Beast

Very nice model, Good design and creativity.~To be reviewed by the model/skin review staff

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Very nice model, Good design and creativity.~To be reviewed by the model/skin review staff

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Download 'ut2mdl-beast.zip' (6.19MB)

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"Beast" Player Model for UT2003.

Readme compiled by Jason Seip (jasonseip@entermail.net)

I am looking to get hired as a modeler/animator in the game industry if anybody needs full-time or contract support. Just thought I'd sneak in a plug for myself. =)


<07/09/03>
=====================================================================

Model Name				&quot;Beast&quot;

Concept                     		Lee Tanner

3D Model/UV Map/Animation         	Jason Seip

&quot;The Old One&quot; skin          		James &quot;HarlequiN&quot; Taylor

&quot;Magma&quot; skin                		Oscar &quot;Fardreamer&quot; Bergh  

&quot;Beast&quot; skin                		Hari &quot;PeacEMakeR&quot; Manoharan

&quot;Ancient&quot; skin             		Oscar &quot;Fardreamer&quot; Bergh 

Shader Trickery				Jason Seip and James Taylor

Ragdoll 				Jason Seip 

Sounds					None...yet. Beast uses Juggernaut's sounds.

Additional Credits to:   		Epic, Digital Extremes, et all 
			

=====================================================================

Email listing:

Lee Tanner		nutsy162000@yahoo.ca

Jason Seip		jasonseip@entermail.net
			bonemonkey@enter.net

James Taylor		harlequin@mn.rr.com

Oscar Bergh		oscar.bergh@telia.com

Hari Manoharan		sfx@punkass.com


=====================================================================

Player Model Specs:

New Model		: YES
New Animation		: YES
New Skins               : YES (4)
New Ragdoll		: YES
New Sounds              : NO
Poly Count              : 3016 triangles
Vertex Count		: 1600 before smoothing groups separation, 1929 after

Tools Used:

3D Studio Max Release 3 and 5
Character Studio 2.2 and 3.4
Photoshop 6.0
UnrealEd
Karma Authoring Tool UT2k3 Edition


=====================================================================

DESCRIPTION

Beast started as a burly concept sketch by Lee Tanner (see &quot;Beast Concept by Lee Tanner.gif&quot; inside the &quot;Beast_Supplemental.zip&quot; file in the UT2003/Help/ folder). He has no formal character description, though I imagine the guy to be pretty surly, always eager to get into a fight. He's dangerous enough already, only a fool would deliberately anger him. But I can't help thinking he likes a good laugh, even if his sense of humor is a bit mean-spirited. You may not want him around, but if he were around, you'd definitely want to be on his good side (as it were).

The descriptions for the included skins can be found in their data screen in the player selection menu. There are even more skins that have been created but not included with the initial model release. These will be released as a separate skinpack(s); look for them at the Polycount website (http://www.planetquake.com/polycount/).

The 3D model itself is a pretty complicated thing as player models go. Beast exhibits a number of different facial expressions, has dangling hair braids, conforming shoulder armor, and a cloth-like &quot;waist bib&quot; to cover his unmentionables (and really, you don't wanna see that). I may have gone overboard a bit, but now that he's done, and the madness has subsided, I'm quite proud of the results.


=====================================================================

INSTALLATION AND USAGE

Unzip the file &quot;Beast.ut2mod&quot; and then double-click on it. The installer will activate and should put everything where it needs to go. Now all you need to do is start up UT2k3 and find the different Beast characters on the player menu screen.

Beast is compatible with v2225 of UT2k3, so if he doesn't work, the first thing you should do is download the latest patch. If that doesn't fix him, give me an email and I'll try to help you sort things out.

An important note: the Beast skins use some fancy graphics tricks to look pretty, if you have performance issues, or problems with crashing, there are a few things you can do:

- Don't put too many Beast bots in any given level, especially the big ones. I have found that you can put a whole of the same character (like Magma) in a level by himself, but if you start putting two or three of each kind in, you can have problems with slower machines.

- Don't exceed the suggested bot/player counts for the maps.

- If you're comfortable doing some simple file changes, you can make the game use low-end versions of the skins. These don't look quite as good, but are less taxing on your computer. See the SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIALS section below on how to do that.

Make sure you read the BUGS section below, as it has some important info. Most of the information after that is just technical stuff for those who also like to make player models for games, so if you just want to get right in the action then don't bother reading it.


=====================================================================

BUGS

I've experienced crashes on large maps when using 2 or 3 bots for each different skin all at the same time (8-12 Beast models running around at once). I've gone over the files from top to bottom looking for problems, but found none. I believe it's a memory issue, and there's little more I can do about it. One user who has a GeForce4 Ti video card experiences no problems, so it could be that older hardware can't handle too many of them (I'm running a GeForce1 DDR). If you have problems crashing, follow the tips in the installation section.

Black polygonal-looking artifacts appear on shoulder armor and other parts when looking from afar with the sniper rifle. Hopefully this only affects me because I'm using a now-old GeForce 1 video card. It's not an LOD thing because I tested that and the LOD's are solid. I thought it might be a shader issue, but there are artifacts on Beasts bootflaps, and they aren't altered by transparency or specularity, so I can't say I believe that's  the problem. Unless the fact that shaders are used at all is causing the problem, then maybe.


