Home Animation Mentor News New Workshop: Introduction to 3D Character Modeling

New Workshop: Introduction to 3D Character Modeling

We're excited to announce our newest workshop, Introduction to 3D Character Modeling, taught by Hong Chan Lim, Senior Character Artist at Blizzard Entertainment.

Hong Chan Lim 3D Character Model
Character Model by Hong Chan Lim

It’s like your birthday came early, isn’t it?? We’re equally excited to announce our newest workshop, Introduction to 3D Character Modeling, taught by Hong Chan Lim, Senior Character Artist at Blizzard Entertainment. Read on to learn more about the workshop!

The Art of Character Modeling – Maya to ZBrush

Whether you’re watching your favorite animated film, enjoying the next VFX blockbuster, or playing an action-packed video game, every character on your screen was created by a talented group of artists. It’s easy to overlook the incredible skill and hard work that goes into designing and realizing these characters, but there’s no doubt of the impact these artists have within the entertainment industry.

Every character on your screen was created by a talented group of artists.

Studios need character artists with a strong understanding of polygon modeling workflows, digital sculpting techniques, and clean topology for downstream departments. Whether you’re carrying out an Art Director’s vision or bringing your own unique design to life, it’s thrilling to be part of that process.

Hong Chan Lim Texturing
Modeled and Textured by Hong Chan Lim

What is Character Modeling?

Character modeling is the process of transforming a concept, essentially an idea, into a three-dimensional model. The character artist builds the model from the ground up using tools such as polygon box modeling, hard surface modeling, and digital sculpting techniques.

The character artist builds the model from the ground up using tools such as polygon box modeling, hard surface modeling, and digital sculpting techniques.

Think of it like the traditional art of sculpting a statue. In classical art this was done with clay, marble, and other materials. The artist would start with a large block of material and use additive or subtractive techniques to create their vision.

Character Model
Character Model by Hong Chan Lim

Hong Chan Lim
Sculpting is a key part of the modeling process. Image by Hong Chan Lim.

In our modern digital workflows we use software like Maya and ZBrush to get that same effect. This combination of tools is like working with digital clay—we are able to create a base model of the design and then sculpt on more complex details and anatomical notes. Once a character model is finalized it’s ready for rigging and the rest of the animation pipeline. This art of modeling and sculpting characters is a wonderful blend of the technical and creative sides of the brain and a highly rewarding profession.

Once a character model is finalized it’s ready for rigging and the rest of the animation pipeline.

Concept & Model - Hong Chan Lim
Concept & Model – Hong Chan Lim

Hong Chan Lim
Art by Hong Chan Lim

Meet Your Mentor: Hong Chan Lim

Hong Chan Lim is a Senior Character Artist at Blizzard Entertainment working on Overwatch. Hong Earned a BFA in 3D Graphics and Technology at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago. Hong started his career making Superman Returns NDS at SCG for Electronic arts back in 2005. After Shipping three console games, he moved his career to NCsoft Corp. (Carbine Studios) to help build the MMO project Wildstar as a Senior Cinematic/Marketing Artist. After shipping Wildstar, Hong’s main objective is to assist a core group of developers in the creation of quality 3D Design with a distinctive and impressive artistic style. Hong specializes in 3D modeling and texture painting, posing, lighting, rendering for games, cinematics, and marketing. To be successful, he believes an artist should always strive to improve their art, be a team player, and learn to take constructive criticism.

Check out Hong’s portfolio.

Hong worked on Overwatch, a game from Blizzard Entertainment

This Workshop is for Artists…

  • Looking to model and sculpt their own designs
  • Wanting to learn how to translate an existing character design into a 3D model
  • With a desire to learn modern character modeling and sculpting workflows
  • Interested in how to blend organic and hard surface modeling concepts into a cohesive design
  • At both the beginner and intermediate levels, with a basic understanding of prop modeling
  • Who are 18 years or older and speak English

Learn 3D Character Modeling!

Learn 3D Character Modeling from Blizzard Senior Character Artist Hong Chan Lim. Hong has worked on games like Overwatch, Superman Returns, and Godzilla Unleashed.

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