March 4 Update


This past January I had a class entitled Advanced Game Characters, where our focus was on modelling/sculpting out several of the different pieces necessary to create a current gen character asset. I had a lot of fun with this class, and did most of the work in zBrush. I’d like to continue working with characters, but I have declared my specialization as Environments, so you probably won’t see too many more character related projects from me for a while. I did enjoy working with the characters though and I do hope that at some point in the not too distant future I’ll be able to work with them again, maybe even in real clay.

Week 1 was a sculpt of the torso, with a focus on the muscles and form that make up the upper body. I’ve attached two screenshots below. Ritter_Shawn_AGC_1401_Anatomy_Front Ritter_Shawn_AGC_1401_Anatomy_Back

For the most part I was fairly happy with how they turned out though I think the musculature for the scalpula feels off, and I think there may be something wrong with how I created the elbow.

Week 2 was a bust project where I attempted to model out a head. I really enjoyed working on this one, and I was much happier trying to do the hair with clay instead of in Maya. Last time I had to do a head I really messed it up with the hair in Maya. I’ve actually also thought about doing a head sculpt of myself so that I could try on different hair cut ideas without actually doing damage to my hair. Though to be honest that sounds like a lot of work, so I’ll probably just let my hair grow out. …..For now.

Screenshot 2014-03-04 17.17.32 Screenshot 2014-03-04 17.19.02

With this bust, I feel like the cheeks were a bit rounder/puffier than the reference, and I feel like there is something off with the mouth. I also feel like the top of the nostrils probably should have been a bit rounder or more pronounced.

Week 3 was a clothing/jacket project. I was really happy with how this one turned out, I also managed to try something new and different than the rest of my classmates for doing the zipper.

Ritter_Shawn_Jacket_Front2 Ritter_Shawn_Jacket_Back2


Also during week 3 I had a project to Retopologize an existing high density mesh. I’ve attached a photo below of my drawing/sketch for the retopo and the retopoed mesh as well.

Ritter_Shawn_Retopo_Front_ZBrush Ritter_Shawn_Retopo_WireSketch_ZBrush


Week 4 was a project to hand paint a bust to make it look as realistic as possible. I think the eyes could have used a bit more work, but for the most part I think the texturing work was fairly good. I can’t think of anything I would have liked to have done different with this one.

Ritter_Shawn_Texture_Side Ritter_Shawn_Texture_Front

With this head bust I spent a bit of time in Photoshops 3d mode, trying to clean up the seams. I found the controls in photoshop a bit awkward, and I will need to check into setting them up differently if I try to work with it again. I also spent a bit of time in 3dcoat, though I was a bit confused by the program I did manage to get a little bit of clean up work done in there though I definitely need to spend some time figuring out how to work with it more effectively.

That wraps up  my work for January.


In February my class was Game Production which is the first of three classes for working on portfolio focused projects. I was hoping to work on an image that was provided in a polycount forum challenge, but the work needed to be based off of a real world location/image. With week 1 I had to get approval for my project, as well as to block everything out in UDK and get my base models all done. I tried to work with modo’s meshfusion for my initial shaping and while I had some very nice smooth high poly meshes at the end of the week I did not have anything in UDK. Week 2 my task was to finish modelling and texturing all of my assets as well as to have them in UDK with stand-in lighting. I ran into some pretty big problems with this one, my computer decided to crash and to do it in a very frightening way. I was working on some assets and getting ready for my week two turn-in at about 2 in the morning and all of a sudden my music stopped. I thought that was a bit odd so I looked over to my right monitor to see what was up, there didn’t seem to be anything wrong visibly but I was unable to get the music to turn back on so I turned back to the main screen where I was working in Substance Designer doing some texturing work. There was an error  window asking me to relocate the file I was working on, I thought this was a little bit odd but clicked the button to redirect to the file, and then I saw it. My entire D: drive had vanished, just poof. I had all of my school files documents, settings and project files on my D: drive and I spent a good couple of minutes in shock. Restarting my computer didn’t help so I checked my NAS for the files, but they weren’t there. I have an application that is supposed to synchronize my school files with my NAS, but apparently it wasn’t working. A few weeks back I had some motherboard problems and I wound up replacing it, this caused several programs to need their licences reactivated, and while I had thought that I had gotten them all I had missed the synchronization software and my most recent backup was weeks old. I did manage to recover the files, but it took me a week to rebuild and repair the computer as well as to recover the missing files. But now I am running two brand new 3 TB drives in raid1 with a dedicated raid controller chip and that is set to synchronize with the NAS so there is now a backup on my backup. Also while I was working on my computer I upgraded the ram in my Laptop from 4gb to 8gb and installed win 7 x64 instead of the 32 bit windows that had been on there. This was a huge delay and blow to my project for February as I was now set back by a week due to computer problems, and then when I did get going again I found that a lot of the meshes that I had created with Modo were useless for UDK and needed to be rebuilt or topologized. for the most part I found that rebuilding them was easier and faster than trying to retopologize them. Which was a big disappointment as I was hoping to have nice high poly meshes from meshfusion to put through zBrushes zRemesher to get my game assets, but zRemesher just seemed to mangle them, so I will need to look into that again in the future when I get some more time but for now, I will not be incorporating mesh fusion into my pipeline. This meant that I now had about a month worth of work to do in two weeks and I did not get very much sleep. Though I did manage to finish the project and still net a final score of 80% on it so I’m fairly happy. I would have liked to have spent some more time adding debris and other details to it but I was still very happy with how it turned out. Though I will say that the assets all looked a bit better in substance designer while I was working on them than they did in UDK I think it may have something to do with how the programs deal with the bump maps.  So here is the final image that I managed to put together for February’s turn-in.



March has a similar assignment where I am to find and model an environment of my choosing, I have chosen to model a Korean Pagoda known as Dabo tower. I’ll leave you with an image of it so that you can have an idea of what is to come.



I will be modelling the tower and the buildings behind it.I am also hoping to model in the trees behind it.



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.