1. #1
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    Default WIP - Tribute to Blizzard

    Hello all -

    Seems that everytime I start a private project I get a freelance job that sucks up all my time ... suppose it could be worse, heh.

    Well, since it is the holidays and I have some spare time, I thought I would like to do a tribute to all the great artists at Blizzard.

    I am seriously considering moving my portfolio from my medical, criminal, architectural, etc. work to more entertainment based in aspirations of moving to that industry once my work is favoribly noticed.

    I plan to do a number of tribute series to various concept artists and game companies that have influenced me over my life ... starting with Blizzard and possibly Borris Vallejo after that with some Conan stuff which started it all off for me back in the 70's.

    Here is how I plan to proceed using a number of inspirational pieces with some of my own conceptual interpretation thown in for fun:

    1. My first postings will be the raw 3ds Max low poly models with no smoothing, textures or details other than any fur/hair work.

    2. Next I will post my UV unwraps using UVLayout just in case it is helpful to someone new to the field.

    3. I will follow up with my ZBrush work and lastly my texture maps and final renders.

    Tools:

    I will be using 3ds Max 2010 (possibly Maya 2009 some for the final animations), ZBrush for details and most texture work, UVLayout for all custom UVW's, Photoshop and VRay as my render package.

    While there is not much to look at so far on these low poly models, I am looking for any great critiques anyone might have.
    Last edited by hosch; 12-07-09 at 09:22 PM.
    ------------------
    Semper Fidelis!

    John D Hosch

    "Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."
    - Antoine de St. Exupery

  2. #2
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    Serathil_001.jpg

    The first project will be the Champion of the Horde from Blizzard's WarCraft legacy of games. This has always been my favorite character from the stories and he has just enough rich history on the story already while leaving some room for interpretation.

    This first image is of one of his weapons from WC3. My interpretation of Serathil. I used the tooltip image as my inspiration for this weapon.

    The backstory will include where the axe was forged and it is unlikely the area would have included fur on the handle as I have, however, Rexxar is a loner and would likely modify his items as necessary. This would add a layer of protection from the coldness of the metal as he holdes the weapon as this weapon will be held by his bare hand.

    When I was in some cold weather training in the Corps we had to be careful not to touch metal at certain temperatures or we might loose what we touched it with. Rexxar would have learned the hard way most likely so I will remember to include proper scars on the character from frostbite as he ventured into all clime and place.

    Will be adding leather wrapping on this as it is a bare-handed weapon - thanks David Nelke for the suggestion.
    Last edited by hosch; 12-08-09 at 12:41 PM.
    ------------------
    Semper Fidelis!

    John D Hosch

    "Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."
    - Antoine de St. Exupery

  3. #3
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    Killmaim_001.jpg

    The second image is my interpretation of Killmaim which is also initially from WC3. The inspiration is largely from the Blizzard Rexxar Card art which is not the Killmaim at all, but I felt the saw teeth went well with the life stealing feel of Killmaim so I went this route. Also, it could be interpreted that Killmaim was forged by a demon so I felt this style was fitting as the blade somewhat resembles the wings of a fallen angel.

    I realize that Rexxar himself is not from a tribal background (more clannish), but I added the feathers as a reward given to him from his service to Cairne Bloodhoof when he saved his son. This will be in final the backstory.

    This weapon will be wielded by the hand which has a glove/claw so there was no need for the added fur.

    Planning to take one of the feathers away from pure black and do the material work required to make it a spotted area in certain areas - don't want to spend that amount of time on that until the final stages.
    Last edited by hosch; 12-08-09 at 12:38 PM.
    ------------------
    Semper Fidelis!

    John D Hosch

    "Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."
    - Antoine de St. Exupery

  4. #4
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    FinklesSkinner_001.jpg

    This image is my version of Finkles Skinner. Since Rexxar is the consumant "hunter" or "beastmaster" he just simply will have to have the best skinning knife of the genre. I am working on backstories for how he acquired each of his items that will hopefully be included in the final presentations when I present the actual character.

    Obviously, I am taking the Blizzard artwork for inspiration only as I have been fairly liberal with my interpretation since I have made knives and scabbards in the past.

    The skinning hook is common on knives for this purpose today so I added it since this knife was before its time.

    The saw is added on the backspine to help with cutting those stubborn ligaments while butchering prey.

