Create a real-time game character

Character artist William Paré-Jobin breaks down his 3ds Max and ZBrush process for creating a Witcher-inspired real-time game character...

Hey guys! I have made a short tutorial/breakdown to show you my process of creating a real time character for games. I hope that you'll be able to grab some tips and tricks along the way. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask them!

Step 1 First step first: getting the references!

Getting the references is probably one of the most important step but is unfortunately often overlooked. It's always important to get as much ref as you can get from every angle. For my Witcher, I took some of them from a history book, on the internet and from the Witcher's art books. You can also use scan and 2D ref from 3dsk.com: they have a huge library! Finally, you can also make a moodboard for the colors, lights and mood of your character. I know it's a pain to do all this extra work, but it is worth it, and IT DOES REALLY HELP!

Step 2 Sculpting: let's do the fun part!

Everything starts with a good idea, then a good sculpt. A mistake I often see is people making a rough base, and then jumping to the details. DON'T DO THIS! Don't get me wrong, details are fun to do, but the base and the silhouette are what we really see, especially in a game since the characters are often small on the screen.

Step 3: Making the hair

Creating hair for me is boring but it's also a really important step of character creation: a character without any facial hair can feel a little boring in my opinion (I made that mistake in the past, just check out some of my older projects.)

Step 4: Rendering in Marmoset Toolbag 3

Finally, once the low topology, the baking and the textures are done, you can render the character! This step is also really important: this is what you are showing in your portfolio, and what other people see! For this step, I always take the time to make solid lighting and test different camera angles. You can also create a backplane or any kind of support for your character so that it's not floating in the air!

Step 5: Final word

Thanks for staying with me till the end! I hope you add fun reading. Don't hesitate to follow me for any update or breakdown!

Related links

William Paré-Jobin on ArtStation
"Warrior" in the 3dtotal gallery
Grab a copy of Beginner's Guide to ZBrush