View Full Version : D-Holme mentors Serum in 3d modeling
December 2nd, 2007, 07:02 PM
I am participating in a competition at www.gameartisans.org here. (http://gameartisans.org/forums/showthread.php?p=16994#post16994)
A quick breakdown of the specs is 1500 triangles / 512 x 512 maps.
D-Holme has graciously offered to help me.
The first step was finding some reference. After I decided on the reference, I made a cylinder, and began making cuts into it.
D-Holme told me "Rather than try to make cuts into the model (which can get quite complex with larger objects) I would try starting out with a cylinder with a some lateral sub-division and then work with the extrude tool to create the areas of detail and form."
December 3rd, 2007, 07:01 AM
Sorry if this is a bit too simplistic but I figured I'd make sure the basics are covered. Not trying to force you down one way of doing things so try this out and see whether they make sense to how you work.
A - Planning stage - initial thoughts about how to produce this model. I've colour coded what I would think which separate parts should be produced - either for ease of modelling, composition or alteration.
B - Basic shape, rather than a cylinder I'd suggest starting with a tube (if you needed a hollow model - otherwise a cylinder would be suitable) - I've included a reasonable level of lateral sub-division for later sculpting.
C - Close up the top
D - Using vertexes the form can be defined (using reference images or by eye), the scale function can be used for speed.
E - Deleting out the edges from the lower plane.
F - This then gives a single surface to extrude - the sub-division of this surface can be sorted out later.
G - Basic form completed.....
From here I'd refine the existing form to match the reference more closely. Then start to add additional parts as per the division covered in the plan using which ever basic shapes you think would be the most appropriate.
I hope this is clear, let me know if youíve got any queries. Iíll try to expand on some areas once Iíve got a little more time to sort some examples.
December 4th, 2007, 06:55 AM
Thank you, that was very easy to follow. Just one question...was the purpose of deleting the edges to make it easier to select the face for extrusion?
December 4th, 2007, 07:35 AM
Looks like it's coming along well.
It does make is easier to see which parts to extrude if they are a single face but mainly if the edges are kept in an extruded face then the extrusion will be split on those edges. If you experiment extruding a basic faces with and without edges within the face you should see the difference.
You can use similar methods now to give the helmet its complete form and add in the extra sections. Normally I would try to use scale and move commands on the vertices (rather than dragging points about) as I find it easier to maintain symmetry that way.
Poly-Edit => Cut-faces => Cut-along ZX plane (or similar)
This tool will help you get sub-division along plane axes to let you define the shape of model further.
December 4th, 2007, 09:35 AM
Thanks, some more progress...and I still have around 1000 triangles to spare...what do you think?
December 4th, 2007, 05:43 PM
Yes looks good - I think I would have done the nose-guard and the cheek-pieces as totally separate sections but for this it doesn't make that much difference.
Separate pieces can give you an advantage when texturing the piece, making for simpler UV maps, giving easier options for animation/composition and later alteration. A lot of this would be affected by the end use of the model but as general rule I try to keep my models flexible as I don’t know when else I might want to use them.
I would use those extra triangles to put some raised detail on to the surface of the helm and perhaps add some separate decoration pieces - eg. top-bulb, gilt-nose section, basic studs etc.
Try to think ahead to which areas most would benefit from increase modelling, in some places the difference could instead by handled by textures and other effects. For most of the work I do poly-count doesn’t come into it but even then it is still worth trying to be efficient.
I wanted to go over some of the planning for a piece as an exercise and splitting a model up is part of that. If I have chance tomorrow I’ll put something together on it.
December 5th, 2007, 03:52 PM
Iíll try to be fairly general but some of my points might still have more relevance to one style of modelling than another.
Iíve already covered the reasons why I choose to section my models up but the following would be good things to look out for as places to put the splits in:
Material changes Ė perhaps the most obvious Ė eg the wooden legs of a leather chair
Mechanical joints Ė eg hinges, axels & pivots
Changes in colour within a surface Ė less useful but sometimes helpful
Complex shapes Ė harder to see where to put the splits in but generally should try to simplify the form of an object.
Distinctive details Ė eg. Decorative sword pommel, raised numbers
With the low-poly modelling that you have the most interest in there can be a toss-up between splitting an object to simplify the modelling process and the need to work within a limited number of polys but it is still worth looking at when it can be making your life easier.
Iíll put these together into some more work on planning but at the moment I think it is best to stick to one thing at a time and finish off the work with the helm. Hopefully when you have this finished Iíll have a better idea of your level so we wonít be going over things you already know.
December 5th, 2007, 05:47 PM
Ok, that makes sense. I am adding some surface features onto the helm separately rather than trying to split the geometry and extruding it, but I am having a hard time making the new geometry follow the helm model...maybe this is just a matter of practice. I basically made the helm live, drew a curve on it, duplicated and lofted it with output set to polygons. Do you have any suggestions or is it just a matter of spending more time tweaking?
December 5th, 2007, 11:41 PM
Ok, I modeled things out separately...what do you think? Working on the eyebrow piece and top ornament next...and then I'll see how many triangles I have remaining.
December 6th, 2007, 06:44 AM
For areas like the brows and the nose guard I would likely just eyeball the poly's into position and allow some overlap into the face of the helm. So long as you don't want a distinct edge and keep it in mind for texturing it shouldn't be a problem. If you did want to have the parts line up closely then as you say it is mostly a matter of practice. It can be made easier if the vertices of one part match the internal edges of the other then by tweaking in the plan and profile (top and side) you can move them across to line up.
Depending on the situation it isn't always needed to loft curves for a piece like this I would just start with basic geometry - the way I work it would usually be quicker. But as with a lot of things there is no right or wrong way just which works best for you.
I think everything you are doing is working and you just need some more refining to bring it together. If you want to email me the model file I can have a look at it in 3D see if there is anything I'm missing.
For some sections a separate piece can be created by duplicating faces from the original object that match the area the new object will start from and then working off them.
December 6th, 2007, 04:06 PM
I've had a look at you model-file and it looks like everything is going in the right direction and it just needs some more time to bring it together.
Working on the vertices for the brow and nose pieces now needs to bring them back into the curve of the rest of the helm. Looking at the helm in a shaded-wire frame you should be able to see which points need to come in or out. Rather than try to get a perfect match just give the additional sections enough thickness to allow some overlap back into the main helm. Where there is an overlap make sure that it looks 'natural'. Areas like the hinges will stand clear of the surround object so any overlap there should be angles carefully but as they are about the length of a face-edge use that to your advantage to find a straight section to line up to.
The chin-guards looks good, just vertex edit them to be a little smoother, especially along the rear edge, will help it come across well.
Tweaking these last areas should have you almost done with the modelling.
When you done with that it might be worth seeing how some raised studs would look on the helm just to give it some grittier, more 'made', detail (depending on the poly count). Little 3, 4 or 5 sided pyramid would likely work well enough.
December 7th, 2007, 05:57 PM
Ok, 1500 triangles on the dot...let me know what you think, and thanks again.
December 8th, 2007, 04:47 PM
Looks like it is almost there. I think that it might look stronger if the brow pieces came in closer to the line of the helm on the outside edges and formed a tighter fit to the nose guard.
Raising the top most point of the helm main body might just get rid of the sharp corner around the top.
Once your happy with it then I think it would be worth trying out some textures on it.
Normally what I would do is, within Maya use the option to use a photoshop file as a texture file and the UV-map will be writen into it once the UV is created. Once that done the .psd can be used to create whatever texture files you want. I'm not sure whether this is how you'd normally approach texturing but if you'd normally work a different way follow that and see who things look.
December 8th, 2007, 09:40 PM
Ok, adjusted the brow piece and top vertex...starting on textures...the deadline is tonight.
December 9th, 2007, 06:47 AM
Yes, that looks better. You might need to check where the helm intersects with the nose guard as it looks like it might just be clipping the edge of the helm curve but otherwise looks good.
If they want only a single 512x512 UV map you might have to move the UV-maps around to get them all onto one file (I'd still work in the .psd then save out the different images out at the end).
How much depth do you need when it comes to texturing?
I'll skip the very basics and go from somewhere in the middle (but just let me know if you want me to go back over anything).
I've put up an example file of how I go about doing a texture - I've labelled the layers to try to make it self explanatory. This file should give you the basics, it was setup for a rush job (and for brick-textures not metals) but I hope it gives you an idea.
To get a quick texture done with the helm I would paint the areas with the colour values you want (I would try to keep the tonal values similar so you can quickly use the colour map as a base for your reflective etc maps). Then add some detail and definition using reference or brushes to add some surface interest - multiple and screen layers can be good for this. Add interest like scratches and dirt - nature of this is up to you but it will help break up a totally uniform surface.
Looking at reference can help but think also how things are going to work for a real object and how it might develop marks and detail.
If you donít have much of a texture reference library yourself a quick internet search should bring up some good free ones.
Most in my address book seem to be not working (or are very specific) but the following should give you a start:
Then using curves, greyscale and invertions to change the colour map into those for you specularity and reflection. Whilst doing that you can also paint on areas of relevance particular to each map Ė eg raised edges that might get more wear and hence have higher specularity. If tweaked right you can also use this method to produce your bump map but might require a little more work.
