KNB 217 Assessment 1 The Lover's Ghost

Bradley Hennessey - N10199756

Final Model - Judith the Biker Girl

Final Model - polycount - 1013 faces



Theme - Steam punk

Setting - Junk Wasteland

In the Lover's Ghost there is a couple in the village who plan to get married soon. But on the day of their wedding, a war breaks out between rival factions. Soon lovers are separated, as the soon to be husband is sent off to war. For months Judith waits, but they never came home. Frustrated she goes off in pursuit. Evenly she runs into an old D.E.A.T.H robot from days long ago. The robot tells her to find a human skull from a cemetery. Before long she has a human skull and gives it to the robot. The robot promptly puts the skull in its chest. Before long the skull begins to move and talk. “he has started” it clackers. “Over the valley he waits” its creeks again before turning into dust. With that Judith and D.E.A.T.H head off over the valley.

After some time, they reach the valley, there in the middle, stands a man next a horse, cladded in white light. Judith runs down to the man, only to see it’s her lover. They embrace and hug. "Will you come to the country where I dwell?" he asks. In that moment of excitement, Judith nods. And so, they both go on horseback, riding into the night. Out of the darkness Judith sees lights.“How beautifully shines the moon, the moon; How beautifully march past the dead. Are you afraid, my love, my little Judith?" She just nods, and they keep going. Before long more appear, now she can see their people, but now in the hundreds. “How beautifully shines the moon, the moon; How beautifully march past the dead. Are you afraid, my love, my little Judith?" Again, she nods. Soon they reach the Lands of the forgotten cities. “Come, come to my house, Judith” he points to the lands, in where massive graves go to as far as the eye can see. Finally, it all clicks, Judith gets off. And pulls out her weapons. In that moment every light turns and looks towards her. She throws a rock at one… but it just goes through him. with no weight in this world, her efforts to defend herself are meaningless. But then out of the corner of her eye D.E.A.T.H appears, with the ability to RIP apart these beings. Together they escape, to never return

Character Profile

Judith Snow

Judith is a young woman, who is still adjusting to the wasteland. In the time between the love of her life was taken from her. Shes built up her knowlage and skills to survive in this harsh world. Leading to a keep knowlage of steam mechanics and engineering. But also a little bit of combate along the way.

  • Age - 23
  • Height: 5'2”
  • Gen: Female
  • Eye: green
  • Hair: Brown
  • Blood type: A

Design Process

Where the fun begins

Stylistic References

To begin the Design Process, I needed to find and create a Stylistic references board, to help in the creative process. I investigated a vast array of styles and moods and I felt a cartoony anime art style combined a steam punk theme. Would be the best match for my skills and the character’s expression.

Refences to work from

Thumbnails process

In order to design the character, I started from the basics. I knew based on Judith’s personality and world she lives in; she would be a mesomorph body shape. When I read the story, I imagined a woman, young, miss guided, confused, but determined. So, I started there.

I used a lot of theory from Solomon Asch, who in 1946 established a paper on “Forming Impressions of Personality”. And how different trait adjectives form a views or readers understanding of a character. in a way forming a basis (Asch, S. E. 1946). I used these studdies to help design the way the model will describe the chracter 

Attempt 1....

But this lead to a design i wasn't happy with, and design block. So i left it for a bit and started from scratch.

Let’s try that again!

This time around, I looked into shape theory and how it communicates emotions. I used this example below and refenced article to give insight into how to design the new character.

Shape theory - example (Nikolaeva, B. 2017)
"One more factor which can make your designs more appealing and attractive is using the size relationships in your character. The road to good design is often paved with different in size shapes, combined in an interesting and unpredictable way."(Nikolaeva. 2017)
Starting from shapes... again

After going back to the drawing board, I designed the new character around 3 shapes, mostly 2 triangles to form the main body. Giving it a classic, but distinct look. I decided to make the upper torso smaller than the legs, to add a feeling of power to the legs. This helps to give that mesomorph design to the character, as well as helps the silhouette stand out.

Final Thumbnail Design

Sketches process

From the thumbnailing stage, I moved on to the sketching stage. Here I basically just drew a range of different poses to get a feel for how the characters design will work, and its flexibilities. Getting a feel for how a character’s skin, hair and material will work in different poses will allow me to more effectively draw and model them in the future.

