View Full Version : Sketchbook: ImSlightlyBored
08-22-2008, 06:30 PM
ok im currently working on my portfolio for a junior/grad environment/prop position
I figure a series of about 5 high to low poly props will do for major props, then 5 environment scenes/rooms with smaller prop sheets etc for environments.
Does that make sense?
SB stuff so far to follow
08-22-2008, 06:31 PM
I've been following your work on WYWO thread, looking forward to this sketchbook.
08-22-2008, 06:33 PM
So I've done the high polys this week for the props (guimard's subway is sort of an enviro and prop imo)
(Discovered the wonders of patches today, great stuff. Real useful for doing decoration then slapping it down on a surface.)
Metropolitain Station (design by H. Guimard)
Public Sculpture; wolverhampton
So, two were designed by me, and the other two were from references. The refs show zbrush work.
All are done so modular pieces can be exploded out for process and duplicated to speed stuff up. The planter is only a quarter of what it will be in the end.
I'm not so much after design crit - I'm looking to improve over time - but what would be really useful is if someone could guess/estimate some nice poly budgets for these.
So far I'm at a loss and any digits I come up with seem a bit random... target would be something similar to GoW/UTIII specs.
08-22-2008, 06:41 PM
Based on my house hallway with mandatory next gen destruction!
is there anything I'm really lacking, or any glaring errors that scream out?
Any advice on presenting environments, too? On my site (Which you can trackback easy enough, its written down there but its not really 'live' yet.) I've thrown up a few screens of perspectives and basically beauty shots is all, no construction stuff as I didn't really know what to do.
I am considering throwing up a layed out set of props that were made, few texture sheets?
Wireframes seemed too cluttered, as they always do to me when viewing a level, to get any true information out of them.
08-22-2008, 06:47 PM
Finally for today, the modular building i did for the facades comp but didnt have the guts to post it
I even did loads of sketchbook and notes and stuff (which has creeped in to my workflow since) with the intention of scanning but then chickened out.
It was one of my earlier models/projects so its not as optimised as I'd like, whats the general concensus on this one? Worth keeping or worth putting to the back of the pile and accepting it as a learning thing?
addendum: as I'm posting anyway; thanks cholden, that means a lot man, cheers. Hopefully it doesnt go to far in disappointing.
this is really cool work in my opinion, but I cant really see all the work youve put in, the images are small and the image quality doesnt look the best either. I think the lighting on the house hallway could be tweaked more, there are too many absolute black shadows that I cant read what Im looking at. I really like the high polys for the props, hmmm I dont know about patches, would you explain whats so good about them in a little more detail?
08-23-2008, 04:32 AM
hey thanks! cheers for the heads up on the presentation. i think ill start using larger images. definitely will revisit that lighting setup. i want to keep the dramatic shadows at the front (worth leaving?) but the rest can be eeked out.
ok patches. theyre a bit crap to model with initially (like nurbs; always fighting you.) but once set up offer patchdeform modifiers, which are just like pathdeform, but as a surface.
for example, lets say i made a patch thats a flat surface,which mounds up in the middle. i want that covered in tiles (annoying by hand...) so id make a tiles object (quite a few cuts, like you would on a bending obj.) then dup it to like, 20 tiles. add a patchdeform mod to your tiles, pick the patch, and they follow the surface quickly and accurately.
if you see the tiles on the planter, thats an example in action.
i find it real useful for surface decorating, which imo is the bulk of a normal maps work.
excuse the typing im on a wii
thanks for the advice! really appreciate all input.
08-23-2008, 05:00 AM
wow! they should build that! has a very cool style, looks sortof elvish ;).
08-29-2008, 03:58 PM
once again, thanks for the responses! and Ged, truly good advice, I assure you I have taken the presentation crits on board even if these next images dont prove it (rush, theyre not final.)
Thought I'd post up how far I got on a couple of these props.
