View Full Version : Sketchbook: illybang
05-17-2008, 03:33 PM
Hey guys. I'm illy. I'm new here and I have just recently started learning how to work in 3D Studio Max. I'm not taking any classes or anything. Just picked up the 3DS Max bible and am looking for random tutorials online. I've only been tinkering with the program for a couple months so far. My hope is to gain the skills to one day get a job within the gaming industry as an environmental/level artist.
Anyways, i'll try and post things up in this thread frequently so I can get some good critiques and help from all of you talented folks within this great community. I'll be looking forward to getting my butt kicked around from you guys! http://www.game-artist.net/forums/images/smilies/smile.gif
P.S. If any of you are willing to take a look at the 3DS Max models of any of these for a deep critique / tips and help, let me know and I will e-mail them to you. Of course, i'm sure most of you are too busy for that kind of help. But if anyone could, it would be deeply appreciated.
05-17-2008, 03:34 PM
Here is one of the first models I tried to build completely. This is from a concept art piece of a building for Warhammer Online that I found online:
Here is the model I made for it. It's not fully complete as I did not know how to go about creating the small things seen above the doorway and I did not know how to handle doing the jutting concrete bricks/slabs on the sides of the building. Anyways, here it is:
05-17-2008, 03:34 PM
This next model is of a ship concept done by a guy named Matt Elder. I just randomly found it online. Here is the original concept:
And here is my noobish model:
05-17-2008, 03:35 PM
Next, I tried to model my classical guitar, just by eyeballing it. Anyways, I think that the poly/tri count is maybe too high, but I really got caught up on the little nuts, screws and things at the head of the guitar. I haven't even put the strings on it yet.
05-17-2008, 03:35 PM
Next, I tried to eyeball-model a screwdriver I had lying around on my desk.
05-17-2008, 03:41 PM
I needed more inspiration for things to model. Of course, I see tons of concept art and things that I WISH I could model, but i'm really not at that level yet. So, I just recently checked out the speed modeling section at the "Game Artist Forums" (http://www.game-artist.net/) and am grabbing random things from there to practice. These are in no way done with speed by me. They have taken me at least 2-3 hours to complete, each... minimum! SAD HUH?
Anyways, here are a couple of things I got through, the 'UAV' and the 'Mouse Trap'. Critique away please.
05-19-2008, 09:13 PM
Tried the lighthouse today. Took me a lot longer than it should have i think. Based it off of the Cape Blanco Lighthouse.
And I have a few questions. First is about optimizing polys you can not see. If you take a look at the next image, it shows a portion of the lighthouse that is being covered by the small house on the side of it. As you can see, I deleted a few polys from the bottom part. Is that all that is needed to be done, or do i need to delete more than that by cutting the existing polys?
Another question is about a method that I used while modeling the windows at the top of the lighthouse. That section was a bit confusing for me as my cuts and extrudes did not seem to like each other and certain verts had to be manually moved one by one in order for it to look right. I did one window by hand, and instead of extruding and cutting the other 3, I basically made a copy of all the polys in the window and set them as another element. Then, i simply lined up the verts and edges in the next window spot and i collapsed the verts at all of the intersecting points. Basically just grabbed a chunk and sort of patched it somewhere else.
My question is, is this an OK thing to do? Is it something I should avoid doing? Also, why were the extrudes messing up and not moving certain verts out to where they should have gone? Is this issue common?
I have more questions, but i'll wait for an answer for this first.
05-19-2008, 11:24 PM
hey illy, nice work so far. and u said you just started in max? good work. couple things. try to push for quads where u can. then reduce down to tris (but keeping the silhouette) for the final in game models. your models look pretty clean, but for instance, in your first piece, around the corner of the door you have a lot of clustering pulling off from corner to corner. that might cause some pinching. play with some smoothing groups. you'll need those, and it can show off any problems with your models. and with your lighthouse, that is fine doing what you did. you don't necessarily have to model shapes into each other, just have them cross through each other. and it'll work fine. in the concept of the lighthouse, did the house come into the lighthouse like that? or did it come close, and there was a divider between the two? or maybe just a small walkway with no roof? also small note on the ship, it looks a little off from the side viewport. it prob doesn't come to a straight end like that... most noticeably in the wings. take a look a cross section of plane (or bird) wings. their straight on bottom and curve on top, thats what produces the different air pressures that create lift.
05-20-2008, 01:13 AM
Hey minimoose. thank you so much for your comments. I do notice that certain areas of my models have strange polygons as a result of connecting/cutting pieces that I need. After seeing many other critiques on other people's work, I guess I should really always aim for quads then. so, if you take a look at the lighthouse upclose shot of the upper level windows, you will see there is actually a 6 sided polygon that I THOUGHT I was cleaning up, but i'm guessing that was a bad 'noob' assumption. I had a mindset that if I could remove whatever edges I could, it would be better for the model.
