So I finally finished the modeling of the two characters. Of course, there’s still a bit of sculpting yet to be done, but that will all be in the displacement/normalmaps and won’t affect the basemesh. Since the skinning is starting to take off now I will have to put a freeze on any modeling that has to do with these base meshes. I have been experimenting a lot with topology and deformation to try to get a decent result. A lot of things had to be retopologized in the last days and that has been a bit of a new workflow for me. It all went very smooth though and it gives a nice freedom to be able to do most of the modeling and sculpting before you focus on the topology. After the retopo was finished, I could simply project my old mesh on top of the new one and regain all of my detail. In some cases a bit of cleanup was necessary, but generally speaking it worked out fine.
I had to make sure i had insides to everyting that needed it (clothes that will move around etc.) I then began deleting all unnecessary faces, partially to save polys, but mostly to make the skinning a bit easier. Double layers of cloth over the shoulders turned out to be a bit troublesome, so such things had to be adressed and corrected.
While in the process I went back to the male characters face and worked on it a bit more, just to make sure i was happy with the overall look. Most of the detail will have to wait until everythings ready for skinning though. I also decided that since we don’t seem to have time to develop a suiting hair/fur system for the characters I will model it instead. I gave Jean-Francois a beard and eyebrows as seperate meshes to give more control for the riggers.
The final thing on the male character was to fix a way for his sword to hang on to his belt, so I quickly made a leather strap to do the job. This will of course have to be rigged in a dynamic way to allow the sword to move around a bit by his side as he is running around. I also just quickly blocked out his backpack in from a sphere in zbrush to try to decide a bit of its form and size. I will have to make the real model for it some time next week.
The next thing now should be blendshapes. General blendshaping shouldn’t pose that much of a problem, the main thing I will have to solve is how to get the corrective displacement maps working along with the blendshapes. I will have to do a bit of research on this.