A large amount of time went into working on the anatomy of the characters. After completing the first body, I was convinced I needed more time to work on the sculpts. My main concern was the sheer number of characters I’d have to produce within the allocated time. The first order of things was how could I make it simpler for myself? Firstly, identifying the common body types and making sure their anatomy looked and felt right was step 1 in the process of simplification.
Making sure your anatomy is right plays a big part in making the characters look and feel human. I recall watching a GDC talk on the animation of Battlefield 3 and how they focused so much on the human anatomy and getting it right before they proceeded to designing their characters. In this case our game isn’t exactly aiming for such a realistic look but I want it to have a somewhat realistic feel while staying true to the concepts we have.
[PS: Don’t mind the feet they were fixed]
All the characters in the game are narrowed down to these 4 body types. The sculpting process is cut in half since all that is required of me is to change the faces and tweak things a little to fit the concept artists vision.
The Look & Feel
Once the bodies were taken care of, the next challenge was to sculpt them identical to the concepts given to me by our concept artist. It was difficult trying to interpret 2D to 3D. I spent more time fixing issue’s with their faces than anything else.
Getting their silhouettes right was the important job. I wanted to make them look as close to their concept counterpart as much as possible. So far I’m proud of Sal and how he’s come to look.
The poly count of the models are being kept within 15000 for now. The reason is we have yet to stress test the vive and find out just how many polygons can we push and keep a steady frame-rate above 90.
Re-topology was another beast in itself. Zbrush just doesn’t like it when you manually go in to fix the topology of a model. It crashed way to many times and the fear of losing data loomed over my head the whole time I did it. If that isn’t living on the edge, I don’t know what is.
“The only threesome I’ve ever experienced is with Pantene 2 in 1″ – Pantene Commercial.
HAIR! Oh glorious hair!! I spent about 2 days trying to decide on what procedure to take when making hair. I considered hair planes which would be time consuming to set up but more rewarding, versus hand sculpting the hair into one glorious mesh. It wasn’t a hard choice when it came to sculpting Sal’s hair, but Monica is a different story. Say hello to curly hair!
[The face is still a place-holder]
Now I see why curly hair is hard to maintain. I still haven’t found a solution to solving this problem. Hand sculpting the hair will take ages and the end result would probably be lots of wasted polys. Then again if i take the time to set up hair planes I might be able to pull it off while still keeping the poly-count relatively low. This was achieved by using a curly hair IMM brush and placing the curls on the head. The hair alone currently stands at 26000 polys.
With Sal and everybody else sculpting the hair is fairly easy and can be accomplished within an hour. Sal’s hair was an adventure to sculpt and so satisfying!
UV’s, Texturing & Unity
The next on the to-do list is to UV all the characters and have them ready to be textured by the end of the semester. Another issue is with tweaking unity’s rendering settings to make things look a lot prettier. One of the possible thing’s I’d love to add is HDR and a camera effect which, hopefully, doesn’t murder the frame-rate.