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District 9 Mech - WIP

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polycounter lvl 13
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Quack! polycounter lvl 13
As Rise of the Triad comes to a close I actually get to work on personal projects! I have wanted to tackle the unique District 9 mech for it's combination of curves and hard angles for some time now.

Google images of the District 9 Mech

I plan on making this the centerpiece of my new folio, so I want to get ultra detailed with it's various parts.

I am shooting for this PS4/X1/GamingPC specs on this. ~50k triangles and two to four sets of 2048x2048 textures.

I started with an initial blockout:
district_9_mech_blockout2.jpg

And also started detailing parts of the head:
d9high_1.jpg

Please critique the shit out of this as I progress. Hope you enjoy!

Replies

  • silkroadgame
  • CarelessMonday
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    CarelessMonday polycounter lvl 9
    Dayum! The head is looking really nice, what programs and tools are you using?, I really want to have a go at some hard-surface along the lines of a mech or robot.
  • Quack!
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    Quack! polycounter lvl 13
    Silkroadgame - Thanks!

    Careless - I use 3DS Max 2012. No special tools, just the max ones.

    Updated the head. Reproportioned it to fit the blockout better. There are a few things here and there that are bugging me, but I think I'll move on to an am for now.

    district_9_mech_high_2.jpg
  • mospheric
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    mospheric polycounter lvl 9
    You have some really impressive details in there! Unfortunately I think the shape of the head isn't quite right. Your head appears too blocky, while the head in the film tapers more toward the face, giving it an insect-like quality.

    1251265595181.jpg

    Not sure how close you are trying to stick to the design. Can't wait to see more though!
  • Quack!
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    Quack! polycounter lvl 13
    Aha! Thanks for pointing that image out. I am trying to stick very close, but have been looking at most close ups of the head. Now that I am looking at the image you posted, which I have, my head currently is far to large and needs to be scaled down.

    As far as the taper you talk about, it is very tapered, the angle is just covering that up.

    Thanks for the critique that helps!
  • sargentcrunch
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    sargentcrunch polycounter lvl 8
    Wow this looks amazing! Nice hard surface work. I loved the mech scenes in this movie, can't wait to see this done! Where did you hear those specs for ps4? Are they just an estimate, or do you work in the industry and thats what is considered fine for ps4?
  • Brygelsmack
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    Brygelsmack polycounter lvl 8
    Nice start! This reminds me of my teacher's D9 suit he made.

    [ame=" 9 exo suit WIP - YouTube[/ame]

    Looking forward to see your go at it.
  • MichalKus
    Looks very nice man - I think I like that blocky feel - looks rough and functional. I would change it only if you want to make it 100% the same like in them movie.
  • Quack!
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    Quack! polycounter lvl 13
    Wow this looks amazing! Nice hard surface work. I loved the mech scenes in this movie, can't wait to see this done! Where did you hear those specs for ps4? Are they just an estimate, or do you work in the industry and thats what is considered fine for ps4?

    I am the Lead 3D artist for Rise of the Triad, so I had to set all of the tricounts and texture limits. I did research to get a grasp of what the big boys were doing with consoles and PC.
    Drake from uncharted is 30k tris with no lods for example. So 'hero' characters on old hardware could have a ton of triangles.
    The latest Killzone:Shadow Fall tech talk says their enemy characters have 40k tris for lod0 and 6(!) 2048 textures ( which I assume is a combination of greyscale mask textures and RGB textures packed down). Those enemies would appear in multiples on screen, so 40k was probably a conservative count to ensure little slowdown. I bet a one off hero character on the next consoles can hit 60-70k triangles no problem depending on how detailed the object is and how well tessellation will help the detail.

    So I figured that I could get away with 6-8 texture samples at 2048 and about 50k triangles no problem. This will not be a hard limit though. If I need 60 or 70k tris, I am going to use them, if I only need 30k then thats all I will use. I will do a test bake, but I will probably end up using a 2048x4096 texture as this mech is 12 feet tall and very detailed. My goal is to match cinematic quality but have it able to be in real time.

    Brygelsmack - Nice, looks like he put alot of effort into that beast.

    MichalKus - I am going to follow Weta's design very close, as they did a great job balancing the details and making a unique looking mech. With that said, I am basing my proportions mostly on the movie stills, but alot of the details in the drawings and concepts are much cooler then the mech in the movie, so I am adding those. For the most part though I want the proportions to match 90%+.

