Home Contests & Challenges Archives

[Dota2] - Witch Doctor - Black Crow's Spirit

1
Polycount Sponsor
Offline / Send Message
Farfarer Polycount Sponsor
Latest Update
Steam Workshop
Post-Mortem
CBC2313073BD6E86B38939F2F362C8A49B1624E3




Original Post

Just a few thumbnails so far, trying out different ideas.

witchDoctor_thumbs1.jpg

Replies

  • Farfarer
    Offline / Send Message
    Farfarer Polycount Sponsor
    More work on the concept.

    Decided I didn't like the disparate stuff - it felt too disconnected. I also felt the name and some of the items were edging to far towards Native American lore, which strays from the more voodoo tilt the Witch Doctor has.

    I've followed on with the large crow mask as I'm a fan of the shape of it. I've continued the idea, being that the entire outfit is crafted from the remains of one giant, legendary bird and it's rare egg.

    To wear this suit, one would have to pass the trial of killing a stormcrow by seeking out the egg of a stormcrow and stealing it, in order to anger it into emerging from it's nest. Then the crow must be killed without harm coming to the egg itself, which used as a source of power for the Witch Doctor's magic.

    Not too happy with the egg/bag at the moment. There's cooler stuff that could be done with it - pretty much placeholder.

    witchDoctor_thumbs2.jpg
  • Ceddy
    this looks really good. cant wait to see what you come up with for the staff.
  • Farfarer
    Offline / Send Message
    Farfarer Polycount Sponsor
    Not had a whole lot of time to work on this lately, but I've started to put together the base mesh for sculpting on the mask and cloak.

    Tried MultiRes sculpting in modo but it doesn't quite cut it for larger pieces like the mask (the feathers are currently instanced MultiRes sculpts, which works ok).

    Not sure whether to make the feathers larger on the cloak... he's got no alpha so I'm going to have to rely on a good normal map bake on a basic mesh silhouette...

    witchDoctor_thumbs3.jpg
    witchDoctor_thumbs4.jpg
  • Graham
    I seriously dig the concept. It feels complete as a set, the pieces compliments each other well.

    If you are going to rely on a normal map for the back, you will definitely have to make the feathers bigger or something. I don't think details that size are going to translate well on a 128 x 256 map.

    As an alternative, maybe you could make a little cluster of feathers mapped using the full texture space to keep the detail, then you can place and repeat the clusters to form the whole back. It may work well since feathers overlap each other naturally.
  • Farfarer
    Offline / Send Message
    Farfarer Polycount Sponsor
    Thanks man :)

    Yeah, I'll probably have to scale them up a bit. I'd like to have a gradient running down the entirety of his cloak, which means that clusters of feathers may not be an option. But if the resolution doesn't hold up it may well have to go that way and perhaps have multiple clusters to fake the gradient and hope the LOD mesh can hold up the silhouette.

    Lots of trial and error ahead!
  • Graham
    Well good luck, I look forward to seeing your progress.
  • Farfarer
    Offline / Send Message
    Farfarer Polycount Sponsor
    Started sculpting the mask.

    witchDoctor_thumbs5.jpg
  • Farfarer
    Offline / Send Message
    Farfarer Polycount Sponsor
    Low poly made and normals baked. The feathers need a proper cage making, they're struggling to catch the high res mesh as they're so low poly. Ended up bang on the 500 tri limit for the head slot so there's not much more other than that I can do to help.

