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 Post subject: i don't like horses....
 Post Posted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 6:21 am 
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well i don't like the cliche that IS horses. so when faced with what animal pulls the apple carts i had to come up with something different

many hours later (3.5 in XSi, probably about 5 in z-brush. with many more to go before it's game engine ready) i have this thing
Image

lots of work to go. adding an eye, will actually need teeth at some point. making the claws look like claws and not the current raw polygon shape. ut i'm kind of proud of this one so far. it has an air of realism about it despite the surreal form.

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     Post Posted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 9:17 am 
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    moose o death wrote:
    it has an air of realism about it despite the surreal form.

    Yes indeed it does, nice picture. :D That back was made for pulling carts. How big is it?

    ps. I've heard of redeye, but red nostril? ;)

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     Post Posted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 11:31 am 
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    I really like it, MOD. But why does it need teeth and claws? Why shouldn't it be omnivorous or herbivorous, as all of earths draw animals are? Fodder for a herbivore is relatively easy to to come by, while the alternative, of course, can be impractical or even dangerous.

    I also like the polygons as hooves, but sometimes the unfinished item looks better than the finished product. What are your thoughts on coloring?

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     Post Posted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 12:15 pm 
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    It looks kind of like a big, beefy, toad-dog. Very nice. Once you add in the eye and maybe do something with the toes, I think it will look pretty much complete. I agree that it doesn't need teeth, but if you do decide to put some in, I would suggest making them very subtle, and possibly flat instead of pointy.

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     Post Posted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 1:32 pm 
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    DevilDan wrote:
    I really like it, MOD. But why does it need teeth and claws? Why shouldn't it be omnivorous or herbivorous, as all of earths draw animals are? Fodder for a herbivore is relatively easy to to come by, while the alternative, of course, can be impractical or even dangerous.


    It all depends on the climate.
    Dogs are quite good draw animals, and if you can't find grazing then meat is usually more compact in terms of energy/weight ratio.

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     Post Posted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 3:44 pm 
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    thanks for the replies.

    Quote:
    how big is it


    it will be roughly six foot at the shoulders. so scary big. originally designed for pulling carts (thus the huge musclemass). but an armoured war version is planned as well.

    Quote:
    ps. I've heard of redeye, but red nostril?

    hehe yeah, that's the cursor in z brush. i usually shift it someplace else before hitting printscreen

    Quote:
    I really like it, MOD. But why does it need teeth and claws? Why shouldn't it be omnivorous or herbivorous, as all of earths draw animals are? Fodder for a herbivore is relatively easy to to come by, while the alternative, of course, can be impractical or even dangerous.


    they will be pointy teeth, similar to what herbivores would have for stripping leaves from tree branches, the claws are for defence and in case the backstory gets changed, i already have an elemental prototype fire/lava version if it becomes an enemy.

    Quote:
    What are your thoughts on coloring?

    mostly annoyance so far. each scaly bump needs to be slightly different. i spent hours on that in z brush before giving up and deciding to put it off until the lo resolution model is ready. it is likely to be based on the australian water dragon. i love those guys.

    Quote:
    Dogs are quite good draw animals


    when in packs they can be, even then it's the stronger breeds like huskies. the current logic is that this guy is omnivorous favouring plant matter. the war boarog will just be angry and starved and released into crowds and avoided until their dead. the physical shape would make it hard to be ridden directly. or the saddle would be more like an armchair.

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     Post Posted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 5:20 pm 
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    Fiendishrabbit wrote:
    It all depends on the climate.
    Dogs are quite good draw animals, and if you can't find grazing then meat is usually more compact in terms of energy/weight ratio.

    Simple matter of weight ratios huh? You tellin me a 5 ounce bird can't carry a 1 pound coconut?!

    Moose: Nice pack animal. Looks to me like a reptilian and a pachyderm mix

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     Post Posted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 9:05 pm 
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    Emaria wrote:
    Fiendishrabbit wrote:
    It all depends on the climate.
    Dogs are quite good draw animals, and if you can't find grazing then meat is usually more compact in terms of energy/weight ratio.

    Simple matter of weight ratios huh? You tellin me a 5 ounce bird can't carry a 1 pound coconut?!


    What on earth are you talking about and what does i have to do with what I said?
    To clarify. If food for your draft animal isn't readily available (that is, you have to carry it with you) then meat-eaters are a better choice than herbivores as meat contains more energy per weightunit.
    There is more than a few reasons why polar expeditions favor dogs ahead of horses, but the compactness of meat as a source of energy is one of them.

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     Post Posted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 9:58 pm 
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    oh lord -_- It was a monty python reference. I forgot everyone around here are so serious business.

    Also, moose I think you did a good job with the face, it immediatly reminded me of my beardie :)

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     Post Posted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 10:48 pm 
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    i've just realised the image is cut off. if you right click and view image. you get the full bodyshot.

    i was actually using images of water dragons as reference which are the same family as the bearded dragon so i'm glad that worked out.

    and the original sketches (lost to the "do you want to save before exit?" [no]) were along the lines of a land walrus...i really missed that goal.

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     Post Posted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 2:48 am 
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    I like the idea of coloring, but perhaps you could make it even more colorful? Or at least make it a really vibrant green? Maybe it's just me, but I'm tired of a reptiles always painted so traditionally.

    Hmmm... it reminds me a bit of a bulldog-rhino mix. The pachydermous part of it is what makes me like the "hooves" it currently sports. I don't mean to be mulish, but I like it without fangs and claws.

