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As of just now, I have finished creating all of the individual color ID maps for the floor textures, seen below in my progress tracker.

Next steps which I plan on carrying out (bolded are the ones I intend to focus on in the next month or so):

  • Finish modeling wall textures (30 ish to go).
  • Finish modeling a few detail textures.
  • Create material ID maps for all wall/detail textures (60+ to go).
  • Paint all diffuse maps using a common substance painter project file(s) to maintain consistency and allow for texture creation in an assembly-line fashion
    • This will save me immense amounts of time with the texture painting process, and also allows me to add even more variant maps (paint colors, rust, cleanliness etc).
  • Create modular environments in 3ds max using floor/wall/trim/detail textures that will fit on a common grid size
    • Will likely have to model/bake additional greeble textures for this step, although this will be simple and not time consuming as I can splice the existing high poly models I have available. This will allow me to cannibalize some details and spend as little time modeling from scratch as possible.
    • Pipes, structural elements, etc.
  • Create props
    • crates, desks, canisters, infectious growths, lighting elements, blood decals, doors with animations, etc.





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Your process is very well organized. How do you make decisions? Why 30 more? Why not 50 or 20? How do you structure things and come up with a final plan when the nature of creative work is completely open-ended?

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18 hours ago, JMichaelK said:

Your process is very well organized. How do you make decisions? Why 30 more? Why not 50 or 20? How do you structure things and come up with a final plan when the nature of creative work is completely open-ended?

Back in 2017 I had initially created hand-drawn heightmaps, I chose to remodel them all in 3d for baking/texturing (not to mention higher visual quality). I figured that I might as well try to replicate them all since I had put in all the work to create them when I started. In total there were 50 plus for floors, walls, and trims. Most of these hand drawn heightmaps were based completely or at least partly on work I did back when I was younger (2010-onward), so there was some sentimental value on re-imagining past work from when I was still learning I guess. Makes no sense to not use whatever reference material I already had available as inspiration.

The other reason is that I am trying really hard to give the end-user the most amount of art variation possible. Too many times I have bought asset packs in the past where the visuals got irritably repetitive very quickly because you only had a small selection of assets to choose from. I would like the end-user to have no two rooms look visually the same, hence the sheer amount of content.



As far as structure goes, I am taking this project in phases. Right now is the modeling/baking phase. Then will be the texturing phase, environment modeling phase, prop modeling phase, product/marketing/research finalization phase, and so on. In between these phases I exercise open-ended creativity as much as possible, but the advantage of taking an organized approach like this (where I track what is or is not completed) allows me to:

  • See the amount of work I am completing more visually in real time, and also what I have remaining to do without hunting and pecking for files.
  • Plan ahead for the amount of content I intend on including, relative to what I have already available or completed.
  • Ensure that quality remains consistent and that I am devoting my full effort into a single step of the asset creation process before moving onto the next. I wont have some items finished while others are half way done, for example. This also prevents burnout.
  • Have a better idea of what exactly the next steps in the plan will be, and ensure that I am fully prepared/have all materials ready to move onward (i.e., having all maps and models baked out for substance painter).

I say 30 or so more wall textures, simply because I started with 57 hand-drawn height map images, and have updated my excel tracker for the ones that I have already completed. I could easily add more content if I would like, and in that case I would simply add more entries into my tracker.




It is also worth mentioning that I work as an engineer in the automotive industry during my day job, so for our projects we tend to use similar forms of tracking (open issues lists for meetings, project milestones, assessment checklists, deliverable checklists, project trackers/forms, etc). I applied the same methodologies here, albeit on a relativelt smaller scale.

I hope that clarifies things a little bit - I might not have explained everything entirely clearly since I am pretty tired tonight but I might take a look at this tomorrow and see if there is anything that I am leaving out that I can elaborate on.

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