August 1, 2012

Project: Lady Mechanika

Workshop Guys

~Final Post!~

~Low Poly~
okay so it's been a while since i've made a proper low poly (i usually work with controlled high polies, and decimated zbrush models unless the client provides a low, but then we have to rez it up for print purposes) and i spent a lot of time trying to figure out what i wanted built in and what i wanted floating, as well as where the loops were going to go for best animation. Haz helped me understand to simplify my shapes down, like the belt, it's all super layered in the high poly so i didn't know how i wanted to tackle that, but he did a nice paint over and now it's part of the pants with some extra floating pieces in the center :)
definitely enjoyed the process, learned a ton about good poly distribution so you don't get ugly shadow marks where there isn't enough polies to hold up the shape.

final low poly turnarounds

wire shot with ao and normals

i love unwrapping, i bring my stuff into Headus UVLayout, cut everything apart and "smart" relax all the pieces, then bring it back into max and play tetris :)
on to casting! which is always a bit repetitive and a time consuming process, but is super crucial ^_^ i was trying out a few things here, figuring out what i can do so i have cleaner normals, i still ripped my high and low to shreds for good casts, but there wasn't very much fixing afterwards. for a few of the pieces i actually brought back into Zbrush and "projected all" so my low had become my high too (i tried to keep everything in quads as much as i could). this was mainly done for the face (and a few other pieces that made them cast a bit cleaner in xnormal), because i wasn't 100% happy with it and i wanted to re-sculpt it a bit (a lot), so i did in zbrush and then easily exported my high and low from the same mesh (that way i didn't have to retopo/adjust the head lots) and threw it into xNormal which was my casting tool of choice. i ripped my normals, ao, and my vertex colors (polypaint) and compiled everything in photoshop.
in max, i usually save out a wire shot (keep on screen mode) from the unwrap uvw and a black and white version (keep on multiply mode) as a better guide/map to my wires while i'm working. my polypaint helped a tonnnnnnn, then i just went in and painted more, kind of like i would for a 2d illustration. i had Haz take a look at my maps after i thought i was good with them, but i wasn't :P so i spent more hours leveling up some pieces to match the rest, harmonizing the values and trying to make sure stuff had things like material noise, scuff marks, wrinkles, highlights, good shadows and stuff like that :) everything is hand painted except the ponytail which i used some pieces from hair that i painted over. love texturing :)



~Rigging/Skinning/Posing/Tweaking/Screen Grabbing~
so i'm not the best at skinning and rigging, but i can do it well enough for what i need and then tweak my skins and individual verts later. whichiswhatidid. i just used a basic biped, and then you know... skinned one side and copy pasted it to the other. i paid extra close attention to my finger joints, i've worked with posing a lot of models with different rigs and hands are always an issue, so i wanted to make sure it wasn't a big one on mine...still came out so so @_@
i think i did like...6 poses for her, i wanted something basic for the turnaround, nice and simple with a decent silhouette, and i wanted something a bit more "her" in the final, most of the other poses were just a stance and a gun, and then the other night i decided i wanted to try something different and threw her to the ground, she's a pretty neat character, lots of shooting and lots of torn clothes. she's pretty actiony so standing wasn't cutting it, so i blasted some epic music and ended up with that, had Jesse (skankerzero) help me push her expression some more, which i did in zbrush after everything else was set ^_^
i'm a vray person, and i've used marmoset and udk and stuff before back when i was still at school and occasionally on my own, but it's been a while, for this i decided to get my hands dirty with xoliul 2.0. (thank you Xoliul!) i've "messed" with it before, but that was nothing, so i spent about week of nights trying to figure out what i wanted after my maps were there, and then i tweaked my spec and reflection ever so lightly when needed. super neat shader, definitely amazing. i did come to the issue with the sorted alphas that you have to re-sort for proper displaying and had some weird shadow issues, but nothing that couldn't be fixed (xoliul has a section about how to get around alpha sorting stuff and other things). totally worth it. i used two omni lights, white one as my main source and a blueish one as a nice edge light and then set my shader up as in the picture. i also made one for my AO/Normals shot, which actually had a desaturated version of my spec map.
i screen grabbed at 3000 pixels with ViewportGrabber script (thanks Ravenslayer!) getting my alphas and wires and then shrank my final shots down in photoshop after i complied everything together :)

final pose

~Final Thoughts~
sad it's over, but glad i got a new fully finished piece for my portfolio :) great experience, Haz is a wonderful teacher and really worked with us, seeing him do paint and sculpt overs on my work really helped me understand where to go with her and why i should, a lot of the time i hear more of "don't do this or that because," people generally want to help you fix something that is wrong so you don't always get to hear a lot of "yeah, that's working, now keep doing that because", if we know what's good about a piece and why it's working, we can push the rest to the same level and that really clicks with me :D so i learned lots, tried out new thing, and it was nice to go through a full high to low poly pipeline again, going to be doing that a lot more now. also made some new awesome friends, made some new awesome goals, and you know, made a new awesome character ^_^

so a big thanks to Hazardous, Mrskullface, Funky Bunnies, almighty_gir, Joe Benitez for creating Lady Mechanika, skankerzero, and everyone who took the time to follow this, thank you guys so much :)

on to the next project! XD

1 comment:

Costume People said...

Awesome! I love the 'mapping' diagram - it looks so surrealist