Once that it done the files can be saved out and applied to the model, tweaking the levels before rendering to give the finish you want.
I hope this makes some sense but as Iíve been quite quick covering this please let me know if you have any questions on what Iíve been suggesting.
December 9th, 2007, 08:49 AM
I've decided to go in a different direction from the reference...what do you think?
Edit: Hi Andrew, just saw your psd and I'd like to ask you more questions about it tomorrow...unfortunately, it looks like I've run out of time and will not be able to follow your suggestions before submitting. Thanks so much for all your help, I'm really learning a lot.
December 9th, 2007, 03:46 PM
No problem - I thought it might be a little late to get everything done but so long as it makes sense it is usefull for the next time.
I think that working a way from reference can help a great deal, I think the clear symbol on the helm helps to make it look distinctive - I would be careful in future to position the details (like the scorpion) so that they aren't covered by other section (like the noseguard) - it makes the result look more like a model than a real helm if you see my meaning.
If you are done with this I don't know what you want to do next - I can suggest/set some excerises to strengthen your skill areas or you can set yourself another topic and I'll just advise - either works for me.
December 11th, 2007, 12:22 AM
Do you have a model to apply the PSD to? I think maybe just seeing it in action is the best way to understand what the different layers do. I don't really understand curves, so I have to look into that.
If you have some exercises that you think would help me, that would be great. Also, I imagine there will be another contest on gameartisans.org in the next few days. Usually they run for 2 weeks.
December 11th, 2007, 01:01 PM
I'm afraid cannot show you the model that went with the psd but the file was for brick-arches going above window and doors on a house I worked on (they were blue rather than red brick so they look a bit off). The curves take a bit of getting used to but are really powerful for something so worth getting your head about. I think there are better explanations of them than I could give so have a dig about to see what you can find – I’ll see if I can dig out what I’ve read in the past.
Stevekims Video covers it a bit:
It's not likely many tutorials will cover what we'll be using them for but once you've got the idea it can be used on a lot of situations.
I've got an excercise in mind that I'll stick up later tonight.
December 12th, 2007, 03:48 PM
I think that I know you’re level reasonably well after that first activity but I just wanted to check a few things before moving onto anything more complex.
What I wanted to do was go over the planning at the start of a model – I would like you to plan out the sectioning of some objects and list which basic object (or technique) you would use for each section for:
Basic objects – eg. a sword, lamp, pan – few materials or moving parts
Complex objects – eg. a television, power tool, a gun – several materials, complex shapes, some moving parts
Very complex objects – eg. a truck, aircraft, spaceship – many materials and moving parts
I’ve included some examples to give an idea of what I meant for each category but choose whatever you want, if you take thing that interest you they can be used in future as the basis for some modelling assignments. Just choose as many as you want for each category, then get some images and show the breakdown in whatever manner suits you (I find a colour key like in my first post can be good way of representing things), for each section you define then list which primary shape (or technique eg. lathed section) you would use to start the modelling.
I hope this makes sense, you shouldn’t need to spend that long on this but it good planning will save time in the long run.
If there isn’t a new contest that interests you after this we can take some of these plans forward and perhaps get stuck into some texturing.
December 12th, 2007, 11:23 PM
I watched stevekim's video. I also found a tutorial on the internet. I think I have a slightly better handle on curves. What I got was that it's a more powerful command than levels because it gives you more control over tones in an image. The problem is I don't have a good grasp of tones, the histogram, or levels, so I need to tackle those first.
Here is the first exercise. I supplied the original image for the helicopter because I think it was hard to see what was under the colors.
December 13th, 2007, 05:51 PM
Good Work - I've don't think there were any prblems there, I've included some comments on each piece below:
Handgun – looks right, you could probably put the entire barrel assembly could be done as one piece if you wanted, extruding the support brackets from the faces of the barrel cylinder but they way you’ve shown it is equally good and could allow for easier customising/alteration of the model (the other way might lead to quicker texturing).
Rowing-boat – Cubes would be the way to go for this but I think I’d try to do the sides as a single piece – once you had a stepped section it could be extruded all the way along the hull – as a single piece it would be easier to keep the fairing constant and avoid gaps.
Sofa – Yes that looks right and with a symmetrical shape like this a lot (or even all the model) could be mirrored to save time – I think you’ve seen that when you only show half the base as a section? I’d do the feet as a separate section.
