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Lowpoly Arm Contest! Improve yourself! Win stuff! Exclamation!

polycounter lvl 13
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Snader polycounter lvl 13
TL;DR: Make a lowpoly (under 200 ▲) arm before the 12th, and win Portal 2: the final hours.

[excuse me if this is in the wrong place - I know there's the LPC forum but AFAIK that's only for official polycount challenges. you can move this if necessary]

Before I went on vacation I challenged people in the lowpoly thread to push their boundaries and make an arm within a limit of 200 polygons - and make it as detailed as possible. My post wasn't very clear however, and lacking in some important information. Such as... a deadline. In this thread I will clarify a bit, and I will also accept the entries. So with further ado, the challenge:

MAKE YOUR BEST LOWPOLY ARM
Nowadays we're hardly bound by polygon limits - even cellphones nowadays are becoming pretty powerful. But that doesn't mean that lowpoly is gone. First of all not all devices are fast yet. Secondly there are games like RTS which have tonnes of things on screen. And lastly - lowpoly is a very fun and educational experience.

I've learned that, often, the best way to improve is to push yourself. To go outside of your comfort zone. To try and work within very limited constraints. So that's what I challenge you to do. Take the narrow limit of 200 triangles and make a fully-featured arm!


ABOUT THE ARM
-it is humanoid, but does not have to be 100% human.
-you may use accessories like sleeves or bracelets, but remember the main goal is to make an arm.
-consists of at least a shoulder, upper arm, lower arm (and thus elbow joint) and a hand with 4 fingers + a thumb.
-make the shoulder so it fits on a torso/sleeveless shirt. Like these:
images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQRQFBfV_FOle8orcRYDQcsAdJ7QzYkTYkneAZKbkpux6pdZfdXimages?q=tbn:ANd9GcRDmtJbM7RP1kOIG4x0PqKJsIvwIopxuKA23A4tj-07SwCRmDCRimages?q=tbn:ANd9GcTb2v_YaT_Eg-wttfP8nrE64LEchX2HwzM1RMeE0xAbI4o1qQ1FVAimages?q=tbn:ANd9GcSJQkkmu8Q7EvE7qmsduWJ2IZmBAvYACY7JwplfvwVn1GmqIey3


TECHNICAL STUFF
-polygon limit is 200 triangles. You may of course use less, but aim for lots of detail.
-the arm will have to be 1 continuous mesh. Accessories such as bracelets may be separate models.
-allowed textures: diffuse, alpha. Trying to keep the focus on modeling.
-no texture size limit, but I urge you to think realistic - a 128² is reasonable, but you can also use a 512² and only use a strip of it as if it were a whole character sheet.


HOW TO ENTER
-post a silhouette and a wireframe (like this) from several angles. A spinning *.gif would be great for these. The wireframe may use vertex colors, the silhouette needs to be 1 flat color.
-post an 'ingame' version with lighting and textures if you have them. Consider this your beauty shot.
-none of these images should use AA or raytracing. All simple viewport stuff.
-if you have a texture, post the flats as well.


ABOUT THE JUDGING/PRIZES
-deadline is Sunday the 11th. This gives you the weekend to finish up.
-the focus will be on modeling: polygon flow, animatability, silhouette and amount of detail.
-but you can definitely score some bonus points with texture, style, originality and presentation.
-I will choose at least one winner, possibly more (depends on amount of entries)
-I will then P.M. the winner(s) and gift them the item via their Steam account or via Email
-If you already have Portal 2: the final hours, a game of the same price will be gifted instead.

So in short:
~a complete arm
~in 200 triangles or less
~at least post a silhouette and a wireframe.
~???
~profit!

if anything is still confusing/unclear - ask!

