Monthly Environment Art Challenge - March and April 2018 (53)

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greentooth
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kadeschui greentooth
Welcome all! It's time to kick off the Monthly Environment & Prop Challenge #53!

Incredible work by all - as always special thanks to everyone who participated in the voting process this time. 

Remember if you don't finish in the time allotted, just keep plugging away and post when your work is finished. There's always some good progress that falls off the radar - we want to see your work! So keep going and finish those pieces!

 Without further ado, here are our options for Challenge 51!


HARD SURFACE CATEGORY:

artist: Dorje Bellbrook

HAND PAINTED CATEGORY:

This month I decided to include both top-voted pieces for this suggestion. The actual voted piece was the second. The first, however, gives an indication of overall style and texture. Feel free to do either model, but, in this instance, I felt they paired very well.

https://www.artstation.com/artwork/G01N4

https://www.artstation.com/artwork/dq6DJ




HAND PAINTED CATEGORY:

artist: Epic-Soldier

HARD SURFACE CATEGORY:


artist: gotsnake


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

  • Quibees
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    Quibees polycounter lvl 2
    thanks for multiple choice in hand-paint category! Will try to participate this time
  • MrBFox
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    MrBFox polycounter lvl 4
    Think ill jump in with the hardsurface category, did a quick breakdown of what can be duplicated to save time, and give a consideration of what the back could be, never really done much concept breakdowns like this, is this the right way to go about it or is their other things that should be accounted for as well at this stage? 
  • Mathew O
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    Mathew O interpolator
    Dat mech :smiley:
    I think I might join too! WOOH
  • kadeschui
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    kadeschui greentooth
    Quibees said:
    thanks for multiple choice in hand-paint category! Will try to participate this time
    YW ! it seemed like a fitting combo ;)
  • jewski-bot
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    jewski-bot polycounter lvl 4
    Good Choices!  It's been a pity to have fallen out of the November / December challenge and not do the January / February challenge, so I'll try to job back in for March / April! :D

    I'm going to attempt both props this time: The hand painted prop will be done in ZBrush for the high res, and I think I'm going to use Modo for the mech since there are a few tools from Pushing Points that I'd love to employ.

    @MrBFox, your rear concept is very similar to what I have in mind for the mech should I be able to tackle it.

     Actually..... I've already started with the staff in ZBrush, but will take another stab at it because there are some major problems with it.  I need to get more familiar with sculpting techniques since I tend to do more hard surface modeling.
  • Dethling
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    Dethling polycounter lvl 7
    Looks good so far. It has a more rustic/thicker feel then the concept, but it's not a bad start. 
    Do you did the complete thing in zbrush or do you did a low-poly blockout in Max/Maya first?

    Here is my Max blockout I want to use as a base for the work in zbrush (details like the stars are still missing)


  • jewski-bot
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    jewski-bot polycounter lvl 4
    Good job with your blockout, @Dethling.   I think that your staff is much closer to the form and proportions of the concept art.

    As for my own staff, I have only used ZBrush.  I do have the star and jingle bell created, though not pictured.  It was an interesting process, but I made the star from a Gear3D and the jingle bell was an exercise in Live Booleans.  The moon was initially made from a torus.

    I created the staff initially by placing zspheres, converting it over to an adaptive mesh, and going from there.
  • Donny
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    Donny vertex
    Looking great so far @Dethling & @jewski-bot . I do agree that your staff has a more rustic and rough look, however I think it looks great! That being said, that may be a good or bad thing depending on how closely you want to match the concept :)

    This is the first monthly challenge I've participated and I've been keen on creating a sci-fi environment lately, so I've started working on the hard surface environment. Here is my progress so far.


