Posing John Constantine as a MultiVersus Character in Blender

About me

My identify is Renan Fabricio, a 3D Character Artist from Brazil with 7 years of expertise within the sport trade. I at the moment work at Revolving Video games. Most of my profession has been distant because of the lack of sport studios in Rio de Janeiro once I began.

Initially, I labored on varied tasks creating one or two characters every. In 2019, I pursued full-time distant alternatives and was employed by a Brazilian indie studio to develop a vertical slice for the Soulslike sport Deathbound. Throughout that yr, I designed 7 characters for the demo, which helped safe funding from Tate Multimedia, permitting us to finish the sport. I’m pleased with this achievement, although I’m not with the studio.

For the previous two and a half years, I’ve been a 3D Artist at Revolving Video games, engaged on undisclosed tasks.

Renan Fabricio’s Artstation

A vertical slice of some characters made for Deathbound.

Introduction – Posing characters in an present sport

Constantine, a DC character, holds a particular place in my coronary heart and within the hearts of many Brazilians because of the 2005 movie starring Keanu Reeves. With this in thoughts, I made a decision to create a 3D stylized model of Constantine from the comics, as this sport options DC characters. This text won’t solely reveal the workflow of character creation but additionally posing characters in Character Creator.

My private fanart venture of Constantine for the MultiVersus Sport

Pushed by my love for preventing video games and the will to work on tasks like Multiversus, I sought out somebody on ArtStation who was creating Multiversus fan artwork ideas. I needed a collaborator who may create a 2D idea, permitting me to give attention to the 3D design. 

I discovered Francisco Matias, additionally a Brazilian, who graciously accepted my invitation and created 2D ideas of Constantine. You may take a look at his portfolio. I’m very grateful to him for believing on this collaborative fan artwork venture.

Character ideas by Francisco Matias.

Each time I embark on a protracted private venture, I attempt to include a brand new software program, addon, or approach into my workflow. This strategy ensures that my course of turns into extra environment friendly, sooner, and stays aligned with trade requirements.

Beforehand, I observed that posing characters in ZBrush took a substantial period of time and was one of the crucial difficult steps for me, particularly since I’m not knowledgeable rigger. Posing appeared fairly daunting, significantly once I wanted to create a number of poses for a similar character. I aimed to showcase the character in a minimum of 4 totally different poses, together with extra props, to spotlight varied facets of the design.

These are the poses I ended up creating in 3D; additionally illustrated by Francisco Matias.

I started my seek for auto rigs on YouTube and stumbled upon an extremely detailed tutorial of Character Creator 4 on Michael Pavlovich’s channel. I extremely suggest checking it out, because it enabled me to start out working in CC4 in lower than a full day.

Blockout in ZBrush

Throughout the blockout stage, my main focus is on resolving proportions. It’s a lot simpler to handle this early on relatively than having to make changes later with a number of subtools. Following this, I block out the primary shapes of the character and its clothes, making certain that the silhouette works successfully. The meshes could seem messy at this stage, however they function a base for the next step, which entails retopology in Blender.

Timelapse of the blockout levels.

Retopology with Blender Add-on

I’ve been utilizing Blender for about three years now, and I’ve been completely having fun with my time with it. I’d wish to suggest a paid add-on referred to as RetopoFlow for anybody . Whereas I used to do retopology in 3ds Max or TopoGun, I at all times purpose to consolidate my workflow inside a single software program. 

I’ve discovered Blender to be extremely highly effective for retopology duties, together with making seams and unwrapping UVs. Investing in RetopoFlow has considerably sped up my workflow and streamlined my retopology course of.

Utilizing RetopoFlow addon in Blender.

UVing with Blender Addon

One other paid Blender add-on that I completely love is UV Packmaster. It automates UV mapping in an extremely organized method, in contrast to something I’ve seen earlier than, and it’s remarkably quick. 

What’s extra, it means that you can seamlessly transition between manually organizing your UVs and routinely filling in gaps with much less necessary shells. This considerably reduces the time spent on UV mapping and streamlines your workflow. Moreover, it contains quadify instruments, making it significantly efficient for cylindrical objects, belts, straps, and even skinny and straight UV shells.

Utilizing UV Packmaster addon in Blender.

Returning to ZBrush with the brand new topology geometry, I utilized it as a base mesh to create the high-poly mannequin. On condition that the character options simplified info and a stylized design, this course of was expedited.

The entire high-poly sculpt of Constantine; I saved his mouth open to ease the baking course of.