    Lastly, on the scabbard I went totally from my own experience since there was no reference. The only item missing is the leather strap that will hook over the large part of the handguard down to the wood at the top of the scabbard. I will be going for a look of boars hide/fur in the final since that is a common leather for scabbards as it is so resilient.

    UPDATE NOTE:

    A very talented designer I know, David Nelke, gave me a few great critiques on the low poly models so far.

    I will be adding leather straps through the fur wrapping around the scabbard - I agree that even when completed it will just be too boring with only fur, leather and wood and the leather straps make sense for my character as anything he would personally create such as the scabbard for the knife would be very rough - strapped together rather than finely stitched.

    He also suggested that I add rawhide to the handles of some of the weapons which I will do where it makes sense. The knife for example was acquired and will be very ornate and not used in combat so there would have been no need for Rexxar to add the rawhide. The Killmaim will be a weapon he holds with a gloved hand so there is no need for it there either. I will be adding it to the other axe though as it will be a bare-handed weapon.

    I will also be taking his suggestion of adding a pouch on the scabbard for a wetstone for sharpening the weapons - great suggestion.

    He also suggested I add featherwork in a few other areas, but I feel that Rexxar is not one that would use feathers other than special cirmstances as he is a loner and would not likely sit by a fire and create feather creations which was considered a woman's job by most tribal society. Still a great idea from a design perspective, but I feel it does not exactly fit where I want to take the caracter. I am going for a minimalistic approach accept where there would be a backstory to justify flare.

    Thanks much for taking the time to put thought into my work, David.
    Last edited by hosch; 12-08-09 at 12:45 PM.
    ------------------
    Semper Fidelis!

    John D Hosch

    "Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."
    - Antoine de St. Exupery

  5. #5
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    FinklesSkinner_001.jpg

    Update to the Skinning Knife. The tie down for the knife is still a spline and will not be collapsed until right before I start the ZBrush work in case I need to tweak it. It is not a real knot and is merely for show since the camera angles will be full to medium of gear it should pass just fine once I get the detailing and textures on it and get rid of the mechanical eveness of the spline render settings.

    Thanks again for the critiques, David. Decided the knife scabbard was not the right place for the wetstone to go so I will find another place for that pouch.

    Should have the waterskin up next if I can stay away from the honey-do list. Seems she figured out that I was free this month, heh.
    Last edited by hosch; 12-08-09 at 09:57 PM.
    ------------------
    Semper Fidelis!

    John D Hosch

    "Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."
    - Antoine de St. Exupery

  6. #6
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    Serathil_001.jpg

    Update to Serathil with the suggestions mentioned.
    Last edited by hosch; 12-08-09 at 09:55 PM.
    ------------------
    Semper Fidelis!

    John D Hosch

    "Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."
    - Antoine de St. Exupery

  7. #7
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    Waterskin_001.jpg

    Although this is just a "waterskin" (polar seal's bladder covered by the same animal's hide) it is a bit boring - even after it is finished so this might be an item to place his flint on for making fires - maybe the wetstone as well - we will see how it turns out.

    Still blocky obviously since I have not done any detail or smoothing work yet.

    Roughed in the fur for style and color for now, but once I finish the detail work on the hide underneath, I plan to have some rubbed off areas where it makes sense such as the sides and the backside where it rubs him as it is worn.

    Hopefully I can wrap up the items and major armor pieces all the way through detailed stages by this weekend and start the character next week - that is as long as I can stay off the honey-do list - that thing seems to never stop growing - I am not even making a dent!
    ------------------
    Semper Fidelis!

    John D Hosch

    "Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."
    - Antoine de St. Exupery

  8. #8
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    Armor_001.jpg

    Here are the blocked in armor pieces that are not so custom as to need the character formed before I create them.

    I will build out the rest of the pieces as well as the straps for these after I finish blocking out the character which I will get to next as soon as I get a few spare moments. Blocking out the character should only take a short bit of time, but that block of time is getting more illusive as Christmas approaches.
    ------------------
    Semper Fidelis!

    John D Hosch

    "Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."
    - Antoine de St. Exupery

  9. #9
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    Rexxar_Progress_001.jpg

    Focusing mainly on basic form, edge loops (since I plan to do some subtle animations if I have time before my next project) and ensuring I am sticking to quads. Still a small amount of clean up on the back, but the form is good enough to bring into ZBrush after I finish the UV's I am thinking.

