Playing with fibermesh in Zbrush. Kinda hoping I can use it to generate hairplanes/textures. But just playing in general cause fibermesh is fun :D
I think I skipped an update last week but basically working on details all over the body, armor, and redid the fins for a final time. I'm happy with this layout. All I have left really is doing more detail work on her crown and then on to retopoing. Trying to aim for 15kish for her.
This past weekend I participated in my first micro game jam in Orlando called The Indie Galactic Space Jam. It was a three day event, starting Friday night(7-25) and went until Sunday night(7-27) that ran out of the Orlando Science Center, which is this fantastic 4 level kids science museum located near College Park. If you are in the Orlando area go take your kids for the day! You can check out pictures from the event on the Space Jam Facebook Page
The Indie Galactic Space Jam was an idea started by a fellow Fiean, Kunal Patel, who is also the founder of the local Orlando Indie community and meet-up Indienomicon. While I haven't been to an Indienomicon meeting I do have many friends who've gone and who use it to promote their personal projects in the O-town dev scene.
The Space Jam was an event to celebrate and promote interest in space exploration and science. Orlando is considered part of the Space Coast scene, having many Sim and space oriented tech companies.
I was so excited to be able to work again with some of my favorite Fieans. One of my producers from Pitch Jumper, Kevin, asked me about a month ago if I wanted to join and I was like "YES I WANT ALL THE SPACE GAMES." Kevin is great to work with, and we have similar interest in promoting education in the sciences (he was once a high school teacher before going into the games industry) so this was a great opportunity to have fun doing what we love while promoting cool topics.
I've been meaning to make this post for a while but I got caught up in a few other projects.
I wanted to do a lower poly character as a warm-up and loved the baby felpurr cards from the mobile game Rage of Bahamut so I used that character as a base/inspiration for my little cat girl model. Each Rage card has 4 different "evolutions" in terms of what the character looks like. I took pieces from all 4 baby felpurr cards as inspiration as well as adding my own elements. I imagined the character to be used in a mobile game from a 3/4s top-down view, so I exaggerated her eyes/head proportions slightly to compensate for that.
Below are the official Baby Felpurr cards:
This guy started out as a really quick 15 min sketch back in November. I just loved his lips and derpy expression so much that I wanted to see if I could bring him into 3D. When I found out about the Blizzard Character contest I thought it would be a great reason to push his design and really have fun with a painterly texture style.
Step 1. Concept
The initial sketch and a quick 20 min color/light study. I had a pretty good idea of what colors I wanted him to have so this was a pretty fast process. I grew up always having some sort of freshwater tank in the house and always loved the colorful catfish-type breeds you could get. At first I played around with the idea of him having more muddy colors like a real catfish, but decided that if he was an NPC you were trying to find underwater from a distance, than I wanted you to be able to see specs of color from afar. I didn't want him to totally pop out, but I didn't want him to blend into a watery blue blur.
2. Next I did a very basic body sculpt in Zbrush(render from Maromset):
I knew I wanted to flesh out a lot of his details with cards and simple geo but I wasn't quite sure how I wanted his tail fin to look; should it be thick or long and flowy? I thought the spikes on his tail in the initial design was a little too much so I dropped them. I saved out this sculpt as a base, and then retopo'd it in zbrush, getting the base body down to about 3k polys. I also didn't want this to get pushed too far into realism so I held back on a lot of the smaller details; I would fill those in via texture painting. This gave me a good base for the face details to generate a basic grayscale map from a baked normal map that I could use as a paintover guide.
3. Uving and building out decor detail geo
After I got the model where I wanted it to be geo-wise, I built out all the extra details and decorations.
I cut the main body in half, and cut UV seams for how I wanted the geo laid out:
Once I had all the geo laid out I went ahead and started painting in the texture. I started with a flat color laid over the normal map I baked out from the original zbrush sculpt:
From start to finish this guy took me two weeks, working 2-3 hours a day.
I feel like I'm leaving out a million in-between steps but these are the big chunks of process I used to create this guy. I ended up creating a full map set for him, for more professional renders outside of what was required for the Blizzard contest. The Blizzard version was only rendered out with a diffuse map. This version has a diffuse, spec, normal, and emissive map applied but the same polycount.
Maya 2014 student edition
This is the final version of the character I did for the Blizzard student character contest. This was such a fun project to do and regardless of the outcome, I had a blast designing, modeling, and texturing this guy. I'll probably do a larger write-up once I get home(visiting the parents atm) about my process or in the very least show progression shots.
|Jen Melnick3d Artist and Illustrator||
All Images Copyright © 2011-2016 Jennifer Leigh Melnick.