Revolver With Normal/AO Maps

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

Here is the revolver after final UV map with baked AO and normal map.


Modeled, UV mapped, textures baked, in Blender 2.5. Rendered in Marmoset Toolbag.

A Revolver

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

A revolver I’m working on. Designed inspired by a gun from an anime image I vaguely remember from something.

The blocky cylinder in inspired by a new revolver design by the Rhino Revolver by Chiappa. Check it out here: Chiappa Rhino

Zounds and Hands!

Friday, October 7th, 2011

No, just hands.

I’ve been working on these hands for the past couple of days trying out a new way to model things like hands, and really most organic forms. A lot of people favor a cylinder or box extrusion method for making organic shapes, but for a base mesh like this, I find the best way is to actually make small elongated boxes for each main shape, and then form all that together over time. The advantage of this is that you can focus only on getting the form and proportion right (based on reference) without having to worry about poly count and topology.

I also learned a neat trick from somebody in regards to hands, and that is, don’t model them all straightened out, instead model that in a relaxed pose, and not only will you get better looking results, you will also end up with a hand that is much more useable for animation as a relaxed pose with the thumb in kind of a relaxed angle off to the side is much more practical for things like gun poses and gripping poses than a stretched out hand. This also prevents major UV stretching when the hand is in the standard “90%-of-the-time” pose.

You may not know this, but character models in games like Unreal Tournament 3 are often modeled, UV mapped, and textured with the arms bent at 90 degree angles. The reason being that since the characters will run around with their arms bent holding guns and such nearly the entire time (with the exception of cutscenes and deaths), it makes much more sense to just build them that way, and then have stretching only during moments where you’re less likely to take notice.

Combat Rifle and Marmoset

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

Hey all. Trying to do daily stuff now. This is an assault rifle I’m working on. It’s basically an “M16-ish” rifle, not real unique or anything, but it was a great learning experience for me.

First, I’ve started learning recently that the actual poly count of the final model will be greatly influenced by the original concept art because the actual shape of the gun in a concept will actually require certain poly count thresholds to look decent in final form. Now the M16 (if faithfully modeled) will actually have a pretty high poly count, so what I did was set a goal of 1000 polys, and them simplified the basic silhouette of the gun until I was sure it would not exceed my budget. As it turned out, the final gun was about 950 polys, so I’m quite happy with how that turned out. As 3D artists often say, use large shapes, and don’t try to slap artificial detail in those areas, otherwise it’s just noise.

These renders are actually in real-time using the ‘Marmoset Toolbag’ available here:

The Marmoset Toolbag is amazingly useful and has completely changed my workflow. I’ve been able to work much much faster now that I can preview all my changes in real time including the spec map which needs real-time interaction the most. The texture on this model is only about 70% complete, which is why the paint scratches are mostly just straight lines. The base version is the tan, and the other versions were just for fun. :3


Also, I’ve started a new system of texturing where I very slowly build up the material definition of each part, while fully integrating basic normal and spec at the same time. Never cut directly to 1px brush scratches, you will just end up disappointed in the final product. For those who don’t understand the concept of material definition, it is basically the process of identifying each material you want on your model (hard plastic, rubber, painted steel, ect) and then building up hand-painted and photo layers until those areas actually look like that material.

The easiest way to go wrong with this is with metal textures. I can’t tell you how many time I have seen others (including me BIG TIME) make a “metal” texture that looks far more like concrete than anything else. This comes from not really examining what makes metal look like metal, and also poor knowledge of normal and specular maps Always pay attention to material definition.

Sketching Guns

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

Holy cow does time fly. I’m so sorry for the downtime everyone!

I’ve been doing a lot of gun sketching lately to improve in creativity and structure of my gun sketches. I made a whole bunch, and they’re posted here. If you draw guns for modeling as well, something you should remember is this: Never TRY to be creative. If you just draw lots and lots of guns, you’ll find yourself making cool things up on the fly, but if you try to make each and every new sketch cool and amazing, you’ll fail because you will spending 3x as much time on each drawing. If you want a revolver for your game, grab some ref pics, look them over, and start drawing. Draw like 20 different revolvers. You’d be surprised how often you’ll end up with something very cool and good looking.

Also all of these were drawn without an eraser available. I don’t normally draw without an eraser nearby, but I was glad this time because it forced me to use each mistaken line as real detail instead of just erasing and being overly-specific.

Progress Update September

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

Hello folks. I’m sorry I haven’t updated my blog recently, I have been quite busy on many things, life stuff as well as the dim3 project and another project.

I’m trying to focus on replacing one particular thing at a time in the dim3 demo, and also on speeding up my workflow. I recently purchased a fantastic Windows only tool called “Marmoset Toolbag”. It allows me to import models, and then assign my diffuse, normal, and spec textures, and then work on them with PS. I can rotate around the model and easily view the spec and normal in real-time, as well as change lighting and add new lights easily. When I save changes in PS, switching back to Toolbag instantly reloads the textures so it makes my workflow quite smooth. It’s very easy to use, and is invaluable to me for working on models that use spec and normal. It’s also quite nice for previewing most any model due to it’s built-in lighting presets which look fantastic, and save me time as I don’t have to setup that stuff in Blender.

I will be showing more models and stuff at a later time, specifically from the Toolbag viewport. Keep an eye out for that!

Progress progress…

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

Lots of work on the dim3 Demo project, but nothing flashy to show. I’ve finished UV mapping and basic texturing the Marine/Player, created the pickup version of the AR, and a health pickup, added a bunch of new interface things as well as a redesigned interface appearance. I’m getting very close to being able to playtest with some of the new guns and the new bot AI Brian has made. I’ll post screenshots of all that when it starts shaping up. For now, please be patient, as I will have cool things to show in due time.

Bakity Bake

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

AR with baked normal map, tweaked UV, and AO texture. Comp pic.

Revised Assault Rifle UV Complete

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

Finally finished the UV for the assault rifle. Quite a task, but very straightforward. I should do a tutorial on it sometime. Anyway, it’s on to AO and normal baking, and texturing.

Revised Assault Rifle UV time!

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

Well I finished the low poly, which sits at around 2800 tris, now it’s time to UV map this puppy!