Creative and Technical Model Submission

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This is my submission post for my 3D asset. Once i’d rendered out my model (shown in previous post), i exported it to my Sketchfab account. Below is the model itself, which you can zoom in and view from different angles.

I’ve put together a powerpoint of my production pipeline. This shows the development of my asset, from the original concepts and moodboards to the final renders:

Pipeline

Overall, i think this project has gone really well. Since my specialism isn’t 3D modelling, i’m not used to making professional assets, but i feel that i adapted well to the production pipeline. The modelling process in Maya was okay; cacti shapes aren’t too complex, so creating one wasn’t too difficult. It was my first time texturing a professional model in Substance Painter, and i found it relatively easy to do. The fact that you can paint directly on the model is very useful, and fun to experiment with. Rendering my model also went well – the settings in Substance were easy to understand, and i could move the light source without problem.

I did come across a few issues during the process, however. The first of which was when i was about to start the high poly version, transferring the low poly from Maya to Mudbox. Once in Mudbox, the low poly had a bunch of errors, and wouldn’t sculpt properly. This turned out to be because of the creases, so i had to go back to decrease a little and export it again. Another problem i had was with baking in Substance Painter. When i tried to bake down the detail onto the low poly, the surface would look glitchy. This turned out to be a problem with the fbx files, the solution was to fix the hierarchy in Maya and then export it as an fbx again.

When i make a model in the future, i should find a quicker way to UV unwrap (like automatic unwrapping), since doing it individually takes a while. I would also organize the hierarchy in Maya better.

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Asset Renders

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Now that i’ve finished making my asset, all that’s left is to render it out. There are two modes in Substance Painter – paint and render. Unlike lighting and rendering in Maya, i find Substance much easier to understand, i figured out how to use the tools/settings far quicker. There are different options for backgrounds and lighting types, i chose to turn off the background (but keep it’s light setting) and disable shadows.

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Here i have a wireframe render of the model. I had difficulty getting this result, as only the outline would show up, but i solved this by looking at some tutorials. All i need to do now is gather the pipeline images together for my submission post, and post my model to Sketchfab.

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Texturing in Substance Painter

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Recently, i’ve been working on texturing my cactus asset. After baking down the detail previously, i started to add colour by creating a green fill layer. This made everything green, so i added a paint layer, quick masked the spikes (so only they were selected) and coloured them pink. They were originally going to be a yellow, but since our project is it’s own strange world, pink makes it more unique and stand out better. Cacti aren’t very shiny, so i reduced the metallic option on the fill layer, but increased it on the paint layer to make the spikes shine a bit.

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Once i blocked in the main colours, i began adding detail. On a new layer i used quick mask to lightly shade the spikes a darker pink. I added a paint layer and only selected the cactus stems, using the ‘veins straight’ stamp i added lines all over. The skin of the cactus still needed something, so i found a bumpy stamp (‘frog skin 3’), increased the height and covered the cactus with it.

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How to create a quick mask that lets you focus on an area without going over other parts:

  • T = create quick mask
  • Click polygon tool (toolbar)
  • Set bar to black
  • Select area you want to focus on
  • I = invert mask
  • Y = cancel

 

High to Low Poly Bake

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Today i worked on baking down the detail from the high to the low poly mesh. First i made a new project, chose Unity (allegorithmic) as the template, and opened the low mesh as an fbx file. Once it loaded, i went to the ‘TextureSet Settings’ window and clicked ‘Bake Textures’. This opened another options menu, in which i only had to select the fbx file of the high poly mesh.

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My first attempt at this was unsuccessful. The detail didn’t bake down, instead showing a glitchy block pattern. After asking Matt, i found out that there had been a problem with the high poly in Maya – it hadn’t been grouped right in the hierarchy. The solution was to delete the history, and then export it as an fbx again.

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The second time round proved more fruitful. All the indented bumps transferred to the low mesh, there were only a couple of small black dots, but these won’t be visible once the model is in Ruin World. What i will do next is start texturing the model in Substance Painter.

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Asset in Mudbox

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Today i worked on the high poly of my 3D asset. I’m not very familiar working with Mudbox, so first i watched a few tutorials, mainly about layers and how stamps work. Before i started sculpting, i locked all the spines so that i didn’t change their shape accidentally. Cacti have a very bumpy texture to their skin, so i experimented with a few tools and found that the Imprint tool was the best for uneven sculpting. Above is the stamp i chose for the imprint tool, i had to lower a lot of the settings as otherwise they would wildly sculpt the mesh outwards. For the stamp to be visible, i had to subdivide the mesh 3 times.

For the main stems i added sculpt layers to them, this means that whatever i sculpt on these layers isn’t permanent, and i can delete them if they don’t look right. A handy tip i learned about Mudbox is that, when using the sculpt tool, holding shift lets you smooth and holding ctrl inverts the tool so you can sculpt inwards.

Now that i have the high poly model, i can use it to bake down onto the low poly, so that will be my next task. During our lesson, Matt got us to fill out a production schedule, so we can organize our time for the asset. The schedule i’ve blocked out isn’t set in stone, but this is what i hope to do.

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Voxel

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Recently i found out about a program called MagicaVoxel, which is a program where you can build things with voxels. Voxels are basically the 3D version of pixels – cubes. In the program you can build anything with these blocks, like in minecraft. You can stack, erase, or paint them, and there is even a set of tools that allow you to get high quality renders of your model. As practice, i tried making the character Frisk from Undertale. I really liked how it turned out, and how i was able to add different coloured lighting and shadows.

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This way of sculpting can be used in industry; games like Crossy Road have been made with voxels.

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http://www.strandedsoft.com/first-steps-in-3d-with-voxels-magica-voxel/

 

 

Unwrapped Asset

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In Matt’s lesson i finished the low poly version of my asset. I sculpted a spike, uv unwrapped it, then duplicated it around the mesh. Unwrapping it first means that when it comes to texturing, each spike will be identical, this will save me a lot of time and mean there is more room on the uv map.

On the left is the low poly mesh. When i put it into Sculptris or Mudbox hard edges will automatically get smoothed, so on the right is a preview of what it will look like when that happens. For the high poly i will be sculpting bumps and ridges onto the mesh, i have to be careful though since i creased some edges, meaning they could pinch if i go over them.