As you mentioned, with the clusters above the door on my first model above, should I just get rid of some of the edges and make the door less round? What would be the best way to clean up some of the clustering?
Also, i'm a bit confused with the 'smoothing groups' suggestion you have given me. I see them in the polygon rollout menus, but what exactly are they used for?
And for the lighthouse model, yes, the house did go into the lighthouse like that. They were connected as one building. It's a real lighthouse that I used for reference, called the 'Cape Blanco' Lighthouse.
Thanks for the ship comments. I will try to rework the wings after taking a look at some real-life plane references.
Anyone else with crits, don't be shy. I need to get better quick! Thanks again Minimoose.
05-20-2008, 02:54 AM
to fix the clustering, i would pull out those edges straight up, or straight to the right or left, instead of all to one point like you were doing. as far as smoothing groups go. what they do is basically smooth out the faces of your model. without them, when you where to cast a normal map, the map would carry over a hard edge for every polygon. i might have to get an example to show you what i mean. ill have to create one tomorrow. so you can see what it does, create a box in max, select all the polygons, clear smoothing groups and set them all to 1. what it will do is try to smooth out the edges on each curve. so you'll see kind of a black stretch in the materials. for every hard turn like that, you'll want to put the next edge on a different smoothing group
05-20-2008, 03:06 AM
ok made this up real fast. here's a cylinder for an example.
1. no smoothing groups, youll see all the faceted edges, you might have seen this in some of your models where parts will show effects like this (especially if your adding and welding a lot of parts)
2. if i select all the polygons and set 1 smoothing group. it'll try to pull the edges around and show this kind of an effect.
3. start selecting edges where they turn, stuff that a single smoothing group wont handle and set it to a new smoothing group by clicking clear all, and then select a new smoothing group.
4. do the same wherever needed.
hope that helps
05-20-2008, 03:24 AM
also you were mentioning some speed modeling and some projects you didn't think you could handle yet? what where those? a lot of times i can learn a lot more from tackling a difficult project than something i know i can do. plus you can post progress here and get help along the way. what where you looking at (interested in modeling)?
05-20-2008, 02:01 PM
oh man. ok, thanks for that minimoose! i see how that's supposed to work. but on that first smoothing group example, it shows that i SHOULD put all of the sides of a cylinder (or round shape) on one smoothing group, right? let's also take the light house for example. take a look at the base section of the lighthouse itself. for the part that juts out, you would put the top facing polygons on their own group, the bottom facing polys on another, and then the flat ring of polygons on the same smoothing group as the rest of the lighthouse? maybe a picture would help:
also, for the cluster of edges, you said straight to the right or left. so, would this still be to all one point, or i should spread them out to separate vertices?
and about the speed modeling, here is a link to some of the speed modeling topics have i have been looking through: http://www.game-artist.net/forums/speed-modeling/
there are tons of other things i would like to tackle modeling, but i wouldn't feel confident enough until i get a better sense of the basics i'm still sort of struggling with. what gets me confused and frustrated most of the time is just the simple task of creating a certain shape and trying to learn the correct ways to do it. Whether or not to try and cut and extrude them from a shape i already have? should i be welding separate pieces together if my model is made up of different objects?
i appreciate the time and effort you have put in to help out minimoose. thanks so much and i'm storing every bit of it in my noggin.
05-20-2008, 02:17 PM
yeah like that. nothing wrong with the way you set that up. i would do it this way though, cause you are limited in the number of smoothing groups you can use (30 but still limited). as long as the two edges next to each other aren't the same group, it doesn't matter if you reuse 1 and 2 for the entire object.
also as far as that first house guys, i was thinking about it like this.
05-20-2008, 02:36 PM
ahhhh, i see. reusing smoothing groups on one object is fine, just alternate them basically. thanks!
i'll try that out on the first house also. would the best way be slicing planes to get exact symmetry around every wall and then reconnecting the vertices? should they be exact horizontial / vertical edges?
05-20-2008, 02:54 PM
well easiest way would be to select two edges, and press connect. but if you want a line to be exactly straight, choose the vertices you want, and scale them to the x or y depending on where their located, that will pull them all into a straight line. very nifty little trick.
05-20-2008, 03:53 PM
ok, messing with the smoothing groups has made a few errors visible on my lighthouse model. what the heck am i supposed to do with this?
05-20-2008, 04:14 PM
what your seeing is the edge of the poly. that poly your looking at is a 5 sided, and you seeing that edge. what i would do is carry it up like this (yellow)
05-20-2008, 04:43 PM
ok, i did as suggested. but it still is looking very bad. maybe something is really screwed with my model?
05-20-2008, 06:05 PM
check your smoothing groups, it looks like maybe you have 1 and 2 activated for that part. if not that. im not sure.
