Vanguard Archer

Vanguard Archer

Hans Palacios
by hanspalacios on 19 May 2020

This is the final rendition of a futuristic, clandestine archer character I designed and generated as part of my SCAD course project. It aimed to explore many facets of character design, including dynamic fabrics, hard-surface accessory assets, VFX, and game engine integration.

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Round of applause for our sponsors

This was a project that I used to refine my skills and methodologies in taking a personally-conceived concept sketch (Affinity Photo) through low-poly modeling (Maya), UV layout (Headus UV Layout), high-poly sculpting (ZBrush), texturing (Substance Painter), rigging (Maya), and some visual effects and fabric simulation (Houdini). The intent was to explore a combination of hard surface model assets, dynamic fabrics, optimal geometry and textures, and intricate facial details for use in a game environment.

Project Breakdown

The process guided me through efficient ways of linking the concept design, low-poly base model, high-poly sculpt, rig, maps, textures, and fabric solutions using various interoperability tools so that quick edits could be made and propagated throughout the pipeline.

The archer's bow is a unique asset that was really fascinating to compose, rig and program. It started with my hobby of recurve bow archery and visualizing the stabilizers and attachments as serving more purpose than originally designed. The designed bow combines a futuristic weapon and shield into a compact and quick-to-deploy asset for the archer. The effects were programmed in Houdini to enhance the concept beyond a static asset and to visualize the dynamics of its many modes of operation.

Bonus Footage

This is a short video of actual gameplay within Unreal Engine 4 that documents the initial setup of the Vanguard Archer character. I had a lot of fun developing and generating the character that I wanted to see it in action, so this is the first work-in-progress as I integrate the character and its assets into Unreal Engine 4. It includes cloth simulation and socket assignments to manage the bow and knife assets.

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