The characters have now been reduced from millions of polygons to just 3000 each and have also been unwrapped and textured using Photoshop and xNormal. They are now setup in 3dsmax and are ready to be rigged using the CAT system I used for the Heroes Realm project in Germany. I want to use this system because I feel it is better for animation instead of using the old biped rig which I usually choose. This should allow me to expand my skillset and learn new techniques when it comes to animation.
Retopologing can be very time consuming so to speed things up I decided to use Topogun instead of the standard Zbrush tools because I find it tedious to adjust the zspheres for every vert. Topogun was much faster because the vertices cling to the outer edge of the reference mesh and it is easy to quickly join up the polygons and draw topology.
To get the high res sculpt into Topogun I needed to experiment with the decimation master tool. This was so that I could have a working reference that didn't cause the software to lag which I found slowed me down when drawing polygons. Using the decimation master I reduced the polygon count from something like 30 million to 2 million polygons in Zbrush, whilst still preserving the shape and details. This worked much better and Topogun worked correctly as I recreated the low res mesh.
For most characters it took about 2 full days to retopologise. It was very exhausting and repetitive work but I finally managed to get all my characters with correct resolution and neat edge loops into 3dsmax. Unwrapping was fairly straight forward which only took 2 hours for each character. Using the full 30 million polygon sculpt from Zbrush with polypaint attached I imported the sculpt and finished low res mesh into xNormal to bake Diffuse, Cavity, Ambient Occlusion and (for some characters) Normal maps.
The 3 characters that didn't have Normal maps were the hand painted characters like the Soldier, Mage and Cowboy. These I wanted to keep as simple textures for their style as a mobile game character like the ones I worked on at Goodgame Studios. These turned out alright I think and should be suitable if I ever try to gain a character artist job for a similar game studio.
The character I spent the most amount of time on was the Spaceman because I wanted to add full Specular and Reflection maps to the material so that this character could stand out. I used several tutorials to experiment with creating a metal texture and I think the result turned out okay. I will just need to see if later on I use the character in Unity where I may need to recreate the material.
The characters are now ready to be rigged, but before I do that I am going to work on several weapon assets that some of the character will use in poses and animations. These include an assault rifle, a pistol and a staff which I intend to fully concept and design as interesting props for my portfolio.
Hi, I am a 3D Generalist from Teesside University. This is my blog where I update progress on some of the projects I work on as I practice the skills for a job in the games industry.