Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Male character update

So, I have started to watch the 3D Buzz ADP (Advanced Digital Production) texturing videos and have started to texture this guy. This is a the very base, I will look into incorporating real skin as well, this is in fact my next step.
Just to throw it out there, I'm looking more for a stylized character than a realistic one. I cannot yet tackle a realistic look as I need more to learn. But I feel confident I can get it to look the way I want it, and besides, that is how I wanted this guy to look like from the very beginning. I like the stylized looks.

I'm going to explain the steps I took to get this far.
NOTE: There are seems and some other discrepancies I know, I will fix them so don't worry.

After the whole model was complete in Maya I brought it over to ZBrush and started to create displacement sculpting. Meaning I added more volume and details to make it stand out wherever I wanted, like making the muscles bigger or creating nipples and belly button. However, I didn't create a belly button for the simple reason, it will never show. :) Excess detail is just a waste of memory. I might even think of deleting the toenails as well as they won't show either.

Well then, once the displacement sculpting was done I started to do some more fine details (like pores, wrinkles and stuff). These will be the bump map later on.
Then I exported this displacement map and fine details. I also created a 'feature map' from the displacement map and from the fine details map I created 'cavity map'. This is a function inside ZBrush and when these two are combined in Photoshop along with a base color it resembles a bit Ambient Occlusion. However, I think I'll later on bake AO into the texture anyway. I'll have to see how the real skin will look first.

Then I just went into Photoshop and started to paint some dark areas and lighter areas all over the body along with some very suddle change in color of the skin.

Well, that's that. I'll post more updates as this progress.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Meet Meline!

Hey folks.

This time I won't blog about me, but in fact promote a bit the short 'Meet Meline' which is created by Virginie Goyons and Sebastien Laban. This is a amazing little short which has taken over 2 years or so for them to create in their sparetime. They have recently released a trailer for their short, sorta a teaser trailer as the original short is only going to be a few minutes at most.
Apart from that, they've been having interviews and even a book created specifically only for this project.
Needless to say, they've done a superb work and the outcome is stunning. This is definitely not something a 3D fan or artist should miss!

You can go to their website to read more about it:

You can also visit their production thread over at CG Society:

And lastly, do not miss the trailer:

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Nexuiz player model update.

I believe that I now have fully understood the process or creating player models for Nexuiz, at least in theory. I have spent a lot of time orienting and reorienting the joints of the player model so that the weapon (and animation of the model) will correspond to the world of Nexuiz.
It was a agonizing process where I basically had to orient the joints, export it, compile it and test it out in-game. It took a long time (around 2 days) to finally get the perfect base position.
Note that this is my first serious rigging and animation project (I'm a modeler mostly) so I did learn about skeletons and stuff that you have to keep in mind. I of course had some basic knowledge, but now I understand this even more.

So, where am I at now? With the base pose done I am now creating animations, in this particular case the 'idle' animation. This is the animation that is played when you enter the game and don't move at all, so while your player is standing still it 'idles' and moves a little.
This is a fun process, I like animation. I'm almost done with this 'idle' animation and will soon try it out in-game.


PS. I might later (when it's done, might be a few days, depending how much time I get) upload a video or something to show the animation in-game, mostly to get feedback and such.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

On approach to Nexuiz player models!

Yay, I finally am starting to master that art! Unfortunately, the people able to create player models for Nexuiz wasn't that helpful. Sure, they helped occasionally but I had to pretty much go for a 'trail and error' approach.
However, in recent days I got a new energy boost from 'glennxserge' (on the Nexuiz forums) aka Joshua Mills (I think that's his name). He is also an experienced Maya user and popped in on the forums wanting to create player models. He also knows perl and thanks to that, he created a script which apparently is necessary for Maya users in order to get the bones correct for each vertices. The 'Valve SMD Exporter' for Maya messes that up :/

Anyway, Joshua shared his script with me and thanks to that I have been able to make progress. I will post up some images here but if you wanna read a more thourought explanation as to what I did you can go here (Nexuiz forums, that specific post).

BIG thanks to Joshua, I wouldn't have done this without his help!

PS. This model is not mine, it's not me who created it. A guy named 'Ivan' (from Nexuiz forums) created it and donated it to Nexuiz, he also created the textures, he's a great 2D artist as well as 3D.
However, at that time no one was able to rig it. Now it's been collecting dust on the forums but I always thought that that model was too good to not be included in Nexuiz. I personally took it upon me to somehow get it into the game. Now I'm finally making progress!

I tried getting into contact with Ivan to see if he wanted to give out some personal info so I could credit him properly. But I haven't succeed yet, for now he's only known as Ivan. :)