05-21-2008, 01:48 AM
alright. i tried a telephone. it took me WAYYYYY tooo long. and it's not even done yet. how long should a model like this take a person on average?
and i still can't figure out what's going on with my lighthouse model. it's driving me crazy!
05-21-2008, 10:20 AM
About the lighthouse:
Try "turn" this edge.
check your smoothing groups, it looks like maybe you have 1 and 2 activated for that part. if not that. im not sure.
this happens because you told him to add edges on a smooth/gouraud shaded surface, of course it will look edgier if you don't also change the curvature of the mesh, you could ad one smoothinggroup to the whole mesh it will still lok more flat in that area because he has more flat geometry.
Your whole advices are gameartwise pure nonesense, what are all these edges for?
they are neither supporting the shape nor the shading and this house is for sure not going to deform. The way he did it before was the totally perfect way for a gamemodel, it's a flat surface, why should "clustering" happen there?
05-21-2008, 01:43 PM
@corv: thanks for the advice. i tried it, and it still doesn't work. i think i'm just going to delete that whole window and try to make it again. probably didn't like the way i did it.
@neox: thanks for the advice. so leaving the edges as they are is good for game art then. either way, i know both you and minimoose are trying to help, so whether someone's info is wrong or right, i appreciate anyone taking the time to post here.
thanks for the help guys!
didn't mean to sound rude, sorry :/
in gameart it's always a good rule to use only polygons that are needed (considering the system specs tho) so it doesn't matter what your polylimit is, always remove verts/edges/polygons that don't contribute to either shape, shading, uvsetup (splits for tiling etc) or deformation. In your case the whole wall is flat so those triangles don't affect the shading what would be the first case on a smooth surface so if you are goung to bend the wall a bit to achieve a more stylized look i'd agree to add more edges to support the shape and smooth shading, otherwise it's just fine what you did there :)
05-21-2008, 08:15 PM
i figured out your problem. you see, every polygon is made of two tris. and when your working in editable poly your not gonna see those tris. but you see here, if i move these two vertices your gonna see that "invisible edge." what i did on your lighthouse was make a cut across these two vertices to change the direction of that invisible edge. and that fixed the problem
05-21-2008, 08:40 PM
sweet! but when i look at that image, now look at the polygon to the right of that window. i still see something strange with it. i tried it on my model over here and there are also some strange divisions happening a the top of the window there. and even on the larger polygon directly to the right of the window (the very large body piece of the lighthouse).
maybe the way i modeled that window was incorrect to begin with. if you have time, maybe you could model that window how you would do it, and then if there are no errors, explain the steps. i'll explain how i did it.
basically, i selected the two long vertical edges and connected them with 2 more edges (basic outline of the window). then, i selected the top edge and connected it higher up to the lighthouse, creating a vert that i could life up for the pointed window shape. i made a couple more horizontal connections for the window ledge, and also a couple more to make the window thiner. i did a FEW MORE connects for the 2 window frame bumps on the glass. then, basically, i moved the center point up to make the window pointy, then i selected all the polygons for the window and extruded them in. then, i selected only the glass portions and extruded them in a bit more.
sorry if that is a bit long and tedious to read, but if anyone has the time, can you tell me if i am doing this a funny way or if it is wrong?
05-21-2008, 11:20 PM
i tried an electric chair today. took wayyy too long once again. i don't understand how the heck i'm supposed to do it any faster. what scares me the most is maybe i'm taking so long because i'm using all of the wrong methods and techniques.
05-21-2008, 11:27 PM
ok so i figured a way around it, sometimes things just get messed up... truthfully i didn't know what it was doing. i just deleted the poly and recreated it. then did the same trick i showed you before and recutting it. there isn't too much i would change with how you did your model. but ill play with it a lil in the morning, send it back, and explain what i did
05-21-2008, 11:49 PM
you da man moose! thanks. :D
05-22-2008, 01:46 PM
got your lighthouse down to about 1800 polys (from your original 2900). ill send it your way tonight after work. got a lil more work to do with the smoothing groups. also what version of max are you using?
05-22-2008, 01:47 PM
wow. my noobish eyes can't even see how the heck you got rid of so many polys! i can't wait to see what you did differently and to see what mistakes i made. the version i am using is max 9. thanks again moose!
05-22-2008, 07:58 PM
ok so i got it down to 1813, your original was 2949. basically what i did was get rid of your built in windows. i recreated a single poly behind them. and just had them push through as a floater. i also redid the top of the tower itself, the bars are thin enough they can be done with an alpha when you texture it. same with the glass itself and an opacity map. the point at the top is now 2 planes that are just crossing at a 90 degree angle. i'm working in max 2008 so you wont be able to open it in max 9, but i sent you an obj of the lighthouse. to bring it into max 9, go to file, import, select obj file and import. the default setting should be fine... but when you bring it in, itll be an editable mesh, so remember to change it back to editable poly.