Replies

  • AsherOS
    I'm not good enough to enter, but I am curios to see what people make.
  • nightshade
    are the accessories part of the total poly count?
  • Snader
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    Snader polycounter lvl 13
    AsherOS - Everyone is good enough to enter. This is about trying to push yourself, remember?

    nightshade - yes. Accessories are to be within the 200 tri limit.
  • [Deleted User]
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    [Deleted User] insane polycounter
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • Gorman
    @TeriyakiStyle: When I saw your post I thought "wow that is really awesome", and then I saw the animation, and I saw the... unusual... finger movements an thought "wow this guy just may be insane". The textures and model are gorgeous anyway :) But the animation is creepy.

    I'll give this a shot!
  • gilesruscoe
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    gilesruscoe polycounter lvl 10
    TeriyakiStyle, The model needs to have all 5 fingers like Snader said, not merged :P
  • Cap Hotkill
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    Cap Hotkill polycounter lvl 10
    Im going to Join the Low poly arm Bandwagon,I will post pictures of mine in a couple of hours ^^
  • [Deleted User]
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    [Deleted User] insane polycounter
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  • makecg
    REALLY FAST BRAH.

    cool I want to try my 'hand' at this one
  • gilesruscoe
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    gilesruscoe polycounter lvl 10
    Made this in like 5mins when snader first mentioned it a week back or so, didn't save the file so i can't improve it now >.> oh well :D

    armpic.jpg
    armtt.gif
  • Cap Hotkill
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    Cap Hotkill polycounter lvl 10
    Here goes mine.

    newpresentation.png

    f1b88.gif

    Sorry, I had to repost the images, I forgot AA was not allowed.
  • yodude87
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    yodude87 polycounter lvl 5
    cool contest, some nice stuff coming along :D im no char artist, but im curious to see the other results!
  • Snader
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    Snader polycounter lvl 13
    TeriyakiStyle - like someone said before: 5 fingers. Props for going the distance and animation, but I really wanna see more detail in the model.

    gilesruscoe - I think the finger joint loops might be overkill. Too bad you lost the file (but you can make a completely new one, you've got over a week left ;)

    Cap Hotkill - looks good, but you're lacking a bit in the shoulder department. Pretty realistic result so far though (perhaps the nails need a bit different texture).
  • [Deleted User]
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    [Deleted User] insane polycounter
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  • gilesruscoe
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    gilesruscoe polycounter lvl 10
    Cheers snader, might remake it if i find some time, :P

    Capt, i think the finger joints are inside out? surely you should have collapsing geo on the inside of a bend?
  • Cap Hotkill
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    Cap Hotkill polycounter lvl 10
    @ Gilesruscoe: You might be right. I don't know, I never made any animation works, so I could be wrong.

    @ Snader: I made a little rework some hours ago just before i posted that, I will post the model with the elbow and painted nails ;P.

    EDIT: here is the reworked version with Elbow and new finger nail colour.
    Now it sits exactly at 200 polygons.

    newmv.png
  • Snader
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    Snader polycounter lvl 13
    Here's some inspiration for everyone.

    The world's first lowpoly hand: made by Pixar in 1972.
    http://vimeo.com/16292363
  • Cap Hotkill
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    Cap Hotkill polycounter lvl 10
    Hehehe, Nice video, Funny how some topologies were not that bad in that time :)
  • gilesruscoe
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    gilesruscoe polycounter lvl 10
    ohh stickied! awesome
  • Xaltar
    Nice work Cap, you have come a long way mate, great stuff.

    Here is mine, I will see about texturing it before the deadline.

    armpl.jpg
    arm.gif

    The goal was to create a hand with each finger having the correct number of joints with acceptable deformation on both hand and arm within the 200 tri budget. Pretty fun challenge, forced me to think about every single tri in the mesh. Great idea Snader.

    [edit] how do I upload a working animated GIF? all my attempts result in just the first frame being shown.

