Hi guys, some time ago I posted here a poll to see which kind of characters are in highest demand, to start a crowdfunding campaign to create a low poly character collection. It took me a while, because I wanted to create the first model of the collection as an example of the quality that I'm aiming for the rest of models, but finally I found some time to make this model and organize all the stuff for the campaign.
I paste it here as well:
Hello folks, I'm Tucho Fernández and I am a senior game artist with 9+ years experience working for companies such as Grin Studios or Ubisoft. Last years I have also worked on many titles as a freelancer, some of them also AAA.
Below you can see some of the games on which I have worked - feel free to check out my full portfolio and CV on my website
Since I became a freelancer I was thinking on the idea of create a character collection for game developers (or anyone who need some good looking character models for any 3D project).
There are lots of models and collections available for purchase on internet, but most of them have a poor quality and the good quality ones are pretty expensive for indie developers. My goal is to create an affordable but high quality collection.
The thing is that I didn't find time to make it, because the work for my clients keep me totally busy. To monetize a collection like this, selling the models on sites like Turbosquid, etc. would take years of sales, so it is not an option, because at the end of the month I have to pay the bills as everyone.
I found that crowdfunding is the best option to start a sustainable business: If this campaign is successful, I'll have funds to maintain my business while I work on the models for the collection and the backers will get stunning models for a very good price.
I need the money to cover my costs during the time I work on the collection, but I've calculated the price for these models under my normal rates, because I hope to make some more money selling the collection once it is finished, so in this campaign I can offer a really good price for the models.
I'll also use part of the budget to contract an animator to create an animation library for the models. I'm able to model and texture with AAA quality but I'm not a good animator, so I prefer that this part is done by a professional, to keep the quality of the pack (models+animations) to the same quality standards.
I have made the first model of the collection as an example of the quality that I'm aiming for the rest of them; this should give you a clear idea of what we're talking about.
I have made polls on several developers' forums to see which kind of characters are in highest demand. As you can see, the winner was the "normal people" collection, but right behind it were the "medieval characters" and the "zombie" collections, so if this campaign is successful, I'll try to create new ones to expand this collection and create others.
The idea is that the models be as versatile as possible, so I make them pretty lowpoly (under 2500 triangles), which makes them suitable for mobile devices, but at the same time detailed enough to be used also on PC and console projects -or even on a render project if it don't need a close up of the characters.
Each character will have 2 materials, one for the skin and another for clothing. Each material will have diffuse, normal and specular textures.
Provided textures will be 1024x1024 or 512x1024, but they should work fine at half or even at a quarter of the original size, if the characters are not shown too close to the camera.
Each character will also include 3 color variation textures for clothing, and there are perks that allow you to purchase premium characters which will include also the layered PSD source files, so you can edit them easily to create as many color variations as you need.
The characters' heads will be interchangeable (within the same gender), so it will be possible to create different characters simply by changing the head and the clothing colors.
I created White and Black heads for this example, but I plan to create also Asian ones. Each character will include 2 head variations, and the whole collection will include 6 characters (3 male and 3 female) plus 12 heads (6 male and 6 female).
Keeping in mind that each character will have also 3 color variation textures, the number of possible variations using different heads + different clothing + different clothing color textures will be pretty high, so it will be easy to create a varied crowd using this collection.
For example, the crowd below was created using just 1 character and 2 heads, imagine how would look a crowd created using the whole collection of 6 character and 12 heads.
The collection will also include some props for the characters.
The models will be rigged with Character Studio, so you can animate them using any BIP mocap file, but anyway the collection will also include its own animation library. The exact number of animations will depend a bit on the rates of the animator that I'll contract for this job, but the library will at the very least include a minimum of basic animations like: idle, walk, run, etc., and some ones interacting with the included props: talking on the phone, walking with an umbrella, etc.
The models will be provided in both 3ds Max (source file) and FBX format.
FBX format is compatible with most 3D programs, so you can import the models on your favorite 3D program if you are not a 3ds Max user.
FBX is also usable directly on some game engines like Unity 3D, so if you are an Unity user (or an user of any other engine which supports FBX) you won't even have to export the models to your engine -you will be able to place them directly in game.
As I said before, the full collection will include 6 models with different clothing (3 texture color variations each clothing) and 12 heads (6 male and 6 female).
On the picture below you can see a sketch and a description of each character. The different perks allow you to purchase just the character or characters that you're interested on, or directly the whole collection.
The different perks allow you also to choose between the standard and the premium characters.
Standard characters will include the models in both 3ds Max and FBX formats, the textures in TGA format and the animation library in both BIP and FBX format.
Premium characters will include the same than the standard ones, but also the Zbrush and Photoshop source files. This means that you will also receive the highpoly ZTL model and the layered PSD file, which will allow you to modify the models and textures as much as you want.
There is also a perk which allow you to put your face to one of the characters; I just need 3 pictures of your head (front, side and back) with neutral illumination
$5,500- Each character will include 3 interchangeable heads instead 2, so the complete collection would expand to 18 interchangeable heads (9 for male and 9 for female).
$7,500- Bonus characters: all the backers will receive the boy and girl characters, including 3 texture color variations for clothing as the rest of characters and 6 interchangeable heads (3 for the boy and 3 for the girl, White, Black and Asian in each case). They will include also a specific animation library.
$9,500- Bonus characters: all the backers will receive the chubby male and female models with 3 texture color variations and 6 interchangeable heads (3 for male and 3 for female, White, Black and Asian in each case). They will include also a specific animation library.
If this campaign is successful, indie developers will obtain a high quality and versatile character collection for a very affordable price.
These models will can be used for unlimited purposes, from games to architectural presentations, serious gaming or even render projects.
A lot of developers will find these models really useful also as placeholders, to create professional looking demos and prototypes and use them to get funds to develop the final projects, so part of these funds can be used to create specific models for these projects if necessary.
If you are not directly interested on this collection, but know any person or team who could find it useful, please share this campaign.
I really appreciate any help to spread this campaign by sharing it on social networks, forums, etc.
Thank you in advance!