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Jay 05-12-2009 08:08 PM

Alien Character
1 Attachment(s)
Hey All

not put work on ANY forums for a while, been too busy working on my house, getting back into Fishing (yes the sport) and getting settled in a new job as a modeler for Cinesite in London which is awsome......

anyway, heres one of my latest characters about to get underway, started the base head, about 35-40mins so far, will post the concept on my website asap....


halfloaf 05-12-2009 08:24 PM

Looks like the alien sketch on your sketch blog? Will be interesting to see this one progress!

Loved your fantasy creature sketch. For some reason it reminds me of the Ohmu in Nausicaa...not the horns but the weight of the creature. Nice!


daverave 05-12-2009 08:41 PM

What type of fishing? Im into barbel but not been out this season yet....dave

ctbram 05-12-2009 10:33 PM

Awesome! I too enjoy fishing although I have not been out much this summer. Going onto winter now and I don't enjoy ice fishing.

Gratz on the new gig at Cinisite. Oh and while I am at it have a happy xmas and best wished for the new year.

Best of luck and look forward to more of your work.

Gen 05-12-2009 11:24 PM

Grats on the new gig. I will be following this so you better finish it, no pressure :)

ben hobden 05-12-2009 11:54 PM

Hi again Jay. Congratulations. Been looking at and learning zbrush while youve been away. Will you be using zbrush within this piece?

Jay 05-12-2009 11:54 PM


Yeah thats the sketch, I just need to put it on my other site


Carp mate, though Ive had two barbel this season too actually, only around 6 pounders but nice all the same. Went last weekend in the rain and cold, had a 2 pound bream for my efforts, I was not a happy chappy though, the carp were teasing all day!!


thanks man you too.


Thank you, it's been going well. LOL yeah it will get finished, all my stuff does.


Thanks mate, yeah definately a bit of ZB will be thrown in. Glad you've been working at it....

cheers for now

murambi 06-12-2009 12:21 PM

lookin forward 2 this

gster123 06-12-2009 02:33 PM

Hey Jay,

Looking forward to how this is going to come together.

Didn't know you were into fishing? I'm into it too though bnot been out much this year went out quite a bit last year up to some local fisheries. Live reight near the Birdgewater canal so thats handy, about a 3 min walk. Good fun as its a bit of a mixed bag there, got a 3 pound carp out of there last year too which I was very surprised about!

Jay 06-12-2009 07:20 PM


Thanks, should have an update later hopefully.


Cheers Steve, Ive only got the head design so far, but its a remake of a character I did a couple of years ago for Outlaws, he's going to be seen soon in the story so gotta get him done.

hey cool mate, thats a little one, but for a canal thats a good size, I caught 11 of them back in November, the biggest was 10LB, it was out of a match lake, Im actually upgrading my fishing gear, got a new carp rod and a new reel. I went last weekend in the bad weather by myself as my fishing partner was beaten into submission by his wife to go christmas shopping poor bloke, anyway it was bloody freezing. I was all rigged up for carp on the bigger lake where we live but I only managed a bloody 2 pound bream all day, bit disappointed but hey it was a fish, Im off next weekend, hopefully the weather will ease off a bit. And I WILL catch a 20LB carp!!!

This is where I go, its about 20miles from home


Jay 06-12-2009 09:57 PM

Update, heading more toward the concept design now, and looking better in the topology too.


NextDesign 06-12-2009 10:53 PM

Hey Jay, how's it going? Long time no see. Crazy at work here as well.

Looks like one of the characters from the Worms game, or whatever it was.

It's looking good. Will the close edges on the nose cause problems when smoothing it? They look a little close from here.

Jay 06-12-2009 11:06 PM

Hey John

good to hear from you.

edges...Im not at all worried, they are where they are, thats the design of it, level one will be fine on a final smooth, the rest the dismap can take care of....

cheers dude, a new update follows shortly


Jay 06-12-2009 11:24 PM

last update for today


Gen 07-12-2009 10:38 PM

Wow, dudes got a chin on him. I'm actually taking notes on edge flow especially around the mouth.

ctbram 08-12-2009 01:19 AM

Since his nose is on his forehead maybe his chin is where his testicles reside. Kinda like Peter Griffin from the family guy.

Sorry I could not resist!

It is looking really good Jay!

