Pilot Girl - Noob Challenge continued...

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polycounter lvl 7
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Monophobe polycounter lvl 7
I took part in the PC Noob Character challenge throughout March, the subject of which was the Pilot Girl concept. During that month I managed to just about complete my high res sculpt.

Since then I've been going back to it when time has allowed, in amongst building a new PC, learning bits and bobs in UE4, my day job and life in general.

Recently made some proper progress so thought I'd get a thread going so that with your help I can really polish this to a final presentation piece.

The game mesh is now done at just over 22k tris (22,152 to be precise) and over the weekend I got my normal and AO maps baked out. The head/eyes/hair are already textured, just need to crack on with the body and accessories and will update here with progress.

For now, here's a high res grab from UE4.

VCQ3eNf.jpg

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  • Monophobe
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    Monophobe polycounter lvl 7
    Had some free time today so knocked up a high res helmet in an effort to learn hard surface purely using ZBrush. Will get it baked out as a prop to pose her with.

    Further details will be added during texturing.

    raz6Wy4.jpg
  • Dimfist
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    Dimfist polycounter lvl 5
    Looking good man :D that's no slouch of a job for firs time hard surface in zbrush.
  • PyrZern
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    PyrZern polycounter lvl 5
    I'm excited and can't wait to see what kind of details will you be able to add in during texturing process ;)
  • Monophobe
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    Monophobe polycounter lvl 7
    Cheers guys. Retopped the helmet and baked out normals/AO.

    WY3oC3d.jpg
  • Monophobe
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    Monophobe polycounter lvl 7
    I picked up the Substance Designer Indie pack today but I've struggled to get any decent results :/

    The image on the left is the UE4 viewport, middle if the UE4 material preview and right is from Substance Designer. Only the screwheads and yellow logos have been added; textures remain unchanged from SD otherwise.

    If anyone has any idea why things look so different I'd appreciate some insight.

    1leFZSd.jpg
  • stevston89
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    stevston89 polycounter lvl 5
    I think you may need to invert your gloss map going into UE4, but I don't know how substance outputs maps.
  • jacob thomas
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    jacob thomas polycounter lvl 3
    That helmet is the reason I gave up on this project :P yours is looking pretty solid though man. I'd try inverting the gloss map also. Looks like that might be your problem.
  • Monophobe
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    Monophobe polycounter lvl 7
    Unfortunately I've already done that in the image above.
  • PyrZern
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    PyrZern polycounter lvl 5
    But I like the reflective visor from the far left one O o'.
    I hope you get it solved Paul!
  • Monophobe
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    Monophobe polycounter lvl 7
    Cheers. Yeah, the visor is the only bit working properly at, or at least approaching what I'm after. I've had a problem like this before where the UE4 material preview was completely different to the viewport and restarting the engine sorted it but no such luck with this.

    Will have to try again when I get home tonight.
  • ZacD
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    ZacD greentooth
    Post a picture of the material in UE4, you are using metalness in substance, right? Are you using the reflection capture actors, right?
  • Monophobe
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    Monophobe polycounter lvl 7
    At work atm so I can't post a pic but it's a very basic setup:

    1 rgb into diffuse slot
    1 rgb for (r) AO / (g) metallic / (b) roughness into their respective slots.
    1 rgb into normal slot
    Reflection capture nearby.

    And yeah, in SD I had PBR metallic/roughness for the outputs then flipped my metallic map IIRC. I tried all combinations of flipping metallic/roughness, but I know how they're supposed to work in UE4.

    I'll post my setup and texture thumbnails this evening if I get chance.

    Cheers all for the suggestions so far.
  • Monophobe
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    Monophobe polycounter lvl 7
    Just found this thread - http://forum.allegorithmic.com/index.php/topic,1373.0.html

    Will try disabling sRGB in UE4 on the textures as has been suggested and see how that goes.
  • Monophobe
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    Monophobe polycounter lvl 7
    Tried turning off sRGB which helped to some extent but things were still well out. I then tried what the OP in the thread I posted earlier was doing; lerp between 0.35 and 1.35 using the roughness as the mask and plugged that into the roughness input.

    It's certainly better though I'm surprised that this needs doing as I presumed PBR textures/materials would look very similar wherever they've used.

