Thursday, December 6, 2012

What If: Thunderbolts - Week 1 Behind the Scenes

Okay, so first of all, it was really fun to make this What-If. I'm so glad I can deliver a quality What-If after my slightly lacking Playable Villains. So, to make up for it, this month I'm doing anti-heroes-- the Thunderbolts. For starters, let's take a look at this image.

I spent an entire day lighting this. It has seventeen lights in all, and more then 20,000 polygons. This time, I was going to do a loading screen, which I had skipped out on doing for my Playable Villains What-If. So, to do it right, I spruced up the background with a nice decal from, which gave it kind of a worn-out look. You can see the image, without any logos on it below. You may use it as a wallpaper if you want.

So, this loading screen has a few easter eggs hidden around it that you may or may not have noticed. First of all, there's the poses. For the most part, I posed the Thunderbolts similarly to the poses they take in the comics.

As you can see, for Radioactive Man I switched the pose around to make for a better composition.

You'll notice Ghost in the "We Need You" part of the loading screen.

Originally, Ghost wasn't even going to be part of the What-If, even though I had modeled, textured and rigged him. There didn't seem to be a place for him, and besides, I wasn't too happy with the finished model. But I realized that I could keep him small and hard to see if I put him in the We Need You... and it's actually a good thing I had him because I wouldn't have known who to put there!

Here's a wireframe of the scene, with the lights still on.
Now, with Crossbones, there's an interesting, (or not so interesting), story to tell. I was originally going to decide who the villain was using a poll, but instead I decided to just do Crossbones, since I wanted to model him so badly. I also modeled his henchmen. I made a completely new body for the male henchman, but I reused my standard female body model for the female henchman. I guess in that case I can't say henchMAN, can I? Crossbone's goons. There we go. Originally I was going to call them "The Skeleton Crew", but it turns out that instead of some skull faced thugs the "Skeleton Crew" was a group of villains, like the Sinister Six from Spiderman. So that meant I had to just call them henchmen, because I didn't want to model eight other villains. Oh well.

Crossbones reuses the boot lace texture from Scourge, though you won't be able to tell from looking at Scourge in the loading screen, it's a bit too dark, so you'll have to wait until I release him.

Now onto Swordsman! 

Swordsman was a relief to model. Why? Well, the day I modeled him I also was modeling Songbird and Moonstone, and frankly, it was a pain. I guess I'm not very good at modeling female faces, because that day alone I had re-modeled Moonstone's face three times. I'm still unhappy with the result, but there you go. Anyway, I decided to take a break from Moonstone and work on Swordsman, and it sure was nice modeling somebody this easy! You may have noticed that I replicated his sword so that it's almost exactly like the one in the comics.

I didn't want to make it too much like the real sword though, seeing as SHSO likes to adapt things kind of loosely.

For the images in the missions, I was originally going to use my Batman rig from his What-If video, but as it turns out, it's actually slightly inaccurate. So I ended up just pasting Songbird and Swordsman's icons in there, and a few edits later, it looked passable.

Songbird's Icon

Swordsman's Icon

I hope you enjoyed the first week of the what if, and this behind the scenes post! There's more awesome stuff coming in week two, you'll just have to wait and find out what it is! But for now, here's a tiny, tiny preview:

-- SHSOFan.

PP: I also hope you enjoyed my "predictions" for this month. I will not confirm that they are accurate.