After a long time coming, I've decided it would be worth a shot to update my old work from school to fit more with a PBR friendly pipeline. I knew to be done properly it would take a lot of redoing of textures, so I tried to hack my way through without wasting to much time and focusing on the main issues, while preserving as much textural detail as possible. Some textures were more succesful than others, but it was a definite improvement.
I should give a huge shout out to Samantha Bean for pretty much redoing my light rigs, making the final look SO much better. Boy, lighting is important, let it do it's thing, fellow character artists.
In order to get a significant change, I focused on my main problems of my textures, and they were:
- Diffuse textures were way too dark. We tend to make it darker than it should be, whereas on a PBR pipeline the values should strive to remain above 50 on a RGB scale (with few exceptions) - Also on the diffuse, it was way too contrasted and it had a TON of baked light (AO, too strong painted gradients, too darkly painted crevices). Baking that light, where it works well on a non-PBR pipeline, it breaks on a realistic lighting scenario, where you rely on real lighting, bounce, GI etc. to describe the shapes and forms of your character.
- Specular textures were WAY out of wack. As the diffuse, they had too much lighting info baked on it, and it normally has a much "cleaner" look to your textures. Also, the reflectance values for the metals where far from anything realistic. There are a ton a good data out there in terms of measurement of these values, and, while you want to have your artistic freedom run wild, is it wise to have a safer starting point.
- The light rigs in Marmoset were too bright, too many and badly positioned, failing to describe the shapes and forms of my characters, "flatenning" the image. This is where a really good lighter comes in handy to fix your mess.
Of course there is a ton of other problems with these characters, afterall, they are my old student work. But that illustrates the "power" of being aware of proper value range and lighting scenarios/rendering.
Part 1: Ell - Concept by Rabbiteyes