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Marina Firmhofer
by firmi on 24 May 2020 for Rookie Awards 2020

"Butterfly" is a project, I've been working on in my free time. I'm a mostly self-taught 3D generalist and my goal was to learn the whole 3D pipeline of game character creation from modelling to animation.

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The final scene was rendered in Unreal.
To create environment I used the "Dark Forest" asset by Dave Berg, "Paragon" asset by Epic and Megascans for the flowers.

The whole idea of doing this project started with my wish to learn Zbrush. And then it somehow escalated. 
I sculpted the head and then baked the normal and curvature maps to use them later in Substance Painter.

Retopo, UVs and the rest were done in Maya. 

The skin was hand painted in Substance. That was challenging but also very fascinating.  I can't thank Magdalena Dadela enough for her amazing YouTube tutorials. 

As for the dress: I once saw this butterfly and since then wanted to use its colors to create something. 
The dress itself was made in Maya and textured in Substance. 
If I decide to improve it someday, I will probably try to recreate it in Marvelous Designer.

This is the closer look in Unreal.

I want to animate this character at some point, so I made a simple rig and used it to pose her. 

To achieve a proper look of the skin in Unreal, I used the "Meet Mike" skin shader from Epic with some little adjustments. 
To make the hair, I first wanted to use XGen and make a proper grooming, but after a couple of tests in Unreal realised, that XGen hair is still difficult to handle inside the engine (at least for me). So the next possible solution was to use the good old cards. I created the hair strains in XGen, rendered them in Arnold and then used them as a texture.
As for the shader: I again used the "Meet Mike" hair shader from Epic.

The whole project took me more than a month. But every minute of it was a valuable learning experience. 

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