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[Dota2] - Brewmaster - Order of the Caretos

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Current status of the Order of the Caretos set for Brewmaster:
Submission complete.
You can check the full collection on Steam here -> http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfile.../?id=108116337
Video of the full set using the Dota2 test -> http://youtu.be/ivf6JsrQpsg



O R I G I N A L - P O S T

Hi Polycount!
Me and a friend are teaming up to create a full 5 piece set for Brewmaster.
We got really excited with the opportunity to create something unique and professional for DOTA2 and also have some fun while doing it.
So I jumped in and registered with Polycount to give it a shot.

We have a few ideas already laid out on the theme and background for how Mangix (currently known as Brewmaster) got a hold of these items and why they are so important to him. I will be posting later today these ideas, the story and some of the first drawings.

I will be modelling, texturing and rigging and my good friend, Filipe Andrade, will be drawing and doing the concept art / colors.

You can check out Andrade's work on his blog -> http://filipeandradeart.blogspot.pt/
You can check my work and background here -> http://filipeduartepina.wordpress.com/
Hope we get nice feedback here with the good people at Polycount to tweak all the items to the best possible :)

Here is Brewmaster for reference:


  • Pina
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    Pina polycounter lvl 5
    Ok, big post with all the ideas so far.

    Idea and concept art
    So me and Andrade met up in a small cafe a few days ago and talked about the background and theme for the Brewmaster. Andrade drew some doodles while we talked.
    We talked about this idea that it would be cool to imagine that Mangix (the Brewmaster name before he became B.) would have travelled through all these lands and that somehow he came across a land where wine was used to achieve the same results as the Order of the Oyo. So he would train with them and all that etc.
    As for the fear inducing items, Andrade had this idea that comes from some festivals that occur in the northern regions of Portugal and Spain where people dress up in these scary costumes with scary masks that are supposed to scare others.

    In this image you can see Brewmaster and the first ideas. The big mask on his back, the fringes all over his body and a big horn instead of the keg.

    His weapon is currently up in the air of how exactly the final form is. We only know we want a big rattle in the end and 4 faces around the wooden stick.

    Story and background

    Original Brewmaster story -> http://www.dota2.com/workshop/requirements/Brewmaster

    Mangix wandered the land as Brewmaster for many years. Like all that came before him, his travels took him to many strange places and, more often than not, he met different cultures, old and new. It was in the Northern Lands, only accessible through the old gates of Miraterra that he reached the distant Valley of Caras also known to the common folk as the Valley of Fear. There he met the ancient tribe of the Caretos and its leader the Grapemaster.

    The Order of the Caretos is a powerful and ancient one that, much like Mangix’s own Order of the Oyo, strives to reach enlightenment through drinking. But unlike Oyo’s, grapes and not malt, is the chosen vehicle to communicate with the spirits.
    The Caretos leader saw in Mangix the same values that his own tribe had cherished for thousands of years so he took him in as one of their one. For many months Mangix trained with the Grapemaster in the ways of the Fear Spirit, the one technique than once learned can paralyze even the most courageous man. When his training was complete the Grapemaster challenged him for a final duel, a duel of mind, body and soul. It was a fight as much as a spectacle of magic and fear inducing techniques. Those who were there to see it said that the spirits came down to earth to watch it for themselves such was the spectacle put on by these two masters. And it was there, in the Northern Lands in the distant valley of Caras while fighting the Grapemaster of the Order of the Caretos, in the midst of a crazed red wine drunkenness, that for a tiny fraction of a moment Mangix grasped a glimpse of the spiritual world.

    To this day half of the Caretos tribe states that the Brewmaster collapsed first and the other half say that it was their own Grapemaster that touched the ground faster. For Mangix victory mattered not. The most important thing had been the one provided by the Grapemaster, with his help, he had come one step closer to reaching that single thought, the one that will unite the spirit and physical planes again.

    This is a more refined drawing by Andrade reflecting the current state of ideas.