    Displaying a little odd here as it's not synced for modo.

    witchDoctor_thumbs6.jpg
  • Tdank
    I suggest looking at how the feathers on the back of bloodseekers helmet are constructed. Filling in the gaps between the feathers would free up a lot of geo. Also, while the lod0 limit for the head is 500, the in-game lod1 limit is a scant 250 tris. Your design should still work well and I really like your idea so far, keep it up!
  • marc31
    Offline / Send Message
    marc31 polycounter lvl 6
    ¿Is not it better to make the eye with a hole?
    If it is a mask.
  • Farfarer
    Offline / Send Message
    Farfarer Polycount Sponsor
    Thanks for the suggestion Tdank. Had a quick look and I'm pretty certain the Bloodseeker has more polys in those feathers than my entire mask does. Currently I have the advantage that I've duplicated two feathers and so they share texture space. To have them one big chunk would mean reducing the texture space of everything else a lot :/

    250's gonna be interesting LOD0 for sure, cried a little bit inside cramming that into 500 tris :P

    marc31: Eeeh, probably, but I like the big beady eyes. I think they're an important crow-y feature :P
  • Farfarer
    Offline / Send Message
    Farfarer Polycount Sponsor
    Found some time to get a texture going for the mask. Feathers and rings aren't touched yet, other than a base colour. Neither are the stitches.

    Really need to get a wiggle on to finish up the rest of this set for the deadline :|

    witchDoctor_thumbs7.jpg
  • Farfarer
    Offline / Send Message
    Farfarer Polycount Sponsor
    Created low poly for the cloak, just scraping the 400 tri limit at 394 tris.

    Test normals bake and flat colours at the moment, need to properly pack the UVs.

    witchDoctor_thumbs8.jpg

    Spent a fair bit of time trying to import the mask to the game (also built the in-game LOD1 for it), but it's not picking up the skinning info correctly. Dunno why... there's not exactly any debug info, either.
  • BrontoThunder
    Offline / Send Message
    BrontoThunder polycounter lvl 8
    First of all; this is looking awesome!

    Secondly; exporting is super simple and usually I've found that any problems you're having are because you're over-thinking it (at least it was in my case).

    How to export the best!
    - New scene
    - Import finished item (transforms frozen, history deleted and in the position you want it)
    - Create reference -> Original Maya scene
    - Duplicate root bone
    - Remove reference
    - Bind model to bones and weight it appropriately
    - Select model and bones, export selection as FBX

    If your material isn't showing up in-game sometimes you need to apply a Phong-E with your textures applied to it.

    Hope this helps!
  • Farfarer
    Offline / Send Message
    Farfarer Polycount Sponsor
    Cheers dude, but I'm not using Maya, I'm using modo ;)

    Might have to resort to 3DSMax and hope that the vertex normals hold up in transition.
  • Farfarer
    Offline / Send Message
    Farfarer Polycount Sponsor
    Texture baking and painting progress on the cloak.

    Not done much with the feet yet, mostly focusing on the feathers. I'm not 100% on having a design on the back, but it felt too plain without something there. I had tried various things to break it up like trying to make some of the feathers stand out or patterns/layers of painted/coloured feathers, but they ended up either breaking the shape of the cloak too much or they stood out too much to make it feel like a whole.

    I need to work up a collar or hem, to help with the transition at the top edge (currently just cuts out, which isn't that nice looking).

    The "tail" will be continued down with a belt piece to complete the suit.

    (Top row = fullbright, bottom row = normal mapped)
    witchDoctor_thumbs9.jpg
  • Farfarer
    Offline / Send Message
    Farfarer Polycount Sponsor
    After an immense amount of dicking around and apparently random luck, I've finally managed to get these items in-game.

    But in his animations, the Witch Doctor is far more stooped than his base pose, so half the feathers intersect with his shoulder.
    witchDoctor_thumbs10.jpg

    And due to a slight reading error on my part, the LOD1 for the back item is 300 tris, not 200. So I've got an extra 100 tris to play with there...
    witchDoctor_thumbs11.jpg
  • hopgood
    Offline / Send Message
    hopgood polycounter lvl 6
    Love your colour scheme you have going here.

    The witchdoctor animations can be quite difficult to plan around, I have found his attack_alt animation clips with a lot of shoulder meshes I played around with.

    Really nice work though!
  • Farfarer
    Offline / Send Message
    Farfarer Polycount Sponsor
    Thanks dude :)

    Having seen it in game, loads of stuff that I toned back in the source res textures gets totally wiped out at game res. Going to go back in and ramp it up some, try and get some more definition out of the feathers by varying their colours more, etc. I'd like to get a bit of that deep pink/purple that his default bag's made out of in there.

