Report article RSS Feed Dev Blog #3: Dead Daisy

Hello everyone, I'm [TWDEV]_Franky_ and I'm a Modeller and Texture Artist on the Traction Wars team. Today, I would like to present you with a bit of an unusual dev blog entry, namely, a dead cow. At first, I was quite surprised when I was approached with the idea of creating this asset because I have worked on organic modelling in the past, but not under the circumstances of our current project.

Posted by [TWDEV]_General_Naga on Mar 9th, 2012

Hello everyone, I'm [TWDEV]_Franky_ and I'm a Modeller and Texture Artist on the Traction Wars team. Today, I would like to present you with a bit of an unusual dev blog entry, namely, a dead cow. At first, I was quite surprised when I was approached with the idea of creating this asset because I have worked on organic modelling in the past, but not under the circumstances of our current project.

Reference
Since I enjoy a challenge I did not shy away from this curious assignment. So to start off, I needed good reference material. I needed to go beyond just finding high resolution imagery of various cows and start digging deeper. So I proceeded with gathering many different references, including some authentic World War II photography from the German Bundesarchiv as well as some anatomical diagrams of a cow's skeletal structure and its musculature.


 


"bordering on the ridiculous"
As you can tell, this cow clearly could not manage to pass away elegantly. The resulting challenge: how can I make it authentic, yet avoid creating something that is bordering on ridiculous? The answer to that question was obviously to tone down the extreme pose that cows seem to find themselves in when they die, simply to avoid disrupting a player's sense of immersion. On the other hand, the pose was quite useful in regards to making this dead cow stick out from a sea of grass. I imagined a player's situation, running across a wide-open field with limited options for cover, only to see a leg or two sticking up into the air as an indication for temporary improvised shelter from whizzing bullets.

 
Details
Once we settled on the pose of the model, I proceeded with creating a high poly version of the cow for the purpose of creating a normal map. This was an opportunity for me to improve my sculpting skills in 3D and also showcasing attention to detail with a mix of clearly defined muscles, bones and fat tissue. This not only required a sense of anatomy and observation skill, but also the intelligent use of various software packages working in concert to create a normal map that reflects the level of detail of a high resolution model consisting of over 1,2 million polygons.


 

Painting
Next up was the creation of the diffuse map, not as small a feat as it may seem at first glance. I decided to go with hand-painting it entirely with my pen tablet. I wagered that the additional amount of work would be worth the investment if the outcome was of arguably high quality. Usually, I would create textures with a blend of photographic and hand-painted elements. For this specific project, I went and created the fur one strand of hair at a time, basically consisting of hundreds, if not thousands of individual brush strokes. All the while I was fully aware that 99% of all players would run by this cow many times without even really looking at it, so I did not want to spend too much time by getting lost in details.

In the end it was worth the effort but I still have some refinements that I want to make.


I hope you enjoyed this entry of our dev blog and I look forward to sharing more of my work with our team and the audience/players.

We are still looking for talented individuals to join us on the team, so if you think you might have what it takes or if you are just curious then you can check out our recruitment page for full details.

 
Post comment Comments
yomato26
yomato26 Mar 9 2012, 10:33pm says:

Keep up the good work guys.

+4 votes     reply to comment
HeadClot
HeadClot Mar 9 2012, 10:38pm says:

Yep, that cow is dead...

+5 votes     reply to comment
SnakeTheFox
SnakeTheFox Mar 10 2012, 12:08am replied:

[citation needed]

+5 votes     reply to comment
Otreum
Otreum Mar 10 2012, 2:48am says:

This is great, good to show that you are paying attention to the smaller details.
All it needs now to complete it is a toungue hanging out :)

R.I.P. Daisy :(

+2 votes     reply to comment
xalener
xalener Mar 10 2012, 4:02am says:

I'm thinking her udders should be more grey. It's a corpse after all.

+5 votes     reply to comment
LordIheanacho
LordIheanacho Mar 10 2012, 8:05am says:

make it bloody too. Cant wait to T-bag the mess out of that cow in game.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Stealthrellik
Stealthrellik Mar 12 2012, 3:54pm replied:

You sir, have some weird fetishes lol

+2 votes     reply to comment
medve
medve Mar 10 2012, 9:21am says:

i had no idea a dead cow needs so much work

+3 votes     reply to comment
im_a_lazy_sod
im_a_lazy_sod Mar 10 2012, 9:50am says:

no cows were harmed in the making of this game (cod/cod2 lol)

+3 votes     reply to comment
arieas
arieas Mar 10 2012, 11:23am says:

Its udderly amazing how much work you are putting into this.
Will we perhaps see any that is mooving around still alive?

+4 votes     reply to comment
Maniche
Maniche Mar 10 2012, 12:46pm replied:

Excellent idea, Arieas!

Maniche

+3 votes     reply to comment
SirApple
SirApple Mar 10 2012, 1:03pm replied:

mooving... i see what you did there :p

+4 votes     reply to comment
Stealthrellik
Stealthrellik Mar 12 2012, 2:36pm says:

looks really great, a higher resolution texture would be better if possible

+2 votes     reply to comment
Stealthrellik
Stealthrellik Mar 12 2012, 3:57pm says:

better yet you should make them small time npc like the crabs n chickens on crysis wars maps. talk about atmosphere n enviroment lol

+2 votes     reply to comment
HellsHigh
HellsHigh Mar 14 2012, 2:07pm says:

The legs standing up are due to the cow swelling as it decays. It would look like you have it there at first, but then it would blow up like a balloon. Thats how you get those legs sticking straight out.

+1 vote     reply to comment
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