The Citadel: Progress Update

I haven’t posted in a while about the Citadel project. So, let’s dive right into it. Here’s the progress pictures:


This building is basically one giant tower, with tons of repetition. I’m slowly getting to the stage where I’ll basically just be repeating levels over and over, with some variation in between just to break up the design, and potentially add in certain areas with a slightly different function. The top of the tower, of course, will be another part that I’ll pay close attention to. Most of what I’m doing is modeling out as much detail as I can before beginning the repetition step. There’s also some decisions to make about whether I want to add in another level, how I want to add that level in, etc.

Here’s a slideshow of chronologically arranged images of the citadel progress:

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Check back soon for more updates!

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My ZBrush Owl 3D Print Arrived!

So after finishing up my ZBrush sculpt of the owl, it took some time to get it printed. I initially tried to get it printed in porcelain, but unfortunately, my sculpt had some structural flaws, so I had to use a different material. I then opted to use plastic, and the results are pretty good. Here’s some pictures:

IMG_1665IMG_1666IMG_1667IMG_1668IMG_1669Shapeways did a great job with it. I love how even my tiniest details got through into the 3d print! It’s not very large, unfortunately, but any larger would’ve been a bit too much for my first 3d print. I’m very happy with how the model came out. Here’s the ZBrush pics for comparison:
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Most of the detail came through, and the model, much to my surprise, is capable of standing on its own! I hadn’t expected that too work out!


Progress Update on the Citadel

Now that the ZBrush owl sculpt is finished, I’ve been solely focused on the citadel and other assets for the Mahayudh chronicles. Progress has been relatively slow, however, since there are many aspects of this project I’m still somewhat unsure of. Here’s what I’ve modeled so far:


I’ve blocked in a lot of the larger forms, and have started adding in some details. Some of the pieces, like sculptures, etc., will probably need to be sculpted in ZBrush, since using Maya for everything is probably a terrible idea, especially since I have access to ZBrush. I haven’t made a ton of progress, mainly because I’m not entirely sure what should be texture and what should be actual geometry. Currently, I’m leaning towards as much geometry as possible, since in many cases, geometry renders better than textures. This isn’t always the case, but it does happen many times. I will post more updates about this project as I model.

Here’s the original concepts, in case you missed them:


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Owl ZBrush Sculpt: Final Version

Hey everybody,

Today I’ve finished my owl sculpt in ZBrush. Here’s the finalized pictures:

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I’m surprised by how quickly the sculpt went by. It didn’t take as much time as I thought it would. I considered texturing it and using the colored sandstone option on shape to get a colored 3d print, but decided against it mainly because I wasn’t really sure I wanted to try my hand at ZBrush’s painting tools. So now I’m going to put this into Shapeways for 3d printing. I’ll post pictures here to show how it came out.

I’m going to move on to modeling and sculpting for Episode 0, so expect more progress updates with pictures!

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Progress Update: ZBrush Owl Sculpt

Hey all,

So as you may remember, I’ve been sculpting an owl for eventual 3d printing. This is actually only my second time seriously using ZBrush for a project, and I’m quite surprised so far. I thought the project would take much longer to create the basic shape, as I mentioned before, but it actually hasn’t taken too much time, surprisingly. Here’s my progress pictures:

You may remember from my last post that I had a hard time figuring out how to add detail. I’ve figured out a means for doing so now. Most of the owl’s details, from what I’ve seen in pictures, tend to come from the feathers and other smaller details. There are ways in ZBrush to add feathers, by means of fiber mesh. However, I’m not entirely sure how that method will work with 3d printing. So I decided to hand sculpt on a feather pattern, based off of several sculptures and other ZBrush sculpts I’ve seen. The result is that the sculpt looks much more detailed than without any feather pattern.

Episode 0 is also progressing, but slowly, since there’s only so much I can do in one day, unfortunately. This project should be finished soon, and hopefully that should free up more time for Episode 0. I may end up putting this model on a back burner and switch to the models for Episode 0 instead. We shall see, certainly.

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Progress Update: Owls and Concept Art

If you remember my last post, I mentioned that I’m working on tons of different things right now. One of those things is a ZBrush sculpt of an owl that I hope to 3d print. Here’s my reference images:

The owl isn’t a particularly complex creature: most of its complexity and realism is in its feathers/fur. It is certainly simpler than a human being, and far simpler than the Naga I sculpted (which, for those who do not know, is a hybrid snake human creature from Hindu mythology). So here’s my progress so far on the owl:

Obviously this isn’t finished yet, but I am very surprised by how quickly this project is progressing. I did not expect the owl sculpt to get to even this point so quickly. As I mentioned earlier, much of the details for the owl are in its fur/feather, which I can sculpt out, but would not be 3d printable, do to the sheer fidelity attributed to it. I will look into techniques to add more detail of something that’s fur like without getting too complicated. I may sculpt out his talons also, so we’ll see. I’m also considering ways of adding more character to our owl friend here.

