For the longest time I have focused entirely on environmental and prop modeling. Here and there I have made animals and characters, I understand Edgeflow for bodies and faces, as well as the other complexities of being a 3D Character Artist, so the workflow isn’t new to me, but I have never created anything Reel qualit. Most of the characters I have modeled and textured were used to teach myself something or to keep my skills at organic modeling up to date. But I have always wanted to focus on characters. Like my previous post about how excited I am about working with a PBR workflow for a project this semester this post is to express similar excitement for my ability to work entirely with character art for a class.
Finlay (my name for him) is a concept created by Alexei Samokhin in 2011. I took the character as is and created some orthos out of him and at the same time created a backstory/personality for him to help flesh out the turntable for my reel. The most immediate thought about this guy was that he was an oafish sidekick of a hero. Lovable, reliable and protective, but a bit clumsy while at the same time being a strong fighter.
The next step of the process, after establishing the character and creating the orthos, was to decide how they would be textured. For this I gathered some references and threw them together into a ref-sheet that I can keep open while I work.
Once that was all done I got to modeling. I approached this model from a more traditional workflow. First I created a base mesh in maya, focusing on topology, with extra attention paid to the facial area.Once that was done I separated the mesh into parts that would be skin, and parts that would eventually become clothing. At this point I got a tiny bit ahead of myself and decided to see what the final textures might look like in a preview state. I separated the arms and face and threw them into Mudbox. Here I sculpted some details and did some quick suggestion of muscle groups on the arms and neck. The character himself has a bit of a soft look to him instead of rigid well defined muscles so this worked out very well.At this point I tried throwing it into substance painter, but having recently updated my drivers this was impossible due to technical issues (it is working great now!). Instead I baked out my maps using TURTLE in maya and threw it back into mudbox and started using the paint tools there.
One thing that helps out a bit was using the blur tool to fix any weird issues with the normal map in areas like the tips of the fingers, that don’t bake very well when going to a much lower polycount.
Right now all the textures are in a temporary state and will remain so until the rest of the character is modeled, sculpted, and baked out for painting.