Blur Studio : Farcry 3 Cinematic - Character Art

Hi my name is James Ku, I’m one of the character leads at Blur Studio. Recently Paul and Jaime from Pixologic stopped by Blur and gave a presentation to show us some cool new ways to work in Zbrush. They were also kind enough to stay for quite a bit afterwards and answer questions that we had. We were able to show them some of the stuff we were working on and they asked if the character team at Blur could share some of our work on the forums and talk about how Zbrush is used in the Blur pipeline.

We had recently completed a game cinematic for Ubisoft’s upcoming title Farcry 3.

I thought that this project was a great one to share. I thought the characters were very compelling and had some great personality to them. Our client, Ubisoft, was kind enough to grant us permission to show some art from that cinematic. Thanks Ubisoft, we hope to work with you again in the future!

On this project the Blur character artists were:
Mathieu Aerni
Alessandro Baldasseroni
Nicolas Collings
Francisco Cortina
Chris Grim
Alex Litchenko
and myself

I thought that the team did a great job and I feel very fortunate and humble to be able to work with such great artists everyday at Blur.

Zbrush is a critical part of our character pipeline at Blur. It is the preferred sculpting tool of all our character artists. In our pipeline we create the poly model first so that the rigging team can start working on the model and hand it off to animation asap. While the rigging team is working on an early version of the character and the animators have started their work, the character artists are sculpting, detailing and texturing the character.
This is where Zbrush comes in. I know there are many options for sculpting programs nowadays, but everyone here prefers Zbrush because we love the feel of the brushes and the richness of the tool set. For example UV Master is a tool that most of us use in our uv’ing process.
The ultimate results of our sculpting are displacement maps that we generate from Zbrush. We then create all the textures and shaders. Finally we do our character renders for approval in Vray. When the character is complete and the client has approved the character, it is sent back to the rigging department where they update their rigs with the final character geometry and pass that on to animation.
Zbrush is also part of our process for creating facial morph targets / shapes. We use the move topology brush and we also use the masking and blur mask features to isolate certain shapes that need to gradually fade off.

Anyhow I think this post is already getting way too long. :slight_smile:

I want to thank Ubisoft again for being such a great client and for the privilege of being a part of an exciting project like Farcry 3. Thanks to Paul and Jaime at Pixologic for stopping by Blur over the years I’ve been here and always willing to help us. And finally thanks to the character team here at Blur - you guys inspire me everyday.

Thanks for checking out this post, I hope you enjoyed the Farcry 3 cinematic.
If you have any questions the team and I will try to answer them as best as we can.

Below are some of the sample character images that we sent to Ubisoft for approval during the various work in progress stages of the character creation process.











Here are some production stills from the cinematic. All the departments at Blur were part of the process to create the cinematic these images come from.




















As always, AWESOME!

questions for James ku :

-How did you figure out how to post on ZbrushCentral ?
-What kind of difficulties did you experience in the process?



Beautiful work! I would expect no less from Blur.

of course great work guys !!
only one crit from me is that i dont like Vaas’s face specially in cinemaric here on screens looks nice :wink: and bald head its preety cool (much better than with hairs )

Few questions:

-why clay heads are blured ?( i know Blur studio but… hehe)
-Did you have one topology for male bodies and for female bodies ?
and what about heads ? all heads had different topology ?
-Could you show some wires ? specially head wires ? I’ll be really grateful :slight_smile:
-How many polygons did you have on one heads ?
-Did you make rig setup for heads or only blendshapes/morphs ? or maybe you mixed it and using blendshapes and facial rig ( if i say facial rig i mean some simple rig nothing fancy)
-How long did you have on one character (for model(hp, zbrush etc.) and with texture) ?
-One modeler made full character (model and textures) or some modelers made only model without textures ?
-Where you did hairs ? (hairfarm, ornatrix…etc.)

ps. eklettica–> I would love to see some new stuff from you !!
ps2. sorry for my english :o

Thanks so much for taking the time to post this -> great sculpts / texturing (beautiful cloth!!!):sunglasses:small_orange_diamond:+1:small_orange_diamond:+1:small_orange_diamond:+1:small_orange_diamond:+1:small_orange_diamond:+1:

This is just outstanding work guys!
Top row, no doubt. If you blur (no pun intended) your vision while watching, there’s really not much of a hint that it’s CG! :+1:

Great works man.
Only question, whats wrong with Vaas head in the final head renders ? His scull is collapsed, while it looks normal in the full body shoots. You shouldnt have cheek bones so much wider than rest of his scull. Did someoen mess up or was it intentional ?

slocik: In the full shot it’s the blur version before the client’s feedback. They wanted specifically that head shape for some reason.

Strange, those kinds of design chooses push models way too much into the uncanny valley, which i doubt anybody likes ;f

great stuff here! cool job!

Just awesome!! Now I have a reference, a new quality level to (try to) reach!! Thanks for sharing!:+1:small_orange_diamond:+1:small_orange_diamond:+1:

Amazing! Whenever I start a new character I look at the quality that Blur Studio artists produce and try to reach that professionalism. Great job!

Wow too good!

WOW!! SUPERB WORK!! :+1: :slight_smile:

Way cool… Love the characters from the game. Amazing quality! :+1:

Thanks for sharing, great shots. You guys did an awesome job… as always.