05-22-2008, 11:00 PM
holy crap. yeah, it looks exactly the same (minus the fence part and the top pole), and it is a hell of a lot smaller poly count wise. see, i need to learn how to think like a game artist and save poly's wherever i can. my brain is not developed yet i think. i am a 5 year old child in terms of game modeling age! :P
anyways, thanks man. opened up a new way of thinking about my models. one question i do have is should i keep the main base shape of a given object as simple as i can like you, and then just start creating small objects to push into it instead of trying to cut and extrude them from the base shape? if so, is there a limit to how many other objects i should have that makes up one object? i think i focus way too much on trying to build all the details by cutting and extruding from the base object. maybe that's why it's taking so long. i have not yet developed the skill of deciding on how to create objects quick enough i think. i sit there and think too much. oh well, i hope soon i will see a huge jump in comfort and knowledge with modeling.
anyways, thanks again moose. you're awesome.
can't forget about another model for the day. the polycount is off the charts! i found an image of a hospital recovery bed and gave it a shot, but the logistics of some of the parts i'm sure are off and the thing would not work in real life. i had a really hard time figuring out what piece connected to what and so on from the image. i should keep that in mind next time i model something. anyways, here is the turd!
05-23-2008, 02:51 PM
i tried a carnival ride this time. too many poly's again i think. but, i think i did this one a bit faster than the others. this is supposed to be one of those octopus-type carnival rides.
05-24-2008, 08:17 AM
i think its great that your trying so many things. have you seen the gta4 art of book? lots of wireframes in there for the environments, weapons, and vehicles. def worth looking at
05-24-2008, 03:44 PM
@Minimoose: Thanks. Yeah, i'm just trying to get as much random stuff model as possible because I want to have the ability to model whatever is tossed over to me. I will have to check out the GTA4 book. Sounds like a great source of inspiration and information.
Anyways, here is my latest model. It is a Hawk Missile Surface to Air system. Remember, feel free to crit away and give me advice on what I could do differently.
That hawk missle system looks really good solid modelling to me.
05-24-2008, 04:00 PM
damn you work fast! great stuff! nice and clean wires! i'm interested in seeing you texture your stuff :D.
05-24-2008, 05:25 PM
@Ged: Thanks for the kind words. I really appreciate it and keeps my hopes high that I am hopefully on the right path. I'm always quite intimidated about learning this stuff without taking a class because I want to make sure that i'm not doing anything the WRONG way. Want to learn the right way from the beginning so I have those solid foundations.
@Japhir: I don't know about fast! I find myself to be a very slow modeler thus far. I have just been pounding away hours and hours everyday. Thanks for the kind words also.
I would love to texture everything I have modeled, but I have no idea how to unwrap or begin the process. If anyone can help point me in the right direction to some decent tutorials, it will be greatly appreciated. I am very excited about learning how to do it for sure!
Thanks again everyone!
05-25-2008, 11:02 AM
ill try to write a tutorial on unwraping for you later. great job on that missile launcher, it's pretty kick ass :)
05-25-2008, 05:25 PM
ya ur getting better Keep at it!
05-25-2008, 06:44 PM
@Minmoose: Thanks moose. I have been scouring for some tutorials and came upon some sweet videos the other night. I will have to watch them thoroughly over and over. It does seem like an artform on it's own.
One question I have already, if we take the lighthouse model as an example, I know the main body of the lighthouse itself should be done as a cylindrical section, and the house walls as a box. Should I include all of the ledges that are at the bottoms of them with the main portions also? (don't know correct terminology yet, sorry) How exactly do I know how to split them up?
if you have time to do a simple tutorial moose, do you think you could use my lighthouse as the example? i think seeing someone unwrap something i built would make me understand the process so much better. only if you have time man. don't worry about it if you don't. i'll figure it out sooner or later. thanks again for all the help so far though.
@Mtg_kirin: Thanks man. I'm definitely trying to keep the momentum going.
05-25-2008, 08:07 PM
ill have some time tomorrow to work because of the day off. ill see what i can work up to try and explain it :)
05-28-2008, 03:07 PM
alright. here's my first ever texture attempt. this keg model that was handed out as part of game-artist.net's speed modeling competition. i didn't enter because it took me a long ass time to figure this out. i didn't unwrap this, it came unwrapped already. just thought i would get my hands dirty on the texturing part a bit.
one question i do have is why does so much detail get left out on the viewport screenshot grab, and the render maintains most of the detail from the texture sheet? i have included a comparison shot and also the texture sheet (512 x 512) so you can see what i mean.
let me know what i should do different. thanks.
