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Critique my work

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#1 Allba   Members   

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 06:03 AM

Hey guys, 
Just looking to see if any of you would be willing to give me some pointers on my work.  Aiming towards being a "hard surface" sort of guy, so the likes of Environments,  props and vehicles.  Any comments welcome, if you feel I have missed important steps etc, that would be appreciated.  
All, but the Environment image are "complete" however the environment is currently a Work in Progress Unreal 4 recreation of a SWTOR environment.   All other assets have been done in unreal, so any comments on how I have handled materials etc that would be great.

Thanks guys

Stuart 

nd06rodf6u9e.jpgc1jv5sjwaxeu.jpg

 

4uvey24v4moi.jpgytvm38046sse.jpgolynqe2dv46q.png

 



#2 Scouting Ninja   Members   

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 01:01 PM

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It's difficult to criticize the work, maybe if you showed us your wire frame we could deliver some criticism on the meshes.

 

 

 

All other assets have been done in unreal, so any comments on how I have handled materials etc that would be great.

A notable thing here is that you are not taking advantage of the way BPR materials work, it looks like you are using just a normal diffuse shader.

The rifle for example, it looks like one solid piece with color as the only indication of what is metal, wood or cloth. A black and white image of it looks like it's two types of metals wrapped with a piece of rock.

The dust on the gun also looks flat, part of the metal instead of formed over it.

 

The light saber handles has the same problem as the gun.

Iron man's material looks flat again, although the light from the side saves it.

The race car wheels has a good material, easy to see rubber and metal. The body material looks flat.

 

 

Your modeling is good. Shape and forms are clear, silhouette stands out for all objects.

Some parts of Iron man looks a bit 2D, that none of the other work shows it, so I think Iron man is one of your older work pieces.

There is some outward pinching on the curved mesh in the level design, although it adds some depth to the image so it isn't really a bad thing.

 

The textures are clear, no stretching or mistakes, so I assume it means you have good clean UV maps.

 

 

In all very good work, the only advice I would give is to focus on materials a bit.


Edited by Scouting Ninja, 18 January 2017 - 01:03 PM.


#3 Allba   Members   

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 02:03 PM

@Scouting Ninja

Thank you for the reply, very much appreciated.  PBR materials are something I have only recently pick up on, and I am still getting to grips with it.  Are there any resources you would recommend for getting the most out of PBR?  I am currently using Quixel suite, but when ever i follow tutorials, I never seem to get a similar result, always resulting in my materials being flat.  Would maybe playing around with the roughness values work in this regard? or is there something else that I should be looking at?

Edit:  I will upload some wireframe images and some texture snapshots when I I get back to my main PC and get access to the files


Edited by Allba, 18 January 2017 - 02:04 PM.


#4 Scouting Ninja   Members   

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 02:49 PM

Would maybe playing around with the roughness values work in this regard? or is there something else that I should be looking at?

I find that when working with PBR it helps to think of making a material, not texturing a model.

 

For example: When making the wood for the gun I would first find a wood texture and clean most hard shadows. This is then the Albedo for my wood and as such it should only effect the color. That is they key to a good Albedo it should only be color and brightness based on how much it should reflect.

 

Next I would make a normal for the texture, this will be my wood grain. I won't add any wood grain to the wood Albedo. The normal would be made from the texture, noise, cavity maps an any other details. I will also mix the grain normal map with any baked normal map from a high poly mesh.

 

For the metal map I would pull the highlight from photos, this tutorial will explain: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gnh01WJOK8o.

 

The gloss map(Roughness) I like starting with a real world value and tweaking to match what I want. To get a real world value you can just google search or do your own tests.

 

All this will only be for the wood, I would repeat mapping the other material types.

If I find some time I will see about doing a example for you.

 

 

 

 

 I am currently using Quixel suite, but when ever i follow tutorials, I never seem to get a similar result

Quixel is good for a base to work on and for lesser models, for good materials you will always have to do some manual work.

 

Do research on materials, remember that the art you make is your own interpretation of what you see. So even if some one could teach you what metal looked like it would never be the way you understand it.


Edited by Scouting Ninja, 18 January 2017 - 02:50 PM.


