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Create a Game Character: Jouster - part 9

By Adam Fisher
Web: Open Site
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Date Added: 13th August 2013
Software used:
Photoshop, Maya, ZBrush, Misc

This exclusive, free tutorial series will explore game character creation workflow. I will cover my entire process of taking a concept through to the final game asset.

You can see how the concept was designed by Marc Brunet on LayerPaint in his two-part tutorial.

During this tutorial series I will cover:

1. Blocking in the proportions
2. Sculpting the face
3. Sculpting the armor
4. Creating the armor meshes
5. Finalizing the details
6. Creating the low poly model
7. UV unwrapping and texture baking
8. Texturing the armor
9. Texturing the face
10. Model presentation in Marmoset

I hope you'll find this series of helpful in some way and if you have any questions feel free to contact me. Let's get started!

Texture the face

Step 1: Texturing in ZBrush

We'll begin the face texturing process by PolyPainting in ZBrush on our high poly model. I like to start with some photo reference as a base and paint on top over that. is a great resource for human reference and textures!

When using any photos for texturing, try to remove any of the harsh lighting information. In ZBrush, import the photo reference (Texture > Import) and click the Add to Spotlight button. Use Spotlight to align the photo reference with the model and begin painting the texture information onto the model with a Standard brush and RGB turned On (and ZAdd/ZSub turned off). Work your way around the model to block in some rough texture to begin with.

Next, turn off Spotlight and change the Standard brushstroke type to Spray and the Alpha to Alpha 07, or a custom skin pores brush. With the RGB Intensity very low begin to layer on and even put some of the skin tones from the texture reference.

Press C to quickly color pick and try to add some subtle skin variation. We'll be finalizing the skin texture in Photoshop, but this will work as a good base to start with!


Step 2: Baking PolyPaint

To bake the PolyPaint information is fairly simple: export the head OBJ from ZBrush and load it in the high definition meshes tab in xNormal. Scroll across and uncheck 'Ignore per-vertex-color'.

Load the low poly mesh and set the Ray distance from the previous bakes. In the baking options, check 'Bake highpoly's vertex colors' and hit Generate Maps.


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