To start the process of getting the character game ready and suitable for animation I have been retopologising the horse and human to create a low res mesh that can be textured and rigged. This involves drawing verts onto the sculpt to layout the polygons in the best possible shape that matches the original character. It takes a very long time and I have had to make sure that the topology has edge loops around the joints that will allow the mesh to realistically deform for animation.
Here are the two finished meshes for both the horse and human in 3dsmax ready to be textured. In the end the human came to 7000 polys and horse 5000 polys, which are quite high res for a game characters and I may need to consider cutting that down if I end up sticking them in an engine. For my portfolio that doesn't matter as much as I will be focusing on a quality animation result. However I have tried to keep the poly count at a reasonable level as it will slow me down if I have to rig the characters with ridiculous amounts of detail.
Part of the reason why the human is so high res is because I have been producing each of the parts separately to give me more options. The naked character was done first as a base for the clothes in case I decide to do some combat animations that will need enemies to fight. Because they will share the same rig it wont take long to simply reuse the naked version and get a few more different characters to animate.
The naked human took the longest to do because there were many fiddly areas that need lots of resolution for them to be animated. These include the fingers and face which need edge loops that allow for the many complex shapes these parts can create.
I decided to group all the torso clothing into one piece to simplify the mesh in this area. I expect that I will delete a lot of the geometry on the naked human underneath this to reduce any clipping that occurs when the rig deforms.
Working out the topology on the horse was a bit experimental because I have never animated one before and can't quite expect how the mesh will deform. To help me figure out edge flow I took a look at Edward Muybridge's work on animal movement and the way a horse moves. This helped me understand where the main movements would be coming from and how the joints will need to squash and stretch when animated.
I am a bit behind where I wanted to be by this point, mostly because I've been busy with my job over christmas. I do have a lot more time now though and I will be able to pick up the pace a bit. In two weeks time I plan to have both characters UV unwrapped and textured with diffuse, specular and normals. Once the characters are fully complete inside 3dsmax I can start rigging them up and getting them ready for animation.
Hi, i'm a recent games animation graduate from Teesside University, this is my personal blog where I'll be keeping track of my projects aimed at improving my skills.