When you think you’ve got something really cool, sometimes it’s best to get an outside opinion to see whether it’s really tasty, or if you’re just used to drinking your own Kool-Aid. With that in mind, we’re excited to get the attention of one of the best. John Chalfant has been a big name in 3D for years. His 3D art talent has been showcased in many of Blizzard Entertainment’s titles, as well as Batman Arkham City, Wolfenstein and a load of others. Hear from John what he did with MCS.
"I think developing and creating an awesome character asset system/marketplace for Unity and Unreal is inspiring.
The process began with loading the default figure provided by Morph 3D in the Artist Tool Kit.
Using the default figure as a guide, clothing and props were created, including a variety of weapons. Then, LODs (Levels of Detail) for each of the items were created in high, medium and low resolution to correspond with the LODs of the base figure.
The default figure includes a texture (material) and is already skinned, so it was straightforward to add skinning for the add-on pieces so that they would conform to the base figure. Each of the items had to be skinned just like they normally would so they could conform to the figure and would adjust accordingly when the figure’s morphs/blendshapes were applied.
In addition to the regular “color,” “specular” and “normal maps,” an “alpha mask” was added for each of the clothing items that corresponded to the appropriate UV space to hide the underlying skin so that it would not show through when morphs/blend shapes were applied. It was no problem to simply paint part of the alpha map black for the figure that corresponded to the clothing item’s UV space such as the shirt, or pants, or boots, etc. With that done, the items could be uploaded in FBX format to the Morph 3D team for the next steps in the process.
The over 300 default blend shapes were injected, meta data added and additional processing done in order to make the outfit and props compatible with the MCS system. Once that was done, the outfit was ready to rock and roll.
As someone who's created a ton of digital assets for films, games, and ads, it's incredibly valuable being part of shaping this."
— John Chalfant