    My goal was to keep the poly count under 2500 on the base mesh. So far it is roughly 1250 polys without cleanup after collapse of the symmetry so I might add a few more bits of detail on the rib cage where the polys are a bit too large.

    I decided to model this from scratch rather than take some of my old models and rework them so it took me a bit longer than anticipated (approximate time - did work throughout the evening of 6 - 7 hours while cooking dinner and doing chores with the kiddoes):
    - 1 hour on the block out and face
    - 1 hour on the hands and feet
    - 1 hour on the edge loops in place so far
    - 1 hour of misc clean up to ensure quads (still about an hour to go), dealing with crashes, etc.

    Not sure how long it should take to do a block in. My thinking is that someone that does it everyday could have this done in about 1 hour tops /shrug. Would welcome comments from someone that does this type of work alot.


    I am obviously going for a bit more "hulking" look than the inspiration art from Blizzard. The art on the card has him more "humanoid-like" than the look I am going for. Gotta have some room for interpretation.
    Last edited by hosch; 12-11-09 at 01:50 AM.
    ------------------
    Semper Fidelis!

    John D Hosch

    "Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."
    - Antoine de St. Exupery

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    Rexxar_Face_001.jpg

    The facial edgeloops.
    Last edited by hosch; 12-11-09 at 10:15 AM.
    ------------------
    Semper Fidelis!

    John D Hosch

    "Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."
    - Antoine de St. Exupery

  11. #11
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    Rexxar_Face_002.jpg

    Spent a couple of hours more and modeled out the gums, teeth, tongue and upper throat since the mouth will probably open in at least one pose or animation, resized the fingers to make them shorter and stockier and did some overall clean up on the model. I don't think I need more edgeloops for detail so I just added an additional edgeloop around eyes and mouth to aid in the facial animation later.

    So far, base mesh, eyes, mouth, etc. are 2268 polys with I believe 1 tri under each arm only.

    Headed to UVLayout now then the real fun - ZB.
    ------------------
    Semper Fidelis!

    John D Hosch

    "Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."
    - Antoine de St. Exupery

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    Nice start. I can tell it's going to be good by the fur.

  13. #13
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    Great work so far!
    Last edited by Helixdnb; 12-22-09 at 03:17 PM.

  14. #14
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    Rexxar_Progress_002.jpg

    Here is a quick gander at the UVs and their seams. I am fairly happy with the UVs and the minor stretching that is occuring - it is so minimal it should cause no issues. I placed my seams mostly where there will be armor, cloth or fur on the character other than the side of the torso, inner arm and around the nose, but the lack of stretching worked out so well that with the use of ZBrush for texturing there should be no seaming issues with the textures.

    I am a bit concerned about the seams on the displacement, noise and other such maps though - have had some issues with that in the past that were unresolved - we will see.

    I am including this stage in case you are one of those that avoids UVs like I used too until I discovered Headus UVLayout (no I do not know the guy and he is not paying me to say this, heh). There are two products that I recommend without reservations - ZBrush and UVLayout. All other products are somewhat preferencially chosen such as Max vs. Maya, Painter vs. Photoshop, MentalRay vs. VRay, etc., but these two products are without question the only ones to have in their perspective arenas.

    I started using 3ds in version 4 and believe me - what used to take litterally DAYS in Max now takes just a few minutes or maybe an hour using the Headus UVLayout tool - it ROCKS. The UVs took roughly 1.5 hours for all maps (character, gums, tongue and teeth) using UVLayout.

    Now I can finally get to the fun part - ZBrush!

    Some sort of big family to-do tomorrow at the Symphony so I will likely have little time until Sunday evening. Will post my progress in stages of iterations of geometry in ZBrush.

    Cheers!
    ------------------
    Semper Fidelis!

    John D Hosch

    "Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."
    - Antoine de St. Exupery

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    HelixDNB, I see you are looking for feedback on your work - once I get the time I will give it some thought and do so - I am the same way - and as a former art director returning to his roots as an artist, I always want to know every little thing I can either do better or how my work is perceived.

    Whether I agree or not it is an honor for someone to put the time and thought into my work to give me an honest critique.
    ------------------
    Semper Fidelis!

    John D Hosch

    "Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."
    - Antoine de St. Exupery

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