AuthorTopic: More low poly this time (scroll past old posts)  (Read 11949 times)

Offline Argyle

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More low poly this time (scroll past old posts)

on: March 07, 2012, 02:00:15 am
I picked up a DVD through Blender covering Low Poly Game Character Creation by CG Cookie.com. It will cover the creation of a model, sculpting it all at high poly, then baking those sculpted details onto a low poly mesh.

This was the character that the tutorial series teaches you to make, animate, and bring into Unity 3D:



I learn better by applying lessons to my own creations though (and I think their model is goofy as all get-out looking) so I will be going through all the processes with my own little guy.

I'll post up the progress shots when there's milestones when I have time to work on it outside of normal job stuff.

Here were the concept sketches I threw together before starting up the lessons. Just something goofy and not-too complex.





First pass at modeling it over the reference sketches:



Quickly didn't like his proportions, so I altered them before starting the sculpting. Here is what my sculpt is looking like so far:



Probably going to do something about the size of the hands before finishing up and making the low poly mesh. Will also have a few more things to add before finishing the sculpting phase, such as getting some hair, details like pockets, teeth, eyelids, adding the suspenders/gun holster, etc.

Thanks for checking and let me know if you have any critiques or suggestions to improve how I'm working on this. Been wanting to learn 3D for too long so I'm just diving in. Blender, being free, is where I am beginning. Not sure what software I will move to once I'm better at it. It will probably end up being what I see most widely preferred with companies/studios that I want to court for contract work.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2012, 12:24:06 am by Argyle »
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Offline Wes

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man this is badass if it's your first thing.

honestly dude your first proportions were a lot better. they fit the cartoon style better—the updated version has legs and arms that are so long and thin that they almost seem creepy, and the same with the body—it looked better when it was more beanlike. i like the big-headed cartoon style, but with a body that thin and with limbs that thin the head is just too big

good luck man i'm looking forward to seeing where this does

Offline Argyle

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Thanks for the feedback!

I wouldn't call it my first model, just the first thing that didn't look like a square with extra vertices blobbing off into nothing in space. I will shorten the limbs down next time I open this up, because now I see it being too lanky as well after hearing it.

Spent the week away from artwork (creating it anyway) to finally build my site. Still updating things and tweaking here and there, but I hope to round out its article database soon if anybody that happens through this thread wants to pop by from time to time! Link to the new and improved ArgyleBox.com.[/advertisement]

Until next update,

<3
Thanks Mush, adcrusher524, Ego, and iLKke!

Offline Argyle

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Mini Update:



Teeth, hair and eyebrows, belt, suspenders, eyelids, legs and shirt reverted to pre-sculpt shape and shortened up. I felt the sculpting on the pants and shirt was too wildly wrinkly anyway, so if I go back to give them any kind of skulpting detail, it will be minimal to keep a smooth and toony look to it. I also reversed the direction the cuffs on the shirt was facing.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2012, 11:03:04 pm by Argyle »
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Offline Argyle

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Here's a GIF that illustrates the steps I took to create most of these details. Push in and/or pull out details like it's clay, really.



I'm not going to bore everybody with details. If you're interested in more information about step-by-step breakdowns for certain aspects or tricks I used, you can read more at my blog post here.



After going over each body part to give some sculpted detail, I hope to be showing a low-poly mesh translation for the next progress update!
Thanks Mush, adcrusher524, Ego, and iLKke!

Offline Argyle

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To address any concerns, the shinyness is just due to the fact that I don't know WTF does what as far as materials and lighting goes. That's just the default material with light and some render settings checked. This whole modeling progress is being made from methods I'm adapting from watching somebody else model something entirely different from this, so hopefully this will get less slimy/stripper sexy as I learn how.

Making the low poly model from this I'm hoping to correct the balloon animaliness of the current state and make it more charming and blocky. We'll see, maybe it will turn into a full fledged balloon animal dog. Not even IIIIIIIIIII KNNOOOOoooow!
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Offline Argyle

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First you make it simple, then you make it complex, then you make it ridiculously complex, then you make it super simple and tape a picture of the ridiculously complex version of it and hope nobody notices. Getting light sources to highlight and shade portions of the model as if it were still in high poly and let the computer create the textures for you are the whole point of why the sculpting took place. I've done a few passes of baking those features from the high poly to the low and wound up with a result that is good enough for me.

