Monthly Environment Art Challenge - January & February 2017 (46)

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polycounter lvl 7
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kadeschui polycounter lvl 7
Hello everyone and welcome to the Monthly Environment & Prop Challenge for the month(s) of January & February !!!

Apologies for the late start this Challenge, the Holidays got the better of me! We had some great participation last Challenge; truly inspiring work by all!

I'm glad to see some of you have already started working; feel free to move any posts / images over to this thread.

Thanks to everyone who voted and/or suggested new concepts; it's always more fun when everyone weighs in with their personal favorites! Without further ado, here are our options for Challenge 46!


artist: sam brown


artist: David Harrington



artist: egor bielawski


artist: Ben Mauro

If you want to change up either concept a bit, as some people wanted, then feel free. Interpret these concepts to your liking.


Please read all the rules before starting.

When you are just starting out making a scene, it can seem complicated or imposing, so take the time to break it down. 

Think about how you can re-use assets, re-use textures, break it down as simple as possible and plan it out. A lot of people will break it down in their own way when they start out their challenge. Gather some reference images as well for different parts of the scene, maybe gather some refs and make it your own.

Take your time planning and blocking out, it will set you up for success later on.

Here are some specifics.
  • Try to post one critique for every post that you make. This will make for a better learning environment and help us all grow as artists.
  • You must use a game engine to present your work. Unreal Engine and CryEngine are very common engines that can be used but feel free to use any alternatives that you want. (Marmoset Toolbag is allowed as well)
  • You must try your best and finish as much as you can in the time frame provided.
  • Post what you are working on in this thread so that way it's a more centralized place for advice and critique. We don't need to have 1000 disjointed threads littering the forums. 
  • I would strongly encourage you to go and look at other games and see how they make their assets as well   as get concept art to give it your own feel, but it must stay very close to the concept, if not super close. 
Well, that's about it. If you think that any rules should be changed, or there should be new additions to the rules, please let me know. As always, please feel free to provide feedback / suggestions in this thread or by messaging me directly.

All that matters is that you learn while being able to effectively critique others, as well as accept critiques on your own work. Remember to have fun. Cheers!

Replies

  • Shuaws
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    Shuaws polycounter lvl 4
    @fhurtubise
    really nice work what was your workflow if you dont mind me asking?
  • fhurtubise
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    fhurtubise triangle
    @Shuaws
    Some pretty basic poly modeling + Substance Painter. I don't think it's my best project, I ended up seriously failing on authoring interesting materials, and the grenade looks a bit... flat. I think I tried to add too many wear effects at once when I would gain from simplifying & exaggerating. Anyway, I'll try to do a quick breakdown.

    1. Modeling is nothing special. Started with a cylinder, planned the number of sides so I could easily make some cuts to extrude the trapezoids in the base. Nothing fancy I can think of here, the concept art really translates to a super simple model.


    2. Made a high + low poly using the chamfer + subdivision technique. I add a chamfer modifier to my hard edges based on smoothing groups to create a high poly, add a few floaters where needed, and fix any mesh pinching. At the same time, I can collapse/delete any unneeded geometry on my low poly, and get both my high and low poly from the same base relatively fast.


    3. Unwrap is another simple one. I actually made a mistake here and unwrapped the trapezoid geometry at the bottom of the grenade with one cylindrical unwrap - don't do this! The bake ended up pretty screwed, and I should have separated those faces. Thankfully it doesn't create too many artifacts in Marmoset, but it would probably look bad within a game engine.

    By the way, a good tip to getting a clean normal bake (apart from breaking your UV islands on hard edges, which I clearly didn't do), is to align your edges at 90 degree angles as much as possible. This includes cylinders, even really tiny ones - I prefer to unwrap all cylindrical parts (except caps) as long strips, because that prevents the normal map from pixelating as it can follow the curvature of the cylinder in a straight line.


