Personal project to study about 3D character design for games.
My role: Character design, modeling, re-topology, UV layout, texturing, render, post-production, logo design.
Total tris: 14.376.
Tools: Zbrush, Photoshop, 3DSMax, TopoGun, xNormal, Marmoset Toolbag and Verold Studio.
Eye For Games magazine 2013.1
Bob Bump Turntable
Just click on the “Go 3D” button below to see this 3D model in real-time.
I modeled, painted and rendered the high-poly version inside Zbrush. After I did the post-production in Photoshop to get the final render.
MatCap Material: Metal Grouce by Grant Warwick.
Here are the props modeled and painted in Zbrush. I created the wooden bat and the baseball ball.
After I had the high-poly model done, I did the re-topology inside the TopoGun to create a low-poly version and tweak the mesh inside 3DSMax. Here are the wire-frame screenshots from the low-poly model. Total triangles: 13.736.
I did the UV layout inside the 3DSMax. While this model is symmetrical the texture is not. So, I just shared the same UV space for the arms and legs. Also, I mirrored some parts of UVs 0-1 out of the UV map just in case to help bake textures like Normal map later on.
Baking textures was very tricky process to me in the beginning. I needed to try a range of test before picking the best workflow for this project based on the tools that I had in the moment.
I’ve used xNormal for creating Normal map. The baking process in this case wouldn’t work by just using the model as a whole piece, I needed to have this process broken it in several steps to get cleaner render results.
Besides of using different Cage sizes in the settings, I needed to separate the pieces from the high-poly model as well. For example, separate the body from the clothes pieces. Then, I baked the textures for each piece later on. After, it was just a matter of edit the best render parts from each piece inside Photoshop and bring them together in just one UV map.
I’ve used the TopoGun to bake the Ambient Occlusion map, Cavity map and the Color map following these steps.
In Photoshop I brought them together. I applied the AO and Cavity map over the Color map just by using Multiply Blending mode in Photoshop to help me bring out some details on the model.
Also, I tweaked the colors as needed and I tried to add some textures over the skin color to bring some life to it.
For the Specular map I’ve just created a new layer over the Diffuse map and I tried to play with different colors, also using Blending mode layer settings on Photoshop and tweaking the map as needed.
Finally, here are all the maps that I used for the body. To have better details I created first at 4096×4096 resolution, but after I did tests with 2048 X 2048 resolution and it worked just fine.
Body – breakdown texture
I did test visualization of all the maps inside 3DSMax. After, I used the Marmoset to create materials, test the maps on the model and create dynamic lights in the scene. Here are the texture breakdown and screenshots from Marmoset from my firsts tests.
Posing low-poly model in Zbrush using ZSphere Rigging
I wanted to test new poses for this character, but I didn’t have enough time to learn the conventional “rigging and skinning” for this project just yet. Also, I already finished modeling and texturing. So, a quick solution was to try new poses using ZSphere Rigging inside ZBrush. You can see this technique here and here on Zbrush.
For this case, Zbrush did a great job. I had a better idea if the low-poly mesh would work properly or not, especially to test new poses and bring the character to life. Of course this model still need to have a real “rigging and skinning”, but for displaying purposes this solution was enough.
If you are just starting the project that might be a good way to go to test new poses quickly.
Now, you might have drawback in this process, especially if your model already has an UV layout setup and textures created which it was in my case. Zbrush seems not export properly the OBJ file without destroying or messing it up the UV layout that I have applied before on the original OBJ file.
Using Morpher in TopoGun for transferring the UV layout to the new mesh
Rendering the final image
Thanks for all those who have supported me in this project.