Fine Detail for Character Animation

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  11 November 2013
Fine Detail for Character Animation


I'm new to the forums and 3D. I'm learning Maya and have run into this site several times during google searches. Seems like an active helpful community!

So, I'm new to maya and trying to learn the proper techniques. What is the best way to add fine details to your characters in character animation?

An example of the details I'm talking about can be seen in the scuff marks and deformities on the surfaces of the characters from this animation (Mdotstrange):

Should I use bump, normal, or displacement mapping? Should I model the mesh that way? What's the correct way to minimize distortion during animation.

  11 November 2013

Bump: for fine details, minimal stuff that won't be noticed much.
The reason for this being that bump maps are a simple trick: It looks like it's goes in and out along the surface, but the silhouette of the object is not affected but looks flat around the edges.

Normal: for all details, especially used in games as it isn't as heavy on render time as displacement but has the same desired effect. An example being guns. For a gun, you'd have two models: one high res, one low res. You make a normal map of the high res, which would have details like screws, slots, lettering, grooves, etc. Low res would be very limited, while still holding most of the shape of the object. The normal map fills in the rest on the low res model, making it easy to render while looking like the high res gun.

Displacement: Heaviest form, but widely used. Stuff that you are going to see more up close and don't want the odd deformation of bump's funky silhouette would be best with displacement. So for a person, you would divide like this:
tiny wrinkles and pores- bump
large wrinkles, scars, moles- displacement.

Does that make sense?

Last edited by Taid : 11 November 2013 at 01:43 AM. Reason: spelling
  12 December 2013
Yes! That makes sense, thank you. I missed this reply. I've been searching for this answer for about two months.
  12 December 2013
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