Character Creation for Video Games

Introduction

This set of tutorials should give you an overall idea of the process of character creation. It does not go into technical details of the software that is being used, but should give you ideas and suggestions of different tools and methods in the process.

This is the process I used to make characters during 2009. This means most tools have been updated and ZBrush now has Decimation Master or GoZBrush, while 3ds Max has an improved UVW Unwrap process.

Part 1

Using the base template, adapt it so the silhouette matches the concept art:

Prepare mesh for ZBrush work(UVgroups/Polygroups)
**Align mesh to concept art
**Align head to concept art
**Tweak head details
**Tweak eyes and hair position
**Fix arm angle and overlapping issues
**Cleanup mesh in Max

Part 2

Detail overview of Unwrapping the low-res head:
**Prepare different groups
**Tweak jaw
**Tweak mouth
**Tweak eyes
**Cleanup and test Unwrap
**Prepare UV groups for ZBrush

Part 3

Starting with the base template head, sculpt a high res head using the concept as a guideline:
**Basic shape and overall layout for the main shapes
**Working on details
**Creating hair
**Review head

Part 4

Creation of the high res body following the concept and then the low res version to use in-game:
**Review of the concept and preparation of the model
**Review of basic high res model in Max and changes from the original concept
**High res modeling in ZBrush
**Retopologize body in ZBrush
**Export to Max

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Part 5

Prepare the model to be textured in Photoshop. Includes importing all the low and high res parts into Max, Unwrapping them and creating Normal and Ambient Occlusion maps:
**Import low and high res head
**Fix geometry, topology and UVW map for low res head
**Optimize high res head in Polygon cruncher
**Create Normal and AO pass for head
**Unwrap how poly body
**Export high res body from ZBrush and batch optimize
**Create Normal and AO pass for body
**Review mesh in Asset Viewer

Part 6

Final step of the model creation. Texture work in Photoshop and any additional tweaks to the low poly geometry to support the textures:
**Create base texture for head
**Create base texture for hair
**Create base texture for shirt and tie
**Create base texture for trousers
**Create base texture for shoes
**Clean up and review textures

Part 7

Review the model and any changes that were made in the end. Overviewof additional texture and geometry tweaks and what could be improved:
**Geometry changes
**Texture changes
**Normal map editing
**Conclusion

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