ArenaNet Art Test - Female Norn

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polygon
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ablaine polygon
Final presentation shots: :)
anatest_presentation_03a.png

anatest_presentation_03b.png

anatest_presentation_03c.png

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Hey all! I know I'm late to this party but I love this concept art so much I just had to give it a shot!

I just started working on it today, but here is where I'm currently at:
ahogseth_anetat_01a.png

Any comments/critiques are welcome! I'm hoping to get more of the armor done tomorrow after work. I'm giving myself about 3 weeks to finish it.

Thanks in advance!

Replies

  • Di$array
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    Di$array polycounter lvl 5
    Firstly good luck with the art test.

    You've got a good base to work from. You just need to push it a bit further. The arms need a bit more meat on them as they are too thin as they are. Same goes for the hands. Since we are on the subject of the arms the shoulders need to be brought in a tad.

    As for the head, the eye sockets and eyebrows need more work. Once they are done the face will start to fall into place. I would also narrow the upper head.

    Plus give her some wilder hips.

    All in all its coming along great. Just keep chipping away at it.
  • ablaine
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    ablaine polygon
    Thanks for the suggestions, Di$array! I haven't had much time to work on her in the last couple days.. but I had a few hours today and decided to rework the torso a bit. It was looking too androgynous and stiff. I studied some ref and the Hazardous course threads a bit and sculpted a form that I think is more feminine looking. Also sculpted some hair just to get an idea of how it's going to look. Tomorrow I'll address the hands/arms and face a bit more, and hopefully block in a bit of the armor.

    Here are some images of the WIP.. First is the current progress on the model, and the second image is showing the change from before and after the torso changes. Crits/suggestions welcome!

    ahogseth_anetat_02a.png

    ahogseth_anetest_02-changes.gif
  • ablaine
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    ablaine polygon
    Had a chance to get some more work done on the character today. Here is an update on the highpoly progress with most of the armor in. Still have the boots, hand armor, and a few other pieces still to do.. and then the fur!

    Thanks in advance for the critiques/suggestions! :)

    ahogseth_anetat_03a.png
  • ablaine
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    ablaine polygon
    And here is the current version. Today I didn't have much time to work on it, but I got more work done on the face and the hair metal bits are all in. I'm pretty happy with how the face is looking but please let me know if you guys have any suggestions! Tomorrow I hope to finish up the armor, add more detail to the hands, and block out the fur. :)

    ahogseth_anetat_04a.png
    ahogseth_anetat_04b.png
  • ablaine
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    ablaine polygon
    One week in... I've only had a few hours to work on this character each night after work but I'm having a blast doing it. Today I got a few more armor bits done and fixed up some things that were bugging me.

    On the to-do list: minor armor additions (wolf heads on the hand armor, engraving on the groin plate thing, engravings on belt, etc), boots, leather bits, cloth, hair (loose ponytail/eyebrows), and fur. Lots of fur. Two weeks to go... I'm hoping to finish the high poly in the next couple days so I have plenty of time to texture it.

    Comments/critiques welcome! Thanks. :)

    ahogseth_anetat_05a.png
  • trebor777
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    trebor777 polycounter lvl 5
    Not an expert on Anat, and I know it's a bit late but I think her torso is really long. Gives her a little strange silhouette.
    Really cool work on the hair!
  • MystiqueX
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    MystiqueX polycounter lvl 7
    Characters are not really my thing, but I had to say that I love how the head turned out. Again, I may be wrong, but in the concept her hair doesn't seem so tight, maybe you can "puff" it a bit. In any case, wonderful job so far! Looking forward to seeing it done. Good luck!
  • Stoop_Kid
    Dude, the armor is looking great so far! :)

    How did you do the eyelashes and braids? They look great, I'd love to know how you went about doing it if possible.

    Keep it up! Looking forward to seeing her done! :D
  • dwgagner
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    dwgagner polycounter lvl 6
    Good start keep goin, though I think she feels a little masculine atm. Not in her face or anything but it feels like her shoulder to hip ratio could stand to be less shouldery and more hippy :P.
  • D4V1DC
    This is looking ace, keep going!

    I agree about the slight masculinity of her form as the shoulders seem smaller int he concept.
    Just please check out some female exaggerated forms from artists, one I would go to would be Paul Richards, in his private section for the hip ratio.
    The concept does have a nice silhouette aside from all the gear she got on.

