If you are proficient at 3D modeling or if you have dabbled in it before, then you might already use advanced sculpting tools like ZBrush, Blender, Mudbox, Sculptris, and others. You might also know how dreary the process can be when dealing with initial base models prior to modeling, texturing, and rigging. And depending on the complexity, this process can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks.
But, we can significantly cut our modeling time down if we cleverly combine our favorite tools with new and powerful applications to take care of the initial work.
Queue the Character Creator reel…
Reallusion’s Character Creator (CC) tool is a fast and easy application that takes care of all the tedious sculpting, texturing, and rigging work — allowing us time to concentrate on the creative part of the project.
To do this, we have to first create and export a base mesh character to work with.
Now, one might ask – why would we want to first create a base mesh? Well, that’s because this will not just allow us the benefit of having a pre-rigged character to work with, if we choose to later animate the character, but it will also save us time by using one of many morph sliders inside Character Creator to start the original creation process.
Inside the Character Creator tool, these morph sliders can be used to create intricate facial features for nose, eyes, chins, ears, skull, and others. It can also be used to create a wide spectrum of body shapes with easy to use sliders that save a lot of time by not having to start building or rigging a character from scratch.
Once you have your base character finished, you can export it to a tool like ZBrush to create custom conforming clothing, UV mapping, and additional texturing. Thanks to ZBrush‘s sculpting tools, you can create almost any kind of accents that will really highlight the personality of your character.
Using the same base character we are then able to use the 3ds Max Skin Wrap modifier to attach the clothes to the base character, prior to re-importing it into Character Creator as a fully clothed model.
Done! You have now created a technically complex character in record time. And all this because we decided to take a different route where we get to eliminate some of the tedious steps in the process.
Now, this process is anything but new as it has already been mastered by 3D artists like Wolfzone Digital, who has created an in-depth tutorial on the Making of a Minotaur by using this exact process.
You can also learn from M.D.McCallum‘s tutorial where he also shows us how to Morph, Sculpt & Create 3D Characters with Character Creator and ZBrush.
In the end, it really doesn’t matter which artist you follow, just as long as you identify the long parts of the process and replace them with existing new tools that can speed things up.