    4. Quickly gonna go over the Substance workflow here. First step is blocking out the materials. At this point they're just defined with color, roughness, and metalness/spec values that indicate the "base" everything is made of. If I have a more complex material like wood I'll pop a default in there at this point, but this wasn't the case here. So I just used fill layers to define the different kinds of metals, as well as the plastic of the bottom cap, and the painted red accents.


    5. Once my materials are blocked in, I start giving them more defining properties. First comes any sort of global bump/texture, such as with wood grain or bumpy leather. In this case, these were all fairly smooth metals, so no need for that. Next comes material-specific wear. Lots of edge wear in this case (too uniform - I was following the concept piece but should have taken more liberties) as well as some "polish" type of metal wear. Basically, take a curvature map, blur it and adjust its levels so you can get a general selection of the edges or face centers of your model, then use it to add gloss to the center of your metallic faces or decrease it on the edges.



    6. Last step would be adding the decals, as well as a general dirt pass (which ended up killing a lot of the material detail on my grenade body, so I should revise how I approach this). The decals were made in photoshop and imported as alphas - I actually have a fill layer for my paint, which lets me weather it in a non-destructive way by adding scratches onto it with masks.

    7. In Marmoset, I used an HDR with a few lights to create a rim light as well as some interesting reflections on the metal, but I didn't spend a lot of time on lighting as evidenced by the fact that some people on here have much better looking lighting setups on their grenade than I do :0

  • Poseiden
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    Poseiden polycounter lvl 4
    I'm glad this prop got picked for the challenge, but while I was doing a quick block out the wheel crack or whatever confused me a bit. How is it attached exactly is it free floating magically? Any advice or insight would be great thank you.
     


  • R_Byte
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    R_Byte null
    @Poseiden 
    I have no idea of the correct term but I was going to add supports ??? 
    Such as
     

    Otherwise it is floating about in space  :D

    Personally I'm using two as a single bar going across the wheel  :)
  • artstream
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    artstream polycounter lvl 9
    Nice challenges this month, I'd like to do the grenade and the sci-fi space, I'm going to do the grenade first and go from there though.

    Anyone know how many trapezoid insets there are on the entire grenade? Want to know for proper block out and side allocation. 
  • Toku
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    Toku polycounter lvl 4
    Hey all, I decided to try the sci-fi scene for this challenge, As I've been meaning to make one for a long time! Here is the initial blockin in UE4 with some basic lights and a spacebox. I think I got the main proportions down decently, It tried overlaying the concept but it looked completely different. Probably a mixture of incorrect FOV on the camera and that it was painted in a 2 point perspective. Anyway I googled the dimensions for the mattress and sofa to get some landmarks to build out from, so even if it doesnt match exactly it probably realistic enough :)

    @artsream it isn't really clear on the concept, the protrusions below show the curvature of the silhouette which seem to indicate 4, but it would probably look better with 5 or 6, You should use your artistic license to make something which you think looks good. following the concepts verbatim will lead to bad results, they are supposed to convey the general aesthetic and forms but a lot of painters will add in geometry which does not follow the rules of perspective/realism, sometimes so give an impression of the scene other times it's just a mistake..

  • Beard3D Bandit
    awesome guys!

  • Tzur_H
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    Tzur_H polycounter lvl 2
    artstream said:
    Nice challenges this month, I'd like to do the grenade and the sci-fi space, I'm going to do the grenade first and go from there though.

    Anyone know how many trapezoid insets there are on the entire grenade? Want to know for proper block out and side allocation. 
    I believe there are 6, 3 are visible, and I assume it's symmetrical.

    nice work @fhurtubise! you stayed very true to concept. just need to fix the baking errors?
  • SergeyA
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    SergeyA vertex
    Hi.
    I've just started with blocking out this well prop. This is what I have so far. Most likely none of the meshes will make it to the final model but it should give me a good sense of proportion and help me with the detail sculpts.

  • BPanting
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    BPanting polycounter lvl 2
    Thought the well looked like a cool concept, so I am going to give that a shot. Here is my block out so far.





