I'd like to create some simple assets and start building up a portfolio. I have general knowledge in modeling, rigging, and animating but am a little confused as to what a good work flow is for the Unity game engine.
Create simple geometry in Maya for a average number of polygons. Upload it to Mudbox for a million polygons to add detail. Paint and add normal map. Now from here I still end up with a character with too many poly's. Can I take this character, add him to topogun and still apply those normals?
Or should I create the simple geometry, hit it with topogun, then export that super simplified mesh to Mudbox so when I apply the normals the final product will be very low poly count with a reasonable level of details?[IMG]
He's at about 8,000 poly's before being exported. I would like to add optional clothes, accessories, and other props to him later on so this number is way too high.
Last edited by Lattitude; 04-28-2012 at 05:14 PM.
As user of all softwares and all pipelines you counted i would suggest you to go with different approach. Sure all pipelines that you counted do work, but give more problems, consume more time and usually give quite worse results than this:
Use highpoly- to lowpoly pipeline instead. This is industry standard pipeline if you are using softwares that you just counted. If there is any chance that you can get Zbrush too that would be best, you wont regret it. It is the fastest creation way for model base or high poly mesh. Mudbox yet doesnt have mesh creation tools, which means that you need to use maya for base mesh, but making base mesh or even whole sculpt is way faster in Zbrush with Dynamesh. I dont know if you are using demo softwares or not, but in case you do i would also suggest you to switch (or additionaly buy) 3d coat instead of Topogun. Topogun has good baking tools, especially they are very fast, but topology is more fluent and faster in 3d coat.
1. Make base mesh or whole final sculpt from ground up in Zbrush using Dynamesh and making mesh from sphere. You can substitue that for Maya and create basic mesh there. Here is final high poly mesh (render in Mudbox):
2.Export retopo version of high poly mesh from Zbrush or Mudbox. This is little lower ress version than final high ress mesh, so basically just step down 1 subdivision level or use Zbrush Decimation master. Make sure that all important shapes of model are still visible and not blocky. Usually 300-500.000 polygons are enough.
3.Using 3d coat or Topogun retopologise mesh, make sure your edge loops are animation friendly. When doing retopo it is great time saver from Maya or 3ds max modeling becouse A, you are doing only 1 side of mesh and then just using mirror and B, it is much faster becouse you are just placing quads or triangles on top of high ress mesh.
4.UV unwrap model, for that 3d coat does perfect job. You can aswell use Maya or Max, however 3d coat is still the fastest.
5.Use Xnormal, Mudbox or Topogun for baking of different maps. Any of those softwares will do, Topogun is probably the fastest, make sure that you have smoothed UVs if you are using Xnormal or Topogun for height (displacement) map baking otherwise it will be corrupted.
6.Use Mudbox for painting. Import low ress UV unwrapped model and apply your baked normal map. Then start painting diffuse and specular map.
Diffuse, specular, normal applied.
The mesh you have on picture looks good, even with great topology you will still be above 4000 probably, unless you go for really low poly look. Making skeleton with retopo software will be quite difficult, especially becouse you cant just import whole high poly model and retopo it. You will need to export each bone or group of bones separate to retopologise it correctly and then in Maya merge together all retopologised parts.
Thank you for such a detailed response, and your tiger looks amazing!
I tried finishing my skeleton just to see how it would turn out. As you said the amount of complications going back and forth, t-meshes popping up everywhere and funny issues that turned the whole experience into a big chore.
Now I'm adjusting to Zbrush as I watch what other people do with it, apparently where Maya takes a week or more to model a human figure from scratch, going edge loop to edge loop Zbrush actually feels artistically orientated and less like trying to design the inner workings of The Golden Gate Bridge from scratch.
It may be a few days before I'm ready to have a asset from start to finish with the pipeline you mentioned, especially if I switch over to this 3D Coat as well but it really looks like you've pointed me in the right direction with some good advice.