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6 Useful Tips for Building 3D Game Characters

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  • The gaming industry is growing by leaps and bounds, so it’s no wonder many people are choosing to make a career in this field. With talk of a PS5 on the horizon, 3D gaming is moving on further each year. Video games are actually comprised of several aspects, some of which are more important than others.

    The plot, story, and landscapes definitely matter, but what are gamers seeing on their screen all the time?

    Their own characters!

    The characters in a video game can have personal relevance and provide a foundation to the rest of the story. Each 3D character idea starts small, but they could become major parts of the gaming experience. Read on for some valuable tips on how to build the most amazing 3D game characters:

    1. Know the Program

    Even the best game designer on the planet has certain restrictions and limitations. These could be based on their skills or the programs you’re using. However, this is exactly why you have to know every nuance of the design software.

    Take your sweet time in knowing the features of the program and having them on your fingertips. If you get stuck or confused, touch base with some online discussion forums or good old Googling. There are several tutorials, videos, and other guides online that can help in learning programs such as Maya and Autodesk. You can also learn a whole lot about film, gaming and animation with PhotoModeler.

    2. Start Small

    When you already have a character idea in your head, it’s tempting to start thinking about the details from the very beginning. There’s no harm in jotting down a few ideas when they’re flowing but keep those aside for a time when you get stuck. When you start the actual development, keep things as simple and minimalistic as possible. Rushing into everything at once would only lead to a lot of mistakes.

    You hence have to first block out the figures with something like cylinders. This will help to see the proportion and help the shapes come together. Having all this down will then help with moving forward and adding embellishments.

    3. Avoid Adding Extra Details

    You can add the details that you actually need, but anything else is just going to weigh your character down. This character has to walk through a whole game and interact with several other animations. Hence, most people are going to look at how it operates, not so much on how it looks. While working on the character then, zoom out every now. After this, you’ll be able to see how the character would appear to the final user.

    This way, you wouldn’t waste much time on a trifling detail that wouldn’t even make much difference. At the end of the day, you want your character to look good in a streamlined, smooth manner. The embellishments should ideally also have some function, or not be there at all.

    4. Stay Natural

    When you’re in the process of building your model, you should start thinking ahead of each step. The topology should ideally mimic a natural human muscle layout. This will make it seem more natural when moving about in the gaming world.

    There’s no need to have every sort of muscle etching on the character’s surface. The normal map, though, would provide a nice amount of detail. This will establish the foundation of the model’s movements. If this is correct, the arm and shoulder muscles will twist and turn like the real thing.

    5. Do Something About The Gaming Deformities

    When deformities come up, gamers can feel disconnected from the game. You don’t want anyone to lose sight of their gaming experience, so make sure you have enough geometry in your characters to prevent deformation. Some extra polygons are better than falling short, so play it safe in this case.

    The most common deformity areas are the joint parts. These include the elbows and knees, so make sure to give them extra attention.

    6. Make Sure The Character Is Clean and Organized

    You may have spent a lot of time on your character, but don’t expect everyone to automatically recognize the final model for what it is. There are several other aspects to every game, so you need to label your work clearly with the correct names for each part. What’s even more important is to delete anything that’s not essential. This way, your character goes into the game without the extra baggage weighing it down.

    If there’s the construction history the company requires, try to include it. This will allow the animators to know what they’re dealing with.

    Wrapping Up

    3D game characters are certainly one of the most memorable aspects of the gaming experience. Once you add the finishing touches, you could have an iconic character on your hands. Be sure to get a decent rigging system for controlling the character’s movements. This will help the animators bring the characters to life and make them more fun in playing.

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