Making Of "DaHoop" character
In this "Making Of" post I will show you the complete process and workflow I went through in order to create my original character shown above named "DaHoop".
Concept and model specs:
In my previous "making of" (making of the Flower boy character) I started by doing a quick little sketch and then moving onto creating the character. I also mentioned its better to have an idea of what you want to create and to do a quick little sketch on paper before going into blender. For this character however I did not sketch anything before hand. I just went into blender with an idea of a character I wanted to create and ended up with my DaHoop character. I am pretty proud of the results and like how my character turned out.
My main focus was to create a low poly character with an appealing and stylized look. For this particular character I think I nailed it. The final model is only 3448 tris.
Along the way I took screenshots of the progress I made so I can show you all how I came up with this character from start to finish. So lets get started!
I first started with a basic cube:
Then I subdivided my cube a couple times and smoothed it.
I am only focusing on the face at this point. So I manipulated my vertices and edges, extruding them and moving then around and adding in some more where I needed to in order to create a face. I just kept adjusting them around until I was satisfied with the face for my model. I created things like the eyeballs, eyebrows and ears as separate pieces
next I extruded a set of verts from around the neck area in order to give me a base for my body.
from there I just manipulated my verts and edges around, made a body shape, extruded other parts like arms and legs and adjusted them until I was happy with the characters body figure and proportions.
I then used my models body to create the clothes like the shirt and shorts.
I created the hair out of the faces based off the top of my models head. It is a separate piece. I used the sculpt tools to manipulate it around until I was satisfied with the style. Note: I am only using the vertices I have available for the model in order to create it. I am not using dynamic topology or a multires to sculpt a high res version. I wanted to avoid any retopology for this model so I really had to focus on the topology I already had.
At this point, the modeling session is complete. Here is my final character mesh:
I started to unwrap my character model by marking various seams around it. Then I adjusted its uvs onto a uv map.
Just as a starting point, I colored in a quick base color for my model. I didn't want to spend to much time at this point because I knew I was going to do a lot of other things to make the texture look better later on. So right now these base textures look ugly but I am not too worried about them right now because I will change and adjust them down the road as you will see later on.
Anyway, I then moved onto to creating a normal and AO texture maps. To do this, I duplicate my character model, move it onto a different layer and then use a multires modifier to sculpt on more details like wrinkles on the clothes, eyebrow hairs, etc.
After I finished sculpting more details I used my high res model to bake out the AO map onto my low poly model.
Then I baked out a normal map from my high res to my low poly model.
The two maps I baked out from my high res sculpt will help me greatly with the final texture map. So I take my base texture, my normal map and my AO map into gimp to create my main texture map.
As you see, the model is already looking much better compared to the base texture map I showed you earlier.
I also textured on the eyes which give the character a lot more life and personality. The eyes are always one of the most important parts of a character model.
Earlier I said not to worry about the base colors. So now since I created my final texture map I am ready to adjust the colors. In gimp, I separated the clothes and am now able to adjust the color to whatever I want or to whatever I think looks best for the model. You might of noticed I changed it to orange earlier on. For the final model I made the clothes this nice darkish red.
I load it up in blender to see how it looks on my character and its looking a lot better than that base texture I created early on.
Finally, to touch up the texture and make it look really good I painted on some extra details using blenders stencil tools. I created some png textures like numbers and text in order to create a shirt that looks more like a basketball jersey instead of just a plain old red shirt.
Rigging the Character:
The modeling and texturing is now finished so at this point I move onto rigging my character model so that I can move him, pose him and animated him for a game project or animation or just to look cool. To do this easily and effectively I used the Rigify add-on that comes with blender. I said this before but rigify is one of the best add-ons in blender as it lets you easily rig your humanoid character models and save a lot of time. The rig does not work perfectly, usually it has a couple of problems that need to be fixed manually, for this character model everything rigged properly except the head of my character so I just had to go in a fix the head to work with my rig the way it should. It was a minor problem and easy to fix.
Animating/ posing the character:
After I rig my character model I go into animation mode and create various animations and poses for my character.
Modeling and Texturing the turntable stand:
The character is complete so then I quickly created a little turntable stand for my character model to pose on. These are commonly used to show off the final character model. I didn't create any fancy turntable stand or anything, just a simple one.
I modeled a simple circular stand first.
Then I created a texture out of images I got off Cgtextures and openclipart.
After all that, my character model is rigged, textured, animated with some poses and has his own stand to pose on. It is fully finished now.
Exporting to Unity:
Now that my character is fully finished I exported it to the unity game engine and created a simple demo that you can try out in your web browser to see the model for yourself and how it would look like in game. Check out the web demo over here
Press the space key to change his pose.
That's all for this character model. I hope you enjoyed this making of and maybe even picked up a thing or two from my own techniques. Thanks for reading!