Creating A Game Character “Yae Sakurain” In ZBrush And Maya

Yae Sakurain

In this article, Fox Renderfarm, the best render farm in the CG industry, will share with you a Maya tutorial about how to create a game character “Yae Sakurain” in ZBrush And Maya. This tutorial is written by 3d Artist Sakura.

This style is to use three-dimensional methods to achieve the artistic expression of two-dimensional visual style. So I chose the character Yae Sakurain in the game "Honkai Impact 3'. This is a challenge for me. This article is from looking for references in the early stage to the final model making.

This article will not describe too much technical skills, but hope to share the production process and some ideas from a design perspective.

Software used:

  • PureRef: Reference collation
  • Zbrush: Characters & costumes
  • Maya: Topology & UV
  • Xgen: Grooming
  • Mari: skin map
  • Substance Painter: texture map of other parts
  • Arnold: lighting material rendering


When I saw the design of the character Yae Sakura in the "Honkai Impact 3'', I was attracted by its design, personality and expressiveness. Its facial features and ears are a bit like a bunny girl, as well as color matching and body proportions.

Honkai Impact 3

Honkai Impact 3

Honkai Impact 3


The difference between reference and inspiration is that reference is based on having inspiration as a general direction guide, and then adding more. Collecting references helps guide oneself to find the right direction, and at the same time it is not easy to go wrong in the production process.

It is a more realistic style. At the same time, I also found a lot of references for Japanese kimonos and skirts, head styling, expressions, hair, etc.

The character requires a lot of refinement of key features to better show their ideas. This personal project took a lot more time to find references than my other projects.

Creating A Game Character “Yae Sakurain” In ZBrush And Maya


Large stage and detailed stage

In the large-scale stage, I first built a basic structure in Maya. I like to start with the whole and grasp the overall proportional relationship to a certain extent. It can be seen that this role belongs to NPR. The characteristics of NPR mainly focus on styling design, large scale relationship and color, and the treatment of light and shadow.

If you do this directly, the direction is incorrect. And the structure on the model will be too flat. Especially using the PBR process, there is no cartoon material effect, such a model does not have enough features.

Creating A Game Character “Yae Sakurain” In ZBrush And Maya

Creating A Game Character “Yae Sakurain” In ZBrush And Maya

So through the combination of these references, a rough proportion is formed in the mind and built in the software. In this way, we can slowly enter the detail stage with a holistic way of thinking, without chaos. Of course, you can find some models to fight together and adjust the shape to save some time. Various methods can be tried.

Creating A Game Character “Yae Sakurain” In ZBrush And Maya

In the detail stage, I will try my best to express the different characteristics of the model, and then the model can show some sense of hierarchy at this stage. This can predict some effects after the texture map is applied. But it does not mean that the model is finalized at this stage. After all, although this has a reference to the original painting, it is a secondary creation on this basis.

So if the texture map is not suitable, it will return to the model stage for adjustment. After the appearance is determined, the detail stage is also very important. In many cases, the comparison and level changes between models are presented by the characteristics of different shapes.

For example, the folds of the kimono, the embroidered patterns on the top, the shape of the skirt, the changes in the fold structure on the top, and how many different model structures are on the mask, sword, and rope. Observe the above features, analyze and disassemble them and make them all, if they are not good, you can delete them.

Creating A Game Character “Yae Sakurain” In ZBrush And Maya

For this project, I used Zbrush mainly to deal with some fabric and shoe models. Clothes and shoes do not need to be worn, but they are not completely unused. So some folds were added to make the model look authentic.

I didn't use Marvelous Designer for the clothes, because those things are not complicated, and almost all of them are made directly using ZBrush.

Creating A Game Character “Yae Sakurain” In ZBrush And Maya

After completing the topology in Maya, occasionally I will return to zbrush to adjust if I am unsatisfied, and repeatedly modify it back and forth. At the same time, in order to get more structural levels and details on the model, and to make some rhythmic distinctions between different models, the subdivision of the cloth is still given enough surface.

Primary and secondary and rhythm changes. This part needs to be finalized at the model stage. Regardless of whether it is clothing or props, I have made trade-offs as much as possible in the details of the relationship with the characters. After all, it can't be details, or no details. There will be a lack of rhythmic changes in the expressiveness of the entire styling. I used the appearance changes of clothing and skirts to break the overly flat outline of the entire model, and at the same time used props to reinforce this.

Creating A Game Character “Yae Sakurain” In ZBrush And Maya


Mari and Substance Painter are used in the texture part. I first finished making the skin. Then the most important part begins, the production and color matching of other parts, as well as the material details. Of course it was done separately, for the same reason.

