Ershin is a character from the Breath of Fire (IV) franchise of games by Capcom, it is one of the games I remember very well from when I was young. with a cast of diverse and colorful characters and an art style that complimented it nicely, it was a game that never fails to spark a sense of nostalgia for me. When you first encounter Ershin in the game it is immediately apparent quite how odd a character she is going to be. With an air of mystery, an unusual design concept and an odd sense of humour she always stuck out as quite a unique character throughout all the games I have played (over many years). Laughing at inappropriate times throughout the story and always referring to herself in the third person made her an interesting edition to the game, often using her humour to add a lightheartedness to the game to help balance the general mood of the game.
As I have said, I did model Ershin a few years ago now as I was beginning to become more proficient and at the time was very happy with the result. Looking back at it, I would still class it as a pretty good achievement, however I know I can improve upon it. The biggest issues I feel are the lighting is very lacklustre, the textures look very muddy in places and where I have used normal maps I didn’t reflect this in the diffuse or specular maps so it doesn’t really do it justice. I can’t find the original model anymore but I remember that by the end of it the mesh was far too dense for what I needed and these are all things I hope to improve upon the second time around. It is fair to say though that I did learn quite a lot of new techniques through doing this the first time around as strictly speaking it was my first attempt at any real hard surface modelling. I also actually got around to fully rigging the character as well although during the rigging process I found some of the limitations in recreating some of the character designs in 3d (her limbs didn’t allow for a wide range of movement which made posing her difficult).
The arms are starting to take shape now and the grill in the front of the armour is not in place. I think I will have to go back and clean up the mesh later on but for now it should all be okay. Ideally I want to try and keep all of the quads with as smooth as possible to save any potential issues that may arise when it comes to painting the textures.
cont. 14th July The more I look at the front grill the more I like it actually. The legs have also now been started and the detail on the back has now been completed. I think I will have to go back and decimate the mesh when I’m finished modelling to clean up the mesh.
cont. 17th July The feet have now been fleshed out as have the eyes. The next part to tackle is the hands and then some cleanup work will be required before I move on to the next stage.
cont. 26th July After a couple of attempts the hands are now visually about where I am happy with them and the topology for them is clean. The proportions will probably need to be tweaked a little as they currently look a little skinny but the modelling is almost complete.
cont. 27th July Finally finished physically modelling Ershin. I have even modeled in a few nicks/ chips into her armour. I now need to make a decision as to whether I am going to texture her or not. I will attempt to hand paint the textures though I will have to see how they turn out as to whether I leave the final model as a clay render or not.
cont. 15th September After another hiatus I have started texturing Ershin. I am leaning more towards cartoony rather than realistic as a homage to the original character. I have had to re-do the texture map so far a couple of times because I missed a couple of seams which stopped the model from unwrapping properly. Making slow progress with it so far but I will keep updating pictures as I work through it.