Introduction to 3D character design

Introduction to 3D character design

One of the most vital sections of any game’s development is designing the 3D characters. Users/Players identify with the main characters and live the game via these characters while showing antipathy and sympathy for other characters. So, it is safe to say, good 3D character design or proper 3D character modeling will be able to create an emotional attachment to the game. 

The designing process is complex, especially for newbies. There are many steps that one needs to follow impeccably to get the desired outcome. So, accurate skill and experience are required to ensure the target is achieved. Taking help from a professional providing 3D character design services is recommended as they can provide expert, customized help. 

But if you are interested in taking on the task yourself, then do read on. Next, you will learn the basics of the 3D character design process and how this process will become simple with the help of expert concept art character design services

Basic steps of the 3D character design process

  • Concept

You are required to gather ample references to know who the character is and how you are going to design the character. This is help to fast-track the process. Besides, when you are clear on the history of the character or what makes the character unique, you will be able to overcome any “artist’s block” faced while designing the character. You can take your collected ideas or references to a qualified concept artist. They will not only create an attractive background for a character but also create concepts for future 3D characters. 

  • Blocking

You have to begin with blocking which is an animation technique for a 3D sketch. The purpose of the sketch is to show the positioning and poses of the characters. This step is very crucial as the success rate of the entire design process rely on this. So, if you are not taking the help of a professional, you should begin by combining the primitive forms into the desired character form. 

  • Sculpting

Next, take the help of a reputed 3D character sculpting software that offers tools to pull, push, pinch, grab, or other ways to manipulate the character created so for. Just like a sculptor uses clay to form a shape, you have to create the geometry of the 3D character with the help of the software. 

  • Retopology

This process can be defined as a 3D modeling process and its purpose is to reduce polygon count. With the help of this process, you can create a low poly 3D character from a high poly one. The 3D character’s topology is a surface structure and it defines the visual characteristics of the 3D character that is designed so far. Polygon modeling is one of the most common ways used to create the topology of a 3D character/model. Most newbies do not know that polygons have multiple angles. So, it is crucial to go for a shape that will allow you to animate and edit the individual pieces/sections of the 3D character easily. 

  • UV Unwrapping

To create texture mapping, this process is used. It is a process of projecting a 2D image onto the 3D model’s surface. You have to unfold’ a mesh of the 3D object and the 2D texture will be applied to it. This is a very vital step as it will make your characters take better shape and look more real. Thus, it is recommended that you become well familiar with the UV map which is the flat representation of a 3D character’s surface. Of course, you can take the assistance of professionals providing excellent 3-Dimensional character design services for this. 

  • Baking

After UV wrapping, you have to go through the process of saving information for a 3D mesh to a texture bitmap (file) which goes by the name of Baking. Generally, the two meshes that are involved with the process are a low poly mesh and a high poly mesh. Compared to high poly mesh, a low poly mesh is cheaper to render and store as it has lesser polygons. But as the high poly mesh is known for having far more polygons than a low poly mesh, it is capable of displaying HD 3D detail. With the help of the baking process, you will get the advantages of both low-performance costs and a high level of detail from the low poly mesh and high poly mesh respectively.

  • Texturing

It is a form of computer graphics that will make the surface of the 3D character realistic and saturated. So, you will be creating small details for the character like designing any specific facial feature, wrinkles, shadow, folds on clothes, etc.

  • Rigging and Skinning

Take caution during the step of rigging the 3D character which is the process of creating a character skeleton. This is required to animate a separate bone or skeleton in the future. Skinning comes next after rigging where the skeleton will become one with the character, making the 3D character move accurately. 

  • Animation

In a 3D character design or creation process, the model animation step plays an important role. If you leave it up to a professional company, then the expert 3D character artists working with the company will animate the facial expressions and body movements of the character.

  • Lighting

Many newbies skip this process; however, this should not be excluded from the design process as effective lighting will heighten the visual of the character. It provides a prominent realistic look to the character. Typically, all expert 3D character design service providers ensure that this step is not omitted when designing a character.

  • Rendering

With this process, you as the designer have to use computer graphics to create a screen for the 3D model and convert it into a 2D image. To do this, you have to adjust the direction of the camera, the illumination of the image, and the texture of the frame. Even if you are not in charge of creating any scene, you have to take into consideration this final step to bring your design to life.

There you have it; these were the basic steps of the 3D character design process. So, you can see that you have to be an expert on many different types of processes and have access to certain tools and software. If you are lacking in any one of the steps/processes mentioned above, then getting the desired outcome can be in jeopardy. Thus, it is highly recommended that consider qualified concept art character design services to help out.

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