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Start from a base character.
From within Fuse select the "File > Download Content Creator Pack" menu option.
Because the Diffuse, Gloss, and Spec maps are completely generated within Fuse, the UVs for the characters must remain the same, or match those supplied in the templates. The best workflow is to simply sculpt directly on the supplied base meshes. The base characters are available in the Content Creator Package as MaleFitA.obj and FemaleFitA.obj.
Focus on the sculpt.
The detail that is put into the sculpt is extremely important, so achieve the highest quality that you can. Zbrush central is an excellent resource for reference of high quality sculpts. You can push the base mesh as far as it will go but here are some things to keep in mind:
- For very large characters the texture will have less fidelity as the same texture space is being stretched across a larger surface.
- Adding protrusions may be problematic because you cannot break the UV borders.
Extract your maps.
Map sizes should all be 2048 x 2048 dimensions.
All maps should be 8 bit RGB .pngs
Naming the maps correctly will speed up the import process; they will be automatically linked. The file naming structure for imported Fuse bodies is:
Normal Map - BodyName_StdNM.png
Aged Normal Map - BodyName_AgedNM.png
Ambient Occlusion - BodyName_AO.png
Detail Map - BodyName_DetailExtra1.png
Normal Map (recommended)
You can extract the normal map from your sculpting program. If you opted to not sculpt the teeth and eyes, you can grab their normal map from any of the source characters. This is especially important for the eyes, because the shape of the cornea is defined in the normal map, which gives the focused highlight on the eyes.
Aged Normal Map (optional)
The aged normal map is optional. Duplicate your original sculpt and age the character with wrinkles. The extracted normal map can be used to blend between young and old.
Ambient Occlusion Map (recommended)
The ambient occlusion map is very important to generating the diffuse color map in Fuse. It can be created in xNormal by exporting the high-res sculpt as an .obj and using it as both the source and target mesh. I highly recommend a program called Knald which uses the normal map and low-res base mesh as inputs to generate the AO map. You can also export a cavity map and multiply it on top of the ambient occlusion to further define the sculpted detail.
Detail Overlay Map (optional)
The detail map allows you to overlay your own custom painted detail on top of your character for instances where specific detail is needed that Fuse does not provide. In our example of the zombie, the blood for his cuts are all in the detail map. Other obvious uses would be for tattoos or specific makeup. Areas that will show the base diffuse should be left transparent.
Mudbox is a great program to create the detail map, because you can paint directly on the model and use layers with transparency similar to photoshop.
Export your geometry.
Export the low-res as an .obj. The name has no appendage, so it’s called MaleFitZombieA.obj in our example. Keep the eyes and eyelashes as separate meshes. The body and teeth are one mesh.
Gather your final files for import.
With the example of a mesh called ExampleBody.obj the recommended file names for importing into Fuse are the following:
- Your full body geometry: ExampleBody.obj
- Standard Normal Map: ExampleBody_StdNM.png
- Aged Normal Map: ExampleBody_AgedNM.png
- Ambient Occlusion Map: ExampleBody_AO.png
- Detail Overlay Map: ExampleBody_DetailExtra1.png
Note: The naming is not strict, but following this format has helped us to stay organized.
Import your body into Fuse.
Within Fuse choose the File > Import > Import Characters option. The import wizard will open and guide you through the import process.