    I had an idea of how the hair goes.
    Does anyone else think the hair follows the arrows in the example image attached?
  • woogity
    looking really nice so far! that hair piece is coming out awesome!
  • ablaine
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    ablaine polygon
    Thank you for all of the feedback! :)

    In regards to the shoulders and general proportions.. she does have beefier shoulders than the concept but I've been trying to keep it looking close to the in-game Norn females too. I've attached an image to demonstrate:

    ahogseth_anetest_05-proportions.gif
    Obviously the pose and angle is a bit different but I've tried to keep it close. The shoulders and the neck slope could be raised a bit, maybe? And maybe brought in just a tad to lose a little bit of that masculinity. I'll play with it. :)

    $!nz - I agree 100%. That's exactly how I picture the hair looking. I was going to pull all of the hair back and then combine it into a large braid or ponytail going back up toward the forehead and then wrap through the hair piece and come out the back again as a loose ponytail.

    Stoop_kid - Thanks!! For the braids, I just googled "How to model a braid in max" and I believe it was the very first link that I used. ;) For the eyelashes, I looked at Hazardous' Rubi Malone thread.. he has a section in there on the eyelashes. I just made a single lash in zbrush and moved/cloned it over and used the transpose tools and move brushes to swoosh them around a bit. :)

    Thanks again everyone! Keep it coming!!
  • leslievdb
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    leslievdb polycounter lvl 9
    clean work so far, the only thing bothering me a bit is the face. it seems everything is pushed to the front too much especially the eyes. (dont mind the jawline , i pulled it more towards a side while your camera was lowerangle but i think it still shows what i mean)

    paintoverablaine.gif
  • Di$array
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    Di$array polycounter lvl 5
    Oh man you are nailing the detail. I especially love the headdress. Ravenslayer has make some excellent point and a paint over to boot. If you make those changes, this piece will come into a world of its own.

    Looking over the post above I noticed the gif file of the in game female norn. If you are going down that path I'd suggest bring the waist out to help enforce that stocky, masculine look.
  • ablaine
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    ablaine polygon
    Ravenslayer - Thank you for the paintover! The structure of the face changed a bit from the image you used to the one in the post below it -- In that version I addressed some issues like the back of the neck, the forehead, and the mouth. I'll definitely work on the profile more though--the eyes especially! Thanks again! :)

    Di$array - Thank you! I'm glad you're liking the detail so far. The fur should be interrrresting once I get to it. I was considering sculpting it but I may use a variation on what Ravenslayer did with his or I may just end up sculpting it out. Whatever looks (and will bake) best. :)

    And yeah.. I'm torn. I like the muscular in-game Norn look, but I also like the slim and sleek look of the concept art... I want to have my cake and eat it too. I think I'm just going to pull the shoulders in (and up) a little bit to improve that shoulder to hip ratio and the neck-to-shoulders slope, and try to keep her looking like the concept art.

    Also, the leather straps on her legs are a bit high right now.. I'm going to redo those and move them down a bit so that the straps higher up on her legs are going to be visible below her fur/cloth.
  • dwgagner
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    dwgagner polycounter lvl 6
    I get where you're coming from as far as your argument about the masculinity, I would only comment that while some of the female in game characters lean that direction (1 or 2 of the 8 or so norn body shapes, not all of the norns look masculine) the concept also is not masculine.

    The way I look at it is this in art, you always want the closest to first hand reference possible. So if you're sculpting an ultra realistic woman, than you should look at a real woman in real life, if that's not possible then photos of a real woman.

    When working off a concept it becomes your closest thing to first hand reference of the artists vision, the in game models are not a good reference as they are lowest on the totem and are the end result. All you should use in game models for is to make sure that you are achieving the same stylization. Definitely not as anatomy reference.

    But that's really just my opinion, best of luck :).
  • ablaine
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    ablaine polygon
    You raise some great points, dwgagner. I've gone ahead and modified the shoulders to make them less broad and masculine. And I've modified the head, pulled the eyes back a bit as per Ravenslayer's suggestion.

    Current:
    ahogseth_anetat_06a.png

    Thank you all so much for your suggestions... I think these changes have definitely improved the overall look of it. But let me know what you guys think! I've included *.gifs to show the changes:
    ahogseth_anetest_06a-proportions.gifahogseth_anetest_06b-proportions.gif

    That's all I have time for tonight unfortunately. :/ Hoping to finish the high poly over the next couple days. Comments/critiques always welcome! Thanks!
  • dwgagner
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    dwgagner polycounter lvl 6
    Much better man keep it up. I had a lot of fun on this art test so hope you're enjoyin it :).
  • ablaine
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    ablaine polygon
    More updates! Hard surface stuff is mostly done... then onto the leather/cloth/fur. :)

    ahogseth_anetat_07a.png
  • ablaine
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    ablaine polygon
    Getting ready to move to a new apartment so I wasn't able to get much done over the past week, but here's where she's at:
    ahogseth_anetat_08a.png

    Still to do: add the rest of the fur and the leather/cloth pieces, throw in some placeholder hair so I have an idea where I want to build my alpha'd hair, better define the forms in the fingers and add rings/fingernails, earrings, the pattern on the belt, and then do a detail pass over the leather/straps to add folds/wrinkles, etc.