11-10-2008, 12:06 PM
failed art test, was given 7 days. I can sort of see some problems with it as well so im not too suprised.
it is sort of finished, in the way that its what I submitted, but in the future I might like to go back and fix up the lighting a lot more, and the layout, and atmosphere. So basically elaborate on it.
Wont expand on this for a while though, doing some shader work in my spare time for a bit
11-10-2008, 01:46 PM
Love your first posts, really nice work. Captures the art nouveau/deco style well.
Just dropped by to tell you how marveled I am by looking at your work mate.
very inspirational, congratulations.
11-13-2008, 07:58 AM
Hey, I saw that Wolverhampton piece and just had to reply because I live in Wolves :P, it's really bang on work, very impressive. I also see your Art Nouveau inspiration in your work, I really love H. Guimard work too, It's a rather interesting art period especially for furniture and architecture.
I liked the art test work, though I have to agree, the lighting is a bit lack luster, your modeling and texture ability shines through, but there's an unfortunate lack of mood in the renders.
11-13-2008, 03:00 PM
awesome work man, i really like the high poly pillar thing, cool details.
Hey Alex, cool work. Unfortunately while our Art Director and Lead Environment artist thought your modelling and texturing of individual props and items was good, the overall scene construction and presentation evidently wasn't what they were looking for.
What you said about going back to revisit the atmosphere, lighting etc would definitely be worth trying, since I think that's what mainly lets the scene down right now. It's lacking a bit of cohesive quality, maybe an extra quick pass over the textures to really harmonize the values and colours, and maybe make some more key parts "pop" would help. Currently there is so much stuff there and none of it is really a focus for the scene, it kinda makes it hard to figure out where to look. I might be tempted to suggest that a bit less clutter in the scene may even improve it?
Anyway, your individual prop work is really nice and I think you're destined for great things, keep it up :)
11-16-2008, 11:16 AM
Cheers for the responses, nice to see people liking the work so far.
Cheers man, good to see its recognisable. Though how on earth those things are 'dolphins' I'll never know, but at least thats not on my head. Totally agree on the crits too man, got myself to blame.
Cheers for the feedback, wasnt sure whether to bother you guys for any so I opted not to waste your time, but its good to hear. It's, in a way, good to hear that the technical side wasnt an issue so much as the lighting and presentation, because thats something, in hindsight, that was bothering me. Not going to make excuses, got myself to blame but its probably something I'll revisit if only to polish up for a portfolio scene.
Though it will have to go on the backburner for a bit, started another project which I'd always planned once things calmed down a little bit (which they have.)
Planning to do a series of material/shader studies within UE3, thinking of also making them public if I can get them any good. I've been playing around with a base model to use (think, the Max teapot) and the first image here was a stylised fly head/bust I considered.
It ticked all the criteria - cavitys, hard edges, chamfered edges, flat planes, spherical elements, thin parts for SSS, but the design, in the end, I didnt like, and so I went for this-
Bog standard skulls ahoy! They retain a lot of what the fly head had before, sans flat surfaces, but have the benefit of being instantly recognisable to everyone, without having to consider it too much. It has thin parts for SSS, spherical parts, cavitys, and edging, so thats most my criteria done.
On the top is the current model, and bottom is my quick paintover. I think I just want to edit the sillhouette a tiny bit, and i THINK the bottom takes care of the issues I had up top. Bare in mind I'm no character artist and this is my first head, it needs a bit of work. If anyone is offering paintovers that'd be immense.
edit: dont think I want to add teeth or a bottom jaw, for the purposes of what its to be used for I dont really want to complicate things too much.
11-20-2008, 03:10 AM
thanks to penrod who did the paintover for my skull - I reworked it and I'm happier with it now.
Jumping ship back to SD art test, I decided to fiddle with it and take it further as just a scene (tri counts be damned!) as I don't need to submit any more, but this is closer to what I'd always imagined (sounds like a cop out, but whatever.) Spent a night working on the presentation, but didnt really touch the lighting again yet.
So far just using Epics light beams (which I didnt think I could include in the submission, hence they werent) but everything else is me. Want to do some more reflections in puddles, running water surfaces, and then place props and rework lighting in sections. But its getting there.
