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Wildstar Homage Diorama [Image Heavy? Is this still a thing?]

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Jakob Gavelli interpolator
Hey!

I haven't made a topic on Polycount in a looong time, but I have this on-going project that started really simple and then grew and then mutated and then got put to the side for a year. So I'm thinking that posting about it here can work as a kind of blog, and ventilate some of my thoughts and progress! I'll go chronologically so you can follow my thought-process and see the development as it goes! 
I apologize before-hand for all the weird signature and fonts and stuff on the pictures, keep in mind this 'weekend'-project started in 2018..

I'll be as candid as possible and show all the pictures I have in this massive folder of mine. All the failed experiments and lessons learned. I hope someone can glean some knowledge from my mistakes!

I found this amazing concept by David Sladek, and Wildstar had shut down so I was sad about that and decided to make a little diorama with this great robot bird:



Over the weekend I spent a day blocking it out and getting it set up: 

Finishing up the bird:


Did a quick diorama pedestal test:


At this point the diorama looked very much like a bird on a turd. I wasn't very happy with it, as you might suspect ^^ 

The base went through a overhaul where I took the original pillar and made it into more manageable formations to later merge. This was honestly a breakthrough for me, and helped me a lot in how to think about sculpting i Zbrush. I think it pivoted my skills forward, but I still wasn't happy:


More to come!




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  • Jakob Gavelli
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    Jakob Gavelli interpolator
    At this point I was happy with what I had gotten out of the project honestly. I had done some hard-surface type art inside Zbrush, which was a first, and I had gotten this new trick! This fucking golden nugget of splitting rocks and things into separate sub-tools to later merge for crisp sculpts. Instead of just molding one big blob of clay.

    But fate had something else in store! I found another awesome concept by David Sladek for Wildstar xD


    Look at that rocky fellow to the left, so good. So my motivation was once again sparked!


    Now I just had to make the scene bigger to support the interaction of these guys. And I had realized that even though the rock-formation I made earlier was cool it didn't look like Wildstar. I had lost my way slightly, so I went for something chunkier:

    The scale of the wrench was way off, and the block was too real, I don't think I ever say such a real-life object in Wildstar so that had to go.

    Next post will be about texturing the bird, because who doesn't love a bit of structure :D 

  • DavidCruz
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    DavidCruz polycounter lvl 7
    Looking forward to more, was there from the start to its "death" somewhere around the time Frost left (couple of months after) once they announced F2P and locking items/progress out.
    What a game, too bad really, still keep imgs of all the time i spent on it so i can "revisit it", still have it installed, sucks no way to hack it up just to play alone.  It honestly would be my go to, just to game.
  • Jakob Gavelli
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    Jakob Gavelli interpolator
    @DavidCruz : Thanks, I've got lots more to show from my weird trial-and-error!  Yeahl Carbine Studios was one of those lofty dream jobs for me and Wildstar one of those few projects I'd love to contribute to sort of thing. So for purely selfish reasons I was sad to hear them go :/ 
  • Jakob Gavelli
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    Jakob Gavelli interpolator
    Here's the process for the Robot Bird. I started out influensed by the standard stylized games you can imagine. The cleanliness of Overwatch and even Heroes of the Storm. I start in greyscale and move on to defining roughness and materials.

    I was pretty happy at this point but when I got into color it kind of fell apart:


    So yeah, a hot mess. And once again I felt like I kind of lost the whole Wildstar vibe. It wasn't brilliant and punchy and cool, it was just kind of boring. Wildstar had a lot of colored metals and things associated with the old Diffuse/Spec/Normal workflow, so I tried to emulate it in the final iteration of the texturing:

    There are still some artifacts on the claws and antenna etc, but there you go :] 

    The texturing of the Rock Creature was a lot more straight-forward. Once again starting in greyscale and working out nice soft gradients and shapes. How to handle the eyes is the only real question I had at this point. 

    So here the little fellows are standing next to eachother in their default poses:


    We're almost caught up to current day!
  • Jakob Gavelli
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    Jakob Gavelli interpolator
    Back for more!
    At this point I was a bit stuck and didn't really know what sort of interaction I wanted between the creatures. So I usually slap a picture into photoshop and just really crudely go over some composition and how I'd set up a close-up etc. Just some rough guidelines and pose and weird stuff. I'd never show this to another living soul normally, but maybe someone finds it funny ^^


    I started applying some of the new ideas pretty recently in the sculpt. This is the rocks basically being finished, as you see the blocks are still there in this iteration but yeah:


    This finally brings us to present day, where I'm currently at with the scene. The base is just the medium-poly imported into Marmoset to test lighting and other things. I go back and forth between Marmoset and Zbrush at this stage before I jump into retopo>texturing, as this is where I often find the biggest mistakes and do big tweaks.

    I'm currently thinking about two different lighting-conditions. Either a darker evening look, or a brighter, saturated and crazy Wildstary look.





    Nothing is final and I'm sorry that up until this point there hasn't been any room for discussion! But at this point I'd love some help or thoughts on the overall composition and scenario. Is it good enough and does it come across as funny or endearing? Or is the base taking too much attention from the creatures' interaction? :S  
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