Need some thoughts on my model for a game

Hey everyone, once again I’ve done some more work and finally finished my model after about a month due to some lazyness by me and other things I’ve been doing. So far this is what I have for the main character and the colors are just materials being used as an example of what colors I want to use. Idk why but the color black appeals to me a lot and makes my character seem more male. Some friends and family thought my character looked too “feminine” because of its anime/chibi style. I did my best to make it less curvy from the reference I used and I added some light muscle to the model. The hair is basic because he will always use a hood. Everything in the model is all together except for the hair and hoodie. I’m not sure if I have to combine everything together and connect it or if I can keep them separate?

Please any feedback on what you might think is great, maybe I could fix some things before I go into texturing, rigging and animation. I did my best to portray exactly what I wanted the character to look like which I wish I can post a concept but I rather show the model itself.

Some more info:
-the model is male
-the hair and hood are separate objects compared to the rest
-the topology which I wish I could show is built so it can animate
-the character is a variation of chibi and an actual character, I tried to not make it a small chibi like maplestory as an example.
-There is no eye texture yet which I think will be better because you wont see the eyes much and it saves me from adding more poly’s.
-the model’s high poly(last pic, smooth one) consist of 105,000 tri’s while the low poly consist of 6154 tri’s.
-the model will be used in side scrolling perspective so you will see it from the side like 2d games.

Some things I’m not too sure about is should I model the sword with this model too or separate? the reason I ask is because I plan to make attack animations and what not. I’m using the unity engine btw so please any help or thoughts would be great on how it looks so far and what I can maybe improve. This is gonna be my first game and model and I hope that I can keep on building up to be able to land a job someday even though I know a lot of companies don’t use blender I still feel confident. I hope I didn’t do a bad job though :confused: I wish I was a pro but I have so much to learn.

I think what give the impression your character is female does not matter with the cartoony proportion, i think what makes your character seems to be female is the width of the hips is too large in comparison to the width of the belly and thorax.
Example : -

After that, 6000 poly for a cartoony character for a game engine sounds a bit high, but as i don’t know which engine you’re wanting it inside so i can’t say if it’s really too much or fitting.

thanks for the reply and for the great example, I was kinda skeptical about the hips but I see what you mean. I will have to go back and fix that since male’s tend to be less curvy at all and more straight. Also I do kinda agree that there are too many tri’s but I’m thinking about just going for a high poly and bake the normals to a reduced tri low poly of this character. Btw I am planning on using unity 3d since its free mostly and I think it should be fine for the game I want to make. The only challenge I see ahead of me other than just reworking and tweaking things is making the textures as I still have to find out what I want to go for in terms of art direction.

6K poly is perfectly fine for Unity, depending on what else you got going on in the scene. Modern graphics hardware is usually bottlenecked by fill rate or gets bottlenecked at the CPU by the number of drawcalls. any video card from the last 5 years or so should be fine with 2-5 million tris on screen at once. but of course, do a stress test to determine what maximum works on your minimum target platform. if its mobile, 500 polys would still be high for an animated character, for instance. haha!

as for the character itself. yes, the hips make him look a bit girly. also the thin shoulders, and the heartshaped “beak” thing you got going on with the hood also lends to the feminine appearance. the size of the eyes also have a strong effect of girlifying! haha. try to scale the eyes down a bit along the Z axis, and move them up to keep the top in roughly the same spot, the idea is to increase the distance between the “indication” of the nose and the eyes.

@Dave_K: Capital letters, please?

On what part?

Oh, I don’t know, maybe after every period?

@zeph10: I like your model, keep it up :smiley:

Oh, I wasn’t aware that there was a test! :stuck_out_tongue:

Yes, Miss Vicky, I will practice picture perfect punctuation, post-haste! :smiley:

Hey thanks guys sorry I didn’t reply before. Yeah I wasn’t too sure about how many tri’s were good enough. Here is a look at the model again but this time I lowered the tri’s a bit to 5859 instead of it being almost 7k and it still seems ok I guess. The female might be like 6k but ill try to keep it as small. I’m gonna still work on some area’s to try to smooth things out a bit. This is gonna be one of the main characters so I really want him to look good. I was thinking about making a high poly detailed model of him using what I got now and mapping the normals but idk yet. What do you guys think? should I do that or does it not matter because the high poly just looks more like a smoother version? Here are some pics, 2 of them are low poly and the side view is a perspective of what I want to go for. Basically how I want the camera to face the character in the game. The high poly is the smooth one obviously but idk if I should map those normals to the low poly. The game I’m working on is just a basic hack and slash possibly with only like 5-8 maybe 10 enemies on the screen at once. The only other thing are the bosses which some may be huge. Anyways please let me know guys, I want some feedback before I continue and just mess everything up. Also thanks for liking the model, its probably the first one I ever got to finish since I always gave up on the others I made which were more realistic. The only hard thing for me is gonna be creating the textures for the model and possibly unwrapping it since I’m no art pro but I’m gonna do my best.

