The orthographic sheets in Fig.12 contain the true information about the shapes of the character. The character might appear a bit bloated; the reason being that, the actual orthographic views of the base mesh were used as the basis. Sometimes when artists draw these sheets by hand, they use some kind of perspective in the orthographic sheets, which is wrong, and will result in a thin model. This has to do with the foreshortening of cylindrical shapes in perspective.
All the sheets use neutral light to give a clear indication of color and material types. There are multiple sheets, each showing a layer of the costume, so that no part is obscured by another part of the costume (Fig.12).
Taking it into 3D
The overall workflow was very standard. I already had a base mesh that I used to help me concept in 2D. This mesh served as the starting point for the modeling process. I aligned all the orthographic sheets in Maya, and modeled all the costume parts around the base mesh. All hard surface parts were refined in Maya, while more organic parts of the model were taken into Mudbox to be sculpted. The body and especially the face also underwent a heavy sculpting pass in Mudbox (Fig.13).
The aim was for the final model to be of cinematic quality, with a polycount of 231,196 triangles; it's still manageable to work within Maya while giving the impression of a really high polygon model.
After the UVs were done, all the sculpted information was baked down using normal maps.
Texturing was done in Photoshop. Mudbox was used for projection painting. Fig.14 shows a few examples of finished textures sets. The top row shows the diffuse/color maps, the middle row the specular maps, and the lowest row shows the normal maps.
These textures were tweaked to work with my shaders, which were fairly simple in most cases. Phongs and blinns were used for a lot of the common materials. mental ray's fast miss_fast_skin_maya shader was used for all the skin. Mia_material_x_passes shaders were used to get a nice scattering effect on the white robes by enabling translucency. The mi_car_phen_x_passes shader was used to create a more convincing gold look for all the armor plates (Fig.15).
Posing was achieved by rigging the character in Maya. Soft skinning was used for all the organic parts, and all hard surface parts were simply parented to the bones. nCloth allowed all the flowing fabrics to be draped nicely over underlying parts (Fig.16).
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