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Marmoset Toolbag by 8monkey Labs 3D Coat

Game Character Pipeline

Instructor: David Lam
Scheduled starting date: February 4, 2012
Time: 9:00 AM Pacific Standard Time
Length: 8 weeks
Price: $449.00
Registration for this course is open until January 31st.
Do you have any questions? Please consult our FAQ.

The registration for this term has closed. If you would like to be put on our waiting list for this course, please contact us. We will contact you when registration for this course reopens.

This is an intermediate to advanced level course and seating will be limited to 15. We are assuming a basic knowledge of Maya and Zbrush for all students entering this class. Enrollment in this class will require a sample of student work in Maya and Zbrush for review by the instructors, or completion of the Introduction to Maya and Introduction to Zbrush classes.

Prerequisites: Some basic exposure to Maya, Photoshop and Zbrush.

Required Tools: Wacom Tablet, 3d software package (Maya preferred but not required), Photoshop, Zbrush, Xnormal and Marmoset.

Course Overview: This course will quickly cover process and best practices for creating a character for realtime game development. Class format will involve live demos, feedback will be given via paintovers, modeling over students work etc. Some class time maybe given inorder to help solidify lesson plan. Homework will be given after each class and students are expected to have progress to show for a weekly review. Final deliverable is a game resolution character shown in a real time viewer (Marmoset).

Week 1: Introduction of instructor, and overview of the goal of the course.

  • goal 10k Human Male character
  • common maya tools used
  • topic: what makes a well modeled character?
  • Silhouette, edgeloops, deformation, attention to detail, believability
  • common terms
  • start blocking in character with image planes
  • discuss bind (default pose)
  • tips on how to begin a new character

Week 2: Modeling quick tips

  • common mistakes
  • normals
  • symmetry
  • hotkeys/ mel buttons/ scripts
  • highend 3d
  • complete blocking phase
  • game mesh vs. zbrush base mesh
  • overview of game art production flow.

Week 3: Quick Zbrush overview

  • program environment setup
  • shaders
  • camera fov
  • hotkeys
  • custom UI
  • brush setup/masking
  • essential plugins
  • decimation master
  • transpose master
  • zapplink
  • subtool master

Week 4: Developing your sculpt in Zbrush.

  • common brushes used (usually what brush, when?)
  • where to focus your efforts
  • giving your character, character.
  • analyzing shapes, positive and negative
  • self evaluation
  • revision and polish
  • when is it done?

Week 5: Building your game res mesh, baking maps

  • mesh optimzation, getting the most shape for the cheapest polycount
  • maya transfer maps
  • overview on map generation (normal, ao)
  • normal map mirroring
  • uv unwrapping
  • uv packing

Week 6: Texturing your character using photoshop

  • using nvidia filter to add normal map details
  • converting normal map to cavity map using Xnormal
  • texturing best practices
  • pro/cons of different software packages
  • file setup, layers/sets
  • photosourcing vs. hand painting.

Week 7: Posing your character using zbrush

  • breaking down a pose
  • line of action, overlap, tension vs. relaxed
  • what makes a successful pose
  • transpose master overview
  • utilizing layers to iterate on poses.
  • masking using topology for ease of selections

Week 8: Marmoset Final Output

  • scene setup
  • exporting/importing character
  • material setup
  • how to output screenshots and turnarounds for presentation.

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