Hooman Raad de­tails how he cre­ated this were­wolf char­ac­ter in Un­real En­gine, and his tips for re­al­is­tic hair

3D World - - FEATURE -

The con­cept, model, tex­ture and ma­te­rial setup for this fe­ro­cious im­age was com­pleted en­tirely in Un­real En­gine 4. “It took me around 12 work­ing days from con­cept to fi­nal model,” says 3D artist Hooman Raad. He em­ployed in­dus­try-stan­dard meth­ods to cre­ate the piece, but feels the Un­real En­gine 4 ma­te­rial gave it an out­stand­ing qual­ity.

“I al­ways make sure to put in hours of hard work to en­sure it comes out nicely, be­cause pre­sen­ta­tion is cru­cial to sell­ing the model and mak­ing all those hours worth­while,” he ex­plains.

Raad has worked in so many dis­ci­plines within the 3D world, in­clud­ing rig­ging and an­i­ma­tion. Around five years ago he de­cided to fo­cus purely on char­ac­ter cre­ation for an­i­ma­tion and video games. “See­ing the work of other artists al­ways en­cour­ages me to con­tinue im­prov­ing my work,” says Raad. “Ev­ery­where I look in na­ture be­comes a source of in­spi­ra­tion.”

01 find the forms of the hair

For hair al­ways try to un­der­stand the flow as well as clumps; try to do a quick paint-over in Pho­to­shop and then break it down. Then move onto a hair sys­tem soft­ware (such as Xgen). As many artists have said, ref­er­ence is your best friend.

02 hair Place­ment

For a crea­ture like this I pre­fer to place the hair by hand. Re­cently I found a use­ful script for Maya called Hair Grab­ber, which helps you select the hair card eas­ily and will save you a lot of time. For ex­am­ple, some­times it’s dif­fi­cult to select the root or tip of the hair card meshes, but with this script you can do it quickly and eas­ily.

03 hair types

There are a lot of tu­to­ri­als avail­able on the in­ter­net for dif­fer­ent types of hair UVS. Some tex­tures are used to fill the sur­face, some are used for main and up­per hair, while oth­ers are for strands that are less groomed.

04 sil­hou­ette

The sil­hou­ette is very im­por­tant be­cause it will re­ally show the per­son­al­ity of the char­ac­ter. Dur­ing the process of the were­wolf’s hair cards, it was very im­por­tant to check the sil­hou­ette after I placed some hair. I would turn the model around and check the sil­hou­ette over and over again to achieve a sat­is­fac­tory re­sult.

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