Legend of Zelda; Link redesigned

1
hey there PC

Decided I needed to abandon my generalized WIP thread and create a thread with more focus to possibly get more feedback. If you don't want to read my entire post, scan the orange text for summary :P. At the time of posting, the most recent progress can be seen at the bottom if you'd like to just skip to it. This thread will basically be the journey of me getting to final product, so this original post is just recounting my progress.

I'm a huge Legend of Zelda fan, and i've always wanted to work on Link...I'm finally embarking on that journey and I'm also using him as the first piece to update my portfolio http://www.threenineart.com to my new established skill and style. My portfolio, looking at it, just feels rushed and doesn't accurately represent the full quality I am capable of; so let's get started with my progress

This is only a VERY small portion of the art I have gathered for creating Link (I probably have over 100-200 images of fan-art and official art for Link)
linkref.png

Started out with some basic sketches to help establish the direction I wanted to go. In creating this project, I intended to design Link as if he was in his mid to late 20's

linkconcept.png
swordconcept.png


I didn't want to just make Link, I wanted to redesign him completely but still keep his essence...Everyone has seen old man Link, and it's an absolute fantastic design...I love what the original artist did with him, so I decided to rip the shape of the tunic and just go from there...my focus was looking at the design of Skyward Sword and Twilight Princess and taking all the inspiration I found and applying it to my design

Ultimately I wanted to create a bit of "realism" to him as far as design is concerned, in a very generalized way Assassins Creed creates their characters and how all their equipment is visible and sheathed somewhere. There is a ruggedness and air about Ezio and the others that just clearly reads they are ready for battle and geared for it

Link_15.png
I wanted to emulate that sense with a second variation of upgraded armor that would be on a separate texture sheet, but ultimately decided that what I designed at that point just seemed a bit too much and didn't fit. I did, however, love my concept of redesigning the Razer Sword as a dagger, and to have that as an additional weapon on his hip.

Link_17.png
Link_18.png

Normally when I texture handpainted, I rely solely on my own brush strokes and haven't really involved AO bakes or any kind of vertical gradient to my process, and I saw this as a chance to experiment. Through two different types of AO Layers and an additional two different layer types of my Gradient, this was the result, and I was really pleased with how it helped in getting to my current point.

Later I ended up also baking down some lighting, but it affected my model in unpleasant ways...I may redo it, or try and implement that layer ontop of the final texture when he's done.

Link_shield.png
shield_01.png

Using the same process of layer types and my approach to texturing, is the current progress of my Hylian Shield. It is not done either, but definitely happy with the direction. Lighting and bringing life to my work is something I personally feel like my portfolio suffers from, so it's fun challenging myself to work on all these different materials. I'm going to go back and add some blues greens and reds to the metalwork a bit and help give it some variation...Something I really appreciate about the first render of the shield, is the sheer darkness and feel to it that I think blends with the character well, but obviously it's metal and needs to shine. I think by lower the highlights a little bit and then going back and add some hot shines on the metal to make it really pop with polish will help achieve the look I desire...after that I'll add some battle scratches and evident use to it. I want it to appear used, yet not damaged from battle. I think the blue paint could also use a focused area of light to it, but still no where near as glossy as the metal.

Link_equipped.png
This is also the current progress of Link and the shield together. While there are still a few things to him I need to go back and do, like polishing the seams of his pants, adding more hightlights and lighting to his leather and clothes, and also making a second pass on his hair, he is "essentially" done. I think it's important to note that, while I am doing a hand-painted piece with lighting and shadows baked down, I do intend, for the final product, to have a lit render with specular map for a very polished piece.

Replies

  • [SF]Three9
    I also have a REALLY big thing I need some feedback on

    To achieve my sense of "assassins creed realism" with this piece, I wanted the final product to have:
    Master Sword
    Sheath
    Hylian Shield
    Quiver
    Hero's Bow
    *Possibly the Razer Sword/Dagger

    If you are familiar with Link, you will be aware he is a bit of an agile, nimble rogue. He is quick and can do things like rolling and flips. I would PREFER him to have all of those on his person at the same time. While this is video game art and I can "do what I want," I want to be a bit reasonable with how I attach his gear. I am intending to make Link right handed, so while I know how to place his shield, sword, and dagger, the Bow I am a bit perplexed as to how to sheath it.

