[DotA2] Crystal Maiden/Lina - Diametrical

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Latest Progress=====================

FINALHEADER.jpg

FINALHEADERLINA.jpg

FINALHEADERCMAID.jpg


Original Post==============================

Okay, so I've never played DotA in my life. I first became interested in it when I made this account and downloaded the texturing pipeline and character art PDFs not that long ago. For the past couple of days, I've been doing some research into the game and its world.

One thing that stood out to me is the two sisters - Lina and the Crystal Maiden. Specifically, their relationship. Looking at the voice responses recorded, it seems that it's borderline complicated. On one hand, we have Rylai who seems to hold a deep seated resentment of Lina. On the other hand, we have Lina who doesn't even regard Rylai as a rival, yet seemingly says and does things just to get a rise out of her. Looking at things that way, you kind of wonder which of the sisters is the "good one"... Or if there even is a "good one". Very interesting characters.

So, art stuff: Concepts!

CMaidenConcept.jpg
LinaConcept.jpg

I did these pretty quick today just to get something down. Depending on the feedback I get - if I get any feedback (I tend to slip through the cracks) - I'll wind up changing these considerably for one reason or another.

Technically, I tried not to go too overboard, and attempted to observe the characters' design rules. I'm trying to keep the characters, well, the characters.

The premise is based on their story. Both sisters were shipped off to different ends of their world. They each trained at their craft while they were seperated, so I thought, "what if they were both masters of fire and ice when they returned?"

Hurdles? Well, in the case of Lina, I REALLY hope transparencies are turned on for the character. If not - back to the drawing board.

Thank you for your time!

Replies

  • Core7SO
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    Oh boy, great start!
    The only thing I have to say, so you just know, and more seeing that you never played dota; its that both characters play very, very supportive roles, Crystal Maiden specially, has the fame of being one if not the hardest support in the game. It would be useful for you to take this in account to avoid slip the designs on an overkill agressive way. This could work a little bit for lina tho :) she's very proud and agressive herself.
    Also nice to see you are getting into the lore of the characters, it will lead you in the right path :thumbup:
  • DashXero
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    Thanks, Core7SO! I'll definitely keep that in mind!

    I wrote something to try to understand the characters better, and to better refine the direction I'm taking this project. The story is as follows:

    Amid a field strewn with ashes and ice shards, two figures collapse.

    “You still alive, Ice Queen?”
    “Stuff it, Hell-bitch.”

    For all their years of conflict, yet again, another encounter ends in a draw. Exasperated, the two sisters rolled to face the sky. Neither possessing the strength to rise to her own two feet - let alone launch another attack - they must each endure the presence of the other.

    “You’ll never beat me, Sis.”
    “I will not lose.”

    They both sigh in unison.

    “It’s your fault our parents got rid of us.”
    “No. It’s your fault. You started it.”
    “You fought back. You took it too far!”
    “Took it too far? You’re full of it!”
    “All I did was pull your hair! Did you have to launch an icicle at me?”
    “Well, you didn’t have to whack me with that chair leg you set on fire!”
    “You didn’t have to freeze my feet to the floor!”
    “You didn’t have to burn the ceiling down!”
    “Ice Queen!”
    “Hell-bitch!”

    They narrowed their gaze at the sky above. Unknown to the other, both tried to move – but failed in silence. A good hour must have passed when the Maiden spoke.

    “When I get up from here, I’m going to train. In two years, I’m gonna come back here and wipe that smirk off your face!”
    “Hmph. Like I’d let you get ahead. In two years, I’ll beat the prissy out of you!”

    Neither knew that the other wore the same expression on her face.

    “Then it’s settled.”
    “Fine.”

    The next morning, the two went separate ways.

    The Maiden went far south. In her mentor’s journals, she read of a place far more frigid than Icewrack. The most primal ice was said to form in the center of that frozen continent; an ice so frigid that it has been said to have the power to freeze even hell itself. A month of searching yielded the crystal, and she set to work mastering its properties.

    The Slayer traveled to the islands of the equator. There, she lived and trained in volcanoes to master the primal flame with the power to melt rock.

    Sure enough, two years had passed, and fire and ice would meet once more. This time, there will be no draw.


    CMaidenThumbs.jpg

    Today, I worked on the Crystal Maiden's design in an attempt to get a better direction. Taking some of Core7SO's advice, I tried to make the ice elements a less aggressive by reducing the size of the spikes.

    Through writing the above snippet, I've come to realize more what I want to accomplish. I basically want to make the sisters into ascetics of sort. Like they've each been on journeys that taxed their abilities and made them stronger and more awesome at what they do when they return.

    I tried mixing and matching my favorite elements from the thumbs to form the other one down at the bottom.