    Brewmaster - 5 piece Set of Order of the Caretos

    The day that the Brewmaster left the Valley of Caras he was given 5 items to take with him on his journey.

    Careto's Mystical Mask (back)
    This big mask is said to have belonged to a giant a thousand years ago. It induces fear on anyone that tries to sneak up from behind to the point where it might just paralyze them.
    “Careto's Mystical Mask” or “Mask of Fear”? Still don’t know which name is best here.[FONT=&quot]
    Careto's Ancient Horn of Wine (weapon offhand)
    The horns of giant beasts are used in the Northern Lands to store wine. They are very good at preserving the fine qualities of the red grape for many years.

    Careto's Big Rattle (weapon)
    Rattles are used by the Caretos to induce fear in the enemy. It is usual to wear 4 or 5 around your waist. In this case no fear inducing techniques are necessary, just one big rattle made of metal banging on your head.

    Careto's Face of Fear (arms)
    These braces are carved with the face of fear of the Caretos tribe. Wear these along with the Mystical Mask and the Brewmaster can easily induce fear in even the most courageous man.

    Careto's Fringes (shoulders)
    Only the one that has fought the Grapemaster can wear the fringes of the Order of the Caretos.


    [/FONT]And thats it! for now...[FONT=&quot]
    [/FONT]I have already started doing some 3D tests of all the items to see if they fit. We already checked on the triangle count and limitations to minimize implementation problems so some items and ideas are being slightly changed.

    Next posts will have some of these 3D tests as well as color tests by Andrade.

    Feedback on the names of the items and background story would be great. I would specially like some feedback from English speaking Polycount users if we took it too far on the weird names :)
  • [HP]
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    [HP] polycounter lvl 13
    Looking forward to this, good luck dude!
  • skrap'D
    interesting concept, i think the back would look good in-game too. looking foward to some 3D.
  • LuCh!
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    LuCh! polycounter lvl 5
    nice sketches, i like the face on his back,
    should be visible quite good from the RTS view
  • Pina
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    Pina polycounter lvl 5
    Thanks for the comments dudes!
    Yes, the mask is the first thing I am tackling to get it right since it will be the biggest and most visible item. Need some feedback on it :)

    I just finished some quick tests to get it running and see how it looks.
    The first thing that I had to get rid of is the straps that hold it on the front of the Brewmaster. Too much geometry would be needed to do that correctly plus animations might overlap geometry of the body into the straps and in the end you don't see it that clearly in game.

    Here is the 3D model static with a simple paint test to place the eyes and mouth.

    I am just below the allowed polycount with 296 triangles.
    My first problem to solve is the rattles dangling from the ears on the mask. I tried having them look good by attaching them to the bone that moves the mug from the original backpack. The problem is that there is only one bone for two rattles.

    As you can see the rattles look and move good in most situations like running but in some extreme cases where the original mug whould bounce, my rattles just go too wide or just go into the body geometry.

    Will try some other solutions but if nothing works I only see 2 ways:
    1 - The rattles will stay put glued to the mask
    2 - I will put only one rattle dangling from the nose of the mask

    As for the mask itself I might get it narrower and move it away a bit from the back so it doesn't enter the body geometry

    What do you guys think?
  • Pina
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    Pina polycounter lvl 5
    Ok, so I finished this morning the basic mesh geometry for all items. My idea was to first check if every item looks good within the poly count allowed. I also tested them in game to see if I would have any problems with shapes or sizes.

    So these are all the 5 items with the wireframe showing. I managed to get a nice rounded shape for the horn, arms and shouldres items so they would closely follow the geometry beneath them. For the mask and weapon I focused on the silhoutte since there will be a lot of detail coming from the normal map.

    First the horn.
    LoD1 Triangle Limit: 300
    This was hard to keep within the geometry limit, I had to cut some stuff to make it below 300 like the handles were simplified. The main concern was keeping it looking really good on his hand in every situation which I managed. The tip of the horn never gets caught anywhere including when he dies and it rolls over.

