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[Finished] Sturmgewehr 44 / STG 44

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IgroMaks polycounter lvl 3
Hi people! Starting my first public WIP here to get some useful feedback and comment during this work.

Final version

Artstation page (click me)



My goal


Here I will do Sturmgewehr 44 - a German assault rifle developed during World War II. My deadline is set for about 15-20 days and for quality I'm aiming to CoD and Battlefield series. It will be challenging so planning is everything. Additionally, I need to say that this is my first such complex model (yeah, it's not that complex compared to some other weapons but this is just for me).

I'll try to post here every day or at least every second day.

My plan

As I have 20 days I've divided them to approximate stages, here they are:
1. Gathering references and researching the gun model. - 0,5 day. I very like this stage when I search all necessary (and not) images, learning how this mechanism works and what this all details for.
2. Blockout/Greyboxing.  - 0,5 day.  As I have no additional time to re-make something major it's very important to make basic forms from primitives so I can see where something needs to be tweaked, scaled down or up before I'll go to the next stage. These primitives also will be used for both of the next two stages as well.
3. HighPoly. - 5 to 7 days. DETAILING! YAY! This gun has a lot of details plus asymmetrical design so it's a bit of time consumption stage and it's hard to set estimate time.
4. Low(Mid)Poly. - 2 to 3 days.  REDUCING DETAILS! Meh... As I'll re-use a lot of meshes it's saving me a bunch of time so I need to reduce the amount of polygons here and there.
5. UV's. - 1 to 2 days.  Nothing special, just unwrapping and packing all UV's. 
6. Baking. - 1 day.  I like this stage. Again, as this model has a lot of small details I need to make sure everything is baked properly.
7. Texturing. - 2 to 4 days. Best stage! (for me) I'll try to make this gun both interesting to see and realistic so I'll reference something between factory-new and used in battle.
8. Rendering. - 1 to 2 days.  Photosession for the model. I think this stage as important as all others so I need to spend a certain amount of time to present my model in portfolio. 
9. Extra stage - Rest.

My workflow

Now let's breakdown how I'm gonna make this pretty gun.
I'll use the power of ZBrush to make the HighPoly stage because it's very powerful when you making weapons with its LiveBoolean. Basically I'll combine SubD for small and easy parts and ZBrush for main parts.
I'm making all meshes in 3Ds Max and sending them to ZBrush to boolean all, also I can sculpt some details like rumples on metal, major scratches, other things.
When I finish the HighPoly stage I'll go back to 3Ds Max with all my meshes, duplicate all of them to the new layer and boolean them once again and clean geometry. By that, I will get my Low(Mid)Poly mesh ready for UVing without a lot retopo.
Next, I'll use 3Ds Max and RizomUV for unwrapping and packing. RizomUV is very powerful when you need to pack your UV's so go check it if you don't know what is this app.
Substance Painter will be used for the Texturing stage (wow). While texturing I like to use a lot of procedural grunge masks to make a natural scatter of color/roughness variations, scratches and other wear&tear effects, later I'm polishing them by hand a little.
And finally, when it comes to the render stage I like to spend some time finding good light positions. For me it's like to paint by light.

I hope you like this and have a good day!
(ps, also you can visit my Artstation, he-he)


Day 1

Here we go!
Double-staged day. First, I started to look for all references I can find. I used Google Images with Large image size setting to find only high quality references (I didn't want to peer into small images :D)



Next, I watched few videos about STG44 (did you know that this gun is actually the ancestor of almost all modern rifles?) to learn about how it works and also my friend gave me some advice about it
The good thing is to search auction websites - you can find there a lot of high resolution photos where you can see all details.

Here's my refboard and I certainly should spend some time to sort this garbage :D



Then, I started to model my gun piece by piece from muzzle to stock. Here I modelled only major parts to get all my sizes and placement.
It took me for about 5-6 hours I think. While modelling I also searched for additional references to make some parts.




