Tauren Marine


Hello. Here’s my latest modeling attempt. The Tauren Marine is an “easter egg” from the game Star Craft 2. My main reference is a concept drawing from Samwise Didier (art director at Blizzard). You can check out the character at this starcraft wikia page:




I actually started the Tauren Marine project over a year ago by sculpting and retopologizing his head. I made a timelapse video showing the process (this video is from September 2011)


Ha! I was watching that video to see your retopo the other day. Thought it looked a little cow like :wink:

BTW, nice topology. Can’t wait to see the final. o/

@troubled - thanks. you watched my retopo video before i posted? cool!

update 02 rifle


I still need to refine this model, add more details and convert certain parts to subdivision surfaces, but i won’t bother spending time on that just yet. My priority now is to work on the main character a bit more and refine everything in stages. From big proportional changes down to small fiddly detail work.

lol, ya. I was checking out dyntopo the other day so naturally wanted to brush up on my retopo skills a bit and your vid was like one of the first I watched. Was only like 1 or 2 days before I noticed your re tweet from Francesco and followed his url here to notice the model from your video. :slight_smile:

Love the model though. I’ve played WoW (Tauren) and SC2, so I am very familiar with this particular piece! Awesomeness :slight_smile:

I love the gun btw, looks great! I usually have a hard time (slow & tedious) getting all of the angled holes in the mesh when I model though. You seem to have it down to a science. Curious, did you happen to do any time lapse for this model? I would love to see how you manage your model, and which stuff you keep separated etc.

Anyways, ttyl o/

No, i didn’t make a timelapse. Making videos like that can be a bit time consuming and distracting. But maybe i’ll make something… no promises

At this stage I only care about proportions and design, so the mesh topology is a total mess. There is tris and ngons all over :slight_smile: This style of modeling is something that I got from a gnomon video tutorial from Vitaly Bulgarov (he actually worked at Blizzard, as far as i know). You can check his video here. it is a bit expensive but i highly recommend it:
http://www.thegnomonworkshop.com/store/product/544/Character-Design-and-Modeling-for-Next-Gen-Games

Making those holes is ridiculously simple. Step one, cut hole with knife. Step two, apply make circle from the LoopTools addon. Step three, profit (or extrude/inset)!

Oh, wasn’t asking to go make a timelapse, I was just curious to see about the way you get some of your extrusions. I did take a look at using knife, very handy, thanks! Normally I would probably just add loop cuts and manually remove when I needed and add a circle while snapped to the view. I forgot that looptools has a nice circle option instead of shift+alt+s, thanks again!

As for your technique, I must say that I like the whole zbrush style of modelling. I wonder how difficult it would be in blender to use sculpt in similar fashions. hmmm :confused:

update 03 paintover

here a paintover i did that show what i’m trying to achieve for this project.
http://www.kjartantysdal.com/images/tauren/tauren_paintover_01.jpg

I’m not a concept artist, so doing this sort of thing is a bit awkward for me. But it is very useful nonetheless just to explore design/shapes and to get an idea of what to do before going to deep into the modeling.

Moar paintover-images. These are again renderings that I painted over to help modeling.
I’m still exploring and experimenting with shapes and designs, but I’m fairly happy with what I have. So from now on I’m probably going to start finalizing the model.




Holy Cow(pun intended)! Very promising already.

sorry for the slow progress. I’m finding myself juggling multiple projects (that has a tendency to happen:/ )
so I unfortunately don’t have as much time as I would like to spend on this project…



Modeling of the rifle is 97% finished. Only thing missing is tiny details (skrews,bolts,extra plating) + need to figure out a solution for the lightning on the axe… might end up just modeling some lightning bolts.