    The weapon.
    LoD1 Triangle Limit: 350
    This one turned out good on the first try. Managed to get the rattle dangling really nice with just a fast smooth binding and although the staff is crooked it is not too much so he still grips it correctly. Will use the extra bone to make the thing inside the rattle dangle independently.

    The shoulders.
    LoD1 Triangle Limit: 150
    Arghhh! 150! Not enough polygons here to do a nice set of fringes, not even 2 or 3 rows. I will try to do it on the normal map and texture but if it turns out crap I will just change for something else. For now the base mesh is good and ready.

    The arms.
    LoD1 Triangle Limit: 250
    No problems here. Nice shape, easily seen from above and it will look really cool to have these two scary faces on his arms. Andrade drew it like they were bigger and went over the fur but I prefer it this way :)
    Only used 192 tris, might add some extra geometry.

    Thats it for now. Will move on to the highpoly versions of these.
    Any feedback on the rattles on the mask on his back would be great.
  • Pina
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    Pina polycounter lvl 5
    Ok, modelling and normal maps for the horn is finished.
    Difuse and masks are also made but I want to return to it once I have all the other items done.

    Lod0 - 398 tris
    Lod1 - 296 tris

    Masks are in place but still need some tweaking.


    Managed to get UVs mirrored in almost everything here saving up lots of space and increasing definition.
  • marul
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    marul polycounter lvl 7
    Good job with the horn thingy. I suggest using the same wood texture everywhere because currently the brown part around the lid looks a bit off. You should also use same wood texture for bump, maybe even try to add it to the normal map. Looking forward to see the other parts.
  • Pina
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    Pina polycounter lvl 5
    Tks @marul
    Will try getting the wood texture around the lid as well. Will also try a different set of colors. Andrade is doing an illustration of the entire thing so that will also help deciding.
    I can try adding the wood texture to the normal map, but it might create too much noise, will try and post later.
  • Pina
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    Pina polycounter lvl 5
    Weapon modelled and normal mapped.
    Still playing with the colors of the texture before finishing. Like the horn I will come back to this later.

    Lod0 - 450 tris
    Lod1 - 350 tris
    Managed to go EXACTLY on the budget limit of the poly count :p

    Temporary masks for the materials.
    Still need to tweak the skinning so that the leather strap bends correctly.

    Again, just playing with colors until Andrade has time to finish up the color scheme.

    Any suggestions for colors are welcome. Keep in mind that the big mask on his back will be red painted wood.
  • Pina
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    Pina polycounter lvl 5
    Changed placement of the rattle on the back mask to the nose and added two holes for the rings where more masks could have been. Left one ring there to break up the symmetry.


    High poly on the mask practically finished. Small details for the normal map will be made in photshop for better control. Since most of it is lost when downsizing textures I want to be able to separate and control all final textures for better effect.
  • Pemaktitkis
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    Pemaktitkis polycounter lvl 7
    My favourite set for Brewmaster on this contest!
    Looks very original and superfitting at the same time
  • Pina
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    Pina polycounter lvl 5
    Thanks! I can't wait to see the final thing all together :)

    Mystical Mask / Mask of Fear ready for tweaking with the rest of the set.
    Had to discard the 2 rattles in favor of just one. Added one big ring. And discovered today that all my normal maps were upside down, courtesy of Ultimapper on Softimage :p

    Lod0 - 387
    Lod1 - 297

    brewmaster_mask01.jpgThe rattle now moves perfectly and the mask almost never gets into the body geometry. The strap that holds the rattle can go sometimes too high and go through the nose but it is so fast that you don't notice it.

    UV sets for the mask are all full, nothing was mirrored. This way it looks much better and I avoid the repetition problem which would have been very obvious here. Don't know yet if I will put more paint and less scratches. The DOTA2 design is more clean and less dirty so I might try some other combinations.