  • Boaventura
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    Boaventura triangle
    Hello everyone,

    First time I post here but decided to sign up just to join the monthly challenges, I am going with the hard surface category for startes, I was thinking about using mostly a Maya workflow but after checking out that most of the shapes were spheric and cylindrical and the similarities for topology with a human face around the "ear" and the "eyes" I decided to use a character creation workflow at least for the "Head piece". ZBrush new Live Boolean tool is amazing for this kind of work. First I added all the shapes for the main shell, It still needs smoothing passes and a final merge of all the shapes. I will leave that to before I send it to Maya to create the LowPoly



    I then started adding some of the additional shapes, I will finish adding all the volumes and then publish an update with the full High Poly before I move into the Low Poly




  • Boaventura
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    Boaventura triangle

    Here's my update after a day.  I have to say that I'm kind of mixed on the results.  Considering my irregular use of ZBrush, especially for things like this, I have to say it seems like a bigger challenge than I originally anticipated, though that comes with trying to understand how some features work.  My biggest hang ups are with getting things to work like Merge Visible Subtools, Converting Live Booleans into Subtools and using the Curve-based IMMs for the ropes.

    Merge Visible is the same as Mesh Combine from Maya (Not sure about other modeling packages) you can Merge and Split at will it will not change the meshes, so the normal workflow will be to finish all the meshes of a part (i.e. the staff) and then merge them. I do rather use Merge Down because that way zBrush does not generate a separate tool which then you have to append to your current tool, but that is just a personal choice.

    Live Boolean is a little bit more complicated, It actually intersects the meshes depending on your choice, add, substract or intersection and when you hit make Mesh it creates a new tool that it calls UMeshxxxxxx and that you have to append to your current tool. Keep in mind that Live Booleandoes alter topology it actually uses the topology of the different meshes so it keeps the edges incredibly sharp. My personal opinion though for more organic models like the one you are doing I still prefer Dynamesh.

    Curve-Based IMMs have somewhat of a steep learning curve, not because of the Brush in it self but for all the tweaks you can play with, the way I learned Curves the best was watching multiple Rope Making tutorials that did curves different ways but they are definately very "organic" I still rather use Curves in maya for wrapping stuff around meshes and things like that.
  • jewski-bot
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    jewski-bot polycounter lvl 4
    @Boaventura, Yes!  That's correct!  I keep forgetting that Merge Visible and Create from Live Booleans generate new subtools that aren't in the hierarchy.  That really messed me up and even after figuring it out, I still forgot later on.

    As for the curve based IMMs, I think that it's reasonably good for drawing curves for things like belts and bandoleers on characters, but for dealing more with free flowing curves like shoelaces or knots, building the curve in another program like Maya or Modo is a better way to go.

    Since I'm a bit pressed for time this weekend I'll probably use Modo for retopo and baking rather than Maya.  It's been a long while since I've used Maya, and I'm reasonably well versed in Modo, so I'll working on knocking out the low poly and then take it into Substance Painter.  Finishing render will probably be done in Toolbag.
  • Dethling
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    Dethling polycounter lvl 7


    Base Mesh in Max is nearly done (not yet happy with the rope thing at the bottom).
    Have to fix this and then up to zBrush :)
  • Dethling
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    Dethling polycounter lvl 7

    Finished the sculpt and did some texture experiments.
    Diffuse Map is: base colors + AO (multiply) + NormalGreenChannel (overlay & modified) + some minor tweaks (and copy pasted moon decals^^).
    I think that's a good start and I will work on from this.
  • MBS320
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    MBS320 triangle
    Finally a chance to take zbrushs live boolean tool for a spin. To think this took 20minutes to blockout is amazing. Ofcourse Zbrush is still clunky so I need to take it further in Maya now.



  • Dieedi
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    Dieedi node
    Hello, first post here (there must be one ...)

    I've began working on the staff and I'm still asking me many questions about hand painting. So I decide to post a wip of my version to, I hope, get some feedback, there is really good versions here so I'm feeling small in comparison but I have to start somewhere :D

    model
  • pixelheld1
     
    my progress so far
    have some problems with the moon to figure out what looks the best, i think it needs some depth so i think i need to sculpt it
    and the bandages need some work..

    but overall i like it
  • Donny
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    Donny vertex


    Finished the initial proportions and general shape blockout and have started refining.
  • MBS320
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    MBS320 triangle
    Blockouts done. Getting into the details now. I'm tempted to work on this more, but the weather outside is really really good lol. Curse you random Canadian weather!