  • Dethling
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    Dethling polycounter lvl 5
    Really nice start. :)
    Decided to do the granate, just for some diversion between my bigger projects.
    Also will try to texture is completly using substances, including as much variables as possible (color, decals, text, damage etc.)
    So far after 1 hour I did the low-poly blockout:

  • TheOubliette
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    TheOubliette triangle
    Poseiden said:
    I'm glad this prop got picked for the challenge, but while I was doing a quick block out the wheel crack or whatever confused me a bit. How is it attached exactly is it free floating magically? Any advice or insight would be great thank you.
     


    Concept artists don't always think like modelers. They'll break things up, move them around on the 2D, slap things together, who cares how it WORKS, just as long as it's pretty and FAST. Soooo... yeah, engineers they are not. On the last challenge I did the shop stall and quickly discovered that the perspective on the concept was ALL wrong and had to build it in a way that suited logical construction and I still spent the whole time wondering why anyone would use so many poles in the construction of something so simple.

    If I were you, I'd make some logistical assumptions that the square center knob extends backward to provide support for the wheel. With enough hidden perspective, (or magic) anything is possible.

    I'll never understand the construction mentality of Warcraft reality. So odd.

  • Zerghy
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    Zerghy null
    Hello! first post here !
    i did the granade today and tomorrow i will start the space envi since i never used unreal ^^
    the granade was good practice  (im new in the 3d world) but i think i think i could do better with retopo and chamfer but im pretty happy with the result 
    texture in substance painter , model in 3ds max
    @fhurtubise i kinda copy you alpha , hope you're ok with it !  i was in love with it :)

  • 7ASSSN
  • kadeschui
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    kadeschui polycounter lvl 7
    Great start this round all! Super impressed with how fast some of you are working! Keep it up :)
  • NodrawNT
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    NodrawNT polycounter lvl 2
    I'm doing a little breakdown of the art but I have a really hard time figuring out what's supposed to be behind this glass "door?". It looks like some kind of bathroom but the way it is made with the ramp and the wall makes it really not practical.

  • Tzur_H
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    Tzur_H polycounter lvl 2
    @NodrawNT very weird indeed.  I'm not sure what's in there, is that a sink, or a laundry machine or something like that?

    here's my progress for today on the grenade, I've just started learning Fusion 360 and decided to practice it more by doing this prop.  very slow process.  and I'm not quite sure how to tackle the safety pin :\

  • fhurtubise
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    fhurtubise triangle
    @NodrawNT
    If you extend the size of your door up and down, you'll find that indents on the top and bottom panels of the two 45-degree sloped surfaces match with the size of a full-height door. I'm assuming the whole thing just slides open.
  • Flanders
    Hey Guys 

    Sorry I'm a bit of a noob on this site this is my first attempt at a challenge (Sci fi grenade).

    Just wondering where I should post my workflow? On this thread or another?

    Thanks and sorry :p 

    Flanders
  • fhurtubise
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    fhurtubise triangle

    Starting work on the bedroom now. I've begun by creating a tileable material, gonna make a couple substances for use in UE4 and see if I can build an environment using those next.
  • Lewis_CG
    Hi there, 

    This is my first Polycount post, so apologies if I'm posting in the wrong place.

    I've started working on Sam Brown's concept this afternoon, mainly just blocking out shapes in UE4 and trying to get the general proportions of the scene right.



    I just wanted to ask as well, with the windows at the back - am I right in thinking of it as two layers? 



    All of the work posted so far is awesome,

    Thanks guys.
  • Rogal
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    Rogal null
    Hey guys, another grenade ^^



    And wireframe 

  • SergeyA
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    SergeyA vertex
    I think I'll call this blockout done. Need to start focusing on the way I am going to texture it. As far as I understand there are two options: option one is to create detail textures first and model around them or option two is to create detail models and then retopo and bake from high-poly to low-poly. I am not sure yet which way to choose.


