AuthorTopic: More low poly this time (scroll past old posts)  (Read 15922 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 »

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

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 »

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!

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!

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 »

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?
Opera fix Firefox fix

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.

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)

Offline Argyle

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The idle was a bit too long to justify rendering out all of the frames, so I plopped out every 3rd one for the purpose of a GIF, so it got a bit jerky on some spots where the in-betweens were pretty key in padding it smooth. Basic idea is that he is shifting weight from right leg to left leg intermittently. Then I made him make a whole bunch of faces that are obviously the result of discovering many kittens playing right by his feet. Obviously.

There was a walk I did, but decided to scrap it while I was exporting these two because I know I can do better now that I am familiar with how the rig and software works (kinda..) so I'll approach that again and get kind of creative with it.

The eyeballs are static still as it stands, I just made the eyelids mobile to hide the creepy stare he's so good at. Just figured out how to use shape keys tonight and wanted to try it for some facial expression animation to familiarize myself with methods outside of doing it with bones.

Offline Argyle

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Be veeeeeeewwy veeeeeewwy quiet. I'm spamposting wabbits.

Well, short of posting how the import of the character into Unity3D went for testing in an actual game environment, I've reached the end of my DVD training series and this is kind of the end of the journey for this model. I went into this with little 3D knowledge at all, and came out with a moving piece of meat that I'm really proud of, despite his misgivings and excessive polycount/texture size.

I was going to post about how it worked out bringing into the game engine, but it was so easy and unnecessary to do anything other than export the object package and load it in and add a character controller script to him (automated menu option) to be able to play around with it. Makes it far less intimidating for me knowing how compatible the things are and how little extra work is needed to go from creation process to converting it into workable assets.

Having learned what I did just on this one project piece, I recognize where there was a lot of work done on things that didn't need it and where I should have thought ahead/planned better as far as the mesh/baking/texturing is concerned. This character being as simple as it is could probably have been accomplished without sculpting or bothering with a normal map and created with much simpler and cleaner geometry. Mapping out the UV space could have been miles more efficient and creating the textures manually would not have been a terribly hard task. BUT I had no idea at the start of this how it would pan out so I'm glad I came away from this being able to identify problems at all!

I will keep using this thread for future 3D practice, but updates past this section (other than addressing any crits about this character) will involve new pieces.

I'm thinking the next thing I will try to bypass sculpting altogether, fixing to just model something and texture it manually. So it will be much more truly low poly than this.

Thanks for viewing and anyone who commented so far!

Offline Argyle

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Tiny Car

Reply #12 on: April 13, 2012, 09:14:22 pm
More low res this time!





64x64 textures this time as opposed to 1024x1024 :P

Sorry for color distortion of the export, compared to the texture map, had to downsample in the interest of filesize in the GIF

Looks like it went a little goofy at render time with how it mapped the textures compared to how it looks in the modelling window. So here's the view from inside Blender. I had turned off Mipmaps and everything for the render options but I suppose there was something I might have missed.

« Last Edit: April 14, 2012, 12:38:20 am by Argyle »

Offline Mathias

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Re: More low poly this time (scroll past old posts)

Reply #13 on: April 15, 2012, 12:35:11 am
Getting proficient with 3D-ish stuff are we? Very good. 3D work can be really fun, engaging work. When I worked a full-time doing 3D all day I found that it was very immersive. Like animating crap in Flash, you can just do it all day long. The possibilities are endless.

It's very common among 3D characters but do you think there's a way to give him more "life"? He has this puppet Pinocchio marionette vibe to him - almost a creepyness. It seems to take some pretty serious mastery to create 3D humans and they look believable. Of course, your little guy is a cartoon so it's less imperative, but it's something I pick up when I look at him.

Be veeeeeeewwy veeeeeewwy quiet. I'm spamposting wabbits.

It's your thread. You can't spampost yo own thread, son.


(your site bg doesn't span my mon's standard 1080p width - 1920px, might wanna expand it some)
« Last Edit: April 17, 2012, 07:05:16 pm by Mathias »

Offline Argyle

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Re: More low poly this time (scroll past old posts)

Reply #14 on: April 15, 2012, 02:01:44 am
It's very common among 3D characters but do you think there's a way to give him more "life"? He has this puppet Pinocchio marionette vibe to him - almost a creepyness. It seems to take some pretty serious mastery to create 3D humans and they look believable. Of course, your little guy is a cartoon so it's less imperative, but it's something I pick up when I look at him.

I definitely recognize the model of the guy's 'plastic' personality, in fact he pretty much creeped me out for most of the modelling process once I plopped some eyeball textures onto him. Once I got into learning how to manipulate the face in the animation portion I think it helped out a little. But, for what it is, I'm not hung up on it considering that character was made as an exercise to learn the software as well as 3D workflow at its most basic levels. So in the regard of showing me the ropes, he informed me that he appreciated not getting disqualified in the preliminaries.

Quote from: Mathias
Getting proficient with 3D-ish stuff are we? Very good. 3D work can be really fun, engaging work. When I worked a full-time doing 3D all day I found that it was very immersive. Like animating crap in Flash, you can just do it all day long. The possibilities are endless.

Certainly finding that to be the case. And it's funny that you compare it to animating crap in flash, because I was the same way when I first figured Flash out way back in the Macromedia Flash 8 days. I could have tweened a whole day into oblivion without a second thought! Thoroughly enjoying 3D so far, and am happy to recognize that my workflow is improving every time I tackle a new piece.

Quote from: Mathias
(your site bg doesn't span my mon's standard 1080p width - 1920px, might wanna expand it some)

Much appreciated, expanded to 2100 wide. You monster.