[Artist in Residence] The Dust Pirate


(Gavin Goulden) #21

Hey @bartv - Generally, I have a rough idea for the character i want to make and it's usually in the form of keywords...in this case, something like "Mutant" or "Shadowrun" and just riff off of those few key points. Then, once the idea starts to form in my head "Oh, maybe he should be a bouncer to a merchant...", "Oh...what if, instead of a bouncer he was a ninja...but more for a warmer climate...oh, wait, what if he's a pirate? Then he could justify more ratty clothing and be a mix between some stealth character and a rough person..." Then, for backstory, it's more to inform what would and wouldn't fit with the character - but nothing too detailed. So, for this, I'm running with the idea that he could belong on a floating skiff in the desert (like a destroyed Los Angeles or arid city) and would be part of a small band. So, just simple things like that make me avoid adding any elements that are out of character - like if he's raiding towns and other ships he won't have power armor, if he's in an area with terrible oxygen he can have a respirator, or goggles to block dirt from his eye when on his ship...

And, since you asked, here is an example of my detail work in 3d - it's a bit heavy, but this should give you an idea for the level of detail I'm aiming at with organcis...will upload more examples as I go along (hoping to have a bigger update over the weekend)

Dust Pirate Detail 01 by Gavin Goulden on Sketchfab

(Pavelnoskov) #22

Pretty nice mixing so different designs, interesting character come out!

(Pieriko) #23

Such a chance to see your workflow.
it looks amazing

(Gavin Goulden) #24

Thanks all.

Little update to start the weekend off, got the shirt and vest mostly done. For the shirt, I started in Marvelous designer to get a really rough block out for the different items...then bringing it into ZBrush, I smoother it out to get rid of some nasty folds and built up areas to make it work with the rest of the outfit...then finally added custom surface noise based on UVs to get the knitting pattern.

The vest was done in a similar way but with more hand tweaking and just an imported unwrapped model from Max...

(Gavin Goulden) #25

Working away at the Dust Pirate's gear and armor, finished up the clothing and got a bunch of work done on the chest piece. This week, it's moving onto the rest of the gear which will hopefully be wrapped up by the end of this week.

Starting with my rough sculpt, I essentially trace over it in Max to create a cleaner base mesh to work from, once i'm happy with that mesh, I being it into ZBrush for some surface detailing...for hardsurface stuff, I usually do the majorit yof the work in Max since I tend to get blobby / uneven result sin ZBrush.

(Ingramsflight) #26

Really cool to see develop :smile:
I like the big, interesting variety of textures, patterns and fun shapes you gave him.

(Michał Orzechowski) #27

Lookign good. I really like how you develped the face. Looking forward for more.

(Gavin Goulden) #28

@ingramsflight Thanks! Yeah, trying to keep it simple and balance out the details where I can - hoping the armor comes off as a more worn Stormtrooper type thing with a lot of the high frequency going to cloth and skin.

@mihciko Thank you!

Quick update before flying up to GDC for a few days. Got the shoulder pads mostly blocked out leaving only the gear (goggles, mask, harness, and gloves) which i should be able to wrap it all up this weekend then move on to the low poly asset.

(Bart) #29

(Gavin Goulden) #30

Pretty much done with the high resolution asset, going to move on to the game asset very soon:

(Gavin Goulden) #31

A decimated version and quick color blocking to test out how different elements will read:

Dust Pirate - Decimated by Gavin Goulden on Sketchfab

(Kriminator) #32

Great sculpting, What is the poly count on the head if you dont mind me asking? I'm envious...

(Gavin Goulden) #33

Little work on the retopologized version to be more game engine friendly...about 3/4 of the way done with that, then onto the UV and bakes:

@kriminator Thanks! It's pretty high - around 4 million. I have it split from any body mesh so it's all pretty isolated from the rest of the model and easier to manage since it's just the head by itself

(Gavin Goulden) #34

"game resolution" pretty much done and ready for UV. Will optimize a bit after the unwrap, then onto baking, and texturing him up this weekend:

(Krzysztof Zwolinski) #35

I think you can reduce the vertex count about 30% more without harm to the model if you thing about "game resolution".
This days the game characters have 30-60k poly, but in most of those models its the triangle count !! not quads.

  • glas in googles - its flat surface you don't need so many vertexes.
  • hard flat surface - plate on the chest, and on the back you don't need so many subdivisions
  • wool sweater - has more subdivision than hands and leather jacket you can also remove them.
  • face - you can look at AAA game characters Game Characters - Rich Diamant but i think you can remove some.

I saw the work of this artist , and I know that he is a great artist but i'm only sharing my opinion on this model. Link to the Uncharted character was necessary to justify my comment because on Artist portfolio there is only 1-2 wire frame models.

(Gavin Goulden) #36

@KrzysztofZwolinski Thanks for your input!

If you'd like, my portfolio is more up to date here - for what it's worth. The reason I don't have a ton of wireframes to show is that the bulk of my portfolio consists of professional work - which generally prevents you from showing wireframes, texture flats, etc. for contractual reasons.


Also, if you want to check out a few of my game assets for free - both recent and old - you can see them here:


Your point about the density is valid, I mentioned above that I will most likely reduce it further however your references and numbers are a bit off. Rich's model, while awesome, is from PS3 era where hero characters went upwards of 40 - 60k (see Elizabeth from Bioshock Infinite) - now - modern consoles can handle much more and generally favors that over heavy texture usage (enter PBR workflow using smaller textures, repeating information, consistent spec information, etc.) These days, you're actually looking closer to 100k for hero meshes at LOD0 and removing details from there in game so everything draws efficiently / renders cheaply at a distance. So, while this is heavy,and needs optimization, it might not be as heavy as you think.

There are places where edges can be collapsed - but in some cases you're saving less than 100 tris, and that barely makes a difference when all is said and done. Places I'm looking at that are a bit higher than they need to be are the undershirt, the gloves, and the "bolts." Because I'm modeling so many things out, though, that will add up - which to me, is worth it, as it will give better bakes and higher visual fidelity as it's easier to retain the detail through geometry

Further reading: http://polycount.com/discussion/141061/polycounts-in-next-gen-games-thread/p1

(Krzysztof Zwolinski) #37

Yes NDA is a beach, using the language of Terry Pratchett :wink:.
I modeling only stuff for Augmented Reality on mobile or Web3D devices so I always try to make the lowest poly count I can , so I always see spare vertices. Sorry if I overstep there but for me 100k is overkill the Witcher 3 characters have ~ 40k and the game looks beautiful, on the other hand the dragon in the Lair (PS3 2007) have 150k! and use tessellation but overall game looks was not so good.
I cant wait what you do with this mesh and how much poly it takes :wink:.

(Gavin Goulden) #38

Definitely! Context matters, for sure. With VR and mobile, you're really more concerned about optimization and have hardware limitations in some cases. No over stepping of bounds at all :smile:

(Gavin Goulden) #39

Dust Pirate - Bake by Gavin Goulden on Sketchfab

Almost done with the bakes for this guy, still some small things to do and some cleanup but I'm generally feeling good about it. running him through DDO now for some quick material tests.

(Gavin Goulden) #40

Dust Pirate - Textures 01 by Gavin Goulden on Sketchfab

Getting the textures started, should be wrapping this up today or tomorrow. Just fired through DDO right now to test materials really quick, and I'll need to adjust some things in general - like the spec response from the leathers and armor.