Lizrdman - Real time model
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Lizrdman - Real time model

by KCatz on 14 Jun 2021 for Flash Gordon Modeling Contest

My first entry for a Rookies competition! This is a record of my process through the character pipeline for the Flash Gordon Modeling Contest. Hope you enjoy seeing my progress!

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Update - 12 Jul 2021

Final entry

Here is my final entry!

I ended up having a lot of fun doing this character and learned a lot during the entire process, leaving me with what I believe to be a good new portfolio piece. The final renders were done on Unreal Engine 4 and the rest of the images show the textures and topology for a game ready character.

I hope you have also enjoyed seeing my process and the final result!

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Update - 7 Jul 2021

Shield and Mingling

For the shield, I went low poly to high instead of the opposite and modeled it fully in Maya, since I believed it would be easier and faster. I will divide the UV's in two UDIMS in order to use UE4 transparency in the middle part. The shield has 2284 tris.

I brought the highpoly of the mingling into Maya and retopologized it with quad draw same way I did the lizardman. I ended up keeping it as a single subtool for optimization reasons. I once again used the checker to look for mistakes and took it into substance painter.

I'm quite happy with the progress, with little time left, however, I feel like I need to move on to posing and presentation, I intend to pose in Zbrush and Maya and then make the lighting and final presentation in Unreal Engine 4.

Update - 1 Jul 2021

Baking and Texturing

I brought the mesh into substance painter and the baking went great! I started texturing by phases, starting with base colors and adding color variation and details form there.

I had a few setbacks by not understanding certain materials, but with enough research I was now able to get to a point where I am starting to be happy with the result. I have also gone back to the high poly in Zbrush and changed a few details like on the belly button and some metal parts.

I might still tweak a few things but with the deadline for the competition getting close I must move on to the Mingling and the shield, that still needs modeling.

Update - 29 Jun 2021

Low Poly and UV's

Progress was a bit slower this week than I had hoped.

I have now finished the retopology of the main body. I considered using some of the topology exported from Zbrush but ended up deciding to redo the entire topology by hand with quad draw in Maya, allowing for better optimization. The mesh has now 24.454 tris, which is something I am happy with.

When it comes to Uv's I decided to use two UDIM's, one for organics, body and eyes, and the other for synthetics, clothes and armor.

I tried to organize them by material and keep them with the same texture density.

I then used Maya's provided checker to check the UV's were alright and fix any mistakes I could find.

I have also looked into some tips for getting a clean bake when working with a hard surface mesh, like cutting the hard edges when working on UV's.

I will bring it now into Substance Painter and begin the texturing!

Update - 22 Jun 2021

I feel now I am ready to move on to retopology. The changes to the model weren't major, mostly a last refinement pass and added a few details to his back and shoulders. I am quite happy with how it is looking and am very excited to move on to texturing. I will now export this into Maya and begin retopology.

I have also now modelled this little guy, might still come back to him later on but I like the way it is looking so far. He is very tiny in the concept so I went ahead and imagined the way his feet would look like and some of the body shapes.

Full sculpt process

Update - 20 Jun 2021

I'm nearly done with sculpting! Since the last update I have focused on making surfaces clean and adding details using alphas and masking. Most of these details I have referenced from outfits from sci fi games and movies, like on the gloves for example. I have also learned to use a lot of new tools and features in Zbrush, mostly invoving polygroups and the Zmodeler tool.

I've been having a lot of fun with this project and have learned a lot of new things, mostly related to hard surface sculpting. 

I want to spend some good quantity of time in the texturing fase too so I am almost moving on to retopology.

Update - 18 Jun 2021

Here is the progress on the sculpt, I am quite happy with how it is turning out and it's proving to be a great practice on hard surface sculpting. Still needs some work, mostly details and polish and then I'll start working on the shield and the little guy.

Update - 14 Jun 2021

I decided to work on the Lizardman for my entry. I really enjoy the design and it's something new to work on as I usually focus my work around more human creatures. These are the shots from the first stage of my sculpt with the first blockout shapes.