As Sir Mix-a-Lot once said, “Here’s my scandal”.
I’m trying to duplicate a somewhat tricky Japanese material/texture methodology for a video game character I’m making. The problem is, because it’s a Japanese method, there is zero documentation on how to achieve such an effect in English. Even though I can read Japanese, my ability to read “Technical Japanese” is lacking. Not only this, I also lack the English vocabulary to properly translate terms back again.
For example; If you don’t know what “Least Squares Conformal Mapping” is in English, when you see the Japanese term, and somehow translate it back, the meaning is still lost on you.
I’ve been researching this for a few days, I’ll give you a run down of what I have discovered, and ask the more apt to help me to achieve the desired effect. To help I’ll give some examples so you can follow along…
Here is your typical anime character.
This is a picture of the Japanese mascot for Windows ME. You can tell by the Warning symbol on her chest and the fact she’s absolutely clueless about a 1 Gig stick of RAM.
All kidding aside. Getting a 3d character to appear like above in real time requires a special engine and some really fancy art styles to get the effect right, such as below.
However, this isn’t what I’m looking for. What I’m actually looking to do a particular style that had me stumped even for reference material. The models look like anime, but they look “real”. They take up honest-to-goodness 3D space in a realistic way, but are undeniably derived from 2D art. Here’s an example…
Like I said I didn’t even know what to use as a reference to try and grab some kind of UV map or material from. It wasn’t until I was browsing list night that I realized that this kind of material is mimicking the real-life material of Japanese Garage Kit models. Shown here as this picture is rather large
Now my problem is, for both the Garage Kit and the 3D model is that the shadows and highlights seem to be painted on the model, but it’s hard for me to tell how it’s done and how I’m supposed to duplicate such an effect. Is that a UV map? Is it vertex shading? Is it being done by a light source?
My model, shown here is currently being shown in “Shaded mode”. For now I’m using just a simple uniform material called “Skin” down there in the lower left hand corner, and a simple Hemi Lamp for shading. However, I’m missing the critical highlights/shadows like in the professional models above. I don’t know exactly how to apply these. When I make the skin texture lighter, my model looks sickly and pale. Trying to add red to warm up the model, this results in the skin beginning to to look unnatural.
How about should I go about this? Should I even bother with attempting a UV map for the skin’s highlights/shadows as if I was painting a garage kit myself? How are the above professional models shaded so they look so awesome, while mine’s just… flat? How do I correct the problem?
Thanks for the help…