Home 3D Art Showcase & Critiques

Medieval Dungeon [UDK]


I'm trying to learn Zbrush, and I got really inspired when I saw Romys awesome thread Pirate Castle. I learned a lot reading his workflow, and wanting to try making something myself. So I'll try to learn Zbrush and build something in the process.

I'm trying to make a simple one-shot view of a dungeon throne room. Then I will be able to learn creating stone/rock/decay/cloth/wood/leather/rust surfaces.

Thumbnail sketch:

Something like this:

So I was trying to learn Zbrush and I started creating a brick wall. But I was too soft on the edges, it looks like a weathered brick floor:

And then I tried to make a castle brick wall. But it was a bit flat.

And then I tried to make a wood wall, but it didn't feel right.


Then I made a new brick wall, this time trying to get the edges sharp. It felt more like stone than the first one.

And then I made another wooden wall. It felt more like wood in weight, but the cracked "lifelines" doesn't feel right. Currently, it feels too spotty.

Next, I wanted to create a texture of the treasure coins.
Here's my single golden coin:

Next, I tried to use Zbrush 2.5D functions to draw a tileable texture on the canvas with the golden coin. I use ~ to offset the texture and make it tileable. But when I draw the coins, they don't orient right to the surface they are being drawed upon.
It seems to be cutting every surface. I would like to rotate it's origin so It draws flat on the surface instead of cutting it.
But I don't know how to change it's initial rotation! If someone knows how, I would really appreciate the help! =)

I'm going to continue posting my progress in this thread. Hope you like it!


  • timspanjer
    Nice stonework! The smaller stones in the background seem a little off, but its a nice start.
  • Der Hollander
    You could try rotating your master copy of the coin using either the rotate function under the Deformers tab or by rotating your basemesh using the GoZ functionality. Once you save out the tool, it should preserve the rotations.

    Your tilable stone stuff looks really good, I dig it quite a bit.
  • S_ource
    Offline / Send Message
    S_ource polycounter lvl 9
    Nice textures and sculpts. I would use physic in 3dsmax to make the coin thing but it might be hard to get it tilebel.
  • Keltro
    timspanjer, Thanks! Yeah, you're right. I'll have to remove the pebbles later.

    Der Hollander, thanks! It worked when I used the GoZ functionality. I began drawing coins, but I encountered a problem when I tried to render the coins. I got a seam which I had some trouble removing, but then I found a nice script at ZbrushCentral.


    Here's what it looks like now. Perhaps a little too saturated.


    S_ource, I also thought about using physics, but ended up placing every coin instead. It didn't take that much time in the end, and I got it tileable at the same time.
  • Pix
    if you want to go for more old look to the coins


    or if you want to keep it as it is, but lower the saturation a little and punch the specular map more for highlights

  • Blaisoid
    Offline / Send Message
    Blaisoid polycounter lvl 7
    lots of the coins look like they're falling or levitating since they stand on edges with nothing to support them. if you look at the photo above you can see that coins mostly lay flat.

    but from distance it's not really that noticable.
  • Quickel
    Offline / Send Message
    Quickel polycounter lvl 12
    Really like how the coin texture is turning out. Nice work!
  • Keltro
    Pix, nice reference pictures you found! I'm going to make a new gold coin texture, printed, chipped and without a border. I didn't think about that, thanks!

    Blasoid, good point! I'll remember that.

    Quickel, thanks!
  • Keltro
    Here's an update on the gold coin texture.
  • ZacD
    Offline / Send Message
    ZacD sublime tool
    The new gold looks so much better, I love the wave pattern.
  • tristamus
    Offline / Send Message
    tristamus polycounter lvl 9
    If you don't mind, would you explain how you accomplished the wave pattern amongst the gold pieces?
  • Keltro
    ZacD, thanks!

    tristamus, I created the wave pattern by using a simple maya polyplane in the background. I placed it in the document and then painted waves using the 2.5d simple brush. I used ~ to offset the image. Then I placed each coin individually on the sculpted plane, a litte imbed and facedown.
  • Keltro
    Hi again,

    Here's a little update. It felt like I put a lot of effort in making only textures, so started out on the skeleton instead. Here's the complete sculpt of the face. Still very plain, I'm thinking of adding a beard later.


    I've been trying to bake matcaps to texture for regular game models, using this tutorial.


    But I'm getting funky displacement maps when trying to bake it on the projected highpoly models onto pre-uv-mapped game models. It get's better if I use "SmoothUV" in the baking settings, but then my uv-borders shrink and leaves a gap along the border. I really wish I could get it to work. Uhm, I'll get back with some pictures to show you what I mean...
  • danpaz3d
    Offline / Send Message
    danpaz3d polycounter lvl 7
    Good stuff so far. Texture work is great, especially that coin one. Any plans on how you're gonna go about the lighting?

    Skull is also pretty good. The base shape and scale is right. Agree that you should put a faint beard on it and you should destroy it a bit more.
    Example, hole in the head, a big sword cut over an eye an small scratches everywhere.