    Any suggestions/critiques would be great! Thanks. :)
  • woogity
    Hey there! The sculpt is looking great. a few things to pay attention to that could be problems later the legs are looking very thin, even by the concepts standards, also, i think your fur looks awesome, that said, i would be careful moving forward witht he 1024 texture budget if you want that level of detail you really need to put some forethought into where you will be mirroring/ reusing that fur in the texture otherwise it could get messy. looking really nice so far tho!
  • ablaine
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    ablaine polygon
    Thanks woogity! I do plan reusing some of the fur if possible.

    Threw in some quick hair to give myself some sort of idea of what I want it to look like. Still have some work to do on some of the fur before I move onto the leather/cloth bits. Also need to add eyebrows. Here's the current version:
    ahogseth_anetat_09a.png
  • D4V1DC
    Looks like you are on the right track so glad I didn't attempt her now. :)
    Excellent progress and so glad you listened to a bunch of critic and made sure It was the right thing for your design before going ahead with It, keep going! she's looking great.
  • Loobaru
    This is gorgeous, it's so accurate to the concept art they provided. I'll be attempting this in my spare time but I won't be applying, still a student.
    Noob question: what software are you using? Thanks
  • Pixel
    Incredible work. I particularly like the way youve modelled he breasts, the way they curve into the armpit. Im gonna have to try to replicate that
  • AimBiZ
    Solid progress. You got the readability on the armor pretty well.

    However the fur is too noisy to me. The hair chunks should be about twice the current size. You should test bake them asap to see if they work well.
    Also the calves are bent too much to the sides. Feet should be moved closer to the center basically. And overall you might wanna bulk up the legs a bit.
  • ablaine
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    ablaine polygon
    Thanks for the comments, guys! I haven't had a chance to work on this in a couple weeks as I just moved to a new apartment in a new city so I'm still trying to get settled. But I hope to finish up the high poly this coming weekend. :)

    I'll definitely try a test bake on the fur soon, AimBiZ! I'll see about addressing the issues with the legs as well. Thank you!
  • garriola83
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    garriola83 polycounter lvl 9
    Good luck, man!
  • PaulP
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    PaulP polycounter lvl 5
    Wow, the fur and hair look so good, nice work!
  • Lavitz
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    Lavitz polycounter lvl 8
    Love your test, I really feel you really captured the fierceness that she has.
    Good luck and can't wait to see your final entry!
  • ablaine
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    ablaine polygon
    Moved to a new city -- finally settled and back to work on this girl! Current version (after working on her for the past week):
    ahogseth_anetat_19a.png

    Started texturing -- hair needs a lot of work, most other textures are mainly base layers and need to be pushed further. Painted the eyes and eye makeup tonight.. still a few more things to do to it. She's sitting just over 6500 tris right now... should be able to get in just under budget after reworking the hair. Comments/crits welcome! :)
  • Ged
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    Ged polycounter lvl 10
    best I think Ive seen yet of this character, really has a good likeness to the concept
  • ablaine
  • chrisradsby
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    chrisradsby polycounter lvl 8
    Lovely work! The only nitpick I have is the legs/feet, I kinda feel like the need to be broader, not necessarily the thighs but the calves and the ankles.

    Other than that, awesome work!
  • Aga22
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    Aga22 polycounter lvl 5
    i agree on the calves and ankles needing to be thicker, however i believe its the best model based on this concept. well done. especially the face and torso
  • ablaine
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    ablaine polygon
    Latest - hair texture still needs work and I'm not happy with the fur around the feet so I'll probably replace that. Almost to the point where I want to rig/pose her!

    ahogseth_anetat_21a.png
  • toolpaddz
    I am really jealous of how great your fur alpha work turned out. From just looking at it, I couldn't tell it was alpha at all, apart from the feet perhaps. Would you mind sharing the wires of that and tell me how you went with baking it so well?
  • AlexKola
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    AlexKola polycounter lvl 6
    Looking great, I think this is my favourite version of this art test. The fur and hair are just awesome! I'll definitely be doing it that way in the future. Face sculpt rocks. Only nitpick is that I think the legs take a weird bend outward below the knee and that the boots look a little off from the outside, particularly around the instep. Oh yeah, Texturing is very good as well :)
  • Makkon
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    Makkon greentooth
    Wow! Amazing! All of this wonderful character art I'm seeing is really making me jealous, this one in particular.
    The eyes look a little bugged. Is it too late to put in a small shadow gradient strip over her eye?
  • ablaine
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    ablaine polygon
    Thanks for the comments guys!

    chrisradsby & Aga22: I plan on fixing the leg position tonight, and while I do that I'll see if I can't thicken the ankles/lower legs a bit. Thank you both for the kind words!

    toolpaddz: I'm glad you like the fur! :) For the alpha'd planes, I just took a couple pieces of the fur clumps that I used on the high poly, filled them with a white polypaint color in zbrush, and then baked normals/ao/vertex colors onto a plane in xnormal. And then I just positioned the fur planes in and around the fur sections on the body to break up the solid silhouette from different angles. Was very quick and easy! I'll post wires soon!

