Along with my Casca project, I also wanted to work on a smaller project that focused more on shaders and animation, since my portfolio is currently lacking in both. Originally I wanted to make a quiet beach scene, but as usual I ended up working a character into the project. I sketched up some ideas of things I wanted to try out with this project which include: cel shading, water shader, day and night cycle, idle animation, and glow effects.
For his design, I was inspired by a combination of Yuna from FFX, the FFXIV class Astrologian, and the robes of Shinto priests. I love stars and moons and decided to make him a mage character centered around those designs.
Since my focus was not on the character itself but rather the project as a whole, I tried to move quicker than usual with the sculpting / modeling / texturing process so I could use my time more towards the shaders / animation later down the line. Despite the deadline I gave myself, I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome. I kept the shapes more on the bubbly / simple side to better fit my concept. In the end, it also worked better with the cel shading style I ended up going with!
I also wanted this to be my first project using strictly Blender for modeling so I could force myself to learn it quickly (I've been using Maya for all previous projects). It took a little time to adjust to, but it's starting to feel more comfortable. I did retopo + partial UVing using 3D Coat and modeling + partial UVing in Blender.
Texturing was pretty minimal. Aside from some details, like the eyes and cloth seams (which I will be adding later), I intend to keep most colors flat. Before I went any further with texturing, I wanted to test out cel shading in UE4 and see what the outcome would look like by default. After trying some things out, I decided to follow this super helpful tutorial and was very pleased with the results! I actually had a lot of fun working with shaders in UE4 and I'm excited to try more things! :)