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"The Zoo"

Posted: 20 August, 2020

Monday 17.08.2020

I’m a tad fussy about fonts. Normally, I don’t start a project until I have my fonts sorted, but this project was an exception. I fell into it (after canning my FPS) and brought over the fonts I was previously using, knowing they’d have to be replaced.

For the last few months I’ve been using Calamity Sans, which was a fan-made version of the font from Breath of the Wild. It did a good job of easing me into the feel of writing Zelda-style dialog, but the vertical line spacing was far too compressed and it’s been making me twitch something rotten. From what I can tell, BotW used Proxima Nova, or an edited version of it, but that’s a stupidly expensive font, so I’m not going near that. I want something similar, though. After a lot of searching I think I’m going to go for Montserrat. It’s knocking on the door, looks-wise, and most importantly, appears to be free…

Dialog Boxes

This whole thing was spurred on because I introduced my SO to The Prisoner last night, and the second I clapped eyes on the title screen I knew I’d found the font for in-game locations names. Behold, Albertus:

Location Names

Even the Dev Menu looks good:

Dev Menu

The rest of the day was spent making a Rook. Came out OK, but I need to work out why there’s a seam in the normal where I’ve mirrored the UVs.

Tuesday 18.08.2020

I made a chicken. Lessons learned today:

  1. The mesh you get after ZRemeshing isn’t quite the same volume as the High Poly, which leads to nasty artifacts in the bake. This is pointing me back to doing the retopology by hand. Gngngng. Maybe there’s a cheeky way of using Blender’s snap function to re-project the verts…
  2. Those seams in the normal map come from either: not having a hard edge along the mesh in the middle, or not offsetting the mirrored UVs by 1. Not sure which atm, cos I did both, but it got rid of the seam :D

My chicken is a complete copy of the one from Links Awakening, but it’s about the most complicated thing I’ve done, ground-up, in Zbrush, so I’m pretty happy with it.


Yeah, I know, I can still get rid of more verts. Good is the enemy of perfect and all that. (Plus, I am very very lazy. :P)

Wednesday 19.08.2020

Still in Zbrush. Thought I’d have a crack at doing a version of Bari, the hovering squid thing. I didn’t use any reference this time, and it’s way worse for it, but it doesn’t look like an exact copy which I guess is good after my chicken antics yesterday...

On the downside, my ZRemesh hacks completely failed to produce anything good, so gngngng, tried to do the retopo by hand and quickly gave up.

One thing I love about Blender is the plug-ins. I couldn’t live without a couple – UV Packmaster and Auto Rig Pro – so I went on a hunt to see what was available, and predictably, there were plenty of options.

Retopoflow caught my eye, and god-damn! It works really well!

The menus are a bit slow, and I think 3.0 is still in beta, but whatever, this took me a few minutes to do BariRip and it looks legit.


Bingo bongo. My Zoo is coming along nicely.

Thursday 20.08.2020

Worked on a Rat today. Thought that’d be slightly more complicated and I wanted to have a proper go with Retopoflow, my new best friend.


I’m really happy with how the low poly came out, but it’s not perfect. I need to learn a bit more about loops and poles and get a handle on what the proper flow should be. Today I was slapping stuff down to see what happened. I'm actually surprised there weren't more issues.


My Zoo has come on a bit this week.


Friday 21.08.2020

Day off!

Been going through the calendar with my SO and we’ve both been working our socks off since lockdown. Think we’re going to have a few easy days over the next week.

Github check-ins tell the tale...


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