Texturing a 3D Anime Character In Blender Part 3 Project Feline Indie Game Dev Log 14


Raymond Cripps


game development tutorial,game development tutorial for beginners,character design tutorial photoshop,blender 3d character tutorial,blender 3d anime character tutorial,anime character design tutorial,blender tutorial,indie game dev log,indie game devlog,indie gamedev,anime character blender,how to make indie games,blender character tutorial,anime 3d modeling tutorial,indie game,character texturing in blender,blender 3d low poly character tutorial

hello everyone my name is Raymond and welcome to the next installment of the project feline devlog series a series about designing my dream game from start to finish over the past couple of episodes we've been looking into the development process of a new in-game character model in the style of Japanese anime for the protagonist of the game Gabriella in part one we focused on the creation of a base humanoid mesh and in part two we focused on the finer details of the model the creation of her hairstyle and defining features and the creation of her reflex augmenting feline suit so if you haven't watched those two parts yet I will link them down below in this episode we will be turning a gray diffuse set of polygons into a highly stylized anime character through the power of texturing so without further ado let's get into it in the previous two episodes we focused primarily on modeling and I made an effort to try and nail that anime style through the shape and silhouette of the model as a result this is the most detailed model I've ever worked on with Gabriella's base model totalling at about eight thousand eight hundred and forty eight polygons and a feline suit being comprised of over 4228 polygons despite all this detail there were still some missing elements for example she was rather colorless and the feline suit seemed to be missing a lot of details that were present in her original concept I also wanted to take advantage of texturing and shading for her model in a way that faithfully emulated the look and style of Japanese anime and doing so in a way where the in-game model would look like a convincing hand-drawn character when I started this character I hadn't the faintest idea on how I'd achieved the signature anime style the model seemed to be the right shape but I knew it would need some real magic to really nail that look through my research on this topic I came across a game studio by the name of Arc System Works who are known for their arcade 2d fighting game franchises guilty gear and blaze blue as well as other fighting games including dragon bull fighter Z and the upcoming kill the kill game from a glance many of their games seem to perfectly capture the style and essence of anime with their hand drawn and hand animated character sprites what I later came to realize is that in many of their recent titles they won't splice at all these characters are modeled entirely in 3d I couldn't believe it the characters looks so convincing luckily back in 2015 they gave a GDC talk explaining how they achieved a convincing hand-drawn look with 3d modeling and animation and here is why I learned from it when designing a 3d character to look hand-drawn I found that it takes a little more effort than slapping unities default toon shader preset on the model I found that achieving this look relied mostly on how the model is textured there are many ways to texture a 3d model many methods involve the process of wrapping and mapping a 2d texture onto a 3d model this part of the process is referred to as UV mapping or unwrapping and is often a long painful process a model can only be textured after it has been unwrapped many programs nowadays let you draw directly onto the model once unwrapped however I still prefer the good old fashioned way of drawing the textures on by hand in photoshop with the 3d models from guilty gear Arc System Works UV mapped them in a very specific way all of the components of the model or UV Islands were aligned to the X and y axes of the texture resulting in a final texture to look very blocky kind of like a Minecraft skin while this specific technique may stretch and distort the texture in relation to the geometry and allows the artist to create very sharp line work this is due to the fact that textures are bitmap images made up of pixels a straight line of pixels will appear straight from boast close up and afar but once you start drawing diagonally across pixels you'll start to see signs of aliasing the UV layout adopted in these models from guilty gear eliminate aliasing by mapping everything into perfect boxes aligned to the X and y-axis of the image and by mapping certain edges over black areas of the texture they can create vectored liner that looks stunning at any resolution unfortunately UV mapping in this takes a lot of time and care it's not something that could be done automatically I couldn't figure out exactly how Arc System Works achieved such a unique UV map but after looking at these textures closely I could only assume that someone had to sit there and math it all by hand this is definitely a technique I'd like to try in future but to save on time I went for a more conventional approach with my UV map I started off by marking seams in the characters model this is a crucial step to achieving