Character Modeling was a Capcom development blog published 21st August 2009. It is the eighteenth in a series of some twenty-three blogs detailing the development of the game.
For Darkside Chronicles, we have created high-res character models that we use for cut scenes and the like. These high-res character models are not only being used for the game but also on the web, in ads, and on packaging; serving the important purpose of conveying the appeal and originality of each character.
We enlisted the help of Satoshi Ueda, who did the character models for Umbrella Chronicles, to create models for the main characters in Darkside Chronicles.
Satoshi Ueda is a whiz when it comes to CG and creating character models; he’s even published several books on the subject.
※ 3dsmax Super Technique Version 6 (Sotec)
He also has a background in game production, and his knowledge of the ins and outs of the process makes him very easy to work with.
Satoshi is known to be very good with character face creation. That was already demonstrated in his work on Umbrella Chronicles. This time, though, we raised the bar even higher, and had him work his magic.
The overall flow for the project goes something like this. First we dig up all the material we can on the original characters. This step is important in order to keep loyal to the identity of the original characters. It is especially important that a game which has the word “Chronicles” in its title respect the content of original work.
Next, we decide on the character’s face. Of course, the face should be well-matched to the setting, as well as the disposition and appearance of the character. If the character is strong-willed, for example, the eyes could be should be strong, with eyebrows that accentuate that. On the other hand, though, there may be characters whose personalities should be subdued.
We then select actors (face models) based on facial concepts we’ve decide on, and digitize their faces. That data is then put into a database. Creating face data from the faces of real face models yields more natural, high-quality results. And that is the same method we used in the recently release Resident Evil 5.
Now, this is where Satoshi gets to do what he does best. He infuses those faces with character and brings them to life. The digitized face models are merely guides; Satoshi, with his keen eye for detail, transforms that raw data into characters for the game. Of course, there is always the option of using the unaltered face model data, but for the Resident Evil series, we fine tune everything down to the tiniest detail so that the characters look stunning. But a balance must be struck, so as not to overdo everything to the point the faces look too CG and artificial.
So, that is how each face is created. For this game especially, in order to achieve real-looking skin and life-like faces, we even used the imperfections from the face model data.
When you put expressions on those faces, the characters take on a whole new appeal.
If you watch “The Darkside” trailer that came out the other day, I think you’ll see what it is we are working so hard to achieve!
■ About Me
Recently the air plants (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tillandsia) I’ve been keeping have been dying. I like air plants and carnivorous plants, so I’ve got a few of them in my house. Of course, Ivy is one of my favorite Resident Evil monsters. I also like the plant-based Ultraman bad guys.
- ↑ RESIDENT EVIL / The Darkside Chronicles TALING EVIL. Archived from the original on 2009-10-31.