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Archive for February, 2011

Weekly Update #3

Okay, so during this past week I’ve finished modelling the quad bike and I’ve also finished uv-mapping the character and the bike has everything but the rims mapped. I searched around the internet and found a great UV plugin for maya called Cas Auto UV Mapper, which has helped me work faster considerably. It was kinda easy to learn and get into. Basically, what it does is to compile a lot of Maya’s own functions into an easily accessible panel as well as adding a few new features.

I also baked out normal and ambient occlusion maps for my character which I then tweaked in photoshop and sharpened the edges / fixed weird areas in the maps.

Character Retopo

Having never actually retopologized before, I’m quite satisfied to say that I’m finally done with the character. It was taking longer than expected as I had to learn a new program and the workflow that comes with it. I learnt a lot about body & face topology and limb deformations when reading various forums discussing these topics.

Needless to say, there’s room for improvement. The character is sitting at about 17k tris right now and there is a lot of optimization that can be done but due to lack of time this will have to be skipped. The quads are too evenly spaced and some cover quite a few flat spaces that would’ve been fine with a lot less tris. That’s something I’ll keep in mind the next time I retopoligize.

Test – Retopologize, Ambient and Normal

Here’s a not so finished retopologized chest mesh I made yesterday. I decided to test baking normal maps and ambient occlusion using xNormal and see if any errors would occur.

I had some weird UV seam distortion when I exported the mesh and the maps to UDK, but after an hour or two troubleshooting I found out that you’d have to rotate the UV’s with seams in maya to match the tangents to get rid of the UV seams of the normal map. There’s probably some easier solution I’m not aware of. The problem’s solved for now though, so I’m happy to continue on with my retopologization.

1. Basic mesh with no textures
2. Ambient Occlusion
3. AO and Normal map

“Finished” mesh in UDK


During the weekend I added a couple of things like the goggles, armband and a packet of cigarettes. I also tweaked the belt and the waist area to look more natural. I’ve gotten rid of the belt bags as they didn’t make much sense to me.
The sculpting went fairly easy with no major problems and I’m feeling that I am getting more comfortable with Zbrush and all it’s different aspects as I haven’t really delved into it too much before. It’s a good learning process.

Anyway, I’ll consider her finished for now since time is running out. Additional tweaks and changes will have to be made in the polishing phase. I’ll be retopologizing her this week as well as starting to model the small environment scene I’ll be showcasing the girl and vehicle in.

Weekly Update #2

Okay ! During the course of this week I’ve been very busy modelling my female character and coming up with a design I like. I’m supposed to be done sculpting her clothes today but I’m not going to make that deadline. Instead, what I’ll have to do is that I will spend my weekend working on her and finalizing the clothes and have it done by Monday by which time I’ll start retopologizing the meshes and start modelling the environment.

Here are some of the things I plan to fix / change this weekend along with sculpting all the wrinkles and details on the clothes.