The rifle is also fully UV’ed. I used Blender + a commercial tool called UVLayout. Blender for marking all the seams and doing initial unwrappingm and UVLayout to pack all the UVs. I also went over all the uv islands and minimized stretching, UVLayout is great for that kind of stuff.

there was one Huge problem with using Blender and UVLayout together… Blender could not export ngons in .obj format (and this model has lots of ngons). So I complained to the developers… 2 hours later Campbell fixed it! Very nice :slight_smile:


I have started the texturing phase on the rifle. It will probably take a few days before I have time to finish it. Above you can see a paintover that kinda shows what I’m going to try to achieve. Hope you like it!

Looking good! Can’t wait to see the final textured model. So are you just going with “painted” lightning bolts? Or were you actually planning on doing some electricity effect of sorts?

Thanks troubled. I made a lightning’ish effect when I worked on Mango by using the ivy generator. Called it the electrical potato effect :slight_smile:

I know that there is an addon for making lightning called laplacian lightning generator, so i’ll definitely check that one out.

I’m thinking of using this model in both illustration + turntable animation for my new demo reel. For the illustration I can just as well paint it, and it will probably look just fine. But for animation that will off course not work.
What i’ll most likely end up doing is modeling the main shape of the bolt + maybe add ivy as secondary detail. Then for the animation i’ll add randomized emission material effects + volumetric smoke fx. Something along those lines…

Great work :slight_smile: Very interesting :slight_smile: Can’t wait to see this textured and rigged :wink:

Keep at it :wink:

Happy Blending :slight_smile:

Oh neat, I didn’t realize that you worked on Mango.

I haven’t tried lightning in a while, but I do remember this one trick that you could do with color ramps and one of the procedural textures (Marble) to get something like this:


Once you get that, you just animate the texture params. It gives a semi okay result on it’s own, but you would definitely have to get the speed, emit, pattern and composite “just right” if you wanted to go this route. Combined with some sort of translucent sphere/convex hull around the blade, you might be able to get a cheap-to-render lightning/electricity effect.

Anyways, looking great, can’t wait! :slight_smile:

@JeannotLandry: thanks. glad you liked it :slight_smile:

@troubled: nice trick with the procedural texture! I did not think about that.
I ended up using a procedural wave texture with quite a bit of distortion + modeled the main lightning bolts by hand. The lightning effect can probably be tweaked to be better, but I think its a good start.



I’ve spent quite a bit of time doing the texture and material work, and I think I’m at a point where I can leave it for now. I might come back and touch up the materials once I see them in the context of the scene.

Damn, looking good :slight_smile: Hard to tell that it is 3D and not just an artistic drawing, well done! I wonder what you could do with it in Freestyle when it’s in release?

another update. There’s still lots todo, but today I was able to finalize most of his legs, kneepad, shouldpad and those cylindrical things sticking up from his back (I don’t know what their called :S ). I also spent a bit of time setting up more decent presentation light and comp, so that I can do turntable animations at the end of the day.

The image bellow is just quickly grabbed from a animation sequence that I’m currently doing. Thats why it’s so grainy.



and wireframes:

Looking good :slight_smile:

As for the big things sticking out of his back; while I would imagine that in a space setting/motif they are meant to be some sort of rocket like protrusion coming out of the armor, my guess is that artistically, they are meant to be some sort of homage to the original WoW cinematic of the Tauren. Specifically, the part where the elder Tauren is wielding the massive tree trunk to attack the dwarf hunters pet bear with. Also in WoW, I think many of the Taurens in Thunder Bluff have such weapons laying around as decorations and such (been a while though, so don’t quote me on this). They could also be drums shrug :slight_smile:

yeah, you’re probably right about that. I think it kinda looks like a mobile totem pole thingy. TotemPole-Backpack!
or maybe not… :slight_smile: I never played WoW

here’s another image of him, showing the progress from today. All the big front parts should be good now. What remains to be finalized is his back armor, his hands (or palms) and smaller details like cables, bolts, hydraulic-like-stuff, smaller connection pieces and so on.



and here’s to you people who like wireframes: