Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Working Project List

This is kind of a supplement to the Official Request Policy, in that requests that already appear on this list are more or less pointless. I've posted general aims before, but people don't seem to be willing to go back a few weeks to see the actual project list, so I figure it's better to just make an official one and keep it linked to on the sidebar.

The list will be organized based on priority with immediate projects first, followed by things I'm considering for the future, and general "spit-balling" that I think would yield fun models. This is not to say the order is concrete. I, like my deity Lady Luck, am quite fickle. I'll change the order depending on which models I'd rather work on next. I'll try to stick to this order though...

This list will change as I finish models and decide on new ones (or reorder them on a whim).

Current Projects
This is the list of stuff I'm either currently working on, or will be working on very shortly. Everything here is at some stage of development, even if that means sitting in a .MAX file, waiting to be posed. This list basically entails the stuff you're going to see over the next six months or so.

I'll also be doing the occasional simple "gimmick" model, but I never really post those in the project list, as I don't actually expect to make them. Most gimmicks end up getting built through the following process: I'm bored, browsing the file list for some game, chucking models into a viewer. I think something looks fun, visually appealing, or just simple enough that it's worth having a closer look at. I black out. Two hours later, I'm staring at a finished layout with no memory of the missing time. I shrug. A few days later, I print it out, build it, and go through the usual release rigamarole.

Those projects generally get posted in the Sandbox, along with work updates on the major stuff listed below. Consider that a supplement to this.

FFX - Lulu's Moogle and Cactuar

The Moogle is a revisit, technically speaking, and the Cactuar was unnecessary as there is already a perfectly decent Cactuar model on the proverbial market. Anyway, I did these as "simple" models for the convention panels, and I promised the small handful of people who attended that I'd get proper instructions up. That was...weeks ago at this point, but I figure I might as well, seeing as how it only takes me a grand sum of about 4 hours to build both of them.

DFF - Kefka

Next Dissidia character on the list is Kefka. I was actually quite surprised by how many people at the convention said, quote, "You've got Terra, but I don't see Kefka." They're not joined at the hip you know...Anyway, they all got the same reply: he's next on the list. I'm going for his midair, cross-legged, "did I get 'im?" pose, as per his Trine ability in Dissidia. The pose is easily the hardest part...until the layout...then the build. Ough...this is gonna be a rough one. The androgynous, nihilistisc, mad mage powers, activate!

FFVII - Vincent

Guess what else I've been putting off because it isn't immediately engaging and it slightly tedious to work on...that's right, Vincent! The one model I haven't done of the FFVII party, and the one people seem to want most (though I suppose that could just be because it's implied that I'll build him and he hasn't been forthcoming). Anyway, need to get him done fairly soon. I finally settled on a pose that was both interesting/dynamic and wasn't a massive pain in my backside to design/build. He'll be sort of half-turned around (back sort of facing the imaginary camera of your face) holding a simple gun which I'll have to throw together...

Chrono Cross - Serge/Dark Serge

Serge is the last of the main characters, and while browsing the model list, I stumbled across the Dark Serge model (remember, during the crazy body-swapped part of the game). Figured he was a necessary item on the shelf, given that I've already got Lynx (whose pose he will mimic). They're about on par with the rest of the Chrono Cross models, which means they're easy to lay out and fun to build. Silent protagonist, ho!


Okay, this is kind of a sticking point. I'm going to do Cloud in his Shinra Infantry uniform because, and I'm willing to debate this with anyone, he doesn't deserve that SOLDIER uniform. In my mind, this will always be Cloud (hence the version I chose for the FFVII party). If nothing else, his defining moment (i.e. when he finally got pushed too far and by simply refusing to die, he effed Sephiroth up), was in this costume. That's worth something, right? Anyway, here's the issue: normally I have no idea what I'd like to do with a character's pose, and I end up going with something vaguely acceptable, and I'm done. No revisits, no alternates, no nothin'. Crisis Core, however, and it's not that I'm attached to the characters or anything, just sports some really dynamic stuff in the pose department. So here are a few inspirational images:

I'm thinking I like the Church best, because it's got a good pose for just about everyone. Like Dissidia, I plan to eventually tackle every major character in Crisis Core, and I'd kind of like to have a theme for the group. Going with the Church gives me a pose for every member of the "party," and produces a nice finished result, because it's a classic image. However! I prefer the pose Cloud is pulling in the image just to the left of the Church. It's what I'd originally planned to use for Cloud in his Shinra Infantry outfit, before I decided I wanted a group dynamic. I'm thinking maybe I could sub in that pose to the Church group? But no! Must remain true to the source material. Generally I'm not too keen on the Duel (far right) or any of the other poses in the group to the left of the Church. But the last group, the image I'm calling "Three Generations"...When I saw that on the back of the box when I first bought the game, I was immediately impressed with it. I'd like to do it, even though it depicts Cloud in a way I'd normally protest. As you'll see below, I've even gotten about 2/3 of the posing done without putting forth any real effort (God, bones making posing so easy).

I'll decide what I want to do about all of this, but I'd also love the input of the public. A group set kind of puts the pressure on you to build the lot, but maybe you're immune to peer pressure, who knows. Leave a comment or something to tell me which poses you like.

Chrono Cross - Hi-Ho Tank

I was playing around with the Chrono Cross models some time ago, remembering that the person who gave them to me couldn't figure out how the double-textured (generally larger) models were supposed to work, as the plugin designed for Blender to import the models didn't allow for using multiple textures. Well, I started fiddling with them in 3DS Max, rather than Blender (anyone who has spoken to me personally will probably know that I'm afraid of Blender...just so comomplimocatered) and I found a way to apply the textures, yielding the desired effect. Anyway, the most interesting dual-textured model of the lot was the Hi-Ho Tank (yes the Devourer of Time is interesting, but until I figure out how to make a transparent egg to hold Schala, I'm going to hold off on tackling that). I don't do many mechanical models (vehicles and such), so I'm really looking forward to this one. It's a side-note in Chrono Cross, so it's double-niche, but I think it'll make for a really fun build. The scale isn't going to be on-par with the other Chrono Cross models, as the tank is downright hueg, and I think the dwarves will need to be in the same scale as the tank. I just need to make them some shovels...

FFXII - Larsa

Remember Lulu's Moogle? My first excursion into non-FFXI models? Think waaaay back to its original release. Well that, and all subsequent adventures into games other than FFXI, were originally owed to a reader by the name of GamerJoy (she pointed me in the direction of the minimal tutorials found at FFProject, and I've stumbled my way through model extraction with every game since). I asked at the time if I could pay her back with a model request, and all she really wanted was Larsa. Well, at the time FFXII models were a bit of a hitch, so I had to decline, but I've been able to work out a method since then, and I figure I owe it to her (figure? pfft, I absolutely need to do this for the sake of my own conscience if nothing else) to do the model. It's not something I generally talk about on the blog, but I'm good to my word and Larsa will join a tradition of models I build because I promise someone they'll get done (Glenn, Terra, Balthier, Cloud, etc.).

Chrono Cross - Irenes

After some real labor intensive stuff like Cloud and Larsa, it'll be about time for another easy job, and Irenes is perfect for that. Why Irenes? Good question. I don't have an answer. She was requested by like three random, separate individuals. Are you people latent furries or something? She's not even really part of the story. I mean, she's sort of that androgynous guy's aunt or something, but how is that relevant to anything? Anyway, she got requested by several people, which means there's probably some clamor (even if you try to pretend the fins don't turn you on), and I like to alternate on my builds. Pick a game, do a character I like, then a character you want, back and forth. Fargo was for me, Serge is kind of moot for me (I'm fine with the hero, but meh, I like Lynx a lot more), but I think Dark Serge is a nifty addition, so that takes us through one through one for me, then one for you, then one for me again, so we're back at one for you. I'll probably get a list going of the order of characters after Irenes, along with lists for Dissidia and Crisis Core (probably a waste of time as I never follow list order anyway, but it's always good to have an exercise in else you gonna keep your futility muscles in shape? They're gonna get all soft and flabby...).

Chrono Cross - Solt and Peppor

Following my one for you/one for me system, I'll probably do Solt and Peppor after Irenes. They're simple and I don't plan to do anything extravagant with their poses. I'm almost tempted to call these gimmick models, primarily because I expect I'll be the only one to build them, and I don't plan to make them all that impressive. Anyway, at this point on the list, most of this stuff is in a fog of uncertainty simply due to the time at which they might possibly get built. If anything on the list will get bumped up on a whim, it's probably going this pair. Don't be surprised if they show their moronic faces sooner than expected.

FFXII - Gilgamesh

Finally, we arrive at Gilgamesh. Is there anything about him that isn't epic? No. No there isn't. I refuse to listen to any argument to the contrary. Anyway, he's going to be a bitch anda half to pose, but will be 100% worth it. I've got some rough ideas of what to do with his six arms, and I plan to include as many of the swords he wields ingame as possible. I'm tempted to call this a long-term project, but honestly, at this point, we're looking at project schedules that are, at bare minimum, six months down the line. I think it all qualifies as long-term at that point. Expect him in the (unqualified) future.

Long Term Projects

At this point, we're so far into the future with the scheduling that anything I mention is "long term," but the following are either packs of models that are simply too extensive to release all at once (or in any foreseeable grouping), or models that are so detailed and require so much work that I find it difficult to just knock them out in a few sittings as is my usual method. Basically, I can't guarantee any sort of order on these releases. I might get an itch and crank out the entire Strahl one weekend (unlikely), or I might find the thought of working on all the doubled-up faces (a byproduct of the extraction method, part of why I'm so hesitant to do FFXII models) so tedious that I'll finish my entire project list before tackling it. Sorry I can't give you any more assurances than that, but I'm a rather unpredictable little man.

FFXII - The Strahl

If you haven't noticed (try browsing my deviantArt favorites), I have a serious thing for airships. The Strahl is excellent not only for this reason, but also because Balthier is awesome. I've actually worked out that I can make the "wings" poseable, but the model requires massive amounts of editing before I can even get it into Pepakura. Finished product will be more than worth the effort though.

FFXI Goblin Pack

This is one I got all excited about, then lost interest after finishing some test-builds and realizing that all but two of my build crew were lazy slobs. I haven't heard a thing from 4/6 of them. Srsly guise. Anyway, I need to get back to working on this, but my aims are so expansive that it's hard to get much work done, even when I devote a whole weekend to the project. I'm still looking for suggestions/requests on which weapons to include, and still want to see some custom textures from people.

FFX-2 - Celsius

This is ridiculous. Period. And I'm going to build it.
If ever there were a model that needed simplifying, it's this one. However, I've seen some of the results of that process, and I'm not inclined to utilize it. I'm thinking this is just going to be a monstrously large model, maybe even pushing four feet in length. Will that dissuade other people from building it? Probably. Do I care? No...what the hell do you think I'm doing here, building models like Mojo. My whole deal is building what I want and letting you tag along if you're so inclined. Anyway, the Celsius is a big'un, but given that I'm not inclined to alter it, the majority of the edit work is already done. I basically just need to devote a week of free time to laying the beast out...

FFXI - Ark Angel Pack

When I started out ages ago (like 18 months, geez drama queen, it's not that long), one of my first releases, and first planned projects were the Ark Angels of FFXI. I built the Taru AA, but looking back, I think it could stand to be revisited, along with the basic work I got done on the crew. I'd love to go back and finish them as a memoir to my lost love and addiction (O Eleven! Whyfore art thou so enamoring and life-ruining?). It's a long project, even if I sit down and just crank out results, so don't expect to see any real progress any time soon.

Chocobo Pack

This would be a comprehensive, multi-game pack, including all the Chocobo models I can get my hands on. I'd love to do this one similarly to the Goblin pack and arrange a custom texture contest (although at present no one seems interested in Goblin textures ._. ). Given how long this would take to put together, and how much other stuff I have on my plate at any given time, I'm hoping that by the time this has a chance of becoming a reality, Urashiman will have perfected his FFVIII/FFIX viewer/extractor, allowing me to do the chocobos from VIII and IX as well. (God damn armored chocobos, why aren't you the same basic mesh with some extra stuck on top...making me do multiple layouts...ostriches...wearing armor....)

Personal Projects
Excuses, excuses...
These are some projects that will be distracting me at some point from my aforementioned "responsibilities." Several of them are just layout modifications of other designers' models (If I have the option, I always like to build accoring to my prescribed methodology). Anyway, this is basically a list of stuff I didn't author, or don't plan to release unless someone else really wants me to. Some of them are also just models that I don't expect to get around to for so long as to not even want to put them anywhere else on the list, but at least mention that they're swimming around in my potential models pool.

FFX-2 HD Paine

Spurred on by Jouzu's adventure into a new Yuna model, I spent some time exploring the X-2 file list again, and found all the high-res models used in cutscenes. If you hadn't noticed (though, I suppose I haven't made it too obvious), I've got a massive crush on Paine. I'm thinking I'll either do a bust (like, head and shoulders only, pictured above), as the "HD" part of the high-res models is reserved primarily to the face, or do something incredibly stupid and make a lifesize version of her. I'm thinking I'll do the bust first, then decide if my nerdiness is sufficient to continue.

Various - Sprite Stitch

I actually haven't done any more sprites since Mog, and I feel like I really should be doing that. Seems like the sort of thing I should carry around in my bag for whenever I'm stuck somewhere with nothing to do. Or maybe take it to game nights, since a lot of that is just sitting around talking. Anyway, the next three I plan on are Setzer, Kefka, and Ultros. I've got most of the necessary thread colors to tackle the lot. Need to make a run by Jo-Ann's to get anything I'm missing. Eventually, I'd like to do a big ol' sprite of Baal from the first Disgaea. At one little square per pixel on a piece of cross-stitch fabric, I think he'd still take up roughly the size of my messenger bag's main flap.