Sword – would work fine but depending on the nature profile of the blade squashing a cylinder into shape with blood channels etc. may work a bit quicker. Handle could be a revolve or just a simple extruded cylinder – I think with this there’d be a lot of ways of doing this with no right answer, just perhaps what you’re most comfortable with.
Hind Helicopter – It’s a bit of a toss up how to take this one (always is with complex shapes) – I’ll got things and try to cover my comments as best I can for each section (but I might end up rambling a bit):
Main body – think I’d use a cube for this but then heavily tweak it about – main reason would be that the model would want a lot of faces in the middle and fewer toward the front and aback and cylinder tend to give you too many faces all coming together when they come into a narrower area. I’d also do the tail and main body as one piece unless I particularly wanted it to be separate (eg for a naval helicopter with a folding tail boom). Reason for this would be with smooth surfaces (particularly aero-nautical ones) getting flawless joins can be a right pain (if I had a choice I’d do something like this with a NURBS surface but that’s a different side of modelling).
Wings – cylinder would work fine, the pylons might need to be separate pieces for make thing easier but both should work. I’d likely have used a cube as my base but only because I’d rather build up a complex shape from extrusions rather and shape one from a mass of vertices but both methods are quite valid.
Cockpit canopies – could be spheres but might need some tweaking for a high quality model but good for faster work (I’ve attached something I did in a very similar method that worked great for what I wanted - (edit) this was just a sphere extruded back and forth then seperated into metal and glass). If I wanted a high res model I think I’d model the separate sections all from different cubes (eg. frames and each glass plane)---------------
That all looks good, glad we did that though as it means we can look at complex things without problems in the planning stage.
Exercise B – Texturing (and some more modelling).
We’ll take the gun as an example for no other reason as it has a good range of materials within it. We’ll have a looks at developing textures with the methods we touched on before but this time I’ll take it step by step so the process is clearer. Let me know if you’ve got any question or that you’ve got something else in mind.
Task: Model up a handgun (either the one from the pervious exercise or one of your own inverntion) including as many components as you want but make sure that it has areas have at least two metallic finishes and one (or more) which has a non-metallic rough surface.
I’m away from the office for a couple of days (14th - 16th) so I’ll have a job getting online before Sunday. If you could try to have most of the modelling done by then we can look at textures at the start of next week.
December 16th, 2007, 07:53 PM
Sorry for the delay, laptop died this weekend...anyway, I'm going to finish this up tonight.
December 17th, 2007, 12:10 PM
No worries - computers are a rule to themselves.
Looks like a good start, depending on where you see materials ending be careful how far up you take the single handle piece - or seperate the faces once the modelling is done.
December 18th, 2007, 04:04 AM
Ok, I have finished the rough shape...I'm having problems with mirroring the handle as you can see in the picture...I've frozen transformations, deleted history, centered the pivot...I am stuck.
December 18th, 2007, 06:43 AM
I've had a look at the model file you sent through to me.
Mirroring issue, looks like it is caused by Maya trying to be too clever with its functions. If you turn off the 'merge with the original' option you can mirror it across the axis - it will become a different body but you can then just go around and merge the vertices together.
I know youíve roughed the model out to this stage but you might want to refine the areas a bit before mirroring as this will save doing it on both sides Ė Iíd made a few suggestions for where to start in the attached image but Iíll leave it up to you which direction you take things in.
The model didnít import too well so this may just be an error due to that but it looks like there is something odd going on at the underside of the gun barrel.
December 19th, 2007, 01:24 AM
I fixed up the bottom, and was able to mirror by unchecking the merge vertices option. I also beveled the edge of the handle like you did...what do you think?
December 19th, 2007, 01:09 PM
I think it's heading in the right direction, as this is just for texturing practice it won't need to be fantastic modelling but it's worth getting the basics in there so there is some challenge to the rest of the process.
I think you just need to go over the model refining it to the next level of detail - I'd sooth out some of the curves (either through bevelling or sub-division) and add in details like the bore and the holes in the revolver-magazine body. I'd just look at some reference and see where the model could most benefit from cleaning up/developing.
December 19th, 2007, 11:53 PM
Ok, I was trying to get the hole in the revolver magazine to be tapered at the end nearest the handle, but I kept losing both my objects when I did the boolean command...also, how would you approach smoothing the handle and trigger guard more..is it just a matter of adding more splits and tweaking vertices?
December 20th, 2007, 02:42 PM
I've had a play with the older model you sent through before and I haven't had any problems with the Boolean command - not sure whether it is a problem you're selecting things in (try selecting the magazine first then the cutting shape) - if that doesn't work I'm not sure - might be worth replacing the cylinder and seeing if that fixes it.
