Here is my first attempt at a low-poly video game character. This character was modeled and rigged in Maya while the texturing was done in Photoshop and Mudbox.

This concept design was based off of the ‘Assassin’s Creed’ universe and his name is Nicholas Vittorio D’Amico (Auditore). A character bio was required so I attempted to create a somewhat believable background which could be cannon to the original universe of Assassin’s Creed. From there it was on to concept roughing and very basic template was created in Photoshop.

A basic mesh was then blocked in using Maya. This process was similar to a high-poly base mesh but with an added emphasis on maintaining low quads. Once a base mesh was created, it was onto adding extra edge loops around deformation areas (neck, arms, fingers, legs, etc). Then with the limited amount of tris that were left over, the detailing could begin. I carefully began to add more geometry while keeping in mind about the count. This process proved to be somewhat of a challenge as the count quickly grew with every detail.

The poly limit for this character was 7000 triangles which I thought would be quite simple. Although eventually several details had to be sacrificed in order to get the model completed while maintaining a low count. Either way, I managed to pull off the final character mesh with just over 6900 tris.

Once the mesh was completed, it was onto rigging. A very basic full-body skeleton was created along with a basic control rig using a combination of forward kinematics and inverse kinematics (FK/IK).

Before I could bind the character to the skeleton, everything had to be properly UVed. Since this was a game character, all of the UVs for the entire character had to be crammed into only one 2k (2048) map. Each UV component was then flattened and a single map was created within Maya.

Everything was then exported into Mudbox for some minor sculpting. But unlike a high-poly sculpt, only a normal map was made for the wrinkles and details (no displacement maps could be used). Photoshop was then used to create a color, bump, specular, and transparency map.

Finally everything was compiled back in Maya for character binding, and weighting. Then a turntable was rendered out and composited in After Effects with sound that was cleaned up in Audition.

Throughout this entire project, I went through several challenges that helped me gain a better perspective on how video games are created.

Check out the gallery for a rendered shot and texture maps. Also check out the texture-less interactive model along with a turntable animation below. For ‘SketchFab’ controls, click on ’3D Viewer Help’ (the ‘?’ icon).

Software Utilized: Autodesk Maya, Autodesk Mudbox, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Audition