Megaman Legends - Megaman

Ever played Megaman Legends? It was epic. You should go do that now, if you haven't already. Hell, fire it up again for nostalgia's sake, it's an awesome game, and I was never really that much into the Megaman franchise. Anyway, this is one of those models I found floating around /po/. I've been fixing up the layout whenever I stumble into my "Side Projects" folder. Only about two pages at this scale, so it isn't a massive build. Need to just sit down and crank it out so it isn't nagging at the back of my head any more.

Cowboy Bebop - The Bebop

This is Billybob's original Bebop. He was kind enough to post the PDO for it after I detailed my trouble with the model whilst trying to build on cardstock. He does everything on copy paper, so I ran into a lot of issues with the layout that he didn't. Anyway, I've had this sitting in my "Side Projects" folder for over a year now, and I really ought to just get it done. If you haven't seen Cowboy need to. Just take care of that. We really can't have much of an amicable conversation if you don't appreciate how epic the series is.
Seriously...go watch it. Now.

FFXII - Kaizo Moogle

So, Fezco released his original moogle, which he customized with some weapons, and named Momo. A discussion shortly thereafter yielded the following conclusion: I need a moogle representation of myself. Therefore, behold! Kaizo, in moogle form! This is basically me if I were an Ivalice style moogle. Purple accoutrements and an inappropriate smirk? That's me, baby. I really should've gotten this thing done quite some time ago, but the FFXII models require removing an entire layer of extra faces from the whole of the model. Difficult? Of course not. Boring? Sweet zombie Jesus, yes. I have a hard time doing anything boring if there isn't money or a grade involved, so I tend to shy away from finishing the edit work.

KH2 - Vivi, Setzer, and Paine

Okay, so I've played almost all of Kingdom Hearts. I actually bought it back when KH2 came out, so as to get caught up on the series and play 2, which I'd heard was quite good. I make a rule never to jump into a series in the middle (which is why I'm still stuck on Metal Gear Solid 1 and Devil May Cry 1, despite owning all the games in both franchises...God I suck at popular games...). Anyway, I've yet to finish KH1 and subsequently have not yet played KH2. I was aware that Setzer (whose excellence I could discuss at length...seriously, I played FFVI when it first came out; I would've been about 8; Setzer is deeply embedded in my psyche) made an appearance, but only recently discovered that Vivi and Paine also had their respective cameos. Well those just have to be built, no question. I think everyone will agree with my choice to tackle Vivi, and those who understand my crush on Paine will accept that choice, but we still have this issue with Setzer. Well here's the thing: as I said, I haven't played KH2, so I haven't been exposed to Setzer's new Nomura-ized persona, but I've been told he's a complete douchebag in this game. That is simply unacceptable. We're going to pretend the events of KH2 do not happen in terms of Setzer, and focus only on the fact that this is the only existing 3D model of him (that I know of). It should also be said that I approve very much of his new style (not to say it's better than the classic Amano vision, but that as far as Nomura-esque trendy nonsense goes, he could've been mangled far worse). Anyway, these will probably all happen eventually, but as they're KH2 models, don't expect something small enough to sit on the edge of a desk. Seriously, did the designers never heard of this thing called efficiency? So many polygons...

Anyway, that's it for the project list. As always, it's subject to change, and anything I haven't specified, feel free to request. I'll probably get some polls up eventually, asking which Dissidia, Crisis Core, and Chrono Cross models you'd like to see happen in the future. In the mean time, this should suffice as a rough guideline to my intended release schedule.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Official Request Policy

Every now and again I get approached about requests, so it's worth making a dedicated post about my official standing on this.

-If the model is simple enough, I'll do a quick layout.

-I make no effort to either simplify or upscale any model.

-I will not testbuild a request unless it specifically piques my interest and I decide to make a proper release out of it (meaning I'll still try to do as good a layout as I can, but some finer details just don't become obvious until you're actually building [tab placement, etc]).

-I am more than happy to play mentor if you'd like to do the work for yourself. I'll look over layouts, give suggestions, whatever.

-However, I will not supply raw materials to anyone who asks (as that is pretty much swapping copyrighted material before it's locked into the Pepakura format). If the model isn't ready to be made into paper, it isn't going to be made into paper.

-But, if you want to play with the texture on anything I've released, please feel free to contact me and ask. I'm more than happy to help you customize your own model. Gotta promise to show me the finished product though~

-Everything posted on my blog is free for everyone to download.

