Sonic 3's 3D Models

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by bookman the stinky, Nov 18, 2019.

Do you prefer Knuckles' design in the concept artwork, or the 3D-render inspired artwork?

  1. Concept Artwork

    40 vote(s)
    52.6%
  2. 3D-Render Inspired

    36 vote(s)
    47.4%
  1. Yeah, no worries. It's always unique and interesting to find out why someone likes/dislikes something.

    I do agree with Sonic Blast for the GG, although I will say that there were some cool ideas (Special stage clouds where kinda neat looking), just the execution didn't sit well for me. Everyone was trying to be Donkey Kong Country in terms of sprites from CG renders back then I guess.
     
  2. rata

    rata

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    upload_2019-11-29_12-24-47.png

    Sorry guys, but I couldn't not notice this.
     
  3. bookman the stinky

    bookman the stinky

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    Time to bump this thread with more useless knowledge and more shit I can compile about where these models were used, and maybe even start a (more than likely fruitless) search for that model. Sonic 3D Blast has its own model, seemingly created by Traveler's Tales.
    From what I can tell it's a modified version of Sega's own 3D model, suitable for being digitized as a teensy tiny little bab sprite on a 320x224 screen. The cartridge art (which guaranteed was made before that model was completed) uses what I'd like to think of as a stopgap between that official Sega model and the one TT made.

    I'd also like to point out that Sonic Blast's box art uses different angles of that 3DB cart model (even between regions). Judging on how the models appear in game, it's safe to assume that the same models used in S3 were also used in Blast (if you squint you can tell). The Death Egg graphic in the ending looks like a super scaled down version of the one in the S&K title .
    [​IMG] upload_2020-10-19_17-37-13.png upload_2020-10-19_17-40-34.png
     

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  4. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    One way to do things is to pull up the games' credits:

    Sonic 3/Knuckles
    - C.G. Artist: Kunitake Aoki

    Virtual Sonic
    https://info.sonicretro.org/images/e/e5/VirtualSonicBack.jpg
    (Kunitake Aoki)

    Kunitake Aoki. He even links Sega Retro!




    Sonic 3D (Mega Drive) credits:

    - (Travellers Tales) 3D Models and Animation: James Cunliffe, Neil Allen, Dave Burton, Will Thompson, Jon Rashid
    - (Sega) 3D Modelling (SOJ): Toshiyuki Mukaiyama

    The Traveller's Tales people are mostly still at Traveller's Tales. Toshiyuki Mukaiyama (向山 俊行) would go onto model characters in Clockwork Knight.
     
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  5. Are the Knuckles in game sprites really pre-rendered? How can you tell?
     
  6. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    With assistance from my younger self, earlier in this topic - it's looking as if Sega bought their SGI workstations around 1993, and I don't think, realistically, they'd be at a stage where they'd have signed-off "official" company 3D models for Sonic the Hedgehog (and Knuckles) for some time. If ever. I mean you've got to train your staff at some point, and even make a decision about whether the workstations were worth keeping.

    Kunitake Aoki, who was doing a stint at Sega Technical Institute, probably created the 3D renders you see in Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles. Someone else would get involved for 2D touch-ups - either way there was a process, so while yes, the same base 3D model was likely used throughout both games, they may have played with the 2D result to make things aesthetically pleasing.

    Example:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    I think they aded in the mouths later. Because Sonic's is different and Knuckles doesn't have one on the S&K title screen (and Sonic doesn't have one on the Virtual Sonic cover).

    I'm not convinced these models were used after S&K. Kunitake Aoki went over to Comix Zone, and Sonic game development went back to Japan.


    Now it's 1995 or something, and Sega want to make Sonic (3D) Blast. So they get Japanese-based Toshiyuki Mukaiyama to make 3D models of Sonic and pals:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    One set goes off to Traveller's Tales, another to Aspect - "go make a game" etc.. And again, no mouths - add that noise in later (fun fact: Sonic Blast never did).

    TT use this as a base for all their in-game Sonic animations, but find it needs some tweaking
    [​IMG]
    etc.

