This is the first in a series of posts detailing a pipeline I have been working through for a while now…Hopefully it will be useful to some of you
1. The Source Mesh
Before you do anything else work on your subdivision surface model. This is a low resolution, proxy model which can be smoothed to create a higher resolution version.
My personal preference is to use Silo for this stage but feel free to use Maya, or your preferred application, so long as you can export two models. A low, and a high resolution model.
I like to get as much of the larger details into the model in Silo, before moving into Mudbox for finer details. Mudbox is also great for cloth, this can be a pain to model but this is down to preference.
If you are creating something less organic then Silo is also ideal. If creating a car for example I add in all the details like the indentations around doors, and I try to bevel most edges. Just remember these won`t be in the final game model, but will be in the normal map, which will catch the light giving the appearance or more geometry than there actually is.
Its at this stage which you send some screen grabs to your client for feedback, or approval. Chances are things will need tweaking but that’s the beauty of working with Subdivision surfaces, alterations don`t take too long.