Sunday, 13 December 2009

Brink Character 1

I was commenting elsewhere a while back that there was something I just really don't like about the characters in the forthcoming game Brink by Splash Damage. I've been finding it hard to quantify though. I love stylised characters, but these don't sit right with me.

Then someone posted a link to a blog covering the art direction and that included some concepts of the characters. And although they're pretty similar to the end result I find them much better than the models.

And that bothered me too, so I thought I'd have a go at sculpting a character from the concepts to see if they came out like the models I don't like and maybe figure out what is I don't like about the end result and at what point it changes.

Here is the original blog post.

And here's my sculpt so far.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Anatomy Study Woman Standing Stage 2

I've been meaning to catch up on my anatomy studies, but haven't gotten around to it for ages.

This is still at subdivision level 2, just with more work done.

Here's the earlier version since it was so long ago.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Zombie With Ripped Clothing

Here is where I would post a picture of the latest update of the zombie model. But Blogger isn't having any of it today.

I'll try and edit this post to add the image another day.

Edit: Now it's working.

The rips are on a layer so I can mask them out or add new ones for variation.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Zombie Now With Pants

The poor zombie has gone for long enough with no trousers. Now he has some. And a shirt and a T-shirt to allow for some mixing and matching.

No real detail yet. I'll add pockets and stuff shortly. I also plan to add rips and damage as layers so they can be dialed in as required.

Zombie New Head

Although I liked the original head, I thought he looked too nice for a bad guy. And I needed the character to have an opening mouth and eyes. So I transfered the head I did recently onto the full length body.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Zombie Sketch2

More like the full figure style, but with seperate eyes and an open mouth.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Zombie Sketches1

Some rough zombie sketches. Trying out ideas. These were just sketched out from the Mudbox base body and head.

More to follow when I get the chance.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Fat Face Specular Texture

I've now made the specular texture for Fat Face. It's been mostly a question of taking the various diffuse layers and adjusting their brightness and levels or turning them off in the case of things like the tattoo and camo patterning.

There's been a bit of custom painting like the shiny nose but not much.

While I was at it I touched up a couple of dodgy bits on the normal map. Following Ben Mathis' tutorial method of doing it one channel at a time made it much easier. Re-normalising after of course to prevent weird lighting.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Fat Face Paint Stage3

More work on the diffuse texture. Mostly done now I think. At least until I've done the specular map.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

I just got my copy of Mudbox 2010 installed and the free Turntable plugin, so I thought I'd give it a go.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Fat Face Paint Stage2

I've now done many layers of texture on Fat Face. Mostly they're layers of dirt and stains.

Since Mudbox doesn't support layer blend modes or paint layer masks or selections yet it's been assembled in 2D, just using Mud to do the projection paint to make opaque layers of whatever dirt, stain or patterning I've wanted for each surface. Even though it can't do it all yet, the ability to paint seamless layers was very useful.

I haven't done all the details yet and nor have I made a specular map. Those are to follow.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Fat Face Base Paint

First stage of the texture. Just the base paint so far. The ambient occlusion map has been overlaid to give it a bit of definition, but that's all.

Fat Face Stitching Normal Map

I've added the stitching and seams now. I used Mudbox's ability to paint bump maps for these. I made a series of stitch and seam stamps, set the paint brush to have quite wide spacing, made the stamps follow the stroke and turned on Steady Stroke. It's basically the same process as using the sculpting tools, but no need for a super high resolution model.

It was surprisingly straight forward and successful. I was quite pleased with the results. Then it was just a question of converting the black and white bump map to a normal map and overlaying it on the main normal map.

Next stage, paint.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Fat Face Normal Mapped Body Update

Here's the updated low res model. Now with a properly seperated bullet belt and the UVs moved about so that the left and right arms and legs can have their own texture space which has helped the ambient occlusion on the right thigh.

I also added the previously missing hog-tags.

Next I'm going to try adding seams and stitching to the normal map.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Fat Face Normal Mapped Body2

I've added the bullet belt and accessories. Not bad.

I attempted to just have the belt intersect the body geometry but I'm not too convinced that it works too well like that.
And I also forgot that the two sides weren't going to be identical so sharing UV space wasn't such a great idea. For a start the ambient occlusion shows up a seam on the leg on one side. And although I haven't done it yet, the "Danish" tattoo on the upper arms wouldn't read the right way round on both sides.

