Hello! I'm Emiliano Calisti, actually I live in Rome and I'm a freelance 3D character artist. In this making of I'll explain the processes I did to create a fully rigged character for my '07 demo animation reel: Kehel, elf warrior.I hope you like it.
Elves, dwarfs, undeads, mages, warriors, shamans... in one word: Fantasy. Kehel is a young female elf warrior, with only some experience in the battlefields, her dresses n' weapons are some sort of basic gear: leather, metal and iron with a little "tribal" touch. Her gear isn't a brand new one, so scratches and some dirt are all around the dresses. More agile than strong, I thought to a non-conventional weapon for a warrior with those skills. The weapon she's using is a blade/shield: she can block melee attacks and attack with the same weapon.
I've used Modo for the character modeling and UVs and XSI for the shapes efinements, shaders and render.
I've used Modo to model the mesh and setup the UVs, unwrapping different parts like head, torso, arms and legs.
The head and the face were refined in XSI using real photographs as references from www.3d.sk, using the proportional modeling and smooth poly tools to maintain a good face shape to modify in the next step.
Once the face had a believable and smooth shape I've tweaked it to be in line with the concept of a female warrior. Not too cute, not sexy, menacing eyes and not too smooth, just how I think a female warrior should look like. With XSI's shape manager I've created a little set of facial expressions: serious, menacing, curious, smiling and screaming.
The fur is completely done in XSI, using the basic XSI Hair module.The hairs and the eyebrows were done exctracting the head's interested polys with a custom weight map for the fur density. I didn't use the hairs with the curves due to a significant increasing time of the renderings, so the hairs were first combed to the polygon normals and then tweaked manually with various move/smooth actions.
The cloths are mostly extracted polys from the body to maintain a believable leather gear shape, conforming to the body. The exctracted polygons keeps the UVs coordinates from the original polygons so I hadn't to make new UVs but just printed them with a wireframe to define the textures with Photoshop.