In 2004, Rainbow started working on an internal project for THQ which was intended to explore an internal development option for the WWE franchise. It also was a chance to explore forward-thinking approaches to next generation character pipelines as the PS3 and Xbox 360 consoles were nearing release. I was brought on to the team as the lead character artist. I was tasked with designing a character modeling pipeline that supported internal and external production strategies.
These characters were to feature a full set of facial expressions, based on the FACS system and capable of extreme close-up camera angles, sub-surface shaders, and a full featured character creator morph set for user-created chracters. Like many projects at THQ, this one eventually was shelved and all our assets and code were shipped to another studio for integration in other projects. The heads featured below are from head models and sculpts I created to test the pipeline. The rendered model is the ingame base head model that was under 5,000 polygons, 2048 textures, nase normal and fine detail normal maps. The head sculpt from Mudbox is shown also below, with a wireframe of the in-game model shown at bottom.
All of these models shown on my site (Kurt Angle, John Cena, and Shawn Michaels) were modeled from photos from scratch. Scanning techniques were explored and intergrated into the pipeline, though none of these models were scanned. Kurt Angle was the first model produced and was the test case for the subsequent models