Hi everyone, I’m Jonathan Nascone, a senior character artist on Neverwinter. In this blog, we will walk through our process for creating known characters from Dungeons & Dragons lore.
Our character team got the exciting challenge of creating the IP characters for our Salvatore Quest line for Underdark. Making the characters Drizzt, Bruenor, Pwent, and Regis come to life in Neverwinter was a fun task to take on, and today I’m giving you a peak behind the scenes of the process.
First the character team starts off exploring the D&D source books, as well as our reference folders for images. Once we have an idea of to how to convey them visually in our game, we sit down with the design and animation departments and collaborate on how to bring them to life.
The character team then takes the reference and begins to sculpt and model the shapes in Zbrush to create the high poly mesh trying to capture the likeness of each character. Once the high resolution sculpt is complete, we move on to creating the low poly/low resolution game model. This game-ready model is built off the high resolution sculpt we created in Zbrush so that it’s close to the detail and silhouette of that sculpt, and is also optimized for use in Neverwinter.
At this point the model is ready for the texturing phase. We use the high resolution sculpt to aid in creating detailed texture maps, allowing us to capture as much of the detail and texture from the original as possible. We create several texture maps for things like color tinting, bumpiness, shininess, and detail, which are assembled into a material that combines the textures into the final result, culminating in the characters you see in game!
Our team loves what we do, and we look forward to providing our players with more exciting, recognizable characters and creatures in upcoming releases, so stay tuned!
Senior Character Artist