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TWahl

My latest work (scifi textures 2.0) - scifi materials

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Hi

Just updating since it has been a long time. About four weeks ago I finally graduated school with my bachelor of science in mechanical engineering. Currently job hunting, but I am looking to get back into this project. I will be revisiting my old files over the coming months (in my downtime) and playing around with some hard surface modeling techniques using CAD software (like I have mentioned in the past). I will be using Fusion 360 for this purpose and will be loading my old vector-generated heightmaps into F360 and using them as a guide for modeling. With this method I can achieve a much higher level of detail and not have to worry about artifacts associated with image resolutions.

Thanks again guys. It might be a long time until I update again with any sort of new designs, but be assured that I want it to happen (even if it takes a few months).

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The beginnings of my experimentation (currently just establishing sketch lines from which geometry can be extruded and further refined)"

image.thumb.png.ab832ea41540ac3d9a5edfee65799424.png

I am starting with a more basic floor texture that I can mirror in the X and Y directions after I am finished. This will save some time and is how a fair amount of my original textures were actually concieved.

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After 3 hours-ish of work I was able to make this model based off my old map:

image.thumb.png.cba7a6cf809dc3736ddb7011c7c7a72f.png

I was able to achieve a much higher level of 3D detail also, as seen here:

image.thumb.png.5b55b27cc3f7a59a9aca9dd633292759.png

I will bake normal, height, and occlusion texture maps at 4K resolutions and put them into leadwerks as materials to see how they turn out.

 

(Edited for clarity)

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Baked maps from the 3D CAD geometry in Xnormal, here is a snippet where I have rather quickly composited the cavity, bump, and occlusion maps together to see some edge detail and shadowing. I will make a material inside of leadwerks in a bit, see how it looks under lighting, and post a comparison (before and after) with respect to the same texture I made two years ago so you can all see the difference. The resolution here is 2048x2048 pixels, but in the final version of this texture I would be duplicating these images so they were in a 2x2 array (for a total resolution of 4096x4096 pixels) before painting diffuse maps.

floor_2_bake_test_combined.thumb.png.f92b60f102faceb0e268bd60b7e3c3a8.png

You may notice that towards the corners that the "rounds" look a little bit polygonal. This was due to the fact that I was making use of Fusion 360's .FBX export option instead of exporting the highpoly model file as an .STL (as in, for 3D printing). At Fusion's current state, the program does not allow for manipulating .FBX mesh resolution upon export, so I just made do with it for now as a proof of concept. Ideally, I would have used the .STL exporter and upped the mesh resolution to its maximum (for optimum quality), but my laptop can only handle so much in terms of polygon counts and the assocated files took too long to import into/crashed other modeling programs because they were so large. Yes I am still using my same old "poor mans" setup with 8GB ram... and it really sucks.

More later. Sorry if I am being a little bit too technical or if some of what I am saying doesn't entirely make sense - feel free to ask me for any clarification.

image.png

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Quick material in leadwerks (with my old map, which thankfully still loaded!)

image.thumb.png.f006343c901016f9183fc95eca9c1ba6.png

Below, the wall is 1K in resolution while the floor is in 4K:

image.thumb.png.6ce35f9fb781c99474cea0ab90a16850.png

And the difference in detail in comparison to the even older 512 textures:
image.thumb.png.49aa2b447cf9ade3dc0c57af261206a8.png

Overall a much better looking result in my opinion.

I'll apply this to some of the other textures that I have made and see if I can make a new level when I have time.

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The walls are chipped paint and the floor is clean geometric shapes. It will be interesting to see what the walls look like at high res.

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14 hours ago, Josh said:

The walls are chipped paint and the floor is clean geometric shapes. It will be interesting to see what the walls look like at high res.

Yeah it was more or less a quick comparison I wanted to do just to judge how crisp the "major edge lines" would be at 4K compared to just 1K... What I am really interested in though is when I create diffuse maps, the chipped paint and other small, secondary details that make the texture more realistic will look a lot better. If you look more closely at the 2nd picture, the chipped paint looks a lot like mud on the wall - not very good in my opinion.

Another advantage is that if I were to sell this media at a native 4K resolution (or higher, potentially), the end user can scale the textures to meet their performance or graphical needs.

