And the statues are finished

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

So the statues are finished and submitted to marketplace, they should go online in couple of weeks. Overall I’m happy how they turned to be and I think they are looking pretty good while staying in acceptable polycount and using acceptable texture sizes. Each statue has baked out, unique normal and cavity maps and also use tiling detail normal and tiling diffuse. Inverted cavity map is used in shader as a mask to give color variation in, well, cavities. I reckoned using tillable diffuse would get the job done and it seems it does in this case. I tried making a dedicated texture map but it I don’t think it was worth it in the long run because it wasn’t that much of an improvement upon tillable texture and even at 4k resolution it just doesn’t hold up to the texture crispiness you can get from tillable one.

On a side note, seems like lots of tech talk for something that is supposed to represent pure art but the tech side I think is rather important for marketplace items, because as I have faced myself you can really get bogged down in technical difficulties when you are working on project that is using large number of pre bought assets. So in this case we wanted to make sure all the problems are solved and assets are as “drag and drop” friendly. 

More work on statues

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Quite a few improvements and tweaks for the statues – more details, expanded materials, several material setups. For materials decided to go for a fairly modular approach – each statue has cavity and normal maps rendered out in Xnormal. Cavity map is used for Ambient Occlusion since I just felt it did a better job than Ambient Occlusion maps I tried and more importantly I use inverted cavity map to mask out areas for colorization. Materials have a ton of exposed parameters to customize almost anything so you can do quite a bit of stuff with it. Same materials used for metallic materials, just a couple of expressions toggled off that need to be turned on to get proper metallic look, like usage of separate roughness texture.

First pancake always is...

Thursday, May 12, 2016

I have been working on some statues for an asset pack that we plan to put in Unreal Marketplace. Seeing as there were no asset packs that focused on statues specifically, we decided to give it a shot. What I personally wanted to do was to develop pipeline that would allow fast asset creation and iteration without sacrificing quality.

Here are some early screenshots. Assets are in low poly, in engine, default lighting setup and very basic shaders. Posed anatomy models provided by Tomas Narbutaitis.

Initial plan was to make 3 statues with 3 damage variants, making it 9 statues in total. As the work went on it changed to 4 statues with 2 damage variants, 8 statues in total. Idea behind the first approach was that once you had properly done base sculpt, making damaged variants would be rather fast and easy. In the end it didn’t prove to be much faster than actually making completely new assets from scratch. You still had to spend pretty much the same amount of time low-polying, unwrapping UVs etc., “damaging” pristine statues still took quite a bit of time as you had to be quite careful to make things looks natural.

So that changed to 4 statues instead. I felt that this would probably be more beneficial in the end because you would get more varied assets in the end. While I think work could have gone faster (I spent over 2 weeks) overall I think it turned out to be pretty good. Good models, good textures, not many roadblocks so in the end everyone is happy.