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Character Creation - Expert Advice Needed!

$600 for a fully rigged modular character model is not particularly expensive. If you were to contract that work out, you’d pay more than that.

Money is the way that our society decides who gets to tell whom what to do with their time and assets. More money, means you can influence more people more of the time. The amount you have to pay has to be equal to the time and assets involved in the work you want done.
As for “nobody wants my $50,” perhaps the problem is that the difference between $50 and $0, when it takes may days or weeks to create the asset, just isn’t material?

Also, I just realized, there is this:
http://charactergenerator.autodesk.com/
You can get a low-poly rigged FBX out of it for free. Add a TurboSmooth if you want it higher-poly, or pay a few dollars.
If you’re interested in females without clothes, though, that won’t happen with that tool.

$600 for a fully rigged modular character IS particularly expensive for amateur game dev/game dev hobbyist, especially when many other assets are required. Its also difficult to find artist who are interested in creating such assets. Very little interest showed here. I’ve purchased from Asset Stores in the past, but, desire customization nowadays.

Why not sell a fully rigged modular character for $30 to 200 customers world-wide non-exclusively ($6000) and supply it with parts? There is no variation limit. There is no time limit to produce Assets for a Asset store. I can see the need for these types of Assets. Thus, my UE4 Project will be building a team of non-traditional modeler/animators to fill this niche.

I’m inclined to disagree. First of all, the work of an artist is very expensive - and I’m a programmer without art, so I should be asking for cheap assets :stuck_out_tongue: Second, games that really leave an impression usually have characters that stand out. If you create simple characters that are clearly made on generic character-creators and do not spend time/money improving it and making it unique, your game won’t stand out. At all. But obviously, that’s just my opinion.

I’m also a programmer without art, which is exactly why I found myself shopping for Art in Online Marketplaces. The Modular Entity System I propose is the solution for the ‘generic & cheap association’ to Asset Stores. A solution with significant levels of granularity, infinite variation, extensible, driven by the imagination and personal touch of human artists. But, if you’re one who can afford $600 per character, than you may not see value in my solution… yet.

It may be that $600 for “anything” is expensive to you, but that doesn’t mean that it’s an “above market” price. In fact, it may be below market, especially if it’s modular, supports facial animation, etc.
A Tesla Model S for $50,000 would be inexpensive for that car, but I still couldn’t afford it – there’s a difference in the price-of-the-work versus what-I-can-afford. Just because I can’t afford something, doesn’t mean that the market has to supply that same thing cheaper. It more likely means that I can’t have exactly what I want, and have to look around for some other way of doing things.

600$ is mainly for companies small or big. the modular character approach exists in other software and games, can be great for populating some place with generic people, for character or team controller by the player you will need something that’s make it appart and looking great. UE4 have morph targets system that could allow you ot have many different faces from one base. Or you can almost do it manually using some program like Make Human exporting different heads and body shaps than combining them in a modeler do dynamically inside UE4.

Tesla Model S for $50,000 is not a compatible argument, but, I understand the intent. With modern day tech the cost to produce 3D Art should be less. More accessible. Just like the State-of-the-Art Technology used to render it in-game (ie UE4 $19/mo). As far Market Pricing goes, I would expect it to drop considerably. The accessible Tech has enabled untapped 3D Artist from all over the world to enter the game dev market. Like any business, I would assume Artist would seek ways to do it faster, better, and cheaper.

I don’t feel bad for not being able to afford the $600 dollar model. I shop in Asset Stores for the $20-$50 Models and I demand customization and high quality.* I’m that guy*. The Artists who ‘gets’ me, is the one who is getting my money and that of 50,000 others like me.

I desire player customization in my games. The lack of modular entities in Asset Stores is what inspired me to develop a solution. The solution I’m developing is based on UE4’s powerful skeletal mesh capabilities. With significant levels of granularity, infinite variation, extensible, driven by the imagination and personal touch of human artists I’m certain it will change the perception of shopping in Asset Stores.

My solution works similar to DAZ3D Genesis, providing core rig and base body/parts in which a huge range of other 3D Entities can be derived using morph targets, sockets, and material layers. The methodology is applied to common entity types found in 3D Games: Character & Creature Head/Body, Vehicles/Crafts, Machines, Weapons, Architecture, Structures, Furniture, Plants, Hybrids. Its a Open system in which Artist create new core rigs and base body parts or extend existing ones to evolving hierarchy of styles (ie: Master Rig and Re-targeting Compatibility). There are minimal layers of management for Quality Assurance (inspect and ensure Parts meet the specification and Game/Application compatibility) and Catalog Entity Base Mesh/Parts.

Yes, the technology is more available but the talent to do great things with that technology is just as elusive as it ever was, perhaps even more so given the sheer amount of high quality distraction available in modern life making procrastination more enjoyable than hard work. Yes, there are lots of diploma mills out there churning out eager 3d artists with degrees, but they also get a mountain of debt with that degree building in extra over head in their costs.

Anyway your idea is an interesting one, and like you I am a little surprised there aren’t more systems like this out there.

Out of curiosity what level of quality are you looking for at $20-$50 for a character model? does that include animations?

I join a fantasy football league every year on Yahoo. They have a simple character creation program where you can design what your cover image will look like. You’ve seen them. You can create body type, hair color, clothes etc. . . It’s basic and of course, there is no animation, bones, rigging. But somebody knows, that if you give your customers a little way to easily customize their experience, there’s a payoff. Someone is going to come up with a character system somewhere between Yahoo and the sophistication of Max/Maya/Blender (Plugin for UE4? Anyone?) and people are going to use the **** out of it.

We’ve got one program coming online soon; SpeedTree (which is awesome) where you have the ability to make any kind of tree with any variation. And we are doing backflips over it. Imagine if we had a “SpeedHuman”. Yeah. Right On!

I’d take anything similar to the character creators referenced below, if something like them could be integrated into UE4. It wouldn’t be the end all, be all. I respect you artist types, wanna spend weeks getting your guy or gal or creature just right. You could still do that. But wouldn’t a little streamlining in this area be cool?

Eve Online: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kgk-vXxPvV8
The Sims 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPt3szu7KDY
Guild Wars: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5EWjd4t8gI#t=261
A Top Ten List from 2013: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20YHZHF2dOA#t=399

PS: Invariably, half way thru the football season, someone notices my Yahoo cover image. I always try to make it actually look like me. (boring I know) They will say, “You’re supposed to make your avatar be something amazing. Like a superhero or a monster or something. Not look like your self; A short, fat, grey headed guy.” Now, I think, as simple as some of these things are, you can get a lot of individuality and creativity out of basic, easy, creation tools.

Ah TechLord, the ol`buzzword-machine again.

Yeah, yeah, nobody gets your great master-mind. Would you mind stop implying that I and the others are just too dumb?
I will not go into arguing about your great idea as you don`t grasp the contradiction in your argument. Just alter your tone.
OK?

AAA Quality or above for both Models/Animation.

ol`buzzword-machine again. lol. You’re right I can get wordy at times. This is a different discussion. I abandoned Crowdsourced 3D Game Art & Animation Concept. Not sure about the tone. I’m pretty stoked about my new concept and want to tell the world about it. Sorry to offend ya.

appreciated

Ever thought of trading your coding services for art or any other trade you need? I think a lot of artist would love to not have to pay a programmer. As well as a lot of programmers do not want to, or simple cannot afford to hire professional artist. Also 1k per model is way steep unless they are those guys with tons of commercial titles under their belt. Then it is just normal rates they are used to being paid by large studios.