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Street Cop Workflow by Mashru Mishu
1. Creating the base mesh.
The first thing to consider is how the character looks and how the concept translates into a game character. Before I jump into modeling a game character I need to consider my polycount budget, mesh topology, any rigging issues and my texture limits. Once I have a rough idea of the technical specification and limits I start creating the main body of the character. In the case of this particular model, I created the body and head to start with. I kept the head as a separate model so that I could easily work on it separately and later export it separately for baking.
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Once the base mesh is made I make sure I have enough edge loops in the face area and the model and any other places where I plan to sculpt more details. Since this is for sculpting only I try to avoid any triangles and evenly space out all the quads.
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When I am fairly happy with the shape of the body I export a medium subdivision level back to Maya as a reference on top of which I create rest of the base meshes for the shirt, jeans and gun holster. Creating these base meshes are straight forward polygon modeling so there is not much to explain how every element of the base mesh was created. For example, here you can see the two steps for creating the base mesh of the shirt.
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You will notice that the collar area of the shirt has double sided faces. I did a face extrude along the collar area to create those. This gives me a nice thickness along the border of the shirt. I will do that along all of the border areas for the rest of the clothing. Here are some of the other base meshes. I tend to create all the separate elements of the character separately instead of sculpting out all the details from one base mesh. From my experience if you have separate meshes for all of the parts, your final normal map will look really clean and almost like high poly. However, if you sculpt everything from one mesh then things tend to look like plastic or clay. After the shirt is modeled, I create the gun holster. This way, the holster mesh conforms well to the shirt mesh. I can obviously adjust it later in Mudbox. The buckles, guns, ammos and all the hard surface parts are marked red below. These meshes are exported separately and not subdivided. They are exported only as a point of reference.
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When creating these meshes, I usually put extra edge loops at the edge of surfaces and also around the seams. I do this mainly so that I have sufficient polygons to sculpt extra details in those areas. Otherwise I would have to do local subdivision or even divide the whole mesh just to get more detail in a small area of the mesh. This is why in my opinion, it is a smart thing to make your base mesh do most of the work for you.
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