    Installed dropbox and that sorted me :)
  • gilesruscoe
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    gilesruscoe polycounter lvl 10
    looks pretty good Xaltar! some textures would be awesome to see if you find the time, i guess this could become the "How you model dem shapes" thread but for low poly topology? Would be helpful.
  • Cap Hotkill
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    Cap Hotkill polycounter lvl 10
    Thanks Xaltar, long time not seen, its good to see you around mate :)
  • Xaltar
    Thanks guys, updated a little with better proportions and better optimised geo.
    @Cap, yeah havn't had much time for 3d for a while, hopefully will be on more now.
  • achillesian
    still like my original, so didnt change it

    FGDlz.png
  • Slaught
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    Slaught polycounter lvl 16
    Does it have to be a males arm?
  • Cap Hotkill
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    Cap Hotkill polycounter lvl 10
    Well, the references are from males, no?
  • Snader
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    Snader polycounter lvl 13
    No, the arm doesn't have to be male, or even 100% human. The reference images are to indicate what (in my opinion) constitutes an arm. Everything up to the shirt has to be made.
  • butt_sahib
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    butt_sahib polycounter lvl 11
    Great job everyone!! :)

    Question, snader; why do you have set the requirements to include ALL five seperate fingers?
  • Vrav
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    Vrav polycounter lvl 11
    Haha, fingers... I apparently don't know how to read, but since the spirit of Polycount is participation and self-improvement over conformism here's my random go at this. Probably not the most optimized, just felt like doing the challenge.

    200triarm_wip0_turnaround.gif

    200triarm_wip0.png
  • phanthanhtruc
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    phanthanhtruc polycounter lvl 8
    Hi guy! :) What an interesting contest and I think it could be great for me ^^ So I decided to model and texture my arm :) This is my entry, so hope you guy like it :P


    entryy.jpg
  • makecg
    nice yours is awesome.

    guess i am just playing with tattoos here is mine. I am not a low poly expert.

    lowpolyarmf.jpg
    lowpolyarm_textures.jpg
  • fabio brasilien
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    fabio brasilien polycounter lvl 11
    I haven´t seen this thread! And there is a deadline...I have to fix mine :)
  • jbh3d
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    jbh3d polycounter lvl 9
    Here's my contribution. Didn't realize how hard it is to get detail into a 128x map! The process to paint out seams with 2 UV map channels was fun to learn as well. If there are better ways to accomplish seam-killing, I'd love to know. Cheers.
  • Leyto
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    Leyto polycounter lvl 7
    Hi all ! nice contributions so far :) and loving phanthanhtruc's texturing work (even if it's modeling comp above all).

    Here's my (virtual) arm :\ with a little "venusian texturing" test

    comporender.jpg

    It's exactly 200 tris.
  • Snader
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    Snader polycounter lvl 13
    Butt-Sahib - Because of several reasons. In short:
    -because the challenge was based on this model
    -lowpoly people get more detail in their models, with the same budget.
    -highpoly people learn to prioritize and conserve polygons (this is a skill that some schools forget about)
    -everyone gets to push themselves a bit more, and get better.
    -it's easier for me to judge
    -it'll give some nice things to analyze

    It started out as a challenge to improve on a model in the Low Poly thread, which had 5 fingers. I could have removed that aspect in the contest. But I wanted to keep the 5 fingers to push people beyond their comfort zone a bit. Making a mitt-hand in 200▲ is a piece of cake, making one with fingers is more challenging. But entirely possible, as shown by all the entries.

    It will improve people's lowpoly modeling. Those that would normally be okay with 200 tris for a mitt-hand, are now making complete fingers. This means that other parts of their arm will have to be more optimized. So in the future, they can make a mitt-hand with almost the same visual quality, in only 150 triangles.

    For those that normally do lowpoly and simplified hands only, this is a chance to get acquainted with fingers and thumbs, which could lead them to try a current-gen character at some point. Besides, the industry is moving fast and in a few years even phones can render 1000▲+ characters. (yes, some can do that now, but I'm talking 'average' phones)

    Those that normally do console-spec art will now have very few polygons to work with, so they really have to focus on making a nice silhouette. I believe silhouette is one of the most important aspects of a character, and as such - making good silhouettes is a crucial skill.

