Espaki's dota 2 items

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Hi all, I've been fumbling my way through the dota 2 item creation process over the last couple months. I have two sets complete (although 1 hasn't been approved, and 1 I haven't made public yet).

Here's a link to the Dragon Knight set I submitted a few months ago.
http://steamcommunity.com/workshop/filedetails/?id=187430383
TaJfk55.jpg

I'll post the Tusk set I have as soon as I push it public.

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  • espaki
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    I've also got a ward I'm working on for chinese new year and I'm having a bit of trouble getting it to export properly. I can get the mesh exported and imported without error, but the animations don't seem to be working or playing.

    My (3DS max) process for exporting has been:
    1. Select the skinned mesh and bones and export FBX without animations checked.
    2. For the animations I've exported with "bake animations" set to the frame range I want. I've also tried without "bake animations" just to see if that matters. I've tried exporting with just the bones selected, and with bones and mesh selected.

    My axis/scale/exporter should be working fine otherwise, as I've successfully made several armor bits for different heroes. I'm assuming I'm doing something wrong within the animation export process.


    EDIT: problem solved, I was exporting a frame range of -30 to 0, which it apparently didn't like. I slid the keys over from 0-30 and re-exported and it worked fine.
  • espaki
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    I just finished my Chinese New Year ward:

    http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=211307245
    D4P1YS7.jpg

    Anyone know how to add the "spring 2014" tag they mentioned to the item itself? I added it to the collection, but it doesn't seem to come up when you click "view current submissions" for the event.

    Here are some zbrush screens of the early stages. The one on the left was my original plan, but I wasn't going to be able to fit it in the target poly count.
    VrSs1TO.jpg
  • Shock
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    the sculpt is VERY nice. but it doesnt look good ingame. maybe its because of the complex modell (nothing to mirror..)
    and/or the uv layout is so messed, that the texturequality doesnt go through. also i am not sure about lowpoly and the bake.
    it anyhow looks like u lost all ur awesome detail from sculpting :(

    sry mate :(
  • cagdasx44
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    I agree with shock. High poly doing no work.
  • espaki
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    I appreciate the feedback guys-

    I know it's not perfect, I didn't really research the ward process well enough beforehand and learned some new things along the way.

    Some notes (and perhaps excuses, depending on how you want to look at it :P)

    1. Wards don't support normal maps, they are diffuse only (Edit, not true)
    2. Don't sculpt in pose, UV's, retop, baking and rigging are all way harder.

    This is also the second thing I've ever rigged/animated (the first being probably 10 years ago).

    Depending on how I feel, I may go back and correct some of this stuff, but it's so early on in the process I don't know if I have the time or energy to redo it before the 15th deadline. It looks decent from game view, it's all the closeup stuff that doesn't look so nice.
  • heboltz3
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    ...I'm pretty certain wards support normal maps.
  • espaki
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    heboltz3 wrote: »
    ...I'm pretty certain wards support normal maps.

    Is it just via naming convention like armor bits? I didn't see any mention of it in the documentation, importer or sample files.
  • Shock
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    they do support normal maps and even masks.
  • espaki
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    Shock wrote: »
    they do support normal maps and even masks.

    Ok, i'll have to poke around with that tonight after work then. Do you know if it's naming convention that associates them, or do I have to dig deeper into the file format stuff?
  • heboltz3
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    the importer says you should name then X_color, X_normal, X_mask1. They should be tgas as well all in the same directory.

    So try, "dragonBro_normal.tga".
  • cagdasx44
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    I wonder how did you import it, because the importer should post an error like "droganBro_normal.tga" didnt exist on the document.
  • espaki
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    Thanks all, being able to use more than diffuse is awesome news. I feel dumb for assuming it didn't work because their sample ward didn't have a normal or masks.

    I may be able to play around a bit on my lunch break and make some improvements.
  • heboltz3
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    Everyone makes mistakes, just hurdle over that and keep making art :D
  • RVN gorronegro
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    That's a very nice set for dragon knight, maybe i'm pointing out the obvious, but the shield and helment really make it look distinctive.
  • espaki
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    Quick update: I was able to get the normals and masks working :)

    I hit a little snag where it didn't seem to be noticing the files for import, but it turns out I had to re-select my base texture. doing the "quickload" of import settings was remembering the version that didn't have anything besides diffuse.

