Making Of 'Technomage'
Pavel explains how he created his Technomage, Razoch
Hi! My name is Pavel and some may know me as GoodAtom. I live in Moscow, Russia and I work as a freelancer. In this article I will tell you about my method of creating this character, who was created for a mini challenge on Pre Dominance War V. I will take you through the steps from sketching, to ZBrush and onto Maya, before outlining my final touch-ups in Photoshop.
Now I'll tell you more in detail. The sketches I like to draw on paper. It is not so much fun drawing straight into Photoshop. I like to draw my sketches on paper using a matte brown pencil. Before the creation of any character, I draw sketches, and I always start drawing with very small images. It takes about 2 or 3 minutes for one little sketch.
I drew the first things that came to mind and then I choose the best idea. In my head, some interesting ideas would have started to arise, at which time I started drawing sketches in bigger size.
The first character was a man with a futuristic helmet on his head and armored like a gladiator. The idea was based on a parallel universe where gladiators were still fighting in the present day. In this universe, it was possible to use the mechanisms functioning on steam or magic.
The second character was a robot whose helmet looked like a Conquistadors'. His face was closed with the mask of an early 20th Century diver.
I liked both of these ideas a lot and I decided to combine two into one. I found the character developing into a Technomage; a Gladiator, like a Conquistador, and like a diver of the early 20th century with some steampunk robot mixed in.
The character was not bad or good, but it didn't seem right. There was not a man inside the suit - this was an energetic substance, like a ghost. It needed this suit to be able to live in our world and communicate with people and material objects.
When I shared this idea with my best friend, he said that I would never draw it. Together, we laughed at it, but the next day I began to realize my ideas.
I had to hurry as the time was running out. I created my last sketch very quickly. I generated the general concept but the final shape of the character should be formed in 3D.
The organizers of the competition had strict rules: the participants could not use a normal bump map for a game model and the model mesh had to be 3000 triangles in poly-count with textures of 1024 x 1024 pixels.
I've worked with old school models and textures for quite a while now, so, for me, a texture of 1024 x 1024 in relation to 3000 polygons seemed disproportionately huge. On this texture, I could draw a huge amount of detail, but the silhouette of the model would look very poor (for robots of course).
I decided not to use the standard rules as all participants of the competition did. I like to by-pass rules and use methods that others do not even think about.
I wanted to go old school, using a model of 3000 triangles without a normal bump map - similar to the next-gen model with a large number of polygons and normal bump. Why did I come up with this approach? It was my personal contest. I tend to complicate tasks, yet still meet the same deadline as all other participants.
So I began the 3D sketch:
- I started with ZSpheres
- I made a base mesh
- I made a sketch of the human body
- I sculpted the basic parts which were drawn in the last sketch
- I did retopology
- I did a more detailed sketch in ZBrush
- I made the final retopology and final detail in Maya
Presented above is the final texture of my Technomage. I used 3 textures; color, specular and alpha. I did not create glow as a separate texture.
I had to do correct topology to burn textures correctly from high-poly to low-poly. I then used xNormal for baking textures. This is a great program! After, I opened my black-and-white texture in Photoshop to paint iron, rubber, and glass. Finally I painted ornaments and added scratches.
I made a simple setup of my Technomage and a very simple test animation. I set up the light to see how the character will look in motion.
In this video you can see Technomage in real time in viewport of Maya
You can find more of my works in my blog
I hope this making of was interesting for you!