Friday, 10 January 2014

Ubisoft Character Project ~Part 2

This project was really enjoyable, mainly that both the subjects involved were two that I have a big interest and passion for: Character design and Japanese History (specifically the samurai culture). From the outset, I was pretty much set on creating the historical warrior, Tomoe Gozen, being one of the most notable female warriors in Japanese history there was a lot of strong reference material available, both in old artwork depictions of her and depictions of people dressed as her during traditional Japanese festivals. This had both its good and bad points, as even though it gave me a good starting point it also meant that It made it hard to drift from the depictions of her that were already out there, especially as I was wanting to depict her as historically accurate as possible. With this in mind, with conceiting I focused on her costume mostly, trying to fashion something existing in style, but of my own design and colour scheme. Needless to say I wanted something fairly extravagant for such a famous warriors, so looked at clashing colours, which were often used in high ranking generals uniforms and armour. 

The base mesh for my depiction of Tomoe gozen: Made the effort of including a lot of the ornamental aspects of the traditional samurai armour from the 12th century, with lots of fancy rope work and knots, holding all of the plates of the armour together. There are some areas that could have been improved, such as the folds on her leg wear, as it looks poofy, but now as billowing as I wanted it to. It was one of those things I spent ages trying to fix, and yet couldn't get it to look right. One aspect I was really pleased with though, was how accurate i was able to get the armour style down, so I think having good research and knowledge on how it is all held together really helped in making it authentic. 

I had roughly over 3000 spare tri's I could have used to add extra detail to areas looking at my final tri count. I think this would have probably benefited some parts of the mesh that needed to deform during the rigging process. Also the rigging itself had a few small noticeable issues that I ran out of time to fix, with some verts sticking to parts of the mesh I didn't want. Also would have liked the time to play around with different poses, with different prop weapons but my schedule didn't allow me to fit all that in.
Apart from small niggles (that I'll always have, being a perfectionist) I'm really happy with the final outcome of this project. I had quite ambitious plans to make things to support the final character, such as more weapons to pose with and even a horse! (as she was often depicted on horseback)  but that in itself is a big challenge, so obviously had to cut that part out. I think because I was so ambitious and excited about creating this character though, really helped in contributing towards making a strong piece of work. Given more time, I'd probably tweak specular levels on certain areas, polish up the rigging more and maybe look at adding more detail to the diffuse for the face, to add more depth.

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