The view that i assume is the low poly (top) looks fine. Why do you need the high poly? General rule of thumb is go with the lowest geometry density you need to get the form you want. Makes it easier on you if you wanted to port to a mobile game, and also easier on animations as you dont have to get quite so detailed on your armature weight painting, which can already get quite interesting as it is!

I would say only go higher density than that first image if you need to add more detail, sculpting etc. Don’t forget about the Smooth command. You can avoid sub-D’s quite effectively with it and a few well placed edge loops to build up volume.

What platform do you intend to release your game on? PC standalone, webplayer, mobile, etc? I would say your current tris count is fine for everything but mobile. If you want to go mobile, then yes you will want to bake a normal map off the high poly model, but you will need to create a super simple copy of the character to bake the normals to, like 500-600 tris, maybe up to 1000. You could run your current character on a mobile, but it would limit the detail of the rest of your scene. Also watch the bones when you rig, 15 is a good target for a mobile rig, I would say not more the 30. If its a PC game, just keep it reasonable. try not to go over 15k tris and 60 or so bones (the less bones, the better, but your not so limited) and you should be good, unless you want to try to get people on 10+ year old computers playing your game! You gotta set a lower performance limit and not worry about poor fools with ancient hardware, or else you will pull your hair out counting tris and drawcalls. Haha!

Sorry for double posting but here is rather a better result instead of the one I posted before. I reworked the hood, I scaled the eyes a little bit but I’m not sure what you mean by the eyes and nose. I fixed the shoulders just a bit and just tweaked some verts out. I was going for an assassins creed hoodie look but I guess I failed at it lol. All in all the concept I drew for this character just had a hood so it doesn’t matter too much how it is shaped. So please any criticism would be great before this becomes final. Again the tri’s increased just a bit but its a little under 6k so I think its ok. I want the model to look great in game and so far I think its great. Here is a render of the model as well. Also thanks for the feedback Dave, I know this might sound crazy but I might want to target the wiiU in the future and maybe playstation3/4 but atm I think I would like to start off with PC first and see what I can do. I really hope I did an ok job, this is my first model, I want to work in an indie group someday or have people help me so I want to try and do whatever I can to get more experience and learn. I know the major companies use maya and max but I don’t have the money and I think blender does an ok job.

Major companies are starting to incorporate blender into their production pipes. Ive used Max, and although it does have some handy features, blender can do everything max can do (just not as good in some areas). These days your skill at modeling is more important than what software you can use, especially for Indie development.

6K is fine for a PC game, I wouldn’t worry about it tris anymore at this point. The hood is better, still heartshaped, you might try flattening out the sharp corner where it joins into the chest a little bit, see if that makes him feel even more manly. Its already looking pretty masculine, so you can leave it as is if you want. What I meant about the eyes vs nose has to do with anime style 2d art, if thats not where you drew your inspiration, your eyes are very anime-ish in shape. Generally in 2d anime art, the eyes of men are “flatter”, or closer to realistic size, and the top eyelash line is kept at the same level as it would be for females (who have taller eyes), giving the appearance of larger vertical space between the nose and the eyes. But on looking at your 3rd pic, it looks ok as it. Just take that as a note for later =).

thats good to hear and I took some of what you said and changed the model a bit more. Yeah the eyes were meant to be chibi eyes cause the idea was for the model to be a chibi character but it ended up being a bit more bigger since I didn’t like the super small size of chibi characters. The female is a slightly taller version which I’ll post a pic of. The only thing people said about her is that it looks like an alien I guess due to its head or eyes possibly but I following references of other characters as well. Here is the female model, the other 2 are examples I used for the male and female eyes on my model so that could be why it seems kinda strange.

Before I post these those I have just a few more questions if I may ask.
-Do I need to make every part of my model all connected to vertices of the body? for example do I need to connect the hood, eyebrows, or basically things I modeled separate from the body to the body itself to make one whole mesh before texturing and importing to unity?