#5 Allba   Members   

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 03:16 PM

Thank you again for the quick response.  So far I have been taking Quixel as gospel and was just assuming it would serve me well.  But I have been looking at it wrong as you mentioned.  I will defiantly do some research on materials and hopefully make some improvements.

 I will also have follow the tutorial you provided to gain a better understanding of the whole process and hopefully come out of it with much better looking materials.



Below I have also attached some images of my wireframes, for any feedback on the meshes.

stuart-speirs-capture.jpg?1484772718

stuart-speirs-capture3.jpg?1484772720

stuart-speirs-capture1.jpg?1484773474stuart-speirs-capture2.jpg?1484773477stuart-speirs-screen01.jpg?1484773779stuart-speirs-screen01.jpg?1484774099

stuart-speirs-screen01.jpg?1484774598


Edited by Allba, 18 January 2017 - 03:23 PM.


#6 _Martin   Members   

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 03:54 PM

The Iron Man photo (of his butt) has some bad edge flow going on. It seems like you have some wild vertices and random edges in there. Although, could this be an export / screenshot issue?

stuart-speirs-capture3.jpg

Also, I agree with @Scouting Ninja about doing some work on PBR, especially in UE4.


Edited by _Martin, 18 January 2017 - 03:57 PM.


#7 Allba   Members   

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 03:57 PM

@_Martin

Thanks for the reply Martin, really appreciate it.

I did make the mesh in various different parts, there is unfortunately some clipping issues.  But I should probably try and rectify this for future projects 



#8 _Martin   Members   

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 04:03 PM

@_Martin

Thanks for the reply Martin, really appreciate it.

I did make the mesh in various different parts, there is unfortunately some clipping issues.  But I should probably try and rectify this for future projects 

Hey, yah, no problem. I do like the final render - it looks pretty sweet. Keep up the good work, the rest of them look great (but again PBR materials are a great thing to add)



#9 Gian-Reto   Members   

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 02:19 AM

About working with PBR MAterials and maps:

 

My personal expierience was that "crutches" like the Quixel suite do not produce very convincing results out of the box. You really need to dig into the theory behind the PBR workflow of your choice (metallic or specular), find out what all the maps do and influence, and then need to check the output of the Quixel suite to make sure the maps are correct.

 

Not saying its the fault of the Quixel suite, not entirely anyway. But there are a ton of things that can influence the map outputs more than you want, like grime and dirt not that visible in the diffuse map, but toning down metallic, specular or smoothness way too much.

 

 

I found it easier to paint the texture in a 3D painting tool like 3D coat, and then use Crazybump to create AO and Specular maps that I then can enhance and tweak in Photoshop, and mix with my diffuse map to give the colors more depth. I had to tweak all the maps anyway after exporting from the Quixel suite, while fighting with masks and all the knobs and levers of the Quixel suite first, so I spent more time going through the Quixel suite than painting by hand first.

But then I am creating not very high resolution textures with many exture details like clothing patterns omitted, so I guess for really HD textures the Quixel suite would work better.

 

 

 

BTW, looking at the meshes, nice clean layout (save errors as already pointed out), but rather high for a game low poly mesh.

Did you already bake a normal map? Many of the bevelled areas could be collapsed to a simple bevel with two edges, or maybe no bevel and a single edge in case of angles bigger than 90°-120°, as a normal map would simulate a rounded edge just fine, and the shillouette would probably still look correct.

Other areas also seem to have an excessive amount of polygons, like the face mask. Sure, its rounded. But you should let a normal map take care of simulating the roundness, instead of going through smooth shading alone and turn up the polycount because of that.

IMO Place the polygons in a game asset low poly model 1. to get an approximation of the high poly shilouette that still looks mostly correct ingame, and 2. to give the skinning enough polys to deform a skinned mesh. Whereever a polygon does not need to bend in a skinned mesh, or does not contribute much to the shillouette, it can be combined with the neighbouring polygons. You will have more than enough other assets that might need the polycount more, and never enough processing power to handle all these polygons at once and still keep up a good framerate.

 

Of course, the needed / acceptable polycount depends a lot on how the game asset should be used. This iron man model seen in a isometric game from 30 metres away is a waste of polygons.

Used in close up cinematics, that polycount might actually be fine. Really depends on the game, and scene its used in.


Edited by Gian-Reto, 19 January 2017 - 02:32 AM.


