To start off I built a fairly simple base to work on using Zspheres
Zspheres are great because they allow you to quickly build things from scratch while letting you tweak things such as proportions (the most difficult thing to get right) very easily.
Once I was happy with the results I started adding some of the base shape and volumes, on this stage I mostly use the “claytubes” brush which is great for laying out musculature and quickly building up mass
When the body’s proportions where done I’ve started adding some of the other details as separate subtools (it’s always a good idea to keep things separated in as many subtools as possible)
After everything was layed out I’ve started adding all of the finer detail such as wrinkles, veins, skin pores and so on, this is usually the last step of this process .
Now that the high poly mesh was done I created the in-game model using a process called “retopologization”. This is usally a pretty boring and somewhat annoying part, but it has to be done!
The next step was creating the UV layout for the textures. For this model I decided to split him into two 2k maps, one for the head and miscelaneous details and another for the body. I’ll admit that this is probably way too much for a game asset but since this was an important chararacter and it’s the year 2013 I figured it was time to step our game up a little bit
I usually do the UVs and final polish in a wonderful open source application called “Blender”, Im kind of in-love with the thing and for this sort of thing it’s very quick and easy to do.
Fun and easy UV mapping? Crazy, I know.
What comes after that is baking all of the maps (I normally do this on Xnormal), for this guy I baked normal, ambient oclussion and vertex paint maps since I did a quick paint over in Zbrush to have a nice color base to start from. Here’s the initial test result being tested on UDK:
The last part involved manually tweaking and compiling the texture maps, creating a specular map to boost up the reflections and creating a base material to make sure everything works properly in-game.
And that’s it!