    A friend said this kind of operation was always needed on gloss maps in UDK and that this might be a bit of a legacy issue?


    (sRGB turned off on diffuse map and AO/metal/rough map, then rougnness lerped as explained above):
    55gFNjf.jpg


    I do have a feeling I'm missing a trick with the reflection spheres though so if anyone can give me a quick overview on their use I'd appreciate it (The reflection in the visor is setup in the material due to the transparency).
  • ZacD
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    ZacD greentooth
    This page has a lot of information about the reflection capture actors.

    https://docs.unrealengine.com/latest/INT/Resources/Showcases/Reflections/index.html#reflectionconsiderations

    Still a screenshot of the material editor would help because we could also see thumbnail images of the textures along with what they are plugged into.
  • Monophobe
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    Monophobe polycounter lvl 7
    Here you go ZacD:
    LksazTv.jpg

    So the reflection spheres don't need anything more than just being placed nearby to work I take it?
  • stevston89
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    stevston89 polycounter lvl 5
    What does your metalness map look like? In this it looks like you have gray values which is just wrong. You should only use subtle gray values to transition materials.
  • Monophobe
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    Monophobe polycounter lvl 7
    Should have said, the lerps on the left aren't doing anything, just there to show the outputs from each channel of my AO/metal/rough map (Not sure if there's a different node I could have used).

    There is certainly more of a range in the metalness map than I would expect, but that's how it came out of Substance Designer so I guess their PBR diffuse/metal/rough outputs setup is quite different to UE4 (you also have the option of PBR diffuse/spec/gloss as your outputs).

    That said, the outer helmet part is the white section on the metallic map.
  • stevston89
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    stevston89 polycounter lvl 5
    I would remove the gray bits by hand or find a way to get substance to remove them. They really shouldn't be there. Don't accept what the program spits out if it is wrong.
  • Monophobe
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    Monophobe polycounter lvl 7
    I realise that I'll need to make edits, but I don't understand why there is such disparity between how the 2 programs use the maps. Not much point in using a program to generate PBR maps if they're consistently wrong between engines. On a more complex surface this could lead to the results being next to useless.

    I wonder if SD is producing a metallic map more like I think Toolbag2 would use that includes colour as in this example - http://www.marmoset.co/wp-content/uploads/lenstextures01.jpg



    (Btw, the above is me rambling 'out loud', all the help and suggestions so far are greatly appreciated. I'll load up SD when I get home and see what's happening as there's every chance I don't have my base materials setup correctly as this is the first time I've tried to use the software)

    For anyone who is more used to the PBR workflow, how would you interpret the swatches in this image for use in UE4?

    materialref01.png
  • stevston89
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    stevston89 polycounter lvl 5
    I don't use substance so I really don't know how it works. I am sure there is someway to sync the pipelines other wise the is really now point in using it. Maybe ask around on the substance thread in the technical talk section.
  • stevston89
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    stevston89 polycounter lvl 5
    So for that image you would ignore reflectivity "r" for all non metals. For metals you would place the reflectivity values in your albedo where your metal is. M stands for microsurface this is essentially your roughness/ gloss you can use those as a base, but those values will vary a lot with any given material. A is your albedo you would ignore those values for metals, but you can use them in your non metals.

    If you are struggling with the metalness workflow you can take a look at this thread:
    http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=134475

    Also this video is fairly helpful:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LP7HgIMv4Qo
  • Monophobe
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    Monophobe polycounter lvl 7
    Thanks for the links stevston, some great info there :)

    So tonight I went back to the drawing board and scrapped my multimaterial in Substance Designer which made use of presets with huge graphs and actually spent the time learning how to make a basic metal with a level of wear and some additional tarnishing on edges, the whole time making sure that my outputs remained consistent with the kind of maps UE4 expects.

    I realised after a lot of faff that I HAD to add a skylight into UE4 to avoid the metal going extremely black, but I'm now fairly sure that all differences seen are purely due to lighting setups/skydomes/post-processing/etc.

    Now that I'm a lot happier finding my way around in SD I can add in the rest of the materials.

    NDEVDCw.jpg
  • Monophobe
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    Monophobe polycounter lvl 7
    Spent some more time with Substance Designer tonight and finally feel like everything is working as expected... by which I mean I'm not doing things wrong and I know what's going on!