Gen 08-12-2009 01:44 AM


Originally posted by ctbram
Since his nose is on his forehead maybe his chin is where his testicles reside. Kinda like Peter Griffin from the family guy.

Sorry I could not resist!

It is looking really good Jay!

Haha you're bad :p . I'm also curious about those bumps across his forehead

Jay 08-12-2009 09:13 AM

Cool Gen, I have a mesh thats viewable in the topology section as well if you want to see more edgelooping on a more normal looking character. The bumps on the forehead are well....just bumps, part of his character, he's an alien so anything goes really.

LOL he's a ballchinean species like that dude from Men in Black ;)


Jay 08-12-2009 09:23 AM


I've added you as a link on my sketch blog


Gen 08-12-2009 10:12 AM

Kewl, I'll just make a couple edits. :beer:

Jay 29-12-2009 02:47 PM

Update!! Thank goodness for the holidays!! I actually get a chance to do my own stuff. Just blocking out in ZB. Yes its blue too, just like avatar MEH!!

Nextdesign may recall I did a blue character skinny character with big yellow eyes a few years back.....suspicion!!!

anyway this is a new design and hopefully more convincing version of that character


G-Man 30-12-2009 12:23 AM

Well jay....Need i say brother that it looks very good?

We'll wait till you texture it and i'll see if i can find a seam for you ..LoL


Some Guy 30-12-2009 07:10 AM

Awesome character, but my god that chin sack thing is disturbing!

Chirone 30-12-2009 08:04 AM

awesome! a character with a scrotum for a chin!

distrubing chin requires a disturbing comment


ben hobden 30-12-2009 10:57 AM

hi jay. are you planning on animating this character at some point ? i see how much time you have spent preparing the base mesh in maya...

G-Man 30-12-2009 04:53 PM

LmAo!...i'd forgotten all about this movie till like twenty seconds ago
Men In Black II where will smith gets to adlib the name of the alien that Tommy lee Jones punches in the chin at the post office i think it was.

" K its a Nutfacebug"...."K its a upscrotan".....
then he comes up wiht the name that they use...

"K its a ball Chinian!" sould call this character a ballchinian!!!!!

that my two cents..

Jay 31-12-2009 04:51 PM

LOL cool, thanks guys, this character will be for comedy value anyway.


Sorry mate no animation, though he will be rigged the same way. Its for my online graphic novel, Outlaws Tales (see link at the bottom)


LOL, yeah I said something similar early on in the

update soon


G-Man 31-12-2009 06:05 PM

Ahh, I've been caught...
Caught not reading the thread, just looking at the pretty pictures..>.<
I have an excuse though, I'm all doped up on hydrocodone A.T.M. 2 kidney stones..Yay Me!
Forgiveness please?


Jay 31-12-2009 06:12 PM

2 stones!! Damn dude, thats not good....excuse accepted


ben hobden 31-12-2009 10:15 PM


Originally posted by Jay


Sorry mate no animation, though he will be rigged the same way. Its for my online graphic novel, Outlaws Tales (see link at the bottom)


I was interested because ive been reading more recently about the zbrush/maya workflow. I got given a zbrush book for christmas which has a section on the pros and cons of working from a low-res/high-res mesh in zbrush. How some people prefer the 'arty' way of doing most work in zbrush on a low res mesh, and how other people who are more confident with hard-surface modelling prefer to work further in maya or whatever 3d package before going to z.

Also i guess it makes for a smoother process if you are going to create a normal or displacement map. Without going even further into it and getting into retopology and everything, I just wondered what your views were, if any of these factors have been in your considerations...

For what I know it looks nice, i think the effort you have put in in Maya first has given a really solid foundation.

Jay 31-12-2009 11:09 PM

Hey Ben

thanks for the words of encouragement.

Yeah retopo, dismaps and Normal Mapping. Its a mine field mate. Everyone has different opinions on all 3.

Topology: Always a fun topic, I love it as I've always thought myself of being a hardcore modeller, even more so now I am in the industry. I think most people with tell you these days, you gotta have quads (moreso in film) and your edgeloops have gotta be 'there', without edgeloops people may aswell forget good deformation, particularly in a Face/head model. If you look at a good mesh, and the artist knows his or her stuff then the loops will near enough match the direction of the muscles that lay beneath the surface of the skin. Its great to sculpt from a blank sphere or cube in ZBrush but you dont get good loops from the offset, and in my opinion doing something again to create the proper geometry is a waste of time and effort when you could have done it the first time round with an importedmesh from Maya,soft etc....

