What is current modern workflow for gaming character?

slapinslapin Posts: 60Member
in 3D

Well, main question is when people apply PBR materials - on sculpt stage or on high poly stage?

Answers

  • TwistedTwiglegTwistedTwigleg Posts: 842Admin
    Answer ✓

    I’m confused on what you are asking. Are you asking when people bake PBR textures for their characters, or when they assign multiple materials to a character?

    I am going to assume you mean when do people bake PBR textures. If you are meaning something else, feel free to ignore what I wrote below and my apologizes for misinterpting the question.

    I am by no means an expert on game development or 3D modeling but here’s what I know from what I’ve read from other game developers and from my own experience:


    Assuming you are using a work flow similar to the following:
    Blocking, UV mapping (sometimes after sculpting), Sculpting, Retypology, Potentially UV mapping again, Rigging (and animating), Exporting.

    I have noticed that most people texture after the sculpting stage, and then bake the textures on to the final model.

    They do this so they can bake the normals and ambient occlusion maps along with the textures, streamlining the texture creation process.

    Another advantage of texturing after the sculpting stage is you have really cool models with PBR textures for your portfolio. If you are working in a team there is also the advantage of being able to send the sculpt to someone else to retypologize while you (or someone else) make the textures.


    Personally, I rarely sculpt my characters and instead model my characters without any concerns on vertex count. I then make materials with solid colors to get an idea of what I want the final model to look like, and then I retyoplogize the model. Once I have the retypologized model, I then UV wrap and texture in something like Substance Painter or Armory Paint.

    This method makes it where you can not easily export the detailed normal or ambient occlusion maps. Personally I’ve never been bothered by this, but I generally make fairly stylized models.

    Another disadvantage is this workflow is harder to use if you are working in a team, but since I work solo it’s never bothered me.

    One advantage is it’s a little easier on older computers since you are not texturing on a vertex dense model. Finally, I personally find this workflow easier than the more traditional workflow as it just seems to work better for me.


    That is pretty much all I know on PBR texturing.

    I would highly suggest looking at some tutorials for making game assets in whatever program you are using and experimenting to see what works best for you. I have found that optimal asset workflows are different from person to person. I had to make my own workflow because none of the ones I found fit nicely for me personally.

  • slapinslapin Posts: 60Member

    Thanks a lot for your answer! It answers all my possible workflow questions now. Thanks a lot!

    You mentioned ArmorPainter (the one sold for 16 euro on itch.io), can't get any mesh loaded there (I'm on Linux), only crashes. Substance Painter works great. And blender. Thanks for advice!

    About sculpt texturing - Substance painter requires mesh to be pre-unwrapped and requires quality unwrap. So it looks like I will need to retopologise before texturing otherwise painting will suffer. So I wonder how.this should be handled so to be able to texture a sculpt without retopology step...

  • TwistedTwiglegTwistedTwigleg Posts: 842Admin

    @slapin said:
    Thanks a lot for your answer! It answers all my possible workflow questions now. Thanks a lot!

    No problem!

    You mentioned ArmorPainter (the one sold for 16 euro on itch.io), can't get any mesh loaded there (I'm on Linux), only crashes. Substance Painter works great. And blender. Thanks for advice!

    Did you export .obj files? Last I knew ArmoryPaint has some trouble with other file formats.

    I would suggest opening a issue on the ArmoryPaint Github page if it does not work with .obj files.

    About sculpt texturing - Substance painter requires mesh to be pre-unwrapped and requires quality unwrap. So it looks like > I will need to retopologise before texturing otherwise painting will suffer. So I wonder how.this should be handled so to be able to texture a sculpt without retopology step...

    Well, I did some looking and what I thought was the right order is actually slightly incorrect!
    From what I could find on Google, it appears that most people texture the retopologized model, and bake the normals/ambient-collusion maps from the sculpt onto that.

    Sorry about the confusion/misinformation :sweat_smile:

    (Also, I'm just calling the workflow 'traditional' since I have no idea what else to call it. It is the workflow I see most of the time)

    As long as you don't mind texture seams you could try something like Blender's auto UV mapping on the sculpt, texture and ignore the seams, make the retopologized version and UV map it, bake the textures from the sculpt to to the retopologized version, and then clean up the textures.

    Personally I would just suggest texturing after making a retopologized version, as then you remove the need to clean up the textures. If you plan to go the baking route, I found this Reddit post explaining how to bake textures from one Blender object to another, which may be helpful.

  • slapinslapin Posts: 60Member

    I think baking AO from sculpt to high poly model is good idea

  • slapinslapin Posts: 60Member

    Otherwise sculpt is not needed on the following stages

  • CalinouCalinou Posts: 189Admin Godot Developer

    You may be interested in this article: What To Know When Creating Next Gen Assets

    The Polycount wiki also has lots of information about 3D modeling in general.

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