So I'll have to re-arrange the UVs a bit. And since I'm doing that, I might as well seperate the bullet belt too.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Fat Face Normal Mapped Body

I finished re-topologising the body of Fat Face and rendered out the normal maps and ambient occlusion maps. Here's the new low res model (about 6000 tris) with the normal map and ambient occlusion map applied. I'm quite pleased with how it's turned out so far.

Haven't done the bullet belt and accessories yet though. I'll have to find space for them on the UV map.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Fat Face Re-topologised Head

The next stage is making a low res model based on the geometry of the high res one.

I thought it made sense to see how the baked normal map came out on part of the model before doing it all. Especially as Silo was choking on the scene and I had to divide it up anyway. The top image is the above model mapped with the normal map generated from the original sculpt. The tusks need a little work, but the rest is looking pretty good.

Fat Face Sculpt Fine Detail

I've now detailed the main body of the character. I've given the fabric an overall texture pass, but I can't get enough detail for things like stitching on this 32bit system. I'll try adding that with a bump map or overlay it on the normal map later.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Fat Face Sculpt Stage3

Lots more detail on the jerkin and clothing generally, some refinement of the arms and hands, lots of wrinkles on the face and some asymmetry, updated canteen and some work on the trotters.

Next stage is going to be veins and skin detail I think and maybe some fabric texture too. I might add that as a bump map however.

I'm Back

Long time, no posts. I've been moving house. Now I'm installed in my new office/studio with lots more space for my sculpting which is great.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Fat Face Sculpt Stage2

Second stage of the sculpting on Fat Face. Mostly clothing and accessories here. Still fairly low res.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Fat Face Sculpt Stage1

Here's the first stage of sculpting. I've done the basic body mass and I've just started adding the layers of clothing on the body mesh. Not much detail on the trousers or body warmer yet. Pockets and trouser folds next probably plus a couple more layers for the belt.

Fat Face Concepts

I was going to add a set of links to the concepts on my brother's blog, but he's been too busy recently to post them so here's an image with some of the concepts pasted together.

I used this image as a background plane in Mudbox to keep the reference visible while I'm working.


John has had time to post a Fat Face image now, so here's the link-

Fat Face Concept

Thanks Bro.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Fat Face Base Mesh

It occured to me recently that I haven't really done any full current gen characters from base mesh to full high res sculpt and back to in-game model with normal maps. I've done tests and little bits and pieces like heads, but no full models. So I thought I'd have a go.

Here is the base mesh for Fat Face. He's a character designed by my brother John. I thought it would be a good idea to make a character designed by someone else. It's a significantly different skill to working from a design you've come up with yourself and my brother does great illustrations.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Rhino Base Mesh

Here's the base mesh for the rhino sculpt in the previous post. Modelled in Silo.

Saturday, 23 May 2009


This is a model I've had hanging around for ages from way before I started the blog. I never got around to posting the finished sculpt on my web site and didn't have any screenshots of it when I came to put the blog together. I remembered I had it when doing some backing up and decided to do some screengrabs.

I think it was the first full model I sculpted and I didn't UV map it before I stated the sculpt. I've had terrible problems importing UVs with this model. It always blows up or the UVs don't propogate up the subdivision levels. Possibly because it's very small compared to Mudbox's default models and I'm having tollerance issues or some other unknown reason. Whatever the reason, I can't at this stage easily paint it.

Format Change

I've decided to change the format a little to have fewer images but with more angles in each like the hand anatomy study I posted recently. That way I won't end up filling the front page with lots of images of the same model.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Hand Pointing Anatomy Study

Here's a set of hand anatomy studies I've been working on this week.

I've been planning on doing some anatomy studies for a while and then just as I start one model, a related weekly challenge pops up on Wayne Robson's Mudbox Hub so I thought I'd take time out to do that one.

This is my own hand sculpted directly from life. You can't get better reference than that but it's not easy to hold the same pose. Nor is it so easy to have to use the hand for working keyboard shortcuts.

I plan to do some other poses when I get the chance.

Monday, 4 May 2009

Anatomy Study Standing Posed Woman Stage1

I've been meaning to get around to doing some anatomy studies for a long time. This one is using the Stephanie free sample images from

It's only at subdivision level 1 so far. I'm still messing about with the basic form and pose at the moment.

The model is based on the Mudbox Human Body. I didn't want to spend time on the base mesh this time out.