Creating a Female Settler Model
We already had a male settler model. We needed a female one. I knew it would take me forever to create one on my own, so I went to CGTrader. I hired someone as soon as I found someone that would help. I think I should have looked around a bit more but I was at least able to get a basic — no better than basic — model started.
I went back and forth with the artist multiple times to get the texture the way it was originally envisioned. He had experience with ZBrush but not a lot with UV Mapping and Substance Painter. He and I worked together to get the UV Map and textures to work.
When he was finished with the final model and textures, I was able to edit the Diffuse and Color Map in PhotoShop. Because of the way the UVs were laid out, I was not able to put the NWC logo on the area I wanted, the chest. I opted to put them on the bicep area of the uniform sleeves. I was still not able to place them precisely where I wanted. The UV break was in the wrong place, and there was a little bit of stretching.
Version 2 Testing
I went back to CGTrader to see if I could find someone that could help me with helping make the model and uniform looks the way we envisioned. I was happy with who I found. I ended up paying double what I had budgeted for the model (between both artists) but it was worth it.
The second artist redid the uniform from scratch and used Substance Painter to build the texture. I was ecstatic to see the results. They looked like the early concept art made by Jitse Akse and VMBlast back in 2011. I am glad we are able to them for their contributions by making his concept a reality.
Adding Shoes and Hair
I purchased models for the hair and the shoes. I asked the artist to attach the shoes to the model and uniform. He was able to do that. It looked pretty good. The artist did a great job at connecting the shoes to the base mesh.
Changing up the hair
I wanted to modify the hair that came with the model from the first artist. I did not really like the way it looked. I tried everything I could to make it look better. I played with changing the shaders, the textures, and other settings but could not get it the way I wanted.
I downloaded a set of female hair models. I tried to attach it to the character model but was challenged with the hair model floating above the head of the character model. I just could not get it to work. It was something buggy between the character animation and the hair animation. The latter had its own skeleton, so I assumed that was it. I even downloaded a dynamic bones package in the hopes that would help.
It took some time for me to figure out that I could reorganize the bones from inside of Unity. Once I figured that out, the rest happened just like magic. The hair model stayed in place on the head of the character model. Once I added in the Dynamic Bone script, I was able to make the hair move with the correct physics.
All in all, I am really happy with the final result. I ended up saving both models. I will use the first as a secondary NPC model and the second model for the same (changing the hairstyles and uniform color textures). I am hoping to build the start of the demo to include a character selector that will allow players to pick between the male and the female model. Check the video of the final model.