Wildebeest (Overwatch Concept - Taken from the Art of Overwatch)

Hello everyone, for the last 2 months I've been really trying to study the Overwatch art style and have taken the time to try and make a full character based off of an early Reinhardt design that was originally called Wildebeest. I thought the design was really cool and I wanted to try making a full hard surface character as well so it matched pretty well.

Concept is from the Art of Overwatch, made by Arnold Tsang.

I would really appreciate some feedback as I go along through this, I'm currently in the block out stage right now and I'm trying to find some of the forms. I took some more detail in some areas but I've hit a bit of a wall with some of the pieces, so feedback would be greatly appreciated.

There are a lot of things so far I feel that aren't working but I'm not really so sure where to go next in those parts.

1. The way the leg connects to the hip in the concept is a lot more in line with the silhouette whereas mine is sticking out kind of far, but I'm not sure how to really fix that shape without Losing the circular part from the side.
2.There's an overall top heavy feel to the concept that I think looks cool, so how would I go about translating that into my 3D model.
3. The hair that goes down the back is polygonal right now but I know that fur is done differently in Overwatch but I'm not sure how they achieve it, any tips for that? I think they use cards but I could be wrong.

Here's also a closer look at the arm which is the part I've spent most time on now, what can I fix here?

I think the Fingers are looking okay from my perspective but is there anything I can do to imply some more anatomical forms? I know it's a metal hand but shouldn't I also show some anatomy in order to sell the forms?

Here's also a closer look at the leg which is the part I'm have the hardest time matching to the concept
In addition to this here's also a close up of the head. I think I have the basic shape down but I just wanted to get critique on this as well.
I want to spend a lot of time in this phase to try and flesh out the silhouette and forms before making too many details.

For how I plan to continue this, I want to make a low poly version in Maya.
A high poly version in most likely Maya with some Zbrush perhaps.
Then Baking down in Substance for texturing
and rendering in marmoset.

Ultimate goal is to have a character that looks like it lives in the Overwatch universe, so that way I can rig it and hand it off to a friend for animation. It's only a portfolio piece but I want it to look like I could drop it into a game engine.


  • DavidCruz
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    DavidCruz polycounter lvl 7
    Best i can do as far as critiques go is make an outline hopefully bringing out the forms more, i've never seen this thumbnail/sketch ever until you posted it so i draw over what you supplied, if its bigger it might've helped me out more but that is what i could do with the res i had. 4 seconds.repeats now.
    Updated decided to just do it right(got to stop but it so cool and fun..)

    (note i added my own liberties to it of what i would do.) 
    Maybe providing a front, back and side view will give you more direction.

    Stomach area is a bit confusing with the lines going through it (for me) i like whats going on with the shoulder area and i see you picked up on it.  Idk if you are also using the current or older design of him as a reference, you can find that online if you search (for the learning purposes only, i have them but doubt it would be wise to share it on p.c. so do some searching)
    ^That should really help you out on understanding what they wanted or went for with the silhouette / shapes.

    Hope that helps, atm i can't help more so maybe someone will come around.
    Nice start and yes, go slow and get it right it will pay off, Good luck.
  • Astrocoolbug
    Oh wow, okay great thank you! That's a huge help. I tried doing that on my own too but just couldn't figure out the form. This is a huge help. I'll make sure to keep posting with updates.
  • DavidCruz
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    DavidCruz polycounter lvl 7
    Cool no problem glad it helps, i tried to figure it out the best i could, i updated it.
    If you want modeling help, if you provide alternative views that will help probably get more people to comment. (make it easier for us, basically.)  Spent more time on this than i should have but i also learn how cool artist do cool things, so it helps me & you. 

    If you use the rulers and line tool you could make a fake entire model sheet layout before continuing, its what i do when i don't have much to go on and try to figure out things that way.  Like building my own back side by mirroring this view and leaving the silhouette intact and guesstimating where things go, it does take time but for me i am learning no matter what.

    Any whoozle,
    Looking forward to the results.
  • Astrocoolbug
    So I've made some more progress in the past week. I haven't had too much time to really tackle everything so I've just generally reworked the legs (still finishing the upper legs there) as well as the mid section of the body. I've also generally made proportion changes to make him look more bulky in his back.

    I took some creative liberties on top of DavidCruz's sketch over of the original concept. I think that new design for the mid section looks a lot better than the original concept and makes more sense functionally.

    Let me know how some of these forms are looking. I'm still planning on really just forming these basic shapes out before I consider and higher details. I really want to focus on making the block-out stages look right since in the past I've tended to rush this step which I think has historically been a big mistake. Thank you again to the help I've received on this project so far!
  • Astrocoolbug
    I've made a lot more iterations since my last post and that the holidays have ended.

    I wanted to have some feedback on a few more things this time.

    -How is the model looking from the back since I have no reference of that, there are a few areas I have yet to hit on the back but overall how is it working?
    -I'm trying to capture a real top heavy feel so I wanted to know if the character feels like that.
    -I've reworked the silhouette many times now and I think I have it in a better place, thoughts?
    -Probably the most challenging part for me to fix was the circular shapes on the thighs, not sure why but it just really stumped me, how is it looking now though?

    I took some creative liberties myself in the knees, hands, and back so I would appreciate feedback about those specific area too.

    Again thanks for all the help, I think things are coming together.

    After this, I'm planning on touching up what needs up, making the weapons, and then perhaps starting the high poly pass before heading to zBrush and Substance for high detail work.
  • Brian "Panda" Choi
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    Brian "Panda" Choi insane polycounter
    Get ready to bevel almost all the things
  • Astrocoolbug
    @DavidCruz Forgot to mention you, wanted to see what your thoughts were on the progress so far?
  • Astrocoolbug
    Small Update: I had worked on an Overwatch Smart Material for a little bit prior to this project so I've applied it onto what I've UV unwrapped so far. There's some High Poly Baking going on but it was mainly a quick style test to make sure that it's looking okay before I go any further. The edges need some clean up and the scale of the noise doesn't seem too uniform so I'll tweak it when I go to bring the whole character in.

    The Iray renderer in Substance is not my intended software to render out in so I'll try to match the cartoonier look in Marmoset down the line.

    Overall just trying to see if the shapes are working with the textures and lighting. I'm really liking the hand right now.

    When I unwrap some more stuff I'll get some more close ups.
  • Astrocoolbug

    I'm also redoing the hair. If anyone has a good technique for turning these into a plane texture I'd love the insight. Basically I want to put this onto a single plane as a texture with an alpha map. I use Substance for texturing so if there's a way to do it reliably I'm all ears.
  • Torch
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    Torch greentooth
    It depends how much level of control you want on those hairs, i.e. Will they bend, have physics, do you want clumps to move in patches? If not bothered and they're just going to be static I would just bake them as a strip of polys. If you're baking in toolbag it allows you to bake an alpha map, if in painter I wouldn't know as I haven't used it extensively. I'm sure it should be able to bake opacity though? Nice progress.
  • Astrocoolbug
    @Torch Interesting, didn't think about baking in Toolbag I'll look into that. I'm thinking since I'm trying to emulate the Overwatch style as closely as I can, I may to a layered thing that the existing characters have for fur and what not. If you just google Mei sculpt or the Balderich Rein sculpt, you can see how they use a layered polygon effect to achieve the fur or fuzz. I'm going to try that first but it's also possible that I could just keep them as polygons so I can have more control. I'll play with both and see which one seems most convincing.

    Thank you!
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