For the texture mapping of the components, observe the real photos made by others or analyze the logical hierarchical relationship between them. It can be done layer by layer, the important thing is to observe and disassemble and analyze. For example, have you tried to show some texture particles, dirt, thread ends, and high light reflections on the clothing?

In fact, to some extent, we need to have a certain understanding of the properties of the shader, whether you know how to use basecolor, metallic, roughness, normal, and sss textures. How do they affect each other? Basic knowledge is important.

Creating A Game Character “Yae Sakurain” In ZBrush And Maya

One of the more important reasons that problems exist is that there are too many details, and there is no planning in the early stages, resulting in details everywhere. One difficulty with this character is that the costumes are white. White is a color that is harder to produce effects. If you don't do it, the texture map of the entire costume will appear very thin, and doing too much will steal the attention of the character.

In the end, I chose to add some different types of embroidery effects to the white clothing, especially the cherry blossom pattern on the large sleeves, to ensure that it conforms to the cultural background. It’s easier to say, but I don’t know how many times I have tried repeatedly when I did it. The color matching is relatively good. The design of Yae Sakura has helped you to adjust the color matching in place, mainly controlling some parameters such as saturation.

Creating A Game Character “Yae Sakurain” In ZBrush And Maya

Grooming and lighting

After finishing most of the texture maps, I will try to set up a set of basic light sources in the scene, mainly for auxiliary hair test rendering.

These two are the core references:

Honkai Impact 3

Creating A Game Character “Yae Sakurain” In ZBrush And Maya

Based on these two references, I found some other references. The final references are as below.

Creating A Game Character “Yae Sakurain” In ZBrush And Maya

First, solve the large structure and the direction of the hair with the larger main body. Then add some fine splits based on the big trend, and finally add some broken hairs and so on.

Creating A Game Character “Yae Sakurain” In ZBrush And Maya

It can be seen that the hairstyle and lighting still affect the facial emotion expression of the characters very much. Take a closer look at each of them.

Creating A Game Character “Yae Sakurain” In ZBrush And Maya

I try to grasp the characteristics of the role of Yae Sakura, such as the feature of her hair spreading to the ends, and the hierarchical relationship between bangs and temples. And the spread of the long hair rests behind the open styling. Because I didn't want this character to be too cartoonish, I looked for some realistic style references.

Creating A Game Character “Yae Sakurain” In ZBrush And Maya

Lighting rendering, first of all, I wanted to make it in the style of the first picture. After I have a foundation, I hope to express the feeling of sunlight on the hair and body in the fourth picture. At the same time, because there is a stronger light source in the scene, the overall light will be brighter. I found the second picture and the third picture to supplement. Of course, there are still many pictures to support. In order to better refine the views of this article, I have selected these four representative references.

Creating A Game Character “Yae Sakurain” In ZBrush And Maya

Yae Sakurain


The conceptual design and reference diagrams before making are very important. Basic software technical knowledge and design theories can help you improve your work. Details, proportions and composition are very important for perfect results.