I might look into getting a trial of nDo just to screw around with some of these textures, but again I am currently limited in terms of my integrated graphics card (I will need to assess the requirements of the program carefully). I know I keep saying that but it is a huge obstacle in my progress still. But for now, experimentation is fine with me since I have other life priorities that I must satisfy before I begin to focus on this project a little more. Once I get settled down with good employment I will probably just start a new blog or thread to chronicle my updated progress.

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If you are interested in selling non-exclusive rights to me for a one-time payment, I will make this into a DLC on Steam when it's finished.

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Haha, I actually never thought that you'd use Fusion for Hard Surface Modeling. That's brilliant, No more dealing with broken faces and vertecies. Haha

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On 6/10/2019 at 8:42 PM, TWahl said:

Sorry if I am being a little bit too technical or if some of what I am saying doesn't entirely make sense - feel free to ask me for any clarification.

The detailed explanations are VERY welcome.  Thanks for going int the process a bit. I'm very interested. 

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16 hours ago, Josh said:

If you are interested in selling non-exclusive rights to me for a one-time payment, I will make this into a DLC on Steam when it's finished.

I will definitely get back to you to discuss this, Josh - this was actually something I was thinking about even if finishing this media pack up will be quite a while away from now. I don't really know for sure how long "a while" will be but I definitely don't mind taking the necessary amount of time to create something portfolio-quality that will be available for the community in some form or another. I can't exactly stake a price at the moment though so this would definitely be something I would consider in the future when I have something a lot more fleshed out.

As of right now I will probably just be working on remodeling my old texture maps and baking them with my current computer before I can get a hold of substance painter/nDo for PBR texturing. And that will come after getting and building a beast of a computer that won't choke and die when using that software (my first priority).

I'll be keeping in touch and providing updates here when I can.

8 hours ago, TheConceptBoy said:

Haha, I actually never thought that you'd use Fusion for Hard Surface Modeling. That's brilliant, No more dealing with broken faces and vertecies. Haha

Yeah it is really funny. The conventional approach I have seen everywhere is to use 3ds max to make shapes with turbosmooth, etc. but I always found this to be so finicky and it takes so much more time (and sometimes frustration) to do complex shapes with nice transitions. I like doing the CAD-based approach since I can always roll back features in a feature tree if I don't like something, and pattern designs really easily. There are some tricky aspects to it (have to pay attention to certain settings upon export) but overall I just like it so much better and I don't have to download 40 different scripts to create specific shapes that I won't be able to easily reverse later on.

You might be interested in reading this article about the artist who did the weapons for Doom 4:

https://80.lv/articles/building-guns-for-doom/

There were also some other artists who worked on the same game that used Fusion 360 for some of the environment props. I would check that out, maybe do a google search. Overall the program is really good for industrial models that have clearly defined shapes or object lines.

Some people hate on using Fusion 360 for game art but I think it is because they have not had much experience with CAD software. I have many years of combined experience with Solidworks, Siemens NX, and AutoCAD that I have acquired through engineering school and also just doing personal projects on my own, not game-art related but more "I need to mock up a metal plate that will fit with X Y hole/thread pattern for this machine/bracket/etc".. The programs that work best for someone might not work the same for another person, so it really depends on the background of the artist and what you are modeling. I for instance would not use Fusion for modeling something organic, or with too many sweeping or curved surfaces (which oftentimes they don't even technically have any real mathematical geometry). There are many factors at play here, really. Zbrush and Max would probably be better for something like that, or you could use a combination of programs to achieve a good result.

I am grateful to have that engineering experience though, because in a way I try to factor it into my designs to keep them semi-realistic - even if it might be science-fiction. Still really wanting to give Zbrush 2019 a try when I have the opportunity though - looking at the latest video demonstrating their new features.

8 hours ago, mdgunn said:

The detailed explanations are VERY welcome.  Thanks for going int the process a bit. I'm very interested. 

Glad to know, lol. I just like going into detail with what I do so other people might be able to gain something from my current methodology - even it it might be slightly unconventional.

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Just a small taste of the latest work I have done for this week. I am currently redoing some of the less complex textures first at the moment before I move onto the more detailed ones.

I did not want to upload the full .png as an attachment so I saved this photo as a .jpg which might have some slight compression artifacts (makes it easier to load in the web browser). The full size png without compression was 64.1mb for the 4096x4096 pixel image.

floor_14_merged_wip.jpg

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Baked the geometry in Xnormal, imported cavity and occlusion into gimp and rendered some quick lighting effects using native plugins to get a general idea of how everything looks. The actual texture will tile in all directions upon its completion.