    As for animation/clipping... eh. So long as it looks good 90% of the time, I'm not going to sweat it too much. Valve's games have a fair bit of clipping/shearing and such in a few places but you never notice because the animation itself looks good and it's over in a few frames. That and skinning is one of the things I'm worst at :P
  • Farfarer
    Offline / Send Message
    Farfarer Polycount Sponsor
    I spent some extra time after my previous post altering the textures to get more variation in the feathers on the cloak (and also fixing a lot of weighting issues) getting happy with it now.

    I'll return to all of the textures at the end in a big pass, but for now I have to at least get one extra thing made to qualify for entry. Hopefully I'll get an entire set going but free time is tight.

    So I spent my lunch time roughing in the base mesh for the bag and large arm feathers. Not sold on the straps that hold the feathers on - they're just there to see how it'd look.

    witchDoctor_thumbs12.jpg
  • Kraken
    Offline / Send Message
    Kraken interpolator
    looks interesting! Hope you'll manage to finish in time.
  • Farfarer
    Offline / Send Message
    Farfarer Polycount Sponsor
    Thanks dude. Your own entry's looking fantastic, btw - very jealous of the bold shapes and clean bakes.
  • Anuxinamoon
    Offline / Send Message
    Anuxinamoon polycounter lvl 11
    Wow I'm loving this entry loads! Nice and clean and clear. Well done getting it into the game!
  • Farfarer
    Offline / Send Message
    Farfarer Polycount Sponsor
    Cheers :D

    Not much to report, just showing there's still a pulse. Only got a couple of hours to work on it this weekend.

    Low poly's done and bakes are, well, baked (feathers aren't yet). Still got 10 tris to play with, gonna save them for deformation's sake though, I imagine the strap's going to clip a fair bit and the polys will be welcome when that happens.

    Colour's mostly block-in stuff - need to play with them a little.

    witchDoctor_thumbs13.jpg
  • Farfarer
    Offline / Send Message
    Farfarer Polycount Sponsor
    Finished up the textures and bakes on this, got the LOD1 in (quite a squeeze at 450 tris down from 950!).

    5 days left to get the belt and the staff made! Was hoping to get a ward done, too, but that may have to be dropped.

    Anyone know if we're allowed to submit stuff after the competition for the same set?

    witchDoctor_thumbs14.jpg
  • Farfarer
    Offline / Send Message
    Farfarer Polycount Sponsor
    Spent lunch break roughing out a belt for him which should bring the cloak together and give him his "tail".

    It's mostly done, I just need to affix them up to the belt and sculpt his pouch (probably just MultiRes it - not worth ZBrushing).

    The feathers are re-used from the arms and cloak so they're MultiRes sculpted in modo - they're just showing at subdiv 1 at the moment which is why they're all smooth.

    witchDoctor_thumbs15.jpg
  • hopgood
    Offline / Send Message
    hopgood polycounter lvl 6
    Really nice work on tying everything together with a constant theme. Impressive stuff
  • jnumber9
    Offline / Send Message
    jnumber9 triangle
    hey cool idea, like it a lot!
  • Baj Singh
    Offline / Send Message
    Baj Singh polycounter lvl 9
    Really nice idea, I like the way the feathered cape breaks up the silhouette on the back of the mesh. Nice work :).
  • Farfarer
    Offline / Send Message
    Farfarer Polycount Sponsor
    Thanks dudes.

    Yeah, the cloak irks me. I like it's jaggy silhouette but it's also very low poly everywhere but the silhouette. Might have to swap some tris around and maybe some UV shuffling to get more res on the back...
  • Farfarer
    Offline / Send Message
    Farfarer Polycount Sponsor
    Belt slot low poly LODs made and textured. Everything's been rigged up to the skeleton now, too (not that you can tell from these shots).

    Also tweaked the cloak a little. Baked out new AO, slightly reshuffled the UVs to get a few more pixels in and munged a few polys around to help the silhouette around the back a touch.

