This is great. Keeping UVs at 90 degrees never occurred to me but it makes so much sense it seems obvious in retrospect
Unless I'm mistaken, this is how Shadow of the Colossus handles the fur on the Colossi
Awesome breakdown Simon!
Gurjeet Singh is a 3D artist who specializes in high and low resolution modeling. He’s been working on games, CGI-movies, and even helped to build some of the exciting sculptures for the fans of The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim. Professionally, Gurjeet has contributed to a number of cool games like Dead Rising 3, Batman: Arkham Origins, Firefall, WildStar and worked on collectibles for Mass Effect and Skyrim.
A Little Introduction
My name is Gurjeet Singh, I have been working in this industry for more than 5 years now. I’ve worked on movies, and some AAA games and collectibles. I love to draw, sculpt, read comics, and play video games!
Building 3D Models
Always look for proportions, bigger shapes, and silhouettes. If you get this correct, the details are going to look great even with little work, but if the proportions are not in place even after heavy detailed modification, the model will not look appealing.
If I am working with a concept, I give it my best to match everything, do a lot of research about the character, gather references, and add more charm to the model while keeping the original feeling of the concept.
The Sister of Battle Concept
This was a really fun and long project for me. I wanted to do something based on Warhammer because I really love the style of this universe. For this piece I started with sketching in Zbrush instead of Maya. Afterwards, the model was exported back to Zbrush for detailing.
I was looking for different references and fan art to find out more interesting details for the clothes, skulls, and especially face. I wanted to give expression to her face. She is standing on the battleground and has some freshly scarred wounds to build up some story. For making lowpoly models I used Maya. For some pieces I started with a second subD of highpoly mesh that gives some quick results. After uvs and baking, I bring my model to marmoset and start texturing with Photoshop. Also, the final presentation was made in marmoset.
Achieving 2D Look in 3D
I wasn’t particularly going for the 2D painting look in the Warhammer fan art. I made a studio light setup for 3D character turnaround just to show the character’s detail in neutral lights. While preparing beauty shots I wanted to make all the details readable and added some dramatic lights with saturated hue to capture that fantasy feeling. I tried to make the background cooler and add a warmer tone to the character so that the image could be read better. I also made sure the character is looking directly into the camera, so that the viewer can connect to this person on a more intimate level. I guess the lighting and color could be used as the means of perceiving this special more intimate look of a 2D image.
In my opinion Zbrush has awesome tools, like DynaMesh, ZModeler, UV Master, and many more. These tools really speed up your workflow. Substance Painter is also an awesome program. I love it when you can paint all maps at the same time.
However, Photoshop is my main tool to create textures. I am exploring more about PBR texturing with these new tools. For the texturing process, the first thing I like to work on is flat colors and the material setup in Marmoset. Once I like the basic material look, I start putting details onto the texture.
Skin materials are a bit tricky but after the new Marmoset updates, it becomes so fast for real time skin shading. Skin shaders vary a lot with the size of your model, so I always keep my model according to real world matrices. Lighting plays a big role when working on materials so I always work with neutral lights, which should not have much color information.
Building Models for Games
Making good lowpoly models is really challenging. It may seem like a very boring process but it’s probably one of the most important aspects of modeling. So while making the lowpoly model, always look for silhouettes and try to capture it as much as possible. This is key to getting better-looking game models in my opinion. Always try to pack your uvs tight and efficiently, so you can bake as much detail as possible.
I am seeing that a lot of awesome traditional sculptors is now coming in to digital sculpting and they are doing phenomenal work. Artists are getting amazing results thanks to digital sculpting combined with 3D printing and scanning. In my opinion digital sculpting is really important for creating really cool characters.