    Currently I have it "clipping" somehow on the underside of the sword sheath and shield, right by his quiver. I feel like the current placement of everything, he should be able to roll on his left shoulder to some reasonable degree, and his equipment placement shouldn't affect his range of motion and ability to fight and be agile

    HOWEVER; He is right handed, so he would hold his bow with his left hand (the bow is technically going to be upside down, so he would reach under to his back, grab the top of the bow, which would be the bottom from our view, and flip it around ready to load....but his quiver will be positioned on his left side?

    I've been trying to do a lot of research on this and really can't find much, so I've had to rely on imagery of Legolas from LOTR...there are several shots of him with bow in left hand and quiver on left, but usually when he is firing his arrows his quiver has shifted to his right right for his right hand to grab

    In archery of actual combat and entertainment, is it reasonable to any degree to load your bow from the opposite shoulder of which hand you use to grab? I have personally sat here and went through the motions, and I feel it's acceptable, but not sure if it's exactly reasonable. If this does not work, I'm a bit lost as to how to design his setup. Any feedback on that would be great
  • stevston89
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    stevston89 polycounter lvl 5
    I think you may be overthinking this a bit. If you start thinking about logic when it comes to the placement of all of these assets you can get sort of hung up. This is because games don't deal with carrying objects logically. You would run into this.
    link-carrying-lots-of-stuff.jpg
    Honestly I would just have him hold the bow. If you are set on making something though here are some image to explain how it would actually work.
    862_max.jpg
    il_fullxfull.366147853_96uq.jpg
  • [SF]Three9
    thanks man; you're probably right :P...Suppose I just need to settle on something and go from here; still lots to do

    I don't want him to hold everything, just the items I listed...Never seen that concept before, I kinda dig it :D...even with all that stuff he still looks badass somehow lol
  • oobersli
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    oobersli polycounter lvl 11
    not that it might help or anything, but I want to say I saw in the old zelda cartoon or whatnot that link uses a bag of holding that pretty much holds whatever you want. explains how he holds all that crap.
  • [SF]Three9
    I think its a little, extreme for my intent, but a bit of an update...going to let it sit and get back to the shield to see how i feel about it...think i want a simplier design and style...what do you guys think?
    Link_rerender01.png
    Link_rerender02.png
  • JoshuaMorrisonInk
    I like where this is going, the gloves are by far my favorite. The upper body is great. the sword straps might needs some work where they connect. The two things I personally don't like as much would be the boots and the shield. The shield because I feel like it's exaggerate in an odd way the boarder is 50% of the shield giving very little room for reflecting attacks and making the boarder larger puts emphasis on it being simple and grey rather than the imagery on the shield itself. The boots just seam simple and it may just be that I don't like the strings. The pants also don't have the same quality as some of the other areas. This could be because it's all WIPs and I still love what you have so far :D keep going!
  • Farfarer
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    Farfarer Polycount Sponsor
    I'm not a big fan of the front tails of his tunic; because it points inward, it makes him look a bit knock-kneed and scared. Link's always traditionally had quite a strong, solid stance. Try making them spread outwards a little.

    I'd perhaps tone down the orange on his skin, he looks like he's just had a severe spray-tan. Perhaps tweak it more in the direction of the cool blue/purple colours that the rest of his texture shades towards.
  • Marshal Banana
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    Marshal Banana polycounter lvl 11
    If you want him to have all of his equipment visible, I think having the bow worn with the string across the chest like that first image of Link is your best bet. He'd be able to roll with the shoulder opposite the bow without it getting in the way.
  • [SF]Three9
    Thanks Josh; really glad you're digging it! I've actually had two people ask to cosplay as Link using this design, and I've never had anyone ask to do that with my work :D

    To clarify the gauntlet, if it's not understood, I designed it with the intent of that thick blue cloth being wrapped around his arm, with three leather bands strapped holding it in place...the straps have those rings that are attached to them, and the gauntlet armor would actually hook in and snap into place...kinda seemed like a good way to be able to attach his guard and be able to update and such