Smoothing the handle - I might try one of the smoothing commands but I find they tend to be a bit vague in the results. Either smooth it out by sub-division then hand modelling or by multiple bevels (even bevels on existing one can work if the sizes are right) - I'll probably do both depending on the situation.
Check the model for gaps or holes in odd places (behind the trigger and below the barrel?) and with a bit more tweaking it would probably be worth looking at textures. The trigger will likely be overly deep once it’s been mirror so could do with being slimmed down.
December 21st, 2007, 02:23 AM
Ok, I took the subdivisions on the cylinder down and it seemed to do the trick.
I also fixed the problem areas on the bottom near the trigger guard.
December 21st, 2007, 06:41 PM
There seems to be a small gap either side of the magazine other than that it looks good. Although for most games models (etc.) they tend to use a single UV map but for the purposes of this exercises could you produce a seperate map for each material you want to use. I would recommend to use at least three types (eg):
Hope this makes sense, I've been rather brief, use whatever seems sensible but once you've got the maps we can move on to the next step.
December 22nd, 2007, 09:12 PM
Could you tell me the difference between burnished and shiny metal? Something like this picture?
December 23rd, 2007, 05:27 AM
Yeah - sorry, I guess I could have been clearer:
Shiny - I'd have been better I think to have called it Reflective materials (approaching a mirrored surface but not perhaps a perfect mirror)
Burnished materials those that are polished but are non-reflective (or at least non-clear) - highly specular. Good for texturing when the polishing effect comes from wear and tear and appears on raised sections of the model to give increased realism.
Most of the metal in the example you've attached would be the latter to my mind - but that kind of division was what I was thinking about.
I only chose those materials as they'd give us a good range of materials to work with but any distinctly different materials will work.
December 25th, 2007, 12:55 AM
Merry Christmas! Sorry for the delay.
December 25th, 2007, 08:41 AM
That looks good – with that you can now create a .psd for each map and start to develop the textures from there.
We’ll start off with colour info for now.
The basic layers you’ll need are:
*Dirt and scratches – might want to use multiple layers depending on what you’re doing.
Good sources to work from are custom brushes and photo references.
Once that’s been done the other maps can be produced.
A merry Christmas to you too.
December 28th, 2007, 04:29 PM
Sorry it has taken me a while to get back to your email, it's a busy time of year.
I've attached two images.
One is some paint over for your barrel pieces whilst the other is a scan of some good worn bits of metal I've found about the house.
I'll try to cover this as concisely as possible but I need to jump about a bit so you might have to bear with me then ask some questions at the end.
Paint over: you've got the basic ideas down but you're a little off the mark to get the best results - this might be my fault for not expanding on stuff to begin with but I didn't want you to feel I was leading you by the hand.
The ideas you've been using to build up the image are fine but you need to look closer at where you're applying stuff, I've tried to highlight areas of importance with the paint over.
Metal: other than showing off how dusty my scanner has got this image is good as it shows two pieces of metal that have a single piece but through natural wear have gained an interesting a varied surface.
Surfaces develop features due to the processes on them, initially this will be the finish they are made with but over time this will change due to the actions that act upon them. Any metal will tarnish over time and gather dirt, whilst physical contact will scratch and polish (the burnish from before).
I'll try to break this down, objects will have (in general)
Flat surfaces - these are what most objects are made from and they will be the most neutral surface of an object. Their exact make up will depend on the actions the object is subject to but typically they will have non-uniform wear and a slight degree of polishing depending on where they come into contact with others objects.
Corners/Edges - will get caught more and have harder wear on them making them more scratched and polished.
Raised sections - higher than surrounding surfaces they will be become caught more often than surrounding and hence become more worn, the base of such features often is protected from wear however and so will be more tarnished and dirty.
Working-surfaces - surfaces that have a repetitive mechanical function acted upon them. They will gain scratches and wear in common to the action upon them but be kept clean form dirt.
Depressions - these will collect dirt and be protected from natural polishing from contact.
Hopefully the scanned objects can give some example of this the bill-blade at the top is heavily tarnished and pitted by age but the work on the edge has kept it shiny but heavily scratched (scratches are in the direction of chopping and sharpening) whilst the back edge has been rubbed polished by carrying and gentler abrasion. The bottle open lived on my keys for a long time and hence get a lot of polishing wear on exposed parts but has picked up dirt between the lettering etc.
I've tried to highlight the raised or acting areas on the paint over of the UV map you supplied, these are areas that are going to start to look different to the rest of the material.
This is all just something to think about when working on a texture and it can give you some more direction into which way to take things.