=====================================================================

SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIALS

The zip file called &quot;Beast_Supplementals.zip&quot; (UT2003/Help/) has a few extras in it for those who are so inclined to poke their noses in it. 

- Original concept sketch of Beast by Lee Tanner.
- UV map for those that might want to make skins for Beast.
- Two different upl's to call out either high-end versions of the skins, or low-end versions of the skins.

&quot;Beast_Shaders.upl&quot; is the default that gets installed, and calls out the skins with pretty effects.
&quot;Beast_Textures.upl&quot; just calls out the skins with alpha transparency for hair and such.

If you have performance issues and want to use the low-end skins, open the &quot;Beast_Supplementals.zip&quot; and extract the &quot;Beast_Textures.upl&quot; to  UT2003/System/. Then delete the file called &quot;Beast_Shaders.upl&quot; in that same folder. Now the game will show the skins without specularity or self-illumination, and performance should increase a little. You can always switch back to &quot;Beast_Shaders.upl&quot;, as it will remain safe in the zip.


=====================================================================

ODDITIES

I began rigging Beast before I decided to turn him into a player model for UT2k3, which resulted in an unfortunate flub: I used the default &quot;triangle pelvis&quot; setting for my biped. Because of this I had to set the root of the upper body as being the second spine link, rather than the first (setting the first as the root caused the legs to animate during upper body animations, as the legs are technically children of the first spine link when the &quot;triangle pelvis&quot; setting is used). So what this did was cost me a link for when the biped looks up and down, though as you'll see below, that wasn't such a bad thing anyway...

The other major oddity is that because of the twist in Beasts upper body during most animations, when he looks up or down, the body doesn't just lean front and back, but a bit left and right as well. It's annoying in the sense that it isn't what I intended, but on the other hand, it doesn't look too bad, and in a way Beast cocking his head to the side gives him a bit of an animalistic look.

There is some lighting weirdness that goes on with his hands because of the way I distributed the vertices (if I could change any part of the model it would be the hands and wrists). Live and learn, I guess. How noticable this effect is depends on the skin.

I did cheese-out on some of the animation sequences. While they are all 100% original, I skimped on a few that rarely seem to get played. Player models don't spend much time in the water, so I didn't spend a lot of time on the swims. Also, since the deaths never get played unless you turn off karma, I *really* cheesed on them and made them quick, simple, and quite ugly. 


=====================================================================

ANIMATION RIG INFO

The model was animated using the Character Studio biped, plus some additions.

Beast has IK bones for the following:

- Shoulder pad armor
- Short hair braid and feathers
- Long hair braid
- Front and back of thighs to aid in deformation

Beast has additional regular bones for the following:

- Facial expression
- &quot;Waist Bib&quot; that hangs down over his crotch
- Beard tip movement
- Hair bangs coming off his forehead
- Each individual hair on his arms (just kidding! :)

The IK bones for the shoulder pad armor worked surprisingly well, and I usually had to only set a couple keyframes for the targets to tweak their positions to avoid clipping. The IK bones for the long hair braid were a bit more problematic, and it took a while before I had proper rotational limits and a good feel for what would work best while setting keyframes. If one were doing the braid in Max5 from the start, I believe SplineIK would be the way to go.


=====================================================================


RAGDOLL INFO

Beast uses a ragdoll setup that has 20 Parts, a few more than that of the normal and suggested 15. However, I haven't experienced any slow-down during gameplay because of this. In the ragdoll editor, i.e. KAT, my simulation times are only a hair slower than the default UT2003 ragdolls.

The main reason I added more links was so Beast's long hair braid could flop about when he gets killed. This seemed too integral to the character to sacrifice. Not to mention that if I didn't include links for the hair braid, it's orientation would be dependent on the head and would look very unrealistic.

There are a couple other ragdolls also in the file, Beast_Simple and Beast_Complex (Beast_Normal is the version that gets used by default). Beast_Simple only has one less braid link then the normal version, but it's proven to work well, so I've kept it as a backup. Beast_Complex should probably be avoided, as it has more links than the game can reliably play with a bunch of bots running around.


=====================================================================

SPECIAL THANKS

Thanks go out to the Epic/DE guys and fellow Polycounters who traded information that gave insight to the internal workings of the Unreal Warfare engine. The main collection of discussion can be found here:

http://dynamic.gamespy.com/~polycount/ubb/Forum8/HTML/001673.html

I also learned a LOT from the Unreal Developer Network, specifically their page devoted to content creation which can be found here:

http://udn.epicgames.com/pub/Content/WebHome/

Special thanks to Fardreamer for being my moral support when I wanted to just chuck the whole damn thing. And for beta testing, as well.

And finally, special thanks to StrangeFate for introducing me to Lee's concept image for Beast.


=====================================================================

* Copyright / Permissions *

The character Beast is an original concept of Lee Tanner. All 3D and 2D art contained within are copyright their respective creators.

Unreal Tournament 2003/UT2003/UT2k3 is a registered trademark of Epic Games, Inc.

This model may be freely distributed UNALTERED.

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Jason Seip


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Registered 15th July 2003

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