Sunday, September 18, 2011

Cottage - Detail

UV Cleanup, Detailing and Texture touch-up

I wanted to add nuances that you'd see as you ran around the peripheral of the house. A few uneven roof slates, faded grunge on the plaster of the building, to match the grubby door/frames and to remove the colour from the wood.

The complete challenge took 13 hours - an extra 2 hours than expected, but worth it. Next challenge in a weeks time.

Cottage - Textures

Hours 6 - 9

Since it's the end of the the weekend, I've posted an update of the cottage on my professional site... it's getting there. I still want to get to play with it in an engine, so I've got hold of UDK... get that up and running this week. I'll finish this challenge and then look at the UDK 11 hour environment challenge - looks good.

Anyway, back to texturing. As I said before, I generally get my textures from professional sites, like cgtextures, or I go out and take photographs. Either way works well... when I know what I want. Originally I was going for a wooden cottage, but when I began texture hunting and put wood on the main building, it just looked bland. So, I made it a concrete (which still needs to be worked on, and then a ceramic slated roof... again, not finished, but I've still got 2 hours left!

This was a great exercise to go from the idea, to the completed cottage, you can run around.

Some areas worked better than others, and on reflection, I probably would have liked to try the wooden slats, but because it's such a generic form at this stage, I can still do this... may just set myself a 2 hour challenge and make a second version.

Cottage - UVs

Hour 5 - 8... challenge contd.

Because it's a fairly simple shape, I've spent more time on investigating textures and unwrapping. Final detail will happen at the end... some artists prefer to cut in detail earlier, but I find I get most of the inspiration from the photo reference, and textures I find, so it works better for me to cut in detail once I'm happy with the general overall look and feel.

Unwrapping to a 4m x 4m (at 128 pixel density) gives me all the information I need for how many textures I can really have, before I have to cut back and either take the 256 x 512 up to a 512 x 512...

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Cottage - Modelling

Blockout contd....

I've started adding detail as well as sourcing base textures. I'm a big fan of cgtextures - great mix of textures and reference in there.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Cottage - Modelling

Initial Blockout...

Because I don't actually know the dimensions of the original building, and I have used reference with photographic distortion, I am allowing for a certain degree of 'creative freedom'.

Dimensions are as important (probably more so) than silhouette, so I'm goint to put a human scale reference in there to check I'm happy with the actual dimensions I've quickly blocked out.

The dimensions dictate to me the texture requirements, since I'm working to 128 pixels per meter, therefore, 4 m x 4 m will require a 512 x 512 and a 2m x 4m will require a 256 x 512.
I will work to 1024 but the final textures will be the above dimensions ingame. I have approx. 1200 polygons for the buildings - this hopefully should give me enough to cut in detail along the roof/gables and shed.

Environment Piece - Cottage

Developing the Cottage - Intro

When creating an environment piece that doesn't come from concept, I'll begin by gathering reference for the object/environment piece. For this example I will be creating a cottage/shack.

Once I've done that, I give myself a chance to relax and to think about the piece I want to build. Starting with silhouettes (as you would a character), I block out very quickly various ideas - some not realistic at all - and after a time, I have asked myself and answered questions about the cottage:

1. What style - in this case realistic (texturing, scale etc.) and fairly traditional wooden. I have reference for wood and stone, but it's only when silhouetting and looking at the detail of my reference, I decide which appeal to me the most.
2. What about the cottage - it is old and abandoned, weathered
3. Location of cottage - sometimes this matters. Is it in a town, is it on a hill, is it solitary, is it repeated throughout a level (changing its nature quite a bit)
4. Will there be old telephone lines, water towers, or wagon carts, or rusted cars, bushland, highrises etc. Things like the telephone lines indicate whether it is modern day or not.
5. Can the player enter the cottage? How close up do you get etc. This will help with texture and detail ideas.

Through this process, I've decided to keep the style recognisable (it isn't a fantasy piece) and the textures will be photoreal. My reference images show two versions of the cottage I intend to use as modelling reference.

Once the process of silhouetting is complete, I thumbnail or sketch up the idea of the building I have... this is the concepting phase, which gives me insight into the dimensions and overall look and feel of the scene. I'd start to think about the peripherals of the 'scene' e.g. watering tanks etc. but I'm not including them at this stage.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Whitebox Heaven

So, I've now got the time to work on all these whiteboxed objects I've made for my recent title and won't get to complete for the game.

I've been working on a variety of objects, from bedknobs, to lamps, to baths, to whole interior lounges... play a bit with my new editor and see what I can have fun with...

Can't wait to get onto the military whiteboxes...