Surreal Sculpture

polycounter lvl 6
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Macattackk polycounter lvl 6
Experiment G52:
I am creating a surreal monster which will be animatable. I will create an idle animation for it which will be used for the turntable.

The general storyline for this character is it is an experimental creature made by a mad scientist. It is meant to be an animal which can exist in the wild. The crank for the jack in the box is what gives it life. As that turns it is able to move and live.

The abstract speaker/jet engine sphere on top is the brain of this animal. It moves around by lurching forward and throwing its weight so that it can lift of the ground, basically a hop. I may or may not animate this.

With this piece I am trying to tie together many very different aspects into one:

- Humanity/Childishness
-Animality/Monsterness
- Sensory Input
- Kinetic Energy

I hope to tie all these features together in order to create a monster/abomination which is relatable and gives a feeling of being an animal that is "coming at you" so to speak.

The humanity comes in from the human teeth, tongues, and the jack-in-the-box.

The animality comes from the center part of the mouth, fleshy gums on the crest of the wave, shark fins, and the cobra shaped back part of the wave and the snake tongue.

The sensory input part comes from the mouth, tongues, eye. The eye is an abstract object composed of parts from what would be a speaker and a jet engine. This creates a sense of "loudness".

The kinetic energy comes from the wave and the fact that it is coming out of a jack in the box.

I hope I can cohesively tie all these aspects to give an odd feeling to the viewer of an abomination which is psychologically coming at you and creating a sense of danger, while still creating a feeling of being distant by its other worldy appearance. The sensory input aspect will bring it more to life and create a sort of metaphor for the fact that this monster is quite an attack on the senses.

Another interesting aspect I have tried to portray is the question mark shape of the wave. I hope to psychologically manifest the questionable feeling cause by looking at the abomination.

I am also aiming to give the abomination more of a chaotic feel by creating a sort of double focus. While the mouth is the main focus of the piece, the eye is a sort of side focus which creates chaos in the piece. I have made it so that the wave is always being thrown out away from the eye. In other words as you look farther away from the eye (no matter what angle you are looking at the monster from) the wave is being sort of thrown out from it as if it has some sort of anti gravity. This gives more kinetic energy to the piece and sort of melds it all together in to something that seems to be constantly moving.

Current Progress:

front-6.jpg

side-1.jpg

back-4.jpg

closeup-1.jpg

Replies

  • Craaaig
  • Macattackk
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    Macattackk polycounter lvl 6
    craaaig: ha, thanks

    heres my mesh that i will import into zbrush and detail.

    surreal_pre.jpg
  • LRoy
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    LRoy polycounter lvl 6
    Weird stuff! reminds me of something out of beetlejuice.
  • PaulP
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    PaulP polycounter lvl 5
    Interessting idea. I'm thinking the key to success with this will be in the texturing and materials, although im looking forward to the sculpt.

    With the eye-like object on top, it might be worth concentrating on how that will attach/be placed on the object so it doesnt look out of place, especially with how it will be resting on a lucid subject.
  • Macattackk
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    Macattackk polycounter lvl 6
    ha ha, thanks LRoy

    SCB: yea, that water material is going to be difficult to pull off lol. Yea im thinking of having the optical cables that eyes have hooked up to the back and going into the wave. im thinking of having them be multicolored like wires youd hook up to the back of a TV.

    here is the progress on the sculpt so far. just started. each of those bumps is going to be a tongue. im just sculpting out a template of where they should be first.

    surreal1.jpg
  • Macattackk
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    Macattackk polycounter lvl 6
    made zsphere chains for the tongues and converted them to adaptive skins.

    surreal1t.jpg
  • Macattackk
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    Macattackk polycounter lvl 6
    alright, posed all the tongues. still gotta go in and sculpt them individually to add more flare and bumps on them. The tongues will be coming out of biological crater things and there will be round mouths with teeth every once in a while. itll look something like the creep and buildings that the zerg use.

    surreal1-1.jpg
  • chrisradsby
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    chrisradsby polycounter lvl 7
    Maybe you should spend some more time on the concept? The best thing to do later with all the tongues would be to create 1-4 completed tongues and the duplicated them on the wave, right now you're just adding so much time to your workflow. You'll probably regret it in the end.

