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Angroc
12-13-2006, 07:23 PM
So I'll try my hand at making this lowpoly character now, that is specifically for an RPG where you have to change clothes on the characters all the time.
Fooled around for two hours so far (dunno excactly, as work have been pretty much on and off), and this is what I have come up with. I tried from the start to make a model where the proportions are slightly off and changed to my own liking. So, what I aimed for here whas, proportion wise; bigger hands, beefier underarms and calfs, musculular-yet-not-too-muscular shoulders, not too big head and broad torso. With this offness in the proportions, I think it is easier to make good armour, as the shoulder have more space around them (distance between neck and shoulder because of the broad torso), however, the orignal reason I started designing characters in this way was because of the aestethics.

Anyway, the model is as of now excactly 1000 triangles big, quite a round nummber eh? Crazy thing, is that it is 100% coincidence. Atleast i think its kinda cool :S The way it is now, its kinda stripped down of anatomical features; I could strip it evenfurther, or up for that matter, but I wanted to take this personal lowpoly challenge as seriously as possible. Getting a good body with few polies sure is a challenge; so I might tweak it some further more.

Anyway; since I am new to lowpoly, please, for gods sake, come with comments and critiques, useful links maybe, and how you think I should prosede with everything from texturing it to rigging it. For example, I need to know what kind of skinning tools are allowed for games engines.

See you!

BrazilianDan
12-13-2006, 11:38 PM
Hey man, thought I'd return the favor and be the first to reply to ur thread. As far as the model itself goes, it would help to have a larger pic of a wireframe on shaded, because I'm having a little trouble figuring out whats going on with the knee. Since its already so low poly, I would advise adding some triangles that open on the elbow side of the arm, so when the arm closes, there are more polys to stretch and maintain form. Also, the fingers look a little short, and either the head is too thin, or the shoulders too broad. Remember, if ur putting armor on him, he might look even broader. Besides that, the proportions are pretty good for what you described.
If you could answer a few questions, I'd be able to help you out better - do you plan on making a normal map? do you have a poly limit ur shooting for?

-Dan

Angroc
01-09-2007, 08:15 PM
After a long absence, I finally came back to the computer to continue on the model. After a little work, I have now completed the texture, with just some minimal adjustments needed, as well as 500 new tris added to shape the shape the muscles a little more, as well those funky ribs you see there. The model is currently counting 1564 tris and a x1024 handpainted texture map.

I have learnt some things in the hard way tho; that I cant go back to change without alot of work tho. First of all, I used pelting tools, and when I did, I shoul've pelted hands and feet - and not only the head - as a seperate pelt to take a maximum advantage over the texture field. I realised this when the whole torso was complete, so I didnt bother to go back, so I tried to cope with the idiotic handmapping I did instead :S

Anyway, heres some pictures.

Angroc
01-09-2007, 08:17 PM
Posting more because of upload limit:

Wires and texture. Also, I am a big fan of handpainted textures, in the way it makes modelling seem so much more like a 3d dimensional painting, and gives a much more impression that the model in question is a handy craft.

Oh and by the way, does anyone know where I should look up on normals. I have never touched that stuff before! :(

Kevin-Killjoy
01-09-2007, 09:40 PM
Hi there Distant Skies, here's my WIP review, by invitation :). I'll just do this point by point, and also try to answer some of your questions:

- Texturing: games support UW unwrap, so that's fine. Textures in powers of 2 of course. Typical map types that can be supported difuse (aka colour), specular (can be subdivided into specular level and specular glossiness), reflectivity, transparency, normal.

- Rigging: Bones and envelope assignments, plus you can usually parent rigid objects to bones. The engine that I work with only supports multi-weighting of verts to consecutive bones only. Not all engines will have this restriction, but it's worth considering. Also, morph targets are possible in realtime, but it would be best to isolate the geometry (the head) that this applies to, if on the off chance that you want to do some morph targets.

- Normal maps: there are a couple of cood posts recently in the game art forum about normal maps, I'd take a look at those. Essentially, each pixel in a normal map indicates a direction for that pixel to face when lit. The standard method for making normal maps is to make a high res model and then make a normal map from that using max, maya xsi or whatever you are using. You can also paint greyscale heighmaps in photoshop, and convert them to normal maps using the nVidia filter. This can look quite good (not as good as building a high res model...) and takes not too long.


- I like the fact that you have a concrete goal in mind at the begining of the project, and that you relate it to us, but where's the concept art? :)

- the actual anatomy of the model looks well executed.

- the actual topology of model needs improvement, this is where you need to do the most work. Edge loops and quads, that's what you need to focus on. I'd also consider adding you bones ASAP, because they are going to have a big influence on how to make your geometry. Once you have some test animation on the bones, you'll see some nasty stuff happening that will mean you have to go back and fix the geometry.

- Your diffuse texture is coming along nicely, I'd just keep hammering away at it. It's pretty creepy looking. Those dead DEAD eyes!!


