Hey there! Carl here. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
I'm the character artist for Filthy Fresh, taking the concepts and making game-ready characters.
The programs i use are mainly ZBrush, Maya, Substance Painter 2 and Photoshop.
Hard surface Maya -> ZBrush
Organic ZBrush -> Maya -> ZBrush
Picture 1 is how i go about hard surface, making the lowpoly in maya first, then importing into ZBrush.
Picture 2 is an example of a retopo before going into detail, working with subdiv levels instead of dynamesh/zremesh.
Once i have the general shape of what i want, i tend to make a lowpoly and work in subdivision levels. This creates a very stable workflow where you don't have to worry about going back and forth between programs to change something.
Through substance painter, you can bake a mesh without exploding it by using naming conventions. This saves a ton of time both for the baking itself, but also if you edit your highpoly.
Before baking the rest of the maps, i tend to only bake the normal map and the ambient occlusion as these are the problem makers when there are baking artifacts. Making sure these bake without problems before baking the rest saves time in the long run.
The most important part of them all is feedback. I tend to ask for feedback whenever i feel like i’m blind on my work. Working on one this for a longer period of time tend to give you a sense of tunnel vision, not seeing obvious mistakes. Here’s a couple of examples of draw over feedback. The harsh one is written by myself ( ﾟヮﾟ)
When doing stylized textures, i like to take good use of the baked maps, especially the curvature map, and use these to emphasize edges. I also like to use the position map for stylized characters to create a gradient going over the character, where the top is lighter than the bottom.
The character is still work in progress, following with a few extra days of polish and nailing the colour palette of the character.