Making Of 'Demon Hunter' by Wuxu
Hello, everyone! I'm very glad to share the process of creating my character Demon Hunter.
I liked the design concept of Diablo 3 very much, so I decided to start this piece while looking forward to the release of the game!
I collected a lot of reference pictures, including the original character concept art, some other artists' paintings and cosplay images. The reference materials were chosen for two aspects: details and textures (Fig.01).
I create a basic body in Maya and properly lengthened the legs to make him look more agile (Fig.02).
Next I defined the body further. I knew that only the head would be showing in the final image, but I thought it would be good practice to make the rest of the body parts too and that perhaps I could use them for other characters later (Fig.03).
I adjusted the angle of his arms and then started the next part of the production. I used the NEX topology low res head in Maya, then used simple shapes to build all the equipment.
It's important to pay attention to overall proportional relationship between clothing - or armor in this case - and the overall silhouette of a character. I used different colors to separate the armor, leather, fabric etc (Fig.04).
Then I created the details, distinguishing different regions, to prepare the model for the later production in ZBrush (Fig.05).
Sculpting and ZBrush Pass
I separated this character into several different parts, such as metal, leather, cloth and head. Then I added details to each part in ZBrush, such as folds, skin details, etc., (Fig.06 - 08). I made the lower body and gloves symmetrical in order to make the texture maps have a higher level of precision.
After the high res model was completed, I divided it into several main parts to export it as an OBJ. There are two reasons I did this; firstly so I could bake a Normal map for the separate parts of the model and secondly so the topology of the models could be tackled separately in Maya (Fig.09).
Low Poly Model
Once I had exported the high poly models into Maya they could be used as a reference to create the low poly, final version of the games character (Fig.10). I used NEX and Maya's standard tools to do this. When the low poly model was created I began the UV mapping in Maya.
The weapon is a single UV. I expanded the UV of the head, gloves and small parts of the character in order to show more details. The same parts in the UV are overlapping.
I think the weapon's map size was 512 x 512 and character's map size was 2048 x 2048 (Fig.11).
In order to avoid an error when baking AO and Normal maps, I separated the overlapping part after the UV was completed. Before baking I used triangulation to avoid the abnormal shifts in the following normal mapping (Fig.12).
I used Xnormal to generate Normal and AO maps. In order to solve any problems caused by separating the model, I used the low res model in Maya to generate a whole AO map and overlapped them (Fig.13 - 14). Then I fixed some minor problems in Photoshop, and the final Normal and AO maps were completed (Fig.15).
The Diffuse map can be seen in Fig.16:
A. I made the base color by referring to the Normal map
B. I overlaid the basic texture of various materials, and increased the wear of the dark armor
C. Next I increased the stain, scratches and general details.
D. Finally I adjusted the AO hue and the transparency, set the Normal map to Multiply to create a Cavity map and adjusted the overall hue and contrast of the map.
First of all, I drew the relationship between light and dark, and then overlaid the color change, drew details, and made final adjustments to complete the head map (Fig.17).
First I removed the saturation of the Color map. Then I adjusted the contrast of the brightness between the different parts using Levels, with the aim of separating the contrast of the brightness between the leather, cloth and metal. Finally, I used Color Balance for each part to add a bit of color tendency (Fig.18).
After that the Gloss map were produced based on the Specular maps, and placed into the Specular channel: Alpha 1 (Fig.19). Next I converted some of the details of the Color map and added them to the Normal map, such as metal, scratches and stains.
Finally I produced maps of the weapons using the same method (Fig.20).
Posing in Maya
I used Advanced Skeleton v3.7 to bind in Maya. Then I chose a pose that I wanted, adjusted the model, output it as an OBJ, and started the following production (Fig.21).
Rendering in Marmoset Toolbag
For the final render I used Marmoset Toolbag v1.05. I used a few groups of lighting sets (Fig.22):
A. Key light
B. Auxiliary light
C. Back light
The open shadows generation can be seen in Fig.22 - 23.
You can see my render settings in Fig.24.
And here's the final, completed image (Fig.25 - 26).