Replies

  • IgroMaks
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    IgroMaks polycounter lvl 3

    Day 2

    Hi! Little update is here!

    First day of the HighPoly stage. I started from Muzzle and Barrel parts as I planned.



    Additionally, I finished a bit earlier than expected so I decided to start something else but the main part and I chose Stock part. Tomorrow I will finish it then move to Magazine and Upper Reciever.

  • teodar23
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    teodar23 keyframe
    Good progress man!
    Does your day have 24 hours like the rest of us?  :)
  • IgroMaks
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    IgroMaks polycounter lvl 3
    teodar23 said:
    Good progress man!
    Does your day have 24 hours like the rest of us?  :)
    Thanks, mate!
    No, I'm from Nibiru planet, we have 48 hours a day here and we don't sleep at all :D
    (yes, it does :( )
    Actually I work only 6-7 hours per day to not overload myself because I have modelling tasks at work 
  • CybranM
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    CybranM greentooth
    Looks good so far! The greyish clay mat is clean
  • IgroMaks
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    IgroMaks polycounter lvl 3
    CybranM said:
    Looks good so far! The greyish clay mat is clean
    Thanks!
    Yeah, I can't work with red clay because my eyes will be full of pain after just a few minutes xD
  • IgroMaks
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    IgroMaks polycounter lvl 3

    Day 3

    Hello guys! Hope you're doing great.
    End of the weekend :(
    But I'm finished Stock, made Magazine and started to do Receiver. Tomorrow I'll finish the upper receiver (I hope) and start lower one.

    Here's the general view all current progress



    Now let's see closely (yes, I made the bullet)



    Tell me what you think?
  • Zi0
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    Zi0 interpolator
    Nice progress dude!
  • IgroMaks
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    IgroMaks polycounter lvl 3
    Zi0 said:
    Nice progress dude!
    Thanks! Working hard!
  • IgroMaks
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    IgroMaks polycounter lvl 3

    Day 4

    Stuck on ejection port for a long time so didn't finish receiver today :( 
    Now this part is done so there are left not so many details
    Do you feel like this gun transforming into a real gun? :D 
    Hope you like it



    Close-ups:

  • Boosted24v
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    Boosted24v polygon
    Very nice! the STG44 is one of my all time favorites!
  • angryngon
  • IgroMaks
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    IgroMaks polycounter lvl 3
    Very nice! the STG44 is one of my all time favorites!
    Thanks! Hope you'll like finished version :) 

    angryngon said:
    Good quality
    Thanks!
  • IgroMaks
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    IgroMaks polycounter lvl 3

    Day 5

    Hi! Another day, another progress.
    I had some issues with modelling piston and bolt because I've mis-scaled some inner parts
    I have only 3 days left for HighPoly stage, I think lower receiver is the easiest part here so I hope I'll finish it tomorrow and will spend another day or two to polish, decimate and export the whole gun.
    What do you think, guys? Any comments? Do you like this progress? Tell me what you think. Thanks!




  • teodar23
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    teodar23 keyframe
    A bit of sharp edge syndrome here and there but other than that looks good to me.
    Also, i cant be bothered to google refs so... great job  :)
  • IgroMaks
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    IgroMaks polycounter lvl 3
    teodar23 said:
    A bit of sharp edge syndrome here and there but other than that looks good to me.
    Also, i cant be bothered to google refs so... great job  :)
    Yeah, know about this syndrome but don't mind, it's because I didn't polished it yet :D  
    Thanks!
  • teodar23
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    teodar23 keyframe
    Oh, ok then, i didnt know you were using that workflow.
  • IgroMaks
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    IgroMaks polycounter lvl 3

    Day 6

    Here they are! 6 screenshots for the sixth day.
    "Boolean stage" finally finished, now it's time to polish edges of this thing!
    Do you like it? Cause I do pretty much!





    Some close-ups?