#10 Allba   Members   

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 04:23 AM

@Gian-Reto

First off, thank you for the reply, much appreciated.  I have had a look at using the "crazybump work flow" and I did use it fairly regularly in my first few years of university.  One of my lectures then suggested Quixel as it was "better."  But it does really seem like its not about the software, its how you use it that counts.  I did also do hand painted textures within zbrush, which I imagine is similar to doing so in 3D coat?  


The Iron Man Model is an older project, where I was still unfamiliar with creating game Assets, so I do agree that some of the polys are unnecessary.  At this point I also did not have a full understanding of how to get good normal map bakes.  So I do agree that the majority of the bevels just do not have to be there for the Iron Man.  I did try to rectify this on the Car model, but I still feel like there are some parts on that that are a bit dense.  

I think My main issue is that I don't fully understand what polygon budget would be used in certain situations.  How high can you do with a 3rd Person Hero character, 3rd and 1st person weapons and environments filler props?



#11 Scouting Ninja   Members   

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 11:50 AM

Below I have also attached some images of my wireframes, for any feedback on the meshes.

Very nice meshes, you clearly mastered edge flow.

Your wire frames look much better than the mesh would with materials on, I think that you should do some hand painting in Zbrush along the lines to emphasize the lines, so that there is a hint to the edge flow in the materials.

 

Iron man's arm looks like there was no consideration for anatomy, although as you verified it's a older model.

 

Only the light saber and Rifle look game ready. The race car is in need of cleaning, just removing and merging some edge loops, before use. Iron man needs a full retopology.

 

I think My main issue is that I don't fully understand what polygon budget would be used in certain situations.  How high can you do with a 3rd Person Hero character, 3rd and 1st person weapons and environments filler props?

Poly budget changes per game type, however the idea is to use as little polygons you can while getting as smooth a model as you can.

 

Don't bother asking poly counts, remember that games made now are intended to be released in a few years time, who knows what it will be then.

The best way to get a poly budget for your model, is to rip a model from the newest top release in that genre, then add 25% to the poly count and use it as your budget.

 

One thing you will find from ripping models like this, is that games use a lot lower models than you would have expected.

A example is the The Witcher 3, most models average out 35 000 polygons, when they could have made them all at around 45 000. A other interesting thing is that Geralt sword's first LOD exceeded most buildings in polycount.



#12 Allba   Members   

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Posted 23 January 2017 - 09:01 AM

@Scouting Ninja

I will give this a go.  Just adding some subtle highlights on the most prominent edges to give them a little more pop ? 
I do agree with what your saying with Iron Man, that model is in desperate need of a poly reduction, there are some details I really could have done with normal maps.  However, as mentioned, it is an older model and I had no idea how to get accurate bakes, granted I still don't, but i feel like I am closer to getting good bakes now than I was back then.

In terms of the poly counts, I did manage to source a model of Lara Croft from the latest Tomb Raider, and that model had 100k Tris, but I am unsure if that is a game play model or cinematic model, although, I would be more inclined to believe it is for in game cinematic rather than actual gameplay.



I did also have a play around with the material on the gun.  I went in an adjusted the metalness ad roughness values within Quixel for now to see how it would affect the materials.  I feel like it now looks a little better but still not 100% there.  Can't seem to get the dirt to look like it has built up on the model.  The normal information is there, its just not that intense, so maybe just play around with the intensity ?

lxddnuntqzbl.png4fhpd6nv8o5s.pnghzslbu9sgv9c.png53ezhjhoe9c0.png



#13 Scouting Ninja   Members   

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Posted 24 January 2017 - 07:39 AM

Looks much better, your dust also has more depth now that there is reflection to compare with.

 

I do agree with what your saying with Iron Man, that model is in desperate need of a poly reduction, there are some details I really could have done with normal maps.  However, as mentioned, it is an older model and I had no idea how to get accurate bakes, granted I still don't, but i feel like I am closer to getting good bakes now than I was back then.

Xnormal use to have a manual with it that also explained the general baking guides, don't know if the new one includes it.

 

The way your normal maps are now is good for modern games.

 

In terms of the poly counts, I did manage to source a model of Lara Croft from the latest Tomb Raider, and that model had 100k Tris, but I am unsure if that is a game play model or cinematic model, although, I would be more inclined to believe it is for in game cinematic rather than actual gameplay.