    Other than that :) Good work! looking forward to where you will take this
  • Macattackk
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    Macattackk polycounter lvl 6
    thanks, yea i may do that. i do enjoy having a loose concept then going crazy in the sculpt using that, its a creative process thing i guess. as far as the tongues i think your right. ive been thinking about how having all these unique tongues is going to take up way too much UV space and is going to take forever to UV wrap.

    Im probably going to grab 4-5 unique tongues, detail them, and duplicate them around so that they can have matching UVs and not take up so much texture space and time, like you said.
  • Macattackk
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    Macattackk polycounter lvl 6
    well im now deciding to make one tongue and instead of posing them right away, im going to have them come out and be riggable parts as if it were a game character. I may rig the tongues and pose them later as a presentation shot.

    this will allow me to have more texture space and it will be way less time spent. I made the tongue look more like a dog tongue because of its interesting shape.

    they will come of biological looking holes in the wave and will surround the mouths i was talking about earlier.

    Untitled-1.jpg
  • Macattackk
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    Macattackk polycounter lvl 6
    ok i took chrisradsby's advice and made a more thorough concept. there will most likely be more tongues in the model.

    Im deciding I will make this into an animatable character that could be a boss or miniboss. the tongues will stick out straight in the sculpt and model so that I can rig them. im going to make a quick idol animation for it when im done to show it off. it will involve the tongues flopping around and it moving up and down like its breathing. its mouth covering will open and close as it breathes.

    surf_concept2-1.jpg
  • DietCoke
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    DietCoke polycounter lvl 6
    Wow, this is certainly surreal. I'll be honest, it is turning out way more cool than I expected!
  • PaulP
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    PaulP polycounter lvl 5
    Your new concept looks pretty good, alot more information and coolness than the last one.
  • Macattackk
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    Macattackk polycounter lvl 6
    thanks guys. here is the sculpt so far. its a block out of the major shapes.

    a new addition is the fins on the back which are going to be shark fins.

    and keep in mind the tongues will be rigged for an idle animation so they are sticking straight out to make that easier.

    surf_front-1.jpg

    surf_back-1.jpg
  • Macattackk
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    Macattackk polycounter lvl 6
    ok well I made some modifications to see if I can change the direction some things are going. I have changed the shape of the wave in places to make it less chaotic and turned off visibility on the tongues.

    Questions:

    Is the wave shape in the previous pictures too much? Does it look better and read more as a wave in this simplified version i have posted here?

    Are the dog tongues too much and unreadable? Should I use human tongues to simplify that aspect of it so its less of a focus and in turn tie it together better with the human teeth that are around the mouth?

    surf_take2.jpg
  • Macattackk
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    Macattackk polycounter lvl 6
    update: I have completed most of my large and mid level details. now i must go in and do the smallest details. keep in mind the colors are just mock-ups to test color schemes and to separate out the parts. none of them are final yet.

    front1-1.jpg

    back1-1.jpg
  • Chimp
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    Chimp greentooth
    Aw I was really loving it up until the lastshot- too may saturated primary colours for my personal taste.. The model is cool though!
  • Macattackk
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    Macattackk polycounter lvl 6
    thanks, the colors are just a mock up in zbrush with polypaint so I can differentiate things. not going to be the final colors, just quick choices.
  • Macattackk
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    Macattackk polycounter lvl 6
    alright the sculpt is pretty much done. now on to making the game model.

    keep in mind some parts are floating for baking purposes.

    close.jpg

    front-3.jpg

    back-2.jpg
  • Macattackk
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    Macattackk polycounter lvl 6
    ok finished the game model. its 4508 tris including duplicate faces for alpha planes (to make them double sided) and extra edge loops for animatable parts (wave, mouth flaps, drool, tongues, cables, and the jet engine/eye).

    there are two new parts which i will add to the sculpt, the drool and the eye lashes. the game model will use alpha planes for the eye lashes which will be antennas.

    surf_model.jpg

    surf_wirerame.jpg

    surf_closeup.jpg
  • Macattackk
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    Macattackk polycounter lvl 6
    update: applied very basic diffuse with normal/spec/gloss.

    still have a lot more to do in texture and more to do in sculpt like creating the stand for the eye.

    the background environment is made by crytek and is being rendered in cryengine 3.

