Make It and Show It – Week 13 (19th May)

During this week I have decided to create texture maps for the characters that I have already worked on the topology for.  My reason for doing so is simply so that I can at least one of the three models textured before the hand in date.  To do this I have used 3DS Max, Photoshop and Xnormal.

In 3DS Max, I have used a number of different tools to try and ensure that the models are ready to be exported into Xnormal.  The first is the selection tool that allows me to automatically highlight N-Gons since XNormal refuses to work with those kinds of polygons.  I did this by selecting the option that allows me to find any faces with more then four corners.  I also used the Unwrap UVW tool to identify the faces that aren’t connected together for whatever reason.  After identifying flaws in the models, I then used the Target Weld tool to join together points that need joining together.

To get a base for my textures, I needed to use XNormal to create both Normal and Occlusion maps for my model.  To make sure it had a framework to work from, I then used the Unwrap UVW tool to create an unwrap of my model.  Afterwords, I exported the model named “(Insert Name Here)_For_Xnormal” so that I knew which models were to be used in XNormal.

After doing all the previous steps, I then import both a high polygon and low polygon model into XNormal.  This way, XNormal creates both Normal and Occlusion maps to be rendered in 3DS Max.  Overall, this process has created fairly useful reference material when it comes to creating textures of my models.

Overall, the creation of my models textures has been reletively mundane.  It mostly involves taking an Occlusion map into Photoshop and placing color over it using the Color option to allow the computer to create both light and dark shades of color.  I then went over the color with a brush to add details to the characters like Lipstick for the female character.  Afterwords, I saved the texture maps as a PNG and imported them into 3DS Max along with the Normal maps to create the bumps on the model.textures.png

Outside of that, there are a hand full of seperate models that have had additional work done to them.  As I mentioned previously, the female characters face has had additional work done to it to layer on color.  Another example would be the bit of pinup art on the side of the Gun.  As I was looking at the model, I found that there really wasn’t anything on the side of the weapon so I decided having a bit of art would look nice.  I was inspired by the various different poses I found on Google image search.  Afterwords, I quickly drew the sketch in a separate file.

Gun Pinup 1


Overall, while I am happy with the textures, I won’t be using them as part of the Showreel for the summer show.  Upon reflection, I prefer the ZBrush files simply because they are a lot more detailed than the textured models.

Colour Model Artboard.png

While working on the textures I also came across a couple of issues, most of which revolving around crashes.  3DS Max would crash every so often resulting in lost work.  This is part of the reason why I haven’t managed to create a large amount of texture’s for my other characters.



Make It and Show It – Week 10 (27th April)

This week I have managed to start and finalize my work on the alien character model.  Unlike the previous character, this one took a lot less time to create.  To make this character, instead of creating the base model in 3DS Max, I built the entire model in ZBrush by blocking out the shape using Polyesters and adding more detail to the overall model.

This is an early render I did of the aliens face to ensure that the detail that I did to the aliens skin looked organic.  I created the detail on the aliens skin in a similar way I did the detail on the characters skirt early in development.

This is the final model created in of the alien that was created in ZBrush.  Overall, I am happy with the outcome of the model and am willing to move on over to the robot design.  I will also have to consider taking some time to retopologize the models I am creating before the final deadline and to render them out at some point.

Make It and Show It – Week 8 (15th April)

This week has been a lot more productive then previous ones but not without its own issues.  One of the main issues that I have had is the constant crashing and the amount of time taken to both load and save a piece of work.  This was because I was using a polycount that my laptop couldn’t handle.  To resolve this issue, I went through all of the models that I had created for this one character and reduced the polycount from 75 Million to 24 Million.  Plycount

Another issue that I have had is files corrupting after I have worked on them.  This is a big issue since at one point, I had completely lost all of the work that I had done for an entire day.  While I have ensured that I have a long backlog of files just in case something goes wrong with the model, losing all that work was annoying.

Error Message

Both of these issues have made it quite difficult to keep a consistent level of work during the week however, I do feel that the work I have done is substantial and that I am close to finally completing the model.  Referenece Material

At this point I feel that the work on the characters face is almost complete.  While working on the face, I attempted to use what little space I had on my computer monitor to display some reference material to work from.  There were two images that I used from my moodboard as references which can be seen above.  I liked the woman on the lefts eyes and the woman on the rights lips.  I also liked the woman on the rights hair style too, which is why I have changed my mind about how I want the characters hair to look.  Also, because I have some reference material for that making the whole process potentially a lot easier then it was before.  Face renders

One of the main goals for the characters face this week was to finally get the characters eyelids to look like eyelids.  To that end, I decided to try and erase the work I had previously done on the characters eyelids and start again using the clay buildup tool to create the characters eyelids.  Afterwords, I started to mold it to try and create a circular look.

