The first thing before modeling or even opening the 3D software is searching for reference pictures, like photographs of action figure, toys, posters, screenshots from trailer and from the movie itself (spoiler alert? Actually, not really).
For the differents steps, I’ve recorded 4 sped-up videos, showing the modeling and texturing process. Here are the links:
I modeled K-2SO in “spare parts”, with one UV per part, then I gathered them to make a texture atlas (high resolution image regrouping all the UV in one). The UV were made in C4D, but I haven’t recorded that process, way too long.
On left, ambient texture material + AO, on right, UV lines + AO
Once the atlas is completed, I imported the model in Substance Painter, and started to paint it, add scratches, rust, different materials and layers of textures (this step is in the 4th speed up video).
The skeleton is based on a simple biped anatomy, but of course with the K-2SO proportions (long arms and legs). The way the bones are put together is very specific, because the model is a droid, with metallic limbs. So, it doesn’t allow any stretchiness or distortion with the mesh while moving. For the animation, I watched the movie again, and chose a scene with K-2SO (this moment is at 0:26:50 of the movie, if you want see).
When the animation was completed, I planned out how to show the model in Sketchfab. The first thing was to take the background behind K-2SO in the movie and add it in the 3D scene. There were no widescreen bands at this time, yet. Then, I remembered a very clever idea I’d seen some time ago, about matte painting and FX integration in old movies, like Charlie Chaplin.
From that point, I made the little set, inspired by the film industry, like a blooper. I immediately thought that will be perfect for Sketchfab integration, because the user can move around and see the backstage. For that little animation project, Sketchfab was the perfect tool to make the interactivity possible.
Mickael Boitte 2017