Star Citizen Security Turret

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Dethling polycounter lvl 8
Hi there, 

I'm currently working on a new portfolio piece and want to show my progress here to get some feedback and critics. 
The model I'm working on is the low-tech security turret from Star Citizen:



I'm currently at the high-poly phase and only some smaller parts are missing (some details on the side, the sensors/optics and the cables).
I turned the model up-side down, because it was easier to work this way and the presentation lighting is better:


The next step would be the finish of the high poly of the side, then the optics and cables. 
Since I also plan to make it a in-game model I will then start the low poly and texturing. My plan is to have it done end of January. 

Can anyone recommend a poly/vert count I should aim for with the low poly (I never did such a complex model before)? 

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  • Menchen
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    Menchen polycounter lvl 2
    If you are doing an SC model, you could try to aim and do it following the star citizen workflow instead of baking and painting in substace.

    Also, how did you manage to recreate the model using so little reference? Even if that pic shows multiple perspectives, you would probably have to have guessed some areas, specially the "covered" ones...
  • Dethling
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    Dethling polycounter lvl 8
    I think you are talking about the weighted normal and normal decal workflow. I thought about it, but I'm not sure if they are using it fir every assets or only the bigger ones. Since this is a more a classic prop (then a environment piece) I believe they will use a normal approach with it and that's why I will do it also the "old way".
    But I want to put the turret into a small environment/diorama where I will definitely use the weighted normal workflow for.

    The missing references were in fact a  problem and I had to improvise the design at some parts, based on my experience and the information I had. 

  • Dethling
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    Dethling polycounter lvl 8
    First try on the tail optics (not happy with the rear side yet):



  • Dethling
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    Dethling polycounter lvl 8
    High Poly nearly done (just the camera at the base is missing):


  • Felixenfeu
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    Felixenfeu polycounter lvl 7
    Pretty great modelling
  • Dethling
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    Dethling polycounter lvl 8
    First test bake (10.462 verts, 15.542 tris - 4k texture)

  • Bodizzz
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    Bodizzz polycounter lvl 5
    Dethling said:
    First test bake (10.462 verts, 15.542 tris - 4k texture)

    Nice and clean bake. As for me edges are a little to sharp, try making them more round and soft on highpoly, so they will bake better and overall look of the model will be even better.
  • Vertrucio
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    Vertrucio polycounter lvl 9
    Just noticed, but the barrels of your guns are significantly thinner than the concept's, it loses a bit of its heft, and juxtaposition with its narrow muzzles, even more so that the muzzles were increased in size.
  • Dethling
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    Dethling polycounter lvl 8
    @Vertucio: Thanks, didn't noticed it before. Will correct it once I get to the weapon part. Currently I'm focused on the base. Simply because I want to train my texturing skills.  :)

    @Bodizz: Always one of my problems "How sharp should the edges be?" :)
    I used a simple double turbo-smooth on this one, maybe I should rework the high poly and set the control edges at some parts by hand. 

    Since the material of the gun in the concept always bothered me I tried to reproduce it today and did a first texture pass. 
    The red paint is still to thick (will change this) and there are some parts of the green metal which didn't catch the roughness and color variations (mainly the extended parts at the end of the feets), have to look into this. 


  • Dethling
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    Dethling polycounter lvl 8
    Did some changes at the geometry (mainly the ring shape and the bolts and also try to soften up some edges).
    Also added some white noise normal to the green metal to make it more "rough"
  • Bluestemos
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    Bluestemos polycounter lvl 4
    Honestly I liked the metal better without the white noise in the height. It makes the surface a bit busy without really adding much visible/clear detail imo. I'd reserve the height channel for things like dents, bolts, panel lines etc. and put other details into the rough + albedo. Also I'm not sure how far into the texturing process you are atm, but the green metal could use more texture detail in the albedo + rough.

    Some of your edges do feel pretty sharp. If you're going to render the prop from this distance then you could maybe get away with it, but if it's going to be rendered from any further away it might be worth looking into smoothing some edges on your HP.

    It looks like almost all your bolts are covered in rust, maybe try breaking that up a bit?

    The edge damage with height on your red part is a bit awkward I think, the height makes the wear feel a little noisy. The damage is also pretty uniform, I'd suggest breaking that up more.
  • Dethling
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    Dethling polycounter lvl 8
    Thanks for the feedback.

    For the texture process: I'm currently building/defining the base materials, so the edge wear is only a general basic version. My goal is to build the base materials as smart materials which I can then asign to the models (I plan to use three texture sheets: base, weapon, optics). Afterwards I would then refine the details like edge wear by hand. 

