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Everybody sculpt nowadays if they want to do organic hardsurface, but I wanna do something different, it’s using metaballs or aka meatballs, to do the job. The perfect style to use for this study for me, is the synth in Half Life
Currently the idea is to make this synth a giant walking Combine overwatch tower
There are 2 areas where they can walk around in and on the synth, inside the synth and on the platform underneath it
As for the materials, I’ve mixed a few textures that mimic the look of metal / flesh synthetic plating
The whole model body is done using metaballs
The reason for this is because while sculpting indeed is a first solution for project like this, other method should be discovered as well, and metaball is a perfect opportunity to explore design possibilities with the ability to change, modify the shape at will, while sculpting for some part might be a hassle to change, for metaball it is simply a click and drag
I think metaballs are so underrated and not used as often as they should be. I think the reason is that they are fairly limited. I wish we saw more metaball updates and improvements, because they are really powerful.
Indeed, I wouldn’t even be here modeling with metaballs without some sh*t talking in Discord lol, it’s a shame how some methods remain completely undocumented, maybe for the next synth I’ll record a video for it.
Anyway detailing a bit more of the synth, the thing is I dunno when to stop
More progress on the chamber and the belly detail & shape
this shot would probably the moistest shot later in the render phase lol
It’s about time to get hard surfacy, now working on the belly platform and a few weapons mounted around it, pulse cannon, big ass pulse cannon,… and also a scale on how big it is compared to the strider
So I found a better solution for the face of the Rampart, instead of the eyeless design I opted in for a soulless eyes design instead, with tubing coming out of it to signify the combine modification
Testing out some scene for the synth, my idea is this
So basically a still life with little going on, ambience sound playing, with background object doing their stuff,…
And also detailing the interior
I had to look up what metaballs were, and now I’ve seen some basics - this is pretty impressive!
Looking forward to seeing this finished. The striders in HL2 were very creepy, and had a cool aesthetic.
Detailing the underbelly platform rn, then I just need to do the interior aaanddd a few more detail here and there around the synth’s body, then set up a scene and it’s a go
really really diggin this Half Life hardsurface style
Adding in a few more detail for the belly platform, an elevator platform, some metal restraints, control nodes,… At this point Im still thinking what should the scene be
Any ideas ? Maybe I could mimic a scene in Half Life Alyx hmm
I am very intrigued by this technique. Do you plan to make a tutorial of your workflow?
Yea, next synth is going to be based on the Magnipinna squid, a smaller synth used for proximity scanning, so Im going to plan some recording and voice over ( or text to speech since my mic is shite lol ). This technique deserve more exploration
I was busy lately but still manage to get a lil bit of scene inspiration for the Rampart, a look through a window to see the synth
Gonna be inspired by this, just something original to one of the thing I read about the team’s vision for Half Life, not always a dreadful world, but a silent totalitarian world under the constant domination of superior alien army
The scene’s looking quite promising, a lil bit of bump to the volume and perhaps a few highlight volume might just do it, now back to finishing up the synth including the detail sculpt lol
Honestly this is really a refreshing project, I got to refresh my mind about environment design again and learn not to hate it from looking at awesome stuff.
Finishing up on the Rampart’s interior, should be quick with the hardsurface work, the hard part for me is the animation and perhaps even a bit of rigging for the synth’s “side claw”
Btw the finalized version of the synth should have this kind of texture fidelity, I feel like the “generated” in the texture coordinate node kinda ruin the detail lol, so that’s a thing to keep in mind if you guys use “generated” in texture coordinate node