Tag Archives: 3d

Been a while

With two weeks off for a family holiday i’ve had a rather long break from any 3d nonsense so its time to get myself in gear. Following a jump back into work i’ve been too knackered to do too much these last few evenings but two hours this evening has got me blocking out some basics for a scene. I’ve sketched out some ideas on (digital) paper but this is my first start on 3d. Nothing major yet…

Good evening Dr Jones

I’m in a bit of mental freefall at the moment. Its rather busy at work at the moment leading up to several events in Europe so I’ve been rather knackered lately meaning I’ve been unable to catch up with some of my personal projects. The Babylon 5 job is still ongoing with a new task in the pipeline but i’m currently sketching stuff out on paper before kicking that off. In the meantime I’ve been kicking around a little pet project I started a few weeks ago and have only spent a few hours on. I stumbled across the blog of Otis Frampton some time ago but can’t remember when or how. Its one of quite a few in my RSS and I alway enjoy adding new blogs to my feed to browse through in the evening or at lunch time. About a month ago he started posting some drawings based on an Indiana Jones story “The Commandos of Operation Plato” (got the right name this time) and when he posted a rather nice character turn I thought ‘why not’.
sadly it started to languish in WIP hell on my HD but fortunately I was spurred on by a recent post showing a custom figure the original turn was drawn for and by a sudden desire to push a few polys around.
Based on the drawing I’ve started to block out the basic form and so far have spent around three evenings building it up with most of tonight split between screaming at the hands/gloves and watching Hellboy 2 and the photos of the figure have helped me work out a few of the concepts which can’t be seen in the drawings as they are too low res to see.

At the moment its still in a symmetry object in c4d but, by a bizarre coincidence, theres a tutorial in the new issue of 3D World Mag which shows ways of adding shape to clothes in zbrush so I may give that a shot.

Just about done

So, there is it. I should point out that the view out of the window is NOT what will be in the game. I’m not saying what the view will be but its not anything like that. I found a painting of Rama which kind of fits with the circular view of the B5 station but as this isn’t the station it doesn’t matter what i put out there. These are just sample renders with some quick GI settings but they look ok and I should repeat that the viewscreen is supposed to be untextured at this stage.

I’ve handed over the file as they stand and am now waiting for some feedback over any changes to be made. I’ve seen a screenshot of the scene as its loaded into an Ogre viewer. It’s not the in game engine but the kick out of seeing it running in something else is great.

I’ve picked up a hell of a lot of info over the last few months and really streamlined my workflow, I’ve also got a better understanding of UV’s, materials and how to handle them and on the whole i’m really pleased with the final texture work. Looking at the scene now it looks a little empty and could do with a new nicknacks around the place to dress the scene (Sinclair had some photos and Sheridan had a bucket load of papers scattered over his desk) but thats just extras.

Wax off

The two objects are now merged and cleaned up.

And one large render later…

Now to turn this into a banner and tiny little avatar where noone can see any of the details i’ve put in…

If anyone wants to download the c4d files they are available below. One is the two items (skull and blobby waxy bit) separate in case anyone wants to use them separately and the other is the cleaned up mesh of the two items as one object. Both zip files contain the materials, textures and alphas for the scene.

NB, the renders are setup with colour correction so there are some filters setup on the materials to adjust for a gamma adjustment.

Non merged version

merged version seal

Wax on

Most of last night was spent creating the textures for the paper part of the seal and tonight has been about getting it all together (I need to tweak the Aquila as well, it looks misshapen). Its nearly there but I’ve come across an interesting issue with the mesh.

To get the skull and the the blobby bit together I thought I would stick it into a Boole and be done with… No Kirkby, its not that simple is it? You know full well everyone says that Boole objects are crap and you have known this for years.
The one on the left is the Boole object and the one on the right isn’t. Spot the difference? Well I have to admit at this size you can’t see it too well but lets look a little closer.

It comes from the mesh’s not meshing well and the hypernurbs object its sitting inside.

Thats not good. The problem is that if I don’t stick them into a Boole object then the SSS material sees them as two seperate objects and they don’t render quite as nice. There is a lighter edge around the seals base and it doesn’t look right. I’ve tweaked the settings on the Boole object but to no avail.

So at this point i have a few options.
1) Leave the Boole on and ignore it. (lazy)
2) Do the above and fix it in post. (Not as lazy but its like head in the sand to the problem)
3) Leave the Boole off and ignore it. (Sod that)
4) Turn the Boole on, convert this the an editable mesh and tidy up the resulting mess. (Plenty of work but it will be the best result)
5) Tweak the material so there is no SSS and render that out. (Triple sod that, i like the material thats come out of this)

Time to convert that sucker…

Sorry Mr Smith but you are going to have to wait a bit longer for your artwork.


I’ve been harassed by one of my ‘lovable’ ex-coworkers into doing some graphics for him and his website. I’ve done a couple of things for him in the past but still the constant harassment continues. Tsk… what I am to do? Do I give up my own free time to accommodate requests from people to do things for little to no reward?

Well its my own fault for being such a sucker for hard luck cases. :p

On the plus side this is actually not a bad little job and, fingers crossed, wont take long. I’ve also been working non-stop on web projects for the last few weeks so the chance to do something graphic is a nice change.

I’ve been asked to produce a banner which includes a purity seal for a 40k themed blog/website along with an avatar for forums (are those things STILL going?) so break out the 40k refs and here we go.

A couple of hours in and I’ve got a blobby shape in the background for the main seal part and started to build the skull as a separate mesh which is unfinished at the moment. One of the hardest parts is getting the material to look like wax. Wax itself is a prime candidate for some SSS action but I’ve never got to grips with the damn shader but i’ve added it in here. As a start its pretty good and the next step will be to finish the skull then combine the two meshes. I want it to be a single object which will help give the illusion of a solid blob of… whatever the hell purity seals are made from. I mean, come on… These things are stuck to Astartes and stay stuck. They cannot be wax, they have to be some form of super hard material. Maybe they are made from Space Marines ear wax. Yeah, that’s it. As part of a marines genetic modification they produce a super dense ear wax which is harvested from the Chapters heroes to form new purity seals.

Anyway, after merging the mesh, it will be a case of making the little papery dangles. Emperor only knows what they are made from…..

I’m going to tweak the final to remove any marine influence and add that to Mr Mechanicus. Remember him? (My harddrive hasn’t forgotten him) Another reason to do this. 🙂