The techniques I use are similar to the DOTA2 texturing and character art guides, which you can find on Valve's steam workshop.
The methods involve creating a high resolution mesh, which you can make in Zbrush/Sculptris/Mudbox, then baking out multiple maps as overlays, and then finish up with a bit of handpainted love. I also use a lot of reference to hit a certain look, usually stuff from WoW or now Heroes of the Storm since I finally got the client.
References are key to good art IMO. It's always easier to create something when you know the end result you're aiming for, not just relying on imagination and trial-and-error. Before I start a model, I usually sketch out a quick concept and block out rough shapes of what I want to make. Sometimes I collage it from multiple reference pictures, just to get an idea of what I need to make. The stronger the concept you have, the better your end result will be. Removing the guess work makes modelling (and texturing) a hundred times easier.
As for updates, I've been working on a couple things ever so slowly, and I have a backlog of stuff I haven't put up here. I've mostly been trying to break down Heroes of the Storm models, and I'm contemplating updating some older models to fit the style better.
We have so much in common =) I mean my pipeline is almost the same. By the way, what apps are you using if its not a secret ?
Rollback Post to RevisionRollBack
art station portfolio
SC2 Modeling and Texturing pipeline
I started using Zbrush for high res modelling. I use Maya for modelling/texturing, Max for rigging and exporting, and Photoshop for all my 2D needs. I bake my normal, lighting and occlusion maps straight out of Maya using Turtle. I need to try out 3Dcoat and ddo for textures, but I mostly use traditional photoshop painting methods. I'll occasionally dabble in Blender too, since Println's m3 exporter has a lot more features than the max one.
Interesting. I always preferred maya for rigging and max for modeling =) Have you tried Xnormal for baking ? Yeah blender is a nice app. I have to force myself to learn it because I am quite unhappy with the max monopoly. I am actually using modo at work and it feels a lot faster than max in terms of modeling and the only thing which keeps me using max is the modifiers statck. 3d Coat is very awesome app and I highly recommend it especially for hand painted textures.
New update! Just realized it's been a year since I last touched the troll model, but I decided to give him a facelift and bring him up to something more fitting to Heroes of the Storm quality.
So for the past week, I redid the sculpts for the head, did a proper sculpt of the body (it was a modified Grunt body before) and tripled the polycount. He's sitting at 6500 polies right now, with 1024x textures. I've also split up the textures for the hair and the axes to be separate so I have room to make different hairstyles or weapons in the future.
I'm considering using WoW animations, since the War3 ones are really janky. Still considering my options right now.
Here's the model of Gul'dan I made for Heroes of the Storm April Fools on reddit. Shoulders, skulls, back spikes, beard and chains. are taken from Azmodan's Guldan skin. The staff is partially paint-over, I didn't have time to make a proper model for it.