(WIP) Medieval-esque Knight

So I'm starting up a Zelda-like Action Adventure for the UDK with a few people and trying to finish up the main character. He's a member of an emperor's Royal Guard. Everything included so far he's sitting at 6,771 tris. It's a lot more than I originally wanted but I'm happy with how he turned out so far. Planning on optimizing him a bit this weekend and hopefully get him around 5,000. The rotor on his pack could probably just be turned into a plane with a normal map.

He's wearing a full suit of chainmail, with metal plates, leather additions, and leather straps. His pack is a sort of magic/energy pack that is filtered through his armor to his palms which encase his weaponry in elemental energy and also power them (Weapons and shields will be mechanical in a way). Medieval may be deceiving I'm not really sure, but we are creating a new universe and world, similar to the way that Zelda was Medieval based but not of this world.

Aside from that, please feel free to critique and comment

(I'm new to rendering in maya with wireframes, I know they suck and the ortho's got cutoff, sorry :\)


Concept for the piece (ignore the horns, and these drawings were done by Vincent Angerosa, not me) Model was mostly based off concepts, however a few things were changed and modified


  • [SF]Three9
    what's a guy gotta do to get feedback D:
  • pliang
    Sir it's only a few hours since you posted.

    Onto the knight, mesh flow looks good but first thing that concerns me is that he has those tubes going on from the back, could prolly lose them as it may be a little complicated to animate.

    Sketches look promising too.
  • mickyg
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    mickyg polycounter lvl 7
    Personally I think the concept can be tweaked a bit more. If you look at the silhouette of your concept and model, it's very blocky with no real defining features.

    I'm playing Zelda on the DS at the moment and I know I could tell just about every character from their silhouette, because they are stylised, individual and very well defined.

    I think your works good, but it could definitely be styled up a bit more. Keep going!
  • [SF]Three9
    got a bit of an update on this guy, plan to really work hard on this starting in a few days (overlapping projects, blargh...gotta finish promised deadlines before I can really get into this guy more). Anyway I appreciate the critique that I've gotten, I really thought about the overall outline of the character and with the things I've tried I feel like it detracts from the feel that I wanted the character to have. He's suppose to be a member of a royal guard, and not too young and not too old. I want him to feel like he's powerful but he at the same time he's still just human. Aside from getting rid of the tubes (I agree, it would just be too hard to animate) really nothing has changed.

    While I'm still practicing my hand at Zbrush and trying to grasp the concept of it and how to use it, I felt I should still try and mess with normal mapping in two forms

    Basically the way I planned this, I made a very basic high poly mesh of the soldier and struggled for hours and a couple days getting the normal map to work. After scrounging through polycount I realized how the cage in Maya works and was able to generate the map...through like 8 different normal maps and pasting them together :\. I had an issue where my overlapping mesh would project onto the wrong parts, so I had to separate those parts and render those maps separately, then paste/erase them together in photoshop, was a pain but the results turned out good I think

    From here I wanted to experiment with heightmap-to-normal map transfers, and was able to create a cool and clean looking chainmail pattern to apply
    ignore the helmet and pack normal maps, those aren't done and were put together quickly just for the render


    With where I am now, I have a couple questions

    First of all, does this chainmail look, "eye-irritatingly" clean? I suppose the genre could say yes or no depending. I used one of the Characters from the Angels Falls First mod as reference when coming up with this idea http://media.moddb.com/images/mods/1/11/10527/ULAlight.jpg . I suppose if I add more material and make it seem more "loose" the clean effect might ago away?

    The second question I have, is basically is there anything wrong with my normal map? Are things going to shade incorrectly on the legs? I noticed everytime I rendered him through a different method in Maya, the results were always different (He even looks a little different in Max too), but looks fine in Xnormal and Maya Hardware. Here's the normal map and 3 different renders through maya
    Maya Hardware
    Maya Software
    Mental Ray

    As you can see in Software it looks awful (although the chain looks KINDA cool :P), and in Mental Ray it looks like the normals are completely wrong on the thigh armor. Those of you who are experience with normal maps, is something wrong with mine? It is technically my first actual normal map, so it's probably a stupid mistake

    Sorry for the wall of text, as much as I try to only say as little as possible, it never works out :\
  • moose
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    moose Polycount Sponsor
    i love the concepts, but i think you're missing the mark with the texture normal map chain mail and getting way ahead of yourself.

    YOu're jumping into the normal maps way too soon, you need to keep working the high poly and detailing it. Don't hold back! Model those belts out, the stitching, the buckles, the folds, dents/buckles/warbles in the metal, seams on the metal, etc, etc, etc. The high poly looks like you took it to about 10% complete and got excited then immediately made a normal map - which is ok as a prototype, but keep going on the high before you worry about the textural detail.

    Get some solid shapes going on it, then take it into zbrush or mudbox and start crushing out the details like the scaled armor, metal seams, dents, stitches, etc.

    push it to 100%, not just 10%!
    - its a bit blobby in spots, shapes aren't solid
    - seems a bit less "chunky" than concept
    - needs more grounding in a "world," ie like the pieces actually do connect with eachother. make the armor look like it was "put on" instead of just looking cool

    Love that sword in the 2nd concpet!
  • [SF]Three9
    :D I totally agree Moose and thanks for the critique...I suppose you're right and it really wouldn't be a good idea to just "settle" on this, however I'm really not good with any sculpting programs yet. I'm currently trying to read through a book ([ame]http://www.amazon.com/ZBrush-Character-Creation-Advanced-Sculpting/dp/047024996X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1275435346&sr=8-1[/ame]) and practice to get better, but it's a bit hard for me currently. Maybe I should just hold off on this normal map and just keep practicing Zbrush, hmm
  • moose
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    moose Polycount Sponsor
    the only way to get good is to try, experiment, & do it ;) go for it, ain nothin stopping ya!
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