I've actually been asked to do some commission building before, but the combination of laziness, apathy, fear of getting sued for making money on someone else's copyrights, and anxiety over making a model good enough for someone to actually give me money for, has led me to talk every person seeking a commission out of pursuing the transaction. That's kind of where requests come in. Requests are easy enough to shrug off or half-ass. Not to say I will. I get unique requests so rarely that I take them into consideration more often than not.

As for limitations, I'm sure it's quite obvious I am willfully restricted to models from Square-Enix games. At present, I'm capable of doing almost any model from:

Final Fantasy VII - Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII - Dissidia: Final Fantasy

Final Fantasy X - Final Fantasy X-2 - Final Fantasy XI - Final Fantasy XII

Chrono Cross - Kingdom Hearts - Kingdom Hearts II

As for "keeping the poly count down," I've never actually reduced the polycount of a model. If you're familiar with the papercraft designer Ninjatoes, he completely reverse engineers models to be simpler to build (if he didn't design them by hand with nothing but a ruler, pencil, and some markers [seriously, how much more badass can you get?]). Designers like Urashiman (who has been working on an FFVIII/FFIX model viewer/extractor...I haven't talked to him about it in a while), and Chamoo often build models completely from scratch, texture and all.

In short, I am not anywhere near as amazing as they. If the original model is low poly, the result is low poly. Again, anyone who follows the blog will be familiar with my Lady Luck model, which should give you a good idea of what it takes to make higher polycount models. I'm somewhat infamous for authoring massive models, consuming large page quantities. If that's not your thing, I'm ok trying to make a smaller model, but the smaller you go, the harder it gets, and the less and less I'm inclined to ever try building it myself (I just don't see the point in making models just to challenge yourself...I just want to see them on my shelf. Anyone who really pays attention will know that I am a slave to my origin [everything's bigger in Texas]).

Friday, March 7, 2008

Project Goblin Pack Tester's Zone

Alright builders, this is something of a private link. Not that anyone willing to look all the way back on the archive couldn't find it...but yeah. Point is, it's out of the way.

This is going to be our little staging area. I've sent you all the link to this page (hurr), and I'll continually update it with all necessary information, starting with the master list, and who's claimed which build.

This pack contains screenshots of all the various permutations. Use it to choose which parts you'd like to test.

As you finish up your tests, I'll post finished pictures, just for funsies. You all have my contact information, so send me emails or instant messages whenever you run into trouble, think an edit should be made, or are finished and want to get your progress posted.

I've applied a custom texture to all the models to cut down on ink consumption, but still give a good approximation of how the finished texture should look. If you're really wanting to build the model "for keeps" go ahead and download the texture pack for the custom texture contest.


(If you can stand the monotony and repetition, I would love it if one person could tackle all the hands, one person all the arms, etc. There are enough bodies that everyone can take at least one. If you would rather make one complete model, that's fine. Just pick the parts from the list, and send me an email with your selection. I'll send PDOs out to individuals so as not to post a lot of extra clutter. If a part isn't listed, it's because it is so similar to another listed part as to be unnecessary to include.

I'll post the name of the individual who claimed the testbuild next to the parts they've claimed. If you really want to make one of parts already claimed, that's fine, but for the purposes of testing, I'd really rather get each one done before doing any repeats. Also I'm going to be claiming some of the more critical elements for myself, as I just can't in good conscience not build them.


2-Handed Battle - left and right - Dennis
1-Handed Battle - right - Dennis
Cast - left and right - Geberel (left) Dennis (right)
Casting - left - Dennis
Defeated - left - Nat
Dig - right - Amanda
Guard - left - Amanda
Stab - left
Swing - right - Geberel
Vanilla - left and right - Nat (right)


Battle - Dennis
Defeated - Nat
Dig - Amanda
Guard - Denny
Stab - Vivi
Swing - Geberel
Vanilla - Kaizo


Casting - left and right
Defeated - left and right - Nat
Guard - left and right
Vanilla - left and right


Cast - right
Casting - left
Defeated - left - Nat
Swing - left and right - Geberel
Vanilla - left


Mercenary - Kaizo
Vanilla - Kaizo

(these are just rings, they need to be tested WITH heads, so wait on claiming any of these until I've got some instructions ready for building the heads.)

Defeated - Nat
Vanilla - Geberel


Mercenary - Kaizo
Steam - Kaizo
Treasure - Kaizo
Vanilla - Kaizo

Bugbear - Kaizo

(Sorry for leaving you with nothing but the boring crap. Like I said, if you really WANT to make something already claimed, that's fine. For the heads and packs, I need to make proper instructions before I even get them out to testers.)