Cartoony Tang Dynasty Soldier (lowpoly)

I will be using the following reference images for 3D modeling:

<<Original reference>>
Tang Dynasty Soldier through the eyes of mopinia

<<My 100x100 concept art>>

It is my third model, so please suggest alternative modeling techniques to make it better.

3D model screenshots:

Front View

Side View

Camera View

The UV unwrap in progress

The UV is completed. The detailed texture may later decide which island to take up the remaining space.

nice - super-low poly work…

but surprisingly high-poly on the hands- you don’t really need seperate fingers. They can be drawn on on the texture.

Also I’m not sure if the ear-things, or the hands, should be totally flat.

Yeah, I’d make the hands more like textured mitts, and give the ears a bit of thickness. Still though, like he said, really terrific work so far. :slight_smile:

YogYog: I do not wish to forego too much of the the details to hand as I find the fingers form part of the nature beauty. Is it possible to reduce the tris while maintaining certain details when the soldier is holding a weapon/shield?

ZombieJohn: I originally wished to apply alpha to the helm ears, so that I could use the least polygons to illustrate the details. Will ZTransp, ZInvert and TRaShadow still work the miracle if I were to apply the thickness?

What are you planning to use the model for? It’s quite low-poly enough for most things.

For a chess-like game. My target to achieve black outline, toon shadow, toon material so that it could blend well with the mono-color background.

Just tried the edge setting in Render and it does not wrap around the helm ears (with alpha see-through) but the entire plane. Any suggestions?

Preliminary model + texture:

To-do List:

  1. helm and its ears details
  2. Redraw the face. It looks rather boring and old at the moment
  3. Add a weapon to hand
  4. Pose the character

the edge-render is a not a real-time feature. It’s also rubbish. There’s not much need to be so lo-poly for pre-rendering. An outline effect can be achieved - real-time though:

  • Make sure you turn off the double-sided option in edit buttons (dya know about the “set smooth / set solid” edit buttons btw?)
  • Make sure the figure look OK.
  • Duplicate the figure, turn it inside-out (invert normals)
  • Expand it slightly with alt-S

Sorry - I’m writing this is a hurry.

Dry-run with subsuf modifier:

Yogyog: I have difficulty following your steps to produce the outline. Thanks for the sharing, btw.


  1. Adjust the wireframe to make the face look fatter
  2. Redraw the eyes and mouth

The face now looks more human and less like a baby alien! :smiley:
Oh and he seems much happier too :slight_smile:

Didn’t realize it portrayed alien look, hahaha!

Here is an update to the background touch-up:


  1. Separate material for helm
  2. Resize helm ears


  1. Refine helm material to make it metal look. Reference
  2. Re-model helm ears (smoother curvy ears) and head (separate helm from head for material implementation), raising tris to 253 (from 231).
  3. Test carpet material on the floor. Reference No particles used as wish to avoid realistic grassland. Well, the result is way below expectation. Suggestion?


Various angles view:

Further test with carpet effect:

You should use a normal map and mape something out on his helmet. That would be sweet.

you say he is a warrior. but i don’t see any armor to speak of or a weapon. i question your textures they don’t really scream tang dynasty to me, i wouldn’t know though, might do a good image search of tang dynasty warriors, might add some low poly bolts or rivets(perhaps you can normal map that on), i can’t tell were the blue shirt ends and the pants begin, other than that it’s pretty good, can’t say i’ve ever attempted low poly anything so maybe i’m just rambling like i always do, WAM

Lilgrudgeboy: Solid point. I am looking for tutorials to normal-map the helm. I wish not to overdo the entire scene so that it remains clean at lower dimension: 64x64 for the soldier.

WAM Breaker: (1) Weapon is on my to-do list. (2) I have the same gut feeling towards your view that it does not give much “Tang Dynasty” impression. Probably I miss major features during the transition from the original references to concept art. I will counter check on that. (3) Guess my over-simplified texture misleads as the red color is supposed to represent the shirt while blue for the “blouse” or whatever it should be called. Pants are hidden underneath the so-called “blouse”. Haha!

I have to juggle between simplicity and effectiveness to bring out the toony nature while not missing the essential details. Thanks for the inputs and more tutorials to study for the rework!