  • Tanda_66
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    Tanda_66 triangle
    Hi Guys, here is my progress so far. I made the base mesh in Maya and just started sculpting in Zbrush. I plan to bake 1 or 2 of the stone blocks that go around the top and see if i can get away with duplicating them without it looking too obvious. I was thinking of creating a horizontal tiling trim for the bricks at the bottom portion of the well but I think i'm just going to make it a custom bake.
  • Tzur_H
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    Tzur_H polycounter lvl 2
    think I'm finished with the high poly. I took liberty in changing the safety pin mechanism and adding some extra details.

  • SergeyA
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    SergeyA vertex
    Tzur_H said:
    think I'm finished with the high poly. I took liberty in changing the safety pin mechanism and adding some extra details.

    It looks cool. But I think height should be adjusted a bit, now it is too tall I guess.

  • SergeyA
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    SergeyA vertex
    Tanda_66 said:
    Hi Guys, here is my progress so far. I made the base mesh in Maya and just started sculpting in Zbrush. I plan to bake 1 or 2 of the stone blocks that go around the top and see if i can get away with duplicating them without it looking too obvious. I was thinking of creating a horizontal tiling trim for the bricks at the bottom portion of the well but I think i'm just going to make it a custom bake.
    That's a nice start! I can see I need to adjust proportions in my blockout too. It definitely can be better. 
  • Dethling
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    Dethling polycounter lvl 5
    2,5 hours later, model completed, 1k textures, 1828 verts

  • Tanda_66
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    Tanda_66 triangle
    @SergeyA Thanks! Yeah, the proportions were a bit tricky to get as close to the concept. I just tried to get the thickness of the wooden poles in proportion to the well. You could tilt the wheel slightly to give it that crooked cartoony look. I realized later on that I prob should have waited till after I had finished sculpting as symmetry couldn't be used once it was tilted.

    @Tzur_H Nice high poly mesh! Did you use Boolean to engrave the details?
  • Tzur_H
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    Tzur_H polycounter lvl 2
    SergeyA said:
    Tzur_H said:
    think I'm finished with the high poly. I took liberty in changing the safety pin mechanism and adding some extra details.

    It looks cool. But I think height should be adjusted a bit, now it is too tall I guess.

    Thanks for the feedback. I based this off a military grade smoke grenade dimensions (for the height), I might cut the body height a bit.

    Tanda_66 said:
    @Tzur_H Nice high poly mesh! Did you use Boolean to engrave the details?
    Thanks :]  Yes this is actually made in Fusion 360, a CAD software I'm learning right now.
    Nice progress on your piece!
  • TheRealFroman
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    TheRealFroman polycounter lvl 4
    Hey everyone, here is my version of the grenade concept. Asset textured with Substance Painter and modeled in Modo. :)
  • ZacD
  • Andromeda
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    Andromeda polycounter lvl 3
    Hey everyone, 
    First time challenger and starting small with the grenade.
    How many groves are there around the base of the grenade? I'm not sure if it's 4 or 6?
  • ZacD
  • FlightyFelon
    Hey this is my first time joining one of these events, and I'm gonna start big with the spooky swamp house!
    I started off by breaking the house into manageable parts:

    We have the pillars, the wooden planks, the shingles, the spiky tree wrapped around the house and then details like poles, ladders, windows, lanterns and rocks. I've started off tonight with the pillars and planks:
    WIP1
    I realize my planks are darker than those in the concept but I wanted to try out a new technique in Substance Designer. This scene was rendered in Blender but it's destined for Unity5.

  • DrFacemelt
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    DrFacemelt polycounter lvl 2
    Hey all! first challenge for me. Here is my breakdown for the scene I'm doing. I tried to separate it by unique pieces rather than materials. I plan on using maya, zbrush, substance and unreal4. Everyones work so far is looking great!
     

  • DrFacemelt
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    DrFacemelt polycounter lvl 2
    @fhurtubise I really like how you made a tileable material like that. I'd like to learn to make those! Seems like you can cut down on a lot modeling that way.

