Welcome to another article in my Rellusion series. As I said in a previous article, one of my aims is to test iClone and Character Creator on one of my current projects, a horror game titled Just Let Me Go. So, this time I will show a little bit of that as I take a deeper look at Character Creator. I began by working on Amelia, the protagonist of the game.
First of all, I have to mention that I purchased the bundle that includes Character Creator with the Head Shot and SkinGen, and a big collection of face and body morphs, while I was previously using the demo. The reason I did it was because I found Character Creator would still save me a lot of time, even if I still animated everything by hand.
To begin creating Amelia I simply went ahead and used the default woman that loads when you start Character Creator. I obviously already have an Amelia in the game, and I am pretty happy with the result, so I only wanted a more realistic version, while retaining the proportions of the original as much as possible. Character heights in Just Let Me Go are very important, and I am using the heights as a way to contrast the protagonist and the enemies. For example, Amelia is 150 cm tall (4.92 feet) but the enemy currently available in the prototype is 180 cm tall (5.9 feet). Luckily, you can easily tell Character Creator to display the character's height. I just needed to open the preferences window and turn on the "Display Info" setting. This will display important info like triangle count, used memory and, more important, character height. I also set the display units to centimeters, as that's the unit I use for measuring.
Another thing I did was to decrease the render quality for this step, because my main concern was the body shape, not the quality of the skin. There's a selector on the top toolbar that lets you do that.
While you can use the move and rotate tools on the character, you can't use the scale tool (it's grayed out when you select a character). To change the size of the character, you need to use one of the dials and, in my case, I reduced the woman's height with the Character Scale A parameter.
There's also a parameter called "character height" but that one works as a parameter to "squash and stretch" your character, rather than applying uniform scale to it. When I tried it, the result was more like turning the woman into a hobbit, as you can see in the image below.
A nice tip is that you can actually go beyond the limits set in the parameter sliders. For example, the "Character Height" slider shown above goes from -100 to 100, but I manually entered the value of 165 to make her even shorter. This works for all the parameter dials, but since you are going off the limits sometimes you may get unwanted results.
With the correct height, I moved on to work on the body. To do this I spent a long tome alt-tabbing between Window 10's 3D model viewer and Character Creator to get the right look of her body. In a lot of the situations, this process was a back and forth between different parameters, like tweaking her waist width and waist scale, or tweaking her ribcage, chest width and chest depth. For example, to get her waist shape I reduced the Abdomen Scale, but then increased the width (the Abdomen Width displays a negative value, but for this slider negative values actually increase the width). Also, you can see the Abs Center Line Depth has a negative value. Actually, I entered that value by hand, because I wanted to get rid of the abdominal line (the slider goes from 0 to 100 and it's meant to make the abdominal line more visible).
The image below shows a comparison between the body of the original Amelia and the new Amelia in Character Creator.
I think she looks pretty close to the original, and I am pretty happy with the result. Maybe not exactly 100% the same, but the original Amelia was blurring the line between realistic and stylized, and this new Amelia is definitely on the realistic side. In the next article I will work more on the body and I will also show the work done on the face.
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