Mobile Welder

This character, the Mobile Welder, was modeled in 3Ds Max, sculpted and painted in ZBrush. Additional texture work was done in Photoshop along with some map baking in Max. I rigged the character in Max with Biped and rendered using the Scanline renderer in Max. I spent a lot of time tweaking the proportions of the female form. I spent  a great deal of time looking at reference and trying to push the feminine quality of the character while trying to keep the proportions natural and without exaggeration. This also meant checking the silhouette with the model at a small scale to make sure the character still looked female at a distance.

The bulk of the polygons were used in the face. My rationale for this, was I wanted to make a female character that has a beautiful face. Originally the face was about 2500 polygons. At the lower count the subtleties in the facial structure that made the character physically attractive were lost. It seemed like I was depending too much on the normal map, so I made the face and head more dense.

The textures consist of one 1024 map and two 512 maps. Ambient occlusion was baked in using Max. The biggest challenge for me was the hair. Originally, I had hair strips on the 1024 map, but the look of the hair was off using hair strips. So, I made a low poly hair “shell” Then, I unwrapped the hair individually. I used the hair strip textures I painted, to make a texture that I could paint with in ZBrush. This worked much better and conserved polygons. Looking more closely at Elizabeth’s hair from the game “Bioshock: Infinite” helped too. Overall, I think the approach worked out better in terms of pushing the beauty of the character. The accessories that make the character a “welder” are on a separate map as well. This way switching out the accessories does not effect the main map. Plus, this allows for more agile application of variations.

The specular map contains oranges and blues to create and interference style highlight on the character’s costume. So, the darker parts of the character’s costume cast a bluish highlight. The yellow parts of the costume cast an orange highlight. This is an effect that is similar to interference acrylic paint. I feel that these hue shifts add a bit more depth and overall color richness to the character.