A while back in 2008 gameartisans.org had a Comicon contest to model your favorite comic hero/villan. I thought long and hard, in my mind it became a choice of Claymore’s Caire, Witchblade, or Poison Ivy (from Batman). Looking back now, I wish that I had instead done one of the others, but nevertheless I think that this model turned out very well. My goal from the begining was to use an entirely open-source pipeline, Blender (GLSL new at the time), GIMP, and Inkscape only. Limiting myself did hold back some of the polish, but I believe that it was a fair result. However for some strange reason when time came to render the result nothing worked like I wanted. I had the normal mapping pipeline incorrect and some work had to be redone, and it was a huge frustration because I had nothing but computer issues at the time, but I pulled through and posted my work.
Here is the official entry page from the contest.
Exhausted, I backed up my work and forgot about the model (and to be honest haven’t visited the ga.org forums since…shame on me), but now I give it to you in the hopes that it will be useful.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Also during the modeling session I made an image that showed the difference between the normal mapped meshes with a bit more detail than the example at the top seems to.
Inside the download there are two files (the original high resolution mesh as rendered below) and the low resolution model which contains the diffuse and normal maps packed within. Though you can’t directly build the normal maps from the high to the low models as is, with a little bit of prep work it is achievable. I originally split the model into 6 files and rendered the normal map in batches, and I thought it would be overkill to include all those in the download. So hopefully as they are, it can be used as source to get you started playing with Blender’s normal maps. Oh and if the proportions look wrong, it is because in the comic it is supposed to be a skinny girl with a ridiculously large sword, in typical manga style. I actually hit the nail pretty close to the target because the expression and body looks close to the comic.