Late Night Diner Environment modelling Part 9 – And Character Modelling

Hello,  as you can see, it is, well, not environment modelling, but, mainly character modelling and painting, I shall keep the name and just add some text to the post title because the work is the same project.

I am pretty chuffed with this post, not because it is error free of grammar or spelling mistakes, it was the character coming together. Anyway, enjoy the rambling.

9th May 2017 

Went from a closed mouth to open mouth, took me a bit to fix and do it, I had to create the inside of the mouth, I will need to create base teeth, gums and tongue to use for all the other characters. There is some bits of the mouth need to be cleaned up, however, I am happy with what I have done.

The shirt was remeshed, the collar gave me a bit of grief, one because of a bit of inexperience, two, the mesh of the collar was overlapping each other in a horrible way, it was a little frustrating, however, it was all sorted out.

Had to use the Zremesher guide tool brush and draw out guides for the remesher tool to follow, it helped with the collar and especially when doing the hands. I got to say the internet tutorials and guides helped.

I will have to retopology the shirt again, as the low polygon version is still too high for poly

Another turntable, sadly not much different.

Decided to give the texturing ago in Zbrush, I don’t think the zombie was going to be that green, I am going to play around with it more and see what I can come up with. Ultimately, I’m going to texture this in either Substance painter or Quixel.

I was hoping to finish the mesh today, however, it turned out not to be, I shall get the rest of them done tomorrow.

10th May 2017

A day of refining the sculpt and meshing and projecting the detail on to new mesh.


Had to redo the mesh to get the typology I need and optimised for the next step. The next was to project details from the old mesh to the new mesh and had moderate success with it, some parts worked and some did not, I tried to use the Zremesher guide and not successfully, as the loops I wanted was not there,  I’m going to manually retopology the mesh as some bits of the characters head was not great and is not animation friendly.

This may be a boring bit of not being creative, however, remeshing, I like it and to get it right and some learning too that has been added.

Also, after I had projected the details, I had to go back and refine the details of the characters hair and face, this was because I had a little extra resolution to work with and lost some in other areas. 

After that,  I’m going to paint the character to see how it looks like and to play around with the tools. Then,  I’m going to UV unwrap it….. this can be long and boring and none creative, however, I like it and see what is thrown at me. I may not be the greatest detective of fixing problems, but, I will do my uttermost best.

I really hope that the next model does not take this long. On the next character I want to spend a day or two sculpting, a day of projecting detail and sorting out UV’S, a half or a full day of fixing and refining detail.

Then texturing for a day or two. Actually, I want to spend a week of making a character.   Challenge accepted I trust myself.

11th May 2017 

Not being happy with the auto topology of yesterday as I was getting a high polycount when creating the low poly mesh and for games, high poly is not great, so, I decided to give it a try myself.

Started in this and well it was a bit of a false start.  I was kind of doing it wrong and spent more time fixing the mesh as loops and the topology was not correct.

So I cancelled, deleted and restarted from scratch, this time using mesh reference images and this time following the reference closely. I have never been the best at retopology and got a little rusty and I want to rectify that over the next few models I make for LND. This is the longest part I think, as I’ve never had used the manual topology tool in Zbrush and there is always the first time.

 This time I got somewhere, not fully finished and still also a few janky bits.

13th May 2017 

Out with the old and restart again, there is that fine line of shall I fix it and spend all day getting frustrated or restart and spend all day getting frustrated, but with a little more knowledge with topology and this time to do it better. I had to work smartly with loops and hide poles, them and make them properly so that the face would deform correctly.

Started with loops and sticking to quads

 Bit by bit I was getting there and perhaps getting better.

Ok, I think this is better, I am not going to start again from scratch again until a new model.

Mesh is a little dense, but the focus was getting the loops right and I am happier that they are better. Cleanup and optimisation can be done after I have got the ears to finished.

Then after that, I can move on and paint it, oh wait, I got to do the UV map.

The topology tool is either missing features or I have not found them. I have found it to be good, it just needs a couple more stuff when creating topology.

Some further work on the ear and finished, for now,  a few triangles have appeared, I wanted to avoid the, however,  a couple in the ear and the area behind the eye,  I will leave them and I do not need to worry about as they are in hidden areas, and will not deform for amination.

Next day is fixing and refining the mesh, some of the areas still need more resolution added, especially to the eyebrow as it looks sharp and needs a little gentle curve. Other areas need to be reduced like the back and top of the head.

14th May 2017 

Done some more retopology. happy with that now, I got my loops and hoops.  I have to do reduce some of the edge loops on the side of the side of the head, you can see a cluster of edge loops, going down the cheek oh head, you can see them on the profile view of the head.

