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Hard Surface Model - Decals vs trim sheets

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IgnacJerema polycounter lvl 3

Hello Polycounters!

      I am currently creating "game ready Hard Surface asset" for my portfolio. My goal for this project is to create an asset, meet standards, and put it into Unreal Engine 4 scene.

I have the model with all the maps, baked in Substance Painter from High Poly version. I am now in a place where I need to decide how to handle the details.

1. What do You think, what approach would be the best?

   a) make these details on high poly version and bake them with all the other maps?
   b) create trim sheets (then how to assemble them with other textures on model?)
   c) create decals (how is a different topic)

2. How to handle same details if they are supposed to have different material from the surface they are on?


If I am wrong somewhere please let me know. I'm here to learn.

Thank YOU to everyone who is here to help! Cheers!

Replies

  • poopipe
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    poopipe high dynamic range
    Decals are a pain in the arse, just do it properly
  • sprunghunt
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    sprunghunt interpolator

    Hello Polycounters!

          I am currently creating "game ready Hard Surface asset" for my portfolio. My goal for this project is to create an asset, meet standards, and put it into Unreal Engine 4 scene.

    I have the model with all the maps, baked in Substance Painter from High Poly version. I am now in a place where I need to decide how to handle the details.

    1. What do You think, what approach would be the best?

       a) make these details on high poly version and bake them with all the other maps?
       b) create trim sheets (then how to assemble them with other textures on model?)
       c) create decals (how is a different topic)

    2. How to handle same details if they are supposed to have different material from the surface they are on?


    If I am wrong somewhere please let me know. I'm here to learn.

    Thank YOU to everyone who is here to help! Cheers!


    a) I often make details like this in the hipoly. I also keep a library of elements like this (I have ztools I use in zbrush)- so it can be very quick. This is my preferred method a lot of the time. 

    b) trim sheets are good if you're making a lot of objects that all have the same "style", They're great for architecture or if you have a lot of something like machinery,  pipes, or computer panels, etc that you need to make multiple variations of.  Trim sheets are often made from a hipoly anyway - so it crosses over the first technique. 

    c) You can use decals that are applied in substance painter. You could make these in substance designer - or bake decals from a hipoly. This often is quickest if you already have decals made. I find the problem is that there's less re-use than making things in a hipoly and it'll take longer. But if you're not very good at hipoly modeling then this works ok. 
  • IgnacJerema
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    IgnacJerema polycounter lvl 3
    Hi poopipe and sprunghunt! Thanks for your answers!

    sprunghunt said:

    b) trim sheets are good if you're making a lot of objects that all have the same "style", They're great for architecture or if you have a lot of something like machinery, pipes, or computer panels, etc that you need to make multiple variations of.  Trim sheets are often made from a hipoly anyway - so it crosses over the first technique. 

    I understand what trim sheets are. Modeling them is not the problem. I could a) create them on high poly versions of models but also b) as a trim sheet (as another model with all the details). a) is also the easier way because I wouldn't need to answer another question but I bet knowing how to play with trim sheets when trim sheets are only a part of a model is an important skill in the industry.

    The questions are: 
    - Should I go with a) or b)?
    - If b) then how to apply these trim sheets on to the model?
  • sprunghunt
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    sprunghunt interpolator
    Hi poopipe and sprunghunt! Thanks for your answers!

    sprunghunt said:

    b) trim sheets are good if you're making a lot of objects that all have the same "style", They're great for architecture or if you have a lot of something like machinery, pipes, or computer panels, etc that you need to make multiple variations of.  Trim sheets are often made from a hipoly anyway - so it crosses over the first technique. 

    I understand what trim sheets are. Modeling them is not the problem. I could a) create them on high poly versions of models but also b) as a trim sheet (as another model with all the details). a) is also the easier way because I wouldn't need to answer another question but I bet knowing how to play with trim sheets when trim sheets are only a part of a model is an important skill in the industry.

    The questions are: 
    - Should I go with a) or b)?
    - If b) then how to apply these trim sheets on to the model?

    Trim sheets are applied usually by cutting up the UVs to fit the trim sheet to the model. 

    In this example from one of the artists on DOOM Eternal they're applying the trim sheet as another layer on top of the base material. You might find it useful as it shows the effect quite well. 

    https://www.artstation.com/artwork/Ye8o4d


  • IgnacJerema
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    IgnacJerema polycounter lvl 3
    Okay. Now I can understand that I could apply trim sheet as another layer. That makes sense but also I can see that there are models already with details as a base mesh. It seams that using trim sheets depends on various factors. I will consider whether to use trims or not and will be back with more qestions about hard surface modeling in a day or two. Cheers!
  • IgnacJerema
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    IgnacJerema polycounter lvl 3

    Hello! I am back with another questions.


    I created arcade machine from many smaller modules which together are creating the machine.

    As I want the machine to be a game object (UE4), as far as I know, all the modules needs to be joined into one object.

    My questions are:

    • 1) Should the modules be mesh joined or just merged into one object without the need of joining mesh?
    • 2) Going further, a question about textures arises. In such a situation, it would be best to use one main texture for all connected modules broken down by material id? 
    • 3) And what about baking normal and other maps. Should I do that separately for each module or all in one go?
    Thanks for your priceless help!
  • Kanni3d
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    Kanni3d sublime tool
    1. Keep them contiguous as possible, will cost a bit more triangles, but will save you lots of texture/uv space (if it weren't contigous, there would be a lot of surfaces that would not be seen, but still take up space in your UVs). There is no harm to have some things floating/not welded though, like buttons, analog sticks, etc.

    2. Think about the asset, it's size, usage, and importance. Will it really warrant mulitple materials? Something like this, probably not, possibly another drawcall/separate material or shader for the screen - so two materials at best.

    3. Relate the answer to this to question 2 - it's only one material, so it should require just everything in one instance of baking. Even if this were to have separate material ids, you can bake all material id's at once and have all your baked textures exported and separated accordingly.
  • IgnacJerema
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    IgnacJerema polycounter lvl 3
    Hi Kanni3d! Thanks for your answer!

    You covered everything I wanted to know at that point, in a way that I understood ;)

    I already started to work on joining all the meshes in low poly version, and damn it's tricky. Merging all the vertices with keeping the angles and position of the modules and etc, but it's a part of the process so I need to make it done. 

    Next in line is making high poly version from merged mesh.
  • sprunghunt
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    sprunghunt interpolator
    Hi Kanni3d! Thanks for your answer!

    Next in line is making high poly version from merged mesh.
    You don't need to merge the hipoly? just leave the hipoly the way it is and bake the hipoly onto the lowpoly. 
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