The process of creating Durham Red was actually quite long as I wasn’t so much concerned about finishing it to a final product as I was about exploring the possibilities and techniques.

This is the base mesh I started with in Zbrush. Now I know its not the usual evenly quaded mesh that you’d normally start with but I already knew where I needed the most polys and which bits would be covered up. Since the computer I was working on wasn’t ideal I had to ensure I got the most out of the mesh so I made sure the divisions were where they’d be the most useful. I didn’t want loops in the face as i didn’t want them to dictate the shape early on.

Her head naturally needed most detail, her legs less as I knew her stockings would be a separate mesh and her legs would be covered in leather/PVC. With the tights separate I could get them to stretch across wrinkles instead of following them which I hoped would add a little more realism. If I needed localised detail for fine wrinkles on the PVC I could subdivide later. Her torso I wasn’t sure about. My understanding of her bodice was vague at best and changed quite a few times during the process. Just when I though I’d got a handle on its construction I’d find an image that showed me to be wrong. The original plan was to sculpt directly onto her body mesh but eventually I created a separate mesh and exercised a lot of artistic licence to get it to work.

Her form and proportions were roughed out and then exported to 3D Coat where I created the meshes for her various items of clothing, straps etc.. Bulky items such as her knee pads, belt details and such were exported to Lightwave where they were then built up.

Before poly-painting her I exported a medium resolution version out to 3D Coat where I built the game mesh over the top and then UV’d it in Lightwave.

This is the final base mesh, through sculpting and poly painting.

Once I was happy with the poly paint I decimated her and exported the obj with vertex colours. Using xNormal I as then able to bake her colour and normals down onto the low res mesh. In photoshop I reworked and tidied up the normal and diffuse textures and from the latter created the spec, emission and transparency maps.

And when finally applied to the low res game model she looks like this.

Her gun model was only created as a high res mesh for a couple of images I’m planning..

This personal project was enjoyable and invaluable and I gained more from it than I could of hoped. While I’m happy with the final model I can see where it can be improved and that alone is worth the time spent and lessons learnt. I’ve a good half a dozen more planned.