The largest batch at the moment of all engines, at 66k. Most engines have max batches of 52k-56k a model of a 100k would literally be two models, that is definitely the cinematic model, probably using a body part LOD for cutscenes.

 

I did also have a play around with the material on the gun.  I went in an adjusted the metalness ad roughness values within Quixel for now to see how it would affect the materials.  I feel like it now looks a little better but still not 100% there.  Can't seem to get the dirt to look like it has built up on the model.  The normal information is there, its just not that intense, so maybe just play around with the intensity ?

When making dirt or dust I like to brush it on. When you brush dirt use a smaller brush on the roughness map than the albedo. Dust unlike fat doesn't upset the light bounce instantly, instead only where dust is cluster does it really change the way the light bounces.

 

The dust you have covers the whole weapon, breaking contrast. Maybe if you have less dust it would be more noticeable.

The dust on the barrel looks correct now.



#14 Allba   Members   

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Posted 24 January 2017 - 07:57 AM

*double post sorry*


Edited by Allba, 24 January 2017 - 08:04 AM.


#15 Allba   Members   

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Posted 24 January 2017 - 08:03 AM

@Scouting Ninja

I will defiantly give Xnormal a download and will pay about with it.  Right now I have been using Mudbox for my bakes, and it has working out fairly well.  Much better than the mental ray bakes i got in Maya.

I never knew about the batches in engines. so that information is so helpful. 


In the future, i will be use to take more care when applying weathering effects such as dust to objects, to give a more accurate representation of what would actually happen.

Thanks again :-D



#16 Awoken   Members   

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Posted 25 January 2017 - 11:18 PM

wow, impressive stuff.  way out of my league.  Well done.



#17 Allba   Members   

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Posted 27 January 2017 - 05:24 AM

Done a quick prop of some British Traffic lights.  Kept the poly count low, but I could probably go lower to be honest.

But I feel like I have more interesting and defined materials, hopefully.


stuart-speirs-screen01.jpg?1485463301stuart-speirs-screen04.jpg?1485463309stuart-speirs-untitled-1.jpg?1485466465stuart-speirs-screen05.jpg?1485463312


Edited by Allba, 27 January 2017 - 05:25 AM.


#18 Awoken   Members   

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Posted 27 January 2017 - 09:15 PM

what does a normal do and an RMA, I assume a normal adjusts the amount of light being reflected?  does RMA determine what wavelength is reflected more?



#19 Scouting Ninja   Members   

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Posted 28 January 2017 - 11:56 AM

Done a quick prop of some British Traffic lights.  Kept the poly count low, but I could probably go lower to be honest.

Very nice work. The poly count is what I would expect from a AAA game, no need to go lower.

The material on this one is very nice- the materials are starting to reach the level of the mesh- with a model like this is best to keep it bland so the lights stand out if you add them.

 

A other thing about a piece like this, don't focus too much time on making it look good on it's own. If every small model in a scene is eye catching, it creates a type of noise effect, with the viewers eyes not having any rest points.

 

 

 

what does a normal do and an RMA, I assume a normal adjusts the amount of light being reflected?  does RMA determine what wavelength is reflected more?

The normals in a mesh determine how light is shown. A normal map allows the artist to change the way light acts, often bending light to show detail that isn't really there; like a illusion.

 

RMA is the roughness map (how rough a surface looks), the metallic map (how metal the object is) and the AO map (A fake- yet effective- way of calculating ambient light).

The maps are BW images, allowing a artist to store them as a single RGB image.

Using the Albedo, roughness, metal and AO map a artist can make very realistic and responsive materials for games.


Edited by Scouting Ninja, 28 January 2017 - 11:57 AM.


#20 Allba   Members   

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 06:05 AM

Very nice work. The poly count is what I would expect from a AAA game, no need to go lower. The material on this one is very nice- the materials are starting to reach the level of the mesh- with a model like this is best to keep it bland so the lights stand out if you add them


Thank you for the feedback.  I was maybe thinking i could reduce the count a little more,  but I could do that as LODs if necessary.  

I will also start working on props for a surrounding environment and get it to fit in, and I will post updates when I have it done ^_^