How I get to that monster between a tank, some armor and an owl, I am really unable to tell you. I just tried to create designs that looked unique.
Fairy tales, legends, myths and folklore around the world influence my work, but so do artists like Brian Froud (DarkCrystal), Alan Lee (Lord of the Rings), Tony DiTerlizzi (Spiderwick), Jim Henson (Muppets) and Mike Mignola (Hellboy).
I alos develop characters with storytelling in mind.
The story of Kaldewei is simple and you are able to see it on Kaldewei himself.
He was once a human doctor, an alchemist and a wizard. He shall get the death penalty because he's tortured people to death, but he was able to bind his soul to this armor.
I made the armor in an owl shape because the owl is a symbol of knowledge and a crea-ture of the night at the same time. He alos has no lower jaw. This is a little allusion to zom-bies and the fact that he is undead. For his lower jaw, he got the long wild beard that reminds that he has been a human many yeas ago.
I always want to create monsters with personality, character and big piece of fantasy. Kaldewei is a very good example of when all those strange ele-ments link very well together.
What's it all aboutí
I had made Kaldewei for a short movie I am going to make. I want to make a really good movie. For this project I wanted to use múltiple characters and sets.
To translate the ideas of Kaldewei into a model, I created a very coarse model of Kaldewei's body. It didn't have any de-tails; just the form of his proportions. Now I am able to build the armor.
The masque is a major element of the whole set of armor and tooque a lot of time, but a good sketch helps a lot. After finishing the mask, I made the shoulder strap and the belt. They are not leading pieces in the finished model, but they are important pieces, because they stabilize the armor and split the plate-armor into 3 parts.
What is missing are the plates. To pose and fit each plate on its own is very awkward and com-plicated to change at a later time. So I modeled one plate, prepared it for UV mapping and split the border from the rest by using two materials.
This plate is the base for all others in the model. I had made the plate-armor in strips. I used a plate, a “curve," the array modifier, the curve modifier and some lattices.
I placed the curve on the coarse model at the place where the strip has to be.
Array modifiers are able to make plates along the length of the curve.
The curve modifier put our plates in the form of the curve. To finish the job we use a lattice to put our plate strip in the right form.
Texture and the UV
The variety of details in the wood is from the textures. A texture has to fit three requirements. First, it has to have a huge resolution (2500 x 2500 pixels); second, a lot of details like knotholes, cracks and so on; and third, it shouldn't have perspective blur or compromising blur.
I set up the UVs in two layers. The first layer is made for the texture images like the wood or the rust. It is usual that unwrapped UV elements will overlap.
The second UV layer
The other UV layer is for pre calculations like "Normalbump" or “Ambient Occlusion,” and because of that the unwraped UV elements are not able to overlap.
Of course, I could use “Texture Bake ” or "Projection Painting “ and change my texture to fit in one UV layer but this has 3 drawbacks:
1 You get a lot of texts very fast
2 Many textures make mistakes
3 You always lose detail by chang-ing a tex-ture that much.
I haven't started rigging the character. Because I have not finished the model completely and I need to make some more tests. My requirements for the rig are that each limb is able to extend and to shrink, and that the behaviour of the plates is physically correct. I want to make a sort of ragdoll system for the plates that lets them swing around.
You will find my project thread herewith the latest news. And thanque you for all your submissions and your good advice.