05-28-2008, 03:17 PM
the viewport automatically filters the images, i can't remember where, but you're supposed to be able to set it so it renders the pixels themselves. (hmm not very helpfull ;)).
about the texture: it looks good already! looks like you used either the burn tool or a black airbush to shade though, which isn't a very good idea because it only adds black shadows. shadows should be in a darker tone of the same color, not black. Therefore you should ban the burn tool IMO. (and dodge too for that matter)
keep it up!
05-28-2008, 04:38 PM
i've been trying to find that in the settings somewhere. can't seem to find it though. maybe someone else here knows?
yeah, i did use the burn tool a lot. i see that it's a big no-no and will stay away from it from now on. thanks and i will be practicing more for sure.
05-29-2008, 03:32 AM
Go to customize ---> preferences -----> viewport tab ----> configure driver, then I thought it was setting both the lookups to none/nearest.
05-30-2008, 11:10 AM
i'm still an uber noob so i can't help with a tutorial. but i found that a little program called roadkill really helped me with unwrapping. it's a little weird to get used to but theres so few buttons it's not hard to get used to. it also plugs into most major apps iirc
might be worth a look
oh btw... you're rate of progress is great. i wish i could find the time to really dedicate to 3d. as said the launcher looks really solid.
here's a quick paintover for ya, just some texture crits. Hope it helps.
05-30-2008, 02:20 PM
@StJoris: thanks for trying to help. i tried the settings you have suggested and things just turn out extra pixelated. doesn't seem to work for me.
@RustyFranks: wow, that tool looks like it does work really well. i'm gonna have to try that out. i would like to learn how to unwrap without any downloadable tools first i think, just in case someone gives me a test where i won't have access to (maybe in a job interview... how often does that happen, anyone in the industry?). also, thanks for the kind comments. really appreciate it!
@Ferg: thanks for that paint over! that is looking much better already. i did notice that the wood that is holding up the keg in mine is toooo red! and the gold is looking a lot better on yours already. i will try to simulate the changes you made to my model. thanks again.
ok. i think i sort of have the hang of this unwrapping thing. of course, the object i made is nothing complicated mind you, but after watching a few tutorial videos i found scattered on the web, i decided to give it a go. just built a simple billboard type object to see if i would be able to successfully unwrap. don't know if it's the optimal way i ended up doing it, but i did lay out SOMETHING. and it took me FOREVER.
i unwrapped it onto 1 1024x1024 sheet. is this the correct size i should be using, or what should i lay it out as? also, how do i pick where the seams end up? seems like they just sort of end up in a random location on certain items and i don't know how to change them. am i missing something here?
i guess i'll try to texture this thing for now. let's hope it's not disastrous.
05-30-2008, 03:32 PM
looks pretty good. keep in mind if the objects are symmetrical or have repeated shapes (like the legs) u can delete half of it and only unwrap that half. then mirror it after u texture. also 1024x104 is pretty generous, id give 512x512 or smaller a try
05-30-2008, 08:47 PM
All of it is looking pretty good. If you can get some good textures on this stuff I'd say you would be well on your way to a good portfolio =)
In addition to what Minimoose suggested, I think you can also scale the legs vertically so they are shorter. If you are careful what kind of texture detail you apply no one will really notice the stretching. Which would give you more room for the sign.
Also if you mirror the sign and maybe the walkway (provided they will be the same on both sides), that will give you more space to scale up the sign. The cool thing about billboards is that people hardly ever see both sides at the same time and mirroring, is almost always ok =)
As for the seam edges I'm not really sure what you mean? There are two ways I know of to define seams. Pelt mapping where you plot your seams by drawing the edges or detach pieces by high lighting them and using the "break command" CTRL+B (I think keyboard shortcut overide needs to be turned on).
05-30-2008, 09:47 PM
Wow some top notch modeling you have going on here...makes me feel like I need to practice and I have been modeling all day on the Barrett M82!
05-31-2008, 12:43 AM
@Minimoose: hmmm, thanks for the tips. i will have to start thinking like this now. my brain is not routed that way yet. i will have to look for some examples to fully understand what you mean. got any by chance?
@Vig: thanks for the kind words Vig! hopefully, my texturing skills will improve quickly as i seem to have only been focusing on the modeling aspect. unwrapping has scared me since the beginning.
as for the seam edges, i was just worried because when i used the cylindrical unwrapping tool, it just seemed to place the edge where ever it wanted. i will have to continue to play around with the unwrapping process as this was my first unwrap ever and i pretty much guessed the whole way through. : / anyways, thanks again.
