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Art - Work in progress

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Ashaman73

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It is art time again :-)
I'm working on the creatures you can encounter in Gnoblins at the moment. Currently there are almost 20 different creatures in the pipeline, most are still in the modelling state. But I've created lot of new blender templates for rigging certain types of models (like humanoid, quadruped etc.), a new texturing template and new tempaltes for baking and rendering models. The current pipeline is modeling->rigging->texturing->animation, all done in blender, even the complete texturing process. Here's a render of a golem I've almost finished so far.

golem-1024x576.jpg

The golem demonstrated the art guide we have developed over the time. The golem is one of the creatures I've created alone from concept over modelling and rigging to textureing, so by definition it is programmer art ;-) Nevertheless, I believe that it is a decent improvement over a simple ascii text in your common roguelike game ;-)
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You did the texture as well?

 

Also, why do you texture after you rig? If you find you need to go back and make changes to the model due to texture/uv issues that could complicate the process. Do you UV Map before you rig?

 

The art style is great and I love what you have done with the color choices. If this is 100% all of our art I am very impressed.

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You did the texture as well?

 

Also, why do you texture after you rig? If you find you need to go back and make changes to the model due to texture/uv issues that could complicate the process. Do you UV Map before you rig?

 

The art style is great and I love what you have done with the color choices. If this is 100% all of our art I am very impressed.

Yes, I made the texture as well.

 

We have certain rules to simplify and speed-up the pipeline. One is to use exclusively the auto-weight-skinning of blender. Therefor rigging has often an impact on the model itself and just to save some efforts, I unwrap and texture it after rigging it first.

 

Thought, an other reason to create the texture last, is, that painting the creature is currently one of the hardest parts of the whole pipeline. Changing the UVs afterward isn't that hard, as we use an art style which allows us to use hi-res texture during production (2k x 2k in production, downscaled for the game). This way we are able to re-bake new uv-sets without fearing to loose a lot of quality at all.

 

The golem was although an experiment to proof some workflow. For one I use 4 different texture laysers in blender with 2 different uv sets:

1. layer: mirrored uvs for the basic painting (speed up, you need to texture only one half)

2. layer: final uvs as overlay to add some unique features

3. layer: final uvs as secondary overlay for some extra details (eg. the blue painting/tattoo)

4. layer: AO

 

In blender you can interactivily paint directly on the model on different layers and see immediatly the result. This really works like a charm. When done, I bake the first three layers to the albedo texture.

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You can do most of this with 3d coat. The only thing that is interesting is that you can modify the texture with ease (UV maps) after rigging. This is not the case with Maya. You have to go in and unhide some hidden objects and tranform the new UV's over from the newly edited model to the rigged model. Go back and hide the hidden objects and then delete the newly imported model. (baking uv updates to the rigged model). I guess this is one area where blender has some really positive upsides.

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I think that professional tools would result in a better workflows, but 3d coat alone costs almost $400 and adding all the other professional tools will costs at least 4 digits. Blender improves really fast and its cost-value ratio is unbeatable and btw, blender is not the limiting factor of my art ;-)

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That is more or less my point. Something that is free is more suitable for such situations than something that is far more expensive. In that regard you have picked a great tool! :)

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I'm surprised the auto weighting works that good for you. I still use a 6 year old version of blender 2.49 mostly because all my export scripts work with it and I like some of the older features. I wonder if it got much better then for auto weighting based on distance.

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I used blender 2.49 for a long time, started to transfer to 2.6 last year, now I'm on 2.74. Blender has improved a lot, but it seems that auto-weight is still the same. Nevertheless, it always worked great for me, thought I utilize my knowledge about how auto-weight works to make the models auto-weight friendly, maybe I'm cheating little bit here ;-)

 

Autoweight works best, if you have a single, closed mesh. Just adding isolated objects will not work most of the time, but you can use some tricks to work around some issues.

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