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New Character Creator: I'm impressed (and curious)

GrandSerpentGrandSerpent Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
I've just watched the most recent dev stream, and the new character creator looks fantastic. I was really impressed with both the base character models, and the range of customization options available. The base models looks great, and strike a good balance between realism and stylization, with well-defined silhouettes and nice crisp edges around facial features.

While I have a decent idea of how the dev team might have implemented some of the more conventional character creator features (customizing height, bulk, skin tone, etc), I'm curious how they approached things like the hair and facial feature customization from a tech perspective.

I'm guessing that the facial feature customization shown in Sculpt mode would have been implemented using a combination of bone deformations and shape keys, but I'm not sure - some transformations like those shown around 16:11 in the video alter the shape of the mesh quite a bit, without any obvious texture stretching or distortion. The video compression makes it a bit hard to tell, but I'm curious whether the devs used something like triplanar mapping for the finer details of the skin, to allow the level of deformation shown here without any visible texture stretching.

Similarly, the hair shaders look great, and have a lot of volume and detail. Adjustments to the length of the hair seemed surprisingly fluid (a few good examples around 11:43), and I honestly have no idea how the team was able to get these to look so good, while maintaining the level of customization shown here. Controlling hair length seems like an interesting technical challenge, and I'd love to hear what approach the team took here. Altering the scale and shape of individual hair clumps with shape keys? Rigging the hair and scaling individual bones? Adjusting a cutoff threshold for alpha clipping?

Overall, I found the functionality shown off on stream both technically impressive and a great showcase of the skill of the artists at Intrepid. I'm looking forward to seeing more, as base models for the other races are finished, and configured to work in the character creator.


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    ShoelidShoelid Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited March 2022
    I fully agree, I was blown away. I think some of the facial hair needs work, but that's more of an art asset and less of an engineering thing like the skeleton morphing. I expect those things will be touched up by Alpha 2.

    I'd love to see the Py'Rai horns be editable with similar tools as the hair. Editing length of the horn overall, and maybe shape and direction of the offshoots would be really cool.

    Also excited to see the customization options for the other races, like the RenKai scales, maybe some jewelry or tattoos.
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    neuroguyneuroguy Member
    edited March 2022
    The facial hair just looks awkward because of how it transitions from skin. If they add a slider on how sharp the edges of facial hair start is, that would solve it I think? You can have a sharp edge giving a freshly shaven look or a more scruffy shorter to longer hair line which would suit the longer beards and more unkempt styles look more natural I think.
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    Some things i want to see with the creator

    height - Can when get a real number Hight value to right of slider so 172cm or 190 cm and what not so people can make characters there hight if they so wish or atleast have an understanding of how hight he actually gonna look cause without anything to scale it with its hard to tell how tall he gonna actually be.

    Weight a weight value like height i think would go along way aswell in creator (MO2 kinda does the age/height/weight combination fairly well at a very basic level, age effects Hight/weight max and min values also changes stats but thats not as important in ashes)

    Wrinkles Same as above but have it tied to like an age value also means u can do some interesting thing with longer living characters too i guess if elfs might live longer than standard race so the slider might go from 25-200 or something this could affect ur Hight range you can get aswell slightly, this helps with the lore so players can see the average life span of your races when creating them, honostly would like to see an age slider along with wrinkle slider

    Background i would like something similiar to ff14 where you can select a background to display with different light effects so you can get an idea how your character might look in the actual game along with various sceneries but also have a basic option like ur current background so you dont get lost in the background when creating characters

    hair colour I wouldnt mind some unatural hair colour even if it just highlights purple highlights for example that also being said if your stick with natural hair colours nothing says other races could have more unique hair colours the elfs might have a green natural hair colour for them vex could get a purple colour. You can realy go crazy with non human races because whats an orc natural hair colour we cant realy answer that cause there no living orcs here so maybe a blood red could be a natural colour for them or even a purple :P

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    Previewing the character in different environments and animations is a must.

    How many times I've created a character and the colours look completely different is absurd lol

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