DOTA2: Phantom Lancer Spear Updated

Most of the criticism I got on my set was overwhelmingly on the spear. I agreed with a lot of the comments and wished I had heard some before. Well I've been sketching some ideas and finally honed in on this. I've updated the set with it and now consider it finished.

DOTA2: Chen Helmet Hi

Well its been going slowly, but every step I continue to refine my understanding of the process. I've been sloppy by comparison to the ideal way to work. I'm continuing to learn how and why to work the way you read about. I was bouncing between LOD0(in game hi) and LOD1(in game lo) THEN trying to make a baking high rez mesh. Thats a slow way to work, with a lot of tweaking that gets redone over and over. Here's the high rez mesh for the helmet, now I'll make the other levels of detail from this (duh) hah.
Edit Some Alt versions to break up or change the cross b/c its too symbolic and the symbolism doesn't really match.

DOTA2: Nyx Assassin Desk Jockey

Just b/c it made me laugh I made this, not for in game.
Unlike most grubs of his colony, Nyx Assassin was the chosen one, anointed with an extract of the queen goddess herself! ...but all Nyx Assassin wanted to do was fit in!

Sometimes Nyx Assassin needs to go under cover. "Nothing unusual here..."

Nyx Assassin is looking forward to having that picture perfect scarab smile.

DOTA2 Chen update

So I've been hiding in a cave as I re-re-re-work the designs. I'm close to where I want to be to show something. I want to add in the Misc slot something on his chest, maybe attaching the shoulder armor. Not 100% sure yet. Also the weapon is coming along nicely but not ready to show. The theme is "Holy Persuasion", Chens spell take control of any neutral creep or beasts. So its mixing the clean lines of his built in armor with beast motifs. I was thinking of those Gothic lion head knockers (hah I said knockers) But how they mix these ideas well. The mount armor was insane to come up with something "better" than the default which if you look at mounted armor it almost always does what the default does so it was hard to make it new and interesting... I hope I got that. Anyway, this has been/continues to be a trial. Working hard to make me happy with the design :D 
the gauntlets seems a tad simple right now, after I texture them if they still feel that way I'll need to re-address them.

My favorite part of the mount armor is the blade like spike on the front. Seems neat like you don't want to get in his way, ahah.

DOTA2 Chen Re-Re-Re-Work

I did 2 days of research and sketching... Lord, 2 FULL days pretty much (I did go to work friday hah). Watching videos of people playing Chen watching videos of learning DOTA2 (b/c I realised I need to learn more about the game and get semi decent at it before I can make really great designs). Anyway looking at tons of conecpt art on anything armor related, history of armor, armor of the ages and areas like japan, etc.  Anyway I had this awesome idea. spent hours today painting it up...

...then realized Fock! There's no belt or body slot!!!! AAARGH! Only shoulders, arms and head! You'd think I'd get that, or that its obvious, but that's not even all. The texture size for characters on a mount (meaning they are slightly smaller in game) is REALLY small. I developed this cool technique for making details in armor in 3D Coat but with shoulders at 128x256 how much of that is going to be readable? crap! so back to the drawing board earlier today but luckily I've got a day+ of solid researching and other tricks came about. I saw that Chens armor is mostly about silhouette  Its like I'm learning how to concept characters the way they tell you too but out of pain of doing it "my way" until I get why there's a process people/pro's suggest. Argh why do I have to learn the hard way? Aaanyway So I skip back to 3d and mess around with silhouette and came up with this.

Its rough-ish. I like the armor, and there's not a whole lot of poly's left to do stuff with. Infact I'll have to reduce this if I want to keep the tassels (which I'm not THAT attached to)  I think the most work at this point is on the mount armor. That's probably the most prominent item in game. Anyway, Its been rough, I was hoping a vision of somehting would hit me but no, its been sketching and re-re-reworking back to sketching... thinking anyway here's where its at as of now.

DOTA2 more?

I had a lot of fun making the first Character kit, and I think I can't edit the set until after the competition. I think I did well, it was a great learning experience. But now I want to do something more. I want to push myself to do something bigger, more challenging. I didn't stray far from the original despite having a new take on things. Also I didn't know it at the time that the Phantom Lancer is kinda popular for people to work on, not a bad thing but there are people smart and going for crazier designs. So now its about pushing myself to see if I can go further. The character I'm picking to work on next is Chen.
Here's what he looks like before:
And here's my initial concept blocked in:
I think first thing is to do some rigging tests to see if this idea (big heavy armor) is even doable with the character animation in game.

PolyCount DOTA2: Submitted but not finished

So the criticism I'm getting on the steam workshop right off the bat, is the lance is too similar to the original. I agree and felt that yes the whole kit is conservative but I feel that the idea I had for the character was conservative. I don't really want to edit this set so much to make it "differenter", however I agree the guys saying the lance specifically might need tweaking. What if I didn't even re-UV too much but just stretched it like this? I think its kinda cool.

PolyCount DOTA2 Challenge Submitted!

Just published my first set of gear to the Steam Workshop. Here are some images. I don't yet know how to put all my items on the character at once to see them all in game... so here are each solo'ed
and what it will look like (for just he shoulder group) in game camera

PolyCount DOTA2: Tweaked

Now its down to finessing and tweaking. I added a lot of details in texture like wear and leather cracks, but more noticeably was adjusting the color and contrast of the textures to match the stock armor. On the left is the Default character armor on the right mine
Obviously left and right swapped for the back side. I will say getting the colors right was a bear. Partly b/c I started out w/o a reference and was just editing the colors to match from texture to texture THEN I used the reference character. I assume that they original armor has been tweaked contrast wise to get it to show up in game, I'll do my own in game tests next. 

PolyCount DOTA2 Contest: Textured

Finally got everything textured. Now some tweaking, make the mask layers, I actually only made LOD1, so I'll go back and uprez a few places... probably just on the armor here and there.

Spear Designed/Blocked

Its important to me that the kit feels stock. That it really meshes with the character design and world. I love the DOTA2 art style so much I want to stay as true to it as I can. Anyway, I have a sketch pad next to my desk and doodle spear head for days. Finally settled on this one.

Arms Textured

His arms are close to done sans final tweaking pass. Moving onto the "belt" or pants waist area. xNormal saved my butt on this one. I spent about 2 days, tons of hours, trying to get clean good looking normal, and AmbOc out of maya, 3D Coat... trying everything I could think of. Finally found xNormal! Lord that made this project significantly more fun. That roadblock was frustrating. Now onto bigger better!

PolyCount Blocking Commplete

This is the armor set blocking complete. I'm saving the weapon to do last. I have tons of ideas and I think I'll only be able to settle on one once I see everything else textured and put together.
fixed the normal issue. Went the simpler route of just poly modeling it, instead of sculpting it in 3D Coat. got much cleaner lines and smoother shapes.

PolyCount Contest.

Decided to do the PolyCount Contest for DOTA2. Love the art direction in that game, and thought it'd be fun, both to make an item set and to learn how to work with Valves system. This is the initial concept with tons of technical issues, so redesign
Next version moving forward but while I like the shoulder pad its too much like the original.
Paint over of that, thinking about edits I want to make...

Default Character looks like this BTW

Over Retopologizing

A lesson occurred to me as I drove to work today, after a morning of leisurely retopo'ing my ship, I've been over-retopo'ing. I've been making it WAY too high rez. Whats the point of baking to normals if I'm going to draw in all the details? Well at least I've been getting good at retopo in 3D Coat. Anyway, I'm going to focus on key areas to build and then bake the details in the normal as I should have already been doing. Now that I see it this way I'm not as worried about the amount of work to rebuild it.