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Vanguard Super-Soldier: Mixamo Galactic Battle Character Contest Entry

Discussion in 'Works In Progress' started by FusionGames, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. FusionGames

    FusionGames

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    Here is my entry to the Mixamo Galactic Battle character modeling contest. Feedback would be greatly appreciated; this is my first time modeling a character in Zbrush, and it's also my third Zbrush model overall.








    CHARACTER OVERVIEW:
    The Vanguard: An advanced, cybernetic super-soldier powered by a Helium-3 core embedded in the chest of the soldier. Wires and neural nodes stretch across the armoured exoskeleton of the Vanguard. The Vanguard's cybernetic superpower is that his body is directly fused with his suit; He is more machine than man. Each individual cell in his body is enhanced with nanites, which repair damaged cells at a rapid rate. This allows the Vanguard to sustain massive amounts of damage in intense combat, and also allows for built-in heavy weapons in the arms.


    As you can see, I haven't gotten to the arms yet; I was thinking perhaps a built-in chaingun, and maybe a built-in sword. That would fit with the cyborg-type theme. Also, I might add some more detail in the texturing, but I kind of like the solid, shiny finish on him right now. Any ideas/comments?
     
  2. marcos

    marcos

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    Looks great so far!

    Just on the point you make about the shiny finish, I'd perhaps break it up with a different material and use the really shiny parts to guide the viewer's eye around the character. It has such great detail at the moment, but is a bit confusing to look at, which takes away from the awesome job you are doing.

    Keep it up!
     
  3. Mixamo

    Mixamo

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    Looking good, careful how close you put those legs together! Looking cool from here!
     
  4. FusionGames

    FusionGames

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    @ Marcos - Thanks! :D Good point about the shiny material...I'll keep that in mind when I do the final texture.

    @ Mixamo3DAnimation - Wow, a comment from Mixamo themselves! Thanks guys...you have no idea how much this means to me :D On another note, the legs are kind of close together...they might actually be fused together in one or two places...gonna have to fix that :D
     
  5. 3dviewpoint

    3dviewpoint

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    Looking good mate, may I ask how your gonna proceed from here on? are you going to retopo or generate a basemesh from the highpoly, or maybe some other plan? :D I look forward to more updates. Regards Anders
     
  6. FusionGames

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    @ 3dviewpoint - I was going to retopo the mesh and generate a normal-map...honestly I didn't know that there was any other way of doing it. Out of curiosity, what did you mean by generating a basemesh from the highpoly...sounds like an interesting approach; not really sure how it would work though.

    I'm almost finished the arm-mounted blade...I'll post some pics later today when I finish it.
     
  7. 3dviewpoint

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    there are multiple way to approach this, You could go to a low sub-div and export that mesh and then work on that in your favourite modelling package, create a basemesh, lay out the uvs and then bring that back in Zbrush and project the detail onto this. Or you can use decimation master in Zbrush and export the mesh then generate a precise basemesh from that. Lay out the UVs and have a good mesh to animate/pose. But retopo is strait forward for you at this point also. Its nice the software gives so many possible pipelines. Continue the good work, looking forward to see that mounted blade. Regards Anders
     
  8. FusionGames

    FusionGames

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    Here is the blade...I haven't gotten to details on the blade itself yet; mainly because I found out that I'm going to have to re-create the arm mount entirely...the basemesh I created before had some odd shapes, which made the normal map look awful. Re-meshed it; started on the detail again, this time the normal map is coming out great.

    What do you guys think of the design of the blade itself?



    @3dviewpoint - Out of curiosity...how exactly would I go about doing the pipeline with the decimation master? The body of my zbrush model doesn't have any subdivision history...so I can't normal-map that way. If I decimated the model, how would I get the normal maps from the high-poly version to the decimated version? Would I need another program to do the UV and normal mapping?
     
  9. 3dviewpoint

    3dviewpoint

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    If you decimate your mesh you can get way way down in poly count so you can then export to a external program like Maya, blender or Max. In there you can then make a basemesh that follows the outline of your highpoly. When done with basemesh you can then lay out the UV's. export the basemesh into Zbrush and in there you can then project the high level detail unto the basemesh. From this you can then create a normal map, disp, diff and Ao. I hope that explains it :) and the Blade looks great mate, keep on rocking. Regards Anders
     
  10. 3dviewpoint

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    by the way I wanted to ask, how on earth did you post in my thread? I keep getting a database error.. I can see page 2 in my thread. Strange
     
  11. FusionGames

    FusionGames

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    Ah okay :D I think I get it now. Zbrush's morph thing isn't working for me right now...but the decimation master is. I think I'll give it a shot! Thanks!

