Above you can see the original design something between Street Fighters Bison and a padded UN soldier but in red instead of blue. Not my best character design I admit so I had another go. I did a bit of research this time and looked at what the latest fashions are in military apparel, added a sprinkling of sci-fi pixy dust and came up with the second version which I was much happier with. I then want on to make the character in Z-Brush which......doesn't look anything like my concept sketch at all. This is not in any way to do with me getting distracted from my original concept, I have an iron will and would never start thinking that this character would look cool with giant spider, bionic spider legs with skulls on, with ethereal spirit aliens from dimension x riding a plinth of bones on his back....soooo anyway, below you can see the character running in Maya which is where I do all the skin weighting and rigging.
Actually I'm getting ahead of myself I did a rough version that I had to throw away, there was a problem with the base mesh which meant I had to go back and start from scratch. I didn't get that far into the sculpting but it was still a pain at the time. I approached this model in a slightly different way to how I usually do my character models. Basically my normal method is to get a model that works properly in Maya and then take it into Z-Brush to add details. This model was created much more in Z-Brush, the idea was to take a much more loose organic approach to the modelling more like sketching in clay and then working over that to get the finished model. It did work but there was more than the usual amount of trial and error. I had some problems with skinning because when I build the mesh in Maya I have more experience and better control, got there in the end though. The below character went missing in action before he even got any colour to him. I have swapped over to xNormal for normal mapping now as it's much more consistent for creating normal maps. Z-Brush is great for modeling but there are often problems if you use it to generate your normal maps.
Above is the Z-Brush model from which I generate the normal maps from. He doesn't have his giant metal cuffs on as they needed to be done as two separate models. I learned a bit more about modelling machined metal surfaces from the cuffs which I also ended up doing over, three times in the end but I guess it was worth it as I went onto you tube to track down some useful tutorials which will be useful for the future. I would still like to make a robot model at some point and have not forgotten how popular the steam punk robot design I did was.
Above is the UV map as usual I got everything on one sheet to keep things nice and simple. That's the colour map there which you can use without any of the other maps if you want. The normal map does look great but at a distance you can drop it to save memory.
Next the wire frames, it's a slightly higher poly count for this model at 3756 but still relatively low. The rifle is relatively high at 598, another reason I've been thinking about making a new one as I reckon I can get a lower poly version that actually looks more detailed now I have more experience with Z-Brush. You can see that the cuffs are separate pieces although the mesh is one node. The cuffs are skinned with a value of 1 to a forearm joint which handles the twist you get when you rotate you wrist. I've refined the rigg on this and it's working nicely.
On to the animation set, I added a walk cycle and a jump animation to the old set so he still does all the running, strafing and death diving as before.
So there we go mission accomplished. One Space Trooper reporting for duty.