Pre-Dominance War V

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This page is the work in progress (wip) page for "Pre-Dominance War V - 3D Character" which then became for "Pre-Dominance War V - Concept Art". Essentially a progress and step by step walkthrough of my entry. The contest rules are located here: Pre-DW V - Rules

NOTE: My post in Game Artisans is usually a day ahead since I end up submitting pieces after midnight, to me, it is still the same day since it's before I go to sleep @2AM! Also this page entry gets updated weekly instead of daily. Enjoy!

Table of Content
Progress - Week1
Progress - Week2
Progress - Week3
Progress - Week4
Progress - Week5

Week 1
Day 1 - Nov. 10, 2010
After waiting anxiously since Nov 08 which I thought they were going to announce the Pre-DW V rules, they finally arrived today! Could hardly sleep during the night of course, thinking of all those awesome designs i could make and never thought about 3k tris limit. Oops!

During the train ride to and back from work, I've doodled some sketches:

I've started with some simple silhouettes. I wanted a mechanical/machine/robot race technomage. Technically it's shooting energy magic through it's devices. So with those ideas in mind, I quickly sketch down a few designs.

Hmm, I really like the design on the top left. At first, I thought maybe he could have a cloak! Then I got a bit ambitious! That's where I decided to tweak a bit.

During lunch time at work, I quickly draw down a rough design I wanted. Surprisingly it came out pretty good. At night when I came back from from work, I scanned it into the computer and uploaded online. I'm now officially participating in team Game Artisans!

Day 2 - Nov. 11, 2010
Hmm, I'm still not totally satisfied with the design, but since I have nothing better to do during those 3 hours commute to work rides, I took out my sketchbook and doodle again!

I went in and sketch down a bit more detail version during the subway ride. My ambition glands told me, hey! make it transformable like a cannon! Hmm... this should be fun rigging.

Modelling is going to be challenging. Check.
Texturing is to be challenging. Check.
Rigging is to be challenging.

This is gonna be fun and mind blowing challenging. Check. I wonder what I've gotten myself into now.

I went home and cleaned up yesterday's concept submitted piece. Refined the detail some more. I've seperated the body piece to the secondary add-on pieces so that we can see it clearer.

Day 3 - Nov 12, 2010
I guess You can I'm never satisfied until I do massive amount of explorations. That's true. I like to explore around things. During the lunch + subway ride, I did some more quick exploration sketches on this character.

Finally got back home but totally drained. I did a very rough sketch of how the back view of the character should be. I was worried about that for a decent amount of time and probably still were at the time. Submitted onto the forum in GA and time to hit the sack!

Day 4 - Nov 13, 2010
After a good long beauty sleep. I finally got around to do the detailed refinement on the character's 3/4 back view. I've also done a lot of tweaks. It took me a while to figure out what I really wanted the back to be. What kind of detail and how the joints and parts worked. I always remember of the saying: "A character should always be as interesting on the back as of the front." Doing 3/4 views not only allowed me to work on the details of the front and back, but also on the sides!

Day 5 - Nov 14, 2010
Today is break day. Went out with some friends, chilled, chatted & laughed. My social meter was really low. I had fun times! Resting and posting onto this blog today. Tomorrow I'll get started on the base mesh! My goal for this coming week is:  Get the base mesh done and unwrapped if I can!

Here's a treat! I've made the Character Concept Sheet!

Week 2
Day 6 - Nov 15, 2010

Alright I've started blocking in the shapes based on the concept I've done. I've kept it as simple as I can get, just to briefly knock in the shapes and the size. Since I don't have any orthographic view, which I totally ignored doing so. As you can see it is pretty basic and simple...

Day 7 - Nov 16, 2010
I was extremely exhausted from work that day. But I got the head done and the top part of the body too. I was debating how to build it. I've also separated the left and right side with different color.

Day 8 - Nov 17, 2010
I added the concept behind since it felt easier for me to look at it quickly and model. Also worked on the body. I think exhaustion really as caught up to me, I went to sleep 2 hours earlier than usual. Yay! 6 hours of sleep finally. At least I hope.