Next time I make a character, I will definitely try to do it with way fewer poly count than this. Was expecting to pull off making this guy closer to N64 or Nintendo DS game poly levels, but it's probably closer to the poly count of PS2/xbox phat assets. I think he's even creepier with features...


For the record, I really don't like what this guy looks like compared to the concept image. He doesn't deserve those Dr. Teeth teeth. But, I shall press on!

Being that this is just for fun and learning (AKA while doing this I learned that I should have done things a LOT differently in order to get more controlled and clean results), I just mixed the UV Maps for different pieces that baked at varying levels of accuracy and cloned them together in Photoshop until things applied to the model without any trouble. In places that weren't baking properly, instead of wonking around with redoing parts of the low poly mesh, I just painted the details or squished around with the UV wrapping until it worked some way or another. For example, the teeth just refused to pick up hardly at all in the ambient occlusion texture pass, so the whole wrap was squished to only show a 1 pixel high section of the map.


Like a primordial ooze stage of Tommy Pickles.

The mapping shown here changed a lot after I went to start rigging this because I eliminated a lot of geometry and actually mirrored some of the UVs, like the pants, since I had forgotten to eliminate a lot of the edge loops on only one side. All the buttons are mapped to just one of the baked button textures, despite all 6 or 7 of them showing on the texture map, suspenders only use one of them too, etc. So it's a mess, but all I'm concerned with at the moment is getting something that looks fine and seemless and that I understand why it didn't work this time so future models can benefit.

The UV space worked with is 1024x1024. Yes, WAY more space than is justified considering how grainy of an ambient occlusion bake (the render pass that just picks up the light and dark spots in grayscale so you can layer colors and patterns with it when texturing) that I ended up creating to save processing time on this computer. But since I was not acclimated to how this process would work in the slightest sense, and because this model isn't actually going to be used on a handheld dorito-chipset past-generation game system, being careful about UV size is for the next 3D project. Really though, how inefficiently this was mapped out is probably painful looking to somebody that knows their way around a 3D workflow.

Learned a lot about what works and what causes headaches when you go to texture the UV map due to overly complex or congested geometry clusters. I know I run into issues with trying to do things more complex than needed - this is the first really serious 3D endeavor, I'm more than happy with the C I graded myself with in that regard. So I wave this along to the rigging stage and promise to make more models of different kinds, sizes, and complexities to texturally challenge myself later. With that, I'm moving past all its shortcomings and settling for a simplistic texture overlay that works so I can get to the part that I'm really looking forward to - rigging and animation!


So majestic. And gay... In the classical sense of the word.

Blender has this fantastic addon called Riggify that's built right into the release version that generates a powerful FK/IK slider rig based on your bone positions. Without doing any vertices weight painting after generating the rig, I was already able to move him around really well. A small amount of work (relative to making a rig like this from scratch) will have things really working nicely without stretching and exploding suspenders or buttons.


Hahaha, okay, might have to make this the final structure to work with.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2012, 04:32:15 am by Argyle »
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Offline 9_6

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The colors look a bit washed out.
It seems that you screened the ambient occlusion pass over the colors which results in the bleaching effect.
Maybe you could try another blending mode like dodge or multiply the pass instead for more vibrant colors.
The shirt got it especially bad with its white to red ramp that literally looks washed out.
Does scaling an image blur it?
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Offline Argyle

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I agree about the colors being washed, especially with how blue the eyes are.

They were just brought in and layered in multiply mode. Not wanting to get hung up on texturing forever-long, I haven't done much touching up to this other than drawing the eyeballs in and masking a solid color with a hue/saturation filter overtop each clothing item for quick adjustments later on.

Colors are appearing different in different viewport modes as well as the render, and the DVD training series guy mentioned during his texturing phase that he went back and changed his saturation/brightness/etc further from what the lessons showed because he did a test run with the model in the Unity 3D test game and things looked much darker and deeply colored than expected. So I'm going to wait until I get to the point where it gets brought into the game engine for testing in the intended (hypothetical-if-this-was-real) end environment then make get back to the texture then.

Once I get there I'll post a few different versions of texture for critique, and at the very least add some good denim details to pockets and seams.
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Offline Argyle

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Barring a real update, I just have to get screenshots in order and GIF some other of the animations, like the idle, walk, and runs.

So here's a placeholder joke version of this guy:



(the joke: Epic Sax Guy)
Thanks Mush, adcrusher524, Ego, and iLKke!