Motivation and description about the project

Ancient warfare has always been one of the most appreciated topics in the field of history. The strategy, the tactics, the victories of the underdog and the mastermind behind them have drawn great inspiration for historians, artists and politicians of all era. As for me, I have always been interested in the history of Three Kingdoms (181 – 265). During this period of time, China descended into total chaos; eunuchs use the puppet emperor rule the imperial court; people suffer hunger and drought, warlords fight each other for territory and survival. During such a chaotic time, many intelligent and capable generals have the opportunity to prove their virtue to the worthy ruler they serve and to the people they protect. As such, Three Kingdoms, while full of sufferings and bloodshed, featured some of the greatest historical figures in Chinese history, with great military achievements and significant advancement in warfare technology.

Much of the philosophy in military warfare during the Three Kingdoms period were recorded in texts by several scholars of the era, but there was a lacking in sources of illustrated images. Therefore, this project aims to use 3D technologies to recreate the ancient warfare system, including army, weapons and different kinds of units, in a more futuristic settings.  Specifically, the author will try to combine imaginary weaponry and construction technology with the philosophy of the ancient military system to create a visually satisfying representation of ancient military, The project will include renders of each military units, their descriptions of strengths and weaknesses. Further developments may also include portrayals of historical figures but in futuristic costumes. In the initial stage, I will focus on designing cavalry unit, since horses are symbolic icons of ancient warfare.

Visual sketches

The sketches start with diverging and exploring some new idea about how to connect futuristic elements with traditional value of warfare. Much of the philosophy and strategy of each weaponry remained the same, but the form is much altered to fit the new futuristic feeling and struggle. In order to avoid being only a mere 3D representation of new kinds of weapons, I mustn’t emphasis solely on technicality and has to incorporate elements that represent the material and emotional struggles in war time. Such elements can be composed into meaningful scenes.

Visual researches

Collected images are related to Horse, Armor, Tank Tread and the Cross Bow. I’m trying to collect images such that the materials don’t significantly favor either machines or ancients.

Intellectual research

The hardest part about the project is to combine elements of ancient warfare with more futuristic aspects. Ancient weaponry (as evident in collected image) usually features assemblage of small pieces, while futuristic elements usually have really smooth curve. Unbalanced combination between the two can make the model look quite toyish, evident in the first model version, which is heavily based on the sketch.

Too smooth

The resulting model looks quite toy-ish and doesn’t have much room for improvements. I decided to redesign the front of the image by breaking apart a lot of pieces. The breaking apart into pieces have a lot of advantage. A lot more sharp corner can be created, while the model still retains the smoothness of each element. The modeling of the front, attached with a cross bow on the top, shows a lot of potential.

The Tank