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Chess Monsters forged in the dark

Its 3:30 AM in the cold dark night and like any mad indie developer (or mad scientist), instead of sleeping, I’m hard at work on some diabolical creation.

This time, I’m crafting the grotesque creatures that hail from the darker recesses of Rooks Keep.
In Rooks Keep players will get a selection of chess sets to play as.
While our previous set of characters were all a bit cleaner and outfitted with metal suits of armor, these beasts have a different style. Their bulky bodies are bulging with muscle and while some of them use only their natural claws or blades. They all wear minimal armor and what litte equipment they do have is crude and worn.
If you stretch your mind a bit, you might notice that the monsters of Quake 1 lent an inspirational hand to their design.

BE WARNED: What you are about to see includes graphic representation of endevours not entirely finished, one might even call them work-in-progress…

Knight
This friendly customer is going to be the Knight for the beasts side. It will joyfully hack its oppoents with two big sharp implements.

Beasts-Knight04a1
Beasts-Knight04f1
As you can see it doesn’t have textures yet and the materials are not the most fancy. This is the high-detail sculpted mesh with about 8 million polygons. As you can see I’ve been having lots of fun with muscles and trying to get a reasonable skin on him.
We’ll be sure to post some updated shots when SB gets to work on the textures.

Here are some shots showing the early construction of the mesh. Now you can see how I used box modelling and took it from that initial, basic “box chicken” to the snarling beast at the end. I then stuck a piece of armor on top and moved on to the high detail work.
BeastsKnightModelling-124pBeastsKnightModelling-214p
BeastsKnightModelling-674pBeastsKnightModelling-1768p
BeastsKnightModelling-1816pBeastsKnightModelling-2356p
To get it to this stage took about 5 hours.
Here is a shot of the state it was in just before sculpting.
BeastsKnightModelling-50kp
I did the armore and it’s straps in high detail and prepared the rest of the mesh for scuplting by applying smoothing. I also cut some extra loops into the teeth and spike to retain their shape when smoothed.

Ogre / Rook
And then there’s the next one! Right now, I am working on the brutish ogre that will be the Rook on the beasts side!
He’s not done yet. I am in the middle of sculpting my way through the various pieces.
BeastsRookModelling-Sculpt03BeastsRookModelling-Sculpt04
BeastsRookModelling-Scuplt01BeastsRookModelling-Sculpt02
As you can see I’m getting lots of practice on muscles. Its tough, but its getting easier. I think I am getting better at them with each mesh. What makes them even more fun is that there are slight differences on every reference I’ve got.

And for good measure, here are some earlier shots.
Beasts-Rook-LD01Beasts-Rook-TD01
That is the LD mesh and the other is the other is the partial HD mesh just before going to sculpting. Notice how the hard ‘mechanic’ style parts have been detailed out while the organic pieces are just smoothed out.

Ok, enough for now. When I’ve finished this little bugger, I’ll fire off arender or two and post those along with some shots of the initial progression.


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One Response to “Chess Monsters forged in the dark”

  • bjossi:

    Colour me genuinely wowed. This stuff looks great. If you guys want to see good muscle design for some reference and further practice you can take a look at Riddick from Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay. It was often commented on how well designed he was.

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