@Solarlune Thanks. highly recommended people!
Played a bit of MGS: Peacewalker today, that's some good low-poly work right there. I like that low-res 3D, can still be animated as just as well and as natural/tactile feeling as if it was high res, which isn't really the case with low-res 2D, at least I have trouble with that.
Finally settled again, yay!
Start working extensively with blender in the following weeks. I'm going to be working exclusively on outfits as an exercise, it's a severely underdeveloped and uncreative area of mine, limited to jean jackets and square booties. Peacewalker definitely inspired that, being reminded you don't need excess geometry in a model to have a detailed character design. My plan: study random books and time periods at the library, make loads of work until it becomes natural, as of now there's little fluidity between conceiving a mesh, unwrapping, and creating a texture. Following this I'll work on detailing headbusts.
[Let me know if it's better that I keep my logic trains to myself. This is how I understand things as of writing this. 3D has a lot of concepts I'm trying to get my head around, maybe for others too.]
Normal Maps: [They won't show on my little netbook
so they might not show on your GFX card, but it should if your computer's less than a decade old, unless it's a netbook.] I'm not 100% certain as to how these blue gelly images affect the model when applied, but I assume normal maps adjust the texture's highlights and shadows, like applying layers in photoshop. The need for them being that the artist can keep the two separate, easily adjusted, possibly switching normal maps according to different lighting situations.
In blender here's how you apply normal maps, they aren't like uv textures, where you just load them as an image in the uv editor, they are a seperate texture on top of that:normal map tutorial
Texture Paint Mode: You can paint directly on your model in Blender to create textures, but you need check a few things before that it can work.
*Model needs to be unwrapped
*A new or loaded image needs to be loaded with the UV's
Texture painting will directly change the loaded image in the UV editor. Which can be saved and worked more on in photoshop or other image tools.
I haven't messed a round too much with it, it seems limited, but it could be good to rough out details to get a sense of how they will appear on the UV texture, to later work in the finer details in photoshop. Definitely something I will use to concept ideas for outfits and nic nac related deets
Modifiers - I haven't found much use for the other modifiers but I've been working with Mirror/Sub Divide/Bevel. Keep the vertices down, so I have less to work with, so less to worry about. They keep the polys uniform and consistent without needing constant retouching. I leave the modifiers not applied until the model is finished, in that case I'll keep a backup of the model before the modifiers are applied. there's an option to export the model with modifiers applied.
Not enough pics:
going for a accurately proportional model. I'm happy with how the upper torso to neck came out. I'm still working out the abdomen. I worked in a higher subdivision, but liked what it did to the lower subdivision, kept areas nice and conceivably round.
Do you think 624 polys is a high number for this model? I'm wondering if that is too much or I can work in more geometry. I guess it depends on my target, but I'm thinking low-end, enough for netbooks to handle.