And tweaked … and refined … and…
Yes, so over the course of time, it’s grown increasingly apparent to me that Kain needed a little more work. Though I tried to humanize the proportions of elder vampire Kain to make him in the first place, and tweaked him further after that, he still didn’t have the right proportions. The goal in creating human Kain to begin with was to make the human that would eventually become elder vampire Kain. Well, he has to look like a realistic human. Elder Kain’s brow shape forces his eyes to be wider apart than a human’s. The eyes are also slanted upwards at the corners more. I think I did work to pull them in when making human Kain, but they were still way, way too far apart and were slanted, giving him a sort of bug-eyed look that wasn’t correct. In addition to pulling them inward, the shape of the eyelids, how they open, all has been revised. A little more like Simon Templeman’s, which I continue to look off of for any revisions. That was the main real issue, because if they eyes look wrong, everything really does. The next issue was the jaw, still too square and bulky. That and the lips were too thin and wide. Basically, the whole face needed some thinning and softening. and the lips needed to not look like he was in a constant tension with pursed lips. The top of the head also needed fixing. So, after all of this, we finally have a human Kain that I think looks the part completely. I can believe this guy could be a real person. Since I remade the model to work better for skinning, I had to tweak two models, not just one. But, he’s fully rigged and skinned again.
The next thing that I decided to improve was the hair. I played around with a new way of quickly making hair cards/planes and styling hair, borrowing from how they made hair for The Witcher 3 and another technique I saw for Maya. This drastically speeds up that process. In a night and a half, I had this ready to go. It’s much better. Ariel’s hair was made mostly the old way, but I worked to refine that to look just like I wanted. Now, she can’t have more fabulous hair than Kain, so this update was a must.
Additionally, I’ve worked little tweaks to the armor. The plates have a little more unevenness and variances to the finish that hopefully makes it feel more authentic. The belt and leather straps were given a bit more to have the texture pop and some wear. Both were done in Substance Painter 2. The differences are subtle, but needed. I left him mostly in the same regal pose as before. Minor changes to the cape. It’s flowing out more dramatically and the cape on him doesn’t ride up so much around the neck as before.
So, Happy New Year and here are some brand new Kain renders to ring it in. Modeled (started way back when in 3D-Coat) in Zbrush, Maya; textured in Zbrush, Photoshop, and Substance Painter 2; rendered in Marmoset Toolbag 2: