Home Company of Heroes 2: WAR PAINT contest

[WIP] LivingMachines - Hellbound Infantry

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polycounter lvl 8
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Grumpntug polycounter lvl 8
Going to be going with a Bekzinski / Giger inspired skin. Thinking metal plates bound by flesh, tendons, etc. I'll sketch something up soon. It's a lot of skins to do something detailed like that in 3 weeks but we'll see.

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  • Grumpntug
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    Grumpntug polycounter lvl 8
    Quick paint over from a random screenshot. A lot will depend on the textures and UV layout for the models so I didn't go heavy into it. Decided to lean more into the giger side of things since he has a lot of technical shapes mixed with organic.

  • Spencer_Holmes
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    Spencer_Holmes polycounter lvl 6
    Very good idea, if you can pull it off.
  • Grumpntug
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    Grumpntug polycounter lvl 8
    Thanks! I'd like to get started but I haven't gotten a reply for the copy of the game yet. So no idea what the textures look like etc. :-/
  • Spencer_Holmes
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    Spencer_Holmes polycounter lvl 6
    Snap! I am still waiting, I have been checking my steam and email address every ten minutes. Anticipation is building!
  • reallymadmaveric
    Grumpntug said:
    Quick paint over from a random screenshot. A lot will depend on the textures and UV layout for the models so I didn't go heavy into it. Decided to lean more into the giger side of things since he has a lot of technical shapes mixed with organic.

    Nice idea it breaks up the model nicely

  • Grumpntug
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    Grumpntug polycounter lvl 8
    Haha me too. 3 weeks isn't a ton of time for 15 model's textures when you have a job so sooner the better for sure.
  • Spencer_Holmes
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    Spencer_Holmes polycounter lvl 6
    So, do we have to do 15 textures then?
  • skyline5gtr
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    skyline5gtr polycounter lvl 5
    So, do we have to do 15 textures then?
    each faction has a different amount of vehicles so its different for each but yes 1 for each unit type, that is then broken down into low, medium and high armor
  • reallymadmaveric
    plus a winter skin for each model
  • Grumpntug
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    Grumpntug polycounter lvl 8
    Wow. low, med, high armor? so if I'm doing a faction that has 15 vehicles, I'm doing 3 armor variants and winter variants for each of those? If that's the case that's 90 textures. That's a tall order for 3 weeks with a full time job (less than three weeks now since I haven't gotten my copy of the game yet)

    I suppose if you make the heavy armor version and then remove things for mid and low that may not be too bad but it's still a ton.
  • Relic_Orca
    It's ok to use the frost layer in the source files for winter variants. Or share with others.

  • skyline5gtr
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    skyline5gtr polycounter lvl 5
    No sorry if I was not clear, so take soviets. They have 15 vehicles, so your doing 30 textures 15 normal and 15 snow. The Low , Med and High is only the category they fit into. So 5 are low armor 7 are med armor and 3 are high armor, your not doing more but you need to pack them accordingly 
  • puppeteer
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    puppeteer polycounter lvl 4
    Like SKYLINE5GTR said, you only need to make the vehicles roster for the faction, then you can toggle the snow layer on and export it.

    One thing to pay attention to is that some of the factions use vehicles from other factions, so you need to include those too when creating the mod project. The soviets, in addition to their 15 vehicles ( 13 textures, 2 are shared between 2 vehicles), use a Sherman 76mm which is under the US roster.
  • Relic_Orca
    @Grumpntug
    You only need to make 1 texture per vehicle (as each vehicle is only in 1 weight class). You can then upload this as a summer skin mod. If you have time you can then copy the frost layer out of the source files and add that to make the winter variants.

    You can see here the vehicles that belong to each weight class.
    http://modding.companyofheroes.com/skin-pack#vehicles

    The weight classes are there because in game the inventory system allows players to use different skins on the different weight classes of vehicles. You'll be defining which weight class each skin belongs to when you finally add your skins to the mod using the mod builder.
  • f_x
    Unless I am mistaken, the light/medium/heavy weight classes can be pretty much ignored by the skin painter.  The mod tools expect specific names for the vehicle entries, which then point to the files on disk.  If the names are correct it figures out what armor class it goes under.  So the best (easiest) thing to do is to use the wizard creation function in the tool to make all the appropriately named entries and then you are all set.  About the only time you'll want to think about light/medium/heavy is if you want to create a different icon to be shown in-game for selecting each.  The default is to show the same icon for all three.
  • Grumpntug
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    Grumpntug polycounter lvl 8
    Cool yeah, that's what I got from this F_X it was just presented in a way that sounded like additional texture variants. No worries. My only problem now is that I don't have the game haha. Thanks for the clarification all.
  • Grumpntug
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    Grumpntug polycounter lvl 8
    WIP process breakdown

    I got the game yesterday and started picking things apart but I started painting the texture and it became clear quickly that it would take way too long to hand paint this stuff for 15 vehicles in two weeks and I just wouldn't get the normals I'd need.



    So I figured I need to do some high poly baking to speed the process up but obviously sculpting 15 tanks is an even worse idea and I'm working with pre-existing UVs and all that good stuff. So I've decided to sculpt a series of panels then bake them down into texture flats...



    The idea here is to essentially kit bash them into textures that work for each model. The more panels I make as I go, the faster it will get to texture the next vehicle, and the next as the library builds up. So I can cut a piece I like from texture A and texture B and combine them into a new piece that works for whatever part of the vehicle I'm texturing. I'll naturally need to make new panels to work with what I'm doing at the time and that will build the library more for the next one.



    Things look mildly fugly at the moment since these are just the normals and no real texturing has happened but I think the approach is solid enough to dive into it. I'll be making a butt load of panel sculpts over the weekend and slowly piecing them all to the existing textures. Will post more as I go. 


  • Shriken
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    Shriken polycounter lvl 7
    loving the idea behind this one. it's looking great so far, nice to see something a bit different :)

    my possible food for thought would be to check how the patterns look when zoomed out to the games regular camera angles, to make sure they still look badass at a distance. look forward to seeing the rest of this one.
  • f_x
    Very cool.  The panel kit idea is a good approach given the time constraints.  I am looking forward to seeing this one!
  • Grumpntug
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    Grumpntug polycounter lvl 8
    Shriken said:

    my possible food for thought would be to check how the patterns look when zoomed out to the games regular camera angles, to make sure they still look badass at a distance. look forward to seeing the rest of this one.
    Yeah these aren't specifically the panes that will go there. This was more just to show it. I plan to make a lot more parts and then use those to design each one. You're totally right though noise is going to be something I'll be fighting with once I get it in game.

    f_x said:
    Very cool.  The panel kit idea is a good approach given the time constraints.  I am looking forward to seeing this one!
    Yeah, I'm starting to see why the other skins are color variants. Worried I went a bit too ambitious but I'm happy with the approach and this is far more fun to me anyway. Thanks guys!
  • reallymadmaveric
    Really cool stuff totally different to anything else in the coh 2 modded skin collections currently available. Ambitious in the time frame and i hope you can pull it off but I wouldnt worry to much if you miss the competions deadline because if you could stll get them uploaded into the workshop im sure they would be well recieved by the community and may still make it into the shop.
  • Grumpntug
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    Grumpntug polycounter lvl 8
    Yeah, I'll finish it no matter what. Still would be cool to finish on time haha. We'll see. 
  • Grumpntug
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    Grumpntug polycounter lvl 8
    Small update. Deep into the whole panel thing and what not. Still working on the first tank but I'm getting a lot of the shape language I want. Hopefully this will get easier after the first one. Color will be tweaked after and some parts haven't been touched yet like the top and some other parts but I'm going for something slightly more monochromatic to be in line with most of Giger's work. I'll be messing with color and contrast after the fact though.



    I'm happy there's actually a good deal of the original texture I can keep to save time since the smaller bits sort of blend into the rest.
  • Choccy_Starfish
    Looks great! Have you tried it in-game yet?
  • Grumpntug
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    Grumpntug polycounter lvl 8
    Will do the tweaking on this guy tomorrow and try to get it in game to get the whole process down.


  • reallymadmaveric
    looking good. It will be nice to see hove it looks in game. Many of the summer soviet maps have strong amber or yellow dusty light which should bring out some great contrast effects. Get the contrast right and It should look great.
  • Shriken
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    Shriken polycounter lvl 7
    looking badass, I'd love to see some almost slimey specular highlights on those bad boys
  • Grumpntug
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    Grumpntug polycounter lvl 8
    Thanks all! Yeah, in game is the next step tonight for this guy. From there, I'm going to work with colors, contrast, winter variation, etc. until it looks good in game which will nail down exactly how I'm going to approach the other 14 models. This one was slow going but I have a large library of parts now so I think it will start getting faster like I had hoped for.

    Shriken said:
    looking badass, I'd love to see some almost slimey specular highlights on those bad boys
    I think so yeah. I'm going to try a few things. Some Giger stuff has a very cold stone feel while others are slimy. A mix should be pretty cool but the game is going to decide a lot of that. Each tank is going to be like 80% technical gymnastics making the panels work with existing UVs and 20% fun polishy map stuff when I make it look pretty in game. Looking forward to tonight and getting all the working parts of this process defined.
  • Grumpntug
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    Grumpntug polycounter lvl 8
    Ugh. It's like they don't want you to mod this stuff haha. I get errors for my normal maps. I guess there's probably some setting I need to change some place but it's not really documented or i don't see it. I did just my diffuse and got my mod file but it wont show up in game now. Soooo many issues. I hope I get something in tonight. This is burning up time.
  • Grumpntug
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    Grumpntug polycounter lvl 8
    Finally got it all in game. Most of the night was spent trying to understand the tools and process. I got to tweak maps and everything a little bit but I'll be doing more of that tomorrow and then moving on to the next piece.




