The Marionette auto "Lloyd"

The Marionette auto "Lloyd"

Ash Samet
by ashlmet on 27 Jun 2020

This game-rez character was created and compiled for classes at the Gnomon School of VFX. Initially for Damon Woods's Character for Games class, with a weapon for Chris Stone's Props and Weapons for Games class, and all wrapped up with look-dev direction by Miguel Ortega. Thanks for looking!

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This design concept was unused for the npc mob "Lloyd" in the MMO Granado Espada. Being one of those "inspiration-concepts" I had floating around, I decided I finally wanted to tackle him for my "Character for Games" class at Gnomon, taught by Damon Woods. Through the class I had my first forays into Zbrush's panel-looping and Marmoset Toolbag, which made the process relatively streamlined! The character was polished up with the direction of Miguel Ortega, who pushed me in directions I hadn't fathomed when starting this project. Rigged and retopologized in Maya, textured in Substance Painter, and Rendered in Vray for this debut with comping in NukeX.

The sculpt for Lloyd actually started with Zspheres- maybe it's because of my background with traditional sculpting armatures, but to start with an internal frame helps me visualize the scope of my project before I start in with my primary forms. 

There's a decision to be made (when sculpting) about how much effort should be made to construct every layer of a character. For myself, understanding how these layers (eg. clothing) work and interact with each other is very important. Half of Lloyd's face is obscured by his facial hair, but the underlying forms are there to be felt, even if largely unseen otherwise.

In my opinion this is also a smarter mindset to have in the workplace. If a design choice is made later in production "Eh- maybe no facial hair after all." Then your workflow could be the difference between a button-click and hours of lost time on the back end.

Rigging Lloyd was made significantly easier due to the lack of need for intense skin weighting or corrective blendshapes! My first introduction to rigging was through my animation background at SCAD, and that knowledge has just continued to grow and solidify with the classes offered at Gnomon during their 2-year DP program. Being able to understand how the production pipeline works is nothing but helpful for communication between departments.

Lloyd's dagger was created for my Props and Weapons for Games class midterm at Gnomon, taught by Chris Stone. The class explored new avenues of Substance Painter, detailing how to really analyze reference images and create materials from scratch. It sits at 3K tris and one texture set with a turnaround rendered in Marmoset.

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