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Amphibious Shadow Assassin Concept


Model consists of 1938 primitive objects.
Scaled spheres, cones, cylinders,
pipes, tori, pyramids &
an icosahedron

 
This villainous character was conceptualized from one of my short stories (the third "Origins of a Titan" of five). I believe a four-limbed amphibious creature has great potential for entertainment value in a 3D computer generated form. It would be refreshing to see a completely new choreographed style of combat. Mortal Kombat's Goro character was limited because it was a practical puppet. Star Wars: Episode 3's General Grievous was portrayed as a much weaker character compared to Clone War's version. His combat skills were choreographed for the ease of the live-action element. I have designed this character to be much stronger, more interesting, and fully-fleshed out in comparison to Goro or Grievous.
The model above was created for my Modeling and Design class. The assignment was to create a never before seen aquatic creature using only the basic primitives available in Maya and most 3D programs. I was allowed to move, rotate, scale, and change the pivot point of any basic primitives available. No deformations or vertex manipulation was allowed. This exercise allows an artist to focus solely on the principles of design without worrying about mesh topology or complexity. Overall, this simple modeling technique has potential for creating concepts as an alternative to sketching and a 3D rotation is preferable. The model took roughly 8 hours to build. I was surprised to find that by using such basic techniques, I was able to create the most interesting version of this character yet. Unfortunately, this model isn't ready for animation unless I find a good procedural texturing and shading technique. Currently, the model is only FK rigged for posing.
The older 3D version below helped me realize that a more alien muscle structure was needed to develop a more menacing body and face. To add to the aesthetics of his fierce and nightmarish appearance, I overdefined his muscle stranding. This adds to his eerieness, and an option exists to shade him with thin, translucent skin or no skin at all (only striated muscle groups). In addition, the extreme muscle definition helps make him look formidable.
Besides physical prowess, this character was always designed to have fantastic items which he has collected from his fallen enemies. This image shows a special cloak that he spent years searching for. It allows him to exist and travel inside shadows. After obtaining the cloak, sightings of him with possession of a terrifying scythe became synonymous with encounters with "Death".
This type of "shadow power" has been done many times before in 2D and anime, but less so in a 3D version which presents an opportunity for a cool effect (special combo of liquid dynamics, cloth simulation, custom shading). Once he takes his cloak off, the first visual impression of the viewer should be of great power and malevolence. Genocidal extermination is his greatest pleasure, and I believe the model above comes very close to conveying his insane, homicidal sense.
In the version to the left, I began exploring types of armor and weaponry that would be appropriate for this character. Spears were carried over to the newest version because they work well underwater and can be twirled by his four arms to an interesting effect. The new version of his shield seems more appropriate as if it's made out of simple bent metal or wooden shutes. In the renders below, I've added some more detail to the character's weapons and armor. A simple basket weaved effect using many tori was used for his chest armor and sword sheaths. It works well with his aquatic theme since it would be light-weight, durable, and water could pass through. I wanted to attach a type of atypical weapons cache so I pierced rings to his trapezius and designed a type of metal ring-linked cape. For now the cape holds five swords, but they could easily be replaced with various exotic weapons. Overall, I'm very satisfied with the results of this project and see potential in using this simple technique for 3D or 2D concepting.

 

Richard Sun / Rich Sun Productions 2007.