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Great Big NPC

greentooth
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JohnnyH greentooth

Starting off 2021 this weekend beginning work on this guy, sort of as a love letter to Top-down ARPGs.


The story behind it goes back to the original gameplay trailer of Dark Souls 3. In the trailer you could see the character Highlord Wjolnir confront the player character:


I was really struck by this like 3 second scene the first time I saw it and was really excited to see it in game. I remember remarking to a friend at the time that my bet for sure was that this wasn't an enemy and would instead by an NPC or maybe covenant leader who would be friendly! (as much as someone can be in the Soulsborne series)

As it turns out in the final game he turned out to be a boss character, and also was moved to a completely different area for what I suspect were time issues, although maybe there was some other reason. Either way It was my only real disappointment from DS3. Since It's stuck with me for so long I thought I would fold it into a project at some point! A great big NPC!

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  • JohnnyH
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    JohnnyH greentooth
    Some quick revisions to the layout and cameras. Starting to feel out the colour palette I'l be going after - Orange, and of course; my favourite shade of teal (One that I can never get out of CMYK printer no matter how hard I try). I'm also starting to set up some of the material functions I know I'll need - stuff like world-projected blends, blocking in water and Post process effects for the fog.

    I'll spend the next bunch of hours on this getting the textures for the floor's and other big elements worked out and make sure I get the level of stylization I'm after really hammered out. 


  • Lucas Annunziata
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    Lucas Annunziata polycounter lvl 10
    Daaaaang this is looking super cool so far. All the shapes are super clean and readable.
  • JohnnyH
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    JohnnyH greentooth
    Thank you, I'm mostly doing it as a speed excersize - trying to spend as much time as possible on comp/readability
  • JohnnyH
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    JohnnyH greentooth

    Progress is slower than I would like, but I've been able to get a decent chunk fleshed out. From an asset standpoint everything is still pretty loose and I'm evaluating how much stuff I will be able to get away with not having unique 0-1 textures with sculpts. I'll likely just do the biggest ones as a lot of the time at this distance it's hard to see if you get to squirrely with details. 


    My big focus remains on composition and planning. I purposely designed a project where I knew how to technically execute every asset so that I could spend all of my thinking on making sure I work out the right presentation.


    Here's some of the kit I've been assembling - Trying to keep the total number of assets low. All of the materials are still blocked in - basically just a decent normal and quick albedo. I will decide what to go further with when I determine what's necessary for the shot later (this is all to save time and my mind!)


  • JohnnyH
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    JohnnyH greentooth
    Got some more in on this - 60 hours in at this point, I'm really trying to stretch a few resources as far as I can and using as many tools as possible to speed production up. Alot of that time has just been adjusting the composition and playing around. I would like to have it done in under 100 if possible, but I suspect the VFX alone is a 15-20 hour time sink (especially with what I have planned for big skelly


  • JohnnyH
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    JohnnyH greentooth
    Finished this guy on the weekend - Happy with how it turned out! You can find it animated as well as some breakdowns of different assets on my artstation if you're interested, thanks!
  • JohnnyH
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    JohnnyH greentooth
    Here's the animation

  • littleclaude
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    littleclaude ngon master
    Great looking project, I love the movement of the skull, have you thought about adding some smoke and atmosphere? 
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