Modeling Next-Gen Characters in XSI

Learn production modeling techniques and an innovative workflow to creating clean topology, working within polygon restrictions, and building assets from reference art. Software required: XSI 6.0 or higher (XSI 7.0 required to open project files). Software required: XSI 6.0 or higher (XSI 7.0 required to open project files).
Course info
Level
Intermediate
Updated
Sep 18, 2008
Duration
7h 9m
Table of contents
Introduction and Project Overview
Modeling Next-Gen Characters in XSI
Creating Initial Geometry for the Head 8m Building and Modifying Geometry for the Eye 8m Creating Additional Geometry for the Face 8m Building out Geometry for the Nose| Cheeks and Forehead 12m Symmetrizing Geometry for the Face 11m Making Final Adjustments to the Face Geometry 12m Creating Base Geometry for the Face Mask 13m Adding Finishing Details to the Face Mask 9m Beginning the Process of Building the Hair 6m Modeling Additional Detail into the Hair 10m Finalizing the Modeling of the Hair 12m Creating the Pony Tail for the Hair 15m Building Geometry for the Neck and Ears 16m Finalizing Construction of the Head and Neck 8m Creating Initial Geometry for the Torso 11m Blocking in the Shape of the Torso 10m Modeling Geometry for the Pelvis and Hips 9m Building and Merging Geometry for the Legs 8m Beginning the Process of Modeling the Boots 9m Blocking in Shapes for the Foot and Heel 7m Finalizing Construction of the Boot 7m Building out the Shoulders and Arms 9m Refining the Geometry for the Arms 9m Blocking out the Shapes for the Hands 6m Connecting the Fingers to the Hand 12m Attaching the Thumb and Smoothing the Hand 8m Joining the Hand to the Rest of the Body 7m Building out the Chest Area 10m Making Additional Modifications to the Chest Geometry 9m Adding Final Adjustments to the Upper Body Geometry 10m Modeling the Abdomen Armor Plates 8m Constructing the Armor Around the Waist 8m Creating the Chest Armor 6m Building the Chest Armor Strap 9m Refining the Chest Armor Geometry 9m Adding Final Adjustments to the Chest Armor 8m Adding Detail to the Elbows and Knees 10m Creating the Geometry for the Leg Armor 10m Building the Back Armor 12m Modeling the Collar of the Armor Suit 10m Refining the Geometry for the Hair 11m Constructing the Leg Strap and Buckle 9m Making Various Refinements to the Body 9m Building out the Shoulder Armor 6m Adding Hair Strands to the Pony Tails 7m
Description
Course info
Level
Intermediate
Updated
Sep 18, 2008
Duration
7h 9m
Description

Learn production modeling techniques and an innovative workflow to creating clean topology, working within polygon restrictions, and building assets from reference art. Contains over 7 hours of project-driven training for artists learning the creative and technical processes of character creation for next-generation games. Popular highlights include: Rotoscope Preparation; Building to Reference Art; Blocking-in Forms; Working with Polygon Budgets; Adding Muscle Flow; Modeling with Symmetry; Reducing Model Resolution Manually; Merging and Welding Geometry; Creating Efficient Geometry; Strategically Adding Detail; Extruding Geometry; Splitting and Adding Edges; Extracting Geometry; Simplifying Shapes; Proportional Modeling; Adjusting Pivot Points; Creating Useful Topology; Modeling from Primitives; Checking Character for Appeal. Software required: XSI 6.0 or higher (XSI 7.0 required to open project files). Software required: XSI 6.0 or higher (XSI 7.0 required to open project files).

About the author
About the author

Kyle was one of the first authors for Digital-Tutors (now a Pluralsight company) and has been a part of the team for over 10 years. Kyle began his career in computer graphics education as a college instructor and worked as a Digital-Tutors rendering tutor and curriculum manager since 2002.

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Section Introduction Transcripts
Section Introduction Transcripts

