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Bone Wessex/ Clock Hall
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Bone Wessex/ Clock Hall

by lohzwjoel on 8 Apr 2024 for Rookie Awards 2024

My projects completed during the one-year diploma programme at 3dsense Media School

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The following works were completed during my 1 year diploma programme at 3dsense Media School

Game-ready Character


This Real Time character was made over the course of 4 months during my second term at 3dsense Media School. It was based on the concept “Bone Wessex” by 顾德雄 (https://www.artstation.com/artwork/o2841O)

Being my first time creating a character, I learned a whole lot about the production pipeline from my mentor Julian Khor.

Process

Reference Finding

When starting to gather references, I sectioned out the different parts of the character to get an idea of the kinds of examples I needed to find. For parts that were slightly more ambiguous, I outlined and broke them down into more concrete shapes so that I understood how to model them. Real life references gave me an idea of how an asset should look while 3D references let me learn from how other artists pushed the quality of their assets.

Modeling

Most of the character was sculpted in Zbrush with a few major inorganic shapes blocked out in Maya first. For the chains, I first modeled a singular chain link then made a set of 3 each with a different rotation. Using Maya’s curve warp, I fit the chain around the character’s body and armor.

Retopology was done in Maya mainly using the quad draw tool.

Haircards

The haircards were created using Hair Strand Designer. It has many parameters to get the kind of hair strand you want, allowing you to adjust the density and frizziness of the strands amongst other things. Hair and fur were placed manually using the amazing GS Curve Tools. It really gives a lot of control while being fast and convenient, I highly recommend supporting the creator of the script.

I started off with a base mesh for the beard then built up the layers, while following references to understand the direction and flow of beards. A base mesh helped to build the main volume without needing too many haircards. Adding the flyaways as the final layer was crucial in breaking the silhouette of the beard, making it more messy and believable.

Baking

I used Marmoset Toolbag to bake the details from the high poly onto the low poly model. By naming all the assets with a “_low” or “_high” prefix, Marmoset’s quick loader will automatically create the proper hierarchy to bake properly. I prefer Marmoset Toolbag’s baker as it allows you to adjust the cage by painting directly on the mesh/uv, this lets you grow or shrink the cage in a localized area.

Render Passes

Texture Maps

UV Layout & Wireframe

Rendering

Rendering in Marmoset is extremely fast and can achieve cool results. There are many rendering settings to tweak as well as material options to achieve what you desire. The marmoset blog is also extremely helpful in learning new techniques as many masterful artists share their workflow and process using Marmoset.

While lighting my character, I had an idea of him being in a snowy, cold and unforgiving place. I used the glowing hot parts of his weapons to add a warmer contrast to his overall cold environment.

Real-time Game Environment

This real time game environment based on the talented Sunny Li’s “Clock Hall” was created during the final term at 3dsense Media School and took approximately 3 months. I learned many aspects of making an environment from trimsheets and tileables to setting up material shaders in Unreal. The guidance and insights from my mentor Venny Lie were extremely valuable.

Process

Reference Finding

Reference gathering was done concurrently with the blockout. I started off by sectioning out the concept and breaking down the assets.

Blockout

I started my blockout by matching the camera fov and angle using fSpy. Once I had a baseline for the camera, I imported it into Maya and began blocking out some key shapes to match the scale and size of the room. I constantly used the inbuilt measurement tool in Maya and a dummy human from Unreal to ensure that the room was to scale.

After I had blocked out most of the major assets, I imported the environment into Unreal and set up some rudimentary lighting consisting of a sky light, a main directional light and 1 or 2 other fill lights. This was so that I had some context when modeling and texturing as I could see how the final image was coming together.

Unreal Integration

Setting up the unreal scene was an interesting experience as I had never touched a node based system before. However, Unreal’s ease of use and the numerous online tutorials made it relatively easy to pick up.

When texturing, it was important to constantly export from Substance Painter to Unreal as there were some differences in how the assets looked in Substance vs Unreal. Lighting also made a big difference in how colors looked in Unreal. This meant a lot of back and forth, checking between the concept, Unreal and Substance painter. Having the context of the renderer let me texture with the final image in mind.

Lighting

I started with a directional light and a few rectangle lights to establish the main lighting coming from outside the room. I then added lights at places that made sense, such as the chandelier, the smaller lamps around the room. To separate out parts of the scene and add depth I made use of an Exponential Height Fog as well as William Faucher’s EasyFog.

Progress

Render Passes

Thank you for taking a look at my works!


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