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Create a Game Character: Jouster - part 4

By Adam Fisher
Web: Open Site
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Date Added: 13th August 2013
Software used:
Photoshop, Maya, ZBrush, Misc
1766_tid_jouster02.jpg

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.

The tutorials are intended for intermediate users with some knowledge of the software being used, plus a base understanding of character art workflow.

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!

Create the armor meshes

Step 1: Scene setup

In this chapter of the tutorial I will cover creating cleaner meshes from our earlier ZBrush rough sculpt. This process comes down to personal workflow preference: some people prefer to continue refining the rough sculpt in ZBrush, while others may prefer using the retopology tools in ZBrush or 3ds Max. For this tutorial, I am using some of the newer modeling tools in Maya 2014.

I used the same process for all of the armor pieces, so rather than repeat myself for each object, I'll just concentrate on one part of the model. To begin, import the decimated ZBrush objects into Maya and put them into a new Layer; I name it "ZB". I have a second layer that I used for the ZBrush meshes that I name "Working". In this layer I transfer any ZBrush meshes I'm working on at that time. The third layer I use for all the new meshes that I create in Maya. I find this helpful as I'm able to quickly toggle the visibility of meshes I'm working on and those I'm not.

1766_tid_04-01.jpg

Step 2: Retopology workflow

The main tool I used for the retopology process is the new Modeling Toolkit (Edit Mesh > Show Modeling Toolkit). I'll be concentrating on the helmet as an example of creating cleaner meshes. Select the decimated ZBrush helmet meshes and add them to the "Working" layer. In Modeling Toolkit > Transform Constraints > Other Surface choose the helmet mesh.

Select Quad Draw (Modeling Toolkit > Mesh Editing Tools > Quad Draw) and begin placing vertices on the mesh. Use MMB to move a vertex, Ctrl to delete and Shift to create a polygon between 4 vertices.

Use Quad Draw to create one half of the new mesh. The topology flow over flat surfaces isn't too important; however, try to keep the topology fairly evenly distributed and make sure there are continuous edges running along any sharp edges of the mesh.

Once one half of the outer surface of the helmet is created, mirror the Geometry (Mesh > Mirror Geometry), then merge and align the vertices along the centerline. Select all the faces of the mesh and Extrude to create the thickness of the helmet. Extruding inwards may invert the Normals; to check this go to Display > Polygons > Face Normals. If they facing incorrectly, go to Normals > Reverse.

1766_tid_04-02.jpg



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