I should be doing other things… but what the heck I worked my butt off this week, and this is still *squints* sort of related to work, right?
Basic face geometry slightly cleaned up, most importantly eliminating the nasty seam around his face. Scared up a high-res texture, though it didn’t include a normal map, so that’s still teeny-weenie. Figured out how to unpack the game tex file and extract displacement from normals. Then put the whole thing in Arnold Standard (no SSS for the moment).
What’s tricksy about this is the nature of normal maps. Used for game textures, they generate a ‘fake’ surface detail that doesn’t actually change the silhouette of the geometry. So the result is that in game, say, a cheekbone may appear more pronounced until the character turns. But it’s fakery. But with true displacement (which this uses) the bumps and cavities of the face actually DO deform the silhouette.
The result means what we’re used to seeing in-game is a cheat that looks subtly different from one angle to the next.
As such, judging accuracy on the depth and shape of the actual face is actually pretty difficult. We’re so used to the game engine fakery now that a 'real’ shape might appear a little off.
Yet ANOTHER pet project that got pushed down the ladder when I got laid off was mucking about with the ME models I got my mitts on. Finally decided to dig into them a bit this morning.
This is a very basic level of deconstruction/reconstruction. There’s a lot in the finer side of their lighting that I’m not sure about – it’s built using different base assumptions than I’d use in a pre-rendered film asset. That said, the bones of it are evident enough. Materials mapped on clusters (hiss), bump driven with normal maps, and specular/reflection run from different channels of the specular. Doing a lot with a little, which would be normal for a game.
But, the things I could do with some time and a proper renderer would be interesting. In the meantime I need to see if I can hunt up high-resolution texture packs, because YIKES.