Friday, October 31, 2014

Project 6 Complete!

Alright, I'm done!  As with any work of art, there is still so much more I could have added, tweaked, and refined.  But I need to continue pushing forward, taking what I've learned in this project and incorporating it into my next one.

You can view the complete showcase of this project at my website, here.

Here's what I got out of this project:

  • I got my feet wet with Unreal Editor 4.  It's leagues more intuitive than UDK.  I still prefer Unity I think, but I can use UE4 to toy around with custom materials.
  • I got a ton of experience with Substance Painter.  I'm pretty sure this software is going to completely replace Photoshop in my pipeline.  I need to try out hand painting with it.  Seems like it would be super easy, but we'll see.
  • Speaking of pipelines, I developed a new one that seems rather quick and streamlined. I recently learned a new trick in Maya that lets me retopologize super fast (not talking about Quad Draw).
  • Super-solid understanding of PBR textures.

Here are some issues I encountered:

  • The metallic surfaces in Substance Painter did not visually match when imported to UE4.  It was probably a mistake on my end somewhere, but it caused a bit of a slowdown in the polish phase when I had to tweak color values to get them to display satisfactorily in UE4.
  • GUV tiling in ZBrush is really iffy.  It took such a long time to do in many cases that I ended up just painting my own material masks in Substance Painter.  I tried doing GUV tiles on decimated meshes but it seemed to crash ZBrush every time.  Perhaps with the 64 bit version soon to release that problem will disappear.
  • I was a bit too timid when it came to jumping into Unreal Editor.  In an attempt to not derail my project by spending too much time learning the software, I modeled the majority of my assets in place inside Maya which led to some more slow-downs later in the project during the polish phase.
  • I was not able to implement some suggestions due to time constraints.  If those slow-downs I mentioned hadn't happened, I could have added a few more things to make it look better.

Now it's time for a break, I'll be back in a week or so to announce my next project!

View my previous completed projects here

Thursday, October 30, 2014

October 30

Today and yesterday has been dedicated to tweaking lights, color, proportions, and whatnot.  Pretty tedious but I guess it's a nice break from modeling & texturing!

Another update:

View my previous completed projects here

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

October 28

I was going to post this yesterday but the Internet went down for the entire city for about five hours.  So anyway, I'm in my final stages of tweaking and cleanup.  Still messing with lighting and I need to incorporate more ambiance. 

If you have any critiques, now would be the best time to offer them!

[edit]  Here are the changes I have made according to all the great feedback I've received so far:

View my previous completed projects here

Sunday, October 26, 2014

October 26

I'm almost done!  Here's whats left:

  • Texture the Ladder
  • Add label to circuit breaker panel
  • Implement translucent shader for glass/plastic bottles
  • Model a box & put stuff in it
  • Move some assets around
  • General tweaking of texture values as needed
  • Ambient effects
  • Test & bake lighting
  • Beauty shots

View my previous completed projects here

Friday, October 24, 2014

October 24

I buckled and had to use Photoshop again for the wood.  Substance Painter doesn't allow me to rotate my materials, so for directional patterns such as wood, I'm pretty much out of luck if my UVs are running in the wrong direction.

UE4 is certainly a treat.  Here's the shambling mess that is my scene file.  Absolutely still WIP in nearly every way.

View my previous completed projects here

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

October 22

Had some issues getting these shelves to read properly.  Pretty tedious but I think I got it.

View my previous completed projects here

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

October 21

Today's slew of textures.  I keep updating the water heater because of feedback.  Looks better and better!

View my previous completed projects here

Monday, October 20, 2014

Project Hub!

After noticing that all my shorter blog post snapshots were getting spammed with the project footers, I figured I should clean things up and just make a single link in my footer to a post where you can find links to all my projects (this post).

Introduction Post.  My initial post when I started my sabbatical.  It explains what I'm doing and why!

Project 1 was probably my largest project.  A hand-painted diffuse-only interior environment.

Project 2 was supposed to be a small Skyrim mod but was cancelled after my teammate could not afford the time to complete his side of things, namely implementation of assets into the Creation Kit.

Project 2.5 - Hard Surface Stuff 

Project 3 was Borderlands fan art.  I modeled a weapon case themed after the Jakobs weapon line.

Project 4 was an asset pack for the Unity Asset Store.  A bunch of mineral deposits.

Project 5 was my first real stab at PBR materials.  A "shadow box" representing all the ribbons and medals I received while serving in the Air Force.

After project 5, I couldn't figure out what to do.  Rather than flounder for days and days, I decided to clear my mind with a mini project that was based on a prop from Futurama.

Project 6 was the Polycount Noob Challenge #3

Sabbatical Postmortem!

October 20

Getting some more props knocked out!  Made some tweaks to the water heater so the dirt buildup isn't so uniform.

View my previous completed projects here

Thursday, October 16, 2014

October 16

Man, it's been like three weeks!  I've been busy getting everything prepared for a smooth transition into Substance Painter and Unreal Editor.

Here is the final blockout of the scene, save for a few props being moved around and whatnot. I hid some of the support pillars/beams to give a clearer shot of the room.

Flat shaded + Ambient Occlusion

Default Lighting + Ambient Occlusion

I have to re-bake some AO maps here and there, but at this point all models and baked textures are complete.  I'll be posting some textured assets more frequently now.

Introduction Post
Project 1 Complete!
Project 2 Cancelled. Boo!
Project 2.5 - Hard Surface Stuff
Project 3 Complete!
Project 4 Complete!
Project 5 Complete!
Mini Project Complete!
Project 6 WIP