I used 3ds Max to model the hard surface armor and ZBrush for his face and hair. I usually model all of my characters in a generic T-pose, but this time I went and modeled everything in the final pose. Modeling the armor was the hardest on this project because of all the details and small pieces it consists of. I ended up with a high polycoun,t but that wasn't my concern from the beginning.
The first thing I did on Katsumoto was the blocking in of the helmet and the mask (Fig.02). In the end I decided to throw away the mask because I really wanted to show his face.
I started with a simple polysphere that I split along its middle edge and moved around the vertices to create an oval shape. The neck protectors were created using a simple plane with chamfer and the Extrude tools. Too finish it off I added a shell modifier for the thickness, followed by Bend and FFD modifiers to round it up in such a way that it follows the curvature of the helmet.
The ropes that are holding all the neck protection pieces were created separately. I created one of these and the rest were instanced. You'll want to do the UVs straight away because you might end up collapsing the stack and making all of them unique objects. You would then need to re-do all the steps that you did already.
The visor was done the same way as the neck protector pieces. I created a simple plane that has thickness, added the outer chrome/silver parts and then bent it in shape with FFD.
The knots, ropes and all the knitting on the helmet were placed using the Spacing tool (Tools > Align > Spacing tool or Shift + I) inside 3ds Max. First you need to make different types of threads that you are going to use. Once you're done just lay down some curves on that surface using the Graphite tools or by creating shapes (Create Shape under Edit Poly) using the existing edge loops on your model. Open the Spacing tool with the thread selected and pick your curve. You will see that the thread is now placed on the curve that you just created. Just increase the count and turn on the Follow context. If the orientation of the threads is wrong you might need to play with the rotation of the object in order to get it right (Fig.03).
The chest plate is composed of two parts: metal cover and the back leather. Just like with all the other models I started with a primitive shape. This time I created a cylinder that I edited using the Cut Polygons tool. I repeated the same steps for the inner leather part of the chest plate and once I was satisfied I selected both of these pieces and applied Shell and FFD modifiers. To get the desired curvature I moved around some of those FFD points. These steps were repeated for the back armor as well (Fig.04).
The big cloth rope (as well as all the other ropes) that prevents the helmet from falling off was first created using simple spline shapes (Fig.05) that I wrapped around each other. Once I was happy with the way it looks I modeled one segment of the rope. Since it was a small segment of rope I did the UVs for it straightaway. This way I could apply a pattern to the whole thing.