  • reallymadmaveric
    nice to see you got it ingame. Better contrast with the game lighting looking forward to seening the next

  • Choccy_Starfish
    Awesome! Looks great as is, looking forward to seeing the finished product!
  • realb33rm4n
    I like your work! Tools are very buggy... :(
  • Grumpntug
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    Grumpntug polycounter lvl 8
    I like your work! Tools are very buggy... :(
    thanks! Yes totally buggy haha. My largest issue I think is being sure what PSDs to actually edit for each faction. :(

    second vehicle done. Going to get it in game and tweak the maps. My house sprung a leak in the back so I had to emergency repair my plumbing. I swear everything has been working against me finishing this stuff haha. But I'm going to burn all weekend and get it done.


  • Grumpntug
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    Grumpntug polycounter lvl 8
    In game. Gonna hunker down and probably do a lot more before another update. This takes a lot of time to do one so I'mma see you all soon.


  • Grumpntug
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    Grumpntug polycounter lvl 8
    Up to 6 now. Heading to Target for a break. Getting a bit faster for some.


  • Choccy_Starfish
  • Grumpntug
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    Grumpntug polycounter lvl 8
    More wip. Closing in. Once I get all the tanks I will do another pass for shading and color correction. Things like that.


  • reallymadmaveric
  • Starbuck
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    Starbuck polycounter lvl 2
    Very unique.  I like the "dimple" effect.
  • Grumpntug
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    Grumpntug polycounter lvl 8
    Thanks starbuck. Doing Zbrush and new normal maps and all that can be time consuming. Just hope it's worth it in the end and actually in line with what the folks at Relic want.  I Just hit up the vehicle from my paint-over. Figured I'd share that. Colors and all that will be tweaked after I get them all done.


  • f_x
  • Grumpntug
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    Grumpntug polycounter lvl 8
    Alright. I just have the truck left to do in the morning. Once I get that guy I'm able to spend my free time this next week cleaning stuff up, fixing ugliness, colors, and store presentation images. There seems to be issue when you make your own normals where I get strange shading issues on some models. Even when I use the normals from the relic PSDs. Some elements just shade wrong. So I'll look into that but I'm starting to think it's an issue with relic's stuff when you either make a mod overwriting the old normals or maybe something with their models.

    Also, does anyone know how to remove the UI?


  • puppeteer
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    puppeteer polycounter lvl 4
    It looks great, I hope when Relic accepts this they'll let you add proper normal maps to the game itself. I think right now this is not possible, right?
  • Shriken
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    Shriken polycounter lvl 7
    normal spec and gloss are fine, you just have to make sure you set up the builder to run over the maps :). I've managed to get them working on my skin pack, but it does add a lot of balance tweaking to get it looking how you want, which is taking forever :P.

    on topic, these are coming along great. It'd be cool to get some colour variation into the panels so they stand out more from the game cam. They look great up close!
  • georider
  • Port-Seven
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    Port-Seven polycounter lvl 7
    Good job with these! Glad you pushed to get them done before the deadline.
  • f_x
    I am tweaking normals on a couple of vehicles and it seems to finally be working.  These are the relevant bits of information which came up on other threads:

    - for each vehicle, expand the hierarchy in the mod tool down to the entry that points to the actual directories for each skin

    - from there, right-click and "edit bake settings" for the nrm map

    - turn off "compress textures"

    - now you just have to be sure to write the _nrm, _spc, and _gls maps to each vehicle directory.  You need all three even if you are only changing one, because the bake process combines them into a single file for the game.
  • georider
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    georider polygon
    F_X nrm files though may change the amound of skinpack . i.e a german skinpack summer version is close to 180 MB with the cloud upload limitation of 200MB so if you add nrm the skinpack wont be individual.
  • f_x
    georider said:
    F_X nrm files though may change the amound of skinpack . i.e a german skinpack summer version is close to 180 MB with the cloud upload limitation of 200MB so if you add nrm the skinpack wont be individual.
    True, but for certain effects (like the Giger-esque bumps and ridges in this Hellbound skin) you need to replace the default normal map.  Otherwise it will just look like a paint job on a flat surface.  I'm already dreading having to break up my own skin into multiple uploads, and I'm only editing like four normal maps.
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