Krikey recently launched Krikees, a custom 3D Augmented Reality Avatars feature where users can create and animate their own Avatars. Our latest launch includes Turbans and Long Braids! This blog post is a behind the scenes look at the process behind the creation of these in the Krikey app.
There are a few steps to the creation of the turbans and braids. The first step in creating turbans for our avatars is researching reference images and videos in order to capture how the turban folds and falls at every angle when an individual is wearing one. The first step in creating the braids is also researching online for reference photos in order to get an idea of how to create the braid pattern and overall look.
Turban Creation Process
Similar to the hijab creation process, there are three steps to the full process of the turban creation including creating a base model, adding the details to the model and then adding the colors/details. Maya, a general 3D software is used to create the base model. The simple 3D model is transferred to a program called Z Brush in the second step. Z brush is a program which facilitates the process of sculpting the details into the model. During this step, another program called Substance Painter, is used to bake the image from a high poly model to a low poly model.
This is important because the previous software, Z brush, is a software that creates a very dense model (meaning that there are many details that cannot be processed in a game engine due to the vast size of the model). We have to create light (or low poly) 3D Models to keep them size optimized for mobile devices. Substance painter helps transfer all the details from Z brush to the low poly model that is created in Maya -- combining all the needed elements together. The last step of the process includes using Photoshop to add the color and details to the low poly model. This leads us to the final form which is seen in the Krikey app.
Turban Final Complexities
The work is close to being finished once the final form of the turban is created. The turban has to be able to move properly with the 3D avatar when the character is animated. Calibrating the movements between the avatar’s body and the turban is very important to maintain realism of the character. The turban has its own way of moving when certain animations are selected. Another difficulty associated with the Turban is being able to get the folds and turns correctly portrayed through the model. Since these are 3D characters, they can be viewed 360 degrees from any angle. Our team utilized reference photos and videos to get all the details right for when the avatar turns around. This is achieved through many attempts of trial and error from our team. Once the details and movements are perfected, the feature is launched in the app!
Braid Creation Process
The process of creating braids included 4 steps. First, a braid was created using the program called Maya, a general 3D software that is used to create the base model. Inside Maya, a braid was created using the deformer, a tool that is given a certain target shape to change a basic model's shape, for three individual meshes which were repeatedly bent in order to create a 3d effect on the braid. Only one of the deformers needs to be tweaked and duplicated in order to apply all the settings on the other two meshes for perfect braid looks.
The final model in Maya is transferred to Z brush in order to create a custom brush, as well as, to make any future projects with braids easier to conduct. Z brush is a program which facilitates the process of sculpting the details into the model. This base that was created was used to create the brush used in Z brush to make several mockups of different hairstyles that had a braid present within it. Some of the mock up styles included a braid going straight down the back, braid running over the right/ left shoulder, a braid wrapped around the head and more. The styles chosen for Krikees in the end were the braid going straight down the back and the braid that ran over the shoulder. The rest of the process is identical to the latter half of the turban creation process with substance painter and onwards.
Braid Final Complexities
The work is close to being finished once the final form of the braid is created. The braid has to be intact, as well as be able to have proper dynamics (with use of blend shapes) with the 3D avatars of different looks. Calibrating the movements between the avatar’s body and the braid is very important. The braid movement must match the body shape of the avatar to make the braid look natural in its own way of moving when certain animations are performed. This is achieved through many attempts of trial and error from our team.
Hope you enjoy making your own Avatar videos and sharing with friends on the Krikey App!