February 5, 2023

3D Character Modeling: Creation Steps and Tips

Thanks to technological progress and the ambitions of artists in films or games, animations are increasingly appearing with stunning effects obtained through graphics. The most outstanding achievements in this field include the appearance on the screens of characters fully formed using computer graphics. Our culture is already accustomed to the idea that we perceive a video game character as a celebrity, flashing on the covers of magazines and posters and even being invited to play a role in a real feature film.

With the growing role of 3D characters, it’s no surprise that characters are the most common motivator for getting into modeling. But 3D character modeling may be the most difficult because of the many methods, styles, and examples of character modeling; it is difficult at first to choose the most suitable one. 

What is Character Modeling

The combination of 3D is so common that people do not even delve into its meaning. The main meaning of the term 3D is the transition from flat space to three-dimensional space close to reality. This technique is also used to create 3D character models and volumetric images.

During 3D modeling, a three-dimensional virtual model of the character is created using the software designed for this purpose. Through 3D animation, these models “come to life” and exist in virtual reality and, if necessary, perform certain tasks partially in real reality. Modern, The most significant advantages of 3D characters are:

  • Realism: using a 3D model, you can achieve any level of detail – from simple schematics to photographic accuracy;
  • Quality of animation: the character is easy to control – it will perform any action, and for this, it does not need to be redrawn in different poses;
  • Ease of operation: programs allow you to change the model with a few mouse movements;
  • Visualization: a three-dimensional computer model looks much more colorful than a 2D drawing.

3D design for games includes the correct use of tools or software professional skills of artists, animators, and modelers so that the product comes out of the highest class. It doesn’t matter what the purpose of game character modeling is, but to please the viewer, it must be endowed with an individual character, unique appearance, etc. Here is a general and brief description of 3D character modeling. Let’s move on to the process.

How to Make a 3D Character Model: 5 Steps to Create and Bring a 3D Character to Life

how to make a 3D character model

For modern three-dimensional graphics and animation, a variety of possibilities are open. Objects for 3D modeling are usually people, fairy-tale creatures, animals, plants, and robots. Sometimes there are “revived” electronic devices, household appliances, furniture, and other inanimate objects. The 3D character modeling process can be divided into 5 main steps:

  • Concepts and 3D character design. As in any other business, we should start with the idea we need to express in concepts. This is an important stage, which will be the foundation for all further work.
  • Sculpting a high poly model. The main task is to create the most detailed model. Because, at the next stages, it will be problematic to introduce any detail.
  • Texturing. When texturing, the 3D modeler selects the materials and colors for the model. Experts will agree that this process is an act of true art. However, when creating a 3D character, it becomes necessary to pre-prepare the UV map. In cinematography, this task is assigned to a separate expert – a texture artist.
  • Mapping. Creating texture maps is an automatic process. They are used (for example, Normal Map, Ambient Occlusion, etc.) to transfer detail from the most detailed high poly model to a simplified one.
  • Rigging. Have you heard of skeletal animation? You probably have some idea of what it is. Therefore, this stage includes the study of animations and, in fact, the character’s life.

A few words about sculpting: before the creation of applications such as ZBrush and Mudbox, 3D character modeling primarily consisted of block modeling techniques. Sculpting applications are now playing a huge role in the industry, allowing the modeler to create intricate details that would otherwise be next to impossible with traditional block modeling techniques or take too long to create a 3D modeling for games.

Final Thoughts

We briefly reviewed the key stages in developing 3D characters and their animation models. Of course, it is impossible to fully cover this topic in a short review. If you are looking for a better and faster rendering process you should use cloud rendering services provided by render farms such as RebusFarm, you can get a free trial to render faster than ever.

Remember one simple thought: teams of first-class specialists have created all the 3D characters you see in games and movies over the years. To succeed in this direction, you need a lot of study, practice, and heed the advice of experts.

About the author 

Kyrie Mattos

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