Hey all... thanks for stopping by to check out some Ten Ton Gorilla. For this post I wanted to share some of the work that went into creating the Cyclops Shaman model.
Finished "in-game" model...
For this particular character we wanted to create an interesting, unique unit while at the same time creating him efficiently. Given this we decided to have him share the same body type as the OMD! Ogre. Sharing the Ogre's form would save a great deal of animation and early stage modeling time.
Now that we knew the starting point one of Robot's talented concept artists, Nate Stefan, worked up a concept based on the design needs and the Ogre's form. On the modeling side I decided to begin this mission by using the in-game Ogre model created by fellow character artist extraordinaire Chris Moffitt.
Using the Ogre model provided a great starting point to begin the Zbrush phase. Once I have the Zbrush model completed I export the lowest subD mesh from Zbrush and import it into Max. Within Max I will create the in-game model using the lowest Zbrush subD (after some cleanup and optimizing) and then lay out the UV's. Now that I have my low and high poly models complete the normal map baking stage begins. I usually make about 2~3 projections within xNormal set at different influence or distance radiuses... for instance... .05, 5, 20. This enables me to get the best projection for various aspects of the model (between fingers, straps, and large areas such as the torso). Once baked I'll combine the normal maps within photoshop for the cleanest, highest quality map possible. Now that I have my normal map set the way I want it I will create an occlusion map from it within Crazybump. Once my normal and occlusion maps look clean and ready to roll I will go into max and assign the Direct X RTTNormalmap.fx shader to my Cyclops model. Doing this enables me to actively view the model with the normals active to check for any artifacts, unclean areas, or trouble spots in general before fully exporting it to the game. Once I am happy with every thing thus far I will texture the character within photoshop using the occlusion as my guide. This Cyclops uses a diffuse, spec, normal, gloss, and emissive texture map. For final texture tweaks I view the charcter within the game's engine. Once the Art Director is happy with the character it goes off to our animation and FX gurus to be brought to life!
The below image displays the concept, starting point Ogre mesh, Cyclops model as seen within max using the RTTNNormalmap.fx shader applied, and the final Cyclops wireframe.
The Zbrush model of the Cyclops Shaman.
Thanks for stopping by! Hope you enjoyed this post. Stop back soon and often for more tidbits from the Robot Art Staff!