Today i have been researching the pipeline for creating games characters in AAA titles.
According to Gabriel Tironeac, a 3D designer at Assist Games, the over arching steps are
-Creating the low poly base model in 3Ds Max
-High poly sculpting in Zbrush
-High poly painting in Zbrush
-Retopology of Zbrush mesh
-Maps extraction from Zbrush mesh to game mesh
-Creating the game texture map
-Creating a biped skeleton and adding skin modifier to the game mesh
-Transferring motion capture animations to biped animations
-Tweak and export animation for ingame usage
I am quite familliar with the steps in ZBrush, and have experimented with retopology before, but some of my weakest performances have been polygonal modelling in Maya, or 3DS Max. Some of the animation steps arent particularly relevant to my project aims currently, and animation isnt something that has particularly interested me, but the process of rigging and skinning will be very helpful with posing the character.
This pipeline is a bit different that one i have used in the past which used ZBrush to build the low poly model at the beginning as well, something i think may have been adressed in the later releases of ZBrush that make low poly modelling much more efficient and easier to grasp than they may have been at the time this post was made detailing the steps. BUT either way the low poly modelling is something i will need to get to grips with as efficiency is key and i can certainly say that creating the character from scratch in Zbrush then building the low poly model around that as i have done previously was definitely not time efficient.
Ive also been watching a video by Eric Chiang, about concepting characters in Photoshop, and have learned a few tips that i can use in character designs to speed up the process and establish values across designs. Using one of his methods i have developed this soldier character, choosing a pose and building tone. He spoke about choosing poses that both flow, and dont obstruct view of the character. What is the point in having a concept image of a characters armour, if the way they are stood hides a lot of the detail, certain differences have to be made between concept art, and character concepts.
Today i have also made a quick bust of a sylized head that i drew yesterday, trying to create characters with more…. character. Looking at them next to each other now i can see i didnt push the sculpt as far as i could, the eyes arent as far apart and the lack of eyebrows really changes the shape of the face.
A Zbrush Forum postby TMNIVISION about character creation went into great detail explaining how they made the figure, and the armour and cloth components of the outfit inside ZBrush. I am uploading the relevant images direct to the blog however as i feel they are particularly important and dont want to risk them dissapearing.
Todays Spit Paint: Bamboo Hut