    Only made a couple more materials so far and they're not that advanced, but gotto start somewhere!

    v4OxeJd.jpg

    Left is UE4 / Right is Substance Designer
  • klown
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    klown polycounter lvl 5
    Great to see her pop up again, reminds me to get around to finishing mine :p

    Looking good so far man, looking forward to the end result. Would love to see some variation/dirt and scratches on that metal :D
  • Monophobe
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    Monophobe polycounter lvl 7
    Cheers man. Yeah, I think I need to try and push the normals more in the main shell metal, maybe get more of a brushed steel look to it. I'll have to revisit that.
  • Monophobe
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    Monophobe polycounter lvl 7
    @klown: I took your advice and went back to make the main metal more interesting. Still needs the decals and screws adding in but I'll add those with Substance Painter once the base is finished.

    PBluAy3.jpg
  • Monophobe
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    Monophobe polycounter lvl 7
    Finished up the helmet today and got it into UE4 which you can see here :)

    Learnt a lot on this piece... time to start applying it all to the character :S

    agWq2YT.jpg
  • PyrZern
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    PyrZern polycounter lvl 5
    Looks sweeet :P Love it !!
    I just tried the demo, I'm so lost #_#
  • klown
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    klown polycounter lvl 5
    Looking nice mate, good progress :)

    A quick suggestion for the helmet is to give it a simple 2 tone on the panels, nothing crazy, just a slightly darker diffuse or some such, maybe along that band type panel that runs up from the ears over the head. Nice way to break up all that shiny metal ;)
  • Monophobe
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    Monophobe polycounter lvl 7
    Thanks Pyr. The demo of Substance Designer you mean? I'd strongly suggest watching this chaps videos, they really helped me get my head around it - https://www.youtube.com/user/pipesfranco


    Cheers for the feedback klown. For now I'm going to stick to the concept and keep it all the same metal, otherwise I'm going to risk never texturing the character. When everything is finished (if anything every really is finished) and rigged up I'll bear it in mind. Can always come back to things like that if I feel like it's needed after seeing everything in context.
  • PyrZern
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    PyrZern polycounter lvl 5
    Thanks ! Gonna check it out first thing in the morning.
  • Torch
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    Torch polycounter lvl 7
    Hey Mono, pretty cool you're keeping this going after the challenge! Really liking the materials you're using, want to learn more about PBR. My only real gripe is with the face, although you're far into the creation process I would recommend reworking it. Currently she looks fairly masculine, it would help a lot to get some more feminine features in there. Apart from that, keep up the good work :)
  • Monophobe
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    Monophobe polycounter lvl 7
    Torch wrote: »
    Hey Mono, pretty cool you're keeping this going after the challenge! Really liking the materials you're using, want to learn more about PBR. My only real gripe is with the face, although you're far into the creation process I would recommend reworking it. Currently she looks fairly masculine, it would help a lot to get some more feminine features in there. Apart from that, keep up the good work :)

    Thanks for the feedback Torch. If you didn't see it in the original thread there's a textured version of the head here - http://i.imgur.com/q38aJJh.jpg - which hopefully helps in that regard (she does have strong features but that's something I wanted as I felt she read as quite a dominant character in the concept). That said I'm going to have to revisit the head anyway now that I better understand the PBR workflow. As with the helmet I'll certainly be looking at the early assets again once everything can be seen in context. Chances are I'll be re-doing the hair completely as well.

    EDIT: Wanted to add that whilst I'm not making excuses, this will be my first ever complete character, so I know there will be things to improve upon in future projects. Improvements to anatomy/face will certainly be top of the list.
  • Monophobe
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    Monophobe polycounter lvl 7
    Been a little while since my last update so figured I'd show my latest efforts in learning Substance Designer and progress on her accessories. Making a real effort to ensure all my substances are reusable on any project with exposed modifiers correctly name and organised, ensuring texture input nodes are used where needed, etc. Feel like it's all starting to click, amazing piece of software! :)

    (SubDesigner viewport grabs)
    ukHoqI6.jpg
  • PyrZern
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    PyrZern polycounter lvl 5
    Looks sweet there. Love the small details !
  • Monophobe
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    Monophobe polycounter lvl 7
    Thanks Pyr :) Going to make a start on the body today.
  • Monophobe
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    Monophobe polycounter lvl 7
    Still plodding away. Just a few bits on the boots until I start to bring it all together.

