Today I want to talk about an asset I have created as part of my specialization project and the workflow I have used to created and implement it. Additionally I would like to talk about a cross-discipline project I have worked on and created assets for a games project.
I’ll start with my work on a fully shaded 3D model for my specialization project.
Above are shots of the model with a basic colour applied in 3DS Max, followed by several shots of the fully textured model from within UE4. Although in an earlier post in my development blog series I have talked about the workflow I have used to create this, this time around I would like to briefly recap on it and focus more on how effective I thought it was as a process.
This concept started as part of a larger idea but I sketched out basic concept images to try and nail down the look I was going for. When it came to creating the asset I used a circular workflow between sculpting in Mudbox and retopologising and editing the mesh in 3DS Max. I used this circular workflow to help provide an internal iterative creation process. By constantly creating new versions and editing them each time I was much more equipped to develop a strong asset. Usually the iterative design process would be carried out within the concepting stage of development, and had it have been, I would most likely be boasting a stronger character at present. This being said, although it was not in the early stages of production having an iterative creative process still helps to give the same strength of design to the asset. In future I would like to implement and iterative design process in both pre-production and production phases of the creative pipeline. I think utilizing the creativity of the production team to enhance the design of your work at as many stages as possible will be the key to achieving the best possible work that you can.
After creating the asset I baked out ambient occlusion and material ID maps. I used quite high poly models for the working mesh and so I didn’t feel it necessary to create pre-baked normal maps as I planned to add additional surface data at a later stage in production. Taking these pre-baked maps to Quixel suite I used mostly procedural generation of textures and surface detail for the model. I chose to utilize Quixel suite to generate the textures for this model as it is one of the most efficient, industry standard programs used for creating PBR textures and materials. From Quixel I exported albedo, metalness, roughness, emissive, normal and ambient occlusion maps.
I then took the model and the texture maps into UE4 where I created the shader for the model to help bring it to life more.
Above is a screenshot of said shader. It includes all of the textures but also has some basic manipulation of the textures and a time based wave function and multiplier attached to the emissive map giving the glow a cyclic fade between dim and bright expressions.
Overall I am very happy with the outcome of this project and the skills I have learnt over the duration of it’s creation. I think the processes I have used and the workflow I have employed have been quite successful. On that note I would like to spend more time in the pre-production phase and help to give a stronger foundation to the project. All in all though I am happy with the outcome.
Next I would like to talk a bit about the Anti-Gravity, puzzle game that I have developed assets for. Below are some screenshots of said assets:
The premise of the game is a si-fi set puzzle game that revolves around redirecting the flow of lasers to activate switches to progress. The primary interaction between the player and the environment is through these ‘light cubes’ that are used to redirect the lasers. As you can see there are 2 distinct versions of each cube. They have been designed with an easy to read distinction between being correctly and incorrectly placed. Naturally, the green variant of the cube is employed when the player succeeds in placing it correctly. As the style of the game is quite sleek and stylized but also because it is based around light I chose to represent the change between red and green as a change in emissive maps. Also I have created a vent that can be placed around the interior of the environment to help bring the scenario to life with the addition of extra small details that help it to feel cohesive and atmospheric.
Here is a look at some of the documentation and specifications we have had to work from:
Thank you for taking the time to enjoy this journey with me.
Till next time,
James Day – 1002467