Dwarven Explorer/Fool's Gold - Finished

General / 08 November 2019

Happy to say that the Dwarven Explorer is complete! Which also means that the Fool's Gold environment is too. Not much changed in the sculpts since my last update, mostly just scratching up a few surfaces to reduce overly simple elements as well as some small stitches on his jacket and trousers. I think I accidentally missed these details on the final ZBrush renders but they can be seen in the textured Marmoset Renders. 

I initially had a dirtiness/grunge that covered the majority of his body. It can be seen in my previous post. I did this as I felt it would help ground him in the environment, as he would likely be dirty from exploring an abandoned mine. However I felt it made him...well..dirty? Basically, it ended up just detracting from the overall look, muddying details and verged into more realistic qualities. I replaced this with a more stylized approach, using flat colours that gradient in defined sections to create a stained/dirty effect. It can be seen in areas such as his boots, the bottom of his trousers, his armpits, as well as the bottom of his backpack and bedroll. I preferred this approach much more as it let me retain the "clean" look of stylized PBR while still giving a "dirty" vibe to his appearance.

Overall I'm really happy with how it all turned out. There was a lot I learnt along the way that will be invaluable in creating future characters, both PBR and non-PBR. I hope you all enjoy him too and any feedback is very much appreciated. I'll be working on a female hand-painted character next, so stay tuned for updates on that.

Cheers, Angus.

Dwarven Explorer W.I.P Update

General / 29 October 2019

Since my first WIP update I've made quite a bit of progress on my Dwarven Explorer. I first moved onto some more backpack/prop assets such as his pickaxe, pot, sword and maps. I also did some some scratch details in elements such as his boots. Below are the final sculpts at the moment.

This was followed by re-topology. It went fairly smoothly with the only obstacles faced being his hair/beard and some of the asymetrical elements such as his leather vest. He's sitting at about 20k Tris including all backpack/prop assets. There's some room for optimization here so I may reduce this further down the line. Below are some previews of his wireframe.

Next was UV Unwrapping which thanks to a smooth retopo, didn't take long at all. I'm now currently working on his textures within Substance Painter. I've got some additions I'd like to make and gathered some feedback from friends so he's not quite final at the moment. His belt and bedroll for example are a bit too smooth at the moment. I'll likely fix this with some cracks and creases. Below are some Marmoset renders of his current look. 

I've also been torn about his hair and whether to have him bald or not. I may just end up doing a few renders of his possible hair/beard/moustache combos as they are quite a few I'm fond of. Below are some previews of my favourites.

Overall, I'm really happy with how it's going so far. A stylized PBR character has been on my to-do list for sometime and to have it accompanied by a whole environment is even better. My next update should be much sooner as he's very near completion so stay tuned for the possible published project.