Hand-Painted Shop

Hey everyone! I just wanted to get some feedback on this cartoon shop I recently completed.


It's based on a gorgeous concept by SnowCastle Games for their upcoming Project FoM.


I deviated a bit from the concept to try make the silhouette read better, but didn't want to use too many polys.


I've try hand painting textures before and didn't have a lot of success, so I gave it another go. Any feedback, tips, or paint-overs would be great! Here's the flats:


Unique Map 1

Unique Map 2 (Alpha materials)

...I also decided that the shop should sell eggplants, because I'm a sucker for complimentary colors. :poly142:


  • jackalope
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    jackalope polycounter lvl 7
    I really like the style, well done!
  • GabrielP
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    GabrielP polycounter lvl 6
    the stone wall could use quite a few more heavy brush strokes to define it more. Also the tree house is looking really bland in your model. a good start though.
  • bugo
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    bugo polycounter lvl 11
    So, to help on composition here: I think everything looks too much distinctive colors, have you thought about doing an overall color correction into all your textures to some green or blue, or red? Maybe a combination of these colors would help you to get a better goal. Think about the environment behind it, what would be the color of the sky or ground. What influences of color will bleed into the house. Etc.
  • snake85027
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    snake85027 polycounter lvl 12
    i think the top faces of the stone thats in front could be more flat. I really like the textures. Ithink the wood could use some work.

    This is from Eric Chadwick.

  • AdamRodgers
  • JR
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    JR polycounter lvl 11
    Beautiful style, sir.
  • Hayden Zammit
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    Hayden Zammit polycounter lvl 8
    Looks nice. I think you could paint in a bit more occlusion here and there. Could really help with the door. it looks just kinda of slapped on. Maybe some shadowing around the frame, where the door meets the wall. Same with where the eggplant holders meet the wall as well.

    Hope that helps/made sense.
  • letronrael
    NICE! my only crit would be to sharpen those stones for the small stone wall. Its way too smooth IMO

  • Broadway
    Looking good man! I've got a list of suggestions in no particular order here; some of them are just my personal preference so take them with a grain of salt.

    1. The lantern might read better if it was a little bigger. The potted plants could porbably grow a bit too.

    2. The birdhouse roof could be a little larger and more exaggerated.

    3. The eggplant sign on the roof could be larger - so could the chimney. Also, I think the chimney could use some stronger specular highlights, just painted into the texture, to make it look more metallic.

    4. The birdhouse pole in the concept reads as an unfinished branch, whereas yours looks too perfect. Maybe add some bends and a little branch nub like the concept.

    5. The roof shingles in the concept are more visually interesting than yours, just because they aren't in perfect rows. Making a tiling texture like the one in the concept would be cool; if you don't want to do that, I'd at least say you should make it so that the length of each shingle doesn't perfectly match the adjacent one. I'd also suggest grabbing random shingles from the texture and slightly altering their value/color to give a little more variation.

    6. Your smaller wood beam texture looks a lot nicer than your larger tiling one - the large one looks like maybe it was turned to indexed color mode, or something? It seems a bit too yellow compared to the concept. Also, it would look a little more cartoony if you varied the widths of the tiling boards. Someone above me pointed out a cool wood painting tutorial; here's another one I really like:

    7. I feel like the roof patching needs a little more detail - right now it looks like a couple of pieces of wood nailed over perfectly good shingles. It works in the concept because the wood pieces line up with gaps in the shingles or go under some shingles, but in your model they don't and they look a little out of place.

    8. Some AO would really help this scene, if you don't think it takes away from the 'cartoony' feel. The concept does seem to have a bit of AO and I think it goes a long way.

    9. It would be cool if you could have the gaps in the rock wall match up with the ground, or maybe raise the ground to meet the gaps. It looks a little weird to have the bright top 5% of a stone sticking up out of the ground.

    10. The top of the fabric awning looks really nice, it would be cool if you could incorporate some of those 'hanging' folds into the sides/edges of the awning too.

    11. Your door is a lot less recessed than in the concept. I'd say you should recess it more in the frame, or else put hinges on the outside so it can open :).

    Hope that was helpful, I don't have time to do a paintover at the moment but if any of the suggestions aren't making sense I'd be happy to come back and throw one together later. Good luck with this, I like what you've got so far!
  • Steven Buono
    I think overall it is pretty cool and I love the style. I think the clothe needs to have a little flowing in the ruffles all the way around. To avoid the stiffness compared to the top.
  • lewist
    Thanks for the awesome crits! I spent some time tweaking both the model and the textures.


    My original wood texture was suppose to be thickly painted boards, but it's obvious from the replies it wasn't reading well. :) Thanks for the awesome workflows posted for painting wood. I'm much happier with the result now!

