i ran into another prob so and im running out of time. Comments wlecome. Oh and do you think he should have any hair im thinking a thin beard and realy short buzz on his head with just a very few hairs.