Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Projects 350 - Character Technical Development

Having hit on the look of the character and having a lot of excitement and interest in the creation of the character model, I got started creating the initial model itself, getting the head blocked out and refined fairly quickly. I also took an export of the model into Zbrush to check for holes and problems successfully, as well as created a rough test of a morph deformation target successfully. It works! I'm on the way, and it feels great.

The head stands at 586 quads (1,172 tris) right now, a very respectable low-poly count for a cinematic like this. I spent a lot of time studying edge loop topology to make sure I'd be able to have a lot of good deformation in the face when it comes time to animate. I bought a couple of books, one on facial animation and rigging and another book on how to set up a character rig in Maya.

My plan for my workflow right now is to build out the models in 3DSMax, then import the models into Maya to rig and skin it. I much prefer the rigging setup in Maya, as well as the animation and lighting tools.

(The following was created a day or so after the post above and was merged with this post as they cover the same topic)

I've finished much of the modeling for the character, having roughed in much of the costume and completed the limbs and extremities. I managed to complete the model without using only quads, which will help subdivision and sculpting for normal maps in Zbrush, if time allows.

I want to have an advisor take a look at my topology before advancing much further to ensure that the deformation will work as I hope it will. I still have yet to model the interior of the mouth or the tongue, but that should be rather simple. Once the design is finalized, I can begin making morph deformation targets for the face to help with the facial animation. I'll be sketching out the needed poses for the face before doing the target poses, and will be sure to work with an advisor to ensure that this is done correctly and wisely.

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