    Here's the old (unpainted) wood texture compared to the new one:

    Still on my to-do list is to give the roof another go, figure out what to do with the stone base, and try to get some occlusion worked into the scene. The biggest problem with AO is that I'm tiling several textures throughout the model so I can't just multiply an AO pass over the texture sheets. Other than rely on SSAO does anyone have a good alternative? Should I just ditch the idea of tiling textures and give the whole shop unique texture space?
  • Broadway
    Nice improvements! You're getting pretty close, I think. If you want to add AO without abandoning tiling textures, you could just do it with a lightmap, depending on which engine you are using.

    I made a quick paintover with a couple more suggestions. Most of these are just intended to get it closer to the concept, assuming that's what you want. Here's what I would change:


    1. Desaturated and darkened the walls a little but.
    2. Desaturated the roof a bit and made it a little warmer in color. Added some 'moss' patches like the concept has.
    3. Exaggerated the detail on the door - just made the grooves larger and more contrasty.
    4. Upped the contrast on the chimney pipe and added some highlights.
    5. Desaturated the awning a little and exaggerated the folds.
    6. Made the tiling rocks a little less 'flat'.
    7. Lowered the central 'spine' of the roof so that there is a height gap between the shingles and the wooden A-frames at the ends of the house.
    8. Slightly punched up the highlights around the center of the eggplant planes in each bin. (This probably isn't too noticeable in the paintover but I think it would make the eggplants pop a little more)
    9. Added some AO. I think this will particularly help the area under roof, above the door with the crisscrossing beams.
    10. Changed the lighting a bit - from the concept, it seems like you'll want to go with a low-intensity ambient/skylight with a fairly desaturated red/warm color, and a brighter primary directional light with a yellowish color. I added some shadows and changed some colors around to be consistent with this sort of lighting set up.
    11. Extended the rock wall around the front of the house. It's there in the concept and besides, trim makes everything look better :)
    12. Desaturated the hanging clothes and the lantern slightly.

    A lot of this comes down to simple lighting changes and just bringing all the colors a little closer to the warm yellowish palette of the concept.

    I didn't mess with the roof shingles since you said you'll be giving that another go. Keep at it man, this is looking good!
  • lewist
    Thanks for the paintover Broadway! It's proving to be very helpful.

    Here's the progress so far. I've got the initial AO bake applied. It has a few problems I'll be troubleshooting along with trying to get a better light setup. I still haven't touched the chimney texture yet.


    I think the little things are going to drive me nuts. :poly122:
  • Prodigga
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    Prodigga polycounter lvl 4
    Hey mate, I've got a question (a very newby one at that!). Is that a single mesh? Or do you have all the little objects as their own meshes? I ask because I don't understand how your textures work. You have re-usable textures, and then you have item specific textures. So I'd guess that (for example) the walls, wooden beams and roof would be the one object, where as the door, chimney, Millie's sign would all be separate objects.

    Are you able to point out to me which ones are separate objects? I am still trying to grasp how to split the mesh up.
  • dcept
    Hey lewist! I'm Fredrik, the guy who did the concept art you're working from. I just wanted to swing by and say, from myself and the SnowCastle Games team; AWESOME! It's so cool that you were inspired to a point where you wanted to model Millies Spudshop! It's looking better and better! Let us know when you're finished. Maybe we could feature you on our blog, if that sounds cool?

    You can reach me directly at fredrik [at] snowcastle.no


  • lewist
    I feel really bad about neglecting this thread now! :poly136: I completed the shop a few weeks ago. Here's the final image from UDK:


    I’d love to keep working on it, but I’ve had to move on to other things. Big thanks to everyone for the critiques and comments!

    @Prodigga – I think I understand what you’re asking. A good portion of the objects are not connected geometry-wise, but share the same texture map. When I started this project, I tried to break things down by materials so I could get a good idea what textures I could tile. Tiling the textures on the roof, the wooden beams, and the siding meant that while I couldn’t use any obvious unique detail, but I could make the texture appear at a higher resolution without creating a big texture. This was accomplished by creating (1) a texture that can tile in X and Y and (2) scaling the UV map outside the 0 to 1 range in the UV editor. This gif might explain it better (props to whoever made this)!


    @ Fredrik - I’m glad you and the rest of the SnowCastle team enjoyed it! I had always wanted to attempt something stylized when I ran across your concept art. I love your palette choice and the little details in your work! It’s been a lot of fun to work on and a great learning experience. It would be an honor to be featured on your blog. I'll send you an email shortly!
  • dcept
    Hey Tim! Like I said, awesome that you were spurred on by our concept art to create something! It's a great being able to inspire!

    Thanks for the compliments on the concept art as well! You're up on our dev blog now :)

  • Broadway
    Hey man, congrats on a sweet finished piece! Featured on the website of the game you got the concept from - doesn't get much better than that!
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