Day 9 - Nov 18, 2010
So finally I got some more done, blocked in the pelvis and the rings around the character. Though I was about to upload the screenshot. The model just spiked everywhere, turned 256 colors, and the video card crashed. I tired to reboot the computer but none avail. RIP. NVidia GeForced 8800 GTX, you've served me well for the last 3 years.

Day 12 - Nov 21
So being out of commission that for 2 days. I manage to quickly get another video card on the Saturday late afternon. A brand new NVidia GeForce GTS450! But went out with friends in the evening. So no work for those two days. Updated this blog today.

Week 3
Day 13 - Nov 22
So I've gone ahead and added the plates and increased the ring spans so that it's a bit nicer and rounder around the character.

Day 14 - Nov 23
After I've modeled in the wings, my fear came true, the design was too complicated for the restricted amount of polycount. Reducing the wings to 4 or 6 sided will look ridiculously bad. Though for sure even though I can reduce the wings's polycount by letting the quality suffer but it doesn't take into account that counting the legs in it would not fit under 3k polycount. So I've now decided to scratch this and start over.


Day 15 - Nov 24
The odds doesn't look good on me. Near middle of the 3rd week and I have to start over with a simpler and less ambitious design and model.
So during the subway, I've sketched this out. It turned out decently cool. It's gonna be a war general.

Day 18 - Nov 27
So, despite my friends told me to take a nice day of by doing nothing on my birthday. I... well, didn't exactly listen. ;p Instead I scanned my work in and worked on it in Photoshop. I wanted a more clear design on it.


Day 19 - Nov 28
Today's the blog update day. But also decided that I'll be joining the 2D Concept instead of 3D Character Art part of pre-Dominance War. This is pretty much me scrambling for "Plan C" which is the worst case scenario. I have exactly 1 week to finish this and my fastest way to a submitting a piece is 2D. Unfortunately it has to come to this. I'll scramble something on the subway tomorrow. ;D

Week 4
Day 20 - Nov 29
So I've scrambled something during my subway ride to and from work. What I wanted is a war general with an army of corrupted at his disposal. A general needs its army right? So the war general wasn't something I really had the problem coming up with. However, the corrupted it something totally new to me. So I had spent a fair deal of time trying to come up with something I'd like.



So today, I've officially switched from the 3D character competition to 2D concept art.

Day 21 - Nov. 30
 Here I've refined a bit to how I really want the war general to be like. My vision of him surely has to be one badass character that no one really wants to mess with. So being evil type of war general he is, he has wields both a spear with a flag attached that raises the moral of his troops and sword that cuts through his opponents.
 After all those sketches of a corrupted, i finally decided to nail on this design. So I've quickly drawn out the design of it. They are one monster that their opponents will have a lot of trouble facing. Multiple limbs that has a jaw attached as well as the center of its body is also a giant jaw! It has strong legs to support such body. This unit is medium armored with a decent speed! Watch out!
So finally, I always imaged the war general to be leading the army of corrupted sending them off to attack in the front line. We are ready for WAR!!!

Day 22 - Dec. 1
I'm glad someone slapped me on the face (well not literally) and told me not to forget that this competition is mainly for us to design 2 "main" characters. The corrupted shouldn't be left out as a little spawn. So I've decided it change the composition and supersized the corrupted into a badass corrupted!

Day 23-26 - Dec. 5
Omg, an extention has been announced. And yet... I'm still not done! I gotta hurry! I have exactly 2 more nights to finish this! Here I've went in to refine and render the characters, as well as I changed the composition a bit more. It looks like I still have a fair bit of work to do! Looking at the thumbnail now, there are various parts I have to improve and fix! Week 5 will be only 2 days!

Week 5
Day 27 - Dec. 6

Changed around the values of the picture. As well as detailed up the background and such.

Day 28 - Dec. 7

Added the first wash of colors. I hope it fits better now.

Day 29 - Dec. 8

Changed the look the corrupted creature, it looked too silly with that face on. We'll see how it goes.

Day 36 - Dec. 15
Last day of entry. I don't remember quite remember what I did in-between but there are some changes here and there I'm sure of it. But alas, the competition came to an end and here is the submitted entry for my ever Dominance War competition!

Final Note: I can't believe I managed to pull it off despite the full time work + commute + mid way crisis that had I had to restart! I still have a long way to go and lots to learn off from other people.