Thursday, August 20, 2009

Using 3d references to ensure porportions for human characters

If you could, you would most likely stuff an entire person in your virtual 3d space and model around them. Doing so would make the entire model proportionate exactly. This technique has been used similarly with modifying whats known as the unimesh, a very low detail man that can quickly be modified into almost any character. However, if you are new to 3d modeling, you most likely don't have a good unimesh, but not to despair! A very useful program called MakeHuman can be used to create a 3d reference model quickly. Just tweak the model to your liking, export to collada, and import via blenders collada 1.4 importer.

The makehuman model is too high poly for typical video game usage, and since the newer games are able to use tangent space distortion maps (uv mapped images that tell the graphics engine to distort light as if the model was shaped with much more detail) you really want to make as low poly model as possible, while keeping enough verticies for animation.

Also, in the body area you want to remember to make the model a bit bigger for clothing, and reference your design images. Such as Ethan, back when he is alive or hasn't yet aborbed the leftover essence of the grim reaper, he wears a button down shirt that when he extends his arms out, the shirt would strech between where his belt is and the sleeve, so I would model the shirt streching like that, and when he puts his arms down vertex weight mapping would be modified so the strech line would fall against his body.

Upcomming: modeling low poly characters for detailed animation: The Face

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