By the time a video game reaches the consumer, it’s in the form of hours of entertainment compressed to a small chip or disc. The amount of work that goes into the game before delivery can never truly be appreciated to the level the creators deserve.
Creating character models is a crucial step in the game production process. Creating an effective model will give developers an idea of how their textures and characters will translate into gameplay.
Why Game Developers Need Models
Models are like the prototype of the gaming world. They help creators visualize how a character will look on screen, address any issues early on in the development process, and build your animation from a visually stimulating foundation.
This model building process isn’t only used to build character models. Building models for Film, Gaming and Animation with PhotoModeler is a common industry practice used for design and creating epic film sequences that would be hard to create without the technological advancements available today.
How to Create Character Models
Regardless of how you choose to go about creating your character models or what software you have available, the rules remain the same. Here are some guidelines for creating character models.
Know Your Limits
Before you start to create a model, be aware of what your limitations are with the software you have on hand and your design skill set. You’ll be working with texture page limits and polygon variations. What you visualize in your mind may not align with the technology you have available to create your vision.
Knowing your limitations before you start will help you adapt to the idea of using them to better your model, rather than trying to find ways to circumvent them, causing frustration and a subpar finished product.
Research Before You Start
Do ample research to better understand what you’re working with, what your model will need to convey, and what you’re able to do or learn before you begin. You may feel as though this isn’t your first rodeo and be gung-ho to start. It never hurts to slow down and ensure your confidence is well-founded.
A part of the research process is creating a plan for how you’ll handle things. It also gives you the opportunity to collect imagery and art inspiration that you’ll either use directly for building models or to give you an idea of how to build something from various inspiration points.
Keep it Simple
Start simple and don’t get ahead of yourself. When creating character models, take a basic approach and follow the natural contours of the human body. Only add detail where you need to. For example, if you’re creating an NPC who you only see from far away, you don’t need to spend time detailing fingers and facial features. Optimize your models to the platform you’ll be using, even if it means aiming for a lower polygon count than you had hoped to present.
Finding that balance between art and technology is a skill mastered by a select few. When building models, remember to prioritize your efforts and work smarter rather than harder. With the right tools and the right approach, you’ll create beautiful character models that will enhance your gameplay.