a satisfying UV map when a model is unwrapped the 3d program will try and unfold the model onto a 2d surface if the entire model is connected this becomes very difficult as the model may begin to stretch unnaturally or overlap on itself in order to accurately unwrap the model you'll need to mark seams which act as areas where the model will be split and separated in order to fit the entire model onto a flat texture when unwrapping a 3d character I like to place my seams in places where the player won't see and in places that can help separate each part of the body such as around the wrists along the waist and along the insides of the arms and legs you'll find that clothes put their seams in similar places after marking the scenes in the model I then click the unwrap button my 3d program blender will automatically unwrap my model based on where I've marked my seams and I have to say that blenders auto and rap tools are fantastic while I may not enjoy UV mapping the most it's a lot easier to do for me in blender as compared to other 3d programs I've used once unwrapped I then assign a unique material to each part of the model and generate a material color ID map an ID map is a useful tool that can be used to combine many different materials and properties into a single material in this case I went on to import the ID map into Photoshop right use each individual color as a clipping mask for each component of the model for example I use different colors for the body the under suit and the different colors used in the armor additionally because each part of the feline suit is made of its own material creating skins will be a breeze here is the material ID map for both Gabriela and her feline suit once unwrapped and ID met I then used blenders texture painting tools to draw some rough line art directly onto the model line art is an essential element of traditional anime and made a huge difference in making Gabriella's model look like a hand-drawn illustration I found blenders brush toolset helpful while I later went on to draw the lines in Photoshop having the opportunity to paint directly onto the model beforehand gave me a great opportunity to approximate how the final line art would look making sure that the thickness was correct and that all of the lines connected properly near the seams after painting a rough line art layer I then exported it along with the UV layout into Photoshop where I went over my rough line work with a smoother refined brush as well as adding the face coloring for the entire texture here is the final texture for both Gabriela and her feline suit this process took a long time to complete I tried my best to make the lineup look as smooth as possible while my line work may not be vectorized like in guilty gear I made sure to texture at a high resolution to preserve as much detail as I could the final thing I'd like to bring up in this video is the inverted hull technique on top of texturing I find that the shading of a model plays an integral part as well however knowing that I'd eventually take this model to the Unreal Engine I wanted to leave the bulk of the shading work for later in the meantime I used a couple of additional techniques in tandem with the textured liner to further capture the anime aesthetic the most prominent technique I employed is what many refer to as the inverted hull this technique is what gives the model its black outline around the edges and displays this outline from every angle the inverted hole is achieved by generating a slightly larger version of the model around itself and then inverting the normals of the larger polygons and texturing them black this results in this black outline seen around the model and helps to pronounce the contours and shape of the model in ways that the texture could not this event can be achieved very easily in blender by using the solidify modifier and after all that here is the final result after about two weeks of researching learning and developing it isn't quite the same as the characters from Guilty Gear or BlazBlue but for my first real attempt at this sort of texturing I'd say it's sound as always I'd love to hear your thoughts on my texturing process and my character model so feel free to share feedback or critique in the comments below thank you all so much for watching be sure to join me in the next video to see the rigging and animation process of Gabriella so be sure to subscribe and hit that notification bell so you don't miss the next upload if you found this video helpful or insightful in any way be sure to leave a like if you have any comments or critique feel welcome to leave them in the comments below thank you all to my patreon supporters if you're interested in helping to support the production of these videos I'll link my patreon down below as always each month I get tons of fare nuts submitted through a community discord server and I'd like to thank all the artists behind this wonderful project feline fan art it really means a lot that you guys enjoy the development of this project and I want to thank you for joining me on my journey if you want to see more from me in between uploads you could join the community discord or follow me on Facebook Instagram and Twitter thank you all so much for following my journey I'm looking forward to seeing you all in the next video [Music] you