Attempt No 2 Ear Render 2

I have also done some additional work on the characters ears to try and get them to look more like real ears rather than just flat things that stick out of the side of the characters head.

Characters Hair

Something else I worked on was the characters hair.  Like I have mentioned before, I have decided to change the way in which the characters hair looks because I both like the new style, I have the reference material and I don’t have to worry to much about it clipping through the characters collar.  However, I did attempt to work with the old design.  It didn’t work out too well so I decided to change it.

Hair 2

To create the new hair style I followed the video I mentioned previously which can be seen here.  I started by extracting the characters scalp, using ZRemesher to lower the models polycount and blocked out the shape in which the hair style on the woman took.  I then attempted a few times to create the strands out hair but I was unsuccessful in doing so.  In the end, I decided to wait until I was back in Plymouth so that I could use two screens instead of one.

Shirt 2

The final aspect of the 3D modeling that I have done is to the shirt model.  I feel that out of all the work I have done this week, the shirt is the model which I have done the most work to.  I feel that I have finally managed to get the creases on the characters shirt to look natural.  To do this, I looked my reference material and explored where the shirt had the most creases and applied it to my work.  While I used the shirt I previously linked, I also used a different shirt as reference material too which can be found here.

Overall, even with the issues I have experienced during the week, I feel that I am on track to getting this model finished by the end of next week.  However, this also means that I have pretty much destroyed any chances of catching up to how my plan originally was.  However, I do hope that I can get these models finished in time for the summer show.


Make It and Show It – Week 6 (31st March)

I didn’t get much done this week since I traveled back to Wales for Easter, which meant I spent a day tidying up my room on Wednesday, a day on a train on Thursday and then spent Friday recuperating from the journey.  However I did attempt to get some work done earlier in the week so that my plans for the week didn’t end up eating up as much work as I thought it would.

The first bit of work I am going to talk about is on the characters hair.  I didn’t get much done on this model since, truth is, I find hair a hard thing to both model and design.  I managed to get the basic shape of the hair down however, I may need to spend more time looking up techniques on the internet.  The current tutorial I am looking at can be found here.

After working on the characters hair, I decided it may be worth wile working on the characters shirt.  One of my ideas from last week was to get a piece of reference material so that I would be able to see where the creases from the clothing should be.  This is the image that I found.  Sadly, I didn’t take any screenshots of the work that I did this week and the file that I was working on seems to have corrupted (for some reason).

Like I have said, I didn’t get much done this week because of how busy I have been doing other things.  I should have considered this when I put together my plan but I didn’t.

Make It and Show It – Week 5 (23rd March)

Since the model I did last week ended up not working out so well, I decided this week to start from scratch this time altering the base model enough so that it would look a little less… wrong?  The face needed to be pushed in a little more then it was previously.  I also ensured that the top lip was fully detached from the bottom one.  I have also made the decision to make sure that all clothing items are separate from each other, this way I can control the amount of polygons that are used on the model to make it more efficient.

ZBrush DocumentAttempt No 2 Full Body Render 2

My main focus to start this model off was trying to make the anatomy of the character look good.  I did this by looking reference material for a woman that has the same build as the character that I am attempting to create.  From there I observed how the her muscles looked and how her body looked as well.   While there is still work that needs to be done, most notably on her legs, I feel that this is a great starting model for the character


I started working on the face by loading the image I had of my characters face design so that I had some kind of reference to use when creating the character.

Attempt No 2 Face Render 2Attempt No 2 Face Render 6Attempt No 2 Face Render 11

My main goal was to try and ensure that the characters face looked as I had designed it in my initial concept art.  I also used the moodboard I had created earlier for reference of how the characters cheeks, nose and neck should look.  Above are three progress shots from the work I did on the character model.  As demonstrated, I attempted to try and define the characters cheekbones, jaw, lips, jowl and head.  My biggest mistake was attempting to make the characters skull a little more narrower.  I also feel that the characters lips need to be moved a up a little bit.  I also need to focus on trying to define the characters eyelids a little more since they don’t look like eyelids.


