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High-Resolution Game Character Creation Pipeline in ZBrush and Maya
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Released Nov 4, 2013
Matthew Kean

Guest Tutor

Matthew Kean
In this series of tutorials we will learn how to create a realistic character from scratch, covering modeling and texture creation.

Throughout these lessons we will go over concept selection, and blocking in of forms using ZBrush 4R6's powerful suite of tools, we will also be jumping into Maya for base mesh creation for some of more complex pieces. I'll discuss different sculpting techniques giving you a good overview on different problem areas such as leather or skin pores.

We'll then discuss how to go about texturing and retopologizing the high-resolution models in TopoGun and Photoshop. We'll be using UV layout for the fast and easy UV creation. Normals and and other maps will be generated using TopoGun, XNormal, and a versatile map creation program.

Over the course of the tutorial we will cover general anatomy, as well as introducing a DynaMesh workflow and topology geared towards animation. We will go over utilizing Polypaint to hand paint our base textures, which will later be enhanced in Photoshop and dDo.

The tutorial will end with a semi-low resolution character with normal maps and diffuse geared towards a realtime game workflow. Tips learned here can be applied to any realistic or stylized character.
Introduction and project overview
1

Introduction and project overview

 
01:11
Collecting references
2

Collecting references

 
13:52
Blocking forms of the head from a sphere
3

Blocking forms of the head from a sphere

 
14:16
Blocking in eyes, brow, nose, and cheeks
4

Blocking in eyes, brow, nose, and cheeks

 
11:37
Tweaking the shapes
5

Tweaking the shapes

 
10:52
Working more on sculpting the head
6

Working more on sculpting the head

 
16:48
Starting wrinkling and skin detail
7

Starting wrinkling and skin detail

 
19:34
Adding more detail to the upper lip
8

Adding more detail to the upper lip

 
18:07
Defining the face with detail
9

Defining the face with detail

 
24:34
Blocking in the arms and hands
10

Blocking in the arms and hands

 
16:58
Continuing blocking in the arms and hands
11

Continuing blocking in the arms and hands

 
18:00
Detailing the arms
12

Detailing the arms

 
13:00
Beginning to block clothing in ZBrush
13

Beginning to block clothing in ZBrush

 
16:41
Creating clothing forms
14

Creating clothing forms

 
17:14
Cloth detailing on button down shirt
15

Cloth detailing on button down shirt

 
12:32
Combining the two shirts
16

Combining the two shirts

 
23:39
Pushing the detail on the t-shirt
17

Pushing the detail on the t-shirt

 
21:17
Beginning the detailing process on the pants
18

Beginning the detailing process on the pants

 
10:01
Finishing the pants detail
19

Finishing the pants detail

 
18:41
Base mesh creation of the shoes
20

Base mesh creation of the shoes

 
12:20
Shoe sculpting in ZBrush
21

Shoe sculpting in ZBrush

 
07:01
Finishing the shoes
22

Finishing the shoes

 
15:56
Defining button and cloth details in Maya
23

Defining button and cloth details in Maya

 
18:19
Applying button to cloth and shoe details
24

Applying button to cloth and shoe details

 
15:43
Adjusting shirt and shoe detail
25

Adjusting shirt and shoe detail

 
12:56
Quick jewelry creation for our character
26

Quick jewelry creation for our character

 
10:47
Finalizing geometry of our character
27

Finalizing geometry of our character

 
13:44
Getting our mesh ready for retopology
28

Getting our mesh ready for retopology

 
12:28
Getting into TopoGun
29

Getting into TopoGun

 
17:54
Retopologizing the face
30

Retopologizing the face

 
18:59
Finishing the retopology of the face
31

Finishing the retopology of the face

 
06:05
Retopologizing the arms and hands
32

Retopologizing the arms and hands

 
18:33
Continuing to retopologize the hands and arms
33

Continuing to retopologize the hands and arms

 
18:09
Creating the inside of the mouth
34

Creating the inside of the mouth

 
20:05
Continuing cleaning up the model
35

Continuing cleaning up the model

 
07:48
UVing the clothing
36

UVing the clothing

 
23:23
Laying out the UVs in Maya
37

Laying out the UVs in Maya

 
11:24
Normal map generation
38

Normal map generation

 
09:29
Map generation and composition
39

Map generation and composition

 
08:47
Collecting the needed maps for dDo
40

Collecting the needed maps for dDo

 
04:10
Hand painted skin textures in ZBrush
41

Hand painted skin textures in ZBrush

 
11:51
Continuing to hand paint textures
42

Continuing to hand paint textures

 
11:05
Texture mapping in TopoGun
43

Texture mapping in TopoGun

 
04:58
Texture mapping in dDo
44

Texture mapping in dDo

 
12:41
Adding diffuse, specular, and gloss textures
45

Adding diffuse, specular, and gloss textures

 
18:19
Finalizing textures of our image
46

Finalizing textures of our image

 
12:54
Final presentation of the render
47

Final presentation of the render

 
10:07