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About Rainier

PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!

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This Week : Divine Divinity's Sand Demons

by Rainier on Oct. 5, 2001 @ 6:27 p.m. PDT

There are many species of Demons in Divinity, this week we look at the Sand Demon a terrifying foe indeed and one that dwells in the Deserts of Divinity.

SOME BACKGROUND STORY TO SAND DEMONS:

Only dark and evil Mages dare to summon demons however, this process is never without danger. Summoned creatures always have a chance to lose control and turn against the Conjurer, especially powerful specimens such as Sand Demons. In order to succeed, rituals like human/animal sacrifices or rare minerals have to be offered as gifts and the summoned Demon has to be satisfied with these offerings. If this venture succeeds the reward is a fearsome ally. In the Desert of the Divinity some demons still live as remnants of long forgotten demonic armies...

A SHORT TEXT FROM MARIAN ARNOLD (LEAD ARTIST) ABOUT THE DEVELOPMENT OF SAND DEMONS IN DIVINITY:

Each monster and each character is a new challenge in the creation process. The bigger the creature, the more detailed they need to be, let’s just say, "modeled with a lot of detail, well textured and very organically and naturally animated". That means of course that the effort increases proportionally. The last few days I was intensively busy with s Sand Demons. First I looked at my scribbles I made and used it as a template.

This demon is obviously one of the larger monsters. Approximately double that of your average human. You can imagine that such a creature with this size will get a lot of attention and has to look especially good. In fact not only does it have to look good, but also very evil.

If you look at the drawing closely you can see clearly shaped out muscles on the body. We achieved this amount of detail working with 3D Studio MAX; we had several possibilities on how to achieve this amount of detail. Anyone who knows the program well enough has 4 options...

1) NURBS modeling
2) Form out muscles with the soft selection tools
3) Surface tools
4) Clay" modeling

The first three ways were either too complicated for what I wanted to do or too time consuming to get all the necessary details. So I used a Clay plug in to form the body slowly by adding spheres and elliptical forms. As you can imagine it took me a while. After this long process I let the program generate a surface from it. Afterwards I replaced or moved the spheres and calculated the surface again and again, until I was satisfied with the general appearance. The whole procedure kept me busy for about two days just on this one character.

Now I searched through our texture library and began to create a number of unique textures with Photoshop. These I fitted to the body, corrected them exactly, and rendered the model again and again.

For a monster in the game several animations are necessary. Walk, hit, die, attack, casting a spell and more...

Naturally looking movement is extremely important and therefore I spend a lot of time on the improvement and the exaggeration of the animations.

Finally, after adding cameras and light sources with other designers, the monster can be finished for the rendering. We then check the monster still in the game and only if everything is correct then the creature is considered really finished.

Well, that’s it... check the finished Demon, it looks still almost the same as the drawing, only slightly different and better. Be warned and be careful, if you meet one of these Sand Demons in Divinity somewhere, you will have no time to check out the details... just try to stay alive.

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