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Grandmaster - Bird-guy thing

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j4polaris polycounter lvl 13
Massive Update-Get! Freelance work has been slowing down a bit, so I've had a chance to charge forward with this guy again. Here are the latest shots (updated thread deets below)



Heya all!
I originally wanted to get this guy started for the Mudbox "Warriors" challenge over at cghub.com, but ended up getting a contract job right around the time it rolled around. This is my first stab at a non-human character. Eager to hear your thoughts! :)

First up are the concept sketches for the character scanned from my sketchbook.


Trying to figure out proportions, costuming, etc.


Getting the base mesh set up in Max. Trickiest part of this was figuring out how his fingers and hands blended into an actual wing-like arm. Looked at Disney's Robin Hood a lot for reference.


Wireframe. Since doing character rigging and animation for my last job, I have a whole lot more respect for proper meshflow. Hope I'm doing it right. :P


I think my biggest challenge with this guy will be the feathers. I checked Matt's feather tutorial on his site, and I'm not sure how I will tie it into a character sculpt. If any of you guys have any experience with it at all, please let me know! :D


  • j4polaris
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    j4polaris polycounter lvl 13
    Updated with more details! Head is mostly finished, and added more details to the wings.



    And the head detail (with wireframe overlaid)


    Eager to hear what you all think!
  • Slum
    ah this is going to rock! love it :)
  • j4polaris
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    j4polaris polycounter lvl 13
    Update! Added his ponytail plumage and tail feathers... I may swap the geo out for alpha planes, but it works for stubbing out the model still. :)

  • Av7xrocker97
    I think the character and Idea look great, but for some reason, I think that there's something that detracts from the presentation of a model when default 3ds max materials are applied (the colors that the objects have when you lay them out) nut that's just me. Can't wait to see it when it's all done! :)
  • MustBeDestiny
    Great idea. Are you going to keep the head separated from the body or connect it together afterwards?
  • bbob
    Really liking the flow of the shapes on this one..

    I would however maybe look into tweaking the torso a bit more, especially around the groin/stomach area. Nothing wrong with it now, I just think you could perhaps give it some more character.

    Looking forward to seeing how this turns out.
  • j4polaris
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    j4polaris polycounter lvl 13
    Finally updated! Had some work to take care of, so had to shelve him for a while.

    Screenies from Mudbox. Still stubbing in the feathers. Not sure how this is gonna turn out yet. :P



  • cmcisaac
    nice i like ur concept are you planning on sculpting in the feathers?
  • Maph
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    Maph polycounter lvl 8
    Right, absolutely loving this guy already!
  • j4polaris
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    j4polaris polycounter lvl 13
    Thanks for all the comments guys!

    @cmcisaac - My current plan is to sculpt the major feather structures, and supplement them with alpha cards. I'm still unsure how the final effect will work together, but I figure I gotta try it somehow. :)

    Updated with more plumage. I think I'm gonna see feathers in my sleep!


  • gamedev
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    gamedev polycounter lvl 12
    Hey Jason,

    It's been a long time man! This is really coming along. Feathers are coming nicely as well. What's the plan w/ the hands? Thinking about adding some cards for tufts of hair as well?

  • Rick_D
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    Rick_D polycounter lvl 12
    oh man that base mesh is cool as fuck, honestly brought a smile to my face..

    the sculpt looks a little busy though, i guess we'll see how he ends up. loving it so far.
  • j4polaris
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    j4polaris polycounter lvl 13
    Heya Tyler!
    My hope is to continue the feather line that's going along the back of his arm into the fingers, so it completes that illusion that they're both feathers and fingers. I'll probably have to do some experimenting to see how it looks.

    I was also planning on cards for the area around his neck and his eyebrows. We'll have to see how they play with the normal map.

    Thanks dude! I'm really glad people are digging his design. I'm a little concerned about his feathers becoming too busy on the model. It's a tough balance for sure! If there's one thing I've learned from this piece, it's that it's no wonder why there aren't a lot of bird-like characters in games; they're tough to make! :D
  • j4polaris
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    j4polaris polycounter lvl 13
    Update! Some additional feather details, foot detail, and initial face details.




  • j4polaris
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    j4polaris polycounter lvl 13
    Roight, so here's a more in-depth look at where I'm at as far as this guy goes...


    I tried Mudbox's paint features for the first time with this guy, and was amazed at the quality you can achieve. It was also way more intuitive painting directly on the model, as-opposed to loading up a flat image in photoshop, saving it, then updating it in Max to see the results. Mudbox also has the handy feature of being able to export your paint layers directly to a PSD file, making assembly in Photoshop extremely easy.

    After his base body textures were laid down (no specmaps yet), It was armor time.




    Armor was laid-out in 3DSMax, then off to Mudbox again for a sculpt pass.



    He's still got a ways to go still, but he's really coming together well. I'm hoping to make some more progress on him and show him off during Comic-Con this week in the hope of landing a job somewhere. Wish me luck!
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