I used the standard unwrapping tools in Max to unwrap the model. The only tip I can think of her is to straighten the edges of the various parts and to hit the relax modifier with the Keep Boundary Points Fixed option. This helps in fixing seam issues and also fastens up the texturing phase quite a bit (Fig.11).
Normal Map Baking
Xnormal was used for baking the Normal maps. I imported the decimated highres into Xnormal, along with the lowres. I used the Ray Distance calculator before baking, and entered the values in maximum Frontal Ray distance, and maximum Rear Ray distance. Once this is done, Xnormal is able to do a great job of producing Normal and Ambient Occlusion maps. I also flipped the Y value under the Normal map options (Max uses a flipped green channel).
Once I got the Normal and Occlusion maps baked out, I used the Occlusion map as a base to block in basic colors (Fig.12).
I used Dave Nagel's Photoshop brushes, found at:
These brushes do a great variety of operations, from mimicking skin to cloth patterns. I also used photo references, but a majority of the textures are painted in. I started refining my texture by painting in skin details, pattern fabrics, dirt and grime. It slowly started to take shape.
The jeans pattern and the pattern on the bag were done by overlaying photographs on top of base colours. I added some stickers on the bag to make it more Punk styled. To view my textures, I put on a directx shader in the Max viewport. I also used the Marmoset toolbag (www.8monkeylabs.com/toolbag/toolbag_install.exe
), to a get a feel for how the character would look in-game. By doing this, I got a solid feel for the direction I needed to push the texture in terms of detail. Here's a directx screenshot with three omni lights (Fig.13).
Here's a snapshot of the completed texture (Fig.14).
I desaturated the Diffuse map, and used that as a base for the Spec map. I first blocked out the larger areas that shone more, with a soft white brush. Then with a Grime brush, I created tone variations for patterns and skin (Fig.15).
I was looking to set the character in a relaxed pose. So I created a very basic rig for it, just to relax the hands, face and legs. Once I was happy with rigging and posing the character, I started to think about the lighting and rendering.
Lighting and Rendering
The scene was lit with two area lights and two omni lights, and the rendering was done with mental ray, along with Final Gather. I set the Rays Per FG point to 300 and the Diffuse Bounces to 3. I rendered the shadow and diffuse separately, as I wanted to add a floor to the scene. So I rendered out two separate passes, and combined them in Photoshop. Here is the final render (Fig.16).
Fig. 16 - Click to Enlarge
I started very vaguely on this character. I didn't have a concrete idea or really knew what I was aiming for. I feel it is very necessary to get the character concepts on paper, before starting the actual modeling.
Polygon budget wise, the character stands at 17k triangles. It might be slightly over the top, but this kind of budget helped me achieve desired silhouette and structure.
A turnaround animation for the character can be downloaded from http://www.vikramvr.com/img/gallery/3D/Punk.flv
I thank everyone who has helped me create this character, and hope you enjoyed reading my Making Of.