This project by Studio Merkas develops 3D avatars for VStreamers that stream on Youtube, Twitch and other platforms. I worked together to create a 3D model for the German streamer “Torro” in Blender. The model represents his role as the “Iron Avenger”.
I created the main body, the head (not the helmet), also partly the rig and the previous clothes.
This picture was my template for the Iron Avenger. I modeled the body exactly to the picture. The arms were relatively difficult, because they were crossed in the picture.
In the end, the body looked like this. In total there were 6k faces. The head might not have been necessary since the Iron Avenger wears a helmet, but you never know if he wants to take it off in the future.
Then I modeled the first clothes. Among them the chest plate, arm guards and a cape. The helmet was modeled by one of my colleagues. On the design, I strictly adhered to my template.
After that, I designed the texture in Substanze Painter. As I mentioned in the article with Rian, my texturing can still improve, but I found it sufficient for the first version.
Finally, the rig followed. I used the Rigify feature of Blender and experimented a lot with importing into engines. Since it was the first time I exported a character to Unreal, I didn’t know what to look for in the rig. Unreal has a very different approach to the rig than Unity.
The googly eyes on the helmet were only there to test the blendshapes. Later, the eyes will be transferred to a 2D texture.
We wanted the character to use the eyes on the helmet and not the eyes on the head under the helmet. But the eyes should still be seen glowing.
Then, my Task was to prepare the model for face tracking in Unreal. So I had to set the rig, blendshapes and bind the armor parts to sockets. Since I only had deeper experience with Unity, this was not easy for me. The results were not satisfactory and I tried it again in Unity. There I used a package to make this model VStreamer ready.
Afterwards I edited the model in Unity so that it can be used with VStreaming tools like “VSeeFace”. This tool captures the movements of the streamer via webcam and transfers them to the 3D avatar.
While I was preparing the character for the tool, my colleagues updated the clothing and texture. The googly eyes also disappeared and became part of the helmet. The blendshapes of the eyes were then coupled to the helmet. The final model looks like this:
On the chest is the German word “Rache”, which means “revenge” in English. Further down on the chest plate is the Studio Merkas logo.