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After receiving some rough concept art we one of our 3D modelers cranked out the Android NPC model in 18 days. Not too shabby for a self taught modeler, with less than 3 years of experience. In this article we provide some back story on the character as well as a few words from the modeler himself.
Posted by FreedomFaction on Jan 29th, 2013
To start things off we have our first full character model for the game. The android model pictured bellow is the primary enemy we have players facing in the first level/ demo of our game. To now give a little back story on the android; they were designed to be infantry drones to minimize soldier casualties in war. However the immense setup required to prepare an area for their deployment drastically limited their function. They were later re-tasked as drones for combat training and simulations like the one you find yourself in during the first mission. the bots carry stun weapons that temporarily slow players down and if taking enough fire knock them unconscious(same as death). Now that you have the back story here is Red Comet commenting on modeling this character in just 18 days.
I want to be clear that I have no formal training with Maya or any 3D software for that matter. I'm completely self taught. I know there are probably many people who could look at these pictures and point out tons of flaws but I don't know any better. When I got the original concept sketches from Halley the task seemed very daunting. I couldn't figure out where to start, what should be separate pieces, how to make certain shapes using polygons, ect. Eventually I just picked the shoulder and started there. Luckily Halley gave me at least a rough front and rough side view... that didn't match up, i figure he was probably rushed to get those sketches done so I ran with it. Day 1 resulted in an upper arm.
After finishing the arm I moved on to the torso. It was hard to determine depth and which pieces were separate layers. Another issue that came up was destructibility. How were we going to show these robots were taking damage? Also, How can I make this model more variable, and reusable ? After posing those two questions I decided on making an inner torso and wrapping armor onto it. since the armor is separate we could model other variations later without having to do a complete rework of the model, this also doubles as destructibility because androids taking heavy damage can have armor plates ejected off of them. I lost 1 day to meetings, and another to my job. The front was coming together nicely by the end of day 8, however the back hadn't been concepted out. There was nothing for me to go off of. So, I improvised, which led to 3 days trying ideas until finally settling on one.
I moved on to the leg after the torso. It was fairly simple but, with work, life, and meetings got in the way stretching out the modeling to 3 days. Determined to make up for lost time I moved on to the head which just chewed up time. On day 18 I finally had the head presentable. I started cleaning up and organizing the pieces when I realized that I had forgot to model the hand. to make matters worse there was no clear reference for the side of the hand . In 3 hours I managed o hammer something out and in my opinion it seems reasonable. It has yet to be rigged and textured. I might also try to increase the polycount in some areas later as well.