    Shield: I actually didn't even consider reflection of attacks when designing the shield...while I really love my design, this is something I may have to reconsider in the full scope of things...good call
    As far as it's exaggeration, it was an intended feature (The Master Sword concept also is a bit exaggerated in form, although I'm going to be excluding and revising a few things). The Hylian shield is suppose to be the best of the best shields, so increasing it's thickness and beefing it up seemed appropriate to me. I don't think it could hurt re-evaluating this though. After all, a couple people pointed out that Link's torso/legs weren't long enough (as seen in the first 3 renders), and they were absolutely correct

    Boots: They do seem a bit simple, and I realized I had meant to go back and add details as seen on the gauntlet like they are done in Twilight Princess and I forgot...I wanted to add a little bit of Ocarina of Time design to him, and ultimately chose the boots to go for that....I really probably should go back and see what else can be done there for sure

    Pants: I think I have to agree with you and touch that area up at some point...it does seem a bit plain and bland in comparison...though I do think in the overall view of Link, there are points in his tunic that are decent areas for your eyes to rest, and I think the pants serve this purpose as well going from his torso to his boots
  • JoshuaMorrisonInk
    All good points! I agree about the pants being a good resting point and don't mean to say you should add anything but that adding some edge loops and cleaning up the texture like you have it on the sleeves. The sleeves occupy a really small space but look very high quality and clean while the pants occupy a huge space and don't the same silhouette breaking quality and the texture doesn't look as refined.
  • Broadway
    This looks awesome so far!

    Crit: He looks a little cross-eyed to me (only in the facing-the-camera angles, really). I think it's because his eyes are mirrored, so the highlights are on the outside of both pupils, rather than being to the right of both of them, for instance.

    Great work!
  • BobtheGreatII
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    BobtheGreatII polygon
    As a fellow fan of the Legend of Zelda, I like your design a lot. I just have a few nit picky things with it. I know you mentioned that you wanted to make Link right handed. Why is that? One of Link's more iconic parts is that he is left handed. With the exception of the Wii versions. I think although you are free to make your choice, Nintendo itself received a lot of whiplash from making Link right handed, I don't see why you couldn't make him left handed, it would certainly gain you bonus points from fans of the series. Although, I can understand if you don't want to spend the time reworking some of that stuff.

    My second gripe would have to be with the shield. It's far too small. Well maybe that's an exaggeration, but right now it looks like Link's holding a Deku Shield sized shield. I think it would really help to look at some pictures of Link holding the Hylian Shield, and note how much of his body it actually covers. I guess what I'm saying is that right now, it doesn't look like it would actually protect his body much, it's not something he can hide behind. Note OoT:
    3023421-4717375440-link6.jpglink.jpg

    But that's really it. I really love the progress on it, and dig your design choices. Very original take on Link.
  • [SF]Three9
    All of these crite are fantastic
    Thank you guys so much, ill be sure to get on some of these, like the pants, right away
  • artquest
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    artquest polycounter lvl 7
    [SF]Three9 wrote: »
    I think its a little, extreme for my intent, but a bit of an update...going to let it sit and get back to the shield to see how i feel about it...think i want a simplier design and style...what do you guys think?
    Link_rerender01.png
    Link_rerender02.png

    First up I gotta say I absolutely LOVE your design and the direction this is going in!

    I don't think there's much you really need to change on this guy, the design and style are really nice. I think the extreme-ness that's bothering you could be coming from the colors.

    Here's a paintover and a few suggestions, maybe it will help you think of some alternatives.

    Breakdown of what I did in the paintover:

    - I started out by adding a gradient set to mult at a 30% opacity or so.

    - Next I color picked your brightest green color at the top and aligned all the colors to a triad color scheme based on the yellow/green color.
    (added purple in the browns, more cyan/blue in the metals)

    - From there I color mixed by creating a color layer and painting with low opacity putting a little bit of the other 2 colors in each color to bring down saturation in some ares. Chances are my monitor is funky because here it looked like he had a sunburn. But after looking at it on another computer it doesn't seem so intense.

