body talk Modelling and texture lead artist Krystal Sae Eua shares her secrets of creating pro-level characters with efficiency
Publisher The Gnomon Workshop Price Subscription only (from £39 per month) Format Streaming video Web www.thegnomonworkshop.com
The Hollywood dream factory needs a continual supply of new talent to create its visual effects and animation. But if you want to get a foot in the door as a character modeller, you need more than just ability. You need to understand the process, and what other members of your team expect from you.
That’s where Krystal Sae Eua’s video comes in. Her emphasis here is not on how to model, but on the finished form your model needs to be in, so it’s ready to pass on to your project’s animators or riggers. Here, Krystal creates a realistic figure that’s suitable for visual effects, but her workflow principles for modellers are broadly applicable to artists in a character animation project, too.
You’ll see the steps she takes to prepare the topology so it deforms correctly when it’s animated, and how she models clothing and hair with the lighting and rendering stages always in mind. An extensive section on UV mapping shows you an efficient way to prepare for texturing.
Narrating speeded-up footage of her own process, Krystal is a natural teacher, offering a huge amount of detail while always keeping the tone measured and relaxed. She also provides a character reference sheet, a base OBJ figure and preferences for customising your ZBrush settings, so you’re well-equipped for trying out this project yourself.
While Krystal uses Maya and ZBrush, with a side helping of Marvelous Designer and a dash of Arnold, her emphasis on production workflow means you’ll get a lot out of this video regardless of the software you use. More to the point, you’ll speed up your own process and enable teammates to work more efficiently, too.
The retopologisation stage sees Krystal Sae Eua configuring the model’s polygons so that they animate cleanly. Get your character production process into shape as Krystal shows you how to make your characters ready for the animation stage. In the video you’ll see how to make texture-ready UV maps that work efficiently. The workflow should benefit both you and potential colleagues.