With another week gone by, we’ve made some progress. The week began with us beginning to model some of the assets needed. We began exploring unity & realized the magnitude of the learning curve there to get this right. Mid week due to loosing some more team members in the other team the 2 teams were merged into our project. We suddenly became a huge team. More team dynamics & some increase in scope to utilize all the team members well. We finally managed to finally assign work to all team members & today the 1st round of client outgoings in terms of base mesh modelling is going out. Fingers crossed. 🙂
This week I have been researching a bit about game character modelling. Some of the tips I gathered along the way:
- Know your restrictions:
It is imperative to know not just the polycount & texture page limits but also the environment settings & how the character will be used in those settings. In other words what details will be seen etc. Our character has a hood but that does fall off hence making the hair is important. We also have close ups of her face & hands & hence those details are also important to get right. Also getting the Units & scales right are important to make sure all measurements are correct.
Get as much research & references in place before starting work so that one is clear on the look & design aspects expected.
- Start simple & add detail to only where it is needed:
It is very easy to model with no restrictions but if a body part is not being seen up close or not being used in any kind of animation & hence doesn’t need to be deformed, or it is going to be such a miniscule part of the overall scene, it makes no sense to put in all that effort & use up the polycount budget.
- Be economical:
To optimize the poly count it is best to delete all unseen geometry. Eg: under the clothes. Anything that doesn’t add to the shape of an object or to how it deforms should not be there.
- Follow natural muscle lines:
While building the model, try to remember the way the model is going to be animated. The poses the model needs to take etc. Try to keep the topology in the same flow so that the deformations looks natural to those poses.
- Retain a seamless model
A character with a lot of different clothing elements, armour etc can become a nightmare to rig & animate if they are in different pieces. Ideally they should be combined & make into one piece so that animating them becomes easier & one doesn’t face issues of the meshes below popping out from underneath for certain deformations.
- Take advantage of normal maps:
Normal maps are a great tool to fake extra details without making the mesh too dense. It should be utilized to the maximum wherever required.
- Check the silhouette:
Sometimes while working on a model for long, it becomes difficult to look at it with fresh eyes. Seeing just the silhouette make a difference. Just add a plan shader on a contrast background & see if it reads well.
- Make the character distinctive:
Find innovative ways to make the character distinctive by exaggerating some parts, in terms of colours used or by giving it a personality.
- Leave the scene clean:
Since normally projects involve working in large teams, it is a good practice to use correct naming conventions & leave the last version of file worked on as clean as possible so as to reduce confusions.
- (n.d.). Loonygames’ Thinking Outside the Box. Retrieved October 01, 2016, from http://www.loonygames.com/content/1.6/totb/index5.php
- (2015). 20 top character design tips. Retrieved October 01, 2016, from http://www.creativebloq.com/character-design/tips-5132643
- (2011). How to create character models for games: 18 top tips. Retrieved October 01, 2016, from http://www.creativebloq.com/how-create-character-models-games-18-top-tips-9113050
- The Division – Best Character Builds. (n.d.). Retrieved October 01, 2016, from https://www.primagames.com/games/tom-clancys-division/tips/division-best-character-builds