« Posts under Zbrush

3D Studio Max Interior

The couch was the focus in this scene for me. It’s the only object I modeled in this scene. The rest of the meshes were purchased off of Turbo Squid. I then created the materials for all objects in the scene. The last steps were to light, render and finally composite the scene in Nuke. I rendered the scene using Vray. Almost all of my previous modeling was done by creating a scale stub in Maya and then working it out in ZBrush. 3DSMax is a different beast altogether when it comes to modeling. Thankfully VRay seems to work in a similar fashion from within 3DSMax as it does in Maya. I still don’t quite understand the new ‘Slate Material Editor’. It seems that materials I create from within the Slate editor don’t show up in the Compact editor and vice versa. Most of my shaders don’t require crazy node networks so I’m happy using the simplified editor.

Sofa Bed Modern Interior

A lot of the time developing this scene was spent on the couch’s material. I wanted to make sure the linen came through really strong and crisp. Rendering the couch without losing the detail in the bump was my main concern. I ran with a 4K diffuse map and a 4K bump map to create most of the detail in the material. A spec map was also used to control how the highlight spread over the couch’s surface. The raw render is 4000×2666. Below is detailed snipped of the full resolution render.

Texture Detail of Couch

Most of the folds and creases in the couch were created in ZBrush. I didn’t want to add too much wear and tear to the couch as it was designed for use in a product shot. Usually I would render out a default material pass to show the shapes in the scene, but this Global Illumination pass does a fine job.Sofa Interior Global Illumination

I haven’t had a chance to use the UVW pass on this shot, but I would like to play around with it in the future. The idea of being able to assign a new texture to the couch in post sounds really cool. I think it could have some really useful implications for product rendering. I’ve been thinking more and more about exteriors lately and I think I might try to model an outside scene in the near future. For now I’ll leave you with render passes created in 3DSMax for Nuke below.

Passes for compositing interior scene in Vray

Combat Cross Final

After a bit of a later night I’ve finished my submission for work. Most of the chains are ran along a CV curve, with a few being placed in post. I rendered out each element so that if needed I could rearrange the composition. I tried to keep the rendering fairly simple as I just didn’t have enough time to model and render the cross with proper materials. This limitation almost made it more fun as a project though. Instead of locking down the composition before rendering I could play with it in any way I chose after. This felt like more of an artistic approach which is in with the spirit of the project. I used very simple MIA materials and an ambient occlusion pass when composting everything. The original was rendered at 300 DPI as it was to be printed.

Castlevania Combat Cross

Combat Cross WIP 1

I’m a sucker for gothic and macabre games. When the Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 came out last month I new I had to play it. Lords of Shadow 2 is a lot of fun in it’s own right, but I really missed the awesome whip animations in the original reboot. Now Dracula uses his own blood as a type of magic whip and the splashy nature of this doesn’t feel as solid as the chain whip in the last game. Work is starting to get busy as we near the end of a project and there has been a company wide call for art submissions. There’s a raffle with prizes to be won based on all the entries they receive. We have just over a week until we have to submit our art and that’s a little less of a heads up than I would like. To make up for the short time I’ve decided to do a prop instead of a scene.

My final submission will be a rendered shot of the Combat Cross laying on a cracked marble floor aged and covered in cob webs. The first step was to model the basic shapes of the cross. For most of this I started with primitives in ZBrush. If a shape was made of multiple primitives I would merge them, create a dynamesh with the new merged tool and then ctrl drag to connect their topology as a single dynamesh. I haven’t decided if I want to do a low poly cage over the entire mesh, or just export the decimated parts into Maya and then group them all. The leather rapped handle was created in Maya by making low res polygon rings and placing them up and down the shaft of the cross. The next step for them will be to smooth them out in ZBrush and using the move tool to make them overlap without penetrating strangely.

Combat Cross WIP 1
I’m not 100% sure, but I think I’ll be chosing to render this with VRay instead of Mental Ray. I know I’m going to want a layered material for the dust over all the surfaces and Mental Ray drops the ball entirely on this. There is a layered shader, but it doesn’t make it all the way through the rendering pipeline unscathed. VRay also seems to be a lot faster in general. I’ll be posting more about the cross this week as the submission is due this Friday (April 11th 2014).

Snowy Turn Table Final

Another day and another piece done :) I had a great time putting together this snowy turn table and trying out all sorts of different methods in ZBrush for creating snowy surfaces. For some extra fun I even threw in some “Matinee” animations using Unreal’s animation system.

The snow covered assets in the scene use what is basically a layered material to map the snow, ice, and base materials over their surface. This is done through using the “Lerp” node in the material editor. If you’ve ever tried to create a layered material in Mental Ray you will appreciate what the lerp node does. Using an 8 bit (gray scale) map the Lerp node transitions values. Think of it like a mask. You can use a bunch of these Lerp nodes in a single material to create a layered shader. There are other ways of getting more than one material on an asset in the UDK though.

When exporting your assets as “FBX” files in Maya you can assign up to six (as of Unreal Engine 3.0) different materials per mesh. This is done through simply creating up to six different Lambert materials and applying them on a per face basis. This is a very convenient way to assign materials to your meshes, but it does have it’s downsides. Firstly, you are adding extra draw calls for each new material you assign your asset. This differs from using the Lerp node because with Lerp method all your different surface types are constructed within a single Unreal material and consequentially, a single draw call. Secondly, the borders of your materials must lye along the edges of their assigned faces. This can end up giving you abrupt transitions that won’t look as smooth as painting a mask for a Lerp node. Going forward I would like to expand on what I’ve done in Matinee and produce an animated character with some dynamically driven accessories.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention that I’m moving to Montreal Canada. I’ll be heading out November 5th and my first stop will be their Independent Game Developers Association. I’m super excited to meet fellow developers and check out all the wonderful studios in Montreal.