The Virgilante: Roughing Out the Shapes

It’s been a pretty light week for modeling, but I wanted to share the beginnings of my new project, the Virgilante. 

What I’ve done thus far is to block out the major body shapes using UV spheres that I’ve scaled into different proportions, using mirror modifiers on the arms and legs. Then I began lightly sculpting the spheres into approximate body shapes. 

Since the character is inspired by ancient Roman armor mixed with super hero elements, I decided to try to capture that in the character’s build. This led me to use da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man as a proportion guide. Strictly speaking, the Vitruvian Man isn’t classical Roman art, but it is Renaissance Italian, which seems close enough since it is only for a rough beginning. It also seemed appropriate to incorporate the world’s most famous T-pose into a character inspired by ancient Italian culture, since the T-pose is the traditional starting point of most character models. 

I had considered sculpting the character in the 9-heads-tall proportion used by the ancient Greeks for their statues of the gods, lending an epic nature to the Virgilante, but I decided against it for two reasons. Firstly, I wanted to lean more toward Roman culture. Secondly, I felt it looked a little over-exaggerated; the only game characters I can think of that are modeled with those proportions are the Gears from Gears of War, and even accounting for their armor, they seem to have very small heads. 

I’m still not completely satisfied with the rough model, mainly in the chest and hips area, but a little minor tweaking should be all it takes to finish preparing for sculpting in earnest. 

Since I have little to show so far, I’d like to explain how I plan to progress as I build this character. After I sculpt the major elements of the character, I plan to combine the majority of them into a single mesh object using a Boolean modifier and finish sculpting the high res model in detail. Then I will focus on retopologizing the mesh for a low poly character, bake the high res information onto the low poly model and begin rigging the character. I also plan to use a basic cloth simulation on his toga/cape. Then I will texture the model and pose him. I’m also considering making a basic animation once everything else is complete, but we’ll explore that once we get there. 

I should note that most of this process will be entirely new to me; so far I’ve only sculpted and posed high res models, so while I look forward to trying the new techniques, the going may be slow. 

I hope you are looking forward to seeing my progress. 

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