  • alibaba17
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    alibaba17 polycounter lvl 2


    Progress so far, blockout the shape and fast texture on some part.
  • MrBFox
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    MrBFox polycounter lvl 4
  • MrBFox
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    MrBFox polycounter lvl 4
    current progress, refining blockout and fleshing out the head
  • MBS320
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    MBS320 triangle
    Got to spend a little more time on this today :)



  • jewski-bot
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    jewski-bot polycounter lvl 4
    So many WIPs have made their way in the past few days, I'll try to get to them all, but no guarantees.  I'm holding off on further updates until I at least have the baking done.  But as this is a feedback post only, let's get on to the critiques!

    @Dethling, I'll start with yours first.  You've done a reasonably good job with the sculpt and so far your maps are off to a good start.  I think that the wraps are well done in terms of capturing the detail of where the breaks are.  I think that if you're able to accentuate this with the wood of the staff and the ropes, I think you'll be set.  As it is right now, the bark details are a bit too washed out / faded.  As for the little trinkets I think that painting in some specular highlights will help to make them pop a bit more.  You're doing well and I think that this will be a good piece in the end.

    @pixelheld, You have a good beginning.  I don't have much in the way of critique at this stage in the game, though I do think that you're right about going back to refine the sculpting details for the wraps.  One thing that I have been learning, though am still a bit far from perfect, is that stylized artwork typically is exaggerated a lot more than going for the subtle details of hyper-real models.  I do think that for the wood texture you might want to simplify it and get rid of the grain.  It seems to be a bit much.  I think what Dethling has would be a good example for how he's approaching his texture details.

    @Dieedi, Excellent modeling work so far.  I think that you've done a good retopo job and that you're off to an excellent start with the textures, particularly with the wood.  You may want to see about playing with contrast to see if you can emphasize the recessed areas further.  The Crescent moon, could use some more polygons to help round out the silhouette, though I I don't know if that will seriously mess up your UV map.

    Everyone else is doing well and I will come back to share my own work and further crits later (hopefully tonight).

    Keep pushing forward, Polycounters!

  • jewski-bot
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    jewski-bot polycounter lvl 4
    Okay, I had to come back after doing a test render in Toolbag 3.  This is the retopo'd model with just a rough bake for normal and ambient occlusion maps.  Despite the errors (didn't use an exploded cage), I think that this looks reasonably good for the initial test.  I'm looking forward to finalizing the model and bakes, then its off to Substance Painter!

  • jewski-bot
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    jewski-bot polycounter lvl 4
    Sorry for the multiple posts.  Today was a snow day, so I was able to get a bunch of things closer to completion.  This isn't quite finished as there's still a bit to tidy up on, but I've got my base colors down and am doing some more lighting tests in Marmoset.

    So far the only maps I've used are Albedo, Normal, and AO.

  • Dethling
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    Dethling polycounter lvl 7
    jewski-bot: Thanks a lot for the feedback. 
    It seems you have some errors in your bake and that the details aren't transfered correctly (especially around the cloth part, the top rope and the feed. 
    I would check if you can get a cleaner bake (maybe try to use the substance painter baker). Also the colored version has a very clay feeling to it. I would definitly work on the material definition and also add a little more shadows (and tune down the light in marmorset^^). 
  • Willog
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    Willog triangle
    Hello ! here's my first step than I show you ! I have some shapes to reworks, but I think I'll begin soon the optimisation and the high poly. I'm not totaly sure about some floaters, I'll maybe convert it on geometry, it'll depend of the result :D.

    Otherwise, it's a really good mesh to do,funny and give a good challenge about shapes. It give lot of ideas about a little environment around it :3

    And it's cool to see you all working hard on the concepts, the first ones made very good!
  • Zerogun
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    Zerogun polycounter lvl 8
    Giving that hard surface environment a shot this challenge. I have a rough greybox/lighting pass on UE4. I'm currently moving it to my 3d program and getting a better rough layout.

