The problem with our character model ( previous chapter) is that it haven't vertex colour information assigned yet. That's what we'll gonna do now. In the same layer of the model add three or four white lamps, surrounding the character, maybe with different energy settings. Anyway, this step will be a matter of taste, of trial and error.
Once the lamps added, select the model, do Alt-Z to enter "potato" mode ( shading view), press V key, then W key, confirm Shared VertexCol pop up, and press V key again. Normally, now, the character object should display the materials colours with soft shadows applied. It's easy to verify if the manipulation has worked; simply press P key to enter Game mode and the model must be colourful and with lighting effects, more or less like in the image below.
If you're not happy with the result, it's easy to restart. Just go to the Editing window, in the Mesh panel press the "Delete" button in front of "VertCol" ( this will erase the vertex colour information of the model), and repeat the previous steps.
When definitely done, you can delete the lamps, they're not needed anymore.
Now it's time to stick togheter again the different body parts. It's easy! Just enter Edit mode, select all the vertices and press the "Rem Double" button. It's done.
Here, a more "artistic" work will begin! It's not really necessary, but it can add more "personality" to your character.
A little example: the eye zone. Enter Face select mode and select the faces that draw the eyebrow ( image above). Press V key to make the Paint panel appear. Choose a brown colour in the colour picker and press the "Set VertCol" button.
The important tools of the Vertex painter are the "Opacity" and the "Size" sliders. Once mastered, you'll became very efficient.
The eyebrows now are flat brown. To add some shading, enable the blue "Add" button, set "Opacity" to a low value ( 0.015) and make some strokes over the selected faces to make them a little lighter.
In Vertex Paint mode ( V key), the cursor acts like an image manipulation program brush. The major difficulty it's that quad faces are splited in triangles, even if the edge is hiden, making perfect gradients quite hard to obtain ( once used to the method this becames easy). And...as the name says, we'll "paint the vertices", so we can't paint in the middle of a face, so, some strategy we'll be need as we'll see soon.
To make the pupils just select them and "light" them with the cursor/brush, until they became almost white.
As I've said before, the brush has no action in the middle of a face. We must "paint" over a vertex, lending to a little problem: if we select only one face and "paint it" the edges will "appear" disgraciously asides the surrounding faces.
To avoid this, we need to select a surrounding area and paint the inner one. Please look at the image above. To add some light work to the eyelids, red line, we must select the green line area and carefully "paint" inside the red area. Unless that the desired effect it's to obtain neat edges.
In the image above we can see the result of the method described before. As you can see the light effects blends smoothly with the overall shading.
Well, it's better to avoid close-ups!!
Here, I show some easy and quite interesting effects we can obtain with the "Mul" and the "Gamma" values. In the first image the overall lighting of the model was raised by setting the gamma value to 1.100 and pressed the "Set" button button a few times.
In the second image I've made the light effect more "dramatic" by setting the "Gamma" value to it's original 1.0 and the "Mul" to 1.10, and, repressed the "Set" button a few times again.
The third image is a combination of the two methods. Make some tries, but take care, there's no undo. Remember, at 1.00 the settings have no effect.
Here's one example of the use of the Vertex Painting technique.