So, for those of you who have just now stumbled upon this blog of mine. I have been giving insight into our second year Game Design Studies finals game project, some backstory and what I have worked on for it.
So far most of my work has had a lot of do with character design and doing 2D art. Which may seem a bit off for when the project itself is for a 3D game. Well, that is just how it is for the earlier stages of 3D games. You put together ideas and create art to further develop into 3D stuff.
HiddenMaxDesign on 3D
So you might be thinking: “Does this guy even know anything about 3D?”. As a matter of fact, I do. Would be kinda dumb to go into a 3D project without any prior knowledge on the subject, now wouldn’t it? A ton of unnecessary stress and time put into things that are not the game itself if you do that.
As part of our second year of studies in Game Design and Art we have been taught how to create things in 3D in the sense of how a game designer makes them to make it fit for different type of games. It was during this period where one of the characters that you can play as was created – The so called “Dyrkare” which is a combination of the two Swedish words Dykare (Diver) and someone who “Dyrkar” something (Worshipping something)
I myself did not have a hand in the creation of this character. Those honors go to my three fellow teammates. I did a different character who in no way has anything to do with A Rat Betwixt.
Then why am I mentioning it? Well, to give some background with my experience in 3D. Also to move on to the first 3D work I did for this project.
I was given the task of “Skinning” this character since they found some issues with the earlier version. Skinning is the process of making sure that the 3D model correctly follows the character’s “skeleton”. Just like how our bodies are being held up by a skeleton, the same goes for 3D characters. To be able to correctly control and animate a character, it first needs to be skinned onto the skeleton’s bones.
Let me give you an example:
To the left you can see a version which is correctly skinned. If you move the arm, then only the right parts of the arms will follow etc. However, to the right you can see the model with incorrect skinning. The forearm is pulling on the upper arm, the legs are all messed up, everything’s just wrong.
It becomes like this because you have to tell the skeleton what parts of the model to pull from when you bend let’s say the arm. Some parts can be skinned directly onto the firearm, such as the part between the hand and the elbow. But let’s say the skin in between your forearm and upper arm is affected by both parts when opening and closing your arms. Those parts needs a lot of finetuning to become right and it is just a ton of trial and error until you get it right.
What I’ve learned
It has been some time since I skinned my character during our 3D studies, so I had a bit of catching up to do. Doing this again I have become a lot more efficient when it comes to skinning 3D models to create good models to animate without the visuals acting up and destroying themselves.
Doing this is also helping me get a better understanding what makes a good 3D model good and what makes it work correctly when preparing for animations. Even if the model looks good it does not mean that it will be good when animated. If you do not have enough information on the model to skin onto the bones, there will be problems that you can not fix with skinning. If the model is done poorly, it will clearly show in the long run.
I feel like it is difficult to really show off just using images, and this model did not have any of those issues. So I can’t really show the problems off! I’m so sorry! Just imagine certain parts not bending properly because it did not have any good parts on the model to bend around and attach to.
Well, hopefully this blog post isn’t too much of a bust! Hopefully I’ve been able to give you enough information to see what is going on!
Next Blog Post I will make sure to show you some more interesting 3D stuff coming from me. Skinning is kind of the most boring part of working with 3D by far! Well, other than finding stuff like this V
Until next time, take care!