    Untitled-1-1.jpg

    Untitled-2-1.jpg
  • uncle
    Very cool. Diffuse needs color variation - but as you said it is WIP. Waiting for more to see.
  • achillesian
    colors ruined it a little bit for me
  • jmt
    I think it looked far better in the sculpt. The colors clash severely. I would suggest going for a more uniform color scheme. I know that it's supposed to be a random mishmash, but still. . .

    The saliva on the tongues could use more work. It's very uniform and opaque. You should probably do that as poly planes with alphas. Create a few and dupe them around.

    Your topology is also looking inconsistent. Some areas are very blocky and some are very smooth. For example: The tongues have nearly as much geo as the "cobra hood" area despite being tiny in comparison. Also, the cable running from the box to the eye looks blocky at the bottom, but has a ton of edge loops around the area with virtually no deformation (the flat center). I don't know how it would animate, but I'd still suggest adding loops to the bottom/top parts.
  • Joopson
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    Joopson Polycount Sponsor
    Lots of texture stretching.
  • Macattackk
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    Macattackk polycounter lvl 6
    i have gone more with my original plan of having this being an experiment created by a mad scientist. on the front it says "experiment G52" though it is hard to see so i will make that more visible later on.

    @uncle: thanks! yes much more is going to happen in the diffuse

    @achillesian: I have toned down the colors in the jack in the box so that the monster pops more. is this better?

    @jmt: thank you for all your suggestions. the saliva is very early on, i havnt even sculpted it yet. itll be semi transparent and have bubbles, etc. the previous wireframe isnt accurate, i have more edge loops in the cobra hood and have added some in the cables as you have said.

    @Joopson: you mean my UV's are stretched too much? everything is perfectly sized to what it should be. where do you see this specifically?

    Untitled-1-2.jpg

    Untitled-2-2.jpg

    Untitled-4.jpg
  • Joopson
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    Joopson Polycount Sponsor
    I could be mistaken, but this same spot has looked very stretched to me rather consistently. Also, if you can't read my writing, I say that overall the body looks a bit blurry, where in the sculpt it looks really good. Maybe you didn't allow enough space for the body in the UV map, because you wanted to make the text readable?
    Looks good in-game, disregarding the bit of stretch.

    Untitled-2-2.jpg
  • Macattackk
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    Macattackk polycounter lvl 6
    ah i see. yea what your seeing is a polygon at a really steep facing angle so it looks collapsed. heres a better view of the back

    Untitled-2-3.jpg
  • PaulP
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    PaulP polycounter lvl 5
    You could try experimenting with transulency and glow, might give it an extra weird coolness.
  • Macattackk
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    Macattackk polycounter lvl 6
    yea im definitely going to add a subsurface scattering map to it for the flesh and the top of the wave. not sure where id add glow but maybe i can add lights in certain places on the mechanical parts to make them pop.

    ive added an environment map to the shader, though i dont have a slider in shader params for turning down the intensity of the reflection. the cryengine development documents say it should be there. also i cant find a slot for a reflectivity map since i need to turn down reflectivity on the flesh parts.

    front-4.jpg

    question.jpg
  • Macattackk
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    Macattackk polycounter lvl 6
    well it turns out CE3 combines specularity with reflections, which i guess is how it works in real life so yea..

    the problem im having is that im pretty sure flesh isnt that reflective but is high specular.. maybe i should try tightening the amount of specular that it is receiving to give it more of a wet look? or maybe i should try moving this to UDK for more material control?

    edit: made modifications to make it look like wet flesh in the specular. any suggestions to make it better? keep in mind i still have not really done anything in the diffuse for variation, these are just material tests.

    question2.jpg
  • Macattackk
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    Macattackk polycounter lvl 6
    Update!

    still waaaay more to do. ie, more diffuse variation in the flesh, interesting translucency in the diffuse of the wave, white foam parts on the wave, more grunge on the metal parts, gross particles on the teeth, subsurface scattering map, and more stuff that i cant think of.

    closeup-1.jpg

    front-6.jpg

    side-1.jpg

    back-4.jpg
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