    After taking a new fresh look at it I totally agree with the white noise normal details, the version without looks definitely better. I will try to add the noise to the roughness (and play with the intensity/levels of it).

    The red metal and the screws are in a very early state and I will turn to it, once the green metal is done. 
    The small screws are duplicates and use the same UV space, maybe I should create 3-4 of them, so I have more variations (same for the big screws).

    For the edges, I think you are talking about the edges at the feet parts, and I already soften them up a little bit and will try to add a little more "softness" to it in the next iteration. 

    Again thanks and I will implement the feedback in the next iteration. 
  • Dethling
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    Dethling polycounter lvl 8
    Managed to finish 99% of the bake today. Had a lot of troubles (wired artifacts, parts weren't baked etc.), and have to tweak the bake of the ammo-drum, but so far I'm happy.

    Only thing which still needs some fixing are the panel lines at the ammo drum. 

  • Gazu
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    Gazu polycounter lvl 7
    Looks cool.
    Yeah its always the same with Bakes...
    A good, error-free bake takes his time. When i bake, i must rebake at least 5 Times XD
    But it depends on the complexity of the mesh.
  • Dethling
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    Dethling polycounter lvl 8
    Fixed the problem with the ammo drum and applied some basic textures. 
  • Dethling
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    Dethling polycounter lvl 8


    Did some work on the texture. Had some problems with the greenish metal, but I think it went well. 
    Still a lot to go (rework the rusted leaks, add some more characteristics/story elements etc.)
  • Dethling
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    Dethling polycounter lvl 8

    Did some changes for the greenish metal parts, they are now more of the classic "painted metal" and I think it looks much better this way. 
    next will be the rust. :)

  • Dethling
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    Dethling polycounter lvl 8
    Did some final adjustments to the texture.
    Not 100% where I wanted to get with it, but close.

    Did two different texture variants, the left one has a non-metal coating, for the right one I tried to mimic a powder-coated look. 


  • Bluestemos
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    Bluestemos polycounter lvl 4
    I prefer the left version personally, I think it's just more interesting.

    One thing that sticks out to me is the edge wear.  Your edges are pretty uniformly worn on the left version (and in some areas it looks like an obvious procedural generator), and I'm not sure if there should be that much wear on it. The turret is mounted to the ceiling, right? If that's the case, there should be enough space around the turret for it to be able to rotate, and so it shouldn't come into contact with other surfaces that would scrape or damage the turret's surface. I think the wear should mostly be general/"environmental" wear (rust, moisture, paint bubbling, etc.) and interaction wear (moving parts rubbing against other parts etc.), instead of contact wear. Though you could maybe add some wear resulting from explosion debris, bullets etc. to tell a story.

    I think you should try adding more medium- to large-scale detail to your texures. From a distance there isn't much visible detail going on except for the decals. Also having some more unique, interesting details here and there that would catch the eye would be nice.

    There doesn't seem to be much visible color or roughness variation in the textures at the moment, which makes the surface look a little flat. Having some appropriate variation can really help define the material as well.

    The red part's colour could be more muted I think. Since it's significantly more saturated than the rest of the turret it jumps out from the piece and feels a little out of place. You can see how in the concept the reds are quite muted and it goes better with the rest of the colors.

    I assume you're using Marmoset to render? If so I'm guessing the glossy noise at the base of the turret is caused by the Local Reflections. You might want to do the renders at 100x or 400x sampling to get rid of those artifacts.

    I'm personally not a fan of the blurred background, it being so bright kinda takes away the focus from the turret. I'd make the background a solid dark color and use a light setup that would make the turret pop from the background nicely, but that's up to you.

    Other than that it's shaping up nicely, keep it up :smile:
  • Dethling
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    Dethling polycounter lvl 8
    Thanks for the feedback. 

    Yes I use Marmorset and yes the edge wear is completely procedual generated. 
    Currently I'm a little bit busy with my semester project, but once this is done (in two weeks) I will go back to this and work on the parts you mentioned. 

    Texturing and presentation is still my weak spot and I have a lot to learn at these areas. 
  • Dethling
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    Dethling polycounter lvl 8
    Received some feedback from one of my tutors last week and did a complete rework of the texture afterwards. 
    Added some age & wear and tried to define the materials better. (Also removed the fancy background)
    What do you guys think?


  • Dethling
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    Dethling polycounter lvl 8
    Did some changes at the edge wear (went back from doing it by hand to using a generator as a base and tweaking it by hand):


  • Dethling
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    Dethling polycounter lvl 8
    Finally I finished the turret. I created two variants: One which is close to the concept and one with a Gundam style.
    You can find more pictures and breakdowns on my artstation website: https://www.artstation.com/dethling



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