Mood Sketches and appeal/emotions
examples on appeal from "The Illusion Of Life Disney Animation" (Johnston & Thomas, 1981)

In the process of designing this stage of the character and messing around with adding appeal. I read up on the book “The Illusion of Life Disney Animation” by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston. This book is basically the bible of Disney’s design and animation philosophy. So I gained a lot of valuable knowlage from this source

Final Turnaround Model

With the sketching done, and a clear understanding off the character I had created. I went on to draw the final Turn around model. When it comes to colours, I wanted the character to have an earthy look to them. So, a lot of browns and reds is what I went with for the main colours. The blue on the shirt/shorts is designed to break up the earthy colours and add some brightness / coolness to the character.

Turn around process
Final Turn around model

Modelling the character

LowPoly Refences

In the process to model the character, I realised the best approach was to model the character as if it was inside a retro Video game. Given their low polly counts. Therefor I found a collection of refences to aid me in this process.

Low poly refences

(A+Start, 2019, Jun 22)

To help with the modelling process, I gained a lot of knowledge thought looking at older models from PS1, N64 games. This video was the most helpful, showing the tricks and tips that modelers used in designing these low poly models.

Modelling Process

modelling process

Reflection on modelling process

The modelling process for this model, was smooth. Going in with a solid design meant the production of the model was easy. I did in the end remove the belt, because of poly count and rigging issues. It doesn’t take away much from the final design, but it is a lesson learnt over designing a character for best performance.

The main issue faced, is keeping the model’s polygons under 1000 faces. The lectures mentioned I can go up to 1,200 if I provide reasoning as to why. to bring the total faces down from 1,217 to 1,013. I did this:

Optimised face, and added more weight to the final design
adjusted and optimised arms to use less polys
Optimised legs to use less polys, and a more robust flex point

The final polys is at 1,013 faces. These last few polys are used to give the face more depth. With out them it becomes to pointy.

Time to Unwrap and texture

Unwrap that boi

First attempt at a UV map
UV unwrap process attempt 1

Reflection on UV unwrapping process.

UV process was as messy and tedious as expected. While I have done UV unwraping many times before. Doing it on such a strange and complex model was difficult. I defiantly made some errors in the process and can be a lot neater in future. Mostly around the hands and figures, given that areas is very complex and has a lot of joins. The second revision of the texture, even knowing it is small. Attempted to fix some of these errors. And to a certain extent it did. But next time, I will have the correct knowledge when going into the process.

Texturing that model

Time for paint

With this final stage, I developed another moodboard to get an understanding of how anime art styles have been achieved using a low poly mesh. Most, use a low amount of detail, with major colour contrasts and linework to add depth and detail.

Another refence sheet - for anime art style (lowpoly)
texturing process
Final texture

Reflection on texturing process

Texturing was the most enjoyable phase, has this was when the model began to become alive! Leading to a better understanding of how they will look in a 3D environment. I used substance painter, and a mouse to do the texturing, being it was an anime style. I didn’t need major amounts of detail. But what detail that was present needed to be place in efficient locations. For example, the shirt creases, there just lines. But their placement communicates a great deal of information to the viewer.

The only issue was some textures where slightly low resolution. But I rolled with this, given the inspiration of old video game models. But it has made me learn what to do next time to avoided these issues.

Time to Rig

Rig it up!

To help in the rigging process i followed this example rig below

example rig reference - (NaturalPoint, 2018)
Process of rigging
Final Rig

Reflection on rigging process

Rigging was the hardest process to get right. This was to a verity of bugs and rigging issues. Leading to this process taking far longer than any other stage. The majority of issues was down to not including a shoulder bone for the arms. Leading to a verity of issues when the model was skinned. In the process of adding these bones. It broke the model multiple times. In the end I was successful, but it did lead to a very stressful learning process

Works Cited

Johnston, O., & Thomas, F. (1981). The illusion of life: Disney animation. New York: Disney Editions.

A+Start . (2019, Jun 22). Link - Low Poly (Evolution of Characters in Video Games) - Episode 7. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jF5a6ltOsK0

NaturalPoint. (2018, July 26 ). BVH File Format. Retrieved from wiki.optitrack: https://v22.wiki.optitrack.com/index.php?title=Data_Export:_BVH

Asch, S. E. (1946). Forming impressions of personality. The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 41(3), 258–290.

Nikolaeva, B. (2017). conveying-characters-personality. Retrieved from graphicmama: https://graphicmama.com/blog/conveying-characters-personality/

Created By
brad hen