Monday, February 11, 2013

Alien model progress

I found a sheet I made earlier in the module of rough silhouette ideas for my alien concept. As I've mentioned before, I struggled to break away from the typical and create something more unique - they seemed to be either Giger's Alien or a Mass Effect rip-off. I decided to abandon this approach, try to clear my head of preconceived "alien" aesthetics and attempt to think of something different.

I reached a point where I started panicking over the fact that I couldn't settle on a final idea, so I rushed into an unfinished concept and tried to start modelling, with the intention of creating the details of the alien in Mudbox. This had quite disastrous results...:

Not only did it look awful, the geometry was very poorly modelled. I didn't give myself a chance to figure out the correct topology and edge flow. I quickly left this model and started from scratch.

From the few rough concepts I'd made when I decided to take a Colossus-inspired route, I picked this one (I accidentally saved over the others when making the turnaround). Parts of the body are covered in armour-like structures, meaning I don't have to worry too much about modelling muscles. I also generally liked the look of this one in comparison to the others. 

Here's the final alien concept:

Some shots of the modelling in progress:

Each part of the body was modelled on separate layers so that I could hide the armour and ensure the torso underneath had reasonable edge flow. It's far from perfect, but I very quickly rigged the model and tested out a couple of poses to see if it generally will work okay (as I didn't do any weight painting it's obviously far from what the final model will move like). I think it will considering there's no dynamic movement, it's just a very slow walk.

I'm not sure what I'm doing in terms of smoothing yet. I'm also not sure how to connect his legs to his torso, so I think they might end up "floating" like seen above. I might add some strange lights in areas like this to hint at it being some sort of "alien magic" keeping him held together.

I tried to send the model to Mudbox, but my lack of understanding with modelling meant I made quite a few errors and inconsistencies with the geometry, so it wouldn't work. I'm going to have to spend a lot of time creating a detailed texture to make up for the fact I can't add the level of sculptural detail I wanted. 

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