Momonga Monday: The Anatomy of a 3D Game Character

Another Monday, another update! Last week we took a look at the concept art process for Guaka the Molerat, a character that lives underground in the ancient city of Xio. After we settle on the final concept, it’s time to proceed with the 3D model.

This is what Guaka looks like in 3D Studio Max:

guaka-the-mole-3d-rig-and-model

If you look closely, you can see that this fellow has 1.036 polygons. A polygon is a little part of a surface, you can compare it to a single tile in a bathroom floor. A polygon can have any amount of points (“vertices”). Under the hood, each polygon consists of several triangles. A triangle is always flat, and it is the base building block of 3D models.

Another thing you can see in the picture above is a couple of green cubes. These are helper objects to manipulate the bone structure of Guaka. His bones look like this:

guaka-the-mole-3d-rig

You can roughly distinguish the shape of Guaka, but it is nothing but a barebone structure. The “rig” is a way to manipulate the points of the model, so that you can make it move. Animators don’t drag around each point when they want an arm to move – they simply grab the arm bone and move that instead. The vertices of the arm (kind of like the “skin” of the arm) are attached to the bone, and they move automatically.

The grey objects above are the bone system, used to animate the body. The green objects are helper objects, used to animate the face. This is the result:

guaka-the-mole-3d-pose

The colors and texture you see are actually painted on a flat surface, pretty much like you would wrap a present in gift paper. This is what that looks like:

guaka-the-mole-3d-uv

The result is a fully animatable 3D character. Here are the different views of Guaka (front, side, top and perspective):

guaka-the-mole-3d-4views-shaded

When we have this model in 3D, we import it into Unity, and he blends with the environment.

guaka-the-mole-3d-in-the-level

I hope you liked this short introduction to 3D characters! We are now wrapping up Guaka’s level, and when that’s done we have completed the story mode. All that remains is polishing, adding bonus content, tweaking the gameplay, polishing some more, wrapping it up, and more polish.

It is slowly getting there… slowly… but we’re getting there!

PS: There is something potentially awesome I want to share. How would you like to play Momonga on your PC or Mac through Steam? You guessed it – we have submitted Momonga to Steam Greenlight, and we need your vote to help us get on Steam! This is your chance to play Momonga on your blazing fast computer. With Steam, we can ramp up the graphics and make it something awesome.

screen-shot-2012-09-03-at-20-00-33

So please give us your upvote so we can publish Momonga on Steam. And stay tuned for the results!

Thanks 🙂
Derk

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