Character Design

Monday, November 18th, 2013

ZBrush and Unity Character – Hunter

This is a character I’ve been working on for a while in ZBrush. I brought him into Unity3D, and plugged him into the phenomenal Marmoset Skyshop image-based lighting tools demo scene. You’ll need the Unity3D web player to see this web viewer:

Here’s a direct link to the Unity3D Web Player.

What’s great about Skyshop is that it uses a high dynamic range panoramic sky to illuminate the character, and this gives a naturalistic glow to the character while also making the character seem connected with the environment:

I also took the opportunity to put to use an animation viewer I created for a University of Oklahoma project I completed recently. This viewer uses Playmaker for the buttons and triggering of the animations, and Unity’s Mecanim system for controlling the animation itself. Mecanim allowed me to apply animations from a variety of sources onto this character. The drunk walk and death animation you see here came from a motion capture collection, while I hand-animated the taunt and idles.

Shots from Marmoset Toolbox:

ZBrush sculpts:

Here’s a shot of the topology in Polyframe mode, with the polygroups visible:

Monday, November 4th, 2013

Character Demo Reel

RocketTreeArt Character Reel 2013 from Spencer Boomhower on Vimeo.

Here’s a YouTube version in case the above Vimeo link doesn’t work:

A selection of real-time 3D character work showing off ZBrush sculpts converted into game-ready models (mainly in 3ds Max, with the occasional venture into Maya), texturing (in ZBrush and Photoshop), rigging, vertex weighting, and animation (again, mainly in Max), including facial animation (including FaceFX).

Friday, October 4th, 2013

FaceFX Demo Character – Quin

This is a fairly old character I built to try out some FaceFX techniques. Recently I updated her in ZBrush and Marmoset Skyshop for showing off these techniques. FaceFX is an awesome program that reads in sound files and converts the spoken words to lip-synced animations.

Check out the interactive Unity3D demo here

Or see her in action in my Character Demo Reel:

RocketTreeArt Character Reel 2013 from Spencer Boomhower on Vimeo.


Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

ZBrush and Unity3D Character

A work in progress of a character I built from scratch. I started with a base mesh in 3ds Max, then sculpted and hand-painted it in ZBrush, and finally rigged and animated it in Max before export to Unity3d. Within the Unity editor I applied a skin shader from the Unity asset, “Chickens Shader Bundle” to give the skin some life.

Here’s a Unity3D web player for the character. Click to rotate, alt-click or mouse wheel to zoom, middle-mouse-click to pan.

If the above doesn’t work for you (if you’re on a mobile device for instance), you can see the character in action here in my character demo reel:


Topology within ZBrush:

ZBrush sculpt:

The costume comes from the painting, “Young Shepherdess Standing” by William-Adolphe Bouguereau.

Tuesday, January 9th, 2001

Fighting Game Prototype Video

Some samples from a prototype video for a client’s game, and game technology idea. Basically a fighting game, but with accurate interaction and feedback, thanks to the client’s patented hardware.

With a tight budget and deadline, I had to make the most of existing models and animations. The characters are heavily altered versions of existing models, the tower is an asset from the Unity Store, and the attack animations are either from the Unity Store or Turbosquid. I gave the characters new outfits and textures, and generally overhauled them in ZBrush. The terrain behind the tower I built from scratch. And all the block, recoil, and gesture animations I animated from scratch.

The titles and the music in this video are by SQWare, LLC (though I did some quick and dirty reworking of SQWare’s more polished video work in making this video).

The characters are heavily reworked versions of a character on Turbosquid.

The tower was a light reworking of this model on the Unity3D Asset Store.

Most of the attack moves were variations on the motion capture in this animation pack by Mixamo. And I hand-animated most of the blocks, gestures, and idles.

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