    As always, any feedback will be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you for your time!
  • DashXero
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    LinaThumbs.jpg

    Okay. Got around to Lina this morning...
  • bounchfx
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    nice! lots of cool variations here. I like Crystal Maidens A and G weapons and shoulders, and as for Lina arms C pants F. Keep it up!
  • iirsmv
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    These characters are very tiny onscreen, and the textures for the individual pieces are very small, so a lot of the more intricate detail might be lost. Lina's right arm there is a perfect example. Awesome idea, but a lot of the finer detail will be lost in the final model. Just something to keep in mind. The idea is great, but I would make the arm armor itself a little bigger overall, and try not to overplay the orange over the grey. G and H are good, A, B, and F are too much, C and D might be too little.
    Just my two cents
  • DashXero
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    Thanks, guys! Very useful feedback. Gave Lina one more shot...

    LinaThumbs0.jpg

    I'll probably start sculpting some of these tomorrow and play around with them some more...
  • DashXero
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    LinaSculpt.jpg

    Okay. Sculpted some stuff for Lina first. Just trying to see if it would work spatially and stuff. Moved the bangle lower on the left arm because I noticed that Lina had a really subtle effect on her left forearm in the preview on the spectator client.

    I'm a little worried that the tattering of the trailing dress portion of her belt might put her a little too close to Death Prophet...

    LinaSizeTest0.jpg
  • luckycat
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    really cool designs for Lina and I can't wait to see Crystal Maiden too.

    I like Lina's dragon belt, hairstyle. overall, I think you've got something here.

    as for her arm with the lava armor, have you tried just making it into a full Gauntlet that covers her hand too? I'm thinkin it to be like the Witchblade Gauntlet.

    otherwise, keep up the cool work!
  • DashXero
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    @luckycat

    Thanks. I initially considered a full gauntlet (because I LOVE gauntlets), but I quickly became concerned about the triangle count. If I can figure out how to do so without going poly-crazy or, if I wind up with extra triangles left over, I'd definitely like to give each of the sisters a gauntlet.
  • Clyptic
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    Sculpt is coming along nicely. As far as the Crystal Maiden's design, I like G.
  • shanks37
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    really liking the lina set overall so far but the shoulder armour looks a little chunky. could just be because its all in grey now though.
  • DashXero
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    Thanks guys! I did some sculpting for the Maiden today...

    CMaidSculptA.jpg

    CMaidSizeTestA.jpg

    CMaidSculptB.jpg

    CMaidSizeTestB.jpg

    Hm. I guess we'll soon see if I can texture...
  • D-TiMeR
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    Lina's Concept is quite impressive. The belt reflects Lina's power and "dominion" over fire especially with the dragon artwork. The hair makes her look more powerful and, in conjunction with the belt, gives her the "killer" look that suits her and her playstyle. Gauntlet-time: this is a very interesting idea, especially for Lina (and Lion another DOTA2 hero) because of her ultimate Laguna Blade (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FS7BBJMYVK0#t=01m29s). Basically it suits her more than ever. A good idea is to make the gauntlet have a more dragon-style look instead of a lava-style one since Lina's abilities are more close to dragonfire than lava (although this one is very good too!).

    Crystal Maiden's set looks very interesting. You replaced the hood(and put it on the back, a nice move since CM had a hood since dota 1) with a nice haircut that fits her and keeps her "sweet" look. The staff is much more massive and stable which makes it more powerful than the original one. The rips on the cloak seem contradictory to the rest of the set but I still like them ^^. As for the gauntlet and shoulders, they are very nice but you may have problems with the item slots since rylai has a different item slot for the shoulders and wrists I think.

    Overall they are both great ideas and concepts. Can't wait to see both of them coloured! Good Luck :D

    (Sorry for the long post... :P)
  • RossC
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    Really cool sets. I like how both designs borrow concepts from each other. Looking forward to more progress!
  • Lyaksandr
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    I like what you've got so far.

    The lava on Lina's arm bothers me a bit, though. It's sort of bulbous. I feel like some of the smaller, lighter, more angular concepts suit her character better. Even just getting some hpolish on there to create some nice sharp edges would help.
  • DashXero
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    Thanks, Guys! I appreciate all feedback! I'm hearing you guys on the lava gauntlet, and I'm thinking that I'll have to play with it a little more. Before I started texturing today, I'd reduced the size on the top of it by about 15-20%.

    @D-TiMeR, the Maiden's Ice gauntlet is actually two pieces. One for the forearm slot, and one for the shoulder slot.

    So, yeah. I did some poly-painting today. I'd started preparations today when I noticed that I didn't do anything for the neck slot! So, I jury-rigged something. I didn't change much because I didn't want to mess with the unconscious diamond motif that Lina had going for her. Though, I'm kinda wondering if I should even do anything with the neck slot at all...

    LinaSculptTXT.jpg

    LinaSizeTestTXT.jpg

    I'm gonna take a quick break and then take a shot at the Maiden.
  • luckycat
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    Lina with the colors looks great! Crystal Maiden is coming along too, I like her hairstyle reminiscent of a certain starwars princess and her Ice arm & Staff are lookin real cool no pun intended.
  • DashXero
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    Thanks, luckycat!

    Got Rylai painted. I'm thinking that I'm probably gonna have to adjust some of the saturation levels of certain ice elements...