    Thanks for the comments. Another update later tonight!
  • sargentcrunch
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    sargentcrunch polycounter lvl 8
    Thanks for the response, man, 40k for enemy characters, I like the sound of that! haha
  • Goten-trunk
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    Goten-trunk polycounter lvl 9
    looks amazing cant wait to see more, keep it up
  • polygoo
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    polygoo polycounter lvl 12
    Awesome so far
  • FuzzYspo0N
    Just remember that the numbers mentioned are usually per project and per purpose. With Drake, they focus on really great cinematics in the faces, and animations, the body is much lower than the face in density etc.

    drake_head_wire.jpg
    drake_body_wire.jpg
  • Quack!
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    Quack! polycounter lvl 13
    FuzzYspo0N wrote: »
    Just remember that the numbers mentioned are usually per project and per purpose. With Drake, they focus on really great cinematics in the faces, and animations, the body is much lower than the face in density etc.

    http://www.rd3d.com/coppermine/albums/userpics/10001/drake_head_wire.jpg
    http://www.rd3d.com/coppermine/albums/userpics/10001/drake_body_wire.jpg

    I absolutely agree. This mech I believe warrants the same treatment as Drake, in relative terms of focus. It is a one off mech that will never have more then 1 on screen. It is the climax of the movie and thus should be given highest priority, next to Wickus and the prawn. I believe that because of it's 'hero' status, that it would warrant such a huge budget in the upcoming generation.

    Goten-Trunk - Thanks for the kind words.

    Polygoo - Thanks! Also, your work is a major source of inspiration!

    I should have a major update in a few hours if my son cooperates!
  • Quack!
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    Quack! polycounter lvl 13
  • Brygelsmack
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    Brygelsmack polycounter lvl 8
    Definitely some really cool mechanical work there mate. Keep it up!
  • Josh Mount
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    Josh Mount polycounter lvl 6
    Hey, Nick. Looking good buddy. Any chance I can get you to post some wires? :) It's always helpful for me to see how others approach complex shapes. Thanks.
  • bcottage
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    bcottage polycounter lvl 9
    beautiful, what shader/material are you using?
  • Simmo
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    Simmo polycounter lvl 8
    Having seen what you're capable of with this sort of thing Nick I'm really excited to see this progress. Looks amazing so far man! :)
  • Josh Mount
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    Josh Mount polycounter lvl 6
    bcottage wrote: »
    beautiful, what shader/material are you using?

    I'm going to guess and say a blinn like material with a few colored lights at different angles lighting the scene.
  • ayoub44
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    ayoub44 polycounter lvl 10
    Keep it up , this gonna be awesome
  • Quack!
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    Quack! polycounter lvl 13
    Josh Mount wrote: »
    Hey, Nick. Looking good buddy. Any chance I can get you to post some wires? :) It's always helpful for me to see how others approach complex shapes. Thanks.

    I'll post some wires for you tomorrow bud!
    bcottage wrote: »
    beautiful, what shader/material are you using?
    It is very simple. 3DS Max 2012, Nitrous viewport. The material is a Standard blinn, Specular set to 100 and gloss set to 20-40(varies) Softshadows and AO turned on. 3 Point light setup. Key light is pure white set to 1.0 and above and at an angle to the subject, fill light is orange and set to .4 and down low and on the same side as key, back light is strong blue set to 1.0 and on the opposite side of key. I play with the position of each light until they fall where I want them to, then go to the material and adjust the gloss value up and down till it looks the best.
    Simmo wrote: »
    Having seen what you're capable of with this sort of thing Nick I'm really excited to see this progress. Looks amazing so far man! :)
    Thank you sir! I hope to surpass the NME by leaps and bounds!

    Brygelsmack and Ayoub44 - Thanks for the kind words.

    Update time: Scaled the head down a bit. Detailed the arm. Will probably do another 'wire' pass at the end, to finalize those details.
    district_9_mech_armhigh_2.jpg
  • Quack!
  • Dimsane
    Amazing work ! Am also working on a District 9 gun but it looks so cheap while looking at your stuff :p. Also, I am about 18k for that and you are talking to do this in 50k, maybe I am a bit high.

    I am a bit surprise by the texture count, for xbox one we worked a lot with atlas and big texture. And use greyscale remind me my works on ps2 haha, but I guess its just a choice and nothing is wrong in using bigger texture expect if you use texture streaming.

    Anyway, I can't wait to see you baked model.
  • Josh Mount
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    Josh Mount polycounter lvl 6
    Quack! wrote: »
    Josh Mount: Here are some wires for you:
    Thanks Nick. I dropped you PM.
  • bcottage
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    bcottage polycounter lvl 9
    Thankyour for explaining the material and lighting set up :). I have always wanted to do a mech, maybe ill do one for my 3rd year project :)
  • Quack!
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    Quack! polycounter lvl 13
    After a short break to get other work done, I am back at this.

    I have the majority of the legs done. Need to do another detail / proportion pass on it, but am burnt out of them for now. Will revisit them to fix any issues you guys come up with.

    I am detailing these based on the concepts (from the Art Of D9 Book) and not the movie stills, the concepts had much cooler shapes that were not retained in the movie model.
    Crit dat shit!

    district_9_mech_legshigh_1.jpg
  • Mambes
  • Quack!
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    Quack! polycounter lvl 13
    Thanks mambes!

    Not a huge update, but an update none the less. Blocking in the body proportions, no details added there yet.

    Chris Pollit (Mask_Salesman) pointed out some pretty major proportion issues that I have not resolved in this version yet. I will be making some major adjustments to give it a bulkier feel that is not there.

    district_9_mech_body_1.jpg
  • BI0PREDAT0R
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    BI0PREDAT0R polycounter lvl 5
    looking sweet man
  • Quack!
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    Quack! polycounter lvl 13
    Thanks biopredator!