Cherrio

-Killjoy

Angroc
01-10-2007, 06:16 PM
Gee, thanks for that long reply, Kevin! I was afraid it was too rude to 'invite' you over and all, and that you would hate me for it, but had to, since it seemd like you had alot of knowledge regarding this. I guess I am pushing my luck, but I'm a little confused, so I'll have to ask some more ;) Oh, even though I attend a school for 3d grapchics, this is for movies,; high res stuff you know, not games, just in case you wonder why I am bugging people here (and you :P) with my questions regarding game graphics.

Anyways:

- Texturing: games support UW unwrap, so that's fine. Textures in powers of 2 of course. Typical map types that can be supported difuse (aka colour), specular (can be subdivided into specular level and specular glossiness), reflectivity, transparency, normal.

I am not even sure what you meen with unwrapping, and "textures in powers of two". What I did was just use peltingTools for Maya; which as far as I understood, is just a temprary soft body that is stretched, which then has its UV transfered to the original object. So 'technically' the difference wouldnt be different from mapping with normal mapping tools in maya, would it?

- Normal maps: there are a couple of cood posts recently in the game art forum about normal maps, I'd take a look at those. Essentially, each pixel in a normal map indicates a direction for that pixel to face when lit. The standard method for making normal maps is to make a high res model and then make a normal map from that using max, maya xsi or whatever you are using. You can also paint greyscale heighmaps in photoshop, and convert them to normal maps using the nVidia filter. This can look quite good (not as good as building a high res model...) and takes not too long.

And yes, a guy in my class has this plug-in, so I guess I'll nick it and try it out :)

- I like the fact that you have a concrete goal in mind at the begining of the project, and that you relate it to us, but where's the concept art? :)


Nah, no concept really. I just knew on beforehand what kind of proportions I wanted, from past expereince when drawing. The concpet about the stony skin and skull head just formed inside my head as I went, and resulted in a chain reaction. Things like the square ab and the weird rib looking things ws just added there and then. Basically, when doing my own projects, I have found out I like to not try to plan ahead too much on the shapes and textures. I just make a rough scetch, to get a good 'mental image' that I can turn around 3 dimentionally, and then I just model it, coming up with new ideas as I go. I find this approach very dynamic and fun:)

- the actual topology of model needs improvement, this is where you need to do the most work. Edge loops and quads, that's what you need to focus on. I'd also consider adding you bones ASAP, because they are going to have a big influence on how to make your geometry. Once you have some test animation on the bones, you'll see some nasty stuff happening that will mean you have to go back and fix the geometry.

Ok, Ill attach the bones and see what you mean. However, why are quads and tris important if you arent going to smooth it or make a blendshape anyway? The game engine will translate it to tri's anyway wont it? However, I have an idea with what you mean by nasty stuff when skinning the model. Ill try to test skin it.

Anyway, thanks again for the very good and lenghty reply. Its very appreciated :)

Kevin-Killjoy
01-13-2007, 03:14 PM
Essentially "unwrapping" is using custom UV co-ordinates on your object, rather than projection mapping. That UV window where you can move verts arount on the 2d texture, that's unwrapping. I'm doing a terrible job of explaining...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Distant Skies
"textures in powers of two".


texture sizes that are a multiple of 2 (but biiger than 32), such as 512x512, 1024x1024, 128x256 and so on

Quote:
Originally Posted by Distant Skies
And yes, a guy in my class has this plug-in, so I guess I'll nick it and try it out :)


It's free to download on nVidia's web site as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Distant Skies
why are quads and tris important if you arent going to smooth it or make a blendshape anyway?


Quads are only an important habit to get into, because the work much better for subdivision purposes (i.e. when you bring the model into Zbrush or Mudbox)

Cherrio

-Killjoy

McKertis
01-13-2007, 03:38 PM
Quads are only an important habit to get into
Its a very very bad habit for low-poly modelers to get into. :)
When you have exact limit of polys using all quads is not the greatest of ideas.

Angroc
01-13-2007, 06:30 PM
Its a very very bad habit for low-poly modelers to get into. :)
When you have exact limit of polys using all quads is not the greatest of ideas.

When making the model, this was what I felt all the time. The first time I created a body in Maya, I had just read about Bay Raitt guy and his crusade for quads and no-poles attitude. So of course, I was very VERY strict with myself about that. The ending result with the typology was that: if I needed a certain detail on his lower arm, I suddenly ended up with three four edges I actually needed, and a loop I didnt know where to lead on the rest of typology, leaving numerous polies unused. Not only does this require more, but it also is more hassle when UV mapping and when skinning and making blendshapes. So that was my reason for using tris so much; I did an attempt at only using vertexes EXCACTLY where I needed them; the end result of THIS was a topology that is very wavy and messy, but that has its vertexes placed where I felt i needed them to express the basic shape of the muscles. Also, thus my confusion when being sudenly told again, for game art, to care about the tri's, as I always triangulate before exporting into a game engine. But I know what you mean now though. :)

Oh and by the way I have made some armour for the guy, Ill upload that when I get back to my computer. Thanks for the many kind and constructive replies!

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