Wednesday, December 31, 2014

I originally had a concept and Zbrush model that I started on a couple of months ago for a contest, and really want to see it finished, so I've taken to working on it in my free time.
I wanted to get started as quickly as possible, so I made a very rough concept to solidify my idea, and then I started roughing and sculpting out the character.
And as Physically Based Rendering is the next graphical step for art in video games, I've been using it as a practice subject to get comfortable with the workflow.

Alot of the new workflow has involved getting comfortable with separate map types (Ambient Occlusion, Albedo, SSS, Normal, Specular, Detail Normal, etc), and figuring out how they interrelate to one another when subjected to different light setup's.

My work at Hi-rez requires me to have the Ambient Occlusion and Albedo maps baked together with the appropriate details, and then combining that with the Specular and Normal maps in UDK to get a get a result that aims to mimic "realistic" lighting.
We have gloss and cube maps to fake light environments around our character's, and transmission masks to fake Subsurface Scattering.

The new PBR workflow has me splitting things from the Albedo off into their own separate channel's or texture's (i.e. The AO, the Cavity Map, highlights) and then the engine itself combines those maps into surface detail that changes dynamically based on the lighting.

Even at this early stage the effect is amazing.


I've never done a model like this before, and I'm aiming for a higher level of fidelity than I've ever attempted.
My goal with this project is to keep this at a "game-ready" level, similar to something one might find in The Order: 1886.

I already have a large portion of the character blocked out of sculpted, but I'm working on getting a bust of the character done to get in the PBR practice, and see what the end result might look like.

Things to do:
- Replace rough hair with specific hair planes. Experiment with combining sculpted hair clumps with hair planes to achieve the desired shape/volume
- Create specific texture for the Iris
- Reduce the red in the skin values
- Added additional smaller details into the facial texture (blemishes, freckles, pores on the cheeks)
- Begin the materials for the mantle.Possbily add in additional floating geometry for the large button's, or the clasp.

I'm moving soon, so it may be difficult to keep this updated for the next little while.