I won't bother posting the old version of this texture for a comparison (because it looks like **** next to this one).

Looking good so far.

 

floor_54_wip_light_compositerender.png

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At some point I think I will try to write a guide/tutorial on how to make these in the future. Just something I have been thinking about every now and then. Not exactly on my to-do list though.

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Hmmmm, a lot of GLTF files I am seeing conflict with this. Not sure what the correct method is...

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1 minute ago, Josh said:

Hmmmm, a lot of GLTF files I am seeing conflict with this. Not sure what the correct method is...

I can easily rebake new or different maps from the 3d geometry I have already in the future if I need to conform to particular PBR requirements in the new engine or which are most current in the industry.

It will be a while before I will be able to begin using substance painter so I am mainly just working on recreating all of my original work so it is more up-to-date graphically and looks better.

The images I have recently posted were just Gimp's filter to render lighting and effects off of an input bump map and a couple of contrasting light sources. Nothing really indicative of a final look in a game engine other than I just wanted quickly to see how the textures appeared with some directional light applied to them and judge the quality of bakes that were made in Xnormal from the Fusion 360 models.

When it comes to texture painting I will definitely be using PBR in some form.

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Worked on this guy last night.

Next time I post I will wait until I have a larger collection of work I have completed to show off for now.

 

Yes, I know it is very dark.

Floor_1_wip_composite.thumb.jpg.1054df67a927315ac3db6581cd6fd730.jpg

image.thumb.png.993281e364f87424aaa1222a038fff3d.png

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So far I have remade about 15-20 textures... A lot to go still, but I am moving at a decent pace.

I really liked this one, so I thought I would post it. There are some baking artifacts that I am trying to take care of at the moment.

floor_32_wip_compositelighting.thumb.jpg.1307b6ddb446203365b955c356950bb4.jpg

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It looks very good but there isn't much variation in color or other properties. It looks like just a really nice normal map with a plain metal texture on top. IMO the little details should be gold or silver, and there should be more variation.

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47 minutes ago, Josh said:

It looks very good but there isn't much variation in color or other properties. It looks like just a really nice normal map with a plain metal texture on top. IMO the little details should be gold or silver, and there should be more variation.

I have not started the painting process yet at the moment - that will come later (I promise). I have compiled a massive amount of reference materials to help aid me when I get to that step.

The 3D modeling and highpoly baking part is probably going to be one of the biggest and most tiring obstacles I have to get through right now, so I am trying to power through that while I have the time. It is a long process and requires a lot of finesse, and at times a lot of headaches when things don't go the way you want to.

Right now I am just trying to showcase some 2D baked lighting that can be generated from the maps I baked in Xnormal - I just overlayed a simple metal texture to give some idea of how some metallic surface lighting might look with general lighting conditions in a game engine (without having to put it in one).

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Making good progress, most of the floor textures that I originally created have been remodeled in fusion and had their 3d geometries baked. Some wall textures I have rebaked as well. For context there are 55 or so floor textures, I have so far re-done around 90 percent of those, maybe 15-20 percent of the wall textures. The speed at which I get through each depends on the complexity of each image and how much detail is involved. Some only take me one hour, some take me 4 hours to do - I try to do at least one per day and on weekends when I have free time I try to get at least 7-10 of them done.

Today I screwed around with my old scene and made some newer, better screenshots. I figured you guys would like to look at this stuff rather than what I usually post. It is a combination of some older materials I have made and some new ones. I wanted to take a break from what I usually work on anyway and it was a nice way to get some general concept of an overall look that I want to acquire for the final product I intend on creating.

Once I have a larger library of assets I will work on creating a brand new scene to showcase my work. Also, I decided to stick with a 2k texture size instead of 4k due to some diminishing returns in quality. The floor texture in this scene is 2048, while the rest are 1024.

screenshot15.thumb.jpg.3548db6412452dbcf19602b5e1398559.jpgscreenshot16.thumb.jpg.df90fb5a2977b62f85cd1e8e7139e119.jpgscreenshot17.thumb.jpg.9523a0f0c96297079467a6a7e7f09207.jpgscreenshot18.thumb.jpg.029dcec927dfdd230db7406a62ebfb40.jpgscreenshot19.thumb.jpg.9076a3cf8b0002af1a04dbb140e44f2f.jpg

Thanks again.

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