-The eyes for this model are part of the head in a way so they aren’t separate but lets say I want the female to have eyes that can be animated. Do I need to use a lattice to flatten the eye and then place it and texture or is there a way to just do what I did with the male and somehow make the texture move? I really want to make her blink at some points but I don’t think its a problem. The thing is she doesn’t have eye lids and idk how to actually make these type of characters blink.

-When should I start adding bones for rigging and animation of the character? should I texture it first and then do this or does it not matter?

-Last question that I can think of atm but lets say I want to make a level after in the game and import it into unity. Should I model most of it individually by pieces or can I make the ground for example the same with some stuff extruded from it, like a plane?

Thanks for your help so far and please if you can answer the questions I have in my post and right here that would be great to get an idea of what I have to do and possibly thoughts on the female and what I can do to make her look “good enough” since she won’t have a hood blocking her face. For the female I used the first or last girls eyes as an example just in case. Its just the eyes are smaller since these characters aren’t too chibi like.

Hey! Sorry for not getting back to you. Had a busy couple of weeks! haha.

Your female looks good. Anime characters always look like aliens without hair and other features! haha. The eyes do look like they are tilted a bit much, and its hard to see too much definition to the jaw line. Perhaps too smooth. Make sure you are giving the face proper depth. As an example: a project i’m working on:

Though it could also just be your lighting set up in the viewport! haha

Now lets see if i can answer some of your questions, though you might have already found the answers somewhere else.

1: No, you don’t have to physically weld/connect all the parts together. You just want to merge all the separate objects into one object, unless you need interchangeable armor/hair. Your armature weight painting will take care of making sure things move together properly. Make use of vertex groups and the locking feature to help you get everything weighted properly.

The reason you want to merge everything into one mesh (and texture everything on one set of UVs/image, Is so that it will all be one drawcall at runtime. Not so important for a PC standalone, where you can have 1500-2000 draw calls and still have 60+ fps, but if your game is for web player or especially for mobile, you need to control them as much as you possibly can. Its a good practice to control them as much as you can no matter what!

2: Eyes can be tricky. A lot depends on how you actually modeled them. In general you would want to select all the verts of the eye sub-mesh (separately, right and left eye groups) and then when rigging the model later, use those preselected groups to assign 100% weight to the eye bones, so they follow the bone as if its one solid object with no deformation.

For an eye blink, just toss in an extra edge loop around the eye, pretty close to the edge of the opening. Then you can set up vertex groups of the top and bottom eyelids to assign to bones come rigging time. Alternatively you can create eye blink shape keys and animate them in Unity with your character script (use GetComponant<SkinnedMeshRenderer>(); in your Start() method and SkinnedMeshRenderer.SetBlendShapeWeight((array ID), (variable to set shapekey to)) in your code) to blink with a timer. Meaning you don’t even have to animate it in blender and the blink will be consistent across all animations. That’s the method I prefer, as it cuts down a bit on bones.

3: Texturing and rigging are mutually exclusive operations meaning you can do either/or, they dont effect each other. The only thing you need to do before doing both, is make sure you are done with the model and ready to apply all the modifiers (save a new file out before you do this, so you always have a base copy in the “raw” state with modifiers unapplied.) That being said. you can still add to a model that’s been textured and rigged. You just have to unwrap the new parts of the mesh and position the UVs on the correct image (sometimes it loads up a blank image instead of the texture the rest of the model is using, just open the correct image and all is well!). Same with the rig, make any changes and then swap into weight painting mode and fix your bone weights.

4: You can make a level in blender just like making a house or a fence or a lamp post or any number of other static objects. You have to make your level in blender if you plan to have any seamless caves, as Unity’s terrain engine is heightmap based and does not allow holes or overlaps in the surface. The second part of your question, i would make as much stuff separate sub models as possible. just to allow for flexibility in positioning later on. The exception would be large static objects, like Lord of the Rings style massive city walls. those would probably be more efficient to model in place and texture to look like they are blending into the surroundings (moss, damage, etc). Though, if you plan to have lots of trees in your level. I would strongly suggest using Unity’s terrain engine. It has automatic billboarding of trees past a certain distance, which significantly improves performance. you can do this manually with a script placed on each tree prefab to load LoD models (lower detail for less lag at long distance from the camera), but its a lower performance option.