Introduction and Project Overview
[Autogenerated] hello and welcome to modeling Next Gen characters in excess I presented by digital tutors My Name's Kyle and I'll be your soft image certified instructor, guiding you through the tools, work flows and methodologies of building next generation game characters in excess. I Now, while the modeling of a character for use in video games does share some of the same work flows and techniques that we might use to build characters for film or television, there are also some very important differences because this character needs to be used in a really time interactive game engine. We need to be especially conscious of the overall polygon count, so models will typically be built at a lower resolution and with much of the detail coming from texture, maps and normal laps. So our challenge will be to reproduce the character art while staying within our polygon budget. So to begin will examine the concept artwork for our character and explore the process of building Rhoda Scopes and utilizing them as modeling reference with an excess I. We'll also discuss the polygon count. Limitations of various game consoles from there will begin to model out our game character using a variety of polygon modeling techniques with special emphasis on keeping the geometry as efficient as possible. So by the time you complete this training, you'll have a very strong understanding of the work flows, the limitations and the solutions involved Wyn creating next gen characters and excess I all right? So before we actually get into excess I and begin the process of modeling out this character, What we need to do first is just take a few minutes to explore some of the things that we're gonna get to be really familiar with with the overall concept or the overall character itself. So whenever we're going to start any kind of a character like this, we're gonna start with some kind of a concept sketch, right? So in this case, we have when it was done by our concept artist to just kind of arrive at the final look at this character coloring some of the stylistic elements that we want to make sure that we are able to capture with this final model. Now, at this point, before we even begin the modeling process, we do have some very important things we need to take into consideration, right So, for example, the most important thing is because this is gonna be a next gen game character. We do have some limitations as far as the overall polygon count goes. So with most consoles, like a PS three or an Xbox 360 you're gonna have a polygon limit or a polygon ceiling of anywhere from 8000 triangles to maybe around 15,000 depending on what kind of a game engine you using and what kind of a console you're going to be making this for. In our case, we're gonna try to keep this probably right around in the middle. So we're gonna try to keep her around the 10,000 triangle limit. So with those kind of limitations in mind, we have two very early on decide which of these elements of her body or her overall character, which of these elements could be modeled out with geometry and which of these elements can be sort of faked with the use of normal maps and color maps and things like that to sort of create the illusion of depth and a little bit of dimension. So, looking at this, we want to pick out some of her primary elements. So, for example, we have things like this shoulder pad. Pretty pretty major element right here. So we'll probably need to model that out. Same goes for some of these chest armor pieces. So kind of this main area front and kind of some of the straps that go around these air fairly prominent. So we probably won't be ableto just fake thes with a normal map Will probably actually have to use some geometry and model that out. Same thing with, like, her centrepiece or kind of her waist area. See, we've got some geometry that's gonna have to come around here so again, probably gonna have to model that out. And in a few of these secondary elements, like the strap around her leg helps to break up some of that silhouette. So we probably will need to use geometry for that, as well as maybe even just a few of these straps on her boots as well. Just kind of break up some of that smooth shape, so we'll probably need to use some geometry for that. Some of these other elements, though, like along her arms, these arm armor pieces and some these areas around her leg. And some of these areas around her kind of stomach area really don't contribute too much to the overall silhouette. So we can probably get away with just using normal maps and some color maps and bump maps that were gonna make in ze brush in the next series of this training to help pull out some of those elements. All right, so once we settle on some of those major elements, then we can start with our worth a graphic sketches. All right, So here's our or the graphic sketch where we can actually sort of look at her from a front point of view without having to rely on any kind of perspective or anything like that and what we can basically use this for as almost like tracing paper as we start to model the geometry out, we could just model right on top of this. And if I bring up the rest of my menus, we actually have Ortho graphic views for the side as well as for the top views. We can actually sort of model from the top part of her arm down. It helps to get some of the finger placement correct and things like that. Now, whenever using these Ortho graphic views, one thing that is very important is to make sure that the side view and the front views are all of the exact same dimensions. So if I were to, let's say, turn on my rulers and pull up in some of my guides far to start to pull some things down, I do want to make sure that some of these areas are perfectly matched up. So I just moved her over to the side. No, we want to make sure that just press the tab key on my keyboard just to get a little bit more room to make sure that things like the bottom of the chin line up top parts of the shoulders, you know, underside of this kind of bust area. Basically, we just want to go through and make sure that these are sketched out where there more or less the exact same dimensions. And we can kind of use this as like I said, just tracing paper to make sure that everything matches up correctly. So it is very, very important to make sure that if you are gonna be using these sort of guides that they are drawn out to the exact same size. And nothing it is very important is for this front view of this front or the graphic view. You want to try to make sure that it is right in the middle of your document. So right now I have this line that is right now signifying where the exact center the exact middle of my document is. And so that way, when I load this up in the excess, I what we're gonna be doing is modelling basically 1/2. And then as we model 1/2 we can flip it over onto the other side instead of having to model out two separate sides. And as we mirror that, we want to make sure that that mirror happens right across this middle line. Right? So just to make things easier, if you want to make sure that your geometry is right in the middle of your scene as we're building on top of this, make sure that it's loaded up right in the middle of your document or your road of scope. All right, so once we have these in place, we can now start to bring these into excess, I and begin working on top of All right, so here in excess, I let's come back. And for our front view on our right view, this is where we're gonna load up our rhoda scopes. So let's go to wire frame. Let's actually go ahead and maximize this just so you can see the entire menu a little easier to this wire frame menu will go down to the bottom and we'll turn on rodeo school right from here. It's gonna pull open this property. Paige, what's gonna ask us to get a new image? We're gonna go to new new from file, and you should be able to find the road of scopes inside the pictures directory of the project that is on this disk. So we're gonna start. Since we're in the front view, we're gonna start with our road a scope front. It is. Double click on that, right. And there it is, loaded up. And just for size sake, we're gonna make this a little bit larger right now. That's the default Heightened with is 10 and 10 make this a little bit larger. Something like 20 and 20. So that way our geometry is a little bit larger, a little bit easier to work with. It will do the exact same thing for this right hand view. Go back to our road a scope but a new new from file and we'll pull again. Rhoda, Scope side And just like before, we want to make sure that we set the height than with 2 2020 And we also want to make sure that none of these other values have any kind of value in them. The X, Y and Z make sure those were all set to zero. It's that way. The images for both the front and aside match up perfectly. All right, so now that we have these Rhoda scopes in place, what will begin doing in the next lesson is starting to add a little bit of geometry to begin this modeling process.