    My textures and masks need tweaks now, but here's a quick shot of things functioning.

    y9v1jAA.jpg
  • espaki
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    Latest: I painted a new store icon for this and made some material updates.

    dragon_render.jpg

    dragon_ingame2.jpg

    I'm uploading some new animation videos and then will re-do the marketing image that I rushed yesterday.
  • espaki
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    Ok, I'm calling the ward done for real now.
    http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=211307245

    I made a promo image as well-
    dragon_marketing_flat.jpg
  • Jewish Zebra
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    Looks really nice!
  • Konras
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    Wow, how could I not seen this before. This is most awesome chinese ward I have seen! Most people are making lanterns I think for wards, but what is a piece of paper to a mighty dragon!! :)
  • DotaFX
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    Everyone went with dragon couriers and u went with a dragon ward, love the details! Good Job Buddy!
  • Di$array
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    Really love the design and execution but maybe you could have had them wrapped around the Seeing Eye. Just as an afterthought, but who cares, it's awesome.

    Congrats
  • vlad_the_implyer
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    Can you show us the textures and what's the polycount on your ward? I feel like you could shift the focus a lot, to add more details on visible parts.
  • espaki
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    Can you show us the textures and what's the polycount on your ward? I feel like you could shift the focus a lot, to add more details on visible parts.

    It's right at 1499 tris (I had to chop out the backfaces from his feet, lower legs and tail) - some of the geo is a little funky but works and I just went with even texel resolution.

    In retrospect I should have dropped a loop from the iris of the eyeball (I re-used their eyeball mesh) so I would have room for teeth and a few more shoulder triangles.

    dragonward_dev.jpg

    wards.gif
  • Reyne
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    I'm no expert but seeing the way this has been rigged and animated couldn't this have been symmetrically mapped for much larger texture density?

    Could you collapse the two loops that define the underbelly because that space is barley visible, even zoomed in?
  • vlad_the_implyer
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    Yeah, basically, you should've sculpted him straight and then, after baking and texturing set him into this pose. My biggest issue with the geo is that the horns are only on textures, why they should've been popping out, adding volume. You can easily cut down on the bottom part, since it's invisible under the eyeball. I realise you may not want to go back this far, but consider it. Also, you can cut a lot of polys from the eye, since it's mostly solid color and won't be noticable at all.

    If you want to, you should really get back to your super-clean sculpt (how'd you achieved scales that dense and clean, by the way?), straighten it up, retopo it with horns in minf, bake only the half, this way increasing the resulting texture size and leaving less texture space for the bottom part, since it's hidden anyway, while adding more to the head/horns.
  • Konras
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    Just a note. I am not sure if you used this normalmap that you pasted over here, however you should invert green channel co it will be lighten from below so it will match dota normal directions.
  • espaki
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    Thanks for the feedback all,

    @vlad, @reyne, you are totally right - I didn't preplan this nearly as well as I should have. At this point I'm tired of looking at it so I probably won't go all the way back to fix that. It seems to hold up well enough from game camera angle/distance so I'm ok with it.

    @konras I totally didn't know that! Apparently I've done it wrong for two armor sets and this ward, I'll have to make a pass to fix it and see how much it improves things. Thanks for noticing, that's a subtle eye for normal maps right there.

    My spring2014 tag showed up! Someone at Valve must be making a pass on that.
  • espaki
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    Hi all, I added animated gifs to my dragon knight set:
    http://steamcommunity.com/workshop/f.../?id=187430383
    dk_previewer.gif
    dk_front.gif
    dk_back.gif

    Also, here's a tusk set I haven't made public yet, I'm still waiting on the last bit from the concept artist (Rayph)

    tusk_previewer1.gif
    tusk_previewer2.gif
  • MagnoHusein
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    Tusk set looks cool, but the wings are a bad move in my opinion, because totally breaks the silhoette and makes him look like another hero.
  • espaki
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    @MagnoHusein - I was unsure about that. From game view it still seems obviously tusk to me, but we'll see.
    If you want to, you should really get back to your super-clean sculpt (how'd you achieved scales that dense and clean, by the way?)

    Sorry, missed the question before- It was pretty easy, the body started out as a loft in max which had decent generated UV's. I created polygroups for the back and belly, and used noisemaker with those UV's to add the details. After it was looking good I dynameshed it with the arms and head, and sculpted the transitions. This is the scale alpha I used: http://tbelgrave.thecareergamer.com/web/daggerdale/scaleAlpha.jpg
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