    CMaidSculptTXTA.jpg

    CMaidSizeTestTXTA.jpg

    CMaidSculptTXTB.jpg

    CMaidSizeTestTXTB.jpg

    Tomorrow, I'm gonna mess around with Lina's Gauntlet some more and see what I come up with.
  • DashXero
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    LinaLavaGauntletConcepts.jpg

    All right! Messed around a bit today. Got some concepts for what to do with that gauntlet.

    After a bit of sleep, it's become apparent that I'm definitely gonna have to alter Rylai's ice to re-establish a visual heirarcy in the character design.

    I'm also beginning to wonder if I should alter the first post so that it can reflect the latest round of images... It's becoming a bit of a pain in the butt to scroll...

    As always, any and all feedback is much appreciated. Thank you for your time!
  • tjallen8
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    Hey DashXero, congrats on getting your Lina design featured on the Dota 2 blog. That's how I found you.

    I just wanted to chip in and say that I agree with shanks37 that the shoulder armour from your initial sculpt looks a little chunky. But I love the A and D styles, with D definitely being my top pick. Looks fantastic.

    I love the tattered effect on the back of her dress. But I think you could make it look more burnt. At the moment it's kind of a maroon, but I think it would look better dark brown, to look like its literally burnt apart.

    I like the dragon belt, but I think its colour doesn't match the rest of the set. Unless you're trying to make it stick out more. But I think a darker hue would work better than lighter, as its almost a pink. Maybe a dark base colour with lighter highlights to bring out the detail on the scales.

    Great work though. Love the hairstyle.
  • DashXero
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    WHOA! I had no idea this set was featured on the blog until I read your post tjallen8! Thank you very much!

    Talk about a morale boost!

    I think you raise some valid points. I'll take a shot at those either tomorrow or this weekend.
  • tjallen8
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    Glad I could point it out :D

    Just another thing, I'd be interested in seeing a version of Lina's hairstyle without the blonde streak on her fringe, or just a more subtle implementation like blonde just on the tip, like the way the back parts of her hair are blonde on the tips (which looks great). At the moment it has a kind of anime effect and I'm not sure it fits the Dota theme 100%. But maybe keep both in mind as other people might disagree with me.

    Still, it's all just my opinion. And the hairstyle itself looks really great, I think it's a huge improvement on the original. Best of luck.
  • reaverxai
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    Wow, fantastic work so far and congrats on the blog mention.

    I think your best hairstyle for Lina was the one was the last concept you made for her (http://www.difficultyunlimited.com/images/LinaThumbs0.jpg). This one is very interesting and fits better then the one you've modeled in my opinion.

    As for the gauntlet, I love the concepts in D and E. I think the lava needs to be a bit more pronounced, matching up with how bright the highlights of her dress are.

    Again, great progress so far. If you'd like to get to know the game better, I'd be happy to play some games with you - let me know :)
  • tjallen8
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    reaverxai wrote: »
    I think your best hairstyle for Lina was the one was the last concept you made for her (http://www.difficultyunlimited.com/images/LinaThumbs0.jpg). This one is very interesting and fits better then the one you've modeled in my opinion.

    Just curious... isn't that the same hairstyle that was used in the modelled version?
  • luckycat
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    @the Lina gauntlets, I like C, I think the fire dragon head is a nice touch.

    idea: My second choice would be letter A. The protruding shoulder blade made me think of a dragon's wing. Would it be cool if her gauntlet arm's pauldron had a small dragon wing sprouting out of it? would it exceed the triangle count? Just a thought, might work but it would fit her dragon theme as well.
  • kageko
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    Looking extremely good man! i love the lina-armor concept, the sculpts could use some more details, and a bit more polish tho.
  • OverlordNeko
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    like it a lot but the textures need some work especially on cm, and her staff looks a bit clunky/random in shape. Something a bit more slender and stylized would fit better imo :)
  • formic.sapien
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    ..uhhhh, you guys know there's a heavy restriction on polycounts, right? Don't get me wrong, these are AWESOME, but what are you current counts.
  • Meier
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    It is overall very promising model.

    Couple things -

    Lina-

    1) Shoulder A and C fit better with the strong contrast of color.
    2) The half apron Lina can be trimmed a little bit more or be more playful.

    CM-

    1) The frozen ice shoulder theme is totally overkill imo.
  • DashXero
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    Thanks, all! 'Figured I'd answer a couple of queries over break.

    @reaverxai - I'd take you up on your offer, but if I started playing games now, I'd probably never finish my entry... Or my work... And, my girlfriend would probably be very, very cross with me... Uh, TMI. Maybe once this is all over, though.

    @tjallen8 - more or less, yes. Though, looking at that same thumb now, I can see how it could be construed as a top-tied hairdo. *Shrugs* It happens. Whaddayagonnado?

    @formic.sapien - well, that depends on how you look at it. My current counts could either be zero or in the millions (drat. Polycount needs a proper trollface - like twitch.tv's Kappa). I prefer to sculpt before making my game-res models. That way, I can lay out and modify the topology fairly easily (thank heavens for Topogun... and Dynamesh...). Doing it that way allows me to focus on design first, make iterations relatively quickly, and save a ton of time making and remaking basemeshes. In spite of the fact that I used to teach the stuff, I'm very slow with Maya and Max.

    All right. Back to work with me...
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