How do you sculpt shoulder pauldrons for video games?

Hi,

Thanks for reading my post. I have been working with zbrush for some time and have done a few characters for practice. I recently decided that I wanted to make a medieval knight type character and I am able to block out most of the armor pieces with the exception of one thing --  shoulder pauldrons. Now, to be clear, I am not talking about the smaller “spaulders” that sort of just sit on the top side of the shoulder. I am talking about the bigger pauldrons that cover the shoulder, a small top portion of the back and chest.

My problem with sculpting them is that I don’t fully understand how these things sit on, and attach to the body. I should point out, that I plan to make these for a character that I will animate. So, you can see why having them properly on the body is important. What i can't seem to wrap my head around is the fact that this armor seems to cover the acromion and the shoulder joint. So, again, thinking back to animation, I ask myself, how the heck can the character stretch his arms out to the side, or raise his sword?? They look like they would either get in the way and/or cause major clipping issues. 

If anyone can give me some good advice for even creating the right shape within the correct boundaries on the body. That would be immensely  appreciated. If anyone knows some good resources that I can read or videos to watch for making proper fitting armor for animated characters, that would be great. 

Thank you so much!

Replies

  • wirrexx
    Offline / Send Message
    wirrexx polycounter lvl 8
    The Base of the shape is very easy, just a plane that is bend and probably a shell modifier on it. The Lion head could be a seperated sculpt and saved the alpha out to project onto the plane. The other one is just a simple Spherical modell which has been modified. and a texture on it. 
  • stephenq80
    Hi wirrexx. Thanks for the response. I guess maybe I wasn't too clear in my post. But getting the right base shape is the problem I am having. Or specifically, the right base shape that will sit on the body and can animate properly. Where/how exactly do those things sit on the arm so that those guys can engage in the fancy combat that they do and how does that translate to proper blocking out? They kind of look like they are just floating on the arms.

    So, for example, in zbrush, when I want to make  chest piece, I know exactly where in between the neck and the waist it should fall, how think it will be, how wide is must be for the arms to move, all of that. And I can make some awesome looking chest pieces. But these, I don't exactly know where to even cut on the model...other than somewhere around the shoulder area...

    If you could provide some insight as to how you would do it, that would be great.

    Thank you.
  • Brian "Panda" Choi
    Offline / Send Message
    Brian "Panda" Choi polycount lvl 666
    Google how pauldrons are made and tied to the armor/persion in real life.

    You are literally looking for how armor is literally put together in real life.

    Like Cosplay.

    Here's the dirty secret for most pauldrons in games:

    There's no realistic basis for how they attach to the characters.  Just make it look good and animate it well.
  • stephenq80
    Google how pauldrons are made and tied to the armor/persion in real life.

    You are literally looking for how armor is literally put together in real life.

    Like Cosplay.

    Here's the dirty secret for most pauldrons in games:

    There's no realistic basis for how they attach to the characters.  Just make it look good and animate it well.
    Brian. Thanks for the comment. I have watched videos, several actually, of people in real plate armor. Not the cosplay stuff. And those people have some limited range of motion with their arms. When I look at character in motion in some video games, that doesn't appear to be the case despite the pauldrons being very large. That is part of what is causing the issue. I'm seeing two different things. Not to mention that in some (not all) of the games, the armor appears to kind of just float there. I can't tell if it is sitting on top of the shoulder, or just stuck to the side.
     
    When I look at some games like the Witcher 3, I notice an absences of pauldrons. The characters usually have smaller spaulders or shoulder pads. And it looks more realistic. I wonder if that has to do with them aiming for more realism and the wide range of motion needed for the characters. They didn't want to just make it look good and animate it well so to speak. But rather wanted realism?

    Thank you. You got me thinking more.
Sign In or Register to comment.