My final concept references is as follows:
I set up my concept as image planes in Maya and began modelling in both side-view and front-view (this was a tip I learned from many helmet tutorials on YouTube, including:)
I found this useful as I was able to grab the vertices and match them to the points I wanted from my hand-drawn concept. I really liked the notion of being able to take my traditional sketchbook into a much more complex computerised environment. One challenge this green-lit, however, was being constantly aware of the object as a 3D body. A vertices moved could move in any angle. This contrasted greatly with my experience before in 2D software.
I had chosen a relatively complex, risky shape with the helmet bucket so it took a lot of attempts, but eventually I settled on this object. I decided to add a seam around the bottom of it in order to add a sense of complexity, however at the time I was not fully aware that this would complicate things with UVs. Next time, I would save a copy of the helmet shape without this to have as a back-up. Lesson learned!
I used a Torus primitive for the breathing apparatus which was effective in creating that classic ‘stormtrooper’-inspired look, however over time I found that it was perhaps too perfect and lacked an organic feel that the modernist sci-fi design language has. Hence, I took a sphere and began modelling it to fit the shape I wanted. The result was more rustic and integrated with the style of the entire design, so I went with this option. I simply duplicated and mirrored this to the other side after UV mapping was complete.
Furthermore, I began altering the lower front of my helmet to be more rustic, brutalist and battle/ready, exposing the inside less and acting more as sufficient armour. This made the trooper feel “heavier” and more strikingly sci-fi.
As my ideas changed throughout development, I sketched this accordingly resulting in this revised final concept: