Thursday, October 25, 2012

My Main Man Max

I got pretty far with Michel Roger’s tutorial on making a human model in 3DS Max. Pictured here is my progress as of ten days ago. Unfortunately, Monsieur Roger did not explain how to make proper feet with toes. I’m sure I can figure that out on my own, but at this point, I realized that I need not go through all the trouble. There is a free and open source application called Make Human that allows you to configure human models to a variety of shapes, sizes, and ethnicities. With it, I can create a medium-res base mesh in minutes then adjust it in 3DS Max and ZBrush. From there, I can make clothes and accessories to suit whatever character I need.

My time spent in following the tutorial was not wasted, however. I learned a number of techniques that I have since applied to make other models. Even though Make Human is available for free, I highly recommend Monsieur Roger’s tutorial to anyone who wants to learn more about 3D modeling.

Monday, October 15, 2012

I Wanna Mold Your Hand

The two most difficult parts of the human body to draw or sculpt are the head and the hands. Having completed the former entirely within 3DS Max, I proceeded to do the latter. Truth to tell, the tutorial that I followed does not show how to model hands per se, but it does show how to model gloves. Pictured here is the fruit of my labor. Without the wrinkles and other surface bumps that characterize real hands, the model that I created looks like it fell off a mannequin. Regardless, what’s important to me is to have a base mesh that I can texture later. This hand model that I produced is more than adequate for that purpose.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Making a Man in Max

For the past three weeks, I’ve been trying to make a base human male model in 3DS Max. I had always used ZBrush to make human or humanoid models in the past, but I was never really satisfied with the geometry I came up with. They were always a haphazard mess of ill-placed vertices, especially in tight places such as between the fingers or toes. Consequently, I decided to make my base model using only 3DS Max.

I have a couple of books in my personal library that show how to make human models, but I had difficulty following them for various reasons. It wasn’t until I came across Michel Roger’s Joan of Arc tutorial that I finally made progress. The tutorial is still not all that easy for me to follow because it was originally written in French, and the English translation isn’t all that clear. Also, the tutorial explains how to make a manga-style girl, whereas I wanted to make a realistic-looking man. Nevertheless, it is a testament to how good the tutorial is that I was able to come up with the head shown in this blog post.

That reminds me… Time to change my avatar.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Jupiter: Character Design

Meet Jupiter, the ultimate boss in my upcoming game. Whereas the character design that I made for Ra took me a few days to finish, my design for Jupiter was done in a matter of hours. I had a pretty good feel for what Jupiter would be like as an opponent, which is evident in my concept art.

Like all the Roman gods, Jupiter appears as a marble relief, which makes him tough to destroy. Being the end-game boss, Jupiter is especially strong and sturdy. His head is small, relative to his body, which gives the impression that he is a giant of a man. His thunderbolts, forged for him by the god Vulcanus, are the most lethal weapons in the entire game.

Even when fighting, Jupiter retains a merry disposition. After all, the word “jovial” was taken from Jove, another name that Jupiter is known by. His appearance and demeanor were inspired in part by Brian Blessed, whose roles in Flash Gordon, Henry V, and the Blackadder comedy series left an indelible impression in my mind.

Jupiter’s huge arms are clearly discernible in his silhouette. His overall shape is like a pillar, which evokes strength and durability. For all intents and purposes, Jupiter is immune to direct attacks. Players will have to figure out how to defeat him. (And since I haven’t designed the boss battles yet, so will I.)