The Beast: The Winged Watcher

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toby.rutter polycounter lvl 7
In the spirit of all the New Year new you rubbish I'm going to endeavour to actually finish a bit of work I for a Polycount competition (my track record thus far has been awful), and also to just generally be more active on here. I've not finalised the written description of my character but the jist is something like this: 

Adam is a young man from a race of winged humanoids. He becomes separated from his people and captured by malicious scientist who is fascinated by his physiology. Adam is kept captive, hidden from the world for years being experimented on until a fire breaks enabling his escape. During the course of his escape he is badly burnt, and it is only once he is free that he realises he is alone in the city. Separated by his disfiguring injuries and his race he flees high up into the gothic architecture of the city, watching the world he will never be a part of beneath him. 

The characters background takes elements from the stories of Hunchback of Notre Dame, Frankenstein and Phantom of the Opera. 

This was an initial proportion blockout along with some blockout of the wings skeletal structure based on some bird wing reference. 

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  • toby.rutter
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    toby.rutter polycounter lvl 7
    Because I started work on this character on Monday I've got a bit of an image backlog to post. In this image I was started increasing the dynamesh resolution to work on the forms in more detail. In particular adding some detail to the face blockout. I don't think I'm going to take the level of detail on the wings much further because although I'm more likely to go with a less realistic rendering style for this piece, I think I will be using planes and hair techniques.  
  • toby.rutter
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    toby.rutter polycounter lvl 7
    The next step for me was to break the head off into a separate mesh so that I could keep using dynamesh but get more resolution in the areas I needed, I'm trying to hold off doing any serious retopo work for as long as I can. I wanted to achieve a couple of things here namely accentuating the sharp features and using the brow and the shape of the nose to give him features that seemed more birdlike. Earlier on in the blockout for the face his default expression was more menacing and I decided that wasn't really the direction I wanted to take the character in. I didn't have the most focused design idea when I began but now I'm getting a sense of something a bit more solid. Which will make it a bit easier to collate some really relevant references.

  • toby.rutter
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    toby.rutter polycounter lvl 7
    This morning I managed to get a bit of sculpting in before work and decided that the character wasn't looking beast-y enough yet. This was my first attempt are creating some burn like dis-figuration. I like the contrast of having the effect very prevalent on one side of his face to create contrast. I've also be trying to give some though to the characters costume as the made areas of focus are the wings and his face, followed by the body. It would make sense for the characters costume to be scavenged and ill suited to accommodate a giant pair of wings. 


  • RakibHasan
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    RakibHasan polycounter lvl 4
    COOL IDEA..WAITING FOR IT 
  • toby.rutter
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    toby.rutter polycounter lvl 7
    Thanks a lot, if you've got any critiques please don't hesitate to add them
  • toby.rutter
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    toby.rutter polycounter lvl 7
    It's been a bit of a mad week at work and as I result I've been very lax about updating this thread. I'm going to try and keep making more frequent smaller updates to this thread. The first thing to bring up is some of the reference I've been using to inform the design of my beast. I liked the direction of my initial blockout but there was a couple of things that stood out as problems with the design. First and foremost was that it wasn't beast-y enough the dis figuration of the face/missing fingers/ scaring is all well and good but none of those features read on a silhouette or primary shape level. Given that the wings are a key part of the character I looked for some references of injured birds, the stripped and broken feathers should help to make the character appear gnarlier. 



    The second problem with the character was that he looks a too much like an angel which isn't really the direction I want, there are a couple of things I can do to fix this, an obvious one is texture the wings in a more bird like colour scheme. The second is to using bird anatomy as the basis for the characters feet and generally bring as many bird features in as I can. My final aim was to adjust the position and anatomy of the wings to make it more "accurate" to bird physiology. 
  • toby.rutter
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    toby.rutter polycounter lvl 7
    I've been wrestling a lot with the design of the costume for this character both to get it to work on a practical level and to ensure it says something about the character. The initial idea of creating a character based in an alternative history regency period was so I could incorporate gothic architecture and the clothing from the time into the design. The regency period has some really interesting styles of clothing, both in terms of shapes and patterns. However the more I looked at the character the more problems I found, for a start as a scavenging outsider the delicate and intricate clothing of the aristocracy doesn't make any sense. Then there is the issue of the practicality of wearing any clothes on your torso when you have a giant pair of wings. 



    I spent a fair bit of time using paint overs to explore possible directions I could take, and to just think more about the character. Given that I wanted his clothing to be scavenged my first ideas focused on patchwork cobbled together costumes. Unfortunately they didn't really gel with me I didn't imagine the character would be spending a lot of time stitching together bits of material, and also finding half of a waistcoat felt a bit arbitrary. 


    The around in my early designs I tried out different designs that focus on bandages covering up different regions of the body, both for his injuries and also to cover himself. I think this is a good direction for the costume although it still feels a bit sparse. Concealing his appearance is something that I feel is very important for the character. 


    The last direction I tried was incorporating a cowl made out loose material into the design. Something that could achieve a high collar to obscure his face without completely covering up the scaring. Earlier I tried some designs using venetian style/phantom masks but the fact that it covered up the key detail of his face was a huge issue. The other element I like of this design is the collection of small shiny pins/broaches he's scavenged and attached to the cowl, it gives a bit of magpie character always looking for shiny pretty things which he find beautiful. 


  • toby.rutter
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    toby.rutter polycounter lvl 7
    The final update for this evening, I've started to block out the bandages, experimenting with the wings position/underlying anatomy and changing the human feet into ostrich feet (ostrich feet are suuuper weird, but really different so I thought I would give them a go, I tried out a more duck-like foot but it wasn't doing it for me)


    The next step will be to block out the cowl before taking another look at the overall design before progressing. 

  • DanBullockArt
    Hey man, digging the idea for this character and progress is looking sweet already. Will be awesome if you can get ripped bandages and torn clothing with his burnt skin, looking forward to following the process :) 
  • toby.rutter
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    toby.rutter polycounter lvl 7
    Thanks a lot @DanBullockArt, I'm planning on getting pretty detailed with the damage to him. I need to tidy the body up before I can start getting into the really small work it's all still dynamesh atm.  Are you doing a character for the beast challenge? 

  • toby.rutter
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    toby.rutter polycounter lvl 7
    Quick update before I disappear for the weekend. I've been juggling several bits of work this week so this guy's been a bit neglected. I've done a quick job of the cowl using marvelous designer and I plan on working the rest of it up manually with sculpting in zbrush. I gave the trousers the same treatment and having read through a book on pattern making kindly donated by my sister I finally understand how to use darts properly... 


    I'm pretty satisfied with how the major forms are looking so I decided to bite the bullet and retopo the characters body so I can get subdivision levels and make the model a bit easier to work on at higher resolution. Normally I'm pretty lazy and just use zremesher but this time I decided to do it manually as it would give me a base for my eventual low res mesh. 

    Next I really need to stop avoiding doing work on the wings and bring them up to the same level as the rest of the model
  • md_mazhar_hussain
  • DanBullockArt
    Nice work. Clothing base looks good. Definitely do what you were saying though, use marvelous as a base but work in to it manually with plenty of ref :)
    And yeh, I almost certainly will be doing a beast, but have to get my monster slayer character done first so wont be able to start it for another few weeks. Keep up the good work 
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