We came up with a specific MayaLT workflow that could help us to reduce the amount of time we had to invest into making the characters. We ended up doing all character 36 variations in 2 weeks.
Similar yet different
The guys over We're Five Games provided references for the characters they wanted to have in the game. As you can see in the pictures there is a great range of customisation choices for your character.
At Polygonal Mind we like to gather around and start brainstorming possible workflows.
Should we make them separately or together? Can we use any new tool within Maya?
What about Substance Painter?
For TRDS, we decided to make a list out of everything we saw on the concept, if you check the concept's pictures you can probably see that a lot of them wear a similar polo and pants, with small variations like long sleeves, open shirts, tank tops.
With this in mind, we started to look into things that are very similar and can be just done once and then create a variation via texture.
To summarise, pay attention to what's similar, what's different and... list it up. At the end, we reduced the clothing models to nine different shirts and ten different pants. Instead of producing 72 clothes at once, we sorted out a lot of extra work! And made it easy to modify, add, exchange, etc.
The magic behind UVs
Having a good set of UVs per model is very important because we're going to use the same 3D model with interchangeable textures, this way we're just going to make 10 pants instead of 36.
Same goes for the rest of the clothes except for the special ones.
When it comes to making perfectly interchangeable clothes with shareable UVs you can try one of these options:
Usually this depends on what kind of model you are doing, in this case, we used both methods, the first one for texturing and the second one to turn models into female versions.
Transfer Attributes from Male to Female
One of the things we did to reduce production time was to make a male character and then use it as a reference for the female one. As you may have noticed male and female bodies have a few differences that made impossible to fit clothes for both models; breasts, slender waist, among others...
Totally Reliable Delivery Service has been a great project to work on. It has allowed us learn new MayaLT techniques for character development in order to save time and work.
We can't wait to see the game come out!
Laura Usón is a 3D artist working at Polygonal Mind's in-house team.