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Ming - Realtime Character Model
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Ming - Realtime Character Model

by gorgonee on 21 Jun 2021 for Flash Gordon Modeling Contest

My character model of the Giuseppe Di Stasios Ming concept art.

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Update - 16 Jul 2021

Here we go with retopology. It is the first time I am ever doing this, what made it a real struggle and had me look at a lot of colorfull pictures showing how to properly build the loops. I am slowly getting the hang of it though. Definitly not the most fun part of the process anyway.

I remodelled the hairband using curves to build a rough shape (as before) and then remodelled the resulting mesh while projecting it onto the hair. Later I used weightpainting in combination with the shrinkwrapmodifier again to define the overlaps.

The hairband is not yet one closed piece of clothwrap simply because it made mirroring it a lot harder I will connect the ends in a final step.

Shoes and coat were once again modelled with lots of shrinkwrap, solidifying in combination with weight painting. This time I modelled the coat (or rather ornament of the coat) anew instead of simply copying the underlying shirt topology.

Fixed "hairholding decor loops". I once again used the solidify modifier, just cleaned up the mesh after destroying it last time and defined the height steps within the... object more clearly.

I used a reference for the tiny hands, there will be some further tweaking when they get merged with the main mesh.

Update - 9 Jul 2021

My Progress stagnated a little, as I had trouble with my multires basemesh and had to rework some of the previous steps. At this point I have a more acurate base/body mesh and am currently in the process of remodelling the clothing in more detail with some regard to the final topology.

Topo for most meshes is currently messed up which makes great practice for building actually legit topologies and helps me get some experience with building good edge flows.

As my previous method eventually ate more time away than it saved, I decided to be more considerate about my next shot on the clothing and ornaments. For that reason I did some experiments in multiple tiny projects to find ways to go about this.

Not a beauty, but propably still not too far from the actual body proportions.

Babyface as reference, for those fluffy cheeks.

So much on the multiresultion process, I either massively messed up or encountered a bug in the multires modifier. This way or another after some hours fixxing attemps blender would still shoot my vertices to the stars when subdividing the multires mesh.

So Retopo it is, I decided that I might aswell finalize the body mesh as a remeshed sculpt if I have to retopolize the thing manually anyway.

Update - 28 Jun 2021

All the throughout the process I was able to keep my basemesh with multiple LOD of the multires sculpt on, which I suppose and hope will come very handy later. Actually it already has by simplifying shifts in proportions.

I used the solidify modifer alongside Vertex painting to define the specific depth of the hairholding tube thing. I might aswell have modelled it but wanted to keep the option of easily changing width later.

After Defininig the most basic cloth shapes I spent some time dragging cloth around on Ming, trying to fit the proportions.

For the Ornaments I decided to continue using the shrinkwrap modifier as a base and simply model and sculpt my way from there, as seen with the rim of the hoody and decor on her top.

I cleaned up the artifacts and mess created by shrinkwrapping and mirroring, which was suprisingly easy and confirms me that I'm not on a terrible path with this way of working.

Update - 21 Jun 2021

I started modeling clothing and projected it onto my basemesh using shrinkwrap with an offset, to have a base to work out clothing details from.

For the clothstrips wrapped around Mings hair-cover clothing thing I used a Nurbs curve, that was then projected onto the hair and solidified, which gives some nice flexiblity.

After spending quite some time on working out body parts, I decided it was time to switch to the clothing for some fresh wind and finalize exposed body parts at a later time.

As this is my first time working out a character model I was also worried that I would discover a fatal flaw in my creation process in the further steps, that would force me to repeat all the detail fiddeling (as experienced multiple times in my other design works). So I decided to not get stuck and live through the whole process once first.

I slapped a multires modifier on the base mesh and started sculpting the face, tried to smooth out some Proportions errors and figure out the underlying anatomy. With her wide clothing and childlike, not quite human proportions this gave me a tough time, even though i found it suprisingly enjoyable to puzzle it out.

I used the Blender skin modifier to blockout the base for the body, as it is quick to use and delivers somewhat okayish topology, without much thought (Will have to retopologize anyway I suppose).

I cropped out Ming from the concept Art, somewhat guessed the body proportions under the clothing and overdrew the original to to keep it at correct proportions. In retroperspective using a pencil brush wasn't the smartest move, worked nevertheless.