What is the Process for producing a realistic Character suitable for animation?

Hello all,

I am just wondering if somebody might be able to outline or list all the steps in the process of making a realistic human character that can be rigged and animate?

I have looked online and can’t find a definitive list of steps from Character Drawing to Rigging.

I know there are steps along the way like retopology, sculpting, modelling, UV unwrapping, particle hair, clothes, texture painting, vertex painting, rigging, etc. but I don’t understand the order in which it should all happen.

Thank you.

I don’t understand the order in which it should all happen

I’m sorry, but in that case I think you should start with the basics. You are not going to make a realistic animated character without ( a LOT) of groundwork. There is no definitive “list” to follow. It all depends what do you want from the end result. E.q if you model itin a traditional way instead sculpting then you don’t need retopo, etc. Does the character has hair/fur? are they done by particles or by textured mesh? Is it clothed? are cloth simulated ru hand-modeled?
First ask yourselves what it is you want to achieve and then the steps become clear.

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Thank you for replying! I think you’re right about the groundwork, though I do understand the beginning steps, the character design, the base mesh modelling, the body sculpting, and basic UV unwrapping and texturing (which is as far as I am now, I am about to go in and unwrap and texture the character’s skin, and the topology is quite good, so I don’t think retopology is necessary.) I am happy with the basics of all of that.

Where I am unsure, is what comes next? I suppose my plan is that

  • I would like to give the character eyelashes, eyebrows and hair with particles, the basics of which I am quite happy with too. They need to be textured too and nodes are fine enough.
  • Then I would like to sculpt the clothes and apply physics in blender, I would like to make cloth and hard armour, and whatever material effects I can achieve like lace, leather, fur etc. for costume accessories. Then comes the question - must I retopo the clothes and armour? Or if I do it in such a way that the topology is good, it should be fine? I just haven’t looked into it deep enough.
    Then for animation, must the clothes be joined to the character?
  • Then comes the clothes UV unwrapping and texturing which I guess is fair enough, I’m happy with materials.

At that point would it be ready to get rigged? I’m assuming theres stuff then for animation on like shape keys and baking that I don’t understand yet but does that sound like a good plan so far?

This is where the character is so far, shes got eyes and the inside of the mouth but for animation, must they be joined to the character body?

I would like to get her somewhere to this (not exactly the look I would like to go for, but there are similar elements), and suitable for animation production. Ambitious I know!