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Guardian Shell 03

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About This File

Hello again

I have made another model based on drawings I made years ago. This has been a passion project for a while and I finally felt ready to pick up this challenge.

- Background

I started drawing this character on and off in 2016, before I knew anything about Zbrush or how to model anything like that. I have since become acquainted with Zbrush and other programs and finally felt ready to dive into this one.
The extra challenge was to make this for jka which has some obvious limitations.
These games back then didn't use PBR material, so I had to bake down the texture from the curvature, thickness, AO, Normal map, roughness etc. into Diffuse, Specular and Emission this was all possible with the help of AshuraDX(Rend2 does, but not everybody is using that).
I have made 3 LODs in addition to the original mesh, 100%, 50%, 25%, 12%. The lowest LOD was 1600 tris, made to improve on performance for the other players.
What's most important for these old games is actually the vert count. If it's anything above 10 000 then it's likely to crash whoever has the model. This is around 8700 verts, but I made LODs anyway just to be sure.

This is not the first model I've made with these limitations, but by far the most complicated.
- A short description of the character
So to further explain the model. I was thinking that it's a kind of shell that is being driven by a man on its back. The man is long dead, but has some kind of transference of his soul or whatever to the shell of the being to prolong his life.

- Design choice

As for the design of the character. It may appeal to some and some it may not, but I think it's important to remember what the aim is for the character.
I think what contributes to the busy-ness of the design may be the empty space or lack thereof. Like some spaces for the eye to rest and this character definitely doesn't give the viewer much of that.
It's generally a good exercise to think of how your character would look if you couldn't express them with so many details, even after removing them you should be left with a discernible shape.
Like pyramid head, even without details you would still recognize the character.

It's a good point to strive toward, to be able to see what it is without the details only going by the silhouette or the negative space.
Some of my previous works have been easier to tell, but this is a bit different. If I wanted to make it different, I would make certain aspects of the character more prominent so it's easier to recognise and it would be easier to understand the model.
My goal with this design was to make details so complicated that they kind of disappear in the background. So that the character becomes one with the environment which is also a valid aim I would say.

It's a fine line of when you have too little or too much, which probably depends on the style you're going for. Some characters are very maximalistic on purpose.


If you want to see more progress you can follow my thread here: 

Bot: No.
NPC: (not to my knowledge)
LODs: Yes
Team Skins: Yes
SP: No.

Simply extract the pk3(s) to the gamedata/base folder of your Jedi Academy directory.

Credit goes to Einar who helped with the creation of this model and AshuraDX and mjt who are a constant support to my work.


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Great work of art. I'd love to have rend2 materials for all your models though. Like normal maps and ORM packed ambient occulsion, roughness and metalness maps.

Nevertheless, keep up the good work! 👍

Lancelot and Willemoes like this
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6 hours ago, The Unguided said:

Amazing model. Sick concept. Good job! With your permission we may find use of it in Movie Battles II, perhaps.

I'm planning to use this model for future projects so I prefer not, but thanks for asking 🙂

The Unguided likes this
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17 hours ago, Willemoes said:

I'm planning to use this model for future projects so I prefer not, but thanks for asking 🙂

Alright, sir. Good luck with your project. 🙂

Willemoes likes this
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