Using the same techniques, I began building Bishop's weapon: a giant chain gun (Fig.15).
Once the chain gun was completed, I began refining Bishop; adding things like the tech eye patch and reworking areas like his cape and facial detail (Fig.16 & Fig.17).
Low Poly Modelling
Once I was happy with my high poly sculpt, I dropped down the sub division levels and brought the various pieces into Max. From here I either built an entirely new mesh around the high poly model or reduced the imported high poly model to a state that was game engine friendly (Fig.18).Â
The game resolution version of Bishop wasn't necessarily animation ready, as the goal here was more or less to get a mesh that would retain the details of the high poly mesh (keeping rounded edges, same rough silhouette, etc.) and still be under the budget assigned to us for a polycount, which was 10,000 triangles.
Some rules that I did keep in mind regarding animation, mostly for the sake of being able to pose the character, were to leave enough geometry in organic joints to deform properly (basically two or three loops for the elbows and fingers, in theory weighting each edge loop to a bone so that the joint in question retains shape when it bends). For inorganic joints like the knees, I simply split the mesh in these areas and capped off the holes. This would cause the shins to basically rotate around the "kneecap", crashing through the piece of geometry that makes the upper leg.Â Normally, this wouldn't be ideal for organic characters, but since this character was heavily armoured and made of hard surfaces, which didn't need to deform, this approach worked fine and took up less triangles.
By keeping the legs as separate meshes, I could also benefit from having their detail mirrored without having to worry about awkward seams or obvious symmetry, since it was a minor part of the character compared to other elements (Fig.19).
In the end, with a bit of hacking away at the mesh to cut edges wherever I could, Bishop came out to be 10,000 triangles exactly (Fig.20).Â
I really did nothing special when it came to unwrapping Bishop. I used all of the standard tools in Max with no additional plugins. Basically, using a series of projections, I laid out UV islands and stitched them together, trying to keep any seam at a natural seam within the character (for example, where the head met the collar) or in places that were fairly hidden (such as the inner legs) (Fig.21).