Modeling a Robot Game Character with Blender

by CG Cookie in Training

Learn to achieve AAA game quality characters with Blender. Demystify the industry-inspired workflow of digital sculpting, kit-bashing, and retopology to score the highest quality details on top of efficient, low-poly models. Follow Kent Trammell through this awesome course and build the robot of your hard surface dreams.


Chapter Overview

  1. Block Out
    We gotta start somewhere. This stage is merely generating the basic shapes from which our robot will be forged.
  2. Sculpting I

    I always try to get into sculpt mode as fast as possible with characters. At this stage we begin shaping rudimentary forms.

  3. Sculpting II

    Further refinement of sculpted forms. The goal here is to sharpen edges and smooth surfaces to the point that they appear "hard-surfaced".

  4. Retopology I

    Since digital clay is never going to appear perfectly hard-surface with a machined quality, this stage converts the sculpture to a subdivision-smoothable polygon model to achieve true hard-surface quality for our robot.

  5. Boolean-based Kit Bashing

    Till this point, fine details have been ignored in favor of smooth, sharp-edged major shapes. For this stage, we'll use those major shapes as our canvas to add fine details like bolts, construction lines, and other robot-y details. We'll also use this stage to fill in any model gaps that have proven easier/more efficient to model with traditional polygon tools rather than sculpting + retopology.

  6. Retopology II

    Another retopology. But this time it's the low resolution version that will be used in-game. This stage will leave us with 2 versions of our character: 1) A high-resolution version and a 2) low-resolution version.

Keep your eyes open for the second training in this series where Kent will take you through texturing and shading your robot character.

  1. Block Out
    We gotta start somewhere. This stage is merely generating the basic shapes from which our robot will be forged.
    • Getting Started with Image Planes-6 min
    • Blocking Out Panels-10 min
    • Blocking Out the Leg-12 min
    • Block Out Continued (Timelapse)-6 min
    • Block Out Finished-13 min

  2. Sculpting I

    I always try to get into sculpt mode as fast as possible with characters. At this stage we begin shaping rudimentary forms.

    • Sculpting the Thigh Guard-9 min
    • Sculpting Knee & Shin Panels (Timelapse)-4 min
    • Sculpting the Leg-21 min
    • Sculpting the Foot (Timelapse)-9 min
    • Sculpting the Arm (Timelapse)-10 min
    • Sculpting the Torso-20 min
    • Sculpting the Abdomen-20 min
    • Sculpting the Head & Hands (Timelapse)-13 min

  3. Sculpting II

    Further refinement of sculpted forms. The goal here is to sharpen edges and smooth surfaces to the point that they appear "hard-surfaced".

    • Refining Proportions-5 min
    • Refining the Thigh Guard-12 min
    • Refining the Torso-19 min
    • Refining the Abdomen-5 min
    • Refining the Front Pelvis Panel (Timelapse)-7 min
    • Refining the Arm (Timelapse)-22 min

  4. Retopology I

    Since digital clay is never going to appear perfectly hard-surface with a machined quality, this stage converts the sculpture to a subdivision-smoothable polygon model to achieve true hard-surface quality for our robot.

    • Retopologizing the Thigh Guard-21 min
    • Retopologizing the Forearm I-17 min
    • Retopologizing the Forearm II (Timelapse)-9 min
    • Retopologizing the Torso (Timelapse)-15 min

  5. Boolean-based Kit Bashing

    Till this point, fine details have been ignored in favor of smooth, sharp-edged major shapes. For this stage, we'll use those major shapes as our canvas to add fine details like bolts, construction lines, and other robot-y details. We'll also use this stage to fill in any model gaps that have proven easier/more efficient to model with traditional polygon tools rather than sculpting + retopology.

    • Kit-bashing Overview-12 min
    • Bool Tool and the Thigh Guard-11 min
    • Finish Detailing the Thigh Guard-21 min
    • Detailing the Abdomen-15 min
    • Kit-bashing Compilation (Timelapse)-9 min

  6. Retopology II

    Another retopology. But this time it's the low resolution version that will be used in-game. This stage will leave us with 2 versions of our character: 1) A high-resolution version and a 2) low-resolution version.

    • Game-res Character Model Overview-5 min 
    • Game-res Thigh Guard I-9 min
    • Game-res Thigh Guard II-8 min
    • Combining Objects with Retopology-4 min
    • Detail Simplification-3 min
    • Tapering Shapes, Tapering Edges-3 min
    • Trick Silhouettes-2 min
    • Icospheres and the Power of Normal Maps-4 min
    • Game-res Conclusion-1 min

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