    Update: Still have tons of details to do on the body, need more work on the shoulders. And more proportion fixes are in line.

    district_9_mech_details1.jpg
  • StrongRum
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    StrongRum polycounter lvl 6
    This is looking sweet! Really nice details... You going to take into zbrush to add some damage, scratches etc?
  • 3Dyan
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    3Dyan polycounter lvl 9
    Love watching this thing progress.
    I can only imagine how it's going to look like finished.

    Keep it up, dude!
  • Quack!
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    Quack! polycounter lvl 13
    StrongRum wrote: »
    This is looking sweet! Really nice details... You going to take into zbrush to add some damage, scratches etc?

    Thanks! And no to zbrush. I will just do any of the small details like scratches and bullet impacts in photoshop and nDo2.


    Thanks 3Dyan!
  • Quack!
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    Quack! polycounter lvl 13
    So close to getting this done.

    I need to work on some shoulder proportions. Add a bunch of cable bundles to the shoulder areas. Balance the chest proportions a bit. Then go in and add all of the underlying greebles and cables.

    district_9_mech_all_1.jpg
  • demilich
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    demilich polycounter lvl 8
    this mech is cool!
  • iniside
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    iniside polycounter lvl 6
    Very nice work. I have been also work on mid-poly asset for game recently (although I can't really show it right now). Stormsword tank, and right now it's floating around 80k tris. If someone wonder it's not for game, just personal project (;.

    50k tris is not much. If we look at star citizen, space fighters have about 300k and characters 100k.
    If this going to be big piece, that is not replicated bazylion of times per frame, then modeling details into mdodel instead of using normal map is very good idea. Especially if we are talking about next gen, where using tilebale maps nad PBR is common thing (or at least will be).
  • Quack!
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    Quack! polycounter lvl 13
    NECRO BUMP!!!!!!

    Thanks Demilich and Iniside.

    After getting settled in at the new job and moving across the country I am ready to get back at this guy. I started to tackle the assault rifle even though the mech still needs some details. More to come soon!

    district_9_assault_rifle_high1.jpg
  • wizo
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    wizo polycounter lvl 12
    awesome modeling man, one thing tho, for presentation, maybe having the background a very different color from the model, just so we can see all that awesome silouette more!
  • Mossbros
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    Mossbros polycounter lvl 7
    I'm so envious of your hard surface modeling skills, how the hell do you make those holes within the geometry and still maintain such a nice flow to the mesh?

    Is there pre planning or is it a method you use?
  • Quack!
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    Quack! polycounter lvl 13
    Wizo - That is a great suggestion, I hadn't even payed attention to that! Thanks.

    Well Mossbros, 2 things!

    First, if you are doing this for a production environment under a strict deadline, I would not model stuff like that in. I would generally float the detail about the high poly. This makes it much easier to maintain that edge flow and is much faster.

    WIth that said, because this is a personal project, I just went ahead and modeled them in so that the screen shots look nice with no floaters, heh. To maintain the edgeflow I just use my understanding of how to terminate edges and still have no smoothing errors, something you learn over time of making hard surface models. This isn't just one technique, but a small collection of them.
  • Quack!
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    Quack! polycounter lvl 13
    Picking away at this thing when I have time!

    district_9_assault_rifle_high2.jpg
  • Quack!
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    Quack! polycounter lvl 13
    Update, working my way towards the back:

    district_9_assault_rifle_high3.jpg
  • Gazu
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    Gazu polycounter lvl 8
    Hey Quack, nice work so far!
    How long did you model?

    This Mesh remembers me a bit of LoneWolfs Transformer Robot :)
    https://yaron-levi.squarespace.com/transformers-grimlock/

    Keep it up! :)
  • Quack!
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    Quack! polycounter lvl 13
    Thanks Gazu!

    I have probably spent around 80 hours or so on the Mech+Gun. I am moving slower then I would normally because this is a personal project. Overdetailing many things.

    :]
  • Sims_doc
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    Sims_doc triangle
    This is actually rather good, I haven't seen any D9 models with such detail beyond the machine gun you're currently working on a Fallout NV Mod. I think its only fair to ask you planning to release theses models whether it be commercial or open?
  • tremulant
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    tremulant polycounter lvl 12
    Simply amazing work here. Thanks for sharing!
  • Quack!
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    Quack! polycounter lvl 13
    Thanks sims_doc!

    In the back of my mind I really want to do a full web based unity scene with skyshop and the environment I plan on building around this character. I am not sure if I will go that far with it, but I do hope too.

    Tremulant - Thanks!
  • Quack!
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    Quack! polycounter lvl 13
    Update: High finished and in Toolbag2!

    district_9_assault_rifle_high4front.jpg
    district_9_assault_rifle_high4bottom.jpg
    district_9_assault_rifle_high4rear.jpg
  • coresplendor
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    coresplendor polycounter lvl 4
    That is a cool looking weapon for sure, it looks very clean and well made. Some wires would be nice too. Anyway, love it! Keep it up!
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