  • slam_nine
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    slam_nine polycounter lvl 2
    I started working on the second hand-painted concept. Low-poly building is in a pretty good shape, UV's are done and base colours are blocked in. I was thinking of doing the plants on a separate uv sheet, and the environment and additional props on another.



    @Donny The textures are looking good, I think a little rust would be great on it too.
  • MrBFox
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    MrBFox polycounter lvl 4
    some more progress, switching to floaters to for the smaller tertiary details on the head, small pass on the undercarrage a quick pass on the connector for the tentacles.
  • wirrexx
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    wirrexx greentooth
    "NEEEWWWWW CHALLENGER"

    I Just started this today, using ol' SUB'D methods. 
    Cutting in the primary shapes and going to secondary later on. Should be easy enough to create everything in the mesh without using floaters, which is what i want to do. This will be great way to further better my workflow Annnnd have fun with the new release of Substance Painter! 


  • MrBFox
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    MrBFox polycounter lvl 4
  • kadeschui
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    kadeschui greentooth
    Looking great guys n gals! @jewski-bot Love the texture work! What are you using to texture? I think adding some lighter, worn areas to the protruding parts of the grip wrap will give it some depth. Also maybe changing up the star hues a bit so they arent all the same.

    Looking great though!
  • jewski-bot
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    jewski-bot polycounter lvl 4
    @kadeschui, thanks for your feedback.  I used the last 2017 release of Substance Painter for my texture map.  I can't say its 'true' PBR workflow since I cheated a bit and used the Curvature input map in the base color slot to a fill layer.  Then, I applied a levels effect and tweaked the sliders until I got something that really made the lights and darks pop.  Lastly, the layer mode is set to multiply.  The stars themselves all use the same UV space as do the bells.  Whether or not that was a wise decision, I'm not sure.  In hind sight, it may have been better to make them as their own separate objects since there was enough empty space on the UV map.  Likewise, the moon itself is mirrored.

    I do agree that the wraps themselves leave something to be desired, though I'm not sure if it's something that should have been addressed early on at the sculpting level.  For example, they don't really look like they overlap each other and that was something that I had trouble figuring out until I had spent a day or two away from it.  To be honest, I'd say that there are a few things that I botched when sculpting that I just didn't pick up on until someone else had pointed them out, such as the branches needing to be a bit thicker and perhaps have them wrap more tightly and closely to the moon.  I think that part of that had to do with smoothing the model, the initial thickness was lost.  In any event, it's something to be aware of in future projects.

    At this point, I'm considering doing the Hard Surface Prop as that's a bit more my speed.  It looks like I'll have plenty of competition on that front as well! :wink:
  • wirrexx
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    wirrexx greentooth
    Couple of Scale issues that need to be fixed, but otherwise, i've got the workflow down. WIP
  • MrBFox
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    MrBFox polycounter lvl 4
    retoped and ready to unwrap, duplicated meshes and reduced their polycount to save a bit of time, and ensure the lowpoly is sticking to the Highpolys sillouette (purple coloured material also helping here by identifying where the highpoly parts are poking through)
  • wirrexx
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    wirrexx greentooth
    Changed proportions on some stuff and added other details. Smoothed some transitions!
  • jewski-bot
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    jewski-bot polycounter lvl 4
    Looking very good so far, @wirrexx!  I think that the shell very close to the concept art.  There are some nitpick things, though it might be just well to leave them alone since I don't know if they're deal breakers, and they might be really a pain the in the butt to have to tweak the proportions since I don't know if you're using Live Booleans like in ZBrush or the Pushing Points MeshOP Booleans kit for Modo.  I'm just playing around at the moment with the latter to get a feel for it and will hopefully will have my own work to share soon.

    @MrBFox, I look forward to seeing how everything bakes out since I tend to not have as much luck with using floaters.  It seems like you have a good breakdown so far with what you need.
  • wirrexx
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    wirrexx greentooth
    Looking very good so far, @wirrexx!  I think that the shell very close to the concept art.  There are some nitpick things, though it might be just well to leave them alone since I don't know if they're deal breakers, and they might be really a pain the in the butt to have to tweak the proportions since I don't know if you're using Live Booleans like in ZBrush or the Pushing Points MeshOP Booleans kit for Modo.  I'm just playing around at the moment with the latter to get a feel for it and will hopefully will have my own work to share soon.