    Really? I thought that was just me...I did a work-around. I replied to a post on page 1 of your thread...but since my reply is on page 2, I can't see it anymore...lol. If you're getting it too it must be something on Unity's end...maybe ask tech support to get on it.
     
  12. FusionGames

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    So I re-did the arm mount...and then spent the whole day normal mapping it. For the life of me, I can't seem to get a good normal map going with zbrush. And I can't seem to transfer the UV's from the high-poly mesh to a low poly re-mesh, so I'm stuck with a bumpy, ugly looking low poly mesh. Any ideas people?! This is really getting to me...

    Here is the new sculpt, and the normal mapped version in unity.





    Seriously people, if you have any help or criticism to contribute, PLEASE do. :)
     
  13. shaderbytes

    shaderbytes

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    i like the sword blade and good detailing as well. I use blender so sadly i dont know anything about zbrush , i hope someone can point out what is happening with the normal map process.
     
  14. 3dviewpoint

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    Hey mate, I got quite a few suggestions for you hehe. But first can you post a wireframe of your lowpoly, because alot of times its because your lowpoly doesnt have enough polys to contain the normal map information. And next is the settings you use in Zbrush to generate the normal map. SmoothUV enabled can have some bad effects depending on the UV-layout. Alot of times I have to play around with the settings and export different normal maps and then have a look in photoshop after. Some artifacts are easy to fix post generation in photoshop. If your lowpoly and UV's are good then I can suggest you trying Xnormal, sometimes it produces a better normal map. Its for free and a great tool to have all the same in your workflow. It can make AO, Diff from polypaint and other maps. You just need your highpoly (exported at highest level, even with AUV or GUV tiles) and your low-poly mesh with a UV map and you can generate all those maps in Xnormal. Its worth a try. Has worked for me before. I hope this helps, Regards Anders
     
  15. FusionGames

    FusionGames

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    @ tictox - Thanks! :) I use blender too...but I suck at modeling characters with it. Still, it's an awesome piece of software...once you get to know how it works.

    @ 3dviewpoint - Wow! Thanks for all the suggestions...I'm learning a lot from you. :D Xnormal looks really good...can't wait to try it out and see if it works. My main problem actually was that I couldn't get Zbrush to transfer the normal map from the highpoly to the basemesh....because the basemesh was a separate mesh. I had to go to the lowest subdivision level of the high poly and decimate it....and it ended up all bumpy and ugly looking. But when I tried to map onto the basemesh, the normal map was off on a strange angle. Gonna have to see if Xnormal can map from one mesh to another...

    Here's the wireframe...it has 4,186 polys. That might be a bit too much...but since the contest limit is 40k, I think it'll be OK.

     
  16. thellama

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    Not to rain on your party dude but it's not looking so hot. First off that base mesh could be 500 polys and it would look much better. What you have probably won't fly with the contest judges. Since they're looking for wireframe shots in the submission, they are most likely judging things like edgeflow and topology.

    As for the details it really doesn't look so good. It feels like you just stamped the hell out of the surface. It doesn't feel high tech or space agey. It has tons of buttons and nobs that don't look to do anything and big arrows. You need to check out some serious reference before you commit to sculpting. Your running into what I like to call 70s Sci-Fi disease, a era where the future was imagined to be nothing but colored buttons EVERYWHERE.

    Take a look at these gems:







    Take note of where the details has been placed. Now look back at what you have. No offence but it looks like chaos. Noy every inch of the mesh needs to be alpha stamped. Take it back a notch. How does this thing work? What buttons would it need and why. Look a real metal objects they have seams where the plates fit together and bolts and screws or welding marks.

    You should also take some time to think about silhouette. right now I see a BLOB. You need something that looks visually iconic in silhouette:



    Because when I look at your mesh I see:



    My advice it to go back and take some time on it. Resculpt and create a base mesh instead of using a decimated one, it just looks lazy.
     
  17. ironbelly

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    I rarely say this but that arm mount looks like it has too much detail.. It just seems over crowded with so many little things here and there that none of them really stand out and the design is washed over with stuff. I would focus on key elements and eliminate a lot of the existing noise
     
  18. Mixamo

    Mixamo

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    Great news, the Contest has been extended based on contestants requesting more time. We've agreed to end the contest by one week.

    The new END DATE is MAY 4th @ 11:59PM PST

    If you have already submitted feel free to refine the entry and resubmit! Otherwise, we'll see you at the end of the contest!