Don't think I'll get time to finish this off as much as I'd liked though
edit: I also managed to ramp up some spec in UE3 so its more obvious, most notably the window and door frames.
And I always feel a little worried that I'm abusing the sketchbook, but thats still what this is... albeit digital.
11-20-2008, 07:07 AM
Nice new aqua colored mood. Now all it needs is a Big Daddy.
11-20-2008, 07:08 PM
Updated enviro has a lot more mood. My only crit at this point is that w/ un-baked lights you're losing a lot of ambient occlusion and shading. Also, I know you're probably tiling the large walls, but decal or two to add interest and break things up would go a long way.
11-21-2008, 04:54 AM
I'm in a bit of limbo with AO (in general) at the moment. Don't know whether to hold off until I can get my hands on SSAO (which I know I'm going to be using soon) because I'm not sure if, the AO in the textures will multiply with SSAO making it far too strong :( But as for shading, I assume that just baking the lighting will fill that back in?
And yeah I think I will add some decals, thanks!
edit: made this last night, dont know if its common knowledge or what but I couldnt find anything online about making cube maps in UE3, except little bits of information so I put this together.
further edit: holy god thats fuzzy.
01-22-2009, 02:58 AM
been working on material studies since I started work, using UE3
Attempt at a jade shader:
Crits HIGHLY encouraged. Floor texture by Epic (had to include it, havent messed with default PP yet which has MAD bloom.)
04-18-2009, 05:43 AM
so my current project is this;
my aim was to create something that was an extension of my illustration style ( http://www.medicinal-waste.co.uk ) merged together with what I do for a living, alongside making my existing style better through this technique.
If you look at my samples on my illustration page, they are pretty rough, but the hoping is that you can see how this compliments them? I also want to show how ambient animation can add a nice new level to illustration; what you can't see here is that grass blows in the wind, the cobwebs are cobwebby, the god rays are beaming, and rags are blowing. The light sources are flickering from inside, and there will be moving leaves/foliage, fairy dust, etc, all to make it a quite immersive picture that can be viewed statically, with ambient depth.
I also intend to do a matinee fly through to show how it moves, but maybe I wont get chance.
Anyway the more tech stuff;
Most of the art features hand drawn diffuse detailing; I spent just over a weekend putting together the linear detail on a huge texture atlas (A1 real size)
An example texture is;
Photoshop post work is used to tidy things up, make it tiling, and add colour to it (using reference) I generally keep colours pretty desaturated. I run it through crazybump for basic normals, but also I get away with a slightly blurred grayscale version being used as bumpoffset, because when I'm drawing I keep attention to the weight of line and density of line; gaussian blurring this keeps it a little more general and provides a fairly decent heightmap.
On stuff like the trees, I made them High>Low as normal, getting normals, and doing a very basic colour diffuse, then in the shader for the trees I overlaid a detail hand drawn texture repeatedly. It's a case of getting used to the balance I think...
I still also use material functions such as spec power and spec colour, alongside normals, to add material definition to the objects (unfortunately brick and wood read pretty similar!)
This also needs some photoshop diffuse loving as well as a detail normal, btw.
A note about material setups
I am currently in the process of adding to these. In the case of the brick wall, I have set a forced mip setting in the shader so when the texture is displayed at a certain z-depth, it uses a different diffuse altogether, which allows me to load in a much less detailed image. So in the case of bricks, it'd just be thick black lines. Again, this is to emulate someone's drawing approach, where you would not apply the same level of detail to something so small. I only plan on setting this up on certain mats.
The shadows etc are made harsh by the post material effect I plugged in - couldn't find a way to do this for static lit objects other than this (because of course, lightvector is useless when it has no lights touching it, which is what static meshes should be.) I generally clamp things quite hard to bring out a lot of detail.
