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Fast Character Modeling?

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Hello all!

Just a quick question about art for 3d games.  I'm going to be designing a top down twin stick shooter style game using UE4 (after I finish their tutorial) and I'd like to try and use my own characters.  I see games such as Geometry Wars, but I'd like to feature 3d animated characters and weapons, etc. 

It seems that trying to make my own characters would take an absurd amount of time and software pipelines in order to create a fully skeletal-rigged painted model.  What is free or cheap online isn't very attractive, and I don't have the money to buy something great.. 

I'm okay with the dinky art that I would no doubt create myself, but I'm hoping any of you might have suggestions on how to create my own characters quickly, so as not to spend so much more time on character art than actual level and mechanics design.

 

Thanks for any and all input!

Chris

Edited by karizu

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If you could create a single base model with animations you could reuse it for all your characters and add variation by simply having accessories you attach to the different bones of the rig.

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Rome was not built in a day, and sometimes you gotta break a fee eggs to make a real mayonnaise.

About the best you can do is download some public domain stuff and edit from there.  Once you have a textured mesh, half the work is done, and all you have to do is rig and animate. 

High quality free models are rare / non-existent.  My plan to overcome this is to weld a better head onto an adequate body i found online.

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Give Mixamo a look and see if it fits your needs.

The best advice is to aim low, the character models in AAA games have 3D modelers, animators, actors, directors and designers behind them. Hover a single low poly model with a minimal rig can be made and used by only a single person.

A other option is to find a artist willing to work with you, a lot of new 3D modelers are willing to help to gain some experience, the down side is they have little to no experience and is why they are looking for more.

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I second ScoutingNinja on Mixamo. I've used it for most of my character rigging, and it works great.

This probably isn't a super popular tool amongst professionals, but you can also give MakeHuman a look. It's free, and it gives you some control over making a baseline mesh which you can export, maybe modify a bit in something like Maya, and then throw into Mixamo and get it rigged. It's not superb quality (obviously a modeled from scratch character will look tons better) but it is at least a quick method, and one that you can modify on your own later if need be.

I do believe that there's no restrictions on MakeHumans mesh, so you can use it commercially. At the minimum it's fairly open ended in terms of licensing.

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you can also give MakeHuman a look

i just happened to be evaluating that over the weekend.  Can't seem to use it to make a pretty girl.  

 

There also is Manuel Bastioni Laboratory as well.

I have only moved some sliders around, But it is similar to MakeHuman.

You should (double) check the licenses for the resulting models.

IIRC Bastioni Lab base models are Creative Commons.

 

HTH

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you can also give MakeHuman a look

i just happened to be evaluating that over the weekend.  Can't seem to use it to make a pretty girl.

It really isn't the best piece of software, but imo it generates a good baseline that, with a bit of modeling and playing with, can be used to make a decentish model. Most of my work these days is CG/art, and not so much actual coding, so while I do like to cut corners, I can afford to spend some time on playing with the geometry.

I will say that anyone who wants high quality character models, there's no easy click a button thing to do it, usually. At lest, not one that I've heard of.

you can also give MakeHuman a look

i just happened to be evaluating that over the weekend.  Can't seem to use it to make a pretty girl.
There also is Manuel Bastioni Laboratory as well.
I have only moved some sliders around, But it is similar to MakeHuman.
You should (double) check the licenses for the resulting models.
IIRC Bastioni Lab base models are Creative Commons.
 
HTH

I've never heard of that one before. I'll be honest, I'm not really very well versed in Blender. I'm mostly a Maya modeler. I've also tried Poser, though I cannot figure it out for the life of me.

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