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Game Character Creation in 3ds Max and ZBrush
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Released Jul 1, 2012
Fabricio Moraes

Guest Tutor

Fabricio Moraes
In this tutorial we will learn how to create a highly detailed game character.

Throughout these lessons we will look at the steps required to build a game character from scratch. We will start by using ZBrush to create a 3D sketch based on our character's concept art.

Along the way we will use 3ds Max to lay out our UVs and create our texture maps. By the end of this tutorial you will have a solid understand of the workflows that are required to create a highly detailed game character.



Want more? Check out some free helpful resources on Demo Reel and Portfolio Tips from Game Industry Professionals

And more on 10 Things Professional Game Artists Wish They Knew When They First Started
Introduction and project overview
1

Introduction and project overview

 
00:48
Defining the main shape with DynaMesh
2

Defining the main shape with DynaMesh

 
20:37
Continuing to shape our character
3

Continuing to shape our character

 
08:41
Building our character's legs
4

Building our character's legs

 
14:00
Starting to make the clothes in 3ds Max
5

Starting to make the clothes in 3ds Max

 
20:39
Exporting our character from 3ds Max to ZBrush
6

Exporting our character from 3ds Max to ZBrush

 
04:20
Making new elements for our model
7

Making new elements for our model

 
14:07
Continuing to refine the base elements
8

Continuing to refine the base elements

 
07:16
Using Transpose Master to rotate the arm
9

Using Transpose Master to rotate the arm

 
14:08
Separating the armor from the arm
10

Separating the armor from the arm

 
05:14
Making the refined high poly armor
11

Making the refined high poly armor

 
08:21
Continuing to make a high poly version of the armor
12

Continuing to make a high poly version of the armor

 
05:33
Adding detail to the armor
13

Adding detail to the armor

 
07:52
Building in more armor detail in 3ds Max
14

Building in more armor detail in 3ds Max

 
02:49
Starting to detail the head in ZBrush
15

Starting to detail the head in ZBrush

 
06:55
Continuing to refine the head
16

Continuing to refine the head

 
02:41
Adding more detail to the head
17

Adding more detail to the head

 
01:55
Rotating the head and sketching the hair
18

Rotating the head and sketching the hair

 
06:57
Sending the bracelet mesh to 3ds Max
19

Sending the bracelet mesh to 3ds Max

 
05:29
Starting to retopologize the arm plate
20

Starting to retopologize the arm plate

 
08:49
Beginning to tweak the arm plate shape
21

Beginning to tweak the arm plate shape

 
07:31
Continuing to refine the shape of our character's arm plate
22

Continuing to refine the shape of our character's arm plate

 
06:09
Starting to tweak the clothes
23

Starting to tweak the clothes

 
08:31
Adding some other cloth elements
24

Adding some other cloth elements

 
12:34
Creating a rope in 3ds Max
25

Creating a rope in 3ds Max

 
11:45
Modeling a belt strap for our character
26

Modeling a belt strap for our character

 
03:56
Refining the belt buckle
27

Refining the belt buckle

 
07:47
Continuing to refine the belt buckle
28

Continuing to refine the belt buckle

 
06:33
Adding details to the clothes
29

Adding details to the clothes

 
08:19
Building in some details to the metal armor
30

Building in some details to the metal armor

 
14:30
Continuing to add details to the metal armor
31

Continuing to add details to the metal armor

 
04:48
Defining the arm shape
32

Defining the arm shape

 
23:17
Adding a piece of armor on the arms
33

Adding a piece of armor on the arms

 
08:31
Redefining the armor in ZBrush
34

Redefining the armor in ZBrush

 
03:35
Continuing to tweak the shape of the armor
35

Continuing to tweak the shape of the armor

 
09:24
Adding some details to our high polygon model in ZBrush
36

Adding some details to our high polygon model in ZBrush

 
01:33
Adding scratches and imperfections to the armor
37

Adding scratches and imperfections to the armor

 
15:57
Creating imperfections on our character's face
38

Creating imperfections on our character's face

 
06:00
Sending the high poly mesh to 3ds Max
39

Sending the high poly mesh to 3ds Max

 
15:41
Working on our final low polygon mesh
40

Working on our final low polygon mesh

 
14:04
Modeling the final arm mesh
41

Modeling the final arm mesh

 
03:56
Starting to model the low polygon clothes
42

Starting to model the low polygon clothes

 
09:32
Finishing our character's clothes
43

Finishing our character's clothes

 
03:13
Creating UV maps for the torso
44

Creating UV maps for the torso

 
08:10
Continuing to unwrap the UVs for our character
45

Continuing to unwrap the UVs for our character

 
05:35
Rearranging the UVs in 3ds Max
46

Rearranging the UVs in 3ds Max

 
02:05
Unwrapping the UVs for the head
47

Unwrapping the UVs for the head

 
04:12
Baking the normal and occlusion maps
48

Baking the normal and occlusion maps

 
03:21
Applying the normal and occlusion maps to the head
49

Applying the normal and occlusion maps to the head

 
04:33
Combining our maps in Photoshop
50

Combining our maps in Photoshop

 
02:26
Projecting our masks in 3ds Max
51

Projecting our masks in 3ds Max

 
02:37
Starting to make the base textures in Photoshop
52

Starting to make the base textures in Photoshop

 
03:59
Creating the base colors for our character's head
53

Creating the base colors for our character's head

 
03:25
Painting base colors for our character's clothes
54

Painting base colors for our character's clothes

 
03:49
Continuing to paint base colors for our character's clothes
55

Continuing to paint base colors for our character's clothes

 
01:31
Projecting our textures on the final model in Mudbox
56

Projecting our textures on the final model in Mudbox

 
08:26
Using Mudbox and Photoshop to tweak the head texture
57

Using Mudbox and Photoshop to tweak the head texture

 
07:59
Refining our character's hair texture
58

Refining our character's hair texture

 
06:03
Detailing the armor textures in Photoshop
59

Detailing the armor textures in Photoshop

 
06:33
Adding some refinement to the cloth textures
60

Adding some refinement to the cloth textures

 
09:21
Continuing to refine the cloth textures
61

Continuing to refine the cloth textures

 
05:32
Starting to add hair and fur to our low polygon character
62

Starting to add hair and fur to our low polygon character

 
07:20
Finishing the fur for our character
63

Finishing the fur for our character

 
05:14
Finalizing our character's hair
64

Finalizing our character's hair

 
04:09
Making specular and gloss maps
65

Making specular and gloss maps

 
03:28
Finishing our specular and gloss maps
66

Finishing our specular and gloss maps

 
01:54
Creating specular and gloss maps for the head
67

Creating specular and gloss maps for the head

 
05:39
Reviewing our final render
68

Reviewing our final render

 
03:36