Maya Water Dragon Guardian


Update 25th Oct 2012:
Have decided to post all future WIPs within another thread as I keep improving; shall link to it when able.

Original Post 21st Sept 2012:
Currently I’m doing a character development project to model it to 3D form while learning about 3D techniques. This is my character, the Water Dragon Guardian.

 She is my first 3D character I've ever done and constructive feedback is appreciated! Still I'm at the stage where I've finished sculpting and modeling most parts so I don't plan to model/sculpt further however feedback in these areas are still appreciated to help me with later projects!
 I shall demonstrate my process so far...
 I started with thumbs with no clue what I wanted to create
 Finally got some character biography happening so I now experiment with some different styles and proportions. There are several more but they're more embarrassing to be seen by human eyes.
 After much experimentation and research, I got the lines & proportion for my character done.
 Here are the lines for the head turnaround concept art with my finalised hairstyle.
 Head Turnaround with values
 Full Turnaround with values. It's very spaced out so there's room for detailed pattern designs.

There’s more to come as it turns out I got too much for one post!


“Golden Blue Earth” Colour Study, I call it.

“Red Upon The Still Lake” Colour Study

Out of 18 colour studies, it got narrowed down to these five. 1) Red Upon The Still Lake 2) Outcast Raspberry Forest 3) Nighttime Shore 4) Calm and Warm and 5) Golden Blue Earth. Yes I make up the weirdest names so what :wink:


This is the low polygon version and will be my final model where I will implant sculpting details via a normal maps. (the Retopologised Mesh)

This is my Mudbox full body turnaround sculpt video

Mudbox head turnaround sculpt video

There’s more to come once I get them rendered/composited! Then I shall detail what feedback I’m looking for. (:


Its always good to have concepts, & your concepts look rather good.

I looked at your turn table, & a few times at that. I think the detailing work is rather good, but you make the same mistake in the workflow that I tell people many many times.

Form/proportion first->Shape->Details

in this order. You jump too fast into the detailing without first making sure the proportion is correct, before the shape is correct.

You manage to correctly present the sleeve area (the part joining the shoulder) in the 2D concept, but not the 3D model. The shoulder bend a little like a rubber hose, & looks like some forces pulling it outwards at the top opening end. In the 2D concept, the sleeves are much shorter, & more natural.

She had hips that looks natural (convex) in the 2D concept, but on the 3D model, its convex.

In the concept, the person looks like a young women, the model you make looks like an elder lady. The head model need quite a bit of work, & you should model with the mouth close.


Thanks so much for your time and advice on my first post at the cgsociety forums! I guess I fell into the same pitfall like the many others before me on my first 3D character and I was focusing on detailing first rather than getting the basic shapes and forms right when modeling.

Just clarifying what you’ve said about the specifics, just in case of any misinterpretations:
[li]the shoulder needs work so it looks less like a hose coming out with a more defined shoulder sticking outwards[/li][li]the coat wrap’s sleeves need to be shorted as currently gravity doesn’t seem to be applied on the current sleeves[/li][li]you mention that the 2D concept was convex and the 3D model’s hips was also convex? Confusing here but I think you mean in the 2D it’s curved around the hips while in the 3D model it’s curving the other way around?[/li][li]do you mean further sculpting on the head may be needed? Whereabouts exactly? And do you mean model the final mesh with the mouth closed or sculpt the high poly with the mouth closed?[/li][/ul]Thanks so much for giving me my first feedback here! (: I didn’t expect it to be so fast. Answers to the above questions will help me understand further what you mean.

Unfortunately I have already taken this model to the next stage but you have definitely helped me so I can keep what mistakes to avoid in mind when I model my next character!

Thank you again PKD! (:


Finally the current turnaround video exported properly.

I’ve been told it’s a good attempt for my first 3D character so that’s encouraging! This is the Penultimate Model, not final one as I see that there’s still room for improvement.

Okay here goes with the current stage I’m at!

Final Concept Art: Alternate colour study

Finished Concept Art: my chosen one

Playing around with Blendshapes to make scary expressions

Presentation Shot 1

Presentation Shot 2

Close up shots

The Current Turnaround Video with Textures, Normals and Lighting applied
My Penultimate 3D model Turnaround–not as smooth and paced well as I’d have liked

Would appreciate some of your Feedback please!

I am going to keep working at this model later after a bit of break from it so constructive feedback on it for improvement will be appreciated. This is the last call for feedback on this model where I will still be able to act upon the feedback as there comes a point where I’d need to work on something new. If you got something you’d want me to give constructive feedback from a newbie in exchange then let me know.

Here are the areas I’d like feedback on…

Areas I’d like feedback on for future projects based on this current model:


**Colour Theory

**Anything missing in terms of parts? Mouth interior, teeth, tassell accessory, water, actual legs would be some I had in mind
**What parts could be modeled better?
**Edge flow & the number of polygons on the model–if it was a game model it’s too much and if it was a screen/film model it’s still too much to be subdivided into further polygons…how many should I keep it down to if it was film vs game? I think it was 8.000 polys for game? This model is currently 33,513 polys as I do not intend to subdivide it further when rendering.

[b]  Sculpting in Mudbox[/b]

**What needs improvement in terms of the high poly sculpt?
**Joints, Skinning & Rigging (skeleton & weights & movement control)
**Where does it need further joints/movement besides the braid?

Areas I’d like feedback on that I may consider undertaking on my current model:

Texturing Colour

**what further needs improvement/working on such as dress, coat wrap, sleeves, waistband, front flap, hair, antlers, feet, eye, eyeball, etc? (as in itself it is plain)
**Facial Skin and hand/fingers texture thoughts?

 [b] Normals/Bump Maps [/b]

**I will remove the fabric textures off the normals and onto the colour textures instead but what else needs working on?

Presentation wise
**the pedestal she is currently on needs more work (looks flat at the moment!) Suggestions for a better made pedestal is appreciated! The thing she stands on might be changed into a rock within the sea; not sure yet. The water image came from here.
** I should re-render it all at the end and redo the video (as I’m new to Premiere) so suggestions in making the video play better would help a lot!

Am also open to other specific areas I haven’t mentioned yet.

Phew! I’m working on something else thus taking a break from this project for a while as I’m pretty tired of it now and hopefully by then I’d be able to work upon your feedback!

Thanks kindly in advance! (:


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