    IYnv6S0.jpg
  • Monophobe
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    Monophobe polycounter lvl 7
    Finished texturing the suit today, fixed up a few small errors in Substance Painter, then brought it all back into Substance Designer to to an additional dirt pass on the boots.

    osiGNRg.jpg

    Also made a start on rigging her up..... this looks painful, I should probably finish that....

    GStZq8Z.jpg

    Hands still to texture and the face/hair to sort out.
  • PyrZern
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    PyrZern polycounter lvl 5
    Monophobe wrote: »
    GStZq8Z.jpg

    Yike. What software you use for rigging, btw ?
    Can't remember if you use Maya or Max or ZB for that.
  • Monophobe
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    Monophobe polycounter lvl 7
    Lol, yeah, pretty sure you can guess which areas are rigged properly and which aren't :P

    I use max for rigging.
  • Nistrum
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    Nistrum polycounter lvl 9
    hey man, can i steal some of your SBS files? there is so little out there in terms of reference for some of these things in SD learning it is pretty painful... :/ atm im trying to figure out how to do a headlight for a speeder bike concepts but cant find a decent glass tut :( but your carbon fiber looks way cooler than mine, would just like to see how you went about it.
    if not no big problem awesome work man :)
  • aaronaton
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    aaronaton polycounter lvl 6
    Can I just ask why there might be scratches on a Pilots Helmet?
  • Nistrum
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    Nistrum polycounter lvl 9
    putting it down?.....
  • Monophobe
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    Monophobe polycounter lvl 7
    ....she's very clumsy? :)

    Joking aside, whilst she's become known as Pilot Girl due to how she was referred to in the original noob character thread, I pictured her not as a plane/jet pilot, but possibly piloting some kind of mech (think the giant mechs used in the Attack on the Dock scene in Matrix Revolutions). I also assumed she would see some on foot combat and wanted to make her look a little more knocked about. Possibly it's a bit OTT at the minute.
  • Tobbo
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    Tobbo polycounter lvl 5
    Looking good. I'm really liking those materials! :)
  • Monophobe
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    Monophobe polycounter lvl 7
    Nistrum wrote: »
    hey man, can i steal some of your SBS files? there is so little out there in terms of reference for some of these things in SD learning it is pretty painful... :/ atm im trying to figure out how to do a headlight for a speeder bike concepts but cant find a decent glass tut :( but your carbon fiber looks way cooler than mine, would just like to see how you went about it.
    if not no big problem awesome work man :)

    I can't do anything until I get home and I'm away this weekend but soon as I get chance I'll give you a guide/breakdown of how I made my carbon fibre; rather than me giving you a completed substance I think you'd get far more out of it creating it yourself. This project is the first time I've used SD and trial and error has given me a great introduction to the program. It will certainly help your understanding for creating your own substances in future. FYI, the carbon fibre is completely procedural.

    As a general tip though, just think about how you would create the textures in Photoshop through layering (in SD think of your first node as your bottom layer, and each one after that as a new layer on top) and blend modes, masks, etc. At any point you can double click a node or even the individual inputs/outputs on a node to see exactly what is happening at that stage in the node chain (in the 2D view).

    Miiiight get chance to put something up about it tonight but if I haven't by Monday/Tuesday then feel free to bug me about it over PM :)
  • Monophobe
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    Monophobe polycounter lvl 7
    Tobbo wrote: »
    Looking good. I'm really liking those materials! :)

    Cheers Tobbo! :)
  • Nistrum
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    Nistrum polycounter lvl 9
    Yeh am loving SD just not got an awful lot of time on it yet. am trying to build a carpaint style shade atm.. these things are always harder than they seem :p
  • Monophobe
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    Monophobe polycounter lvl 7
    Took a pretty hefty break from this to concentrate on my music more and other projects on the go.

    Still lots to fix up on the rigging so a distance shot will have to suffice for now (posed in the vehicle game UE4 example).

    q7ZxxKN.jpg
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