I also decided to start trying to create the characters shirt.  I started by taking a low poly model of the characters shirt then using the move topological brush to try and get the shape of the characters muscles.  Afterwords, I increased the amount of polygons that the the shirt model had and started to apply additional detail like the way the shirt opens in the front, buttons, the seams and creases.  While trying to add creases I started to realize that the seams would get erased as I would smooth the model so I decided to remove them from the model so I could add them later.  I then tried to make the character collar more triangular to try and get the shape I was going for with the characters collar.  Overall, I am not too happy with the way in which the creases look on the characters shirt and feel that additional work needs to be done on it.  It may be worth while getting some reference material for the characters shirt of the internet.  Untitled-1

My final model for the week was getting the characters skirt shape done.  Unlike the characters shirt and body model, this time I decided to try a different technique where I extracted the polygons needed for the skirt directly from the model its self and then used ZRemesh to lower the polycount to make it more manageable.  Overall, this was a really effective and quick way of creating the characters skirt.  I also added some texture to the skirt using the clay build up brush and using the spray feature to build up a cloth texture.

Overall, I feel that this week has been fairly successful when it comes to my work on my character models.  However, at the same time, there is still a lot more work that needs to be done.  I still need to work on the characters eyelids and making them look more like eyelids rather that what they look like right now, define the characters nose more, fix the shape of the characters skull, work on adding more detail to the characters shirt, work on the characters ears, give the character gloves, work on the characters hair, work on the characters jumper and work on the characters shoes.  I feel that this is going to take a lot more time then I initially planned.  I should have done more 3D Modelling experiments to ensure that the overall project was viable.  I think it may be a smart idea to try and ensure that the next two character models are a lot less complex.

Make It and Show It – Week 4 (16th March)


My goal for this week was to start working on the first characters model since I needed to start actually developing from my idea and create the model otherwise I would be far behind my stated goal.  This week I have tackled trying to create the Characters face to try and get it to look more human like, while also working on the characters shirt and skirt.

ZBrush Document

I started this week by first creating the base character model in 3DS max and then exporting it to ZBrush as an OBJ.  My goal was to add additional subdivision levels to the characters model to ensure that I can add additional detail to the model.  The base model for the character is show above.

Characters Face 1Characters FaceCharacters Face 3

From there I started to work on the characters face to try and define the way the characters face should look.  Like I have previously stated, the goal was to make the character look realistically human.

Clothing 1Clothing 2Clothing 3

I also got to work on the characters clothing.  More specifically the characters shirt and skirt. My goal for these clothing items was to try and create clothing that looked realistic with the seams and folds on both the shit and the skirt.  I first created the skirt model in 3DS max as a low poly model and then added more subdivisions to the model to allow me to add more detail to the model.

Clothing 3

I tried to create the seams on the characters shirt however, upon reflection, the seams look a little too defined.  I created the seams by looking at some reference material and highlighting the area in which the sleeve meets the characters shoulder.  Afterwards, I alternated between both the sleeve and the shoulder and added clumps of polygons to create the seam.

This is a turntable of my first attempt at this model.  In the end I decided that I didn’t like how flat the characters face was, how the characters nose lacked definition, how the characters eyes looked and how the characters clothes were one model.  I also didn’t like the shape of the characters collar.  So, I have decided to start again which will cut a significant amount into my current plan since this is around a week’s worth of work.



More Level Work

So, because of the deadline coming in fast, I decided to make a Google Doc to keep an eye on how many days I had until the deadline so that I could have some idea of what I needed to do for all of my projects.  I did this a few weeks ago but neglected to mention it because I forgot.


I am basically treating it like it is some kind of tick list to ensure that I know what I need to do and to hand it in.

That aside, I have done some more work on the level this week.  I was having issue on deciding how the level should look, especially with trees.  In the end, I decided to do some additional sketches for the level.  The first was a paint over of the overall level to give a strong idea of how the level should look.


I did this in Photoshop as a way to ensure that I had an idea of how the level should look atmospherically.  Overall, I think the concept art looks a lot better then I initially thought it would.  The only things I would change is the texture on the rocks and the Ferris Wheel.


This is some of the designs I did for the building in the level since I needed to have some kind of idea of how the building should look before it is finalized, textured and rendered out.

More Work on the Princess Model

Dress_Render_Front - Copy

This is the work I have done on the princess model since last week.  I have added a lot more detail onto the dress by giving it the additional lines to show the cloth folding.  I have also added lines going around the bottoms of the segments of the dress.  Aside from that, I have also sharpened up some of the dresses sharper edges.  It took a lot longer then planned to do this but in the end, it looks like it was worth it.

Working on the 3D Model for the Princess Character

Since I am coming into the final months of the course, it may be worth working on some of the 3D modeling work I need to do for the characters.  The first character I am going to do this with is the Princess.


These are the low poly base models that I exported as an OBJ and placed into ZBrush to then be altered by adding more polygons to the model and sculpting onto it.  By the end of the week I had already done this:


This is the mode that I have done of the character and her dress.  Overall, I am pleased with it however, I kind of want to add some extra detail to the model such as giving it more depth when it comes to the way that the cloth is folded around the character.  I also want to add more detail to the characters gloves.