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Maya Tutorial: How to Make An Axe(2)
Maya Tutorial: How to Make An Axe(2)
When I feel that there is no problem with the overall shape, I can start the middle mold of the detailed blade part. Continue to refine the three structural parts that were just split.We have refined the structure of the three parts. At this point, the basic shape of the entire model has basically reached the structure in the concept map.!Maya Tutorial How to Make An Axe!Maya Tutorial How to Make An Axe!Maya Tutorial How to Make An Axe!Maya Tutorial How to Make An AxeIf these details are attached to the basic structure, if it is not easy to make in Maya, you can use the advantages of ZBrush's rapid sculpting for quick sculpting.!Maya Tutorial How to Make An Axe!Maya Tutorial How to Make An AxeThis stage is just a transitional model, there is no need to sense volume or sculpt, like some smaller details, I just quickly generated the basic shape attached to the details on the whole.These are very time-consuming if they are directly modelled in Maya or 3ds Max, so what we need is to use the advantages of each software to quickly achieve the final effect. The software used is not important, the effect is the final.The specific operation is also very simple:- Masking- If the generated thickness is too thick, adjust the thickness and generate again- Separation model- Then adjust the shape according to the original painting.!Maya Tutorial How to Make An AxeWe need to take the topologies of the models planned in ZBrush into low-polygon models and import them into Maya for further mid-model refinement. Finally, some detailed models such as nails and ropes are put on, and then the models are merged, and the preparatory work is done for the model carving. At the edge, I deliberately added some notches and bumps to make this axe look like it is often used.!Maya Tutorial How to Make An Axe SummaryWhen making this model, there are more cumbersome parts. Don't be afraid. Just break the 2D concept map into many small parts, and then distinguish the priority and make it step by step according to the previous plan.Then sculpt some worn details to the model in ZBrush. Then you can go to ZBrush to carve some broken details. In this process, you need to pay attention to the overall structure and don't make too much detail. Do it first, then do it again, otherwise, the model will look too trivial.!Maya Tutorial How to Make An AxeThere are no details everywhere because they will distract the viewer. We only need to have relatively large damage in the distant view, middle-level details in the mid-range, and close-range views to see the texture of the details, and all the things can be combined to form a very beautiful model.When making a model, you will need to make the main character first, and then other accessories. The overall model's picture needs to be coordinated, instead of focusing all the energy on a broken sculpture. We need to use damage and details to set off the subject, not to make those details too attractive.!Maya Tutorial How to Make An Axe!Maya Tutorial How to Make An Axe
Maya Tutorial: How to Make An Axe(1)
Maya Tutorial: How to Make An Axe(1)
In this article, Fox Renderfarm, the best cloud rendering service provider in the CG industry, shares a tutorial from 3D artist G on how to make an axe with Maya.G is a 3D artist and has been engaged in model making for the game industry. Before entering the CG industry, he also made many mistakes that the beginners would make. In the process of making some 2D concept drawings into 3D works, he gradually realized that as a 3D artist. From flat thinking to three-dimensional thinking, it is necessary to have a good analysis and judgment ability for the understanding and grasp of the sense of space, especially when the 2D concept map is produced in 3D.G will mainly show the production process of the model and explain how to decompose the 2D drawing into a 3D drawing. I hope this article will be helpful for beginners. ReferenceI looked for a cool weapon concept map as a reference. The concept map of this axe has beautiful lines and a simple structure, which is very suitable for 3D.!Maya Tutorial How to Make An AxeBefore making it, I will observe the concept map first, and then have a blueprint in terms of structure, proportion and colour scheme. Take the following picture as an example. This axe looks very sharp, and the middle position is thicker, forming a strong contrast. Moreover, we need to infer the thickness and curvature of the side from the ratio and contrast of light and shadow, which is very important.!Maya Tutorial How to Make An AxeCompared with the two weapons, the first one I personally feel is that it is not a knife, because it does not have a sharp blade similar to figure 2, so it must have a heavy texture. In addition, there are sharp thorns on both ends. I can imagine the way this weapon is used. It should first stun the opponent like a hammer, and then pierce his vitals with the spikes. It's bloody to think about it. Since this weapon is very heavy, I would imagine that the person using it should be very strong and domineering!Preparatory work is very necessary. If you need more, you can find more reference pictures, such as the thickness reference of the side, otherwise, the model will be unreasonable. ModelingMy habit is to decompose the weapon according to the structure of the original concept painting before making the model, especially for this very complicated weapon, this step is more important. No matter how complicated things are, as long as they are broken down step by step, they will not be so complicated.The important point is that you should not directly make it on the basis of the concept map. If one of the structures has a problem, then a lot of repeated modifications are required, so that you need to redo it. This will be a waste of time and will lengthen the production cycle. Therefore, the early disassembly analysis is very important.In this project, first of all, we need to determine the main shape, which is basically divided into two parts: one part is the definable thing, the handle, etc.; the other part is the main body of the blade.My principle of production is the structure must be made with the least amount of surface in the early stage.!Maya Tutorial How to Make An AxeWhat can be determined is that some parts of the above picture, such as the handle and the bottom of the lower end, are cylindrical, so you can make all these simple things first, and give a reference to the width of the blade.The main body of the blade is as follows:!Maya Tutorial How to Make An AxeThe main structure of the blade is composed of two red areas as a basic structure, and other details can be ignored. Therefore, the structure of our first step is as follows:!Maya Tutorial How to Make An AxeThe model of the blade must be made with the least number of faces, and the whole structure must be made first before the other things. This production step requires a lot of patience and time because we need to modify the shape as much as possible to be similar to the concept map in a small number of faces. Because this low-profile model will be a draft of our final effect. Of course, you can also import the reference image into the background image as a reference.!Maya Tutorial How to Make An Axe!Maya Tutorial How to Make An AxeFor Part two of the tutorial,Maya Tutorial: How to Make An Axe(2)
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