    - After that it was just some quick overlays to draw attention to the face and hands.

    - Final step was a quick levels adjustment.

    EDIT: I forgot to say in I also added a gradient to the saturation so he gets less saturated as it goes down to the boots.

    iHgzaL1xEynGp.png


    Just my two cents, hope it helps.
  • Avanthera
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    Avanthera polycounter lvl 8
    That paintover is spot on, def. a good direction to go. The model is looking great so far, though that last %10 will really sell it. :)
  • [SF]Three9
    I think the paintover is a bit dark and extreme contrasty for my taste, but it gives me a lot of ideas for sure...i am totally digging the purple/red hue to the leather for sure...i also love the blue green hues and tones in his shadowed hair and hood...thank you for this man! :D

    I feel like his pants need to stick around the tan/white area, rather than go so dark brown...the darker boots i think is a good way to go, but in addition to adding some purple highlights like u can see in his gloves

    Im so excited for all this feedback...i wish i was at my computer...its killing me to not be working on it lol...cant wait to get back to him...probably wont be able to touch him until Saturday
  • artquest
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    artquest polycounter lvl 7
    [SF]Three9 wrote: »
    I think the paintover is a bit dark and extreme contrasty for my taste, but it gives me a lot of ideas for sure...i am totally digging the purple/red hue to the leather for sure...i also love the blue green hues and tones in his shadowed hair and hood...thank you for this man! :D

    I feel like his pants need to stick around the tan/white area, rather than go so dark brown...the darker boots i think is a good way to go, but in addition to adding some purple highlights like u can see in his gloves

    Im so excited for all this feedback...i wish i was at my computer...its killing me to not be working on it lol...cant wait to get back to him...probably wont be able to touch him until Saturday

    I'm getting a sneaking suspicion that I need to calibrate my monitor :P. I know you're going for a diffuse only look which generally isn't too dark. Srry boutz that, But I'm glad it helped! :P

    EDIT: Dam... after viewing this in PS on my work machine vs. at home in my web browser... yesh it's a pretty drastic difference. Thanks for letting me know SF! Below is closer, although not exact, to what I was seeing(My quick adjustments lost a bit of the pop in saturation).

    ibrXnxYGv84yrt.png
  • [SF]Three9
    slight update, making more progress on the shield

    I'm pretty happy with the results so far :D...Note that I haven't touched Link since last posting, aside from a bit of skin tone changing, but not much

    shield_03.png
    shield_04.png
  • JoshuaMorrisonInk
    I love the hue changes in the shield. :D
  • Johny_5
    Looking great so far, the only part that's jumping out at me are the bolts on the shield. Maybe if their edges were beveled they would read more clearly as bolts for me. Also looking forward to the dirt pass on the shield.
  • [SF]Three9
    Bolts arent textured yet ;) ill be sure to do that when i texture them :D...im looking forward to that pass too :)
  • artquest
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    artquest polycounter lvl 7
    Really liking the latest update! My only suggestion would be to tone down the saturation on the pants. Right now it POPS like crazy and instead of being an area of rest like you wanted to make them my eyes are continually drawn to them.
  • ZacD
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    ZacD interpolator
    Also the pants and skin color is a bit too similar.
  • [SF]Three9
    Thanks for the update artquest :)
    Still feels dark to me, but i do like it

    @Artquest and Zac
    A friend also said the pants and skin tone are too similar, and i totally agree
    I havent been able to work on him since i made that drastic texture update, but will most certainly return to him Saturday...im hoping to finish the Hylian Shield tomorrow, that way Saturday I can spend all day on link, modeling out the rest of the assets, and possibly start texturing them...back to the pants though, im a straight up sucker for vibrancy...have to use that to my advantage and compliment it with appropriate value and saturation...always something to learn and implement, and thats what I love about being an artist; using your strengths and weaknesses together, and continueing to learn new things, as well as learn from mistakes :)

    I do, however, need to start refamiliarizing myself with 3d Max for my new job i start at the end of June, so progress on Link may come to a halt for a bit...i am considering porting him Max temporarily to work on the rest of the assets so i can continue though