    Had a go at replicating the Dota2 shader in Unity to give more accurate screen grabs but wasn't very close, so will have to stick with default spec/gloss for the time being outside of the game :)

    witchDoctor_thumbs16.jpg
  • Farfarer
    Offline / Send Message
    Farfarer Polycount Sponsor
    Roughing out a basemesh for the staff, continuing the crow symbol that's daubed across his cloak and bag (it's not too clear on the bag, but it's there. I'll add bindings and ropes to it as I go - might end up using the renderable splines in modo for that, makes it a bit easier all round.

    Having to keep the main part of it - between his hand point and where the branch stub is on the original - close to the same size/shape as the original staff as some of his animations have his hand slide down it (death anim, for example).

    witchDoctor_thumbs17.jpg
  • Farfarer
    Offline / Send Message
    Farfarer Polycount Sponsor
    Updates!

    witchDoctor_thumbs18.jpg

    I've worked up LOD0 of the staff, baked it and started on the diffuse.

    I've also re-UVed the cloak entirely so the resolution in-game isn't offensively low res and fixed up a lot of weighting issues on my other accessories.
  • Farfarer
    Offline / Send Message
    Farfarer Polycount Sponsor
    Getting close to being finished, I think.

    Need to fix up the positioning of the mask feathers, which means ripping out the anims from .gcf files and decompiling the model, bit of a pain which I'll tackle at the weekend.

    Probably tweak some of the levels of spec/gloss once I see it in-game... and it'll be done :D

    witchDoctor_thumbs19.jpg
  • Anuxinamoon
    Offline / Send Message
    Anuxinamoon polycounter lvl 11
    damm thats looking so good! I love the egg bag too :D
  • beaver_knight
    Offline / Send Message
    beaver_knight polycounter lvl 6
    Pls show weather thingy on back in wireframe mode :)
  • bounchfx
    Oooh, nice silhouette! Can't wait to see this in engine.
  • hopgood
    Offline / Send Message
    hopgood polycounter lvl 6
    Looks fantastic! Great admirer of this thread so far. Can't wait to see some in game shots too.

    Congrats
  • .leshiy
    Offline / Send Message
    .leshiy polycounter lvl 5
    Really nice! Well done.
  • Farfarer
    Offline / Send Message
    Farfarer Polycount Sponsor
    Thanks guys :D

    beaver_knight: Here's the cloak low poly. 400 tris was a killer (300 for LOD1!)...

    witchDoctor_thumbs20.jpg
  • Gareth_Thomas
    Spectacular work!! This set has come out so well. Great job. :D
  • Lotto
    Chiming in with the others. Fantastic job on this set! The staff seems a little top-heavy but it still looks great :).
  • Farfarer
    Offline / Send Message
    Farfarer Polycount Sponsor
    Thanks Gareth :D

    Lotto: Yeah, I didn't realise quite how big the top of it was until I pulled back up the original staff beside it. I'm hoping it's wiry enough that it won't look ridiculous in-game, but it might need scaling down a touch.
  • Paskie
  • Farfarer
  • Anuxinamoon
    Offline / Send Message
    Anuxinamoon polycounter lvl 11
    grats on the finish! Good luck :D
  • Farfarer
    Offline / Send Message
    Farfarer Polycount Sponsor
    Thank you, looking forward to maybe coming 10th place after all your sets, if I'm lucky :P
  • Konras
    Offline / Send Message
    Konras polycounter lvl 12
    One of the best Witch Doctor sets that I saw here. He suits this character really well!
    I like that he looks dangerous. I would use it to shop other players who will own them :p
    Don't forget to add link to WIP thread in you items description on workshop!
    Good luck!!!
  • ENODMI
    Offline / Send Message
    ENODMI polycounter lvl 10
    Not sure how I missed this! Awesome job with the textures
  • cakeypigdog
    oooh! Nice stuff, one of the best in the competition for sure.
    Well done!
1
Sign In or Register to comment.