Extruding a Dream into Reality: Case 2

One of the characters I’ve had for a long time is a robot by the name of SpyBorg. He’s known as the Virus Slayer, as he is able to transport himself inside Cyberspace and fight computer Viruses. However, his original appearance (being in 2004) was heavily centered around a popular video game character I had no idea about but saw an action figure of and - not knowing who it was - made up the whole thing about SpyBorg myself so I could start playing with it. His appearance has changed drastically since then, thanks to a fellow artist who I have become friends with and SpyBorg finally found his own path, visually.

He’s been a character dear to me, much like Ryo (being the extruding dream into reality, Case 1) but on a different level. SpyBorg also was the character that got me wanting to make games, and I will continue that route in future.

However, being as precious to me as he is, I feel it’s also only right that he should have some kind of 3D form, as he’d be a great character to make fully rendered scenes and videos for. I plan on doing this very thing. The way I plan to do it, however, will also start a whole other branch of potential models of a specific style: Low-poly models with pixelated textures! It’s been done with other people, I want to try my hand with it, as I’ve dabbled in the art of pixel art, myself. SpyBorg will be the pioneer in this endeavor. If it works out, then I’ll try other characters of mine in this style, too.

If you have questions about the character or this project, be sure to ask here. Same about Ryo in Case 1. If the project of turning low-poly with pixel graphics goes well, then making other characters in the style will be its own topic. This is about Spy specifically.

Here’s a preview of the model for SpyBorg’s first model. Low-Poly + Pixel graphics will be an interesting take, but one fitting for one meant to be pixelated in-game. His model is almost done, actually. And he’ll also be part of a rigging experiment.

Hair added and hands re-done. I think the model is pretty much done, now to add the pixel textures. … After I make them.

This is so cool man! I can see your progress and improvement since you started. wow! Very nice :slight_smile: Can’t wait to see this o ne completed

I like this. I had to get on YouTube and look up ‘pixelated textures’ so I learned something. I like the concept and it’s nicely done so far.

Really really cool…love the fact that you want to breath life into a character dear to you

Pixel textures beginning to be applied! The pixel textures for his body are made in Aseprite, as my little game sprites are.

Well, I’ve added more to the texture set, only to find it re-sized the unwrapped meshes too, so I have to do EVERYTHING over again. Dang… I’m not up for that today…

I guess I can make this an excuse to try and re-do the texture sets a little to better allow for fiddling with the fit. I can see why other texture packs have some excess run-off on the outsides. You need it for connecting pieces. I’m just mad that all my work is ruined all because I added more to it to try and progress it… >< I’ll post pictures of the texture set once I sort this awful mess out.

Hello, all. No pictures, yet. Just giving an update about what I’ve learned so far. Mostly so other people can learn from my mistakes, as well as mentioning some plans going forward.

First of all, I need to caution all of you who may be feeling like you’re going to do a similar project I am: If you plan to add textures into the single image as you go, as you can adjust as necessary, DO NOT RESIZE THE BASE IMAGE! Blender will search for the image in your computer’s files, so if you save over your old image, do not assume Blender will still have the old version! It updates itself, you do not have to manually update it! This means the new version will override the old one and any meshes you’ve already adjusted to the old one will be messed up! If you want to do these things in stages, use multiple images for the different sections you’re working with OR have the maximum image size to start out with and fill in as you go without changing the maximum size!

Second of all, I must express that it is important that you have the edges of your texture segments extend out further than you think you’ll need. Sometimes it’s a little wonky getting the mesh to fit the textures exactly right. A little extra room to play with is always a good thing. Also, it allows for some resizing on the mesh, in case you need to “zoom out” on the mesh but don’t want to accidentally get the edges into another part of your textures on that image. So, make sure extra room is possible. Tight fits can be a pain to deal with.

With that out of the way, I wanted to announce that I’ll likely do a bit of a mock-up of a “game screenshot”. Texturing the background to have a similar pixelated design. It’s not completely sure yet, but it would be nice thing to help make a convincing picture. It’d be good practice for me as well. If I play my cards right, it would be a funny thing to make a small video of “gameplay” for it. It’s a simple dream, but it’ll also be a lot of work. My main concern is SpyBorg himself, but anything to make him seem more alive would be of good in the long run.

Getting the alignments back…

SpyBorg is pretty much finished! The chest could be a little more refined, but I’ll get to that later. He’s got his overall look and his textures are placed well. Introducing, SpyBorg 64!

He moves!


Okay, I know this might look like the “kamehameha” post from another angle, but it’s not. … Completely.

This is a post to give another PSA. Namely, if you’re planning on making a character that has both mechanical parts and human-like parts, then have them as two separate objects, parented to the same armature. The mechanical parts should be parented with “Empty Groups” and the human-like parts should be parented via “Automatic Weights”. This is how I got SpyBorg to have such stiff arms, but bendy hips and spine.

Part 2 to the PSA is what this post is actually about: Remember that IF YOU DO combine these tactics, be prepared to edit the human-like, bendy object where they connect to the machine parts. Remember that the bendy parts bend, but they are not connected. If you don’t extrude into the mechanical parts deep enough, you’ll suddenly start having open seams where the two are supposed to meet. In SpyBorg’s case, the knees and the mid-ribs areas. Extrude the knee sections at LEAST halfway down the whole length of the boot and the torso should extrude at least halfway up the armor. You can do less if you can get away with it, but go as long as you can get away with. Once you do that, parent the object to the mesh with Automatic weights AGAIN and the extruded parts with align to the rig, if you were seeing some problems earlier. But there’s no way to know how far you have to extrude until you start posing your character, so yes, it is basically a clean-up method.

Cool character man! Hope to see him in a game engine!


SpyBorg looks great. Two separate objects parented to the same armature, one with auto weights, the other with empty groups! Oh man, you’re deep in the weeds on this one. Thanks for the PSAs. I love the rigging and animation stuff and the details of what you’re doing are very interesting.

Glad my PSAs have been helpful. They come from experience, so I hope my breakthroughs and mistakes will help other people.

While this isn’t exactly Blender related right now, it could be in future. The title still applies, extruding a dream to reality. This one is a bit personal as well. For a long time, I have been wanting to make a character of mine into an actual, playable game. Game Maker was how I chose to go about it. However, life seemed to keep stopping me at every turn. Lack of tutorials meant I had to figure out a lot on my own, then technical issues, even losing an entire computer at one point, losing all my progress and when a new computer was gained, the original Game Maker was no longer supported by the company. It was just roadblock after roadblock and all the climbing felt like it was essentially for nothing.

However, Udemy has come to the rescue here, as it did for Blender. I am now using the updated program of GameMaker Studio 2, learning actual coding and learned the art of making custom sprites. SpyBorg: Virus Slayer is back in action, and the game’s revisions will make the end product better than ever. With some of my personal life simply being taken from me and leaving me in a very bad place, at least this one goal can still remain. Thus, a goal I will aim to achieve. Already, much has been done and much more will follow. I can at least have comfort in this.

Below is an image of my current progress. SpyBorg can move, jump, motion his shooting and the HUD has been put in place. It feels good to come back to an old goal and find I have new power to come at it with the greatest of vigor. I pray it’ll wind up finally leading to a good conclusion.

Nice progress you have made drift. if you ever want to use unity or unreal for the game just contact me, I will help as much as I can.

I appreciate the offer, but this game will be made in GameMaker Studio 2. However, if I later on bring SpyBorg to 3D, that very well might happen. ^^