When I saw Darling in the FranXx’s character Zero Two I knew I wanted to do something with the design. She just seemed like this wholesome girl, in a weird way, with her catlike grin. I had been planning on trying to do some sculpting in zBrush using a base mesh and then continueig to rig it in blender for a while. So this seemed like a fun little exercise. It turned into a big project where I would rebuild the entire thing halfway through. But it was a lot of fun.
The sculpting was a lot of fun, I made a base mesh first and then built shapekeys in blender to make variations of the character. This was followed by the rigging process, which did present me with some challenges. It was the first time rigging a character and the weightpainting was pretty challening, especially in the face area. Next time I will probably reduce the number of bones there and add more shapekey based controls.
The biggest challenge was when I started adding the clothes. The suits the characters wear have high heels, but the model I made was standing flat on her feet. This meant that the shoes would deform with the feet when I put her on her toes. In the end I solved this by using two bone systems, one to counteract the deformation and one used for the character. Then I applied the bone deformation on the shoes, which yielded a deformed mesh in flatfooted form, but looked good in tiptoe stance.
Creating the hair was pretty fun, although next time I would probably try to make them more low poly. The texturing was done in Substance painter and Substance Designer. After creating the Zero Two character, I created the Ichigo character as well. Following that I added more costume options. Especially the beach version was fun, because I could try some interesting water shading tricks.