Friday, 20 February 2015

Bandit Flintlock Pistol Renders

To finish my pistol model I created some renders that will be used as concept art for promoting my game, and to enhance my personal portfolio. Camera effects such as depth of field, lens flare, dust, and ISO grime,  give the image a sense of realism whilst softening the stark digital nature inherent in 3D imagery.

I'm really pleased with the final images, a lot of work went into this asset but it shows in the finished product. It also helped me to practice the high-low poly workflow I learnt last year, and whilst I may have taken slightly longer on this than the revolver I created, this model is much more detailed. I intend for all my future assets to meet the high standards established whilst making this one.

Friday, 13 February 2015

Texture creation in Quixel

After baking out all the required maps they were plugged into Quixel alongside the low poly version of my gun model. Quixel uses the colours on the Colour ID map as a mask to assign different materials to the texture map. I also set up Quixel to generate materials for use in UE4, the target platform for my game.

Testing the creation of the barrel texture in Quixel.

To enhance the basic materials I added weathering and dirt effects such as the tarnish on brass elements, edge wear, and even a blood splatter on the bayonette. These details are applied in Quixel using the normal and cavity maps which mask off cavities and edges.

 The maps plugged into Quixel on startup tell the program which areas to mask.

The fine details sculpted in Zbrush are really enhanced by adding dust and ingrained grime to them. This weathering also gives the final texture a realistic 'lived in' look.

Finishing the handle in Quixel. A weathered effect on the grip gives an aged/used appearance to the model.

I continued to work on the pistol making sure the level of detail on each element was consistent. The preview window in Photoshop gives great feedback on how the finished model will look in UE4.

Finalising the model in Quixel.

Once I was happy with the results the maps were baked out for use in UE4. Quixel saves a lot of time creating fine details that would have previously been done by hand. I'd used this workflow before to create a revolver but I wanted to perfect it through practice and repetition, and this project (as well as being a viable game idea) was designed to give me that opportunity.

The final texture maps exported from Quixel for use in UE4.

Friday, 6 February 2015

Baking texture maps in 3DS Max

Once all the pieces were sculpted in Zbrush I imported them back into 3DS max. Some elements needed to be completely retopologised, where others I used an optimised version from the low poly base mesh. The UV's of each mesh were then flattened, and I ran test bakes to make sure the projection cage would capture protruding details and how much the cage would need to be modified to do so.

A screenshot of the low poly 'hammer top' with a projection modifier to capture the details of the high poly mesh underneath.

When the low poly topology was done I separated each piece with its high poly counterpart along the animation timeline. This is to prevent shadow artifacts when baking out the ambient occlusion maps, as well as signifying which piece has been completed. Each element was also assigned a unique colour to represent the different materials of the final model. This will be used to bake a colour ID map for texturing in Quixel.

All the parts of the high poly mesh 'exploded' on the animation timeline, and assigned colours based on the materials of the finished design.

At the end all the pieces were combined as one mesh and a Normal, AO, and Colour ID map baked to texture. Finally I used the Normal map to generate a Cavity Map in nDo. These four maps as well as the low poly pistol will be used to create the textures in Quixel.

The final texture maps baked from 3DS Max for use in Quixel.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Sculpting fine details in Zbrush

Once I'd created the base mesh for my Flintlock pistol I exported each element into Zbrush to work on the details. Sculpting details such as the wood texture, and grip on the pistol handle should really enhance the finished model.

A screenshot of the pistol handle being worked on in Zbrush.

The metal elements such as the lock side plate required some filigree detailing created using custom alphas. Once each piece was finished I used Decimation Master to optimise the mesh for use in 3DS Max.

A screenshot showing the sculpted details of the side plate for my game asset.