@Quokimbo: thanks for all the kind words man. it is all awesome encouragement for me and i appreciate it. remember though, most of the things i have been modeling are so simple. the true test will be to see if i can tackle something much more difficult, and i am trying to build up to it. i would love to see your stuff as well. let me know and i'll try to give my best crit, even though i'm just a n00b!
alright. well, i am pretty damn happy and feel accomplished. maybe the texture sucks, but here is my FIRST EVERY FULLY COMPLETED, UNWRAPPED and TEXTURED MODEL! whew. been painting all day but i don't care. i feel pretty good! of course, this is just the diffuse map as i have no idea how to do any of the other ones, but i guess one thing at a time eh?
anyways, i welcome all crits and tips from anyone that wants to give it! by the way, used one 1024x1024 map. the model is not very refined or low in polygons probably. forgot to delete certain poly's until it was too late (already finished unwrapping most of it). i'll have to keep a clearer mind on my next complete modeling project.
05-31-2008, 04:55 AM
Ahh I see, you can transform the gizmo in the view port by move/rotate/scale it around to manipulate how it unwraps. There is a green line that indicates where it will attempt to place the seams.
As for the texture, thats pretty damn good for a first attempt, you should be proud!
Here are a few crits to help things along:
- I think its a good thing to concentrate on painting a good diffuse, a lot of people try and skip over that skill and attempt to fill in the talent gap with the other types of maps but without a good understanding of how to really work the diffuse it just gets messy and ugly. So I think you're right where you need to be, learning what you need to learn =)
- At some point you'll want to figure out how to use the Render To Texture feature. It will help you greatly if you need to transfer your material from one UV layout to another and it's how you create normal maps, and Ambient Occlusion (http://www.vigville.com/forum_images/AO.jpg) (fancy term for shadows in the nooks and crannies). Very powerful, kind of unfriendly but once you start using it, it will save a bunch of time. But we can cross that bridge when your interested and ready =)
- But we have a few more things to cover before we get there. Advanced texture skills aside the texture is kind of noisy and I think some scratches could be taken out to make it more readable. One thing that will help is to squint at your model, step back across the room or take a render and scale it down 25% and see what the major color blocks are doing.
- You have to remember what angles the player will view your work at, and from what distance. Often people zoom way in and really detail the crap out of things and what the player sees is a tangled mess of details. I put a few cameras in my scene set to the players height and render from those. Another pit fall is that people tend to texture while looking down at the model in the view port and with some props like billboards players normally look up. So save yourself time and work on what the player will see.
- The top is pretty rusty and stained, but that rust doesn't seem to transfer to the other UV pieces. It can be hard for sure to paint on seperate pieces and make them all jell together in the scene, but it must be done. How would the rusty billboard effect the support structure? They maybe seperate UV pieces but they are one object.
- The Brown Ale side of the sign is flipped in your texture. You should select those faces and detach them, and then flip them (its the icon at the top that looks like two triangles pointing at each other). You will also want to make sure that no other faces are facing backwards. The fast way to do that is to go to face mode (in the UVW Editor window) and click "Select > Select Inverted Faces" This will highlight all the faces that are "wrong reading or reversed". It's not so important right now that everything be right reading but it will be important later when you start using RTT, so best get in the habit now =)
- When your texture makes into a game, it will more then like be mip mapped. That means its going to be scaled down and possibly blurred slightly so a smaller texture can be used when the player is far off. It's important to know what it will look like mipped so scale it down 75% 50% and 25% and see how it looks.
- Its also a good idea to keep a proper amount of padding around your UV pieces because when the texture is shrunk down the blank area around the UV pieces will start to bleed in and create ugly artifacts. In this case white would creep into the seams.
- 12 pixels of padding is ideal to fix problem areas, but I normally find that 2-6 pixels is fine as long as the pieces around them are roughly the same color.
Despite my monster post, you're doing a great job keep at it!
05-31-2008, 05:05 AM
Go to customize ---> preferences -----> viewport tab ----> configure driver, then I thought it was setting both the lookups to none/nearest.
Right neighborhood, wrong door, but oh so close. You want to set the Background texture size & download texture size to a higher value, it will greatly effect the viewport speed but I haven't had problems with it set to 1024. Also check on "match bitmap size as closely as possible".
It also helps to see the texture for what it truly looks like if you turn off the shading. The quickest way to do this is to set the material to 100% self Illumination
05-31-2008, 06:43 AM
Oops I forgot not everyone works on tiny texture and considers pixelated look a good thing. Good one pointing out the proper solution to the problem Vig!
05-31-2008, 01:42 PM
@Vig: Holy cow! Thanks for that wealth of information Vig! I really appreciate you taking the time for such a helpful post. Never knew about the 'Select Inverted Faces' feature. I was wondering why the UV was displaying backwards!
Also, when you talk about mip mapped, how exactly should I be shrinking the model down? Is this an actual shrinking of the model in 3DS Max or just a shrinking in an image editor to get an idea of what it would look like at a distance?
Also, is there a precise way to space the UV pieces, or is it just a general eyeball measurement?