What else is going on? I’ve been developing concept sketches for a citadel model (for Episode 0 of the Mahayudh Chronicles),inspired by these locales:

And here are my concept sketches:

Basically, it’s a giant, Gothic style tower with a portal beam coming out of the top that opens up a portal above it. It’s surrounded by a large circular wall. Inside the wall are four bridges and a giant abyss that goes into…you’ll find out soon enough!

I’ve started modeling the citadel as well, so I’ll post progress updates with pictures of it as well!

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Update: What Am I Doing and My Plans

So it’s been some time since I last posted, mainly because I’ve been abroad. As I mentioned earlier, this is the reason that I haven’t been working on models for the Mahayudh Chronicles. The major reason is that I wanted to incorporate some of what I’d see here into my work. So therefore, expect things like this to become part of my modeling:

What you’re looking at is pictures of the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba, la catedral de Barcelona, and la catedral de Granada (in no particular order). As you know, I’ve modeled one cathedral before (la catedral de Segovia), but in this case, I will be incorporating many of the architectural styles seen here into my own models, so they’ll be different, but with a  distinct inspiration.

Now this doesn’t mean that I will be abandoning the Emperor Class project. I will continue to work on it. The Emperor Class style warship has some more details left to model in. The top of the bridge, the central command window, and some more top side cannons still need to be modeled. There’s also details underneath the broadside cannons that need to be added, along with another layer in general of different pieces here and there to add in. It’s not a ton of geometry left. Thing is that I am fast approaching the limits of what geometry can add to this model. Ultimately I have to move on to texturing, so the next part will be UV unwrapping (sigh) and texturing, probably using Substance Painter and Substance Designer.

Finally, I will also begin a new ZBrush sculpt of an owl. This project is ultimately something that I will 3d print as a gift for someone. Nonetheless, it will also be a part of my CG work coming up.

As for what to expect here on The Explorator, there’s going to be progress updates for everything I’ve just posted, along with a new serialized fiction story coming soon as well. This new story will not make use of any visuals in its initial run. Perhaps after it’s finished, I may make some CGI for it in terms of single images just for fun.

There’s loads to expect and a ton to keep me busy, so stay tuned!

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Progress Update: Lambertian Render Tests and More Geometry Detail

I’ve had some time to sit down and model out the battleship project. I also decided to throw in a dome light and do some renders without any textures. Here’s some results:


I really love the lambert render, since it makes everything look so much better, even though it’s nowhere near finished. I have added tons of details to the ship but am still nowhere near finished. I’ve added side facing large cannons for taking down capital ships, energy coils on the stern, more gothic windows, and what will eventually become a hangar on the underside of the ship. I’ve also started to model in the domes on the bridge and added details to the bridge as well. There are a lot of things I’ve added, but there’s still more to go. There are parts of the ship that I feel are still too plain, where I might add some detail. Mainly, the bridge pieces will have much more modeling left, in particular of gothic style towers and domes, along with more details on the top of the bridge. There’s also cannons that I have to model for the top of the ship. I am fast approaching the point where only texturing will really push the detail to the final level that I want. It’s starting to come together slowly. I’m afraid though that I may end up starting other projects at the same time, since there are other things that I do need to do soon, so this project may end up suffering. Let’s see what happens, however.

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Progress Update: Adding in the Engines

Hello everyone,

My progress thus far has focused on the stern still. Now that I’ve added in the engines and some more stuff to the bridge, I’m getting a much better idea of what the rest of the warship will look like. Here’s some pictures:

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Of course, there’s still quite a bit more detail to add, but the work is progressing, slowly and sincerely. I’m honestly a bit surprised I’ve made it this far with this project. The model has come quite a ways since I first began and was unsure of how it’ll be modeled. The next biggest challenge, once all the modeling is complete, is going to be UV unwrapping (just writing this here makes me want to groan) and texturing as well. What sort of material this model should use, I have no idea at the moment. It’s really tough to tell from images what would work best. That’s still a bit of a ways off, but it’s worth thinking about in any event.

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Progress Update: Gothic Windows

So today my modeling focused a lot on smaller details and once more on adding geometry to the stern. I’ve also started modeling the Gothic cathedral windows. Here’s what it looks like so far:

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I’ve added more details and started to focus on putting in the geometry for the cathedral style windows that dominate the command deck and bridge of the warship. I’ve also added other types of details as well.

As I mentioned in my last post, the main issue is that it’s really tough to tell what goes on the stern of the warship for a variety of reasons. The first is that there are many different interpretations of the warship. The second is that none of the pictures really focus too much on the detail on the stern of the warship. I’ve decided that I’m going to try my best to fill in the gaps with my own inventions (since this model isn’t exactly an Emperor class). Hopefully I’ll be able to add more of this stuff tomorrow/soon.

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