    Keep it up!
  • mbischof
    Keep up the great work man!
  • Torch
    Online / Send Message
    Torch interpolator
    Brilliant, your stonework is great :)
  • SimonT
    Offline / Send Message
    SimonT interpolator
    hehe looks cool! i like the gold texture :_)
  • Keltro
    Here's an update on the throne for the skeleton dungeon king.
  • Blaisoid
    Offline / Send Message
    Blaisoid polycounter lvl 7
    horse's anatomy seems slightly too accurate, but overall it's a pretty badass throne.
  • Keltro
    Thanks Blasoid =)

    Here is the finished textured throne model, 616 triangles.

  • Keltro
    I made a quick concept today how I'm planning to make the skeleton.

  • Torch
    Online / Send Message
    Torch interpolator
    You are a machine! Sweet :D
  • Schrodinger's Backface
    Offline / Send Message
    Schrodinger's Backface polycounter lvl 6
    Subscribed! Looking forward to seeing more :)
  • Keltro
    Here's an update. I have sculpted a base for the body, and I'm trying to learn more about creating meshes inside of Zbrush like Extract Mesh and Shadowboxes.

  • PatTl92
    Offline / Send Message
    PatTl92 polycounter lvl 6
    Really nice work, like the textures. Keep it up.
  • Keltro
    It's been a while since my last post, I have been working on the skeletons highpoly model. Here's another update.

    The basemeshes.

    Here's the highpoly model.

    I'm soon ready to begin creating the lowpoly-model, and I'm looking forward giving it some color!
  • BenHenry
    Offline / Send Message
    BenHenry polycounter lvl 11
    Dude, That is BADASS!
  • Fwap
    Offline / Send Message
    Fwap Polycount Sponsor
  • AlexCatMasterSupreme
    Offline / Send Message
    AlexCatMasterSupreme interpolator
    Would you be willing to make a quick video showing your workflow for the wood and stones?
  • Jessica Dinh
    Offline / Send Message
    Jessica Dinh polycounter lvl 10
    Wow, nice thread. I am in loooove with that gold coin texture haha.
  • Madwish
    Offline / Send Message
    Madwish polycounter lvl 6
    The skeleton is splendid.

    Can't wait to see in-engine screenshots with some good lighting.
  • Rikimaru03
    Would you be willing to make a quick video showing your workflow for the wood and stones?

    I was hoping for the exact same thing.
  • stickadtroja
    Offline / Send Message
    stickadtroja polycounter lvl 8
    the skeleton is really nice, but im not sure about the ornament on the sword. To much and reaches way to far down on the blade.

    Otherwise really cool work!
  • Keltro
    Thanks everyone!

    stickadtroja, you have a point. I have to think about that sword decoration...

    alexCatMasterSupreme, Rikimaru03, If you want to know how I sculpted the rock textures, you can read about it more here. I made the wood in the same manner, but with less damage and with more focus on texture overlay in photoshop.

  • ScottP
    Offline / Send Message
    ScottP polycounter lvl 9
    Hey man, nice work so far but i cant help but have reservations about the texture work, minus the gold coin one which looks great.

    The tilable textures you made have color variation but i think its a bit off color wise with the pinks and so forth. The one i think you should revisit the most is the chair.

    The high poly sculpt came out awesome but the diffuse almost looks placeholder, like you just slapped on a generic wood texture and overlayed it.

    I think you should seperate the patterns for the different sculpted elements in the chair as right now the grunge and grain overlay all flow over it making it appear flat. Those details need to pop more! Possibly throw in some edge highlights on the details to achieve this, or use different `materials` to add color variety to this thing.

    The organic character stuff is great, but atm it is looking better than the rest of your environment. Keep it up!
    Keltro wrote: »
    Thanks Blasoid =)

    Here is the finished textured throne model, 616 triangles.

  • Tokusei
    Offline / Send Message
    Tokusei polycounter lvl 10
    awesome stuff, cant wait to see the final piece

    keep up the good work :D
  • Jessica Dinh
    Offline / Send Message
    Jessica Dinh polycounter lvl 10
    Thanks so much for the stone sculpting tutorial! Gotta try that out sometime:)
  • Aga22
    Offline / Send Message
    Aga22 polycounter lvl 9
    your work is kickass dude! and the skeleton rocks. i would dare say he is a little too "full" for a skeleton, but i like his macho looks. (kinda like skeletor)
  • dirigible
    Offline / Send Message
    dirigible polycounter lvl 8
    That's one hell of a basemesh you had for your skeleton! I'm super jealous of your sculpting skills. All of your stuff is really grounded in realism, without losing it's larger-than-life quality.
  • MainManiac
    Offline / Send Message
    MainManiac polycounter lvl 11
    Really really nice, how did you do the chainmail?
  • Keltro
    Thanks people!

    ScottPetty, thanks for the feedback! Yes, you are correct about the wood overlay on the throne. I thought I could achieve the same effect when overlaying the wooden texture in Photoshop, but it didn't... My older brother told me to try to apply the texture directly in Zbrush with a displacement map instead and continue sculpting it there. For this to work I have to uv the highpoly throne first, and I haven't tried that yet. I will give the throne texture another try when I'm finishing some tweaks on the Skeleton highpoly.