This doesn't just apply to metals but different materials might work in slightly different ways depending on their physically properties.
NB: I've noticed on your map that it appears you've included shading but you should be careful when doing this as it could lead to inconsistencies on the model. With my work I would always just try to produce a neutrally lit texture as the light and shadow will come from the scene. I could see that some game textures might want to increase or fake the results of lighting so could need that approach but for now it might be easier to avoid it until we've covered the other areas.
I've got some notes on the wood texture too but I'll post them up tomorrow once I've had chance to think about the examples. Hopefully I've been able to give you some more information here and something to look at and work with. If I've been confusing then just ask on anything you're not clear about.
December 30th, 2007, 02:32 PM
Yes, it's been crazy around here too.
Thanks for taking the time to explain where I can expect to find wear and tear; it makes sense to me. I'm struggling with the way to achieve a "silver" look for the barrel. I really don't know what to do. Also, from your paintover, it looks like you are emphasizing that the edges should be scuffed or scratched right? I understand that wear and tear makes objects look more realistic and adds interest, I am just stuck as to the "how". Maybe if you could show me what you would do on one part of the model I could apply the technique to the other parts.
I went ahead and put the textures I have so far on the model.
January 1st, 2008, 03:10 PM
Yes looks like its going the right way - never hurt to just push on in my book.
Sorry I've been called away for a bit (as you say crazy times) and I'm not at my main computer, I'll be back tomorrow and can give you a proper example then.
I've been to my main office and picked up a few reference books so I should be able to give some examples removed from my usual rambling style.
For a quick answer silver is to some degree just a reflective/glossy grey and the details of getting the best effects will depend on the type of materials you are using. Sorry if my last post was a bit simplistic but I'd rather included everything than miss something out that might have been helpful - basically as you say edges get scuffed is the quick rule.
Do you have a scanner? If so it might be worth looking for some reference objects (flat and unifrom like the bill-hook work well) that we can use to create some surface effects. I'll cover this in more detail when I'm back in my office.
January 3rd, 2008, 05:30 PM
Sorry, I've not been ignoring things, I've been trying to write a decent reply to cover all the question you've had without getting too confusing.
I'll email you a scene including some basic shaders and you can have a play around with them. The included materials are a basic lambert, Blinn and Phong. They are currently setup for very reflective metal-esque materials but playing around with the values you can see how they vary things.
The shaders are only simple and donít include any image maps but I realised that I might have missed out some of the basics depending on what youíve done before. If you have a play around with variables (Diffuse, Reflections and the Specular variables particularly) then what else I have to talk about next should make more sense.
I've got a deadline for a piece of work tomorrow but I'll try to produce a better example for then.
January 4th, 2008, 03:11 PM
I realised that with my talk of metallic finishes that I was likely getting a bit ahead of myself so Iíve tried to put together something on purely the Ďcolourí features of a texture Ė I guess it is the most relevant to the games models that youíre interested in anyway.
I've just created a basic model to demonstrate what I've been talking about, itís a bit more overt that the gun would be so it shows off the different effects a little better. I think that it could be some kind of space-box.
The photo-shop file for the texture can be found here:
PSD file (http://www.milecastle.com/skb/mentoring01_pCubeShape1.zip)
I only used a basic planar projection but the idea it there, I created a complete psd file incase I need to do more later but at the moment you only need worry about the colour folder at the bottom.
A quick look at the photo-shop method:
A - Randomised speckled brushes, think I made these myself, tend to use them for erasing, random gnawing like effects or dirtying up as surface.
B - Irregular brushes good for producing large areas of non-uniform colour and for erasing with a non-uniform finish - I got a lot of my favourites from:
C - Layers with various effects I tend to keep these all separate so I can tweak effects throughout and also copy the more relevant to different variables (bump, diffuse etc.) for later stages.
I work off the basic colour and apply photo-referenced textures across the whole map then erase them out from the areas that I donít need to be texture or with a lower opacity eraser I can choose how much texture goes into each area Ė once that it done I tweak the overall opacity to get the look I want. I then add painted on layers to increase the effects in a relevant area (the layer type just changes depending on the effect Iím after). After that I just repeat the process with different textures or paint effects, working with the principles that I covered before.
For the handgun the principles will be the same but the effects more slight as the weathering is less strong.
The second image shows the end result.
January 5th, 2008, 01:29 AM
Ok great, I'll take a look at this now. I found a rosewood texture that I thought looks much better than the photoshop filters I used before for the handle.
January 6th, 2008, 06:14 AM
Let me know if anything doesn't makes sense or you want me to expand on anything.
That wood texture does look better, the scale of it may be a little large, might look better if reduced in size perhaps by 25% or more.