    AlexKola: Thank you!! :) I agree.. the legs look a bit wonky. I'll pull the low poly into zbrush and fix that tonight and post up new shots to get your thoughts on it! I'm just going to pull the lower legs/feet in a bit to give her a more natural stance (and more natural curve to her legs). And I'll have to look into the outer boot around the instep... is it the arch? Or what needs fixing there? Thanks!

    And thank you, Makkon! It's definitely not too late. I may have to paint it into her eye texture, but I'll work on fixing them up tonight. Too much highlight on the upper cornea?
  • ablaine
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    ablaine polygon
    And here's an update for tonight:

    ahogseth_anetat_22b.png

    Fixed her stance, beefed up her boots a bit, and redid the fur on the boots. I think it's looking better, but let me know what you think! :)
  • toolpaddz
    Thx for the explanation! Now that you say it, I'll even notice the repeating alpha planes when looking to a nicety. Nevertheless, they are looking great! Foot alphas are much better now.

    I just noticed one thing that actually still bothers me a lot: the transition from the upper body (belly) to the fur of the clothes. It looks like she's got a really weird body deformation there due to the skin color of the texture. You would want to change that into some darker shade of brown. Otherwise, great! I wish you the best of luck for getting the internship!
  • Brian "Panda" Choi
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    Brian "Panda" Choi polycounter
    How do you add armor to the ZBrush sculpt that you're working on?
  • ablaine
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    ablaine polygon
    Latest: based on some feedback I reworked the values, colors, and spec/reflections to make the metal pop a bit more and give her a nicer gradient.

    Still not happy with the ponytail.. it looks too boring right now, and I want it to better match the concept. Gonna try to build a new ponytail tomorrow and then re-paint the hair.

    ahogseth_anetat_23b.png
  • AimBiZ
    The thighs are way too skinny, like she's got two sets of calves.

    Texturing's looking quite nice. Dunno how far gone you're with the skin but it's a bit too clean on some places. Some additional gradual shading would be nice, do push the forms more.
  • Hazardous
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    Hazardous polycounter lvl 9
    Looks awesome man, I especially like the metal :D

    I think the biggest drawback on this model at the moment is the face. At the risk of sounding harsh, I would trash it and redo it, in an attempt to bring it up to the level of the rest of the model.

    I think Hyojin's concept while defined, is super smooth and rounded, lots of nice rolling forms, which are lacking in this current head. Really go back to the concept and study those forms.

    Also on your version she is almost scowling and pissed off, instead of looking pleasant or sultry and attractive like the concept - None of the female faces in GW2 have this angry / unappealing look and I think its in your best interest to emulate what they do.

    Its a nice model man, but I think another pass on that face will propell you to victory!
  • ablaine
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    ablaine polygon
    Latest version - ponytail is in (finally)!
    ahogseth_anetat_24b.png

    AimBiZ - Thanks for the suggestions! I'll adjust the thighs. And I'll continue working on the skin texture to add more skin color variation.

    Haz - Ouch! I was so proud of the head too. haha. But looking at the concept now, she definitely should be more sultry and soft looking, and less angry. I'll revisit the head sculpt tomorrow and try to get more of those smooth rounded forms in her face. Re-sculpting the head, adjusting the low poly (and possibly adding some geo in order to make the face smoother), and re-baking shouldn't take too long. Bottom line: if Hazardous tells you to redo your female head.. you redo it. :) Thanks man!
  • Sugus
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    Sugus polycounter lvl 5
    Very very nice stuff, can´t really say much, just that it looks amazing! Good luck !
  • Macattackk
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    Macattackk polycounter lvl 6
    great job! id say that its missing AO in plenty of places which would make it more solid looking like in her belly button area where that round piece in the animal's mouth is, the outer side of her legs, and below her giant belt buckle, not too much more.
  • ablaine
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    ablaine polygon
    Thanks Macattackk! I'll definitely paint some AO into those areas before I'm done.

    And I appreciate the kind words, Sugus!

    I spent the last few days re-working the face. I'm still working on finishing up the textures and making sure the new face textures blend well with everything else.. and there's still some weird shading going on under the jawline.. but here we are so far. Comments/crits welcome!

    ahogseth_anetat_26a.png
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