I can see what you mean about how the rust does not show on the other pieces and agree with your crits. Do you think I should try to add more rust to the other pieces, or should I be removing some rust from the top piece? Does it look too rusty in your opinion?
Also, thank you for that viewport solution. I think it is working now, and the self illumination is very helpful also.
Thanks again Vig! Appreciate it very much!
05-31-2008, 02:45 PM
When you talk about mip mapped, how exactly should I be shrinking the model down?You don't need to shrink the model just the texture. It might help to zoom out, but don't scale the model.
Mip Maps are small samples of your texture compressed so the engine doesn't have to use the full texture if not that close to the object. If you're 100ft from the model it uses a 32x32 as you get closer it ratchets up to the full size. It is also used to help FPS by only allowing certain systems to have access to the bigger mip maps.
When you turn down the texture settings in games, you'll notice the textures start to get blurry, thats because its using lower level mips for close up details. When it creates the mip maps (by scaling and blurring your original texture) the void around the UV pieces has a really good chance of bleeding into the viewable area. So we pad the void with pixels and pick a not so noticeable color.
Also, is there a precise way to space the UV pieces, or is it just a general eyeball measurement?
UV editor window > Tools > Pack UV's adjust the spacing.
The neat thing about pack UV's is that you can preform it on a selection. It's not perfect and it doesn't do a very good job of fitting non standard pieces together but for some things like boxes, circles, basic shapes it packs them pretty well. Enviro artists end up using it quite a bit.
Also if you aren't using stitch, I suggest giving it a try. You select an edge and go "Tools > Stitch selected". I use it so much I have it bound to S.
Also "Tools > Relax" is great for eliminating stretching. If it seems to skrunch up your piece and make a mess, it's probably wrong facing and just needs to be flipped.
Do you think I should try to add more rust to the other pieces, or should I be removing some rust from the top piece? Does it look too rusty in your opinion? It really depends on the rest of the environment. If this billboard is in a normal urban area that is even moderately maintained they wouldn't let the ads get that nasty, they would loose money, not to mention the ads would be rotated out more frequently so they wouldn't have a chance to get that nasty. So the level of dirt, rust and grime are telling me this is in a pretty neglected place and has been that way for quite some time. Not only do you need to blend the UV pieces together but you need to blend the entire piece into the environment.
I would do both, dial down the rust on the top, and add some to the lower parts.
Thanks again Vig! Appreciate it very much!
No prob, its a waste of info if I don't pass it on =P
06-01-2008, 07:48 PM
alright, just a few quick questions. i have modeled a bus stop to practice unwrapping and texturing. however, this model contains glass panels. how am i supposed to model to accommodate the glass panels? the way i have it modeled now, the glass panels are basically just inset pieces that are extruded into a box. should i just delete the glass insets and seal the frame areas that would be visible behind the glass, and then just create 2 seperate planes for both sides of the glass? does that make any sense?
also, can i add scratches and etchings into the glass texture? how should i go about texturing glass? is it just basically messing with the opacity in the materials editor?
thanks in advance.
06-01-2008, 08:10 PM
what you did is fine. but what u do is when u go to texture it, you also make a opacity map (black visible, white invisible... or the opposite i forget) and have the glass a shade of gray.
06-02-2008, 06:17 PM
Alright. I finally got this thing unwrapped. I'm sure it's a horrendous job, but can you guys take a look and let me know what I should change before I try to start painting over it?
Unwrapping so far has definitely been the worst part about creating models for me. I'm sure it's just because I suck so much at it, but damn, it is horrible. I got confused so much on this unwrap, it took me so much longer than modeling the damn thing. And i'm sure there is so much I should I change on the sheet. : /
06-02-2008, 09:20 PM
it looks ok, just be careful nothing is overlapping.
06-03-2008, 04:08 AM
alright, well this is what i have so far on my texture for the bus stop. took me a while to figure out the opacity map stuff, but i think i got the hang of it.
as for texturing in general so far, i don't know if i'm grasping the texturing concepts as well as i would like. i get stuck on figuring out how to texture the materials without adding too much noise to it. i have tried to keep the scratches and such at a minimum so far and have relied heavily on real life photos / textures to do most of it. is this bad? should i be trying to paint most of the textures by hand?
this texturing is definitely not close to completion. i really would like to get more help from you guys and try to complete this model with a top notch texture. how can i take it to the next level?
anyways, as always, crits, tips, and advice oh so greatly appreciated. thanks.
06-03-2008, 06:14 AM
Nice sketchbook you have going! I need to start one soon! Thanks for the inspiration!
