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Personal Project

So I’ve decided to start a personal project for means of enhancing my portfolio and making myself more marketable. I figure that I’ve been in the game industry for six years now, yet I don’t really have much to show for it, since I do mostly managerial stuff nowadays. I can’t say that my skills have deteriorated, but more like become stale as technology and other peoples’ skills improve.

I’ve gotten better at painting, as that’s what I’ve been doing a lot of, so I am still going to keep that up, but I plan to make some 3d models soon. With my hobby in figure collecting, I think it has actually boosted my eye’s attention to detail and form. I’m planning to produce a female model, possibly a dragonrider of sorts, make a dragon, and also a city environment. My timeframe for making these models is 3 months. If I keep at it hard, I’ll have a model done in two to three weeks.

So far, I’ve gotten part of a concept sketch done in a couple of hours.

I don’t even know if I’m going to go with this design, but I still have the lower half of the body to fill in details for, as well as figure out a hair style. Why her left hand is in a fist? She’s going to be holding a weapon, of course. I guess dragonriders typically carry spears because of the long reach. I was thinking a gigantic ornate sword, as I’ve never been much into spears. Who knows, it may work.

Right now, this initial sketch looks all fine and dandy, but there doesn’t seem to be a “hook” to make it more interesting. Just looks like a typical character… not even a high ranking one, if she was in a rank. I guess I would need more elaborate shoulder armor? Maybe some fins? If I make it too ornate though, it will be hard to animate (not that I have the intention to at this point in time).

Anyone got any suggestions or references I should probably look at?

Updated today:

I decided to keep the hair short, even though I did want it long with lu-k’s description. The reason is it would be much easier to animate and model that way, and won’t crash through geometry all the time. I took advice from a coworker in terms of how to handle the legs/boots, and have a sort of wing-tip at the ankle that flares out like bootcut jeans. This helps with ankle rotation. Moving the shoulder pads down so that they are controlled by the arms instead also make it easier to move around without geometry crashing through. I decided to make the area between her breasts, as well as under her breasts to be leather for the same reason.

I asked another coworker about modeling, and he said it would take him a month to do something like this. Hope I can manage that. I might resort to normal mapping for the ornate stuff instead if time starts to cut short.

Categories: Personal Project
  1. April 24, 2008 at 1:40 am

    somehow she reminds me of clare from claymore =\

  2. April 24, 2008 at 7:31 am

    that’s weird, considering Clare’s armor looks nothing like this.

  3. April 24, 2008 at 7:43 am

    A good begining with those armor pieces. I like very ornate stuffs ^^;

    It is completely subjective, here my thoughts :
    for this kind of heroine, I prefer very long hair (loose). Maybe with a tiara/diadem, which could be a hierarchy mark. No need to develop the shoulder armor I think. For a female, that’s more than enough. Huge shoulder pads are for males, and especially bad guys ^^;

    Spears are great. Maybe the weapon I prefer. See Rize, the 5th Shuraki? I am fond of her spear. So… I would be sad not to see your dragonrider without this kind of “accessory”.
    Spear + big round shield. Seems too much, but could be interresting. And if you want a ornate sword, give her a dagger, tied along one of her leg or at the belt ^^;
    A more serious and less gentle face expression would be imo better. Or a mischievous smile.

    If you want to add fins, the boots would be the best part to add some. But I dont think it necessary.

    Hope it can help ^^;

    And maybe you already know about them, but I suggest the works of Sons of the Storm as reference. I love what they do for Warcraft and Starcraft, especially artists Raneman, Samewise and late Twincruiser.

    Good luck for this project! This looks like a very good begining already 😀

  4. April 24, 2008 at 7:51 am

    Hey thanks lu-k! Your tips are most helpful! Thanks for providing some great references! You’re right, Rize has a wicked cool halberd. Basing a design off of that is a good idea.

    I’m thinking about revising the shoulder pads slightly by attaching them to the arm rather than the shoulder, more like this.

    That way it’ll be easier to rotate the shoulder joint. Oh and white armor with gold trim seems a lot more royal, so that may be the color scheme I go with.

    I actually really like Rize’s outfit. It’s simplistic, but still has great detail in other places. Oh well, I’m still in the concept phase right now anyway. I should change my pace a bit and spend less time on the details and just factory-push out lots of different variations.

  5. shino
    April 24, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    The armor has somewhat of a lineage-esque feel to it? Might it be a subconscious expression of how much you want that Dark Elf figure? :p The giant ornate sword looks like something Tidus might wield as well. Perhaps you could try different types of weapons altogether and do a vote or something? =)

    Can’t wait to see you clean up the art (is that how it’s called?) in the future. An animated model would be super cool too though I guess it’s probably won’t happen just yet. Keep the updates coming man! =)

  6. Kin
    April 25, 2008 at 8:04 pm

    As a person that loves super details, I really like the armor. I do agree with Shino that it does remind me very much of Lineage. I do have some questions though, how many polys are you planning to model under?

    I would have to agree with you and keep the hair short. Even though having it long and having it flow in the wind would make it more dynamic. Having it short would make it easier to model and would make it more practical since I would think it would get in the way if she was in an intense battle. Also, as a warrior type I would think she would not have much time taking care of long flowing hair.

    For weapons, I really like long ranged weapons like spears, lances, and bows. What about a whip or a giant alchemical gun cannon to mount on the dragon. Just throwing ideas out there.

    Have you thought of giving her heavier clothes or armor? I just imagine her getting a little cold (well depending on weather and environment) when she’s flying up high and at faster speeds. With heavier clothes/armor though it wouldn’t appeal as much and that’s a sad fact.

    3 months would be pretty good time frame. I definitely can’t wait to see the finished product with a whole scene with maybe some minor animations if time permits. I can just imagine it now.

  7. April 26, 2008 at 9:23 am

    Definitely Lineage II like as Shino said. Don’t have much experience in this sort of things but I like what I see.

  8. April 28, 2008 at 7:44 am

    Heh, VERY much a Lineage feel. It’s mostly the bottom half that looks it.

    @ shino : I actually don’t have as much desire for the Lineage Dark Elf anymore. Mainly because I had ordered the Elf Ranger from e2046. Man, I can’t afford this shit right now. 😛
    The weapon is definitely a stand-in. Though I like the look of it, it’s not going to work. In fact, this whole character may be scrapped in favor of something more simplistic for the time being.

    @ Kin : The original plan was about 10,000 polys. I like the idea of an alchemical gun, and was actually planning on putting some sort of weaponery and armor on it. Just can’t figure out where to mount it properly, or if it’s just better to shoot balls of energy from its mouth a la Panzer Dragoon.
    The reason why her armor is fairly light is for easier flexibility, both in the sense of her practicality as well as from an animation perspective. (not that I intend to animate her).

    It’s back to the drawing board. I don’t want it to look too asian influenced for this particular one. Thanks everyone for your feedback! You guys are a great sounding board!

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