Dismaps: Yeah great as long as you can get them to work in Mental Ray properly, if you want them to work in a superior way without arsing about, then renderman is the answer. Failing that theres always Cyslice. Just import the low rez mesh and the hi rez one from Zbrush and it will work out the difference between the two and produce a stunning map for little or next to no effort.
Having recently read that the characters in Avatar had no displacements whatsoever because of dissolve issues between the different expressions I can actually understand that - why put yourself and the team thru so much pain in order to get it right when the info can be built on the mesh already without resorting to image maps at rendertime....afterall a few years back what the hell did we do?? We did it the very same way and applied a damn good bump map!

Normal maps: AKA the Super Bump Map! great if you are into realtime stuff or just wanna add extra kick to your models without the aid of Dismaps pushing the Geo out left right and centre and without the long render times. According to a Siggraph paper this year Normal Maps can be used in a specific way to now drive Subsurface Scattering in a skin shader, again all based off the normals....

Overall though I would use try and use these methods and see what feels best, always try and think about the end result, whats it for etc...what will benefit me

remember too that alot of work (as good as they are) on the forums are really highly detailed just to show it off, none really have a workable factor built in for animation etc and most end up in portfolios 'posed to sell'.

At the end of the day the knowledge gained in these areas will help you move forward and make the vital decisions when needed as Ive mentioned above

hope that helps...happy new year


ben hobden 01-01-2010 01:51 PM

When I first started learning 3D i use to hear and read that alot, the idea that you use whats necessary at the time, small texture space if in the background, LOD etc, it makes more and more sense to me all the time.

Its comforting to know that disp maps are regularly an issue. I shall google at some point renderman and cyslice. I have reverted to going for normal maps generally as they seem to be a good trade off between security and quality.

I know if I am going to continue 3d I need to understand edge-looping and topolgy much better than i do.Its one of those areas Ive not singled out and studied with any real effort yet.

Just seeing your work in this thread makes me see the benefits of a good imported mesh, as opposed to sculpting from afresh in Z.

And happy new year to you.

Jay 01-01-2010 02:35 PM


Cool, thats good. Ive jus been trying to grill CTBRAM on his Viper thread because of his use with Boolean ops in Maya and the mess they tend to make. So yeah a good mesh output regardless of hardsurface or organic is important, especially if going into a sculpting package.

Yeah normal maps are a good trade off for now, its all swings and roundabouts.

cheers for now

Jay 03-01-2010 12:07 AM

Update to the 'BallChiniun'


Some Guy 03-01-2010 12:58 AM

Looks awesome! I was thinking, if you wanted to go to that next level of creepy with this guy, give him a small wispy beard right at the bottom!

G-Man 03-01-2010 01:17 AM

I don't know bro, it might be me, but i think the eyes look a bit off......Just....something about them doesn't quite seem......right. ....LoL

[edit]N/m that part of this post about his skin, i look at it just wakign up and i see it doenst look scaley at all, amazing what sleep can do for you[edit]

Also, will this cat ever receive a body? or is he someones trophy on a wall? or....Is he just going to have a lot of mechanical legs pop out of his neck to walk around on like John Malkovitch's waist in Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy?

....are these dumb questions?


murambi 03-01-2010 11:04 AM

damn that jaw for no apparent reason i just feel like tugging at it anyways its looking great jay been wondering though when will we start to see some animated work from you its only the next logical step:beer:

Jay 03-01-2010 08:07 PM

Thanks guys

SomeGuy: I actually have stubble lined up for him via shave and haircut.

G-Man: I think the subtleties of the skin will come thru onnce the subsurface shader is on it. He's just a manky alien dude that will be running a hotel in my Outlaws Comic, and yeah there'll be a body..

Murambi: Animation? Me? No mate, though he will be rigged and poseable, but I wont animate him, it would look awful


gster123 04-01-2010 08:10 AM

Great character Jay, looking really smooth.

G-Man 04-01-2010 04:29 PM

Jay, i was wondering.
With your work flow, at least for your personal projects, How often do you have to go back and tweak the mesh of your character models after posing them.

I remember somewhere in some post, you were talking about people having to do that sometimes to make the model look right for the scene it was in, is that a normal thing for organic modeling or more of a project / scene specific thing? mind to enlighten me on that aspect of organics some my friend?

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