    And the last two:



  • IgroMaks
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    IgroMaks polycounter lvl 3

    Day 7

    No more sharp lines! Worked for just a few hours but anyway I've done what I wanted - to polish edges.







    Tomorrow I think I'll do some pretty basic damage pass and add a bit of imperfections, and then I'll start to do game-ready mesh. Stay tuned!
  • KAE
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    KAE triangle
    Nice and clean work man! I'm excited about how its gonna look like with textures at the end.
  • IgroMaks
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    IgroMaks polycounter lvl 3
    KAE said:
    Nice and clean work man! I'm excited about how its gonna look like with textures at the end.
    Thanks! Hope you'll like final asset!
  • Robert Berrier
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    Robert Berrier polycounter lvl 8
    Looking good indeed!
  • IgroMaks
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    IgroMaks polycounter lvl 3
    Looking good indeed!
    Thanks!
  • IgroMaks
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    IgroMaks polycounter lvl 3

    Day 8

    Hi! Done quick sculpt pass (very simple) and started to make Mid Poly. I think I'll do around 35-40k Triangles.
    Spent too much time to try to decimate one piece for test bake :( 

    Boring screenshots are coming next few days before Texturing!

    7800 Tris for this thing:


    MidPoly will be finished tomorrow I think as this is weekend
  • IgroMaks
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    IgroMaks polycounter lvl 3

    Day 9

    12 work hours and I've finished Midpoly stage. It's 38k of Triangles for everything.

    Here's wireframe:





    And here's without wireframe.



    As I have some extra time I'll spend it to make a sling and I'm already started:


  • teodar23
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    teodar23 keyframe
    Thats a lot of polys. I'm not talking about the number, i'm looking at the wires and think there's definetly room for reduction.
    In fact, chamfer some edges here and there and you dont even need a normalmap.
    Looks dope, anyways.
  • IgroMaks
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    IgroMaks polycounter lvl 3
    teodar23 said:
    Thats a lot of polys. I'm not talking about the number, i'm looking at the wires and think there's definetly room for reduction.
    In fact, chamfer some edges here and there and you dont even need a normalmap.
    Looks dope, anyways.
    Thanks! I'll definitely see where I can reduce some polys but it won't be like thousands of them :D  
    I'm trying to find a balance between good-looking mesh for close-up renders and game-ready mesh for FPS
  • Tiggis
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    Tiggis triangle
    Nice work on the STG-44!
  • IgroMaks
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    IgroMaks polycounter lvl 3
    Tiggis said:
    Nice work on the STG-44!
    Thanks!
  • ZacD
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    ZacD polycounter
    The magazine definitely needs more geometry for the curve, you can see the lack of geometry in the silhouette pretty easily.

    38k tris for an FPS weapon seems pretty reasonable to me, but the geometry usage is a bit uneven and could use some redistribution from loops that wont affect the silhouette to areas with large curves and not enough geo. 
  • IgroMaks
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    IgroMaks polycounter lvl 3
    ZacD said:
    The magazine definitely needs more geometry for the curve, you can see the lack of geometry in the silhouette pretty easily.

    38k tris for an FPS weapon seems pretty reasonable to me, but the geometry usage is a bit uneven and could use some redistribution from loops that wont affect the silhouette to areas with large curves and not enough geo. 
    Yeah, today I'll re-visit all parts to fix some areas, thanks for the advice!
  • IgroMaks
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    IgroMaks polycounter lvl 3

    Day 10

    Done a lot of things today and worked for about maybe 14 hours straight? Madness.
    Okay. So, I've took into account some feedbacks about wireframe and tweaked it especially on small parts plus added few loops on big curved, finished sling and made full UV.
    I've separated them into few UV sets, you can see them in different colors:



    And here's all this sets except belt/sling part as I didn't save screenshot of it :( 



    Additionally I did some bake tests for barrel and body parts to check pixel density and it was pretty good.
    By that, I'm a bit outpace my plan but this more good than bad :D  

    Texturing is just a few steps away!
  • Kanni3d
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    Kanni3d greentooth
    Amazing amount of details and accuracy, great stuff!

