The Last Knight


The last couple of years photogrammetry has become a fast methode to transform 2D images into a 3D object . I've been experimenting during this summer with small objects but wanted something more challenging. So what do you do... you scan your head!

My dad, who has been a great help during this process (he must have shot a 1000 photo's of me), helped me getting the right set of photo's, that took a while since I didn't exactly knew the right methods for achieving usable photo's.

So after a couple of days trying I got, as you can see in the picture below, a quite messy mesh out of Agisoft's Photoscan that required a lot of cleaning up in Zbrush.
I missed one ear and a large portion of the other one. I also had to get rid of the hair.
After about 10 hours of cleaning up in Zbrush I was ready to create the texture for the head by using photo's from the photoscan session and painted over the mesh. 


After doing retopology in Cinema 4D I got the head to a reasonable amount of 10.998 polygons, this was around the maximum amount of polygons I wanted to have for the head.
It was during this time that I decided to push this project further than I intended when I started with the scan. I wanted to make a warrior of myself and keep it fairly low poly but not so low that it would affect the roundness of corners and such.
The pose would be warrior after a battle, mourning his comrades.
So after seeing the movie "The Last Knight" with Clive Owen I decided to use the armour sets seen in that movie as my guidline for creating the clothing.

I created the base meshes for the garment under the armour in Marvelous Designer and after that, I took them into Zbrush to adjust them for the armour and boots on top of them, creating folds, streching and seams.
After retopologizing most of the meshes by hand I exported the base mesh of the whole character to Substance Painter where I baked the maps and created the textures.
I skipped retopologizing the pants and the gloves and used Zremesher instead. I did not want to spent longer on this project as necessary and since this wasn't going to be a game character I found it not important to go through that time consuming process again.

I wanted to approach the hair with the hair cards method. After much thinking and trying out that technique I went for Zbrush's Fibermesh instead. The character just didn't look realistic with the hair cards and found out that I needed more practise using that method.

The project was rendered out in Marmoset Toolbag since I wanted to stick with the PBR approach.
The video below shows a turntable animation of the project.



What have I learned throughout this creative journey?
Besides getting a 3D representation of my head? Well, a lot!
First of all getting more familiar with programs like Substance Painter and Marmoset Toolbag. These are really important since they're focused on PBR and this is something that's becoming a standard in the industry.
Compositing a turntable animation is something that I haven't done before in After Effects, which I think turned out nicely.
Painting all kinds of maps for the face to achieve a realistic result. Maps like sub-dermis ( which i.e is the effect when you shine a with a flashlight through your hand and the edges turn red), thickness and roughness.

Also getting a better understanding of the working of clothing patterns in Marvelous Designer, unwrapping a mesh in Maya, the process of creating hair cards, baking maps in Substance Painter and probably more than what I can think of right now.

What would I change the next time doing a project like this?
Definitely adding hair cards instead of Fibermesh to keep it extra low poly.
I'd also add a slight body movement animation and make the eyelids adjustable for opening and closing. Since this wasn't supposed to be a whole project I kept that part out.
As for the clothing, the fabric part, I'd probably spent more time creating folds and the like.

The overall polycount (without the dense Fibermesh hair) stands at 98892 polygons. Which is slightly too high for ingame meshes, i.e the game The Order 1886's main character are between 60-80K. I'd probably have gotten under the 80K if I had retopologized the gloves and pants by hand and a bit less poly's on the ears.
I've gotten a good understading of how game meshes and objects should look and work (behind the scenes too) at the end of this project so my next game related project will be lower poly and more optimized for game engines.

Programms Used:
-Cinema 4D 
-Zbrush 
-Marvelous Designer
-Substance Painter
-Marmoset Toolbag
-Photoshop
-After Effects

-January 2017

Bonus postcard!