welcome to a normal-mapped character tutorial

Welcome to a Normal-Mapped Character Tutorial, created by Ben Huckaby for NC State University’s College of Design. This tutorial covers the entire process, from concept sketches to fully textured, animated, and ready to go character model. This is by no means the be-all, end-all resource on creating normal-mapped characters, but I hope that it proves to be a helpful tool for anyone that wants to get into using this valuable technique but just doesn’t know where to begin (or even the experienced user who just wants to see how someone else approaches the process).

This tutorial is divided up into eight sections, each covering one of the major steps involved in taking our provided concepts from 2D to 3D. You are free to start off in any of the sections, or you can click on the “start tutorial” in the lower left to get going from the very beginning.

While this tutorial is an accurate representation of what my process was at the time of each step’s development, I have to stress that this is just one approach and that, dependent upon what medium and group you're designing for, the process will vary somewhat.. Please use this as a basis to start from, exploring and finding your own way as you go. I learned quite a deal about how to improve my process just from doing this, and I hope that you will benefit as well.

Alright, enough disclaimer and introduction--it’s time to get our 3D groove on. Use the step navigation found to the left of this text to choose a starting place or click on “start tutorial” to begin on the ground floor. Thanks for visiting, and happy modeling (and animating)!

start tutorial