    Hey look no mouth.
    (though they got their act together by the Saturn port. This model is also used for some 2D portions of Sonic R)

    This model was also likely snapped up by Sega of America for the Sonic (3D) Blast art, though perhaps late in the day, given that the cover differs from the cartridge, and it was outsourced in Europe.

    Toshiyuki Mukaiyama then goes on to do the Clockwork Knight games, but he is credited in Sonic Adventure, so perhaps his work was used as a base (his Knuckles looks very similar to Adventure's).



    As far as other ones go,

    - A totally different model is made for Sonic X-treme, because "sensible" is not a word associated with that project. It looks as if that model made it to Sonic's Schoolhouse. Hard to tell, harder to care.

    - Sonic Ride was a demonstration by AM3 about how good they were with computer graphics... so they probably made their Sonic from scratch.

    - I couldn't tell you were the Japanese Sonic CD and Spinball advert Sonics come from, but both were released around the same time, so were probably outsourced to the same company. 3D graphics in advertising were leagues ahead than games at the time, and it shows - nothing Sega was producing in 1993 matches that Sonic CD ad. (is that ray-tracing??)

    - The model in the Sonic Jam introduction/title screen is different, but we're talking 1997 in a rapidly improving field of computer science.


    So yes, each game had different models. Which makes quite a lot of sense when you think about it.
     
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  7. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    Now I can!

    https://retrocdn.net/index.php?title=File:BeepMD_JP_1993-11.pdf&page=36

    The Sonic CD one was outsourced to a company called "Lynx" or "Linx" or "Links". Apparently the deep voice is that of Ward E. Sexton, who also narrated the first Resident Evil game (among many other things).
     
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  8. McAleeCh

    McAleeCh

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  9. SystemsReady

    SystemsReady

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    huh. did we establish that Sonic 3 and 3D Blast used the same ones? the first pose in the second tweet is the infamous t-pose used in in-game renders for when Sonic blows up the game's final bosses.
     
  10. Pengi

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    This is the first time I've noticed the colouring error on Eggman. The cuffs of his sleeves should be red, but here they're white, as though they're part of his gloves.
     
  11. Neowl

    Neowl

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    [​IMG]
    Did you guys notice this from the Works section on Kunitake Aoki's website? Ignore if it's old news, but I certainly haven't seen this particular render.
     
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  12. Metalwario64

    Metalwario64

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    Hmm... That whole image looks extremely similar to the Sonic 3 menu background, but it's all different.
     
  13. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

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    It looks like it's using the same model and meshes as the S3 BG, but with a different camera angle and without the color reduction. The font is also missing the shadows, which may imply this is an earlier render, or they were added post-rendering to the S3 BG.

    Come to think of it, I find it curious that they had a full 3d model of Eggman. It makes sense that they would make models of the others, as they were needed for rendering their special stage sprites and the title screen graphics. But the Eggman model isn't used anywhere in the game outside of the Blue Sphere screen.

    Were those models used anywhere outside of S3K around that time? Or maybe it was just future proofing. Like, they figured with the advent of 3d and prerendered graphics, it would come in handy to have a 3d model of each major character in hand. Makes me wonder if they had models of Amy and Metal Sonic as well.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2020
  14. Chainspike

    Chainspike

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    While taking a look at his website, I started messing around with the image URLs, and well, the results speak for themselves:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    The original title renders for Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles!!!
     
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  15. Dark Sonic

    Dark Sonic

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    Working on my art!
    Woah! Awesome find!
     
  16. Pengi

    Pengi

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  17. Rudie Radio Waves

    Rudie Radio Waves

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    Image links are dead.
    Also, sonic3_2.jpg appears to be missing?
     
  18. Neowl

    Neowl

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    Interesting stuff, great find!
    I found that site doesn't like hotlinking of their images, so I mirrored them on my Imgur:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  19. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    I must admit, when I said they didn't have mouths back in October, I wasn't completely certain.

    Looks like I was right though - great find!
     
  20. It looks like it’s Tails in the Egg Mobile but his sprite is upside down. Possibly a bug that was fixed before release?