I have decided it is time to stop accepting my mediocre skill level, and to really raise the bar for my work so that I can build a decent portfolio. To do this, I'm going to start posting a metric shit ton of images of my progress here, and I want you guys to rip them apart. I'm also going to point out every flaw I notice, and every difficulty I encounter so that you may ring in on those as well. (You can find these comments below each image.)
There are two main pillars I want to improve on: Texturing and High Poly Sculpting
So without any further ado:
I made the huge mistake of leaving a gap in the mesh of this building for an additional door model to take fill it with, so that I could reuse that door with other buildings. This filled my mesh with tons of horrible triangles.
Hiding said triangles is this rear image. It displays my greatest failure, the little back section. I initially made this a separate mesh, but didn't like how it left small edges, so I tried to line them up AFTER skewing the walls. This meant I had a tiny gap in between where the two met. I tried fixing this several times, but ended up botching it even worse. This mean further, poor triangulation on the other side as well.
This texture is the combination of several baked AO's and Normals stitched together, thrown on top of a few tweaked photos. Why stitch several ones together? I couldn't merge them. Seriously. I made the roof tiles as separate geometry and painted them on, but I couldn't import them into the Zbrush scene that had the rocks sculpted.
Here is my "final" diffuse on the building. It's not too terrible, but I'm not happy with it. For starters, I wanted to replicate a building that was inside of an existing game, but I got lazy and stopped checking my reference. This ended up with several colors being thrown around and poor direction. Also, after stitching so many AO's together, it slowly got sloppier and sloppier. The unwrap itself is alright, except a few poorly placed pieces. The circular stones didn't get enough pixel space, and the roof top edges take up too much.
Here is the sculpt of this building with only the rocks. These rocks were only my second REAL usage of Zbrush, and I think they came out decently. However, the rest of this building was nearly impossible to sculpt. The triangulation of the mesh meant poor subdivision, and my smooth groups vanished inside Zbrush... So together, I got a lot of nasty deformations on my final Normal map.