Stormtrooper Makeover

I cleaned up the stormtrooper model that I created from PhotoScan using a modeling tool called Zbrush. The process was a bit rocky at first due to the application's user interface and navigation, but it got easier as I kept using it. I eventually ended up with a nicer model.

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I then created a new UVMap by first setting the UVMap guidelines along my model's back. 

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After exporting the now cleaned up stormtrooper, I imported it back into PhotoScan. It looks so nice and clean. I then exported it one final time after building the texture.

Lookin' GOOD. Still needs a paint job though.

Lookin' GOOD. Still needs a paint job though.

model before... lumpy and deterioating

model before... lumpy and deterioating

model after! smooth and sexy

model after! smooth and sexy

UVMap before... what a mess

UVMap before... what a mess

UVMap after! what a yes!

UVMap after! what a yes!

Everything looks much better! The model is much better after filling in the parts of the body that the photogrammetry process was unable to scan. The UV map also makes more sense, albeit a bit creepier. There's still some green coloring leftover from the green screen, so I will eventually have to clean that up.

I finally uploaded the new model onto Mixamo and rigged a body to it.

Success!

Success!

I noticed that during some animations, the area in between the stormtrooper's arms and body (the armpit area) was too connected, causing some weird body movements. I went back to Zbrush to try to disconnect the arms a bit more. I then edited the UV map in Photoshop. I got rid of the green and thought that it would be cool to invert the colors of the storm trooper. This is the result:

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I honestly loved this entire process. Although some of the tools were a bit unconventional to use, I got used to them quickly and it became addicting trying to create the perfect model.

Cloning a Stormtrooper

In preparation for the next Star Wars movie coming out in December, I've decided to 3D scan a stormtrooper.

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I first had to drill a hole in the stormtrooper's butt and impale it with a stick. Sorry bud!

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The setup for the photoshoot can be seen below.

After numerous retakes, I was finally able to get a photo align that surrounded my stormtrooper.

After applying the dense point cloud, the mesh, and the texture, my stormtrooper was finally modeled.

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Although the results were not perfect, I was happy that I was able to get to this point. I tried to get clean up the model by deleting the green, the pole, and separating the arms from the waist.

Hopefully, I will be able to edit the model to fix all the imperfections and get rid of the green from the green screen.

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I also like how the sphere in the middle of the view kind of looks like the Death Star.

Avatar Creation

The first avatar creation tool that I used was Bitmoji. I was a bit familiar with this since I've seen my sister and mom both use it in our family group chat. I thought it was stupid. 

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And now I love it.

I've been responding to texts and messages primarily with Bitmoji these days. My family and my friends seem to enjoy it as well. The amount of different Bitmoji stickers is huge and really fits with how I communicate to my family and close friends. Below is a timelapse of the actual creation of the avatar.

My girlfriend helped me in the process of making the avatar. She says that my Bitmoji really captures the essence of Bryan. I think it's primarily due to the glasses and the body type I chose. The glasses look exactly like the ones I'm wearing now. I also gained a bunch of weight over the summer. You can tell in the video that I was wavering between choosing the fit body versus the chubby one. I ultimately decided on the chubby Bryan, not only because I felt that it showed my current state more accurately but because it also represents a big part of who I am: a happy guy who eats a lot of food.

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The second avatar creation tool that I used is called Line Play. It is a game where you can purchase clothes and accessories for your avatar. It also includes a house that can be decorated with furniture and lots of other stuff. The first character creation screen was a gender, I saw that there was a third choice of Animal. I chose this option.

It was interesting to go through all the options of creating an animal version of Bryan. I tried to choose parts from different animals to represent different aspects of myself: a bear face because I'm a big guy and I eat and sleep a lot and dog ears because I'm well behaved yet playful. And of course I needed glasses. I found that being able to choose these features that are from all these different types of animals gave me more freedom to express attributes of myself that I would not be able to if they were human features.

I found that when creating avatars, it's good to exaggerate both physical and non-physical features. It's a bit like a cartoonist emphasizing your slightly larger front teeth by turning you into a rabbit. By using a more hyperbolic representation of one's self, character traits and personalities are more easily definable in an otherwise static avatar.