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Game Character Development

Book Description

"Game Character Development" takes you through all the steps needed to create compelling, highly-detailed characters for games. This book is suitable for both beginner game artists and experienced designers who want to brush up their skills, and covers the latest character creation tools and technologies. Throughout this book you will work step-by-step to create a finished character that incorporates all of the methods presented. First you'll examine the available modeling techniques and then create a base mesh. You'll then incorporate UV mapping and virtual sculpting. With the basic model created, you'll explore advanced techniques to add texture and detail, and finish up by optimizing and refining your character. The techniques presented can be applied with virtually any 3D software program, so you're free to work within the application with which you're most familiar. If a specific tool is introduced, a brief introduction will cover the basic information you need to utilize it. There's even a chapter with suggestions on what you'll need to add to your finished character before it gets introduced into the game production pipeline, including adding facial expression, rigging, and even animation. And a helpful reference section provides additional resources to help you with those next steps.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
    1. Dedication
  2. Acknowledgments
  3. About the Author
  4. Introduction
    1. Why I Wrote This Book
    2. Why Not Maya Again?
    3. What This Book Covers
    4. Applications and Companion CD
  5. Subdivision Surfaces
    1. What Are Subdivision Surfaces?
    2. How Do Subdivision Surfaces Work?
    3. Hard Surfaces
    4. Surfaces Memory
    5. Why Is Subdivision Surface Modeling Useful for Real-Time Models?
  6. Model Construction
    1. Mesh Topology
    2. Edge Loops
      1. Muscle Lines
    3. n-Gons and Poles
    4. Modeling Methods
    5. Point by Point
    6. Extruding
    7. Box Modeling
    8. Sculpting
    9. Resurfacing
  7. The Character You’ll Create: The Ogre
    1. About the Ogre
    2. About the Artist
    3. Why I Chose the Ogre
  8. Model Preparation and Recycling
    1. Model Preparation
    2. Researching Your Character
      1. Muscles
      2. Clothing
      3. Face
      4. Other Character Features
    3. Real-Time Game Model Restrictions
    4. Recycling Previously Created Models
    5. Getting Feedback
    6. Approach
  9. Building Foundations
    1. Silo
    2. Creating the Basic Shape
    3. Preparing Your Scene
    4. Arms
    5. Legs
    6. Torso
    7. Combining Elements
    8. Extremities
    9. Hands
    10. Feet
    11. Head and Face
    12. The Basic Shape
    13. Eyes
    14. Mouth
    15. Nose
    16. Ears
    17. Attaching the Head
    18. Hair and Fur
    19. Clothing
    20. Shirt
    21. Loin Cloth
    22. Accessories
    23. The Final Model
  10. UV Mapping
    1. Autodesk Maya
    2. Mapping Methods
    3. What Is UV Mapping?
    4. Projection Mapping
    5. Pelt Mapping
    6. UV Preparation
    7. Texture Layout
    8. Dividing the Ogre
    9. Applying UVs
    10. Adding a Checker Texture
    11. Head
    12. Hand and Arm
    13. Foot and Leg
    14. Clothing
    15. UV Layout
  11. Virtual Sculpting
    1. Introduction to Sculpting
    2. Brushes
    3. Stencils
    4. Autodesk Mudbox
    5. Let’s Sculpt
    6. Arm and Hand
    7. Leg and Foot
    8. Head
    9. Clothing
    10. All Together Now
    11. Resurface
  12. Detail Textures
    1. Surface Normals and Shading
    2. The Bump Map
    3. The Normal Map
    4. The Parallax Map
    5. The Displacement Map
    6. Ambient Occlusion
  13. Texture Building
    1. Map Extraction
    2. Texture Painting
    3. Base Colors
    4. Head
    5. Arm and Hand
    6. Leg and Foot
    7. Clothing
    8. Compiling
    9. Specular Maps
  14. Optimization and Refinement
    1. Silhouette Refinement
    2. Optimization and Deformation
    3. Bend but Don’t Break
    4. Polygon Culling
      1. Unwanted Polygons
      2. Unused Polygons
    5. Off to Work
      1. Head
      2. Torso and Loin Cloth
      3. Arm and Hand
      4. Leg
  15. Modeling the Extras
    1. Eyes
    2. Eye Anatomy
    3. Outer Eye Modeling
    4. Iris Modeling
    5. Base Materials
    6. Detail Texturing
      1. Outer Eye Texture
      2. Iris Texture
    7. Eye Tweaking and Fitting
    8. Belt, Buckle, and Straps
    9. Hair, Fur, and Cloth Detail
    10. Finishing Touches
  16. What’s Next?
    1. The Pipeline
  17. Resources
    1. Websites
    2. Books
    3. Forums
    4. Tools and Applications