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

 

Led Zeppelin – Carouselambra

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In our lesson with Tony, we were given a task based on sound for imagined worlds. We had to base a concept art piece (or photo collage) on the song Carouselambra by Led Zeppelin. Since music is very personal in the way it’s interpreted, everyone would imagine a different scene. A couple ideas people threw around were “disco” and “80’s”.

When listening to the song, the first thing that sprung to mind was that this song sounds like it would be coming out of an old radio. I imagined a mini film scene; the camera focused on the radio, slowly zooming out revealing a dilapidated scene. Building on the 80’s idea i imagined an old diner, half destroyed and abandoned, in a post apocalyptic world. To fit with the place, i changed the radio to a jukebox.

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Before i could start sketching, i needed an idea of the perspective. In Google Sketchup i blocked out the scene, creating the diner’s general shape, and imported the more detailed models (jukebox and barstool) from 3D Warehouse.

Differences that are/will be in the final drawing:

  • Blown up half-wall
  • Debris, bricks, smashed windows
  • Overgrown
  • (will have) Light streaming through broken roof
  • (will have) Dark shadows, orange early morning light

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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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Ruin World Update

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During this project, my team has worked really well together. There is a lot of communication, and so far, there have been no major issues. A small problem was that the bridge Brandon was making had too many polys – so it would take Unity ages to load – we brought this up in discussion and to remedy this he is retopologising it to reduce the poly count.

 

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This is the Burndown chart for our project. We started off the project really well, and were ahead of schedule, however, now we are starting to get a little behind with completing tasks. A lot of the remaining tasks are 3D models, which will take time to sculpt and add textures to. This could mean that we lag behind for a few weeks but then finish everything near the end.