    Still need to decide on the final war painting.
    Tried these two but can't make up my mind. I could still go for a third style.

    Feedback would be great.
  • alpha_327
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    alpha_327 polycounter lvl 9
    I'm really liking the painterly look you have on the mask right now, very cool. I like the pattern on the left but i feel that there needs to be more balance with the lower half of the face as well. Maybe try and add something to the cheekbone area or the chin. Overall nice work, cant wait to see it all done and together :D
  • [HP]
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    [HP] polycounter lvl 13
    So glad to see you back at the game dude! :D

    Loving the stylized feeling of it all
  • Pina
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    Pina polycounter lvl 5
    Tks for the nice comments guys.

    The chin is covered by the rattle so painting there would not work. Will try to add something to the cheekbone area.

    Yes, it has been too long. This is a nice way to restart things :)
  • Baj Singh
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    Baj Singh polycounter lvl 9
    Cool design mate. Maybe if you get time, you could add some wood scratchings and chips to the mask?
  • Pina
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    Pina polycounter lvl 5
    @Baj SinghYeap, scratches and chips would be cool. I am restraining myself on small details like those to first see everything together. I also tried adding the wood details on the horn to the normal map but it just gets too noisy.

    Finished for now the arms item.

    Decided on the smaller version that goes BELOW the fur. It just looks very cool not to use it like that and it also doesn't get in the way of the weapon or the keg/horn.

    Lod1 - 250 tris
    Lod0 - not needed
    The upside down face looks very fitting with the rest of the set. Increased the nose size from the first model.

    Easiest skinning ever :P
    Normal maps and materials behaving very well with the in-game light.

    Mirrored texture with the same base paint on wood finish made on the Mystic Mask item.


    And finally had some time to play around with the settings on Maya to see the models with the difuse and normal map at the same time in full resolution. On the DOTA2 viewer you really can't see the tiny details. These are obviously still all Phong materials with no changes at all so everything looks glossy as hell.
    But finally I can check and fix where things don't look so good like for example the handles of the horn or the lack of detail on the weapon stick.
  • Jalcober
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    Jalcober polycounter lvl 8
    Awesome! Loving the textures!
  • Pina
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    Pina polycounter lvl 5
    Need to feedback on the mask painting polycounters!

    I also don't know if I like the the painting across the nose. You can clearly see with it how low poly the mask really is.

  • Nix
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    Nix polycounter lvl 10
    Hah, love the nose bell thing.

    IMO the painting doesn't really emphasize on the lowpolyness, the design of the face is just naturally angular and I think it's ok if it shows. That's just me though.
  • Pina
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    Pina polycounter lvl 5
    Thanks Nix. Ok, will try to check it in-game and see if it looks good :)
  • Pina
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    Pina polycounter lvl 5
    Finally the shoulders and on to overall color choices.

    Originally the shoulders were supposed to be this folklore thing, full of tiny ribbons and colors. But it turned out that this character not only does not allow alphas, it also has a limit of 75 polygons per shoulder. So doing the correct effect without an alpha map or more polygons would never turn out good.

    Here is a quick test put together really fast.


    So obviously this was not going to work.

    Back to the drawing board I threw away the fringes idea and got back to the original idea of having some big belt holding the mask on his back. But instead of trying to put everything on top of Brewmaster, I put it below its clothes.


    I also managed to keep the idea of the small thick fringes but only with one color and occupying a small contained area between the belts and clothes.

    So finally I have something I like and also that works.
    The problem now is deciding on colors. I baked the normal map and threw around some color ideas (WIP texture, just color and a quick bake)


    I personally like the dark brown belt with the red fringes. It matches the pants really nice. The light brown sort of works but I think I am not sure. I can also try and mix and match with the rest of the items colors.

    Suggestions and ideas are welcome.
  • Pina
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    Pina polycounter lvl 5
    Ok, time to take a break and check all items together.

