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Concept Sketches: TAR of Zandoria

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As part of the 2015 Open Studio plan, I thought that I better throw my sketchbook up here with some concept sketches of some of the locations, props, characters, etc of things upcoming...

One of the main locations is a bar called "The Waterhole" at the Oasis of Lund. There will be a lot of buildings, and set pieces that will be good beginner projects for apprentices to work on (Details to come...).




















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I know the Hyennas have been modeled, but what about the other characters in the above concepts? Have they been created yet?

Also, I recall that you modelled/ sculpted a tree in a previous post.


I guess what I'm askin' is which of the above have been done already?


William D.

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Not much--even the boabab tree that I showed in an earlier thread was just experimenting... I don't want anyone to jump in just yet--Im going to post a bible for the series, and storyboards so that choices can be made about what can be modeled vs painted. Though I see the need for individual huts and buildings trees to be combined for different locations.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey Will,


I know you said you didn't want anyone to do anything on this yet..

I was bored and messed around with the elephant character. I may

not be able to have any time when you release the materials.

If it can help you out, I'll send it to you. This is completely just a help to you at best.....

If it isn't anywhere near helpful. Oh well...


This could give your artist a point at which to retopo....or just to test the overall scale. etc.




I'll remove post if you like.


Elephant Soldier.jpg

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Hey Will, Rodney & Douglass......


Thanks.....Wanted to help Will out.


None of these are super polished. But I thought it might help to have some form to experiment with....

so that as Will works out the characters he wouldn't have to completely start from just his images.


He can take these if he chooses and push/ pull/ morph/ delete....whatever.


William D

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I sculpted both the Zeebra and the Water Buffalo yesterday. Zeebra took a few hours I think. Water Buffalo took about the same.

I wasn't clocking myself, so it could've taken a little less or a little longer.


The elephant from the previous post also took about the same time. Did that one a few days back.


Remember.....these aren't finished characters. In fact, I consider them to merely be a part of Will's design process. A process of

"fleshing" out the base form in order for Will to put his final vision into it. More of a help with the character development.

William may want a completely different size head.....or torso girth......or shorter legs........or larger head....etc.

Will is a Great Sculptor and artist, so his vision could scratch these completely.

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William, are you working with Sculptris, ZBrush, or Mudbox? The workflow that I'm using is bringing the base mesh into A:M, tweaking the size and topology, then exporting back out to .obj. That exported OBJ becomes the base for the clothing,helmets, etc. If you Texture those objects (subtools) separately in in ZBrush, then you can import them into A:M as new models, keeping the textures as decals. and then you can paste them into the main model (or add them in a pose). OBJ doesn't let you have multiple decals like A:M, but this workflow overcomes that (and .A:M models don't have that limitation)...


I like seeing the sketch in the round--I can see things that look good, and things that I would change. The designs of the legs I keep messing with different ideas, between quadruped legs or "normal" ones to see what looks best. And I am trying to push myself towards a 4-head cartoony proportion (but my pencil fights it...)


Do you want to pick one of these guys and model it all the way? I can give feedback as we go, until we end up with an animation-ready model. I think it would be worthwhile, because you could take your sculpting to a finished state, generate displacement maps and normal maps to apply that detail on the A:M version. It would benefit us both, right?

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Hey Will,


These are quick sculpts in Sculptris.....I sent you an e-mail this morning about this. If you didn't get it, let me know.

The process you described is close to what I figured you were doing in the character development.


I know on my projects, the more I can see in "The round", the better I can develop my vision and faster. Even if it's just

porportions, or something.


IF you dina mesh the final look and use the Z-re-mesher to get the character down to a low "Quad" version,

couldn't you import that into A:M as splines via the obj importer? I could be wrong about that. Or....the results may

be inadequate. That way you would have the model inside A:M as a .mdl for placing whatever surfacing/ cloth/ etc. you want.


Your push/ pulls is what I was kind-of thinking....in that your "stylized" look could be acheived on your side of the fence.


I would be happy to pick one of the characters and go at it. My only reservation is whether I would be able to complete it on time.

I want to get back on my Submarine project.....especially to finish what Robcat and I started on the "Cinematic Sub Shot."


Plus....I'm inbetween Jobs here and worried about eating. So I want to be careful about what I commit to.


But regardless.......these are yours for the taking as I've said several times. You can grab them into ZBrush and flesh them out to your style.


Selfishly....I would love to take a crack at your Alligator/ Crocadile character....but I didn't see but a faint sketch of the head there.


In the event that I could battle at one of these.....You pick the one you want me to develop and I'll see what I can do. ;)


William D

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I appreciate your efforts thus far, and I can do as you say and use your sculpt as a starting point--so thanks! Crocodile needs some sketchbook time, as I think he will be in a shot in the next episode....I've got to get this Pitch Bible online, so everyone can see where this is going ;)

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Hey David,


Retopo is one of the most helpful features I've seen added to A:M.


A:M has pushed forward so much. As good as it was in the past, these additions have made it even that much more awesome.


By the way......I've checked out Marvelous Design before. Have you combined that with A:M animation? Or exported a mesh

animation to blend it with work in A:M?

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Will, having already designed and made the Hyena's aren't your leg shapes already defined - ie all your animal characters will need to have human legs!


Every time I look back at the work you've done so far Will I get real excited about the project :)

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I think being consistant with the characters is very important.


Sometimes the appeal of a character can allow for breaking that rule a bit.


For instance....I think "Tusk" (The Elephant) has more appeal with Elephant legs.


Tar himself has hipo feet. I think it will work either way. His leg is still a Hippo leg

even though he is upright.


For me the shape of the legs is not as critical as having them upright. If Tusk or Tar were down on

all fours, that would be odd.


The main issue with the feet from an animation perspective will be handling a

non-human like leg. There will be a little difference in the locomotion of a leg of the

sketch I worked off of for the Water Buffalo.


What wouldn't seem to match is making one of these Quadraped-like....walking on all fours.

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BTW......David...I look forward to seeing your hit on the water buffalo. This gives Will the luxury

we all normally don't have. That is....being able to see different perspectives of the character and

being able to take the strengths and appeals and getting a stronger character.


You're such a good modeler...I think it will be great. I look forward to seeing it.


Hopefully Will can get support throughout like this. It will help strengthen his process.

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Well....Getting the base shape is a plus.


I picked the central character in the sketch and did a loose representation on that.


In Sculptris, it takes me about a day to get loosened up again to the flow of the tools.

Especially if I haven't sculpted in a while.

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Me also Will. I find that it flows so well. Being able to set the tesselation amount really helps too.


And the reduction brush tool works behind it really well.


I don't think I could've banged those 3 out as fast in Zbrush. Then again....I haven't the experience to know for

sure. BUT from what I hear from other Zbrush professionals, they feel the way we do on this subject.

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  • 1 year later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Now if there were some way to export the small details as displacement map and place that back on the A:M model...

yeah, you can do that... I guess I will have to do a tutorial at some point, but I've been working on a graphic novel version on my iPad Pro, instead of animating. I did this for a modeling contest where they were giving away a Form2 printer...didn't win :(

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