I’ve been working for Plarium as a 3D designer for 3 years. Today I would like to take you through a brief, step-by-step look at how we design one of the characters in our games. This is how I created the Pikeman Unit:

Concept:

First we brainstorm the rough concept and we receive a brief about that Unit from which we must build upon. The basic description for this unit was that it should be “not too heavy, emphasis is on medieval reality and authenticity, as opposed to “fantasy”.

Setting:

 This stage (preparation) is vitally important. It all starts with careful research and monitoring of related images and information, this enables the 3D designers to create a solid design concept. You can find information about almost anything on the internet, so it’s no small secret that we rely on it to find many reference images such as the following:

After this, I imagine a holistic image of the character I want to create, the look, movement and interaction within the game, and then I get to work actually doing something!

Modelling:

Of course, the part that you, our gamers, actually see!

So now I can open my modelling program (in my case, 3DS-Max) and start doing the very low-poly 3D-conditioned sketches. When I feel satisfied with the basic elements, I begin to slowly work on the intricate details of the character. Having created several options for each element of the character, such as shoulders, helmets, boots and so forth, I arrived at this:

Now it’s time to start giving some life to the character and start adding even further detail. For my workflow, I import my model from 3DS-Max into Zbrush, which is a 3D sculpting program. I do this by utilizing GoZ. After some sculpting in Zbrush, this is how I transformed the character:

Once I am happy with this stage, it’s time to add some color to the character. Here I filled the model with basic colors, then diluted it with different shades via Alphas and DrawRect.

As you can see, it’s starting to look something more like what we want!

This is one of the original renders we did for the Pikeman, complete with lighting, colours and shading.

Now, it’s the fun part; time to make a cool pose for the Pikeman using Zbrush’s Rigging system!

And that’s it, all done and ready for you guys to send forth into battle a few million times!

I’m happy to have been able to give you a little insight into my daily work and passion, 3D modelling. I hope you’ve enjoyed it and found something interesting! So next time you send your Pikeman into battle, I hope you see them in a different light.

Thanks, and keep playing Stormfall: Age of War with Plarium!