As you might have read I've been off the water race game to do some work on our new time management game. For this game we're aiming for a happy, cartoony and colorful look. Concept artist Verena Gefferie made the initial character design, next Pieter made a relatively low poly model based on her design, here's where I come in to Unwrap and texture it.
Unwrapping characters can be a real chore, luckily max Unwrap UVW modifier has a function called Pelt Mapping. With pelt mapping you predefine all the "cuts" you need to unwrap the model by drawing lines along the models edges, much like you would make cuts in a cardboard box to flatten it but keep it into one piece. Next you press the pelt button, start the pelt, throw in a relax or two and you model is unwrapped and ready for texturing.
For this model I've used a 1024x1024 texture which in the end will be downscaled to 512x512. We won’t be using real time shading in the game but instead I've drawn the "cartoon shading" into the texture. Each color has 3 shades, one for the default color, one for the shadows and one for the highlights.