    @MrBFox, I look forward to seeing how everything bakes out since I tend to not have as much luck with using floaters.  It seems like you have a good breakdown so far with what you need.
    All subd my friend. Working on the big shapes, turboamoothing when I need to work on secondary shapes and so on! Its ok to tell me about my issues, i think it’s healthy to hear others opinions!
  • jewski-bot
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    jewski-bot polycounter lvl 4
    @wirrexx, Here you are sir.  Now keep in mind, these may not be deal breakers and are probably just me being nitpicky over things others wouldn't pay two hoots over. 


    I've been having some trouble with deciding how to go about modeling this and have been switching back and forth between Mesh OPs on one model, and Sub-D on the other.

    Unfortunately I must be REALLY tired because I just reopened Modo and realized that I had forgotten to save the MeshOps version of the mesh, so what I have is old.

    Anyways, here's the subd:



    Here's the MeshOps:



    There's a lot of bumbling going on with the MeshOps as I had changed from Quadball to Globe (Quadball looked more cubical; the curvature wasn't doing it for me), and most of the subtractions were cleaned up and more in a refined state.  It shouldn't be too hard to reconstruct, but there are a few things that I need to try just to get used to a boolean workflow.
  • wirrexx
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    wirrexx greentooth
    Nice breakdown, saw those things too. The mouth width is the only one i think is incorrect though. The head being turned slightly on the concept makes it look narrower then it is. My biggest problem is the indents "rectangulare ones" that should be rotated. I feel like i missed doing them with less polies and ts once to many times. I'll try to fix those shapes though, thank you! 

  • MrBFox
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    MrBFox polycounter lvl 4
    got the model into substance, did an initial test bake and found one or two bits I wasnt happy with how their bake turned out, so then fixed them in maya and brough it back in for the 2048x20148 8x8 AA bake.
  • jewski-bot
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    jewski-bot polycounter lvl 4
    WooWhee, @MrBFox!  That's turning out great so far!  Nice job with the bakes!
  • MrBFox
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    MrBFox polycounter lvl 4
    @jewski-bot thanks, baking is one of those things ive been trying to get a better understanding of, it finally clicked for me with the previous challenge. though working with Cages I still dont think I have the hang of yet.

    anyway, heres the current progress, got the maps exported and the model brought into unity for look-dev.


  • MrBFox
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    MrBFox polycounter lvl 4
    modelHeres the Sketchfab, think thatll be it for now after todays push.
  • wirrexx
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    wirrexx greentooth
    slam_nine said:
    Update on the hand-painted building with textures and some foliage on flat planes.


    Looking good!! 
  • jewski-bot
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    jewski-bot polycounter lvl 4
    @MrBFox, Good Deal on your general model and textures.  After looking at the Sketchfab,  I think that the low poly model could still use some optimization in some parts, and you might want to check your alignments since pieces aren't centered correctly  With that acknowledged, your bakes came out very nice, especially in the smaller, tougher to get areas.  It's those little details that really help to make this pop.  Some things to consider may be an emphasis on weathering and painting in some custom wear.  All in all, I think that this is an okay piece that demonstrates your creative and problem solving skills.  No doubt figuring out how the machinery underneath all connects together can be a bit tedious and really is a trial and error process.  This model shines in that you didn't get too caught up on making a convoluted underside, which is something us more OCD folks can easily get caught up in.

    @slam_nine, MY GOD, that is absolutely gorgeous work!  Those textures and material definitions truly make me envious.  Everything is very clean, yet not overly sharp.  I'd love to know how you went about creating this miniature masterpiece!

    Okay, update time:  This is within 2 hours and 20 minutes, though I've been kind of dragging behind on this as I'm constantly trying to play with proportions and make tweaks to the MeshOP Booleans.  I'll probably just noodle on this little by little throughout the week, but hopefully will have the high res modeling done before the week is out!


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