    @Dethling really like your grenade! Came out awesome!

    @FlightyFelon looking good man. To me your models and textures look more realistic than the concept art which is a bit more stylized. Are you going that way on purpose?





  • SergeyA
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    SergeyA vertex
    @FlightyFelon
    Looks cool. What is your approach to creating normal and other maps? Could you please post the wire frames too?

  • Aeseeberg04
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    Aeseeberg04 triangle
    First Challenge so going to be doing the grenade as a warm up. Here is a semi low Block Out mesh which is going to be the base for the HP. 
  • Christian Cunningham
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    Christian Cunningham polycounter lvl 3
    First time posting a finished prop for the monthly challenge :) Crits Welcome 

    Arstation Here: https://www.artstation.com/artwork/RJYAv
  • Andromeda
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    Andromeda polycounter lvl 3
    Gosh everyone has powered through, I've barely finished my block in! 
    Would love some feedback on it before I start the high poly (obvs I haven't added in the ring or other bit yet)


    @Tzur_H that looks incredible, I love the extra details you've added. 

    @SergeiMirminski the blockin looks good, although the skull detail on the front looks a lot smaller than in the image
  • Valravn
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    Valravn vertex
    Just a bit of a blockout, also finished up on one asset :)

  • Dethling
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    Dethling polycounter lvl 5
    Andromeda: I would add more geo to the main body. This way it will become very blocky
  • harjm
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    harjm polycounter lvl 3
    Hi this is my first time doing the Polycount Monthly Challenge I decided to go with the grenade first and then hopefully try out the well. 

    For the grenade I kept it Similar to the concept but also tried making a few changes to it not a lot  just a little to my it my own style I would really appreciate any feedback on what you all think of both and which would work better. 

    More smaller detail can be added later when texturing using either Quixel or Substance painter. 

    Thanks 




  • R3D
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    R3D polycounter lvl 6
    oh gosh, a sticky now!

    I'll see what I can throw together.
  • ZacD
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    ZacD greentooth
    Got the lowpoly baked perfectly, the polycount is a little high, but I figured it's fine for a first person model 4,600 tris. 

  • FlightyFelon
    Okay yesterday was a bit slower going since I'm still trying to figure out Maya, but I made the lanterns and the poles they hang from:



    @SergeyA ; My method for creating the textures and normals is still pretty all over the place since I'm still trying to find out what works best. I often use Substance Designer which is ABSOLUTELY worth the price, holy cow. Since it lets you make tons of procedural textures and just slap them on using masks which I often bake using the Blender 'pointiness" Input which basically finds edges (tutorial for this is at the end of this video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=liNGmdXsfbs&t=922s ).
    Then I basically just draw all over the mask to make it more interesting. Substance D is also great for making normals since you literally just use a 'normal' node and BAM. Normals. The other maps are also made in Substance Designer. (Or if I'm feeling adventurous I'll pull open Quixel Suite for finer texture control with more layers to add interest. (Which is what I did for the lantern and then slapped the painting onto the lantern top by using the stencil tool in Blender).

    Also here are the wire frames so far:


    @DrFacemelt Yeah I am going a lot more realistic with my textures than the concept simply because I'm practicing for a game project I'm working on which will have a grungy, realistic art style. I'm also really excited to see what you come up with for the space station room ^_^

    @Valravn Wow I'm really liking your tree and block-out so far! My one thought is that the tree looks a bit... like a tentacle? Maybe try to make the tips of the branches a bit more tapered? Also the bark is very nice but it doesn't do the best job of conveying the growth patterns of a tree. I've drawn some red lines on the concept image to give you an idea of what I'm talking about. The lines tend to encircle the branches and be extra pronounced around where one branch splits from another.


    @harjm Those grenades look super realistic!

    @Christian Cunningham Woah what program did you use to texture those?



  • Christian Cunningham
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    Christian Cunningham polycounter lvl 3
    @FlightyFelon I used substance painter 2 for baking and texturing :)
  • rexus
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