    When I'm using dyna/polish in zbrush, I usually run into some artifacting after I dynamesh, and remains even after I polish...(i'm also using "by crisp edges"). Your results are immaculate and super clean, could you go a bit into what your process is in zBrush? Thanks!! :smile:
  • IgroMaks
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    IgroMaks polycounter lvl 3
    Kanni3d said:
    Amazing amount of details and accuracy, great stuff!

    When I'm using dyna/polish in zbrush, I usually run into some artifacting after I dynamesh, and remains even after I polish...(i'm also using "by crisp edges"). Your results are immaculate and super clean, could you go a bit into what your process is in zBrush? Thanks!! :smile:
    Thanks man!
    Yeah, there's nothing special but I'll give some explanation about the process when I start working today.
    In few words: I'm using Dynamic SubD in ZBrush to smooth rounded shapes, next I'm using Boolean Mesh and then just DynaMeshing it with pretty high resolution (so some pieces have few millions of points), it allows me to polish edges perfectly. Also I can notice that for some parts of one mesh I'm masking them to make much smoother than other edges or to keep something sharp.
  • Robert Berrier
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    Robert Berrier polycounter lvl 8
    Going strong. I like it.
    Do you have any good resources/tutorials on how you do the Zbrush work. I have been using Zbrush for regular organic shapes for years now. But never got into using it for things like weapons. Seeing your progress, I am wondering how your workflow is.
  • IgroMaks
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    IgroMaks polycounter lvl 3
    Going strong. I like it.
    Do you have any good resources/tutorials on how you do the Zbrush work. I have been using Zbrush for regular organic shapes for years now. But never got into using it for things like weapons. Seeing your progress, I am wondering how your workflow is.
    Thanks! My workflow mostly inspired by Eugene Petrov and Simon Fuchs with my little changes. They have both awesome tutorials with similar pipeline, you should definitely check them out if you didn't yet, here's their links:

    https://www.artstation.com/artwork/DxoeNR - Eugene
    https://www.artstation.com/artwork/lVy0bV - Simon
  • Robert Berrier
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    Robert Berrier polycounter lvl 8
    awesome, thanks!
  • Kanni3d
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    Kanni3d greentooth
    IgroMaks said:
    Kanni3d said:
    Amazing amount of details and accuracy, great stuff!

    When I'm using dyna/polish in zbrush, I usually run into some artifacting after I dynamesh, and remains even after I polish...(i'm also using "by crisp edges"). Your results are immaculate and super clean, could you go a bit into what your process is in zBrush? Thanks!! :smile:
    Thanks man!
    Yeah, there's nothing special but I'll give some explanation about the process when I start working today.
    In few words: I'm using Dynamic SubD in ZBrush to smooth rounded shapes, next I'm using Boolean Mesh and then just DynaMeshing it with pretty high resolution (so some pieces have few millions of points), it allows me to polish edges perfectly. Also I can notice that for some parts of one mesh I'm masking them to make much smoother than other edges or to keep something sharp.
    Yeah, interesting - I use the exact same workflow, but yours just seems to be much more pristine looking! :)
  • IgroMaks
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    IgroMaks polycounter lvl 3
    Kanni3d said:
    IgroMaks said:
    Kanni3d said:
    Amazing amount of details and accuracy, great stuff!