    Cant wait to impress you guys with the progress I make...looking forward to getting more critique :)...absolutely loving this and pretty excited for all the feedback Im getting...i just want him to be done and rigged posed and rendered already :)
  • BobtheGreatII
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    BobtheGreatII polygon
    The re-sized shield looks so much better in my opinion. :):thumbup:

    Still really digging your work.
  • artquest
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    artquest polycounter lvl 7
    [SF]Three9 wrote: »
    Thanks for the update artquest :)
    Still feels dark to me, but i do like it

    @Artquest and Zac
    A friend also said the pants and skin tone are too similar, and i totally agree
    I havent been able to work on him since i made that drastic texture update, but will most certainly return to him Saturday...im hoping to finish the Hylian Shield tomorrow, that way Saturday I can spend all day on link, modeling out the rest of the assets, and possibly start texturing them...back to the pants though, im a straight up sucker for vibrancy...have to use that to my advantage and compliment it with appropriate value and saturation...always something to learn and implement, and thats what I love about being an artist; using your strengths and weaknesses together, and continueing to learn new things, as well as learn from mistakes :)

    I do, however, need to start refamiliarizing myself with 3d Max for my new job i start at the end of June, so progress on Link may come to a halt for a bit...i am considering porting him Max temporarily to work on the rest of the assets so i can continue though

    Cant wait to impress you guys with the progress I make...looking forward to getting more critique :)...absolutely loving this and pretty excited for all the feedback Im getting...i just want him to be done and rigged posed and rendered already :)

    heh I can completely understand wanting to make the entire thing vibrant, and I think overall it's working really well for the character. The only reason I mention the pants is because if everything is vibrant then nothing is vibrant. Your eyes wont know where to look. It's actually competing for dominance with the face which should be the focal point. Try to think of your character as a composition. How do you want your eye to bounce around the image?

    Looking at the original zelda... I forgot that his pants were white/beige when I did my paintover so I agree with you, it probably shouldn't be very dark. Usually the human eye will go to the areas that are brightest/with most contrast first. But notice how the original character designer combats the bright color by also making it the most boring place to look at. Almost 0 detail and little to no contrast/saturation. So your eye flows down the character, ignoring the pants, going to the boots and then bounces back and heads towards the face again. Maybe try something like that and see how it looks?

    link-twilight-princess-bright.jpg
  • Iciban
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    Iciban polycounter lvl 6
    this is lovely! really love the direction ur taking this. Good to see another zelda fan.
    keeping an eye on this! keep it up!
  • Fenyce
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    Fenyce polycounter lvl 4
    This makes me want to do a Ganondorf or Ghirahim redesign <3

    I love you're design and can't wait to see the changes for the pants!
  • [SF]Three9
    :) so glad you guys are just as excited as me...Im really proud of the design and quality I am able to develop now, and I know once I start at Blizzard I'm going to drastically improve!

    Just getting to work; got a few things on my plate

    For Link
    -want to address the pants for sure (possibly remodeling as I agree it is very forgetful and looks too bland), so that and texture
    -still working on the face and hair, made a few changes that I think really help already, but gotta get that skin tone right and hair looking good
    -polish the leather
    -add more excitement to the boots
    -tweak the colors and shadows; one critique i got outside PC was shadows are too saturated...while I love the color there, this probably is correct
    -possibly create the rig? Wont have time for weighting unless im a badass today

    Hylian Shield
    -work on lighting and finish it...my yellow glow from the Triforce also is too dark and almost looks like a shadow
    -make an effect for it?


    Master Sword
    -model (including sheath)
    -unwrap
    -begin texturing


    Hero's Bow

    -model (including quiver, arrows, and straps)
    -unwrap
    -begin texturing



    Going to be either updating throughout the day as i do things/need feedback, or have a grand reveal later...dont like spamming my thread, but this is what PC is for ;P



    So, to tide you over, here is some pretty renders, and a view of some VERY minor work i did yesterday...first two renders are actually rendered in a lit scene with some shadows...very basic test spec-map, but I really probably need to make the diffuse darker and make a more appropriate specular map...setting up different shaders for different materials is probably another thing I should setup too :P

    LinkHD_a.png

    LinkHD_b.png

    Link__06.png


    @ Fenyce Dude GO FOR IT!

