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CC MasterClass #3: Fast Cartoon Design with Character Creator


In this 4 part series for – Master Class “Fast Cartoon Design” Luis Duarte shares his tips and tricks on how to take advantage of Character Creator and iClone to create a cartoon character and animate his face and body easily. This 4 part series will cover the entire of process with Character Creator, ZBrush, Substance Painter, and iClone.

Luis Duarte – 3D Artist

My name is Luis Duarte and I am a 3D instructor on

Part #3: Clothes Creation

Clothing modeling in ZBrush

After trying different poses and defining the body of our character. The next step is to generate clothing assets. For this project, I am going to use the ZBrush tools to sculpt urban style clothing that I sketched in the original concept.

A basic example to build the pants and sweater is to make a duplicate of the body in T pose, then we eliminate the unnecessary polygons from above and below, later I apply a Dynamesh to start sculpting wrinkles and micro details of fabric, while I am increasing the resolution of the mesh.

For the shoes I can start directly with a low-resolution box and go adding and moving polygons as the case may be, until completing a general sketch. Then I upload the subdivisions and I polish the final details to have a good finish.

Re-topology and organization of geometry

The next step is to use the modeling tools, in my case Autodesk Maya again, with Quad Draw, thus generating a low-resolution geometry that can be optimized to integrate very easily into Character Creator.

After organizing polygons that can be animated, I generate some UVs quickly with the editor that is already present in Maya, always taking into account that the end result would be one UV for each object. That is, one for the sweater, another for the pants and another for shoes.

Textured with Substance

For the texture, I repeat the process again with Substance Painter, adding details that highlight the fabric materials. For this, the gallery of materials that come by default is very useful. Simply adjust a few things, and change the color to have a decent result.

In the end, I repeat the process with the upper part of the shoes and adjust the values   of the lower part so that it resembles a rubber or plastic material. And, it only remains to export and configure the outfit in CC.

Import content into Character Creator

To import the clothes, I again turn to my GoZ strategy. I carry the meshes from ZBrush and update them as clothes in Character Creator. This procedure allows each section to have its own individual weight without the need to apply it manually.

To apply the textures, I do it from the Material Editor, change the shading to PBR mode and proceed to import one by one, the maps corresponding to each garment created. That is, Base color, Normal, Ambient Occlusion, Metallic and Roughness. Always remembering that for the Normal map to work correctly you have to activate the Y-flip box.

An additional step to correctly integrate the clothes is to change the pose of the model and confirm that everything works correctly. In my case, everything is fine with the exception of the pants, which have a small error that is very easy to correct.

I select the garment and activate the Skin Weight editor, then I select the bone with a right-click to confirm which group is influenced. This we can know thanks to the colors present in the mesh, which values are intermediate. That is, the closer to red the geometry is painted, the more influence that bone will have, therefore, its value will be 0.9. If it is closer to blue, then the less influence it will have and its value will be 0.1.

The range of colors is completed with white which value is 1 and black being the lowest with the value of 0. For this case, since it is only one vertex that is giving the problem, I do it from the selection mode. Later I select the vertex and assign it a weight value close to 1, such as 0.7 or 0.9. Finally we have corrected that section very easily.

Save clothing assets and try on different characters

One of the most interesting features that Character Creator presents is once we have created clothing or accessory; we can save them in the content library and apply to any other character.

This is very interesting because it allows us to reuse the developed content with the same morph properties. And also, it’s an extra opportunity to play around with the Texture Editor and include new colors.

PART #1 – Create a Character with Head and Body Morphs

PART #2 – Conformable Hair Generation

PART #4 – Face & Body Animation in iClone

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