I’m back after quite a long hiatus studying and delving more into 3D modeling pipeline for game engine. With the knowledges I’ve earned, I decided to create several characters made for nowadays game-engine.
Bumped on this article during my research, and in respect to that, I decided to set up a budget of 12k tris count for my characters.
For these characters, I decided to go on a series theme, which I named “Batavica: Legend of Garuda”; besides serving as a series of character design for my personal portfolio, I like to incorporate a backstory to them. I haven’t planned how many characters on the series, but all of them will be influenced by my country’s culture, Indonesia. Aside from Indonesian cultural influence, I decided to also modernized these characters with nowadays RPG influence (most notably, the Final Fantasy series being the most influential reference).
First character in the series derived from a folktale from Central Java, a province in Indonesia, named Timun Mas. Click on the link if you wish to know the full story of her. In summary, it’s about a brave young girl, Timun Mas (read as Team-Moon Must), trying to survive from a demonic giant who wish to eat her (literally :P) and packed with pouches of magically-imbued cooking spices, she defeated the giant.
I’ve always been in love with this folktale for not only its popularity among children in my generations, but also because it allows a lot of ‘spin-off’ based on this tale. Therefore, for this character I’m creating, I’m going with the ‘magically-imbued cooking spices’ aspect to base her ability.
After a couple session of brainstorming, I decided an Alchemist class is suitable for her. Equipped with a gun (Philosopher’s Blaster) and the abilities to instantly create potions out of thin air, she have an all-rounded combat abilities; for example, she can buff & heal the party with restorative and stat-increasing potions, wound the enemies with poisonous and mind-numbing potions, and with her gun (with a bottle of magical elixirs attached on top as ‘ammunition’) she can do a quick happy-trigger at the enemies.
As she will be a jack-of-all-trades role in the party, I want her to be agile enough to compensate for her mid-grade abilities (can’t heal as big as the White Mage class and can’t damage as much as the Warriors). With that enough, she will be wearing a thinner clothing. I had skin-tight bodysuit and a tube-top/coat in mind for her, adorned with golden-colored armor in the shape of cucumber slices (Her name, Timun Mas, literally means golden cucumber in my language).
I did a quick drawing of her visual and gun below. The end-result didn’t exactly come out the way it was planned (especially on the gun).
Sculpting was done in zBrush. Back then when this was made, masking feature wasn’t out yet and I have more knowledge in zBrush sculpting rather than Blender sculpting.
Then, the sculpted mesh was imported to Topogun and I did my retopo there. For some reason, high-polygon sculpture was read faster in Topogun rather than in Blender. After that, I imported the retopologized mesh to Blender for more touch-ups, like edge-loop adding and other little tidbits that can be quite a process in Topogun.
After that, I unwrapped the UVs, took them to Topogun for baking, and then the baked textures were repainted in Photoshop.
I originally made 4 textures in total according to the meshes. I did 1 for the whole body, 1 for the hair, 1 for the gun, and 1 for the accessories (belt and potions). I decided to mix them into one 2048x2048 textures to optimize render times. Especially because I have 7-8 textures for each meshes, and in total 25 different image textures to load during render o___o
The link below is all 8 final textures I used, which is Normal Map, Diffuse Map, Specular Intensity Map, Specular Color Map, Emissive Map, & Alpha Map. I also use two textures for stenciling purposes; 1 SSS stencil map and 1 reflection map (I mapped an angular probe map on Reflection texture coordinate below the stencil).
Finally I did some quick rig to pose the model. I happen to notice if your object consists of multiple loose mesh (floating geometries), auto-weighting screws up. In order to do that I separate the objects into multiple objects (I lost count on this) and painstakingly parent them one by one. However, it was (arguably) faster than to paint them on Weight Paint mode (since I have underlying geometries). After I parented them all, I Ctrl+J’ed them to combine them as one single mesh again but this time with correct vertex groups assigned.
Also, the downside of not doing the weight painting manually is that some parts of the mesh may not deform well. However, a few shape keys solved them all since the project has taken wayyy longer than it should be (over 2 weeks already and I want to set a self-deadline) and I can’t be bothered to further the project by weight-painting them one by one. Not until I can figure out a more efficient way to do it faster and easier
So, if you’ve been reading the ‘wall-o-text’ journal above, thank you very much and below are the shots of the project.
Click on the links to view the images
(I decided not to put heavy images to scare you guys with low bandwidth o3o)
Don’t hold back on the critiques, please! It may not be applied to this project since I declared that this project has already finished, but it surely be helpful for the next character
(I am also aware that the hair could use more polygons lol)