    And to be entirely honest, it's my first time judging and it's easier to judge 3 finger-hands against eachother than 1 mitt, 1 fistblock and 1 fingerhand. Next time I do a challenge like this there'll probably a bit more freedom.

    Also, since starting the thread I have become curious to see what kind of solutions people come up with to have 5 fingers, but enough polygons for some nice muscles. It seems most people take the straightforward route and make 5 4-sided fingers with 3 digits on each - something that's quite costly.

    It would be interesting to see individual people come up with their own ways to get the same visual detail at a lower price. I've found one way, but I'm sure there are more. In fact, I've already seen one.

    So this is also a sort of research. What problems arise from a low polycount? How do people handle these problems? Are there solutions that can be applied to multiple situations? And to gather a variety of hands and arms and analyze them (this will take a while though). I'd also like to add some of these arms to the Wiki, if the creators agree.

    So basically, it started as a sillyness, but then grew into more.
  • Cap Hotkill
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    Cap Hotkill polycounter lvl 10
    Good explanation Snader, I would be honoured is my arm ended in a Wiki, so you have my permission if you need to do it. ^^
  • Xaltar
    Another version of mine, 185 tris and I could drop that further to 177 if I removed one of the finger joints on each finger. I'll try push it a lil more and see if I can hit the 150 mark just for shits and giggles but this is my entry.

    Image4.jpg

    Thanks for the mini comp Snader, definately been fun.

    [edit]
    Here it is as 150 tris but as I said, my goal was to have all the joints so this is just for fun.

    Image5.jpg
  • skylebones
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    skylebones polycounter lvl 10
    Sounds like a fun challenge and good practice. Wanted it to look like one of those 80's action figure arms.
    Low_Poly_Arm1.jpg
  • Snader
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    Snader polycounter lvl 13
    So it's monday now. No more entries will be accepted from now on, and I'll start thinking about winners and stuff.
  • 9skulls
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    9skulls polycounter lvl 10
    So... Who won?
  • Leyto
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    Leyto polycounter lvl 7
    I think he ran away with the prize :shifty:
  • achillesian
    what a waste of a sticky
  • Snader
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    Snader polycounter lvl 13
    Haha, no I haven't ran off.

    You're right though, 9Skulls. This is taking too long (I'm still writing the article - I'm not a great writer but I want it to be a good read) so I'll hand out the prizes now. People shouldn't have to wait more than a month to find out what happened. I'll separate writings from winnings in the future.

    Without further ado:

    The self-improvement prize goes to Justin Hrala,
    because he "took this as an opportunity to explore seam elimination techniques" which is a step beyond what I asked, and seam-elimination is a very useful skill in all projects. So he's making the most of his time, very efficient.

    Furthermore, his model was decent (not too fond of the shoulder, but it works well enough) with nice fingers, that allow for a silhouette with 3 phalanges, while saving triangles on the inside of the hand.

    The texture is okay, though rather yellow, and does it's job. It could have been better, but the main goals of this challenge were modeling and self-improvement.



    The best-model prize goes to Phan Thanh Truc
    I'm really liking the shapes on this mesh. The shoulder is nice, full and round, and even properly separated from the biceps and triceps. I also like the mild downward bulge of the upper arm.

    The fingers, and in particular the thumb, feel a bit thin and spindly, but the topology of them is still okay. They would also have benefited from fingers like Justin's, but that wouldn't have fit inside the budget along with the bracelets.

    While the texture quality isn't great, and rather pixely/blocky (a compression error perhaps?) it does show nice musculature, and has a fair amount of detail. The bracelets could use some shading on the bottom side. A clever way to hide the texture seam between the arm and hand, though.
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