    When I'm using dyna/polish in zbrush, I usually run into some artifacting after I dynamesh, and remains even after I polish...(i'm also using "by crisp edges"). Your results are immaculate and super clean, could you go a bit into what your process is in zBrush? Thanks!! :smile:
    Thanks man!
    Yeah, there's nothing special but I'll give some explanation about the process when I start working today.
    In few words: I'm using Dynamic SubD in ZBrush to smooth rounded shapes, next I'm using Boolean Mesh and then just DynaMeshing it with pretty high resolution (so some pieces have few millions of points), it allows me to polish edges perfectly. Also I can notice that for some parts of one mesh I'm masking them to make much smoother than other edges or to keep something sharp.
    Yeah, interesting - I use the exact same workflow, but yours just seems to be much more pristine looking! :)
    Heh, maybe it's just about practice? Keep working and you'll do great stuff, you already have good models!
  • martintruong
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    martintruong polycounter lvl 4
    Really nice packing and highpoly man. Love the progress so far.
    Also insane working 14hrs haha. Keep it up, I really want to see the result as of now since everything is so on track and well organized.
  • IgroMaks
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    IgroMaks polycounter lvl 3
    Really nice packing and highpoly man. Love the progress so far.
    Also insane working 14hrs haha. Keep it up, I really want to see the result as of now since everything is so on track and well organized.
    Thanks! Hope you'll like final result!
  • IgroMaks
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    IgroMaks polycounter lvl 3

    Day 11

    Hi guys! So today I worked only 4 hours but they were productive: I've done all bakes and started to set up Painter scene to texture this pretty gun. 

    Just created some base layers and still experimenting with colors and materials settings. Actually it will take some time for me as I like to try different variations and combinations of colors and parameters.

    Please share your opinion, I'll be very glad to hear what you think!



    For those who are interested here's my scene settings:


    I like to use Studio lighting and my favorite is Tomoco Studio cause it gives me good reflections on metal parts and good colors that will work in any other environment. Sometimes I switch to different environments just to check everything in other scenarios.
    Also, I'll create a test scene in Marmoset with basic lights where I can check how these textures look there.

    Plus I use 16pp Anisotropic Filtering.
  • Kanni3d
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    Kanni3d greentooth
    I totally agree, Tomoco Studio is absolutely the best, and the most neutral lighting you can texture in - I would recommend just testing different scenes in Marmo rather than different HDR's in  Painter, since they seem to be super harsh/intensive.
  • IgroMaks
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    IgroMaks polycounter lvl 3
    Kanni3d said:
    I totally agree, Tomoco Studio is absolutely the best, and the most neutral lighting you can texture in - I would recommend just testing different scenes in Marmo rather than different HDR's in  Painter, since they seem to be super harsh/intensive.
    Well, not all of them but mostly, yes. Anyway, I prefer to do both :D 
  • IgroMaks
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    IgroMaks polycounter lvl 3
    Day 12

    Still experimenting with textures. I need some iron-ish feel but maybe it's too strong at the moment. Will keep trying to create great overall look. 

  • teodar23
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    teodar23 keyframe
    The stamped iron looks cool but if you overdo it it starts to look like clay or plasti dough.
  • IgroMaks
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    IgroMaks polycounter lvl 3
    teodar23 said:
    The stamped iron looks cool but if you overdo it it starts to look like clay or plasti dough.
    Yeah, exactly, need more time to find perfect balance
  • IgroMaks
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    IgroMaks polycounter lvl 3
    Day 13

    Made almost from scratch, this version has much more interesting look I guess but still needs work with surface and roughness. (stamped numbers are temporary, just tested some easy stamp-anchor system)

  • Deforges
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    Deforges polycounter lvl 7
    Very nice work so far. You've already mentioned this but the materials I've seen on the stg are more clean with less surface noise. 


    here's a very high-res close up that I believe reads close to the original - https://osob.store/image/catalog/stg44/IMG_5516.JPG


  • IgroMaks
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    IgroMaks polycounter lvl 3
    Deforges said:
    Very nice work so far. You've already mentioned this but the materials I've seen on the stg are more clean with less surface noise. 

    here's a very high-res close up that I believe reads close to the original - https://osob.store/image/catalog/stg44/IMG_5516.JPG


    Thanks! Totally agree with you, I've already planned to re-work some base roughness but for surface details I want to damage a bit (and still yes, at this moment the gun has too much noisy bumps) 
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