Modeling the outfit
The next stage was modeling the base mesh of the character's outfit in 3ds Max, and then exporting it into ZBrush
and finishing the model. The model was significantly different after the sculpting process: a lot of imported details were modified and some created in ZBrush from scratch. Below you can see several sculpting stages.
During the sculpting process, the model constantly traveled from DynaMesh to ZRemesher and back, occasionally being modified in the ShadowBox. I used the Clip Curve brushes and the Panel Loops frequently, as well.
Building up the detail in the model
Retopology and unwrap
Commencing the work, I decided to create a mid-poly model and to texture it by baking, so the next thing was to determine if I wanted to do the re-topology manually or with the ZRemesher. My character worked well with the high detail, and I couldn't afford wasting too much time on applying polygons to the model by hand due to the tight deadline, so I ended up experimenting with the ZRemesher.
After wasting 3 days on experiments, I was greatly disappointed with my decision: the result was quite decent, but it would bring a lot of problems with the unwrap and skin. So I finally opened the model with TopoGun and began the hard work. To my great surprise, it was much less time-consuming than expected. All in all, TopoGun
, with further adjustment with the 3ds Max, equaled a great result.
I then performed the unwrap with the UVLayout. I divided the model into 5 texture zones: head, torso, legs, backpack and a separate cloak texture.
Unwrapping using the UVLayout to begin the texture phase
I baked the maps using xNormal
. The contest conditions allowed using an unlimited quantity of polygons and textures with any resolution, so I decided to use the 2,048 ? 2,048 textures. To correctly bake every element, I had to split the character into 59 parts. Normal, AO, curvature, vertex colors, objectspace, which equaled 295 textures in total.
Of course, manually baking so many textures would consume a huge amount of time, so I used my cunning. I loaded all the high-poly and low-poly elements into the xNormal, and then selected the required pairs, made all the adjustments, applied the maps, chose the name and save path, calculated the ray distance, and then saved my settings in the settings and examples tab, and saved the file into the separate folder for each of the 59 pairs.
Using xNormal to bake the maps