Sunday, April 8, 2012

Character Modeling: Seignik (Part 2)

Part 1 of this character's process can be found here.

Now that thesis was finally over, I was able to complete this character. Last time, I ended Seignik's progress with a turnaround of his model with baked in ambient occlusion. The next step was figuring out what kind of color scheme to give him, because I thought the initial sketch looked a little too much like Megaman.

Here are the different color schemes I came up with. I tried playing around with contrast and mixing up the placements of the lights and darks. This was the final scheme I ended up using:

(Rendered in UDK)

Because of Seignik's exaggerated proportions and stylish look, I thought that a toon shader would look good on him. At first I was just going leave Seignik's textures plain and let the shader do all the work, but after some critique I was told to add textural detail. 

Now that I was adding all this grunge onto the armor, the metal areas needed some spec to really feel like metal. I was having a hard time trying to adjust the spec: either the edges of the spec were too soft or the spec covered too much of the armor's surface. I wanted to get a tight, hard-edged shine on the metal that wouldn't interfere with the rest of the toon shader.

Upon discovering that all I needed to do was change one constant node, this was the result I was most satisfied with.

And finally, here is the final model and its contact sheet:

In conclusion:
I really enjoyed modeling this character, though I know I still need to improve poly optimization and conserving texture space. The original model was over 12,000 polys and the textures maps were all 2048x2048 (except the emissive map, which remained 512x512). Messing with the toon shader was also a bit of a hassle, but it was definitely a learning experience. I do want to get better at making Materials in UDK. 

For anyone who cares, Streamline was an idea of mine that was inspired from a mixture of the anime show IGPX, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Wipeout. Characters raced each other on rails using technology called "Stream Boots": boots that had various classes of high speed rockets attached to them. The racers, or "Runners" as they're called, also wore armored suits not only for protection, but also for powering their Stream Boots and any other equipment they wanted to attach to their armor. By default, the armor suits provided an energy shield for extra defense, but additional equipment included shield upgrades, beam weapons (knives, guns, etc.), and others. Runners had to manage energy consumption wisely, however, because extra equipment drained their suits' energy, thus slowing their speed during a race. 

Seignik here has a Class C, Medium Weight type armor suit with a Class C speed rank. If anyone remembers his Bahamut skin, that would be a Class A, Medium Weight type suit with a Class A speed rank. The Bahamut skin also includes a Megaflare Railgun.

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