This is the high poly version of the mesh.

Playing around with the tools has been fun, I have a better understanding of it now, not a master, but, you know, I’ve done well.  Today has been a slow day of learning and watching video tutorials on some of the tools and how to use them. I also ran out of steam on my work,  I just need a break from it today and do something else which will help me to recover, played Fallout 4. After the break, I will jump back on Monday morning.

15th May 2017

Today, I jumped into poly painting and made big strides.  Initially, it took a bit of momentum getting the hang of it

Shirt turntable

Looking good, that lighting is weird.


And full body turntable and sorted out the lighting.


Another head turntable. I have missed out on the spots, on the next pass I shall work to add them in, paint the teeth, tongue and buttons. I must do the buttons on the shirt.

A day’s worth of work, not bad, I’m sure I can do better when I do the next model, honestly, it was a process of learning the plot paint tool and its functions. Smartly using the cavity mask, along with the slopes and peaks mask to help paint the textures dark areas quickly and smartly.  Then I got to bake the textures of the character to the low poly and before that, I will need to do that UV map.

Once that is done, I shall move on to the next character.  Probably the vampire. My aim is to get that character done in a week, that is the modelling, poly painting, retopology.

I think the retopology will take no more than a day because the zombie head took three attempts spread over three days, three days of learning and messing up and restarting from scratch.


17th May 2017

Refined and painted the character today, And much happier with the second pass of the texture, especially on the face and shirt, additionally made some refinement on the eyes, I Redid the hair again, Not fully happy with it.

Next step is the buttons and the teeth. The teeth look pretty don’t they?

The teeth were done quick, I used JH toothbrush insert multi mesh, the low poly mesh was used as a base to sculpt new teeth and reshape the gums, then painted the teeth and gums. Again, they look pretty don’t they?

Time was I think this was about half hour of work or slightly less I would normally make the teeth from scratch, however, time is not on my side and I wanted to work smart to get the job done.

Here is the low poly mesh of the zombie, now, before you say anything it’s not low poly yet, yeah you’re right, it’s about 32,000 polys…. that is way too high for a game especially for a mobile, tablet device, will cause performance issues and it is a waste, I need to optimise down to 5,000, if not even less and without it losing its form. the plus side also is when it is a lower polycount per character, it can be shared with other characters models and assets in the game.

There is a significant amount of wasted polygons that are hidden in the parts of the mesh, the hair, the arms hiding under the shirt, belt and eyes.

Some visible areas of the mesh are dense that need to be optimised and cleaned up, like the hair, the end of the trousers, belt, belt loops, shoes, some detail on the face and especially the shirt, that is very dense. Also, not to forget, there is a tongue and currently, its polycount is a little high, so I need to optimise that and make it mobile and tablet device friendly.

What I have to keep in mind is that the characters back, legs and shoes are is not going to be seen as much in the game as the face, chest, arms and hands, so I will need to keep the poly count high for the face, chest, arms and hands as they are going to be seen a lot in the game and keep the other parts low as they will not be seen much seen in game.

He looks startled as I do that he is finished, I  redid the hair colour,  worked on the spots and  I’m much happier with it now,  the hair is still lumpy and the next hair I do  I am to make a better version. I worked on the eyes a little and made the pupil area concave and I need to add an outer eye with gloss, which it didn’t have before. I am in two minds if I should do eyelashes for the character, I am going to think about that, I don’t think he needs them.

Full body view, done some work on the trousers and shoes. I am still not sold on those shoes, however, I am going to leave them.  Worked more on the shirt, added buttons refined the stains and dirt, yeah, that is a bit of a gross shirt, I probably can add more stains.

Had some fun, manipulating the face around and sticking out the tongue, why not, I couldn’t resist.


Before the next render I increased the size of the teeth, now they fill the mouth better for the character. Then for fun, made a better render of the Zombie’s head. He looks a little scary with that expression.

A little creepy grin, smug,

For now, the character is finished and I am happy with it. I shall move onto the next character, I may end up coming back to this one later and tinker with the textures a little. I still got to retopologize the rest of his body, I will get around to that over the next couple days and when I have a break from sculpting.

From concept to 3d sculpt, I’m pretty chuffed how it has turned out, I look forward to the next character, the vampire. The challenge is to get the vampire sculpted and textured in a week. Two days of sculpting, a day and a half poly painting and a day of retopology.

Had a bit of a flashback to my honour project. Had I stuck to zbrush tutorials and not got scared off, I would have finished the project quite quickly rather than suffer hours on the project to my stupidity, however that was a learning curve,   ahh well. You know, sometime in future I will do the characters again and see how much I have gotten better.

Tata for now.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s