    Aga22, Whoa, I didn't think about Skeletor up until now. Hehe, he sure looks like him a bit!

    frell, I made a chainmail alpha by creating chainmail ring meshes in a tileable pattern in Maya and then rendered the luminance depth. I just made a large image with chainmail rings and applied them as a displacement map on the chainmail-armour-mesh in zbrush. For this to work properly I created an uv for it beforehand.

    Feel free to use the alpha when creating your own chainmail! You can download it from my website here.


  • RogerP
    Offline / Send Message
    RogerP polycounter
    this is looking awesome man
  • Keltro
    Throne update. I uv-mapped the highpoly and applied a wood texture. Here's the highpoly with and without polypainted wood.
  • Seaseme
    Offline / Send Message
    Seaseme polycounter lvl 8
    I think the chair is looking better - But for even greater results I think you need to take a step back and analyze how those embossed patterns are actually made in real life. While it is common for them to be carved directly in the wood like that, I believe it is far more common for them to be carved from a separate piece of wood and then placed on top of the wooden base.

    I believe if you separated the carvings in your diffuse texture you would see better results, and it wouldn't look like you just slapped a wood base texture on top.

    But wow, the work is fantastic.

    I agree with the above posters about your wood textures. They are, mostly just okay. I think they really need to benefit from some more of your focus. They're looking noisy and a bit nondescript.

    Your first rock texture looks really good, I'm not a huge fan of the tiny stones in between your main bricks, as they look more like pebbles on a floor than rocks that are there to support the brick in a wall. You could fix this by pushing them back a bit with your diffuse with some darker coloration and avoid making them stand out so much with highlights and such.

    Looking forward to seeing where this goes!
  • Azaraen
    Offline / Send Message
    Azaraen polycounter lvl 10
    aww man... I am totally loving the detail in your sculpts! You've that technique down right!

    I've got a question about your brick tutorial. How did you manage to tile your irregular textures? Or is it tileable?
  • JoshWilkinson
    Offline / Send Message
    JoshWilkinson polycounter lvl 9
    *subscribing. thanks a lot for the mini-tutorials throughout this thread. really appreciate reading your workflow
  • Keltro
    Seaseme, thanks for your feedback! Yeah, I think you have a point there. It was hard finding reference material for this type of decorated wood throne, but I didn't look very hard either. I tried giving the background surface another color, like painted wood? But it only felt like a simple and not-so-good-looking solution. I gave the tileable wood texture and brick texture some tweaks to hide the pebbles and switch the wood... which was also quick solutions so I have to revisit them sometime in the future. I'll try to finish the skeleton next, so I can move on to the treasures.

    Evolvyn, I didn't tile properly in the rock-sculpt-tutorial above. But what you can do, is group all objects intersecting with the left end of the texture, duplicate them, and then move them one texture distance away to the right end of the texture. So, basically the stuff intersecting out of the left side should be the same intersecting into the right side. You do this top to bottom as well. The inbetween stuff can be placed however you wish, because now the sides will loop correctly.

    There's not much to show for today, just tweaks.

    • Thone model, texture update.
    • Throne highpoly polypainted sculpt render, the left girder was missing in the last render.
    • Tileable wood texture, I switched the type of wood to a less spotty one.
    • Tileable brick wall, I darkened the gutters between the bricks as to hide the pebbles. A cheap but effective trick, I know... : p
    • Skeleton, the pants are more detailed, the armour less doughy, the chainmail turned 90 degrees correctly... tweaks.
    I can't wait to create the treasure pile... rubies, sapphires, emeralds, pearls, chests, golden statues and trinkets... :D

  • Keltro
    I made some small changes in the skeletons highpoly model.
    • New groincloth
    • Harder, straightened platemail
    • Armor runes are nailed to the armor rather than sculpted
    • Sword engraving will be made in the texture instead of the highpoly model
    • chainmail tunic behind groincloth

    I have also created the lowpoly model for the skeleton. He is built with 6646 triangles, and I just finished baking out ambient occlusion and normal maps. I will be cleaning up the bakes before starting to texture him. I'm planning on using alphas to make holes and tears in the clothing.

  • Brygelsmack
    Offline / Send Message
    Brygelsmack polycounter lvl 10
    Nice mini tutorial. You sort of skipped the part where you're making it tile, any chance you could go over that? I've been watching Sean Marino's tutorial and I'm just curious if there's a faster way to do it.
  • romy
    Offline / Send Message
    romy polycounter lvl 10
    great job so far keltro, but i have a few suggestions :
    on your tiling wood texture i would reduce the color variation, or try to find a way to justify it, you have a plank green next to another red etc... try to justify those color, with some moss for example.
    for the stone wall, great sculpt as well, but i would reduce the AO on your diffuse to reduce the contrast a bit, and to avoid getting very dark spaces between your rocks, which always seems strange... it seems like your stone float in the void ^^
    nothing to crit on the character, really cool work, continue ! =)
Sign In or Register to comment.