Andrew O
United States
Texas
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I am working on a game, and my 2d character art is getting to a point where I can turn it into a 3D model to eventually be turned into a board game miniature. I am just looking for some pointers and the correct lingo about this subject. Any advice is welcome.

Also, if you would be interested in the project let me know and I can share more details.

Thanks,

Andrew
 
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Santiago
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Modeling is kind of the same thing. I mean, all is modeling.

Typically people referred to modeling when they were in initial or intermediate stages of the process to differentiate it from sculpting.

But technically speaking, all what allows you to build a mesh, in my book, is 3D modeling.

I usually start modeling in Wings3D, and if the model requires high level of mesh detail, I would export it to Sculptris or other of the similar free available options today. There I would finish it. Then it depends on if it goes for a miniature, or is to be used for a current gen video game model, but I'd rarely get involved in this: Is very expensive to commission this: Today it needs the high end detail mesh to be converted to normal maps or another type of 2D file that a game engine will use to fake the detail over a lower polygon count mesh, or a rendering/animation package (for film), where it will be loaded also over a slightly different lower mesh too, just to avoid the scene overload, faster render, etc. Doing the whole video game character thing (by one only person, often people don't have all these profiles) today tedious as it could get: Thanks to the arrival of PBR rendering, one needs to make a lot more maps than before, and involves a whole new workflow and even software tools.

What you want to do is more often commissioned, just doing a mesh in high detail. Indeed, never ever as high as in a video game characters, as not even the best online printing services can pull that much detail into resins, metals or plastics. (nor their machines have enough resolution, neither can have workflows allowing it)

There's some people that start from scratch in specialized sculpting packages like Zbrush. I feel a bit of awkward that way, but that's me, rather preferring to model in subdivs with Wings3D or Blender, then export to Sculptris or the like. (Blender is having some nice sculpting features, I kind of yet prefer Sculptris for that. )

I made the experiment of reaching very high end detail just with subdivs, (subdivision modeling), where you control every vertex, and every wireframe loop (great for games and animation), and while you can get to nice tiny face wrinkles and all, there's a point where is more practical just to export to a specialized sculpting software/tool.


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