Samurai Character Design

Posted: August 18, 2016 in Uncategorized



Here is the work in progress for Reallusion Character Design Contest. I will be creating a Samurai. For a more in depth look at my work flow for this character design please feel free to follow my Thread at

Reallusion Character Design – LookingGlassGraphics

Day 1:

I started my character by using the facial base image of the actor Takeshi Kitano.


Using Photoshop CS 6 I edited the image by giving it a bit of war paint and some scars


Most of the face would be eventually covered with a Mask so I wanted to work on editing the eyes . I then went on to set up the Facial mapping for 3D modeling using Crazy Talk. Once I uploaded the edited image I adjusted the paramters for the face to get a 3D version of it.


After the Face was set up in 3D, I then exported the Face a texture to Iclone’s Character Creator and use the Asain Male body base within the Essential Morphs add-on. Ithen went on to adjusting the body morphs, adjusting muscles, skin tones, eyes, facial hair, etc.BodySetup

The time lapse video can be found at


Day 2:

After the base figure was set up, I added hair onto the character.


The next step was to start creating the Mask and other details for the helmet making sure that it would fit the character’s head. I spent most of the day just creating the Mask and it’s details.



After I was satisfied with the overall look and shape of the mask I continued with the helmet and its details.

I used Photoshop to create the helmet padding and added texture found on items via the internet. For example, leather stitching on an item, red leather texture, and an emblem found on an actual Samurai helmet. I cropped out these items to use over a shape I created in PS and came up with this image for the padding.HelmetPadding

After the padding was finished I went in Autodesk Maya and create the armor for the rest of the helmet



After the textures and details were added to the helmet I was pleased with the final version


Time lapse video of the process can be found at



When creating the clothing and armor for the Samurai I started by going back into the Character Creator and selecting a plain base mesh for the upper and lower body. I then edited the texture to look as if the shirt and pants were armor chainmail.


After setting the diffuse, bump, and specular attributes for the chainmail I then went on to place the Samurai’s neck-guard and add a texture I thought would work well with the overall look of the Samurai.

I then went on to create the arm bands that would hold the arm and shoulder armor. I use a torus shaped mesh to create the base and then gave it a red leather texture. The bands were then duplicated, re-positioned and re-scaled where needed.

After the arm bands were set in place, I went back into the character creator and placed a tank top over the chainmail mesh. This Tank-top, when textured, would act as a second layer of armor for the torso. I placed a roof shingle type texture over it, added a bump map, and gave it a leather styled look.


The next step in the process was bringing in a mesh from the Daz Studio program. I used the belt from the Shades of Atlantis suit and stripped it down so that only the front and back cloth, belt, and armor at the front of the mesh would be visible. I then used the decimator tool to remove unwanted polygons. I exported it into Iclone via 3DXchange, re-scaled, textured, and positioned it where needed.



This belt was then brought into Autodesk Maya and stripped down to three of the armored pads which I then used as the shoulder pads.


The breastplate was the final touch to the armor at the upper torso. I used the same technique importing a mesh from Daz Studio to use on the Samurai.  I used the Marauders breast plate, then minimized the polygons using the decimator tool, and exported it for use in Iclone. Once I re-positioned the mesh I created a design in Adobe PS CS6 to use on the breastplate.

The images were of a Japanese style dragon and Bishamon , the Japanese God of War.


I then added the shoulder pad mesh as a part of the lower abdomen armor to compliment the breast plate. The final step was adjusting the texture and bump maps for the breastplate and lower torso armor.


Time lapse video of the process can be found at

Animation Test


Here are some changes I recently made to the design.



I spent some time reducing the polygon count and reworking some of the textures for the mask. It was at about 23k and now stands at about 8k. Here’s a time lapse video of the process.


I’m currently working on some edits for the character, replacing and reducing some of the mesh on the armor. I’m also going to add bracers, and hand padding as well as more detail around the waist. The pads around the helmet now have physics added and the skirt mesh does as well. I will be creating a split on the sides of the red bamboo skirt so that it only has a front and back area at the lower portion of the mesh. I hope to reduce the model by another 20K.


Day 5:

I spent the day reworking the armor to make it look more like Japanese Traditional Samurai armor. After removing the current breastplate , pads, and the arm bands, along with the skirt. I was at around 50k polygons. The polygon count went back up to about 62k when placing some of the new assets but it’s still under the 68k it was currently at.  I removed 8 of the assets as shown in my Day 4 progress above and was able to add 10 back with higher detail.





I started setting up the environment for the Samurai’s animation . This environment will be used for an HD animation as well as a 360 VR render.



After reworking some of the textures, and adjusting the arm guards, I wanted to see how the assets on the Samurai would look with a walk cycle. There’s still a few more meshes I have to create for the armor as well as some soft cloth assets that will be apart of the clothing as well. Here’s a look at what I have so far.



After modifying the armor from it’s initial design I was able to break down the polygon count from 86k to 60k by removing the 1st breastplate, arm bands, and the armored belt. I then created even more assets to place on the Samurai which did bring the polygon count back up to 80k, but with plenty more parts for the armor and more detail. Overall the additional armor is as follows (Thighs; 3 plates of armor and 2 leather bands each, Legs; 1 shin guard, 1 knee pad, and 1 roped padding each, Hands; 1 plated armor ea, Forearms; 1 roped padding and 1 armored plate each, Shoulders; 1 plated armor each,  Upper Torso; front and back armored plates and the Waist; 1 belt with four armored  skirts and a front and back plate) The initial armor was nothing more than 1 breastplate that wrapped around the chest and back, the shoulder pads, and the armored belt. These 3 assets including the clothes and the Samurai character were 86k polygons. Now I have 33 assets for the armor, with clothing, and the Samurai at 81k. I multiplied the armor eleven-fold and still had less polygons than the initial design. The following is a time-lapse video of the process.





I wanted to make the Samurai look more traditional so I reworked some of the assets and textures on the design.


Working on some last minute adjustments to the Samurai before submitting. I edited the eye were the scar is using some of the CC essentials body texture scars. I also overlapped the Eye with another Sphere and used some bump textures to make it look more damaged. I reworked the body texture so that the hands are not covered in chainmail. I removed the boots and put Tabi socks and sandals so the character has a more traditional look as shown in the previous image. I added a Haidate (Thigh guard) for each leg) as well. One area of the helmet texture was also reworked. I used an arm warmer mesh to double as the Kote (Sleeve Armor). Images will be posted soon.

The following images are of the modifications I did to the character model:






Here is my entry video for Reallusion’s Character Design Contest 2016


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