War General WIP

For those of you that dont know, [url="www.polycount.com"]Polycount[/url] and [url="www.cgchat.com"]CgChat[/url] are having a friendly competition between themselves. The comp is to model a futuristic War General, and you've got 5000tris and 1024 worth of texture space (including normaal, bump, spec and just about whatever else you want) play with.
I've entered and joined the CgChat team, who are doing the 'good guys'.

This is my mesh so far, i'm going for a Amreaican Civil War era look, with some sci-fi mixed in, though i think most of that will come across in the texture.


I'm not entirly happy with it, and I blame that on the fact i havn't done any character modeling in almost a year, and that i havnt modeled for normal mapping before so i'm not entirly sure of what im doing.
That, and I'm that great a character modeler to start with. Still, i enjoy it and i'm not going to improve if i dont keep doing it.

There's two and a half weeks of the comp left, which means it's about time i moved onto the high poly wether i'm happy with it or not, since it's taken me this long to get the mesh done with all my other distractions. Hopefully i'll make the deadline though, even if it means comming straight home from work and barricading myself in front of my computer for the next couple of weks.[:)]

LOOM's picture

lookin good.

Makk's picture

Hah! you and Shape (eightbitnasty) are foolish in joining the sinking ship known as teamCgChat! The black and green army wil rule the universe >insert evil laugh here<

Seriously though, it looks like a good start and the texture should be good. Though maybe the torso isnt wide enough...or maybe its that the arms might be a bit thick. Not sure, have a play around with it.
And goodluck...........................cause CgChat are gonna need it!! ;) *evil dance*

eightbitnasty's picture

don't lisn't to Makk! We may look like we have some catching up to do.. but slow and steady wins the race.. and we only need one winner to dominate!


But yep I agree with Makk on the crits.. keep playing with the proportions and mass a bit for sure. Could help in giving him a bit more stature.

Delmo's picture

Good work, when modeling the low and high poly model for normal mapping avoid 90 degree angles for nicer normal maps also make sure the unwrap is best as possible.

LiveWire's picture

I'm kinda struggeling a tthe moment with normal mapping him. having never done it before i've done a few tests on spheres and mirrored and various shared texture space geometry. But by the looks of it this first attempt isnt goig ot come off to well. I think most of the areas should be fine, but a few areas - such as the sholder guards - have open edges (and basically no back) which so far has caused some pretty ugly results trying to get the normal mapping in max to work (the cage dosnt capture all the normals from the high poly, and if i extend it so it does other normals end up moved to the wrong place). can anyone offer any advice when i comes to normal mapping objects with open edges?

i'm not sure what you mean Delmo by making sure the unwrap is as best as possible - not as it relates to normal mapping. Here's my unwrap i packed last night (full version will be 1024): very little stretching and seams where they can best be hid, as i would for any model. There is a lot of things sharing texture space but hopfully this should look alright (i did the shared space normal map test prior to packing these).


At the moment it dosnt look like i'm going to get this done in time for the comp, but i'll keep trying anyway. If i dont i might finish this or perhaps do a simpler model for the purposes of getting normal mapping right before i attempt a full character with lots of bits and pieces and accessories again.

palantir's picture

I can?t offer any advice about normal mapping sorry ? I haven?t been brave enough to attempt it yet?
I just wanted to say that you?ve got a pretty nice looking model there; I really like the style he?s got going on. Tight UV packing as well. Good luck with the competition.

I'd love to see this guy when he's fully textured.

Makk's picture

Is it the low poly that has the open edges? I was told that open edges on high poly were fine..hmm could someone clear that up?
If it is the high poly could apply a shell modifer to it.
lol, being a normal map newbie myself I cant offer much in the way of help :)

codyalday's picture

Looking good Limewire, good model with a nice flow to it, good luck with the comp. For normal maping, I can't even have a chance to start it as my versionn of Max can not do it, but I hope you figure it out.

Delmo's picture

When normal mapping u can really see how well you unwrapped your model things can't overlap beside mirrored objects, but remember the normals will be inverted on the mirrored side due to how max mirrors mesh. To correct this in max you can give the mirrored polys a different material ID and in the bump slot make it -100. If your normal maps are rendering parts that you dont want you can either edit the cage manually and make sure it doesn't extent further than needed or u can detach sections of the low and high and put the normal together in photoshop. I like the look of those UVs though little space wasted.

LiveWire's picture

open edges are on the low poly model as well as the high, but i can cap it easy enough, i think it's the low poly one that'sthe problem though as that's what creates the cage. I'mthinking of capping it and moving the new UVs off the baking it and deleting the cap, but that comes off as a pretty dodgy work-around rather than a correct solution.

MoonUnit's picture

thats one tight UV map and a really good looking model too, well done

LiveWire's picture

As just mentioned in Makk's thread, i've had to give up on this entry - been to strapped for time, and staying up until 1am or so wasn't working so well when it came to getting up for work the next day. I was also out all last weekend, leaving me with a lot to do and little time to do it.

Granted, I could still finsih it anyway, dispite the comp, but instead i'm going to start another model. I havnt been very happy with this one and i want to do something less complicated for a first normal mapping attempt. In retrospect i think that neither my workflow nor model were properly suited to normal mapping, so i want to start again and get it right on something simpiler before attempting a character with complicated UV mirroring and accessories of which i wasn't sure i could rather have normal mapped or not. I'm sure i could get my general finsihed eventualy, but i think taking my lessons and starting again is a better course of action and will probably see better results.

Makk's picture

Sorry to hear that man but its understandable, believe me.
I feel pretty much the same way about my model as you did yours.

eightbitnasty's picture

hey LiveWire hope it all goes well with some new work for you.. just keep in mind that normal maps can take some adjusting if rendering out from a high poly source. Just incoorporate some cleanup/tweaking time into your workflow. Don't be too against editing the map in photoshop if things don't quite line up or if fine detail is lost (learn which colours represent up/down/left/right..).