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Metal Slug SV-001 Tank

Metal Slug SV-001 Tank

Sebastien Puiatti
by spuiatti on 4 Mar 2024

My animated take on Metal Slug SV-001 tank!

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Did you play Metal Slug back in the days? I am a huge fan, and here is my animated rendition of the SV-001 Tank!

This project was challenging on many aspects. First, I wanted a mix between cartoon and claymation. Second, the SV-001 has a very atypical range of motion and attitude fitting a 2D sidescroller: it can crouch and jump, and use its treads like paws. The functional aspect and rig had to be carefully designed even before modelling. The surfacing was yet another piece, with mixing three different shaders to get the claymation but cartoon look. And finally, all the rich secondary animations and overlaps are a hallmark of the Metal Slug series, so every little piece had to move and swing.

Crouching and Jumping like in the games;

The modelling started in Maya, based on a model sheet released by SNK, the maker of the serie. Some of the most complexe pieces were modeled in Zbrush and retopo in Maya. The final claymation look and dents were done in Zbrush. The most challenging part was to make it functionally sound, while sticking to the base model sheet and enabling the full range of motion of the 2D original without any of the 400+ parts clipping into each other.

The tank was split in four parts, and UVs organised so each part can be textured separately in Substance.

Lookdev was another challenging piece. I wanted to get a feel in-between cartoon and claymation. Three shaders were mixed using a fresnel effect, and some tweaks done in post.

The rig and animation were pretty fun, and required a bit of tinkering in Maya. There is a whole piston system in the main body, and the treads should also somehow behave like paws to reflect the vehicle goofy personality. Also, the tank should be able to do some general squatch and stretch, with very little parts actually deforming and keeping its rigid structure. There are also a lot of secondary animations and overlaps that are the hallmark of the serie.

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