06-03-2008, 06:45 AM
i think your doing a nice job. and i would say photo reference is a great way to get started or use as a base for your textures. those posters are fine to just drop in there. the purple does look like a little much. tone it down a lil bit
06-03-2008, 08:55 AM
Great Sketchbook, you are really cranking them out. Like i should but don't :(
Anyway, the only thing that strikes me is the fact that de broken glass has so little texture space compared to the posters. I believe varying texture resolution (scaling your unwrap islands) can be be a good thing if you keep consistency in mind. You might want to scale pieces with so much detail up the next time.
If you really want to have 100% scale consistency you should decheck the checkbox: Normalize map in your unwrap uvw modifier. I makes all stuff huge but the scale is correct. Good luck.
06-03-2008, 05:00 PM
@stalsby:thanks for the words stalsby! you should definitely start one up! RIGHT NOW.
@Minimoose: thanks moose. is that blue reading as a purple?! does anyone else see it as purple? either way, it does seem way too saturated or bright.
@jerry: thanks jerry. i'm really trying to do as much as i can. every model is one model closer to my goal of landing a job somewhere! thanks for the advice. i definitely did not think things through enough before i laid out the UVW template. man, is it a pain in the ass not only to unwrap, but to also have to cram everything into that square!!! i will definitely try unchecking the normalize map.
if anyone has any advice as to how to add more detail along the edges to make this texture look more like a decent texture, please let me know! i'm kind of stuck as to what to do next. thanks!
06-03-2008, 05:33 PM
Hey, this is all looking great! You are a number of steps ahead of me and my development, so it is great to see you treading a path I hope to follow as well.
On the latest texture, here are some of my thoughts.
- On the broken glass, you have placed a rather strong spec highlight across it in the texture, and as you view it from different camera angles it sits in the same place every time -- even on the back side. A strong spec like that would only be viewable from one angle with the light bouncing in just the right way. Maybe remove it and let a specular map tell the story (still unsure myself on how to accomplish that). Also, every broken window I have seen in the real world has a pile of broken glass on the ground, and it usually stays there for months.
- I think some nice lighting would really pop this and hold it all together. It looks flat overall -- I'm really struggling with this in my work right now so I am becoming more conscious of it. Putting it in a full environment would really help the transparency read -- right now the back windows look like a cloudy grey color.
- I agree on the blue being too saturated. The flatness on the color of the bench especially makes the texture read as any number of different textures -- plastic? painted wood? painted metal? It is not completely clear. The canopy reads to me as plexiglass, if that is what you are going for.
- I agree with you on the unwrapping -- it always takes way too long for me.
Again great work -- I hope to get enough time to catch up to you at some point.
06-03-2008, 06:34 PM
@scotths: hey! thanks for the comments and the crits. took a look at your stuff on your website and by no means am i ahead of you! you are doing great it looks like and i definitely have to catch up to YOU. i have taken note of all of your suggestions and will try to make the changes accordingly.
as for updates, they will have to wait until this weekend as i will be in vegas till friday. as arnold would say, AHL BE BAHK!
09-25-2011, 01:04 AM
This thread has been REVIVED! It's been a while.
Since my last post, I was lucky enough to get hooked up with a short apprenticeship at NCSoft NorCal (Paragon Studios) and did some noobish stuff for the City of Hero's/Villains games. It was a great experience and I feel very fortunate and thankful for the people who made this possible. I was so new at everything that I even felt like I didn't deserve the opportunity to be honest!
However, I haven't done ANYTHING in the way of modeling since then. I should have been more motivated and excited than ever about the possibilities of my future. But, I was going through a lot of personal stuff at the time, and the past few years have been mentally challenging for me to say the least.
I'm slowly starting to sort things out and figure out what I want, and i'm determined to become a successful 3d artist.
Sorry if this is sounding like a blog post. I didn't mean for it to be this long or deep, but it just kind of came out I guess.
Anyways, here is where I stand in terms of skill: www.ilyoungbang.com (hasn't been updated since my apprenticeship shortly after my last post here!)
I hope to keep this thread updated with my progress and hope to improve myself with everyone's help. And to start, i'm planning to properly learn the high poly to low poly baking technique, learn how to set up a decent scene in UDK, and to VASTLY improve my texturing skills. The first project i'm tackling is based off of this Dust 514 concept:
I have been working on it little by little. Damn, i'm currently a very slow modeler, so slowly but surely. Learning high poly techniques has been quite baffling for me as i'm easily confused on how to properly place edge supports for intricate details and cut-ins on my models. I did manage to get one object baked with a FAIRLY decent hi poly and imported into UDK though. Here are some shots of my progress.
Barrier asset in UDK (not textured obviously):
Blocking out other assets to get a sense of scale/proportion:
As always, crits, tips, and any comments in general are welcome.
09-25-2011, 06:42 AM
Good luck with this! i really enjoy making a scene come together although i am very new to this, sure you will do a great job :D
09-26-2011, 12:20 PM
Nice scene concept, looking forward to seeing your 3D spin on it :)
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