Topology for Game and Game-Based Characters

Check out 5 wireframes for awesome game characters from Overwatch and Metro Exodus and game-based character fan arts, including Shadow of the Tomb Raider's Lara Croft and Ellie from The Last Of Us Part II. 

For this week, we decided to pick up a few characters from well-known games or fine arts based on them and find wireframes to give a little insight into a production process. This compilation includes both realistic and stylized characters to get a closer look at. Enjoy!

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Retopology itself can be done in different programs like ZBrush, Maya, Blender, and others. During the construction of the low poly mesh, create an edge flow direction along the anatomy lines or clothing design lines. The joints require extra attention to look good when it's getting rigged and animated. Do not forget about the technical specifications and the limit of polygons.

When all lowpoly meshes are ready, move on to UV unfolding and layout, after which I bake normals, occlusions, id- maps, etc. All of that is required for texturing. It can be baked in x-normal, Marmoset Toolbag, Substance Painter, or Blender.

For me, it can take from 16 to 80 work hours to complete depending on character complexity (amount of attaches, costumes, straps, and things). 

Evgeny Pyrch

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When the sculpt was done, or almost done with major volume, I did a retopo in Maya with the Quad Draw tool. I usually do this before applying the tertiary details in ZBrush because a good topology allows you to get better details without using too many polygons. With retopo comes UV unwrapping, also done in Maya. I chose to use a single UDIM for the face, that was enough to achieve a good texturing level.

When I was working on Ellie’s portrait, having a good wireframe has allowed me to sculpt using subdivision levels. A correct wireframe also avoids artifacts while sculpting, and with a reasonable amount of polygons, I can get crisp details projecting alphas.

Massimiliano Bianchini

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    Topology for Game and Game-Based Characters