Character WIP - Klonoa


Klonoa is one of Namco’s unsung heroes as of late, a pretty stylish little fellow and not a bad puzzle-platformer that doesn’t see much action on consoles. Anyway I dusted off the PS2 version and beat it the other day and it inspired me to have a go at modeling him. Wahoo!

… more later! I’m also gonna try realtime fur out, after seeing the fur in games like Starfox Adv, Conkers, and Shadow of the Colossus lately it seems they all use similar technique.

I have some tweaking to do, but not too bad for a first attempt. Anyone who has experimented with a similar technique, suggestions are welcome!


Looking great so far Klonoa was one of my favourite characters (unsung) as you said :frowning:

How did you do that fur thing ?? would like to use it for a character i have in mind


it uses a lot of polygons. you layer polygons over top of one another with a texture that is basically just dots. Starting with the lowest texture, make the dots get progressively smaller until it is basically 1 pixel at the top (be sure to use alphas). If you look at it from an angle, it won’t look right but from the front it works pretty good. The only thing is, it takes up lots of polys and I’m not exactly sure how to do it on a character the way that Rare does it… Shadow of the Colossus does it extremely well too, so I gotta practice! :thumbsup:

Starfox Adventures, Donkey Kong Jungle Beat, Shadow of the Colossus, King Kong togotm

Check it out in Conkers:


Maybe its some kind of instancing?


yeah, from what I can tell, you could pretty much just duplicate the bash mesh for areas with fur and scale it up a notch, deleting any faces around other areas (such as Conker’s hoody). In actuality you don’t need that many polygons, just it can add up quickly depending on how long you want the fur to appear, because if you leave a space thats too big between layers, the hairs lose their substance and scatter too much.


i created a test with the ball and softbody dynamics applied to each duplicate sphere, with the originals set as targets with decreasing strength the further out from the original. it works for decent secondary motion on the fur, but this makes me think it would look better if each face was seperated, like if i extruded the faces rather than just duplicating them all as a whole, because then i could put a little fan/vortex field on it and you’d see it affecting different areas of fur individually.

give it a second or two to load:

I’m also going to modify the fur texture to make it look less uniform.


this is a really interesting conversation/topic. cant wait to see how good you can get the fur going.

well done. keep it up :slight_smile:


Sweet!!..I second what WAcky said also…also I’m quite interested what the polygon count is for the furball test you did and any chance of showing a wire for that too?..but to see the fur applied to ya w.i.p has got me all intrigued…keep up the good work man…:thumbsup:


progress today…

C&Cs welcome… where can I improve the mesh? I know he’s a simple character, but getting that simplicity down perfectly is hard. After lunch I’m gonna get started on his hands, then after that on to optimizing the mesh ( I will add the details to his hat later)…

oh yeah it looks like Rare is using the same fur technique in XBOX360 Kameo, so it should be useful next gen as well. :slight_smile:

JohnWoo, here’s a pic of the furball w wires. Yes its a lot of polygons, but I also applied a smooth operation to all 9 spheres :shrug: it looked pretty cool even on a set of poly planes, when you apply deformations like twist/bend some of the hairs get all stretched out, looks neat. Its funny this has been around awhile, but I never actually tried to do it til now, since Maya had such a hard time displaying alphas properly in the viewport :rolleyes:




indeed hehe

so if u wanna make ur model fella fury, you have to copy your mesh 9 times where it has fur?? and the fur would still float in sideview? :S


Thank you kindly for posting the wires jfalconer…appreciated :)…that is 1 method I was never sure if it was done code or art side…ya know…but you’ve cleared this question up for me…I would definitely like to attempt this method as it looks fun…as for your Klonoa w.i.p…looking good…ya definitely right about it being a simple character…but simple looking character does’nt always mean easy ;)…but it’s looking good so far…I would maybe scale up the shoulders just a little, and make sure you got enough edges to replicate his big beaming smile…heh and lastly the strands of hair need thickening just a little bit…other than that good job man…keep it up…and look forward to see the progress…:thumbsup:


wohaay this is interesting m8
cmon more pics :drool:


WAcky, Ingurum:OK yeah that was kind of thrown together. Maybe this image will explain things better.

Each example (a series of 3x3poly planes) has 5 layers that are given their own material to correspond to the thickness of the fur. For the textures, I made each hair (represented as a dot) really thick on the base layer, then gradually smaller in the following textures until only 1 pixel in radius at the top layer (check out the multilister’s file texture thumbnails). You could make the change in thickness less dramatic, but this was just a test.

Select all the polyplanes and Unitize the UVs, then open the texture window. You won’t see all the layers, in this case just the base layer (a solid color) but thats fine.

Select all the UVs and scale them up/down to increase/decrease the texture resolution as it is applied to the polygons. As you can see in the examples, you can vary the number of hairs displayed quickly and easily, since it updates in the viewport you can just do it by eye. Just be careful if your textures don’t repeat properly (mine don’t) because then you can get seams happening. The problem with the way I’m currently doing this is we have 5 different materials. Even though each one is only 26x26 pixels (arbitrary size, should’ve made it 32x32), that still seems clunky. Once I’ve laid out Klonoa’s UVs I’ll be more efficient and try to squeeze it all into one or two files (one for the furry parts and the other for the non-furry parts).

As for the hairs breaking up on the outline issue, this can be lessened if you minimize the distance between polygonal layers. This won’t solve the issue 100%, as we can see the same problem even in the commercial games listed above, but looking on the bright side it did provide the clue as to how those artists created the effect :beer: anyway, I’d take this effect for fur over the usual method any day, and its not dramatically more polygons than say, doing the ink-outline look for celshaded games (duplicated model with black material and inversed normals w/ backface culling on). It looks much better when you see it in motion.(give a couple seconds for it to load)


awesome. really well done. thanks for all the info :smiley: i cant wait to see your finished product :D:D:D


hehe, looks good. Same technique was used to make forests in Il-2 Sturmovik :slight_smile: I’m not 100% sure, but I think that fur made on pixel shaders is made in a similar way:

Looks much better in realtime demo

looking forward to see Your end-result :thumbsup:


wow eMPeck that wolf’s fur looks great, gonna be hard to make mine look that good. :sad:

I’ve been thinking, since Klonoa’s ears and arms/legs are symmetrical, not only on both left/right side but also on front/back side I should be able to save a lot of texture space by mirroring. I’m aiming for a nice gradient between the dark hairs to the light hairs. Hopefully I will not run into problems with the alpha channel inversing… Also, hopefully it will not look like carpet/velcro as it does in the above pix! :banghead:


wow thats an amazing example.


Yeah, but that fur is made with pixel shader. You don’t have to do anything, just assign .fx.

Your character is cartoon-like and I think Your fur fits perfectly. Love it.


heh thanks eMPeck… tho, if that pixel shader is/becomes the new standard, this experiment of mine might be pointless. :blush: ah well… gotta keep Klonoa’s high spirits in mind and finish him! I’m off to work soon… more updates later.