January 9th, 2008, 06:14 AM
Ok, sorry this has taken me so long. I finally decided to go with a different model, as I had a hard time applying the Photoshop info you covered to the gun.
I tried to resize the handle texture by using the free transform tool but I don't think it has changed much. I'm not sure how to "compress" the wood grain.
I've been thinking I'd like to model a mech next.
Thanks again for your time.
January 9th, 2008, 05:14 PM
Fair enough - it looks like you've learnt the ideas behind what we've covered anyhow. I guess a gun does have a lot of quite subtle variations that can be hard to capture - do you want to leave that for now and move onto something else, the mech you mentioned.
If so it would be worth either getting a refence image or drawing up a sketch yourself to work off. If you don't have anything already might be worth getting some general reference images together as well.
PROJECT B - MECH
I'll cover the next few stages in the manner that I would if I was approaching the project. Let me know if you had any different ideas in mind:
Stage 1 - gather general reference - heavy machinary, other peoples concepts (with a mind of originality too, depending on how you work).
Stage 2 - detailed concept design, either a couple of personal sketches or a good reference image of an existing design.
January 10th, 2008, 01:25 AM
Ok, I have started gathering reference...the front view of one of the caterpillar images has an interesting shape, kind of like a mandible on an insect...I'll see if I can mix some different elements and come up with something original.
January 11th, 2008, 04:39 AM
Yeah the top CAT has quite an interesting look with the curved roll-cage too.
It applies to any art/design really, when I'm working through the early stages of a design I like to produce a quick, bullet-pointed design-brief just help me come up with extra ideas or see where the idea might be lacking. Because this is a open ended design you can keep revising the brief as you get new ideas, although it is a good idea to try to keep things inline with the rest of the points (rather than adding perhaps inappropriate features).
Are you thinking of working these ideas together into a sketch of your own?
January 11th, 2008, 06:16 AM
That's a good idea...I've never done anything like this before, but yes, I will see if I can sketch something.
Design Brief : Scout Mech
- based on an insect
- light, no heavy weapons or armor, maybe just a single gun
- fast, maybe a jetpack
- communication gear, antennae
- superior vision
- sleek, rounded
January 11th, 2008, 07:04 AM
That looks like a good list. Might be worth looking at insects for reference/inspiration too.
There was a article in one the 3D World Magazine last summer about modelling robotic insects. 3D World June 2007 issue 91 which might be worth looking at it anyone you know might have them - I looked but they don't seem to have the tutorial on their website.
It's not the image I was thinking of but this is the same guy:
January 14th, 2008, 07:45 AM
That is a cool looking grasshopper. Here is my concept.
January 14th, 2008, 05:58 PM
If you've now got the design in mind you might want to expand on some areas with localised detail sketches. Whilst doing this it can be useful to bring in the mechanical details that you've got from the reference materials.
Sketches don't need to be the greatest works of art and normally I just tend to work through quickly on paper putting things together - it also means I've got a sort of record to what I did and unused ideas can be used at a later date. (Though I'm not saying using a digital medium is wrong, just whatever is easiest for you.)
Whilst planning out the design it is worth keeping in mind the modelling/texturing process and thinking of some things that will ease the modelling process - typically for me this is common details than can be copied or block-referenced over the model. This could also be just making sure that you don't plan anything that would be too much of a pain to model.
I've attached some sketches of so some stuff I've been knocking about with for a while now and never finishing but they give and example of how I go about sketching out a design.
January 16th, 2008, 11:40 PM
Just wanted to say I am working on this and sorry about not updating sooner. I understand the points you are making, I just can't draw well and am struggling with getting my ideas on paper. Anyway, no excuses, I will get it done.
January 17th, 2008, 04:03 AM
Don't worry about it, for this type of work the sketches are mainly just an aid for yourself to help you remember and explore details. So unlike most applications for art work the sketches only really need to be understood by you.
I'd be the first to admit my sketch aren't setting the world on fire so I generally work in orthographic views and sections (something I've had a lot of experience in so I can visualise them easily) - ideally your just looking for a medium for that allows you to get your ideas together, from a reference image montage to maybe just a simple block or line and peg diagram to show pivoting points.
There are a lot of ways to approach this, hope I’m making sense and don’t worry about the quality.
January 17th, 2008, 07:11 AM
Ok, here are some ideas for the jetpack and head...
January 18th, 2008, 04:38 PM
Yes that the idea, it's just to give you a place to work your ideas out. Once you have enough to start blocking out the model you could start modelling. Although the design doesn't need (for this type of thing anyway) to be finished before starting it's a good idea to have a view of how you want to approach all the basic areas.
