Future Soldier was created as a promotional piece for my new startup company, Soulty Productions, at www.soulty.com. Our aim is to provide high quality 3D services for an affordable budget.
Although the model was modeled and textured for animation, I knew it would mainly be used for high resolution 2D illustrations. Because of this there were no limitations on trying to optimize the way it was made for faster render times. My main goal was to produce a futuristic sci-fi character.
The idea behind this character was to make it believable by having its armor appear functional and practical, and not just look pretty. I spent a lot of time researching and collecting references to use and concepting some ideas. I wanted it to have a bleak look by using muted colors. I added contrast by using different materials.
Initially it had a creature's face, but later I changed this to a helmet. I liked the idea of hiding the identity of the character and also the visor gave a good place for the eyes to rest. The pose was also an important aspect I wanted to play around with. As the character has no eyes or face, it had to have an interesting pose to help express some personality.
DynaMesh was used in modeling the concept sculpts (Fig.01). I use this method a lot now as it helps get the overall form sorted before getting lost in the details. This is a good time to quickly experiment with different ideas without being held back by technical limitations. A tip I find useful when using DynaMesh is to keep the mesh as low poly as possible, but still maintain the shape you are modeling. This will make large changes easier and if you need more resolution, just subdivide once you're happy with the form.
The majority of the parts were sculpted and retopologized in Topogun or 3ds Max. Fig.02 shows an early test pose without the glass visor and the mesh over the fans.