Need some advice about this workflow, before I go too deep into it


(this might be a long read…)

After being a programmer for quite some time, and messing with game engines such as Unity and (mostly) Unreal, I decided that I’d to have more control over my ideas and prototypes, and depend less on marketplaces and asset stores. The style I’m looking for is a “realistic, but stylized”, like Overwatch, Team Fortress, Fortnite, etc.

Therefore, I decided to study basics of 3D character modeling, hard surface and environment, which is of course quite a bit. I’ve been looking for some online lessons to try to boost into all this stuff, but there are so many workflows out there.

Things varies from Blender + [GIMP|Photoshop] or much more complex like ZBrush + [Blender|Modo|Maya] + Marvelous Designer + [Photoshop|Substance Painter|3D Coat] and everything in the middle. I do understand what these alternatives provide and I’m OK with spending money (eventually) to get better tools, but I’d like to learn and “accomplish” before doing any “shopping spree” hehehe.

So I was considering sticking to Blender of course, since I’ve been a soft user for a while, plus Photoshop + Substance Painter. Things that I already own right now.

And finally, my doubts:

  1. I’m assuming that I would sculpt a high-poly model in Blender, retopology for the low-poly also in Blender, create the UV map, normal maps (from high-poly), bring everything to Substance and maybe adjust details in Photoshop. Is that the workflow I’m going to get with these tools?

  2. Would this be OK for a generalist modeler? (characters, vehicles, weapons, environment, etc), or should I look into optimizations in the workflow, for different things?

  3. I’ve seen many ZBrush tutorials and being thoroughly used in conjunction with Blender. I do understand what it does and why it might be easier than doing the same high-poly sculpt in Blender, but it’s quite expensive (I’m sure is totally worthy it though). Still, should I consider already start using it? How about ZBrushCore? (seemed like a “no-go” after some forum searches).

I’m sorry about the long long post. I’m feeling quite overwhelmed about this stuff, and definitely could use some advice.

Thanks for any insight you could share! =)

I’m not overly familiar with tools outside Blender, only used them briefly to satisfy curiosity. I am also a programmer primarily and have been using Blender for a few years now for much the same reasons.

I’d recommend you forget about sculpting and high poly versions for normals (at least for now!) and just focus of learning box modeling of characters. Don’t want to get bogged down with all these different tools and processes. Making characters has been one of the harder things to learn, same with most organic things. Once you’ve got to the stage where you can make what you’re picturing in your head you can decide if you actually need anything more to achieve what you want.

Once you get good with one of these programs learning the others becomes easier anyway.

Hum, right, thanks! I think that makes sense and sounds much more sane! =)