    I also had some fun and did quick renders with Brewmaster in a stylish pose and played around with colors etc. It is always a nice way to see if everything is working together (after making sure first it works in-game that is).

  • Tvidotto
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    Tvidotto polycounter lvl 9
    nice work on this one man, really impressive =]
  • Pina
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    Pina polycounter lvl 5
    @Tvidotto: tks! :)

    Finished shoulders.

    Had lots of issues with the extreme low poly count. Geometry was going into the body and into the arms so it had to be changed. Removed the belt in front to let it breathe a little more, it was too detailed and would always animate in a clumsy way anyway. Used those polys to increase Lod0 and Lod1 of the shoulders.

    The skinning is as good as it will get, it is a mimic of the body. The problem is it still can get folded into the geometry sometimes. But this also happens with the original shoulders so I am not sure there is much more I can do to improve this.

    The choice of colors was easy. Dark brown like the pants to match it all nicely.


    On the back the shoulders also match the mask has if they were holding it.
    In case the player only wears the mask, the back of the Brewmaster still has some sort of belts that look like they hold it so it also looks good.


    Texture and normal map still have the old deleted piece but I can't really increase the size of the UVs on the shoulder without stretching them so...

    Full item set (difuse channel only)


    Full item set tweak of colors.
    Arms straps are now dark brown.
    Arms red paint is darker.
    Shoulders metal parts are lighter.
    Weapon red faces are more painted looking.
    Both rattles on the weapon and the mask are darker and have a symbol on the normal map
    Mask white paint changed.

    Still want to review the horn texture and the wood stick on the weapon.
  • Pina
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    Pina polycounter lvl 5
    One last render for the road.
    Stupid Maya is inverting the normal maps in the mirrored UVs :(


    update: UVs fixed! thanks Clyptic!
  • Clyptic
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    Clyptic polycounter lvl 6

    Shows how to fix the mirrored UV normal map issue in mental ray. Go to about 2:30.
    Nice work on your set.
  • Spudnik
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    Spudnik polycounter lvl 9
    Thanks Clyptic, that's beed bugging me for ages!
  • Tvidotto
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    Tvidotto polycounter lvl 9
    Clyptic wrote: »

    Shows how to fix the mirrored UV normal map issue in mental ray. Go to about 2:30.
    Nice work on your set.

    thanks =]
  • Pina
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    Pina polycounter lvl 5
    @Clyptic: thanks man, really easy to fix.
  • Pina
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    Pina polycounter lvl 5
    Everything is pretty much ready for submission. Will prepare all the materials and submit tomorrow. Thanks to everyone who helped out here on Polycount!


    Will post tomorrow the final images of each item that will go to the Steam Store as well as the link.
  • Pina
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    Pina polycounter lvl 5
    Submission complete.
    You can check the full collection on Steam here -> http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=108116337

  • oDD
    congratulations on finishing the set, I really like the face on his back, it's cool that it's so well visible in game. Very nice presentation, as well.
  • Pina
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    Pina polycounter lvl 5
    Thanks @oDD!

    Last post. Changed lots of stuff.
    Here are all the final items and how they look ingame.

  • Pina
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    Pina polycounter lvl 5
    Finally Andrade had time to finish the illustration for the store :)

  • ACap
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    ACap polycounter lvl 9
    Fantastic entry. Great idea and execution. Illustration just looks amazing. Gave me some ideas. Thank you for inspiration!
  • Konras
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    Konras polycounter lvl 12
    Set look fantastic. Also I am really impressed by the illustration, however I suggest you to work more on font style, and by that I mean this ugly drop shadow effect :D
  • Pina
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    Pina polycounter lvl 5
    Thanks guys :)
    You don't like the drop shadow? I find it very fitting. If more people say they don't like it I will change it.
  • Pina
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    Pina polycounter lvl 5
    Managed to get a video made for the Store.
    [ame=" - Order of the Caretos set for DOTA2 - YouTube[/ame]
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