The game's first character, blobber!
Blobber went through a lot of programs to get to where he is, and he still has more to go! Ill break down the process below:
Ideation begins on paper with a sketch.
Sketch is then moved on to digital form via Photoshop tracing to refine lines and shapes.
Sketch is then brought into VR with Adobe Medium, where the sculpt begins. This is the best program for laying out shapes quickly and getting a good feel for the sculpt because of how easy it is to view it from all sides and quickly iterate on the shape. Unfortunately getting fine detail can be tough in Medium, but its ok because that is what ZBrush excels at.
VR sculpt is brought onto Topogun for retopology (creation of lower poly mesh)
Low poly mesh is brought into Houdini and/or Maya for UVs. (Side FX Labs is a godsend with their auto UV SOPs)
UVed low poly mesh is brought into Zbrush to create a higher poly mesh with more details. Creases are made in this stage, along with any non-drastic changes we might want to make, such as bringing out the mouth a bit more, or more eyebag sag. Side note: I am surprised how well I have retained Zbrush after not using it for five years.
Bake maps??? Will probably end up baking in Substance Painter, but I have not gotten there yet.
Low poly (Left) at roughly 1,000 faces, High poly (Right) at roughly 1,000,000 faces. No maps present.