    Over the next year, I do have TONS of Zelda characters I want to make in my spare time to match this Link, including a Ganondorf. It would be really awesome if anyone else wanted to join me and make characters to go along with mine, or their own style. I encourage and CHALLENGE anyone else to do so ;)

    Ganondorf (I LOVE LOVE LOVE this concept and proportions)
    http://maaronficken.deviantart.com/art/Warlord-Ganon-272372359
    Gerudo
    Zora
    Goron?
    http://raysama.deviantart.com/art/Darunia-149005156
    Deku?
    Zelda (while I love the series and love Zelda, I am anything but excited to work on her...this is probably more of a reason to do this, however, as getting out of my comfort zone and making a non-badass character is beneficial in several ways...While I would initially want to make her a "bit" battle ready, she really should retain her princess stature...I'd love to challenge myself to create a hybrid of both, where she could battle yet still retains her elegance and grace as a woman and princess)
    Such as this
    http://maaronficken.deviantart.com/art/Zelda-271774805
    Zora Tunic Link
    Goron Tunic Link

    Don't think there is really any other charcter I'd be focusing on after that, other than maybe Epona and Ganondorf's steed...and I think I have enough of a list to even have a chance for making Beast Ganon

    Consdering uploading all my Zelda art I've gathered at some point if anyone is interested, but idk...I've gathered HUNDREDS of fan-art and concept art, and I don't like dishing out people's work without their permission...no way I could track everyone down...I know it's on the internet and no one will honestly care, but still
  • Fenyce
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    Fenyce polycounter lvl 4
    This already looks way better! I love this.. ahww~ I'd love to see more characters redesigned by you <3 (like zelda, ganondorf, midna or so)

    The green of his hoody is really great now!
  • [SF]Three9
    Blah...had some things come up that really affected my productivity... Sorry for the let down; hopefully tomorrow i can get more done and make up for it

    You pant critics out there will be happy to know its being redone ;P
    Detailed up the boots (couldnt work the details of twilight princess design on the boots; just didnt work well)
    Also polished up the leather a bit

    More work tomorrow, though ill only have half a day, so we will see what I can get done, blah
  • theStoff
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    theStoff polycounter lvl 9
    This is looking really cool. I really like the style and look you have going here. Definitely inspired me for my current personal project. There are a couple things that I think yo could fix up though and I'm sorry if I'm a bit late in suggesting these things. First is for the hands. I find the area connecting the thumb to the palm could be built up a bit. It seems like the muscle structure there is lacking a bit. The heel could also be a bit wider. At the moment his foot looks like it is rolled inward from the 3/4 view. These are very small things of course but they're what currently stick out to me. Regardless, great work.
  • [SF]Three9
    Man i feel like a total let down this weekend...had several things that occure ld that just destroyed my focus and time to work

    Hope you can all forgive me and enjoy the new boots, pants, and some lighting/ shadow tweaks

    a.png
    b.png

    Shadows def still need a good amount of work...want to normalize it so its more consistant...currently the shadow on the pants isnt dark enough under the tunic, and pants are prob still too dark
    Currently working on another gradient layer that will help focus the eye back to his face (through many many layers and tweaks that original result is kind of non-existant anymore...this layer is also going to be duped and edited to serve as a shadow/highlight layer pass too through one of two ways
    1) erase the areas I want lit, kind of obvious i suppose
    2) make it greyscale, crunch the levels and get a pretty solid "fake ao/normal detail" essentially...compliment that by taking a flattened layer and doing a highpass on it for an overlay ONTOP of the "fake ao/ normal detail", then finally applying this as a mask to a gradient layer ( set to luminosity and very transparent for a hopefully super sweet lit effect), then also inverting that mask and creating a multiply layer out of it to create my non-sculpted DOTA 2 gradient mask

    Another way I could utilize this is just a mask (inverted and/or not) for messing with color intensities in regards to lit and shadowed areas

