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Create a Game Character: Jouster - part 7

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

Step 3: Unwrap the arms and legs

I usually try to have the UV seams on the inside of the arms and legs. However, on this character, for parts like the lower leg, I'll put the UV seam along the edge that lines up with a panel split in the high poly at the back of the leg.

Apply either a Planar or Cylindrical map for each for the upper and lower legs and arms. Manually cut and sew any UVs needed to fix up the UV seams. Once again, use the Smooth UV tool to unfold the UVs and remove any distortion.

1769_tid_07-03.jpg

Step 4: UV packing

Once the UVs have been unwrapped, it's time to pack the UV shells into the 0-1 space. Try to unify the texture density for the UV shells. However, some UV shells - like the bottom of the foot - won't need as much texture space as the rest.

For the head texture sheet I've left some extra space for any additional hair strips I may need. One thing to note is the UVs for the hair strips have all been laid in the same direction. This is to take advantage of the anisotropic material in Marmoset that relies on the direction of the UVs.

Once the UV shells have been laid out, move any mirrored UV shells exactly 1 UV space across. You can do this by typing "polyEditUV -u -1 -v 0" in the MEL script dialog (I have it set as a button on a custom shelf).

1769_tid_07-04.jpg

Step 5: Bake in xNormal - part 1

I use xNormal to bake the texture maps. When baking our texture maps, we can 'explode' the high poly and low poly models, and then bake all at once; however, I prefer to bake parts separately and combine the texture maps in Photoshop.

Baking objects like the lower leg and upper leg at the same time without 'exploding' them will cause errors in the texture bake. Go through and split the character into separate meshes where needed, and export the meshes as an OBJ.

1769_tid_07-05.jpg

Step 6: Bake in xNormal - part 2

In xNormal, load all of the ZBrush high poly meshes into the High Definition meshes tab. In the Low Definition meshes tab, load the low poly meshes. When baking the separate passes, turn on the visibility of the OBJs that are needed for each bake in the High and Low Definition tabs.

Although a cage mesh can be used, you can set the ray distance for each object in the Low Definition mesh tab. Use the ray distance calculator in the Tools tab to help calculate the ray distance for each low mesh OBJ.

In the Baking Options tab you'll find the settings and a selection of maps to render. I normally bake normal map tests to check for any errors and that the ray distance is correct. Set the desired map size and bake out a Normal map and Ambient Occlusion map. I also bake out a Bake Base texture map, which I use as a selection mask when blocking out my base colors in the texturing phase.

1769_tid_07-06.jpg

Step 7: Combining maps

With all of the separate textures baked, combine them into one complete Normal and Ambient Occlusion map. Once all of the normal and occlusion bakes have been combined, I use nDo2 to create a cavity map from the Normal map. Alternatively, you can use CrazyBump.

1769_tid_07-07.jpg

1769_tid_adam_fisher.jpg
Click HERE to see the next part in this series.

Click HERE to see the previous part in this series.

Want to start from the beginning? Click HERE to see the first part in this series.




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