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     Post Posted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 5:16 am 
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    OH the claws were just like a rhino's claws. not talons. they are the same shape as in this image just smoothed and with surface texture.

    to be honest the colour will be the easiest aspect to play with. when i get to that stage there's usually a few dozen variations and the best few make the cut.

    and yeah, your welcome to draw whatever inspiration you feel is appropriate there's a little bit of everything in there.

    things i had in mind include
    rhino
    elephant
    frog
    boar
    walrus
    human
    the apple cart it was modelled in front of
    pitbull (dog breed)
    water dragon

    edit: the lo-res model is ready, but uv mapping the model will take probably 9 times longer than it should...and it takes the longest to do. my blog has more information and it hasn't been updated in a month. but basicly my video card and my modelling app have a disagreement. i hadn't realised that extended to the uv editor and mapping this thing is a HUGE pita. i do this stuff as a hobby and dealing with that in my time off is a step too far. so i'll chip away at it in little chunks of nuisance until i have a result.

    the name of boarog, ref's the boar and frog influence and sort of brings to mind bullfrog so i stuck with that. muscle form is quadraped'd human muscle mass.

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     Post Posted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 5:43 am 
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    i figured i'd show them off properly.

    Image
    lo and hi res models side by side

    Image
    same again from behind

    Image
    overlay to demonstrate difference in polycount

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     Post Posted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 8:29 am 
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    looking sweet. the only thing "wrong" that i can see is that it has no teeth :P i bet its going to be a boop to animate though

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     Post Posted: Sat Oct 31, 2009 10:58 pm 
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    yes...yes it will be. i have some idea's of how to handle the envelopes but i'm not an animator.

    the normalmapped game resolution model is ready for that step though.

    i settled on the forest style reptile colour. it's not hard to try other idea's though

    Image

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     Post Posted: Sat Oct 31, 2009 11:18 pm 
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    oh those colors look really nice. I don't know much about this type of imaging but it looks like when you added color it took away a lot of the scaley texture, especially around his face.

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     Post Posted: Sat Oct 31, 2009 11:59 pm 
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    you are correct. the original is a hi polygon sculpted mesh. screen captured from z brush. a digital clay modelling program

    the most current image is a lo polygon game ready model, made in softimage7

    the hi poly model has 2.44 million triangles giving it the shape, the lo poly model has (and this is a fluke) 2450 triangles. so about 10% of the original. edit: durr, i'm clearly not a programmer and even worse at maths as 2.4thousand is 0.01% of 2.4million, NOT 10%

    in order to simulate the hi polygon models detail we use something called a normalmap. which is the recorded surface normals (which way is perpendicular to the surface) the data is recorded to every pixel in the texture. this means if the pixels don't cover the surface evenly the detail suffers.

    you've correctly identified an issue. the detail has been lost...blurred and smooshed together is slightly more accurate. the face still has all those bumps but some of them have as few as 1-2 pixels to represent a "scale" and this is not enough.

    to put it into perspective the 1024x1024 texture is 1,048,576 pixels. the original model is 2.44 million triangles. so there is less than half as many pixels to represent the original detail of the model. so some details are lost. even when i use a 2048x2048 texture some details are lost as the head of any creature you model needs more detail than the rest of the body.
    Image
    here it is again with the hi res and lo res models side by side and the lo res using a 2048x texture for the normal map. it's closer especially in the wrinkles of the eye. but at 16mb for that texture alone,the creature would take too long to load . gamers are a notoriously fickle bunch and will complain about the graphics in one game then complain about load times in others. not realising one leads to another.

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     Post Posted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 1:29 am 
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    Ah well of course. I was just looking at it and forgot I was lookin at something intended for a video game and not just a cool rendering of a lizard creature. Still lookin awesome though. Almost makes me wish I had gone into a field related to graphics instead of engineering, but then I'm sure I'd never come up with anything that cool.

    I am a notoriously fickle person about certain things in video games, probably not so much the amount of details but just certain details. I'm pretty glad you didn't pick a horse. No one can ever animate their movements correctly anyway. I don't expect game designers to go and do any great research or anything but just making it look like a realistic canter doesn't seem like it would be much harder than making it run like a donkey. And the stiff tails flying out behind the horse... ugh. (lookin at you... zelda... WoW).

    At least when you make a fictional beast there is no correct movement for horse riders/owners like me to nitpick over hehe.

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     Post Posted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 5:13 am 
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    the greater majority of game animators just use motion captured animations. only very experienced animators have the skill required to make natural movements by hand.

    something like a horse is impossibly difficult to motion capture. it would require a horse on a treadmill and all sorts of other "your doing what to my horse?" things. so horses, big animals and fictitious animals have to be hand animated.

    or in my case everything does. i don't have access to mocap equipment. and i'm truly aweful at animation. i'm going to have to learn though, until someone employs me to do this stuff, i have to do everything.

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     Post Posted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 5:59 am 
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    Looking really nice. Regarding the loss of detail on the scales; have you done an ambient occlusion bake on it? I always try to do that to get those tiny details out, especially by using it in the specular map, where I think most of the definition of the scales would have to be done.

    I really like the desing. Looks very Star Wars-esque. What's it for?
    I'd give it a tounge. A big, flabby, disgusting Jabba The Hutt-tounge. :D

    (I'm currently studying to become a game artist. I'm heading out on a six-month internship at Larian Studios in a couple of weeks. Have some stuff on http://www.psykonaut.com if anyone's interested)

    edit: Nice geometry on the lowpoly, by the way.

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