Hey everyone, my name is Hendrik Coppens and I’m one of the character artists here at Triumph Studios. I’ve been working on the Giants recently and I’m happy to tell you guys a bit more about the technical aspect of the models.
My 2D colleagues created the concepts for the giants and this is basically where I start. The concept phase is often very varied and has as main goal to set a mood that need to be transferred to 3D. Once the technical requirements and restrictions for the 3D versions are known, I sit together with the concept artists and together we make the necessary changes to make sure everything comes together nicely.
First step is to make a high poly version of the model. This phase is often done in a sculpting program like Zbrush and allows us to add a lot of detail to the model. In this step, we don’t really look at the polycount of the model, which makes it nice to look at, but completely useless for the game engine.
Next step, we have to retopologize the model so that the polycount gets significantly lower and the model is fit for the deformations of the animations. All the giants share the same rig, which allows me to reuse a lot of the retopology. Once this is done, we have a basemesh that is fit for a game engine. Unfortunately we lost most of the detail we made in the first high poly model.
This is where the magic happens. Through the use of normal, color, specular, reflection and glow maps, we transfer all the details from the high poly model to the low poly model and add color and effects. These maps are put together in a material that allows us to tweak all kinds of parameters.
As a last step, we skin the basemesh to the rig, which basically means we attach the model to a skeleton that is used by the animators to make the animations. After that, it s just a matter of getting the model in the engine and attaching it to the right code.
I had a blast making these characters and I hope you guys enjoyed this little crash course in character modeling and like this first screen of the Frost Giant!
Well, that’s it for Giants for now. In coming dev journals we’ll discuss more unit types and also delve deeper into mechanics surrounding the Dwellings and Questing.
Thank you for reading and we looking forward to your comments!