Retired Yakuza Demos...

These are some demos from an old class at the School of visual Arts a few years ago.  The course covered some basic character design in 2D and 3D and converting the design into a production ready asset. 

I know a bunch of us are still stuck in the house, and if this helps even one person out there pass the time, stay sane, and stay safe, then I am more than happy to share. 


This was a sketch I did on my ipad based on the initial prompt I got from a student.  The prompt was "Old, Retired, Yakuza."  There were several sketches and some reference gathering of alleged older, former members of the Yakuza.  This was the sketch we ended up going with a base for the design.


This was a block-in of the head sculpted in Zbrush.


After the initial shape pass has progressed a little, designing with color is the next step.  Seeing the color and shapes together can really help flesh out the design, even if it's not a final product, ready for production.   The tools these days are fast and responsive enough for this kind of iterative design in 3D (the entire premise of this course).


When working for/with others, you want to show your work clearly.  With a rough pass of shape and color blocked in, here we talk quickly about lighting and setting up a quick turntable in Zbrush.  


A quick technique for blocking in some teeth.  This was our first time working outside of Zbrush in Maya.  You can absolutely do this in Zbrush as well, but I felt more comfortable at the time doing this sort of thing in Maya.  I try to stay tool agnostic, and use the best path I know how at any given time.  


Although the head is far from done at this point, it's blocked in enough to move on to blocking out the character's body.   Coming back to the head sculpt later ill also allow me to approach that aspect of the character with fresh eyes. 


After establishing some initial proportions, we can refine the shapes a bit.  It's important for to think of these things in steps, because it allows me to make changes and evaluate thing in stages.  I'm not smart enough to do everything all at once.


After adding some fingers and toes, the base body is blocked in and merged with the head, and we have first pass at all the shapes.


Once the blocking of shapes is done, we have to begin thinking of what might be needed to make the mesh more suitable for production.  In this next series of videos, we discuss retopology.


For the final few videos in this series, we talk about UV layout and texture blocking in Substance Painter.  I kept things simple here, and went old school video game style -- single udim for everything.  Yes, it means there are some sacrifices made for texture resolution, but in a nutshell, it's about learning the basic tools and if we did that, I feel OK if we didn't go too deep into technicality.

Thanks for checking these videos out.  And, if you hear me chastising the class participants about not watching the videos, apologies you had to listen to me moan about that, but hey -- they were not watching the videos anyway, so they never had to hear it! :-P .