    I dont know if method 2 would interest anyone, ive just been doing a lot of experimentation and I'd just like to share some of the cooler things I've found...the highpass filter is getting some pretty wicked results for me...setting it to overlay is pretty much a sharpen filter, without all the shitty super intensified value pixels that make my textures look like shit...I'm really excited to test this out...ill be heading to work here soon and Ill post the results...if anyone wants a more detailed "tutorial" if the results are good, ill be sure to put something together
  • stevston89
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    stevston89 polycounter lvl 5
    Great Update! Take another look at the painting on the ears the shading doesn't blend into the shadows behind it in the side view. It almost looks like its floating off his head from the side. Are the details on the gloves supposed to be gold metal or just a different leather? If its supposed to be gold metal then I would add a whole lot of contrast and highlights to it.
  • artquest
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    artquest polycounter lvl 7
    [SF]Three9 wrote: »
    Man i feel like a total let down this weekend...had several things that occure ld that just destroyed my focus and time to work

    Hope you can all forgive me and enjoy the new boots, pants, and some lighting/ shadow tweaks

    a.png
    b.png

    Shadows def still need a good amount of work...want to normalize it so its more consistant...currently the shadow on the pants isnt dark enough under the tunic, and pants are prob still too dark
    Currently working on another gradient layer that will help focus the eye back to his face (through many many layers and tweaks that original result is kind of non-existant anymore...this layer is also going to be duped and edited to serve as a shadow/highlight layer pass too through one of two ways
    1) erase the areas I want lit, kind of obvious i suppose
    2) make it greyscale, crunch the levels and get a pretty solid "fake ao/normal detail" essentially...compliment that by taking a flattened layer and doing a highpass on it for an overlay ONTOP of the "fake ao/ normal detail", then finally applying this as a mask to a gradient layer ( set to luminosity and very transparent for a hopefully super sweet lit effect), then also inverting that mask and creating a multiply layer out of it to create my non-sculpted DOTA 2 gradient mask

    Another way I could utilize this is just a mask (inverted and/or not) for messing with color intensities in regards to lit and shadowed areas

    I dont know if method 2 would interest anyone, ive just been doing a lot of experimentation and I'd just like to share some of the cooler things I've found...the highpass filter is getting some pretty wicked results for me...setting it to overlay is pretty much a sharpen filter, without all the shitty super intensified value pixels that make my textures look like shit...I'm really excited to test this out...ill be heading to work here soon and Ill post the results...if anyone wants a more detailed "tutorial" if the results are good, ill be sure to put something together

    Looking really nice! The latest update is great. I would love to see a breakdown of method 2. It sounds quite interesting.

    The new updates are really nice, though I'm going to continue to harp on the pants! :P I feel like they still draw so much attention to an area that isn't a focal point. It has less actual detail but it has a high brightness/contrast and the saturation value is in the same range as the rest of the model. The pants themselves are excellently textured. It's 100% a design thing.


    Can't wait to see another update! and don't worry about the amount of time spent :P There's always another weekend when it comes to personal stuff. I've had to come to grips with this myself when it comes to free time. Try not to stress over it. Sometimes life happens.
  • [SF]Three9
    Lol Artquest! You are killing me bro!

    My issue is I want to keep the pants and shirt the same color; if i make it too dark it wont match; however, Im startin to think thats not the way to go; maybe it should be a separate color so it doesnt look like a one piece suit...ill see what I can do


    ...SO, I had GREAT results with my fake dota 2 implementation

    I made a decent AO through a greyscale levels crunch, and also made a point light map doing the same thing with a gradient layer applied...both textures required some painting tweaks while it was crunched, but Im really happy with some of the results

    Now, going into this, I realize that the results im showing are either super intense or barely noticeable...You can give feedback on what one you like or not, im just showing the results...i can prob put a "tutorial" together either this week or the weekend


    So lets show the original one without this affect applied

    e.png

    With the style applied through different layer types, these were the final results. I walked myself through their texture guide and pretty much followed the steps, including having the first layer just be base colors

    a.png
    c.png
    d.png
    b.png

    Again this implementation still needs work and some tweaks, but I'm really happy with some of the looks i generated through a really rushed creation...the 3rd is my favorite result....Going to try and do more and update before work


    i do kinda feel like I might be getting lost in the polished phase and I might be losing my focus on the final result, im just having so much fun experimenting...think I might try things a bit more but then force myself to move on
  • artquest
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    artquest polycounter lvl 7
    Latest update is awesome man! I should have been more clear about the pants. :P Making them darker isn't the only thing you can do to make them draw less attention. You have a lot of things to play with. Value, saturation, contrast, and detail level. The difference can even be rather subtle.