You can see here that the trees are very round, soft, not very detailed at all, but when the lighting works in conjunction with the diffuse, you start to get some real nice, detailed shadows. I think they can still benefit from harsher normals though. But you can see what the post is doing here, really making a harsh definition between light and dark - I really wanted very dramatic lighting, almost like a dutch classic/master, in that there would be some very dark areas, which punctuate the light areas.
Finally, here you can see what the post material effect is doing, and what the post uber process is doing.
A few words about the post material effect -
it is relatively simple. It casts lines around the objects at a fixed width - I figured if I were drawing, I would use a consistent linear width regardless of an objects z-depth. In addition to that, lines are not drawn when pixel brightness is above a certain level. You can vaguely see that in the god rays through the door, although this needs further tweaking. Again, this is taken from a traditional drawing technique, where you break lines to insinuate highlights more.
After that, theres a little forced desat, clamping the image to dark and bright levels, multiplying on top of a normal scenetexsample and alot of fiddling with power/brightness/mult settings to get the right 'feel'. I have also since added a zbuffer lerp mask where the image is framed, but if objects are close to the camera they break the frame; here is an example of what I mean. It creates a much less sterile framing environment.
As a final note, I have set up a cross hatching shader much like Neox but I do not think I will use it out of respect forhim, I think I am much more likely to use the same set up as a watercolour density shader. But I currently have no dynamic objects. SUCK
seriously use whatever you like, if you get some working hatching that still works in motion, who knows i might copy you :P
as we dropped the dynamic hatching on airborn, it just didn't work out for us but i am definitely more then willing to test out new things if you have any input
really love what you did here, unique and fress style, absolutely lovely :)
yep, this is really cool! nice work, keep it up :)
04-18-2009, 09:59 AM
man ive always waned to do something like this, inspirational, might even ispire me to do some work!
04-27-2009, 10:40 AM
you are keeping it real
new uber PP settings what don't kill certain ranges completely:
04-27-2009, 12:30 PM
really enjoyed watching this come together
04-27-2009, 03:37 PM
that's the tweak ! Nice scene.
04-29-2009, 05:42 AM
starting on the matinee stuff now
05-10-2009, 07:02 AM
which proved to be totally useless
can't capture for CRAP -fraps, camtasia, fail. even on high spec machines
so I did a screen toaster capture which was much better than those programs (go figure...) of just me tracking through the level
the whole thing is sort of fail, as I was aiming for animated illustrations...
05-10-2009, 02:01 PM
shame would love to see this moving propperly
05-10-2009, 02:52 PM
Hey nice work with your scene I'd also love to see it moving! Really inspiring work.
As for capturing it, there was this thread (http://boards.polycount.net/showthread.php?t=55632)about ways to capture footage from the pc. Hope it helps you :)
05-11-2009, 05:42 AM
I have taken some better captures this morning
still not silky smooth but better, I'll up them when I can
05-11-2009, 09:42 AM
i really love the style of your shaders, i would love to see a mat tut on these
06-09-2009, 03:53 AM
This is what I left it all as
Not too keen on it any more and maybe could have used some more atmosphere
It's very sharp I think
I am still trying to find time to write it all up though, I haven't forgot, just busy
06-28-2009, 01:06 PM
I really love the material and post process work you've done in these scene. It certainly has achieved the mood and look you were going for. However I can't help but comment on the overall composition of things.
Most of the time I can't tell what I'm looking at, and even when I can, I never know where to look. Take the shot of the building entrance for example. People's eyes will always be drawn to the point of highest contrast, the focal point. There is no definite focal point in this shot, my eyes just dart everywhere trying to sort out the visual confusion.
In some cases things work well, if you remove the building from that shot I talked about before, the trees and the ground fit together pretty harmoniously. But when you bring in that moon and the lit ice cream cones and the donut, I just get lost.
I realize you were going for a high contrast look, but I think you could control it in some instances better. It could just be the monitor I'm viewing the images on, but some shadows are just too dark.
Keep up the good work though, I love the style and the creativity of your approach. I really enjoy seeing people differentiate themselves from the constant realistic generic aesthetic.
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