Texturing

I received’t delve into each layer of my textures. As an alternative, I’ll emphasize the significance of grayscale in stylized characters. In Substance Painter, you possibly can simply entry this function by clicking on the Show Settings icon, enabling publish results, and accessing shade correction. Set the saturation slider to 0, permitting you to persistently monitor your values whereas creating the feel.

How I examine my grayscale values in Substance Painter.

In my endeavor to emulate Constantine throughout the context of an present sport, I completely examined grayscale and shade variations. This concerned capturing screenshots of my character and creating mockups in Photoshop utilizing screenshots from the sport. 

Many video games supply media kits out there for obtain on their web sites, which offered me with extra sources for testing Constantine in varied situations. This course of was instrumental in evaluating how successfully my character matched the colour values of the sport.

Moreover, I extremely suggest learning texture references immediately from the sport itself. Analyze how pores and skin textures are painted, observe the colours of supplies like leather-based, and observe any presence of shade gradients on characters. These insights can significantly inform your personal character design course of.

Props

For the props, Francisco created a sheet with motion poses for movesets. I chosen a number of poses and allotted myself one full day to work on every. I utilized the identical grayscale and mockup testing strategy to those property to make sure they balanced nicely with the character.

Rigging Earlier than Posing Character

To start, I imported my FBX character into CC4. When rigging, I selectively select the elements that I needed to be influenced by the bones. Subsequently, parts akin to hair, eyes, and tooth had been quickly hidden.

That is the character minus the unweighted elements and equipment.

Instantly, you possibly can acknowledge the ability of rigging in CC4. The AccuRIG grants you the flexibility to edit each facet and offers picture references earlier than you press the auto-generate button. As somebody not well-versed in skilled rigging, this function saved me from numerous complications.

A screenshot of the auto-rigging course of.

After auto-rigging, there are many animations you should use to check your character and guarantee all the pieces is working accurately.

On this article, I utilized one of many strikes that Francisco drew. You may both begin posing from scratch, as I did, or use an animation and pause at an appropriate keyframe to start from there.

Posing the character inside CC4.

One in all my favourite options of CC4 is the flexibility to use presets of hand gestures. This function saves a ton of guesswork and prevents your character’s arms from trying damaged. 

Merely click on, drag, and paste the hand gesture you wish to apply. Moreover, the arms controllers on the suitable aspect of the display are game-changing. You may click on, maintain, and drag the palm of the hand to open or shut it. It virtually seems like dishonest due to how efficient this function is for posing your character

Making use of hand presets onto the character.

One other implausible function of CC4 is the flexibility to save lots of your poses as presets. Because of this I’ve saved earlier poses, and if I needed, I may simply revert to them and make changes. All you must do is save the pose, after which double-click to use it to your characters. This performance provides a layer of flexibility and comfort to the posing course of in CC4.

Making preset poses inside CC4.

These poses will be utilized to different characters too. The presets are suitable with characters from CC4, permitting you to create poses, save them as presets, and apply them to your characters afterward. This flexibility enhances the usability of the poses and streamlines the posing course of for varied character designs.

Refining Poses in Blender

After reaching a passable auto rigging and preliminary pose, I imported my mannequin again into Blender to start out refining it. First, I painted out some weight influences from bones that I didn’t need affecting sure areas, like the pinnacle, after which adjusted the arms barely.

Creating a personality that interacts with a prop is at all times a problem, so I spent further time refining the angles of the guide and the arms. Integrating CC4 into my pipeline proved to be value it, because it streamlined the method. We’ve all seen stunning art work items in artist portfolios which can be solely proven in T or A poses, actually because posing characters will be daunting and time-consuming. With CC4, I discovered it a lot simpler to realize dynamic poses.

For the garments, I used sculpting brushes in Blender. The principle brushes I used had been Seize, Clean, Pose, and Masks. I separated small objects like buttons and the tie to forestall distortion however ended up stretching the buttons barely so as to add a dynamic really feel to the gesture.

It’s necessary to view your character from all angles, however I targeted totally on the angle that Constantine can be considered from in a 3D preventing sport.

Conclusion

All poses had been created beginning in CC4. For a extra in-depth have a look at my course of, I’ve created a video detailing all the creation journey.

That wraps up my overview of making this character. I wish to lengthen my gratitude to Reallusion for recognizing my work and offering me with the chance to showcase my workflow with CC4.

A particular thanks goes to Michael Pavlovich for his excellent tutorial movies on the best way to use CC4. They had been extremely useful and made the ultimate steps of my private venture a lot simpler to finish.

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