    I just meant to say that if you make it a bright color make sure it's balanced between all of the options so that it doesn't feel out of place. The pants are working really well in the latest one even without the dota 2 adjustments. The face and belts have become the focal point now which is making a very nice composition imo.
  • EmJaeR
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    EmJaeR polycounter lvl 10
    This has come a long way man! I'm loving the style! The final image you have on there is my favourite, can't wait to see where this goes :)
  • [SF]Three9
    :)

    I'm in a huge rush, but I think I'm officially calling the character mesh DONE
    LinkFinal_01.png
    LinkFinal_02.png
    LinkFinal_03.png

    more details later :) promise (maybe not later today though)

    **edit
    Oh wait, i lied... His eyebrows still need tweaks...blaaaah
    And Artquest; pants better now? I totally see to what you are referring to now, and it makes sense
  • Fenyce
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    Fenyce polycounter lvl 4
    I soooo love this! Can't wait to see more!
    How about showing us some texture sheets?

    Will you also do an little enviroment to place him in?
  • [SF]Three9
    I'll get to get that tutorial uploaded sooner than later; hopefully it's something interesting that you guys can use

    @Fenyce
    um, I don't know...I've tossed the idea around, but I think at most I'd just make a stand for him...really not sure yet :P...still gotta make his gear and rig him, so that's a ways off


    Oh, and flats too... Im a little disappointed to post em, seeing as how the entire head and hair are modeled (even under the hood an head) and havent textured those areas yet :P...still, ill post em anyway
  • Mark Dygert
    Great updates, some really great progress!
  • [SF]Three9
    Thanks Mark! :)

    as Promised, here is the texture flat as it stands, as well as a new 3D mesh to view at p3d.in (If you haven't checked this website out yet, you seriously need to...it's too bad it doesn't have iOS support)

    Link Redesigned (View in 3D)
    JzoeP

    Dota_Link_1024.png

    excuse the hidden hair and head :x
    I am pretty excited; I was able to crunch him down to a 512 and he looks just great! In previous textures his face got all f'ed up, but this new works very well
  • stevston89
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    stevston89 polycounter lvl 5
    Looks great! Only one thing bugging me the eyes at a distance I lose the iris, it starts to blend to the whites alot. Can't wait to see the gear and posing!
  • [SF]Three9
    I have to agree stevston89, through all of the concept art and in game 3D Links, they have it, but it's not really working well on mine and it's not the first time I've got critique on it. May have to go back to the drawing board on that and figure out what I'm doing wrong there

    Also need to brighten up those fingernails and the tops of his fingers too...gaaah...art is never done :P
  • [SF]Three9
    putting the guide together now

    the more time I spend on showing off this process, the more cheeky and arrogant I feel in claiming I'm replicating the Dota 2 style, but meh...worst case scenario it's still a technique people might like :P

    should be uploading a PDF within the air for your viewing pleasure, and then it's back to work
  • Torch
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    Torch polycounter lvl 7
    Hey man, been following this for a while, very impressive! I know you mentioned you baked the lighting, guessing this started off as a sculpt in ZB then just baked AO as a guide for painting? Nice one!
  • theStoff
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    theStoff polycounter lvl 9
    This is coming along very nicely, good work.
  • Brian "Panda" Choi
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    Brian "Panda" Choi sublime tool
    The UV map looks so luscious. I want to just pluck it, cuddle with it, take it out to dinner, and sleep with it tucked in my arms, and then eat it for breakfast.
  • KartoonHead
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    KartoonHead polycounter lvl 4
    Incredible texture work! I wish more games looked like this.
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