In brief: Ever wonder what GTA protagonists of yesteryear would look like given a modern reimagining? Probably not. But one talented artist has turned the ugly old characters of Tommy, CJ, Claude, and Niko into lifelike 3D models.
Kotaku has once again highlighted the talents of character artist Hossein Diba, who has recreated the anti-heroes of GTA III, GTA: Vice City, GTA: San Andreas, and GTA IV, along with San Andreas cover girl, Rochell’le.
Diba has previously worked with CD Projekt Red, Blizzard Entertainment, the WWE, and more. Make sure to check out his portfolio of work right here.
Going in chronological order of the games, check out Diba’s version of GTA III’s player-controlled mute criminal Claude. Released back in 2001, GTA III felt revolutionary at the time, having switched from the previous titles’ overhead 2D perspective to 3D.
Next is mobster Tommy Vercetti, voiced by Ray Liotta, from GTA: Vice City—the best-selling game of 2002 and still one of my personal favorites.
2004 saw the release of GTA: San Andreas. The story follows former gangster Carl “CJ” Johnson as he battles LSPD police officer Frank Tenpenny, memorably voiced by Samuel L. Jackson.
Finally, there’s Niko Bellic from 2008’s GTA IV. Bellic’s original character design is a lot more advanced than the others, though it’s still interesting to see what a real-life version of the war veteran might look like.
Diba has also created a 3D model of Rochell’le, the R&B/hip hop singer from GTA: San Andreas, who appears on the game's cover.
Away from GTA, some of Diba’s many other 3D recreations include this incredibly realistic, if mildly terrifying, version of Homer Simpson.