If you have problem graphically representing something, a cutting of a reference image or a written note can help too.
January 28th, 2008, 07:17 AM
Hey, I thought things had been a little quiet in here so I should check in and makesure that you weren't having any problems getting ideas together.
I was looking for something amongst my bookmarks and came across this:
A little inspiration for the level we'd all like to be at.
January 30th, 2008, 12:28 PM
Tae Hoon Oh is awesome...I've seen his work on several forums.
Yeah, I've been struggling...I can't seem to come up with anything that looks solid enough to begin modeling. Making original designs is a lot harder than I thought. Everything I come up with is off balance or just looks bad. Somehow I went from mech to robot and now I am back with a mech again...I kind of like the basic shape of the body but I know the legs don't match...
February 1st, 2008, 08:27 AM
Sorry not to have got back to you earlier, work's been hell.
Coming up with stuff that works for you and your happy to move on with can be difficult but stronger ideas come with practice.
Although I no authority on design I've got a lot of experience with mechanical objects/actions - I usually fall back on this when I'm working to block my designs out and put things together. This kind of knowledge can easily come from reference materials, I keep a library full of different images that I've liked when browsing the internet - some are art and others are just from technical newsletters of industry sites.
I've given you're design a bit of a paint over, this isn't gospel or anything but I thought it might just help inspire some directions that you could take things in and show how I'd take things forward if I was working on it. If that gives you some more direction work on your own ideas the same way - if I continued with my work I'd look at vision divices and likely change the gun to fit better not sure what I'd do but i wasn't particularly happy with it, maybe work on the feat (bird like? heavier? maybe more speedy looking?). I wouldn't follow my design as you'll probabley get more from it working the ideas out yourself.
If you've got some spare cash the El Coro digital tutorials that Massive black are selling seems pretty good for showing some design techniques (though I've only had the chance to watch half way through).
Also the IDW's are a pretty good way to practice designing to a fixed brief (and deadline) and are what got me started here.
February 3rd, 2008, 05:21 PM
Thanks for the paintover. I have spent a lot of time looking at the IDW stuff and other artwork and playing around with the elliptical selection in photoshop. I redid the leg and will rework the body next.
February 3rd, 2008, 06:07 PM
Looks like good direction - the changes in leg shape help to bring out the insectoid appearance.
February 13th, 2008, 04:36 AM
Some more ideas...
February 13th, 2008, 06:20 PM
Looks like you've got a good idea for the way you want to take things now, I know things are still up in the air but I find that having a direction in mind can be more useful then one fixed idea.
I'm not a expert my any means for concept development so I'll keep on with my own methods but feel free to do it your way or shout out with any questions.
Around this time I think it would be useful to start exploring the design in more axies, I like to do this quite early when things are still loose as it helps inspire me and see whether things are working and are interesting from different p.o.v.
If I'm working on something like this I'd likely add a couple of orthographic views to my existing image. I know a lot of 3D modellers work of orthographic images for their final models so it can be used later for modelling of it that's how you work. It seems to me that a fair few people have problems producing a good ortho-view so it might be better just to knock up a 3D image if that's easier. I'm happy to put something together on how to draw orthos if you're interested, it might be helpful in the long run and by producing orthos of an existing image you can keep on working with a current piece rather than starting something new.
February 23rd, 2008, 11:57 AM
I've tried to put some notes on the drawing too but let me know if you have a job reading my hand writing.
Stage 1 - draw side (or profile) view (although any can be used I prefer side elavations for most objects) on a fixed base line.
Stage 2 - use transposing hozitontal lines to take levels of key points over to new centreline on the existing base plan from this you can produce the front or body elavation.
Stage 3 - using the profile elavation you can transpose the view onto another new centre line to complete the plan view offsets are used from the body view to get the correct positions of details.
Steps 2 and 3 can really be done in either order and tend to be done iteratively making chances to produce ideal results.
I hope this makes sense, I've been deliberately brief then if you have questions I can give more detail to the relavent areas.
February 23rd, 2008, 06:44 PM
Ok, I will definitely do that. Thanks for the explanation and sorry I have been sputtering like this. I started modeling and I thought I would show you what I've done, but it's better to have a plan first, so I need to go back and finish the orthos. I still don't like the head and will keep playing with it.
February 24th, 2008, 01:46 PM
Ok this is a start..I tried using guides in photoshop for the lines...
March 12th, 2008, 01:10 PM
Serum - just thought I'd check-in to see how things are going. I've been watching this but I wanted comment when there was a bit more there. Let me know how things are going.
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